Toughie 3015 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3015

Toughie No 3015 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Firefly for an enjoyable puzzle with a theme. Thanks largely to the education offered by crosswords in the past I did know all the theme elements.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.

Across Clues

1/5a Typist’s control shown in bearing and response (8,6)
CARRIAGE RETURN:   join together synonyms for bearing and response.

5a See 1 Across

9a Sacking second-class subeditor upset newcomer (8)
OUTSIDER: remove the letter used to mean second-class from SU[b]EDITOR and make an anagram (upset) of what remains.

10a Seated in graceful and authentic 1 Across (6)
LANDAU: hidden.

12a 1 Across is due attention (9)
DILIGENCE: double definition, the second a noun meaning due attention or dedication.

13a Hardy unveils suckers (5)
OLLIE: remove the outer letters from things that get sucked.

14a Loving dip off the coast of UAE (4)
FOND: start with a type of dip involving a hot sauce into which small morsels are dipped. Now remove the outer letters (coast) of UAE.

16a Stanhope, short of capital, set out again as 1 Across (7)
PHAETON: a very neat clue because stanhope is another example of 1 Across. Remove its first letter and make an anagram (set out again) of the rest.

19a Blunder with signs of hesitation over strike-breaker (7)
ERRATUM: two different expressions of hesitation bracket an informal word for a strike-breaker or disloyal individual.

21a Cultivated husband’s leading dictionary (4)
HOED: the genealogical abbreviation for husband precedes an abbreviated dictionary.

24a Starts to take action using parasol effectively for shade (5)
TAUPE: a ‘first letters’ clue.

25a In roadside kiosk, ring FIRE, then HOSPITAL (9)
TOLLBOOTH: string together a verb to ring (a church bell, possibly), a verb to fire or kick out and the map abbreviation for hospital.

27a Strangely, loco’s hard to start for train (6)
SCHOOL: an anagram (strangely) of LOCOS and the starting letter of Hard.

28a In audition, hot meal precedes Charlie getting lead without notice in 1 Across (8)
CURRICLE: what sounds like a hot or spicy meal is followed by the abbreviation for Charlie (i.e. cocaine) and ‘lead’ without the abbreviated notice.

29a Less tender song? (6)
NUMBER: double definition.

30a Expand radio station in the middle of Exeter, with completion on schedule (8)
ESCALATE: the name of a UK classical music radio station goes inside the central letters of Exeter with the final letter of schedule bringing up the rear.

Down Clues

1d Masses held in chapel initially, before controversy with bloodhound (6)
CROWDS: the initial letter of chapel, a controversy or quarrel and what bloodhound is an informal term for in the CID.

2d Maestro needing bit of percussion? (6)
RATTLE: double definition, the first the name of a well-known conductor.

3d The setter quavers, we hear, getting chilly (5)
ICING: split 1,4 this sounds like how the setter would say that he quavers or trills.

4d Picked up coat from girl on eBay, oddly on revolutionary retreat (7)
GLEANED: the outer letters of girl, the odd letters of eBay and the reversal of a retreat or hideaway.

6d Studied bundle that’s turned up prior to lecture (9)
ELABORATE: reverse a bundle (of hay or cotton, perhaps) and add a verb to lecture or speak publicly.

7d Swell‘s behind time after mostly inappropriate … (8)
UNDULATE: an adverb meaning ‘behind time’ follows an adjective meaning inappropriate or disproportionate without its last letter.

8d … employment in North America with a new start in theatre — it’s sickening! (8)
NAUSEANT: a synonym for employment goes between the abbreviation for North America and A, the abbreviation for new and the starting letter of theatre.

11d Tweet from Papa — “Extreme pressure besieging base” (4)
PEEP: the letter represented by papa in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet is followed by the abbreviation for ‘extreme pressure’ containing the letter used as a base in logarithms.

15d Where one’s specs are, precisely — over the pond! (2,3,4)
ON THE NOSE: a phrase used in North America to mean exactly could be where one’s specs sit.

17d In France, setter (with his heart!) takes drop (8)
JETTISON: assemble the first person pronoun in French, the central letters of setter and a verbal phrase (2,2) meaning regularly takes (drugs, perhaps).

18d 1 Across is unpolished in send-up of The Fairy Queen (8)
BROUGHAM: an adjective meaning unpolished (like a diamond) goes inside the reversal of the name of a fairy queen in Romeo and Juliet.

20d Violet Elizabeth’s teacher in story? (4)
MYTH: young Miss Bott (from the Just William stories by Richmal Crompton) was famous for saying “I’ll thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick”. Bearing in mind her speech impediment how might she address her female teacher?

21d Attempts to steal hose? (4-3)
HOLD-UPS: double definition.

22d Copyright within “dark” music beginning to appear, I understand (6)
GOTCHA: insert the letter used in the copyright symbol into a style of music with dark, melancholy themes then append the start letter of ‘appear’.

23d Comestible‘s said to make you smile? (6)
CHEESE: what a photographer might ask you to say.

26d Pouch containing last fragments of china vessels Wheeler initially unearthed, brought up to capital of Brunei (5)
BURSA: the last letters of ‘china vessels Wheeler’ and the initial letter of ‘unearthed’ are all reversed and preceded by the first letter of Brunei. The answer (not a word I knew) is a zoological term for a pouch or sac.

My top clues were 13a, 16a and 20d. Which one(s) fitted the bill for you?

13 comments on “Toughie 3015
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  1. Very enjoyable with only one 1a requiring a trip to the dictionary (28a). 23d gets my vote. Thanks to Gazza and Firefly.

  2. Good solid Thursday fare, ‘transporting’ me if not to levels of rhapsodic pleasure, then at least to satisfied contentment. Fortunately 1a/5a fell very swiftly and the themed vehicles were all familiar, though I had forgotten the spelling of 28a, confusing it with a small paddling boat! I thought the grammar of 14a a little strained, and wondered whether the suckers in 13a are more properly the sucked? If someone could explain what purpose was served by having fire and hospital in capitals I should be grateful – it appears to be unnecessary and if it appeared in a social media post would be termed as shouting. Favourite clues were 20d and 21d.

    2.5 / 3

    Many thanks indeed to Firefly and of course to Gazza.

  3. Really enjoyed the theme in this one and think the only parsing issues I had were with 14a (missed the obvious!) and 17d.
    Didn’t realise that 15d came courtesy of our Atlantic cousins, thought it was just a term used by bookies!
    Liked the nicely hidden 10a and my top two for their humour were 21&22d.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Gazza for the review – laughed at the newspaper clipping in 19a.

  4. I hadn’t come across the radio station in 30 but the solution seemed clear enough. 26d seemed a bit of a sledgehammer for a nut. But I laughed at 20d and admired 14a and 17d so no complaints.
    Thanks to Firefly and to Gazza for the blog [laughed at your 19a too].

  5. I cannot improve on our blogger’s picks for the podium this afternoon. Great fun, nicely challenging and plenty of laughs.

    Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

  6. Well I did finish but needed hints for the last 5, all in the SW corner. Its taken a great portion of my day so I will leave the Toughies for the time being. Thanks to all for the fun

    1. Reckon that’s good going. I’ve just been looking at it for a while (admittedly while watching snooker) & have only got a dozen answers in. It’s going to have to wait for fresh eyes & a clearer brain.

  7. We did not know the radio station for 30a but got the answer anyway and could not recall all the GK needed for 20d so missed that one.
    Think we found all the themed answers which we had learned from previous crosswords.
    A real challenge and lots of fun.
    Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

  8. Well that was hard work. 12a, 25a, 28a, the fairy in 18d or 26d were all new to me. I needed the hints to parse 14a and 17d. Apart from those I found the rest pretty difficult. Favourite was 23d because it took so long to see it. 🤦‍♂️ a thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  9. Thank goodness for all of those Victorian & Edwardian novels that have made my life so much richer, I was on the setter’s wavelength from the off and just adored this puzzle. (EMForster’s ‘barouche 10a’ in his ‘Celestial Omnibus’ story comes to mind first.) After the second and third kinds of 1a manifest themselves, I knew where we were headed, mostly, and the other delightful vehicles from days of yore helped me complete the grid without any outside help. My third unaided completion this week, a personal best, I believe. My educated guess at 14a is my Clarkie-of-the-Day (loved it) and my assumption of the UK radio station in 30a proved a good one. Also, V.E. in 20d appeared fairly recently and I remembered her lisp. Too unfair to pick a favourite; it’s the whole kit and kaboodle. Thanks to Gazza and Firefly.

  10. Finally finished. Needed help parsing 17d and 14a, and I’m not convinced 13a works. Really struggled with the verbose 22 and 26d, but got there in the end, and feel suitably smug and satisfied. Favourite was 20d. Took a long while to crack that.

    And special thanks to Gazza for the hint for 19a. I’ll be chuckling about that for days.

  11. Remembered I’d still to finish this one & nearly managed to but needed to reveal the 26d/28a checker to complete. Annoyed I didn’t twig the hot meal homophone but hadn’t come across the carriage before. Didn’t care for the overly wordy 26d clue which was also unfamiliar though maybe might have pegged it from bursitis. Excellent puzzle but very tough for the likes of me. Fav was 14a – just wish I’d parsed it.
    Belated thanks to Firefly & Gazza – ditto Whybird’s remark re your 19a illustration

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