Toughie 3022 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3022

Toughie No 3022 by Stick Insect

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This was one of those crosswords where it definitely helped if you knew both ‘stuff’ and alternative definitions of fairly well-known words. My friend asked me yesterday why I keep a copy of the BRB beside my computer and, had she been here this morning, she’d have seen exactly why, as it came in for quite a bit of use for checking things while I was typing the blog.

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1a    Snobby Channel Islander upset losing learned supply (8)
CLANNISH Snobby in the sense of holding aloof from others (thank you BRB) – A compound anagram (upset) of CHANNel ISLander without (losing) the letters LEARNED (supply telling you they aren’t in that order)

5a    Superweapon chosen involves cloak (6)
PONCHO Hidden in (involves) superweaPON CHOsen

10a    Fur too much, Vera discovered (5)
OTTER The informal abbreviation meaning too much and the inside (discovered) letters of vERa

11a    Being a member of English stage, Dec’s partner is crude (9)
INELEGANT A preposition meaning, among a lot of other definitions,  ‘being a member of’, the abbreviation for English, a stage of a course or journey and the television partner of Dec

12a    After excellent exercise, son turns brown (5)
SEPIA After an adjective meaning first-class, excellent, put some school exercise and the abbreviation for Son – the result should then be reversed (turns)

13a    A Nationalist, a Liberal holding PM’s Downing St address before Labour, perhaps (9)
ANTENATAL Misleading capitals time – although if you’ve ever had a baby, the capital L in Labour may feel appropriate! A (from the clue), the three-letter abbreviation for Nationalist, the latter ‘holding’ the PM’s address in Downing Street, the result finished with the second A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Liberal

14a    Capital vans of Victor’s independent lot never include used specimens (7)
VILNIUS The leading letters (vans) of Victors Independent Lot Never Include Used Specimens give us the capital of Lithuania

15a    Fine plan, yet messed up (7)
PENALTY An anagram (messed up) of PLAN YET

18a    Train bird to accept one sent back (7)
RETINUE The female of a kind of sandpiper to ‘accept’ a reversal (sent back) of a single thing (one)

20a    Perhaps mouldy lid uncovered after entertaining bash (7)
FUNGOID ‘Uncover’ or remove the first letter of lID and place the two remaining letters after a synonym of entertaining and a verb meaning to have a try at something (bash)

21a    Key area at some time spoken of as way to get a rise? (9)
ESCALATOR The key at the top left of your computer keyboard, the abbreviation for area and a homophone (spoken) of an adverb meaning at some time after

24a    Official beginning to mow field (5)
REALM Actually existing (official) and the ‘beginning’ to Mow

26a    Republican bishop welcomed by curious Aegean order once more (9)
REARRANGE The abbreviation for Republican and the two-letter abbreviation for bishop inserted into (welcomed by) an anagram (curious) of AEGEAN

27a    Place to sleep following university, not coming back (5)
FUTON The abbreviations for Following and University followed by a reversal (coming back) of NOT (from the clue)

28a    Corrects editor covering soldiers with sarcasm at first (6)
EMENDS An abbreviated editor ‘covering’ some soldiers, the first letter of Sarcasm being added at the end

29a    Racier, it breaks rules (8)
CRITERIA An anagram (breaks) of RACIER IT


1d    Indelicate at heart, American made Oscar angry (5)
CROSS Change the A (American) at the heart of a word meaning indelicate or boorish with the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

2d    George‘s car scheme takes one in (9)
AUTOPILOT A car and a scheme, the latter taking in the letter representing one

3d    Report led to the North getting share (9)
NARRATION A reversal (to the north) of a synonym for led followed by a share or allowance

4d    Opening of some Pinots is rather a labour — send for corkscrews (7)
SPIRALS The opening letters of Some Pinots Is Rather A Labour Send

6d    Returning alumnae consume bottles — a vast quantity (5)
OCEAN Hidden in reverse (returning … bottles) in alumNAE COnsume

7d    Cunning cricketer cleared out tail-end (5)
CRAFT The outside (cleared out) letters of CricketeR and the tail-end of a vessel or aircraft

8d    Defeated and dismissed, allowed to run out around lake (9)
OUTPLAYED Dismissed or no longer in the [cricket] game and part of a verb meaning allowed to run out to the end put ‘around’ the abbreviation for Lake

9d    Quiet British drive the French in retreat (4,2)
BELT UP An informal expression meaning to be quiet – the abbreviation for British followed by a reversal (in retreat) of an alternative spelling of verb meaning to drive and the French masculine definite article

14d    Parts of supporting column peak mostly by Scottish hillside (9)
VERTEBRAE Most of a word meaning the top or summit followed by a Scottish word for a hillside

16d    Perhaps amateur match for charity (3-6)
NON-PROFIT An amateur could perhaps be described as a xxx-xxx, this should be followed by a verb meaning to match

17d    Take care of appearance later (4,5)
LOOK AFTER Synonyms for appearance and later

19d    Run out of more books for living (6)
EXTANT Take out the cricket abbreviation for run from a synonym for more and then add the abbreviation for the books in the second half of the Bible

20d    Spare appropriate to Paddington, maybe (7)
FORBEAR This verb meaning to spare or withhold could if split 3,4 be seen to be appropriate to an ursine creature such as Paddington

22d    Modest, no time for pursuit (5)
CHASE The abbreviation for Time is removed from an adjective meaning modest

23d    Ghastly top worn by primitive beginner? (5)
LURID A prefix (beginner) meaning primitive or original is inserted into (worn by) a top or cover

25d    Male King’s schoolteacher provides delicious food (5)
MANNA The abbreviation for Male and the forename of the schoolteacher of the King of Siam in the well-known musical

11 comments on “Toughie 3022
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  1. Very enjoyable indeed. I had very few problems though it wasn’t a particularly rapid solve, just enjoyed unpicking the wordplay and seeing the solutions reveal themselves. I had to check the “ur”/primitive synonym in 23d but that was about it.
    I liked the super acrostic at 4d, the clever 8&14d but my top three are 13a plus 16d with top spot the “cunning cricketer” at 7d.
    Many thanks to Stick Insect and Cryptic Sue for the review

  2. Some head scratching required! I needed CS’s hint to understand 1a. Now that we seem to be getting more compound anagrams I might be able to recognise them. ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 13a, 19d, and 20d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and to CS.

  3. 2d was my final entry once I dredged up from my memory the significance of George, and that became my favourite. I always find this setter’s puzzles accessible, but with a pleasingly awkward framework that makes it more rewarding to solve. Great fun.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and CS.

  4. A decent mid-week Toughie – thanks to Sticky and CS.
    The surface of 11a made me laugh and my picks for the honours were 7d and 16d.

  5. GK failed me when it came to the 9d drive and the 23d primitive so I certainly needed my BRB!
    25d made me smile, one of the first films my parents took me to see (the other was South Pacific) and my top three were 7,16&20d.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and to CS for the review – the illustration for 4d reminded me of the lid on my mum’s laundry basket!

  6. Needed the hints to parse 18a and 23d but there’s always a couple I don’t understand. All in all a fun solve if not entirely straightforward. Favourite was 2d. Thanks to Stick Insect and CS.

  7. The eastern half went in in good time, but the west was a bit sticky. All in all a very pleasant romp. Loved 19d, but lots of enjoyable clues. ***/*** for us.

  8. Found it easier than yesterday’s and managed to finish without help.
    Having solved 4d and 14a directly afterwards, my repetition radar bleeped but didn’t spoil the enjoyment.
    Thanks to Stick Insect and to CS for the review.

  9. I expected CS to award this one a * difficulty rating so maybe it was just one of those rare days when I was fortunate to immediately tune into the wavelength. I actually finished it thinking it was the back-pager & then felt extremely smug when I then breezed through the other one also completing them both in under *** time – by some margin a PB for me. Last in was 1a & was pleased for once to twig the compound anagram without too much damage to the scalp. Unfortunately it wasn’t full marks as stupidly thought male = man & couldn’t figure out where NA came from – doh. Very enjoyable though perhaps lacking a bit of the charm of the back-pager. Top 3 for me – 7,14&16d.
    Thanks to Stick Insect & to CS

  10. I could almost repeat what Huntsman above just said, certainly about my PB solving time and expecting to see CS award a * rating, as well as my being on the setter’s wavelength from the start. I’d like to thank the setter on Chriscross’s behalf for the very rare appearance of 14a and, incidentally, for the use of ‘vans’ to signal initial letters–very clever that. (She’s our resident geographer, you know.) Favourites: 25d (‘Shall we Dance?”), 7d, & 20d…and many more. Thanks to CS and Stick Insect. Very enjoyable. Sorry I’m so late today.

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