Toughie 3026 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3026

Toughie No 3026 by Hudson

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Toughie Difficulty */**Enjoyment ****

Another splendid crossword from Hudson – the extra half a difficulty star awarded for the time it took me to work out what was going on in 11a

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1a    Embed spy to guard European royal family (11)
PLANTAGENET Set in position (embed) followed by a spy into which is inserted (to guard) the abbreviation for European

10a    Entertained by palace, Lebedev is a VIP (5)
CELEB Hidden in (entertained by) palaCE LEBedev

11a    Geordie’s 24 hour Greek diet’s introduced healthy meze dish (9)
TABBOULEH A Geordie word for a 24a and the abbreviation for hour, between which is introduced the name of the Greek parliament (diet)  The key to working out what was going on is to realise not ‘why’ 24 hour hasn’t got a hyphen, but ‘why’ 24 hour hasn’t got a hyphen!

12a    Creakiest, faltering Dean? (3-6)
ICE SKATER An anagram (faltering) of CREAKIEST

13a    Suggest Monsieur is welcomed into international fold (5)
IMPLY The abbreviation for Monsieur is ‘welcomed’ between the abbreviation for international and a verb meaning to fold

14a    Italian city upland’s occasionally lacking eggs (6)
PADOVA The occasional letters of uPlAnD and the biological word for eggs

16a    Drunken camaraderie CIA banned? That’s rum (8)
DEMERARA An anagram (drunken) of caMARADERiE without (banned) the letters CIA (and yes, I do think there should be another anagram indicator as the letters CIA aren’t in that order)

18a    Retired nurse Heather bandaging tail of hurt baby bird (8)
NESTLING A reversed (retired) abbreviation for a nurse and an alternative name for heather, the plant, ‘bandaging’ or going round the letter at the tail of hurT

20a    Wretched citizen leaving second university for America (6)
ABJECT Remove the abbreviations for Second and University from a citizen and replace with the abbreviation for America

23a    Bald in Swedish (or Norwegian) (5)
SHORN Hidden in swediSH OR Norwegian

24a    Fix a few tennis games? According to Spooner it may be tipped (9)
CIGARETTE Were the dreaded Reverend to refer to something containing tobacco, which may or not be tipped, he might well have said something along the lines of ‘fix a few tennis games’

26a    Food, very easy to acquire when short of time, packed with energy (9)
VEGETABLE The abbreviation for very, something easy to acquire without (short) one of the abbreviations for time, into which is inserted (packed with) the abbreviation for energy

27a    Farewell card at the end that is in gold envelope (5)
ADIEU The end letter of card and the abbreviation for that is inserted into (enveloped by) the chemical symbol for gold

28a    Southern social worker installs revolting little statue, an alarming figure (11)
SCAREMONGER The abbreviation for southern and a social worker takes in (installs) a reversal (revolting) of a little statue found in many a garden


2d    Last of Israeli pounds deposited in banks of Lebanese city (5)
LILLE The last letter of Israeli and two abbreviations for Pounds Sterling inserted into the outside letters (banks) of LebanesE

3d    Writer of volume on fine Highland town reels (7)
NABOKOV The abbreviation for volume, an informal indication of agreement (fine) and a Highland town, all reversed (reels)

4d    Sharp expresses dissatisfaction about being detained in A&E (6)
ASTUTE Informal interjections of dissatisfaction reversed (about) and inserted between (detained in) A [and] E

5d    Upset setter — sounded like setter possibly got set to set sail (8)
EMBARKED A reversal (upset) of how our setter would refer to himself, followed by what a setter dog would have sounded like

6d    Turning up volume, wives undressed intending to stir passion (7)
EMOTIVE A reversal (turning up) of a large book (volume) followed by the inside (undressed) letters of wIVEs

7d    Economise when restoring Sid’s camper van (6,3,4)
SCRIMP AND SAVE An anagram (restoring) of SIDS CAMPER VAN

8d    Overrun serving up, say, a quiet lager? (8)
SLIPPAGE A reversal (serving up) of the abbreviation meaning for example (say) A (from the clue), the musical abbreviation meaning quiet and a type of lager

9d    Tummy ache SRN treated with an infusion of hot plant (13)
CHRYSANTHEMUM An anagram (treated) of TUMMY ACHE SRN with an ‘infusion’ of H (hot)

15d    Shift underworld masonic hall (8)
DISLODGE A name for the underworld and a masonic hall

17d    Regularly send Obama cycling somewhere to get a bacon sarnie? (5,3)
SNACK BAR The regular letters of SeNd and the forename of President Obama, the first half of which ‘cycling’ to the end of the word

19d    In a cult, going mad. Quite mad (7)
LUNATIC An anagram (going mad) of IN A CULT

21d    Bishop falls over rejecting an ace deal (7)
BARGAIN The chess abbreviation for Bishop and a reversal (over) of the Falls that have been in crosswords quite a lot lately, without (rejecting) one of the A’s (an ace)

22d    Partner of Perrins enters important meeting positively glowing (6)
AGLEAM The partner who joined with Perrins to make a well-known sauce, inserted into (enters) an abbreviated important meeting

25d    Instant food popular in Asia to follow starter in Thailand (5)
TRICE Some food popular in Asia follows the ‘starter’ in Thailand

18 comments on “Toughie 3026

  1. Perhaps not surprisingly 11a was my final entry, despite having been to a Greek restaurant and perusing the menu in the last two weeks. Thanks for the parsing hint. Other than that, it all went in very smoothly in good time, with 7d and 24a my top clues.

    Thanks to Hudson and CS.

  2. Great fun as usual from this setter and a relatively gentle Toughie, my only problem being the parsing of 11a, very sneaky/clever indeed.
    I particularly liked 4,6&17d but have to give top spot to the lol 24a.
    Many thanks to Hudson and Cryptic Sue.

  3. What a delightful puzzle, in which only the parsing of 11a beat me.

    With lots of excellent clues to choose from, the alliterative tongue twister 5d gets my vote as favourite.

    I agree with CS about the need for a second anagram indicator in 16a. What I don’t understand is why the editorial team doesn’t pick up on it or, if it is now considered OK, why isn’t the requirement formally rescinded?

    My initial thought on 8a was that the answer (which means to fail to reach) is not a synonym of overrun (which means to exceed), but I suppose it’s justifiable if you are talking about a budget, for example.

    Many thanks to Hudson for the fun and to CS for the review.

  4. I thought this a splendid puzzle too & it’d get the full complement of *s for enjoyment from me. Unsurprisingly if it made Sue ponder I didn’t parse last in 11a – I got the ciggy bit & the H but the cleverly misleading context of diet in the surface read meant the parliamentary meaning of the word never remotely occurred – I’d have had to look it up anyway. Masses of ticks – 1,11,20,24&28a plus 5,21&22d with the reverend taking the gold.
    Thanks to Hudson & CS

  5. Even with 11a a complete bung-in (but what else could it be?), and my LOI, I still finished this terrific Toughie almost as quickly as I did today’s backpager. I did not know the Geordie term for a 24a, nor the name of the Greek diet, nor where the H came from–that’s pretty much a total shellacking, isn’t it? The rest of the puzzle, however, was a joy to work, with 17a my COTD (for my all-time favourite POTUS), followed by a host of winners, 20a, 12a, & 7d. Thanks CS (esp. for 11a) and Hudson, whose puzzles always give me a lift.

  6. I had no idea how to parse11a.

    So many thanks to CS for the explanation.

    A canny clue? Why Aye, Man!

  7. A top-drawer puzzle – thanks to Hudson and CS.
    Vying for favouritism were 11a, 24a, 5d and 6d.

  8. Got my knickers in a twist over 11a and had my doubts concerning 8d and stupidly allowed that to colour my judgement when it came to the rest of the puzzle which, with hindsight, was actually rather good.
    Worryingly, for the second time recently, the Spoonerism topped my list and was joined by 7d which put me in mind of the Carry On films.

    Thanks to Hudson and to CS for the review – doubt I’ll remember the Greek parliament!

  9. A tad less difficult than yesterdays Toughie, last in was 11a and new to me, thanks to CS for the parsing, nicely mislead anyway by the die! just remembered Worms had one
    Going for a **/****, an enjoyable puzzle, 10a my favourite.
    Thanhs to setter and CS.

  10. We really struggled with 11a. Eventually got it from the checkers and definition but a couple of elements of the wordplay were new to us. The rest all accessible and enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Hudson and CS.

  11. Another success in my mind as I managed to put words in all the spaces but must confess I was a lot less certain of many more than yesterday and had to check them. I thought 5d was very clever and my favourite. I had no idea how to parse 11a.

    I am afraid I still don’t understand 24a even with the hints and if someone has time to explain I would be grateful, I do know what a spoonerism is but can’t see how it works here.

    Thank you to CS for the very comprehensive hints and to Hudson

  12. Proper job. I’m with those who couldn’t parse 11a, but I wrote it in early anyway once I had the T and H! Cracking puzzle.

    1 / 4

    Thank you Hudson and CS

  13. 1*/4* …..
    liked 7D “Economise when restoring Sid’s camper van (6,3,4)”

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