Toughie No 3029 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 3029

Toughie No 3029 by Dada

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Hello everyone from a bright and breezy South Devon coast.

Dada kicks off the Toughie week with a very entertaining puzzle that was spot on for Tuesday.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Jam container, brass (10)
BOTTLENECK: Append a synonym of brass in the sense of nerve or chutzpah to a glass container.

6a Smoothness backfiring for philanderer (4)
WOLF: Reverse (backfiring) a synonym of smoothness or fluency.

9a Remove series of illustrations (5)
STRIP: Double definition, for the latter think cartoons perhaps.

10a Drink alone, as a joke (9)
TEASINGLY: If you split the solution (an adverb meaning in a taunting way) 3,6 you’ll see how the wordplay works.

12a Super pepperoni on pizza, say? (7)
TOPPING: Double definition, one a quaint adjective, the other a noun.

13a Assassin rubbing out English in disagreement among Germans? (5)
NINJA: Remove (rubbing out) the abbreviation for English from the German word for No and follow it with the German word for Yes.

15a Traffic no good, I run in reverse on the left (7)
TRADING: Place I from the clue and a reversal of run or shoot to the left of the abbreviations for No and Good.

17a Essentially rice behind turnip, say, covering starter of beef jerky? (7)
ROBOTIC: The middle two letters (essentially) of rICe follow a type of vegetable of which a turnip is an example, into which is inserted the initial letter of Beef.

19a Bob, off to steal first of booty, I’m sure (2,5)
NO DOUBT: Follow a 3-letter synonym of bob (he’s not a person!) with an adverb which could mean off into which is inserted the initial letter of Booty. I know at least one of our contributors will love this song as much as I do.

21a Sewn border is found between edges of cape-like garment (7)
CHEMISE: Insert the sewn edge of a piece of cloth plus IS from the clue into the outer letters of Cape-likE.

22a Picture second contest (5)
MOVIE: An informal word for second in the sense of time and a synonym of fight or struggle

24a Flag enclosed, opened by relative (7)
PENNANT: Insert (opened by) an informal name for a female relative into a synonym of closed in the sense of confined or repressed.

27a Rose to fix screws — strapping issue, say? (3-6)
SIX-FOOTER: Anagram (screws) of the preceding three words. The issue here is in the sense of a son perhaps.

28a Arboreal mammal in eighth hole? (5)
SLOTH: A hole (for coins perhaps) is followed by the eighth letter of the alphabet.

29a Initially noting information, nerds extremely square (4)
NINE: The first letters (initially) of the following four words.

30a Man with wrinkle in pants, step forward (10)
BRIDGEHEAD: Took me a while to see exactly how this works. It’s an insertion of a wrinkle or a crease plus a third person male pronoun into into a synonym of pants in the sense of rubbish. Good clue!


1d Social clout (4)
BASH: Double definition, the less obvious an informal word for a social event.

2d Justice, perhaps, lawgiver and scoundrel served up to save time (5,4)
TAROT CARD: Justice here is a definition by example (perhaps). We need to reverse (served up) an Ancient Greek lawgiver into which is inserted the abbreviation for Time and a 3-letter scoundrel. Apparently the word draconian is derived from the lawgiver.

3d Revel in being miles ahead during Grand Prix, say? (3,2)
LAP UP: A Grand Prix is usually a race of several circuits of a track. If you are one circuit ahead you could be described as this.

4d Less than a tad drunk by wino, thin grog (7)
NOTHING: Hidden in the clue as indicated by “drunk by”.

5d Sender of invoice, perhaps, for horse (7)
CHARGER: This horse could whimsically be described as someone sending a bill for services rendered or goods supplied.

7d Spleen, say, in newspaper? (5)
ORGAN: A pretty straightforward double definition I think, the newspaper usually being one that promotes a political cause.

8d Winger found contract in pamphlet (10)
FLYCATCHER: An insertion of synonym of contract as a verb in the sense one might a disease into a short pamphlet.

11d Low being low, not entirely high (7)
IGNOBLE: Anagram (high) of BEING plus LO(w).

14d Working inside narrow part of vessel, a boy builder (10)
STONEMASON: Insert a 2-letter synonym of working into a narrow part of a vessel or plant and append A from the clue and a male child.

16d Mineral: barrel I lifted awaiting delivery (2,5)
IN UTERO: Start with a 3-letter mineral, add a 3-letter barrel and I from the clue and reverse (lifted in a down clue) the lot. The delivery may occur in a maternity ward.

18d End of August in theory worked out — as this? (6-3)
THIRTY ONE: Anagram (worked out) of final letter of AugusT plus IN THEORY.

20d Bartender: one sampling wine, for example, round front of pub (7)
TAPSTER: Insert the initial letter of Pub into someone who samples wine (or any other food or drink)

21d Focused, coin placed on roulette choice (7)
CENTRED: An (American) coin and a colour on a roulette wheel.

23d Fierce woman, old lover turning up in Bordeaux? (5)
VIXEN: An insertion of a reversal (turning up) of our usual 2-letter former lover in a French word for something of which Bordeaux is an example.

25d Path where remains carried by porter (5)
AISLE: I think this is a loose synonym of remains or dwells inside (carried by) a drink of which porter is an example.

26d Country cousin originally duped (4)
CHAD: The first letter of Cousin and a verb that could mean cheated or duped.

Thanks Dada, I’ve chosen 13&30a plus 18d as my medal winners. Which ones were on your podium?




16 comments on “Toughie No 3029

  1. For me (how often do I begin comments on a Dada puzzle with those two words), just about right for a Tuesday Toughie so I do not think that this was mistakenly swapped with the Sunday PP. But, then I only had to solve half of the Sunday PP to be able to do the hints :wink:

    An enjoyable challenge – 2*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 17a, 16d, and 23d – and the winner is 16d.

    Thanks to Dada and StephenL.

  2. Tough enough for a Tuesday I thought. Votes go to 16d and 18d. Thanks to Dada and StephenL

  3. I thought this was about what we ought to see with a Tuesday Toughie. My favourites were 28a and 18d

    Thanks to Dada and Stephen

  4. Yep, proper Tuesday-level Toughie, with the appropriate degree of challenge and inclusion of clue types one would not often expect to see in the backpager until the end of the week. The backpager on Sunday was great, a proper prize puzzle challenge and something to get ones teeth into and take a little longer solving – so I agree, no envelope mix-up in my view, either.

    Special mentions to 10a, 28a, 18d, but there were any number I could have picked as close runners-up.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Stephen.

  5. Very enjoyable. 16d wins it for me & I rather liked the 5 letter ones at 13&28a plus 3&23d. After Sunday feared another almighty tussle but it yielded surprisingly quickly. Failed to fully parse the man & pants bit of 30a but if it caused our reviewer to furrow his brow I’ll forgive myself.
    Thanks to D& the other S for the review & music of course.

  6. A good, comfortable solve for a Tuesday Toughie with some excellent concise clueing. I particularly liked 28 and 30a.

    My thanks to Dada and SL.

  7. A really lovely puzzle and I’ll pick for 16d as my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and StephenL.

  8. Well I am going to go against the flow as I found this really tough, but I did enjoy the battle.

    Talking of “flow”, is it really a synonym for “smoothness” in 6a? I’m also not entirely convinced by 30a. Doesn’t man with wrinkle imply that “he” comes before “ridge”?

    13a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to SL.

    1. Hi RD
      I did check that synonym this morning and Collins has it one way but not the other I think. I guess you could say the dress or the song has a certain smoothness/flow to it.

  9. A Terrific Tuesday Toughie – thanks to Dada and StephenL.
    I have ticks beside 10a, 28a, 30a and 16d but my favourite was 18d.

  10. I had to check 16d bit out was gradually clued and also had to check the lawgiver in 2d.i found this harder than most, don’t I always. Good fun though. Favourite was 21a, one of my first in. Thanks to Dada and SL.

  11. Absolute, masterful treat: perfectly pitched for a Tuesday Toughie. Pretty much every clue a COTD, from the brevity of 1A to the brilliance of 16D, et al. Sheer class.

  12. It seems we can rule out mixed envelopes as I found this similar difficulty to Sunday – though I still found this a mixed bag of clues. I did like 13a, and 17a too – but too many got the raised eyebrows. I needed hints for 2d to finish as well a few parsings.

    Ty to Dada and StephenL

  13. I did much better on this one than on Sunday’s by our shamanistic compiler. I appreciate SL’s help parsing 30a (figured out the ‘wrinkle’ but nothing else jived, and I hate ‘pants’ meaning all kinds of negative stuff). Otherwise, everything else worked fine with my synapses. 2d is my COTD and my LOI. Thanks to Stephen and Dada.

  14. Struggled a bit with 30a but eventually got it all sorted.
    Really enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Dada and SL.

  15. Didn’t have chance to look at this until tonight and actually found it quite a tough nut to crack. I did like the humour in 10a and our feathered friends will always get a tick from me but I think I’ve had more enjoyment from previous puzzles by this setter.

    Thanks to Dada and to Stephen for the review – particularly the parsing of 30a!

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