Toughie 3034 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3034

Toughie No 3034 by Donnybrook

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An enjoyable Toughie from Donnybrook to brighten up a grey Wednesday morning

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Milanese football team calling for break (12)
INTERMISSION There are two football teams in Milan, here you want the one that is so useful for crossword setters,  which should be followed by a calling or vocation

9a    Outrageous penetrating look in past game (5)
LOTTO The abbreviated way of saying outrageous (3) inserted into (penetrating) into an archaic (in past) way of saying look

10a    Note in enclosure kept secret a tasty morsel (9)
ENCHILADA The sixth note of the tonic sol-fa scale inserted into an abbreviated enclosure and a way of saying kept secret, the result followed by A (from the clue)

11a    Talk endlessly with composer and film director (9)
SPIELBERG Talk endlessly followed by an Austrian composer

12a    Pulse needs hour — put in to blanch at first (5)
THROB The abbreviation for hour inserted between TO (from the clue) and the first letter of Blanch

13a    Pasta in strings thrown at the pigs (9)
SPAGHETTI An anagram (thrown) of AT THE PIGS

16a    Share Jill Masterson’s fate, and it’s goodbye! (5)
ADIEU Jill Masterson’s fate was to lose her life after being coated in gold by Goldfinger. So we need to ‘coat’ a verb meaning to expire with the chemical symbol for gold

18a    Discharge gas put through drink (5)
RHEUM The chemical symbol for helium inserted into (put through) an alcoholic drink

19a    Noisome girl, vacant, revitalised for new term (9)
NEOLOGISM An anagram (revitalised) of NOISOME and the outside (vacant) letters of GirL

20a    Say political corruption in Labour (5)
GRAFT A slang term for political corruption or an informal term for hard work (labour with a lower case l)

22a    Shell-shaped instruments seek to trap fish around area (9)
CASTANETS How one might seek to trap fish goes ‘around’ the abbreviation for area

25a    Leaves when one should be ready to retire? (6,3)
LIGHTS OUT An informal expression meaning leaves or the sign that it is time for bed, especially in a boarding school or barracks

26a    Go up for graduation (5)
SCALE To go up or climb; a series or order (graduation)

27a    Search port in storm — it’s where the winds may blow (9,3)
ORCHESTRA PIT – An anagram (storm) of SEARCH PORT followed by IT (from the clue). Because the clue initially looks as though IN is part of the anagram fodder, it took me a long time to realise which winds were doing the blowing and where!


1d    Involved in subterfuge, king deposed by mischievous Greek (9)
INTRICATE IN (from the clue), a piece of subterfuge without the K (king deposed) followed by the Greek goddess of mischief and vengeance

2d    Fish cake beneath tray for starter? (5)
TROLL A type of cake goes beneath (in a Down solution) the ‘starter’ of Tray

3d    Old magistrate concerned with naughty woman in garden (5)
REEVE The usual ‘concerned with, on the subject of’ with the naughty woman in the Garden of Eden

4d    Using pseudonym, noticing anagrams with surprised cry? (9)
INCOGNITO You can’t get a clearer anagram indicator than the one in this clue! An anagram of NOTICING followed by a cry of surprise

5d    Son is not with mother, left close to bordello in walled city (5-4)
SAINT-MALO The abbreviation for son, an informal way of saying is not, a mother, the abbreviation for left and the ‘close’ to bordello

6d    Suave young socialite sent out for broadcasting (2,3)
ON AIR A young socialite sent out or removed from a synonym for suave

7d    Students have difficulty getting Marxist concept (5,8)
CLASS STRUGGLE A number of students taught together and a difficulty

8d    Hot teacher reserving shady place for port official (13)
HARBOURMASTER The abbreviation for hot and a teacher, between which is inserted (reserving) a shady place

14d    Sewer’s product in mesh damaged small person (9)
HEMSTITCH An anagram (damaged) of MESH followed by an informal name for a very small person

15d    Persistent cautions with police at last mobilised (9)
TENACIOUS An anagram (mobilised) of CAUTIONS and the last letter of policE

17d    One can rave about European wandering (9)
ITINERANT The letter representing one, a can and a verb meaning to rave go ‘about’ the abbreviation for European

21d    Prophet or a swami putting foot over head? (5)
AUGUR A (from the clue) and a Hindu spiritual teacher (swami), the last letter (foot) being moved to the front (over … head)

23d    Instrument from India encased in lead (5)
SITAR The letter represented by India in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet inserted (encased) in a leading performer

24d    Answer put forward upset writer (5)
AESOP The abbreviation for answer and a reversal (upset) of a verb meaning to put forward


9 comments on “Toughie 3034
Leave your own comment 

  1. I really enjoyed this. It was nicely challenging and a lot of fun, with the clever 16a my favourite.

    I’m not sure why 20 needs “say” as part of the clue. Isn’t it just a double definition?

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to CS.

  2. A top-notch puzzle – many thanks to Donnybrook.
    I didn’t know the 14d sewer’s product but the wordplay was clear.
    For my podium I’ve selected 16a (I had to look up Jill Masterson – if the clue had said Shirley Eaton I wouldn’t have had to), 25a and 27a.

  3. Very enjoyable, a typical Donny puzzle I thought with some cracking and well disguised anagrams.
    I’d never heard of JM in 16a or the slang for political corruption in 20a but the solutions were pretty obvious.
    My podium contenders are 13&27a plus 5,8&15d.
    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to Sue for the well illustrated review.

  4. I didn’t know the required term for political corruption but the answer was fortunately very obvious. Spent quite a while, like our reviewer, trying to use ‘in’ as part of the anagram fodder for 27a so that one gets a podium place for clever misdirection, where it joins 1a (good for a laugh), 17d & 16a – the latter getting the gold medal!

    Thanks to Donnybrook for a very enjoyable puzzle and to CS for her usual calibre of illustrated review.

  5. 16a was simply brilliant and deservedly my COTD. The whole puzzle was a delight, as is usually the case with this setter, with a great selection of clue types.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and CS.

  6. We initially had problems with 2d as we discovered that ROUT is an archaic type of cake and put in an incorrect ‘fish’. Sorted when 11a was solved. We never did get the wordplay for the very clever 16a though.
    Lots of fun and another enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Donnybrook and CS

  7. A real delight, as YS says, with 16a the brilliant COTWeek for me, but I loved the whole trip from 1a to 27a. A very happy and very fast finish for me. Thanks to CS and Donnybrook.

  8. Super Wednesday puzzle, thank you Donnybrook. Good mix of clues, among which my COTD was the wonderful 7d, with runner-up 16a. Thanks also to CS.

  9. I’d completely forgotten the character’s name in Goldfinger & like Gazza would have twigged the parsing much quicker with the actress. The political corruption context was also new to me. Otherwise reasonably straightforward & very enjoyable. I thought all of the 5 letter ones particularly good but 16a would have to get the nod over 18a.
    Thanks to Donny & CS

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.