Toughie 3043 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3043

Toughie No 3043 by proXimal
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Thanks to proXimal for an enjoyable Toughie.

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

Across Clues

8a African beast hide acquired by charity almost breaking ethical pledge (11,4)
HIPPOCRATIC OATH: start with a large African beast and add a verb to hide or cover inside an anagram (breaking) of CHARIT[y].

9a Bloke in Genesis unwilling to bear Invisible Touch, in the end (3)
LOT: an adjective meaning unwilling or reluctant with the end letter of touch being invisible.

10a Fat officer with old sailor aboard vessel (5,6)
COCOA BUTTER: insert abbreviations for officer in charge, old and sailor into a fast patrol boat.

11a Give praise to songstress full of energy (5)
CHEER: an American chanteuse and actress contains the abbreviation for energy.

12a Prior to function, gives money to church body (9)
SUBSTANCE: string together an informal verb meaning ‘gives money to’, a mathematical function and one of our usual abbreviations for church.

15a Royal property near unguarded port (7)
SWANSEA: the creatures that (in England and Wales) are owned by the Crown and the inner letters of ‘near’.

17a Restrained matinee idol’s unusually striking as one rogue (7)
LIMITED: remove the unordered (rogue) letters of AS ONE from MATINEE IDOL’S and make an anagram (unusually) of what you have left.

19a Amateur actor’s performing after lead’s moved back (9)
LAYPERSON: start with a phrase (6’1,2) meaning “actor’s performing” and move the first letter a few places to the right.

20a Perhaps oil baron’s fourth construction is live (5)
DWELL: if an oil baron were particularly unimaginative in naming his constructions he might call his fourth one this (1,4).

21a Put seal on poorly and ram small tubes (11)
CAPILLARIES: charade of a verb to put seal on, an adverb meaning poorly and the constellation called a ram.

24a Gathered way to shift hod (3)
MET: remove ‘hod’ from a synonym of way.

25a Jumbo rats — they grow in tropical areas (8,7)
ELEPHANT GRASSES: what Jumbo is a popular name for and a verb meaning rats or betrays.

Down Clues

1d A tarnished trophy enthralling one going round old store (10)
APOTHECARY: A and an anagram (tarnished) of TROPHY contain the reversal of the ‘one’ playing card.

2d Approve logic on current limits (6)
CONCUR: hidden.

3d Pedants I ensnared with abstract answer (10)
PRECISIANS: I is trapped between an abstract or summary and an abbreviation for answer.

4d Smoker once before in Rome keeled over (4)
ETNA: a word once used in Rome to mean ‘before’ is reversed.

5d Blame having lost tail on cat’s condition (8)
ACCUSTOM: a verb to blame without its last letter and a cat.

6d Shy when holding court? On the contrary (4)
CAST: a map abbreviation for court includes a synonym of ‘when’.

7d Supply juice to one in custody (6)
CHARGE: double definition, the second being a ward or dependant.

8d Plastic vehicle’s missing five screws (7)
HELICES: an anagram (plastic) of [v]EHICLE’S without the Roman numeral for five.

13d People around desire what we own (10)
BELONGINGS: a word for people or humans contains a verb to desire.

14d Lowest catch sealing insulated container (10)
NETHERMOST: a verb to catch or capture contains the trademarked name of an insulated container.

16d Secret of the salty nuts (8)
STEALTHY: anagram (nuts) of THE SALTY.

18d Removes last of gloop cleared from drains (7)
DELETES: start with a verb meaning drains or reduces and remove the last letter of gloop.

19d Suspended case and left paperwork without beginning (6)
LOCKET: the abbreviation for left and a word meaning paperwork or a consignment note without its first letter.

20d Police officers former PM upset (6)
DISMAY: our usual abbreviated senior police officers and the name of one of our recent Prime Ministers.

22d It would be comparatively annoying if this fellow nabbed ski (4)
PEER: if you insert ‘ski’ into your answer you get the comparative of an informal adjective often applied to 4-letter clues on the blog.

23d Content to give tips for Indian food this woman‘s made (4)
ANNA: move the content of this name outside the other two letters to make some Indian food.

I’ve selected 9a, 15a and 22d for the medal positions. Which one(s) featured highly for you?

7 comments on “Toughie 3043
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  1. I can only echo Jonners comments – quite superb. 15a was a terrific clue, and deserving of my favourite spot, ahead of 3d.

    My thanks to proXimal and Gazza.

  2. Excellent puzzle from one of my favourite setters, like Ray T on the back-pager, at the top of his game today.
    I could justifiably tick half the grid but I’ll go with 15a plus 19,22&23d with 9a just sneaking top spot.
    Many thanks indeed to ProXimal and Gazza.

  3. Quite a stiff challenge for me, particularly where the royal property was concerned. Tea tray bashing moment when the penny finally dropped on that one!
    Top three here were 15a plus 13&19d.

    Thanks to proXimal and also to Gazza for the review, great cartoons and Phil Collins.

  4. One at the edge of my abilities but enjoyable nonetheless. My first read-through yielded very little and it was only after I spotted the 8d anagram which led me to 8a that the puzzle opened up for me. Lots to like, particularly 15a, 19a and 6d but it could easily have been more. I needed the hints to understand the parsing for 22d – very much in line with Gazza’s comment ;) ****/****

    Thanks to ProXimal and Gazza for hints. Loved the Phil Collins too

  5. Excellent puzzle that had us working hard. Great misdirection in 15a so that gets our gold medal.
    Thanks proXimal and Gazza.

  6. 15 answers in & 2 of those unparsed. The rest is going to have to wait until the morrow. 1&14d plus 15a my picks of the few I’ve managed. Suspect I’ll need a fair bit of help from Gazza

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