Toughie 3048 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3048

Toughie No 3048 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

It’s Friday and it’s Elgar – what else needs saying? Enjoy

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Retro fashions felt intimate behind Collection on show here? (5,5)

STAMP ALBUM: A reversal (retro) of a verb meaning ‘fashions felt’, a 3-letter word for an intimate and a word meaning behind or rear

6a    Fine location for researching blubber? (4)

FLAB: The abbreviation for fine and a research facility

10a     Bertie now out of the way, is he after Madeline Bassett? (5)

WOOER: Bertie’s surname without (now out of) an abbreviation for a way

11a     Breeder’s output, say, uranium fuelling atomisation of hydrogen (9)

GREYHOUND: The chemical symbol for uranium is inserted into (fuelling) an anagram (atomisation) of HYDROGEN

12a    Time for believers to view gallery collection (3,4)

GOD SLOT: A word for the gallery in a theatre, and a 3-letter collection or large amount

13a    This fiasco would be predictable with trip so badly organised (7)

DEBACLE: The answer + TRIP forms an anagram (so badly organised) of PREDICTABLE

14a     Fed peanuts, regulars among guests become restless (3,5,4)

GET ITCHY FEET: A (6,3) phrase that would be peanuts in terms of remuneration is inserted into (fed) the odd letters in (regulars among) guests

18a    Double parking in German motor garage initially cuts risk (12)

DOPPELGANGER: The abbreviation for parking inside a German motor plus the first letter (initially) of garage are inserted into (cuts) a 6-letter word meaning risk

21a    Sorrowful career-girl drifting without learning basics (7)

ELEGIAC: An anagram (drifting) of CA(r)EE(r)-GI(r)L without the ‘learning basics’

23a    Doing not the first jot of work thus far (2,2,3)

UP TO NOW: A (2,2) phrase meaning doing (as in ‘what are doing?’), a 2-letter word meaning not or negative, and the first letter (jot) of ‘work’

24a    What the Doctor ordered in books about time traveller (9)

ITINERANT: A pronoun meaning the very thing (what the doctor ordered), IN from the clue and some biblical books go about a 3-letter time period

26a It’s parting day, for the poet quits (4)

EVEN: A poetic word for the last part of a day

27a   Where the rides are just fine! (10)

FAIRGROUND:  A word meaning just and a word that can mean fine


1d    Refuse pay for jobs done around London? (6)

SEWAGE: Split (2,4), the answer could be the fee for London-based jobs

2d    Conflicting notices about upcoming period (2,4)

AT ODDS: Some notices go about the reversal (upcoming) of a period or full stop

3d    Figure the usual gene was transmitted down the line (14)

PARALLELEPIPED: A 3-letter word meaning usual or normal (think golf), a possible form of a gene, and a word that means ‘was transmitted down the line’

4d/15d    Protection for audience Boult cryptically supplied? (9,9)

LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR: This protection would be ‘supplied’ by a homophone (for audience) of Boult (reference to Sir Adrian Boult)

5d    Greatly affect author, overwriting map of hill country (5)

UPEND: Take a 6-letter word meaning hill country, then overwrite a word meaning map with a word meaning to author

7d    Who’s eating sandwiches at timeless Nasa installation?

LAUNCHER: A 7-letter word for “who’s eating” contains (sandwiches) A(t) from the clue but without the T (timeless)

8d    Spooner’s old man puts money on write-offs! (3,5)

BAD DEBTS: A spoonerism of ‘old man’ (3) and ‘puts money on’ (4)

9d    Orthodox teen stopping by at intervals for dalliance? (3,3,4,4)

THE BOY NEXT DOOR: An anagram (for dalliance) of ORTHODOX TEEN has inserted (stopping) BY in separate places (at intervals)

16d    Top Chinese meal sent up literally represses obsession (4,4)

IDEE FIXE: A reversal (sent up) of the ‘Top Chinese’ and a word meaning meal is contained by a Latin abbreviation that can mean literally.

17d    Liking a piano pretty small (8)

APPETITE: A from the clue, the abbreviation for piano and a word meaning ‘pretty small’ (and maybe small and pretty)

19d     Taken up from dugout, is nicely positioned (2,4)

IN SITU: Reverse hidden (Taken up from …). The whole clue hints at the answer

20d    Wound wife is probing with spike (6)

TWINED: The abbreviation for wife goes inside (is probing) a word meaning ‘with spike’, as a fork may be

22d    Part of lunch: an Asian foodstuff? (5)

CHANA: Hidden (Part of …). Again, the whole clue hints at the answer

I liked double parking and the jobs around London, but my favourite today is the clever orthodox teen. Which clues did you like?

20 comments on “Toughie 3048
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  1. The usual clever & witty clues from Elgar. I enjoyed this a lot, I always like a Spoonerism but having Bertie Wooster involved has to make that clue my favourite. Thanks to Dutch for the sterling blog effort, and to Elgar for the puzzle.

  2. Thank you Dutch & Elgar. A real challenge for me, as usual, with some eg 24 that I struggled with parsing. The blog seems to be missing 26 & 27, which I got, but I couldn’t parse 26.

      1. Thanks. However, that was part of my confusion as the poet I found as Devaney, which is close but not right. I would otherwise have been more confident as the answer’s being a poetic form of evening, the parting part of a day.

    1. sorry now fixed. No idea what happened there. It’s the poetic word for evening (see Chambers), not a specific poet.

  3. Excellent blend. Needed the thesaurus to remind me of 16d and all the checkers and the internet to get a word i have never heard of in 3d. As exelbe says, it’s Elgar’s wit, especially when not seen on first read, that makes it for me. The german car parking got my top spot – why I first thought that PP would fit in an Audi I do not know! Brilliant. Thanks Elgar for the puzzle and Dutch for your usual great hints.

  4. It’s Friday, it’s Elgar, and so I find myself crawling back here for help – happily only with parsing. In fact, if it weren’t for four answers I got but wasn’t quite sure why, I might have given this one less star for difficulty: the grid was filled in a good deal sooner than it typically is on Elgar day.

    Thanks to Wahoo for the clarification on 26a – one of my four. I thought “een” was “the poet’s day”, which sort of maybe a bit makes sense. Now I know better.

    Was also confused about 1a (a verb I have never come across, and it didn’t occur to me that it might be a verb!), 14a (but now I can’t think why, because it’s perfectly obvious) and 16d, because I forgot the name of the King of China (or whatever it is he calls himself).

    Excellent analysis by the ever-reliable and brilliant Dutch, and another wonderful challenge from the Maestro. Many thanks to both.

  5. This must be the softest Elgar ever, no more than 4 on the Moh’s scale for me. I even parsed all except 26d – who?
    There were lots of cracking clues but top places go to 14a [fed peanuts] 18a [double parking] 9d [for dalliance!] and 16d [top Chinese]
    Thanks to Elgar, Dutch and Wahoo.

  6. This can’t have been at the usual Elgar difficulty because I finished it! I say finished it but I didn’t get 16d. Lots of lightbulbs and smiles. I particularly liked 10a even though I know few of Wodehouse. Worked it out and then smiled.
    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch for parsing many bung ins.

  7. Completed with much parsing help needed, thanks Dutch.
    Possibly fewerobscurities than some from this compiler.
    Thanks to Elgar.
    HB BD.

  8. 1a was quite beyond me and I needed Dutch’s hints – even then was left scratching my head for a while at ‘mats’ for ‘fashions felt’. Viewers had me puzzled – the only 12As of which I’m aware are on Radios 2 & 4 in the morning, and both have me racing for the off switch. Miss-spelling 21a meant I ruled out the correct answer for 3d until long after I should have spotted my error.

    Can’t find the poet spelled that way anywhere, so maybe it’s a mistake or the actual parsing is different? If an error and Devaney was still the intended poet then an obscure long-dead Ozzie wordsmith is a little below the belt IMV.

    But otherwise a super puzzle, so witty & clever, with my podium occupied by 10a, 8d and the 4d/15d combo.

    Many thanks to Elgar & to Dutch.

    1. Blimey. Sorry. Didn’t check the spelling of the poet I’d heard of. Must be another parsing. Mon, Tue, Wed…..?

      My early G&T isn’t giving inspiration yet.

      1. No need for apologies, Wahoo – I’m mightily impressed that you should even know of such an obscurity in the first place, and doff my cap in your direction! Your parsing otherwise made perfect sense. Right, time to leave desk and reach for my own G&T.

  9. I too found this Elgar a bit easier than usual.
    A joy from start to finish.
    Thanks to the setter and to Dutch for the review.

  10. Came up one short on 16d, never heard of it and don’t see the parsing either. Other than that it was quite a quick solve despite very slim pickings on my first run through. Thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  11. An Elgar I almost finished so it can only have been 4star difficulty, but still great fun.
    Many thanks to both Elgar and Dutch.
    I parsed 26a as the way a poet might refer to the evening (day (de)parting), and even = quits ( we are even, we are quits).

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