Toughie 3051 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3051

Toughie No 3051 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Many thanks to Silvanus for a most enjoyable puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Book about feeding birds, source unfamiliar (8,6)
ROBINSON CRUSOE: a preposition meaning about goes between colourful birds and an anagram (unfamiliar) of SOURCE.

10a Disregard temper tantrum over travel documents (9)
PASSPORTS: a verb to disregard or omit and the reversal of an informal word for a tantrum.

11a Teaching in retirement, it’s just the same (5)
TENET: a teaching or doctrine that’s the same when reversed.

12a Cash source Conservative in parliament ultimately defends, making bloomer (7)
CATMINT: a source of monetary notes is contained in an abbreviation for Conservative, IN and the ultimate letter of parliament.

13a Headgear belonging to cameraman apparently returned (6)
PANAMA: hidden in reverse.

15a Harry’s son that is unobserved being mischievous (4)
ARCH: this Harry is currently pursuing a case against the British gutter press. Remove the abbreviation for ‘that is’ from the name of his son.

17a Disbelieving one “totally gutted” giving reason for divorce? (10)
INFIDELITY: string together an adjective meaning disbelieving or unreligious, the Roman numeral for one and the outer letters of totally.

18a Proves foolish son acquiring object exceeds budget (10)
OVERSPENDS: an anagram (foolish) of PROVES and the genealogical abbreviation for son contain another word for an object or goal.

20a Blue feathers (4)
DOWN: double definition, the first meaning depressed.

22a Screen couple approaching outdoor show organisers to make comeback (6)
SHROUD: join a couple and the abbreviation for the body that organises flower shows, notably the one in Chelsea, and reverse the lot.

23a Impassive iconoclast running scam disappears (7)
STOICAL: remove the scam from ICONOCLAST and make an anagram (running) of what you have left.

26a Proprietor in Swansea regularly wearing gold (5)
OWNER: regular letters from Swansea are contained in our usual tincture of gold.

27a Agreeing entirely with Finnish university about new article in retrospect (9)
UNANIMOUS: the word for the language of Finland and the single-letter abbreviation for university contain the abbreviation for new and one of our indefinite articles. All that has to be reversed.

28a Natural desire somehow to pen second novel (8,6)
TREASURE ISLAND: an anagram (somehow) of NATURAL DESIRE contains the abbreviation for second.

Down Clues

2d Beginning of old film involving discontented newly-weds (5)
ONSET: the abbreviation for old and the usual Spielberg film contain the outer letters of newly-weds.

3d Damage this writer’s popularity, primarily with publicity (6)
IMPAIR: glue together the abbreviated way the setter would say that he is, the primary letter of popularity and a word meaning publicity (as in ‘give *** to one’s opinions’).

4d Salary, reportedly money always very lacking for election official (10)
SCRUTINEER: start with what sounds like a slang word for salary, add an old informal word for cash and finish with a synonym of always without the abbreviation for very.

5d Smell coming from factories once around (4)
NOSE: hidden in reverse.

6d Entrants essentially drop relentless competitive routine (3,4)
RAT RACE: the central letters of entrants and a word meaning a drop or small amount.

7d State of Romanians when drunk (3,6)
SAN MARINO: an anagram (when drunk) of ROMANIANS.

8d Hungry? Last, I see, to order Jamie Oliver’s tongue? (7,7)
ESTUARY ENGLISH: an anagram (to order) of HUNGRY LAST I SEE.

9d Magazine’s not the kind that covers principally professional football, say (9,5)
SPECTATOR SPORT: a right-wing magazine without the definite article which is part of its name is followed by a synonym of kind containing the principal letter of professional.

14d Back American team in periodically tackling focus of offensive language (10)
HINDUSTANI: a word meaning back or rear is followed by an abbreviation for American and the odd letters of ‘team in’ containing the central letter of offensive.

16d Go-ahead for evacuation (9)
CLEARANCE: double definition, the first meaning permission to proceed.

19d Settles in Leicester, maybe close to amenities (7)
SQUARES: what Leicester is an example of in the West-End of London and the closing letter of amenities.

21d Little woman with small bottle becoming merry (6)
JOVIAL: one of Ms. Alcott’s Little Women and a small glass container.

24d Comic title changing hands (5)
CLOWN: start with a title or award and change one of the letters from right to left.

25d Express pleasure in almost virtuous manner at last (4)
PURR: an adjective meaning virtuous or chaste is truncated and followed by the last letter of manner.

I’ve picked 4d, 6d and 19d for my podium. Which one(s) did the job for you?

28 comments on “Toughie 3051
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  1. One word – excellent! One of the best puzzles since I don’t know when, although some might say it wasn’t tough enough but that seems to be case when Silvanus is on Toughie duty on a Thursday. All I can say is that it should be a real confidence booster for those who might be doubting their solving abilities- **/*****

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 22a, 27a, 6d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

    1. I’m way off solving today, can’t even find the blog for the cryptic! I didn’t realise I’m reading the Toughie, time to throw in the towel methinks!

  2. This was a breath of fresh air after yesterday’s with any difficulty coming not from obscurities but clever wordplay and misdirection.
    I must admit to bunging in 27a then forgetting to try to parse it though. Of course I’d have tried harder had it been my blog!
    I think it’s hard to look beyond the excellent 1a as favourite but other’s in the frame were 7&23a plus 6,8,9&19d.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza for the top-notch entertainment.

  3. Good fun and, yes what a contrast with yesterday. My top spot goes to 27a and the 2 I failed to parse, namely 22a [I couldn’t see RHS even tho I’m a member] and 9d [completely forgot the def article in the name of the mag].
    Thanks Gazza for the parsing and the blog and thanks Sylvanus for an excellent puzzle.

  4. Further to my comments on the Backpager , this was a simply brilliant puzzle with no ”dud” clues and virtually every one producing a smile . Many many thanks to Silvanus and the ,not needed in this case , Gazza .

  5. Stephen’s opening sentence sums it up for me. As is nearly always the case with Silvanus best puzzle of the week thus far for me & not a duff clue to be found so stick a tick next to ‘em all. Nobody has mentioned 17a so I’ll nominate that on my podium with 4&14d. Excellent.
    Thanks to Silvanus & Gazza – still to fully parse a couple so will save the review for later.

  6. A couple of reverse parsing in 22a and 27a in an otherwise straightforward puzzle.
    Had to check the name of prince Harry’s son for 15a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  7. What a joy to solve though have to admit that I needed to investigate Finnish! 14d made me laugh as I was hung up on the offensive language until the penny clanged to the floor and I smiled broadly when the show organisers put in an appearance.
    Instinctive ticks went to 1,10,12&22a but there wasn’t a substandard clue in the entire puzzle.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for an excellent compilation and thanks also to Gazza for both the review and the spot-on cartoon selection.

  8. Really enjoyed this generally cracking puzzle, though I’d hazard to say it was more of a late-ish week backpager than a Toughie. Felt that 22a was rather vague and let the side down but otherwise not a duff clue among the rest, with typically smooth and often amusing surfaces. Too many clues merit special mention so I’ll just go for the first one on the grid, 1a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza

  9. Just what I needed after I crashed and burned on yesterday’s toughie. I thoroughly agree with the excellence of this, quite superb. Favourite was 4d. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  10. Toughie perfection!

    I’ve been really busy for the past few days, but I am so glad I made time to solve this masterpiece which provided an oasis of calm amidst the chaos of real life.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  11. Don’t usually find time to attempt the toughie, but so glad I did today. Superb clueing throughout making this a fairly gentle solve and giving my confidence a much needed boost. Too many podium worthy clues to choose from so will just mention the duo at 1a and 28a. Thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyment and Gazza for confirming a couple of parsings.

  12. Yeah! Finished a Toughie unaided but needed the hints to see how I did it. It’s taken ages but do have a sense of achievement. Thanks to all.

  13. Thanks to whoever noted in the back pager blog that Silvanus was in the Toughie slot today. My iPad version does not include the names of the Toughie compilers.
    What a treat. Absolutely first class.
    My favourite clue? All of them.

  14. I continue to attempt toughies when time allows, after the back pager, and have managed more of this one than many. I think I should try earlier in the day when my brain functions slightly better. I do appreciate all of you who tip us off when there is more accessible toughie to try. I now know never to even look on a Friday as it’s much too scary! I might leave the rest of this and continue it over the weekend.
    Many thanks Silvanus and Gazza for the hints which I will use to get going again if I fail to get inspiration!

    1. Well worth coming back to & resisting Gazza’s hints. Confident that you’ll finish it. Friday’s Toughie incidentally might just be doable for the likes of us as it’s not by Elgar or Osmosis this week

  15. Thank you for the encouragement, I set my bar low. As a relative novice I am happy to see if I can do some clues unaided and then use the hints to understand the rest. The hints are wonderful on the blog and have helped me immensely. It is the perfect way to learn, I am glad I found it.

  16. Echoing earlier comments, it’s difficult to remember a more enjoyable solve than this. Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza for the blog.

  17. Late today but still filled with last night’s delight and appreciation for this splendid Toughie by one of our best compilers. Even though I’d never heard of the 4d term (I wonder, though, what we call an equivalent personality over here), I managed to work my way through it (once I remembered ‘screw’). Spoilt for choice, to be sure, but I think I’ll opt for 14d as my favourite. Thanks to Gazza and Silvanus.

  18. 2*/4* …..
    liked 10A “Disregard temper tantrum over travel documents (9)” ….
    and the illustrations in the hints.

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