Toughie 3059 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3059

Toughie No 3059 by Artix
Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

At first sight this looked pretty daunting but gradually it all came together (though more or the answers than I would have liked were written from the definition and checkers and then required post hoc rationalisation). I enjoyed the challenge – thanks to Artix.

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

Across Clues

1a Convoluted “non-U” jury testimonial leads to most of us passively agreeing (6,8)
SILENT MAJORITY: an anagram (convoluted) of J[u]RY TESTIMONIAL.

9a Be wary of cloud with colour that’s reddish (8)
MISTRUST: charade of a hazy cloud and a reddish colour.

10a Screeching from Red Robbo’s employers many years back (5)
BLARE: Red Robbo was the name given by the tabloids to a Trade Union activist at the car maker British Leyland during the seventies. Stick together the abbreviation for said company and the reversal of a word for many years.

12a One worshipped in silence? (4)
ODIN: the answer split 1,3 could mean silence.

13a Dickensian possibly forced evictions around middle of Chelsea (10)
NOVELISTIC: an anagram (forced) of EVICTIONS containing the middle letter of Chelsea.

15a Two boys, both too short for girl (8)
MARGARET: assemble two truncated boys’ names (Messrs Knopfler and Malone perhaps?).

16a After extremists defect, Socialist party is pretty useless (6)
EFFETE: remove the outer letters of a synonym of Socialist and add an open-air Summer party.

18a Name pulled up is screened by network (6)
REPUTE: insert the horse-racing abbreviation for ‘pulled up’ into a word for a network of blood vessels.

20a Western European stocks zips with Chinese clasps (8)
BROOCHES: reverse a European (one from Belgrade perhaps) and insert two occurrences of what resembles the number that Americans call zip and an abbreviation for Chinese.

23a Food mess post-war railway operator has (4,6)
HASH BROWNS: rivet together a synonym for mess or jumble, the abbreviated identity of the UK railway operator prior to privatisation and a verb meaning has or possesses.

24a Fruit only’s churned guts (4)
SLOE: reverse the central letters of an adjective meaning only.

26a Liberal not attending tribute gets panned? (5)
SAUTÉ: remove an abbreviation for Liberal from a tribute or gesture of respect.

27a Maybe Murdoch man’s masculine Milliganesquery? (8)
IRISHISM: this Murdoch is not the nonagenarian media mogul but a female British novelist. Concatenate her forename, a possessive adjective meaning “man’s” and the abbreviation for masculine.

28a Warm up wine after decapsulating? Cape paganism! (14)
HEATHENISHNESS: join together a verb to warm up, a German wine without its leading R and a geographic cape.

Down Clues

2d For Leslie, perhaps, more Dirty Den? That is right (7)
LAIRIER: nice misdirection because Dirty Den was played by actor Leslie Grantham. However Leslie here is a generic name for a Scotsman and the answer is the comparative of a Scottish word (thanks BRB) meaning covered in mud. An animal’s den is followed by the abbreviations for ‘that is’ and right.

3d Bill Bailey’s fifth after missing tango (4)
NOTE: the fifth letter of Bailey follows what could mean (2,1) missing tango.

4d Security concern when touring Australia and America’s monuments (8)
MAUSOLEA: a security concern (a spy embedded in an organisation) contains an abbreviation for Australia. Finish with an abbreviation for America.

5d Pad top of jacket with fur (6)
JOTTER: the top letter of jacket and the fur of a river animal.

6d Rising, repeat frequently after minister: “It’s a raw deal for consumers” (6,4)
RABBIT FOOD: reverse a phrase meaning repeat frequently (2,3) after a religious minister.

7d Piggy snaffles wine and snack (7)
TOASTIE: a piggy (the little one that went to market, perhaps) contains a usual sparkling wine.

8d Peachtree St High “best in class” (perhaps unfairly) (8,3)
TEACHER’S PET: an anagram (high) of PEACHTREE ST.

11d Videoconference on Cubist style portraying us as beastly (11)
ZOOMORPHISM: a videoconference (which none of us would have heard of five years ago) followed by an art movement within Cubism.

14d Horny African‘s garbled threats when ringing buzzer (10)
HARTEBEEST: an anagram (garbled) of THREATS contains something that buzzes.

17d Is Italy supporting bishop outside one of its ports? (8)
BRINDISI: IS and the IVR code for Italy follow the chess abbreviation for bishop and the outside (of a citrus fruit, for example).

19d Attitude after you are, in text message, butt of joke (7)
POSTURE: a word, from Latin, meaning after, ‘you are’ in textspeak and the last letter of joke.

21d In toto 100, as reported by Pope Linus perhaps for the Vatican (4,3)
HOLY SEE: a homophone of an adverb meaning ‘in toto’ and what sounds like the number that Pope Linus would have used for 100.

22d Control river pests (6)
POLICE: an Italian river and pests or parasites.

25d Leader laughs, looking skywards (4)
SHAH: reverse a word for some laughs.

Top clues for me were 4d, 6d and 7d. Which one(s) got your bouquets?

17 comments on “Toughie 3059
Leave your own comment 

  1. Not as tough as yesterday and I was probably helped by knowing the unknowns and so didn’t have to spend part of another morning trawling through the BRB.

    Nice of our setter to provide RD with some nourishment to offset his grumpiness at finding three nebulous people in 15a

    Thank you to Artix for the just about right for a Thursday Toughie and to Gazza for the blog

  2. Great workout. I liked 7d, 22d and 20a. I had assumed 2d had some cockney connection so appreciate the pointer in the hints. Thanks to Gazza and Artix.

  3. I did have to enlist Mr G’s help on a couple of occasions but made a rather better job of completing this one than can be said of how I fared with yesterday’s.
    Quite a few that tickled my fancy and finished up with a podium comprising 9,12&26a plus 7&22d.

    Thanks to Artix and to Gazza for the review and the explanation of the Scottish fella!

  4. Hard work! I hate to think what Osmosis has in store for us tomorrow if that was judged to be a Thursday puzzle. Some innovative clueing though and I particularly liked the zips in 20a and the Iris in 27a.
    Thanks to Artix and Gazza.

  5. A slow start and then a rush of inspiration allowed me to complete this in a reasonable time. Like our blogger, some reverse engineering was required to fully parse half a dozen or so. 23a and 7d were my co-favourites. Good fun and a pretty good workout.

    Thanks Artix and Gazza.

  6. Jeepers creepers !
    I solved about half unaided..
    Way beyond my pay level as my bete noir often said.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  7. Another struggle for us made harder by the GK required. 10a an example of this. Perseverance did see us finally get a completion but more slog than fun for much of it.
    Thanks Artix and Gazza.

  8. Struggled but got there in the end except for 15 across, which I should certainly have got. I needed the hints and tips to understand the why of some of the clues. Thanks to Artix and Gazza.

  9. Jeepers creepers indeed. Got there in the end but only with a few visits to the hints for a much needed push start. Even then I wasn’t familiar with 11d & though the dreaded zoom was obvious enough hadn’t a scooby about cubism so clinked on the link & all was revealed. I did remember Derek & his thick Midland accent so 10a was first in & nice to see the gnu making an appearance. Top 2 for me were 7d&23a both of which I’m rather partial to. Hats off to those able to solve unaided – very tough & one for the A team methinks. It’s been a tough week for we Toughie trainees

  10. Commenting late and to an empty room, but finished this yesterday with similar sensations to Wednesday’s Toughie: relief rather than satisfaction, and not a great deal of enjoyment: too many obscurities for that. Incidentally, 20a – why does “Western” in an across clue instruct a word reversal, when we read a word from west to east anyway? Hats off to anyone who got 16a without first having lots of checkers in place.

    Not one for me, but thanks anyway to Artix and of course to Gazza, without whose blog I would not have understood several of my answers!

    1. Western (quoting the BRB) means ‘towards the West’ so we have to write Serb in a westerly direction, i.e. from right to left.

      1. Thanks Gazza, knew there had to be a rational explanation somewhere! I had the answer as an early pencil-in but hadn’t inked it in until the very end when all checkers had been confirmed.

      2. I remember when ‘western’ just used to imply a masterpiece from John Wayne or Clint Eastwood – happy days!

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.