Toughie No 3061 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 3061

Toughie No 3061 by Dada

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Hello everyone from a lovely sunny South Devon coast. A minor milestone for me as it’s my one hundredth blog so a big thanks to all bloggers past and present who encouraged and supported me.

Our esteemed setter has given us an excellent puzzle that I found quite tricky in places (mainly GK related) but a lot of fun.


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Bone buried in barrow at the point of death (8)
MORIBUND: Insert (buried) one of a set of bones found in the torso into a barrow or hill.

5a Tool is grabbed by team when water cut
CHISEL: Place IS from the clue inside a Premier League football team and remove a large body of water from it’s end.

9a Shift first of ice blocking dogsled on the move (8)
DISLODGE: Place the initial letter (first of) Ice inside (blocking) an anagram (on the move) of DOGSLED.

10a Clear butter quantity probed by all fingers and thumbs, say? (6)
PATENT: Another insertion, this time the number of fingers and thumbs we have inside a lump of butter. Lol.

11a Red little mark, fancifully? (7)
SCARLET: This shade of red could whimsically (fancifully) describe a small mark or blemish by adding a diminutive to it.

12a Shark, teeth like efficient razors, all initially going after fish with tail ripped off (7)
HUSTLER: Remove the final letter of a fish related to a dogfish and append the initial letters of Teeth Like Efficient Razors.

13a Drink: good inn can do it on the rocks (3,3,5)
GIN AND TONIC: The abbreviation for Good plus an anagram (on the rocks) of INN CAN DO IT.

16a Statesman’s concern with extra weight carried? (11)
CORPORATION: Double/cryptic definition, one referring to a body of people elected to rule a large company, the other a large tummy.

21a Cut off, one thus gone (7)
ISOLATE: A charade of the letter representing one and synonyms of thus or therefore and gone in the sense of deceased.

22a Shabby material covering plain silk (7)
TABARET: Place an informal word meaning cheap or low quality around a synonym of plain or undecorated. A new word for me.

23a Wait in back of limo, opening some American wine? (6)
LOITER: Place the final letter of limO inside the American spelling of a measurement of fluid. The question mark indicates that wine is an example of this.

24a Brass bar as plunger? (8)
NECKLINE: Synonyms of brass in the sense of nerve and a bar in a musical sense.

25a Setter messed up further attempt at passing (6)
RETEST: Anagram (messed up) of SETTER.

26a Fights during preliminary race, most serious (8)
HEAVIEST: Insert a synonym of fights or struggles inside a preliminary or qualifying race


1d Fashionable second course (6)
MODISH: An abbreviated second in the sense of time and a course in a food sense.

2d Wrapped in material, case of Soave shut up again (6)
RESEAL: Insert (wrapped in) the outer letters (case of) SoavE into a synonym of material in the sense of significant.

3d Footwear on pirate (7)
BOOTLEG: Follow a type of footwear with another way of describing the on side in cricket. Neat and clever.

4d Keats’ almost sensational feeling about a subject of one of his odes (11)
NIGHTINGALE: Start with a literary synonym of almost used by Keats in many of his  odes and add a “sensational feeling” that one may get when excited into which is inserted A from the clue. Apparently the great man spent a short time residing in the lovely resort of Teignmouth, just around the corner from me.

6d Audio equipment offering choice of call, character phoning home (7)
HEADSET: Start with a choice of a call when tossing a coin and add the famous 2-letter character, extremely useful to setters who said phone home (or “home phone”).

7d Cash fine (8)
STERLING: Double definition, one a noun the other an adjective meaning excellent. Incidentally the solution is the surname of a player for the club referred to in 5a.

8d Ability to read story filled with smut, ultimately somewhat indecorous (8)
LITERACY: Start with our usual story or falsehood and insert the final letter of smuT. Add a synonym of indecorous or improper.

12d Soldier on manoeuvres nearing the welcoming capital in Havana (4,2,5)
HANG IN THERE: Anagram (manoeuvres) of NEARING THE plus (welcoming) the initial letter of Havana. Excellent misdirection

14d German writer beginning on scarier, terrifying tale (8)
SCHILLER: Follow the initial letter (beginning on) of Scarier with an word that could describe a terrifying tale. Never heard of him (unsurprisingly) but wordplay and checkers got me there.

15d Current crossed by lads aboard craft — lighter? (8)
ARSONIST: Insert the letter representing a measure of electrical current into some male offsprings and insert the result (aboard) into a synonym of craft in the sense of skill. The solution is not a comparative adjective!

17d Equines working a long time, guzzling last of water (7)
ONAGERS: Start with the usual adverb meaning working and append an informal long time into which is inserted the final letter of wateR.

18d Author in front standing to pen new book (7)
NABOKOV: Place a reversal (standing) of a noun meaning in front or at the forefront around (to pen) an anagram of BOOK

19d Use force to get a compliment (6)
PRAISE: Insert (to get) A into a synonym of force as a verb as one might with a crowbar

20d Stuck in branches, treetop close, perhaps? (6)
STREET: Hidden (stuck in).

I rather liked 10a plus 4&12d . Which ones earned your seal of approval?





16 comments on “Toughie No 3061
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  1. I found this quite gentle, some GK but with clear directions to get to the answers. Ticks went to 24a, 1d and 19d.

    Thanks to Dada and Stephen.

  2. A splendid Tuesday Toughie with Dada’s typical quirkiness much in evidence – thanks to him and SL.
    I pinned my seal of approval on 5a, 11a, 3d, 4d and 12d.

    I think Statesman in 16a means someone from the United States where the answer means a business or concern.

    1. I should have just hinted it as a double definition! I’ll add your suggestion to the hint Gazza.

  3. Dada showing his talent of setting clever clues in an enjoyable crossword

    Thanks to him and Stephen

  4. A very friendly but most enjoyable Toughie that was full of elegant and witty clues, with a smattering of misdirection. 12d was my favourite from a wide selection of possibles.

    My thanks to Dada and SL. Congratulations on your maiden hundred Stephen.

  5. Hmm it must be me, I found it very much a case of “Hang in there”, it took me a very long time and solved all except the statesman which I still can’t quite reconcile with corporations.
    15d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Stephen L and congrats and thanks to Dada.for the workout.

  6. I found the top half considerably easier than the bottom, particularly the SW. Re 12d I’m afraid that “manoeuvres nearing the” doesn’t really work for me. Is “on” perhaps doing double duty?
    Thanks Dada and SL.

      1. Manoeuvres itself works if it is placed grammatically in the clue. So “nearing the manoeuvres” with manoeuvres either as a noun or a verb is OK – but “manoeuvres nearing the” isn’t. It would need to be something like “manoeuvres of nearing the” [noun] or “manoeuvreD nearing the” [verb]. But neither works in this clue – which may be why it’s fudged.

  7. Late getting around to this as I had an unexpected but very welcome visit from an old friend whom I haven’t seen for years and we started down the ‘do you remember……’ route.
    New word for me in 22a and I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t know the author of Lolita.
    Top marks here went to 1,3&8d with a smile for 5a which gave me the run-around for the longest time!

    Thanks to Dada and to Stephen – congrats and many thanks for bringing us a century of reviews. Thought you were very restrained with the illustration of 24a – Gazza needs to take you in hand where ‘plungers’ are concerned!

  8. I don’t usually try the ‘Toughie’, but comments on the blog for the back-pager today made it sound like this was possible – and it was..! It took a while to complete although I didn’t put in the same effort as for the back-pager as I had no expectations of doing well. I had to check a few of the clues to work out how I got the solutions but I enjoyed this. I may try a few more…

  9. I took my time with this puzzle and savoured the clues – something I don’t usually do. 12d was my favourite.

  10. 22a was a new word for one of us. A good thing we solve as a partnership.
    Thoroughly enjoyable solving experience once again with 24a our favourite.
    Thanks Dada and SL.

  11. 2 blogs a week & going strong Stephen. Don’t know how you do it. Congrats on chalking up 100.
    As for the guzzle well it was straightforward until it wasn’t & the SW was the problem. No issues elsewhere other than a lamentable failure to parse 18d & a need to confirm 22a. Eventually remembered the German scribbler then twigged the wordplay & the starting checker got me 16a. It left 15d & got sucked into the surface & failed to clock the definition context until I read your hint. 4d my clear fav in a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to D&the other S

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