Toughie 3064 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3064

Toughie No 3064 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I needed my Chambers close at hand and a bit of googling. A satisfying solve

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Inventor seen restoring DeLoreans maybe taking details of meeting point to excess (10,5)

CARACTACUS POTTS: What DeLoreans exemplify containing (taking) a 4-letter word meaning ‘details of meeting’ or minutes, a point, and an abbreviation meaning ‘to excess’

9a    Of limited size, presumably, shopping bags start to split (2,5)

IN SMALL: If you are (2,4), you are presumably shopping. This expression contains (bags) the first letter (start) of split

10a    Source of some refreshment one takes from Bow? (3,4)

TEA LEAF: Cockney rhyming slang (from Bow) for one who ‘takes’

11a    Family doctor hurried outside with Pacific resident (4,5)

KING PRAWN: A word meaning family, an abbreviation for a doctor, then a word meaning hurried goes outside the abbreviation for with

12a    Take from arboretum a quickthorn shrub (5)

MAQUI: Hidden (take from …)

13a/15a “Attrition” used to be something to label occupying a neutral ground (7,7)

NATURAL WASTAGE: A (3,3) phrase that would mean ‘used to be something to label’ goes inside (occupying) an anagram (ground) of A NEUTRAL

17a/19a Composer and conductor are, in isolation, flawed (7,7)


21a    Medicine man, say, succeeding after mission (5)

ALAMO: The abbreviation for a medicine man or doctor comes after (succeeding) a (1,2) French phrase meaning ‘after’ or ‘in the way of’

23a    Blue plan current in Washington (9)

DOWNDRAFT: A word meaning blue and a word meaning plan. The answer uses an American spelling, hence ‘in Washington’

25a    Do it in one on board Victory? (7)

IMITATE: IT from the clue goes inside the Roman numeral for one plus an ‘on board’ victory (think chess)

26a    More than one German guy attending WeightWatchers? (7)

DIETERS: Two meanings, the first the plural of a German first name

27a    Feature of family crop study: seed producer (4)

GENE RODDENBERRY: A feature of family (piece of DNA), a crop or stick, a study, and a seed or fruit


1d/17d    After vocal exchanges, control table talk – taste dish (7,1,2,4)

CHICKEN A LA KING: A 5-letter word meaning control or vet, a 3-letter word meaning a collection of table talk or gossip, and a 6-letter word for a taste or fondness. Then swap some vowels around (after vocal exchanges – we have an E to I, E to A, and I to A)

2d    Incur need for second confession that Araucaria might discharge (5)

RESIN: Reading the answer (2-3) would offer a need for a second confession

3d    Do envelopes damage repeatedly lifting binder (5-4)

CRAMP IRON: A word meaning to do or trick contains (envelopes) a reversal (lifting) of two words (repeatedly) that mean damage

4d    What people used to say to greet poor winter forecast? (3-4)

ALL-HAIL: Nothing but unpleasant precipitation …

5d    So far off course, put Null island here? (2,2,3)

UP TO NOW: An anagram (off course) of PUT, then the latitude and longitude of the fictitious Null island

6d    I meant to tell you earlier about not joining in cool song (5)

PSALM: An abbreviation for an afterthought, then the abbreviation for about is removed (not joining in) from a word meaning cool or unruffled

7d    Something to drive off bourgeois ruler (3-6)

TEE-SQUARE: A 3-letter word for a support to drive off and a word meaning bourgeois, as in traditional and boring

8d/20d Tatty tie is cut off – perhaps that’s clear enough (7,2,2,3)

SUFFICE IT TO SAY: An anagram (tatty) of TIE IS CUT OFF followed by a 3-letter word meaning perhaps

14d     Only e.g. great and blue allowed in this gradual process (9)

TITRATION: Split (3,6), we see why only the great and blue types, for example, are allowed

16d    To accompany it: in large bowl, initially stick chopped parsley? (5,4)

SALAD HERB: An abbreviation meaning ‘it’, then in between the abbreviation for large and the first (initially) letter of bowl, we have a 6-letter word meaning to stick, but without the last letter (chopped)

18d    Told the lad wanting initiation, a good companion for young shoulders? (3,4)

OLD HEAD: Remove the first letters (wanting initiation) from the first three words in the clue

19d     Rishi has little time for Questions, cutting part (3-4)

SAW-EDGE: A 4-letter rishi or wise man contains (has, as in possesses) the 3-letter abbreviation (little) for the day of the week we have PMQ (‘time for questions’)

22d    Broadcasting studio’s last North run overlooked by Capital (2,3)

ON AIR: The last letter of studio, the abbreviation for North, then a two-character expression for capital above (overlooking) the abbreviation for run

24d    Prince ‘Arry’s present, so ‘e says? (5)

AMEER: Split (2,3), the answer might be how a Cockney says he is present

I like the anagram for the conductor and composer and the pacific resident. I think Rishi is my favourite clue, though there are many contenders. Which clues did you like?

8 comments on “Toughie 3064

  1. Took me a while to get going, but got there. 1d was a bung in and some google required to improve my GK. Enjoyable Friday fun, 11a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  2. Good grief! Finished in 4* time and only one not parsed [5d – Null Island new to me]. I do like the “easier” Elgars and this was great fun.There was a large drop of coinage at 11a when the Pacific Resident became clear and I loved the sly reference to the Venerable Setter in 2d. 16d was very neat as well.
    Thanks Elgar and Dutch.

  3. With a few unparsed bung-ins as usual with this setter, I struggled over the line with a fair degree of satisfaction and reward. 11a stood out from the crowd as a potential winner, alongside the 17/19a combo and 27a. As I often write on alternate Fridays, I am continually in awe of the setter’s abilities to create these gems, and of our esteemed blogger’s unravelling skills.

    My thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  4. Only took me 90 minutes or thereabouts, while alone in my local, which is possibly a record for me for an Elgar.

    However, quite a few unparsed guesses based on spotting something to match the definition. Lots of googling and word wizarding also required.

    I liked 11a, my FOI, also 16d and 27a.

  5. I cannot disagree with Dutch’s summary: “I needed my Chambers close at hand and a bit of googling. A satisfying solve”. Snap!

    1a was a clanging PDM, the long-dead producer in 27a wasn’t that familiar to me when he was alive – and over 30 years later, even less so! – I had the first name and the seed, with the checking letters, and needed Google to confirm my suspicions. I think 1d appeared quite recently either in the DT or Times, so I’m kicking myself that I didn’t twig the last word sooner, though I filled in the whole from the definition and not the word play (still stuck with the parsing of 1d, still not seeign the three-letter word in the middle. Ene? Ane? Neither seem to mean gossip, even in Scottish dialect!). Too many good clues to list them all, but for me 14d was the COTD.

    5* / 5*

    Many thanks indeed to Elgar for a cracking and enjoyable puzzle, and to Dutch for the blog.

  6. A long slow solve but good fun. Enjoyed 11a and 14d – both very good. Thanks to Elgar and Dutch

  7. I spent forever looking at this having only solved about 5 clues, then saw the 8d combo and that led me to 1a, and from then on it went quite quickly. Good fun and satisfying to get there with no hints req’d, although did need a couple of parsing explained. Thanks.

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