Toughie No 3065 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 3065

Toughie No 3065 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone from a bright and sunny South Devon coast.

Chalicea is in the Tuesday seat and gets the Toughie week off and running with a puzzle that reflects the weather.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


4a American piano tested and commended (8)
APPROVED: Append a synonym of tested or examined to abbreviations of American and Piano.

8a Regularly bone-idle male with advanced dropsy (6)
OEDEMA: Regular or alternate letters of bOnE-iDlE plus abbreviations of Male and Advanced.

9a Came alive, impressed about adult range of knowledge (8)
AWAKENED: Place the abbreviation for A and a three-letter range of knowledge (used more in crosswordland than real life) inside a poetic synonym of impressed or struck with wonder.

10a Marocain transformed into fanciful and extravagant thing (8)
MACARONI: Anagram (transformed) of MAROCAIN

11a Discourse centred at heart on old Shetland viol (6)
TONGUE: The centre letter (at heart) of cenTred plus ON from the clue and an extinct Scottish instrument. I’m sure the setter can justify the synonym.

12a Son misguidedly admires Pops? (8)
SIDEARMS: The abbreviation for Son plus an anagram (misguidedly) of ADMIRES. Ignore the false capitalisation of Pops. Amusing but the question mark is definitely needed here!

13a Two disheartened partners consuming round red fruit (8)
TOMATOES: Start with the outer (disheartened) letters of TwO, and add some partners into which is inserted the “round” letter.

16a Look into hospital careers, but not orderly (8)
RESEARCH: Anagram (but not orderly) of CAREERS and the abbreviation for Hospital.

19a English team replacing head of operation in urgent situation (8)
EXIGENCY: The abbreviation for English and a team written in Roman numerals replace the initial letter of an operation in the sense of a medium.

21a Be set back by old crooner in decline (6)
EBBING: Reverse (setback) BE from the clue and add the first name of an old crooner. Very neat.

23a Republican thrown out and dismissed as inadequate (8)
REJECTED: The abbreviation for Republican and a synonym of thrown out or expelled.

24a Country bird hiding in wrecked boat (8)
BOTSWANA: Place an elegant looking but aggressive bird into (hiding in) an anagram (wrecked) of BOAT.

25a Lacking grand kept firm hold on rent (6)
RIPPED: Remove the abbreviation for Grand from the front of a synonym of held firmly or tightly.

26a Microscopic organisms in great number on board (8)
PLANKTON: Append a word that informally could mean a lot to a long flat piece of timber (more commonly used these days as a description of a form of torturous exercise)


1d In part vaccinate to upset characteristic of tonic muscle spasms (7)
TETANIC: Hidden and reversed (in part, upset) in the clue.

2d An emigree confused in outlandish assortment of people (9)
MENAGERIE: Anagram (confused) of the preceding two words.

3d Show preference for distinctive taste with no trace of lemon (6)
FAVOUR: Remove the initial letter (with no trace of) of Lemon from a synonym of taste or piquancy.

4d Contrary to inclination, say, not in favour of malt (7,3,5)
AGAINST THE GRAIN: Whimsically this phrase could indicate not being in favour of something of which malt is an example.

5d Interval for recreation of quiet song rhythm (8)
PLAYTIME: The musical abbreviation for quiet or softly, an old song or ballad and a synonym of rhythm or tempo.

6d Lyric about classical theatre (5)
ODEON: A lyric or rhyme plus a preposition that could mean about.

7d Carry out, removing four from administrative body (7)
EXECUTE: Remove the Roman numerals for four from an administrative body or management committee.

14d Select refined and occasionally complex instrument (9)
TELESCOPE: Follow an anagram (refined) of SELECT with occasional letters of cOmPlEx.

15d Ruling supporting power is full of meaning (8)
PREGNANT: Place a synonym of ruling or acting on behalf of a monarch say below (supporting in a down clue) the abbreviation for Power.

17d Throw into confusion energy estimates, essentially, over British fuel (7)
EMBROIL: The abbreviation for Energy followed by the essential letter of estiMates go above the abbreviation for BRitish and some fuel that we’re all supposed to be weaning ourselves off.

18d Defeated second team gutlessly expelled (7)
SCREWED: The abbreviation for Second, a (rowing say) team and the outer (gutlessly) letters of ExpelleD. I would have thought more cheated than defeated but again I’m sure our setter can justify it.

20d Annoyance among committee of adjudicators (6)
INJURY: Follow a preposition that could mean among with a team of adjudicators in a court of law perhaps.

22d Some ad-libs enraged author (5)
IBSEN: Hidden (some).

Thanks Chalicea, my podium is 12&21a plus 15d. Which were your medal winners?



17 comments on “Toughie No 3065

  1. An enjoyable challenge from a not so Floughie Lady – 2*/4*

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 24a, 4d, and 15d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and StephenL.

  2. I’m with Senf. Not floughie at all – fun and very doable. But I take my hat off to anyone who knew that Scottish instrument without having to look it up! Thanks to all.

  3. I enjoyed this light Toughie which was, as expected, fairly clued but with quite of lot of checking of answers and meanings along the way.

    4d & 15d were my top two.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for the fun and to SL.

  4. 4d was my top selection too from this very approachable and enjoyable puzzle. There were just enough head-scratching moments to make this a Toughie, and, as usual with this setter, it was well clued and good fun to complete.

    My thanks to Chalicea and SL.

  5. An enjoyable lunchtime solve that would not have been out of place as a Friday or Sunday backpager. Even though all three are in the BRB, eyebrows were raised at 11a, 12a & 18d. 9a and 17d share my podium.

    Thank you to Chalicea and SL

  6. Far from being its first crossword appearance but 4d still makes me smile so gets a place on the podium along with 26a & 14d.
    Not overly keen on either 11 or 12a but am sure that our setter will have checked them both out thoroughly!

    Thanks to Chalicea for the ‘interval for recreation’ and also to Stephen for the review.

  7. A couple of slightly obscure medical terms in the NW slowed the start but they were easy to deduce from the wordplay, but like Alp I will bare my backside in Binns window if that string instrument was widely known, as ever the research was interesting. Definitely not a floughie toughie but fair and solvable with a bit of effort, as they should be
    Thanks to Chalicea and SL

  8. Not a floughie as I was expecting. NW held me up a bit. Thanks to Chalicea and Stephen.

  9. I reckon another * on the difficulty rating might have been in order if only for the need to clarify a few things post grid fill – 1d, the 8a alternate spelling & of course the instrument. As ever very enjoyable & I suppose floughie(ish) in places. Top 3 for me – 21a plus 4&15d.
    Thanks to Chalicea & to Stephen for a properly illustrated review

  10. I was several notches up on the 1* rating. Curiously 8a was my first in and 1d my last even though I had a dog who had the 1d condition (very, very rare in dogs). I thought it was going to beat me until I looked for the reverse lurker and looked out up to see if it was a real word. Not heard of the viol in 11a, who has? As with others favourite was 4d. Thanks Chalicea and SL.

  11. A couple of new words to check but all fairly clued.
    Loads of fun as usual.
    Thanks Chalicea and SL.

  12. Thanks to all – delighted that you ejuoyed it and glad that it wasn’t too floughie.

  13. I had a go at this because I saw it was Chalicea and I usually enjoy the back page ones. I was pleasantly surprised how far I got, although there were a lot of answers I was not able to parse. In the end it was the reverse lurker in 1d that I missed but it is late and I normally would not try a toughie at this hour.

    So many thanks to Chalicea for a lovely puzzle which I nearly completed and to Stephen L for the hints which I now need to read to understand my answers!

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