Toughie 3083 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3083

Toughie No 3083 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Firefly has given us an enjoyable themed puzzle with 3d providing a nudge as to the theme. There are several double unches in the grid but no answer has less than 50% of its letters checked.

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

Across Clues

1a Fantastic writer inspired by academic I disregarded (10)
STUPENDOUS: a writing implement is contained in an adjective meaning academic without the I.

9a Gallic priest‘s remedy? (4)
CURE: double definition – the first is a French word for priest (ignoring the acute accent).

10a Clear it’s not in the basket? (10)
UNHAMPERED: cryptically the answer could mean not placed in a picnic basket.

11a Universal screened American Idol (6)
URANUS: assemble the abbreviation for universal, a verb meaning screened or broadcast and an abbreviation for American. Idol means someone worshipped as a god.

12a Changing sides — what they did in Hamelin (7)
RATTING: Hamelin is where the Pied Piper worked his magic.

15a Spurge can be found regularly in Emley Rock Quarry, without question (7)
MERCURY: remove the single-letter abbreviation for queen from ‘Emley Rock Quarry’ then select the even letters of what remains.

16a Miscalculation caused by tearaway taking time out (5)
ERROR: remove the abbreviation for time from a tearaway.

17a Roguish prelate dismissing man (4)
ARCH: remove a chess man from a senior prelate.

18a Join with good heart in duet about Love’s Beginning (4)
GLUE: the abbreviation for good and the ‘heart’ of duet contain the beginning letter of love.

19a Copper‘s come from Paris with son (5)
VENUS: the past participle of the verb to come in French followed by the genealogical abbreviation for son. Thanks to the BRB I now know that the answer is a word for the element copper as used by alchemists.

21a Sky boss‘s remarkable supermajority sees Roy and Sam sadly losing out (7)
JUPITER: remove the jumbled (sadly) letters of ROY and SAM from SUPERMAJORITY and make an anagram (remarkable) of what you have left.

22a Bound to attend theatre’s premieres, accepted eagerly (5,2)
LEAPT AT: a bound or jump followed by the first letters of three words in the clue.

24a Time Lord‘s means of rapid rise? (6)
SATURN: double definition – a Roman god of time and a powerful rocket used by NASA. Did anybody else spend time trying to make the last half of the answer the container of the Ashes kept at Lord’s?

27a Leach nitre used to make solvent (2,3,5)
IN THE CLEAR: an anagram (used) of LEACH NITRE.

28a Devious types go off, mostly westward (4)
EELS: a verb to go off or nod off without its last letter is reversed.

29a Looking back, St Omer seen hazily intervening in distance (10)
REMOTENESS: the reversal of ST OMER contains an anagram (hazily) of SEEN.

Down Clues

2d Is this the point of Dynasty? (4)
TANG: double definition, the second an ancient Chinese dynasty.

3d World to which Zoopla network contributes all its needs (6)
PLANET: all the required letters of the answer are hidden in the clue.

4d Tide not advanced, regulate power of the sea … (7)
NEPTUNE: the name for a tide loses the abbreviation for advanced and that’s followed by a verb to regulate.

5d … Leviathan thereby righted (4)
OGRE: reverse a word, from Latin, meaning thereby.

6d Rescued broken rake (7)
SEDUCER: an anagram (broken) of RESCUED.

7d Ensemble takes on posh place — one of five (10)
QUINTUPLET: a musical ensemble contains the letter used to mean posh and the map abbreviation for place.

8d Sixties pop sounds beset my ear deplorably (6,4)
MERSEY BEAT: an anagram (deplorably) of BESET MY EAR. Very neat!

12d Study only edition that’s revised once more (10)
READJUSTED: string together a verb to study, an adverb meaning only and an abbreviation for edition.

13d In completion, much is coming up about significant letter (2,3,2,3)
TO CAP IT ALL: reverse a word meaning much and insert a significant type of letter (you don’t have to look too far in the following clues to find it!).

14d Feminist briefly welcome at Capital Radio? (5)
GREER: a truncated verb to welcome and the letter forming the capital letter of Radio.

15d Top dog and cat extremely unwell (5)
MOGUL: a slang word for Mr K’s favourite and the outer letters of unwell.

19d Wise, perhaps, when engaged in virtual reality, being capable of adjustment (7)
VERNIER: the first name of Mr Wise goes inside the abbreviation for virtual reality. I would reproduce how the BRB defines the answer but I can’t understand it!

20d Slyboots locked up after sermon (7)
SERPENT: a past participle meaning locked up follows the abbreviation for sermon.

23d Drop by around lunchtime at the earliest for material (6)
POPLIN: a phrasal verb meaning drop by (3,2) contains the earliest letter of lunchtime.

25d Couple joined up under Eye, it’s said (4)
ITEM: reverse a verb meaning joined under what sounds like eye.

26d Spoils of war — his business? (4)
MARS: double definition, the second the Roman god whose business was war.

For my podium I’ve selected 10a, 24a and 8d. Which one(s) impressed you?

9 comments on “Toughie 3083

  1. Super puzzle, impossible to miss the theme which helped with a couple. Just the parsing of 24a that escaped me. My favourites were 10a and 15d.

    Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  2. I really liked teasing this one out, as although I never really built any great momentum I was never really stuck for long, the theme not really helping as I’d almost finished before noticing it!
    Ok, maybe not the most contemporary puzzle (8,14&19d) but very enjoyable nonetheless.
    I’ve ticked 12a plus 13&15d with 10a impressing me the most.
    Many thanks to Firefly and Gazza, happy to let you do the necessary (for me anyway) research to justify 24a.

  3. A fine themed Thursday Toughie. My favourite has to be 19d because if you ever ask Mr CS if he’s going to measure something, he’ll say ‘no need, I have a 19d scale eye’

    thanks to firefly and Gazza

  4. Really enjoyed this and spotted the theme early on which helped though never did find earth! I liked 1a, 10a and 7d and my favourite, the clever little 18a. Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  5. A nicely themed puzzle that was pleasingly tricky but always solvable. Some terrific clues, with 8d my favourite. My thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  6. Needed the hint to parse 24a so just bunged in the only missing planet and although I managed to parse 19a I didn’t know the alchemist’s copper but it had to be what it was due to the theme. The rest I made steady but slow progress with. Over all I enjoyed it. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  7. Didn’t have chance to look at this until late on today but had to give it a whirl if only to justify looking at Gazza’s selection of cartoons!
    Luckily, I latched onto the theme early on but have to confess that most of them were entered on the principle of ‘slot them in now, parse later’!
    Podium spots allocated to 12,22&28a plus 8&15d.

    Thanks to Firefly and to Gazza for the pictorial review – especially the example of 12a.

  8. Who else but Firefly [see 21a] – with a helpful, well-realised theme. I think its quite tricky to do definitions for the planets. I’m with Mhids and think the clever little 18a is the pick of the bunch.
    Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  9. We spotted the theme quite early on in the solve and this certainly helped us towards a completion.
    Lots of fun.
    Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

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