Toughie 3115 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3115

Toughie No 3115 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found the wordplay in this puzzle to be fairly straightforward and enjoyable but as usual with Giovanni it was the amount of GK that had me consulting the BRB and Wikipedia. Thanks to Giovanni.

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

Across Clues

1a Talking rubbish, shouting loudly, having penned article (10)
BLATHERING: a present participle meaning shouting loudly contains our definite article.

6a Country tricked by leader of Conservatives (4)
CHAD: a verb meaning tricked follows the leading letter of Conservatives.

10a Get out residual bit (5)
STUMP: double definition, the first to dismiss a batsman in one of the ten (?) ways possible.

11a Playwright of exceptionally classy hue (9)
AESCHYLUS: the name of this Greek playwright is an anagram (exceptionally) of CLASSY HUE.

12a Hell, with the German soldiers being captured in riot? (8)
DISORDER: a word for hell (from the name of Pluto, the Greek god of the underworld) and one of the German definite articles contain the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers.

13a It echoes with no effect? Yes and no! (5)
RADAR: a palindrome, so it doesn’t matter which way you read it but it’s an important navigation tool.

15a French port with the French leaving boy in wagon (7)
CAISSON: a French port without its French definite article followed by a synonym of boy. One of the meanings of the answer (thanks BRB) is a wagon for transporting ammunition.

17a Welsh head talks indistinctly (7)
MUMBLES: double definition, the first the name of a headland near Swansea (known to me because my late brother-in-law had a spell as a keeper in the lighthouse there).

19a Goddess put off embracing yours truly (7)
DEMETER: a verb to put off or discourage contains a pronoun meaning ‘yours truly’.

21a Nest in a mountain houses this bird (7)
TINAMOU: this bird (not one I’ve heard of but I’m sure Jane will have) is hidden in the clue.

22a Honour director’s initiation during dinner? (5)
MEDAL: insert the initial letter of director into what dinner is an example of.

24a A chum with short dress appearing in port (3,5)
ABU DHABI: string together A, an informal (mainly American) word for a chum and a word meaning dress or clothes without its final letter.

27a Scientist with very short aim, one needing external money (9)
CAVENDISH: assemble the abbreviation (short) for very, a synonym of aim or objective and the Roman numeral for one. Now put some money around that to make the name of an English scientist.

28a Yen to go to river, in need of refreshment? (5)
WEARY: append the abbreviation for yen to the name of a river in North-East England.

29a Style and vigour, first to last, shows the way (4)
LANE: start with a noun meaning style and vigour and move its first letter to the end.

30a Gate at social event allowing number in (10)
ATTENDANCE: AT and a social event contain a two-digit number.

Down Clues

1d German chemist’s spoken nonsense (4)
BOSH: this sounds like the surname of a Nobel prize-winning German chemist.

2d Metal not encountered? It is here! (9)
ALUMINIUM: remove the verb meaning encountered from the first word of the clue to find the chemical symbol of the answer.

3d Augustine’s place for a beast (5)
HIPPO: double definition, the first the place in North Africa associated with Augustine the theologian.

4d African managed to stow away any number in packing material (7)
RWANDAN: a Russian doll clue – a verb meaning managed or controlled contains a word for packing material which contains the abbreviation used to mean any number.

5d No holy person given booze as a remedy (7)
NOSTRUM: concatenate NO, our usual holy person and some booze.

7d Storage space said to be leaky? (5)
HOLED: this sounds like the storage place in the bowels of an aircraft.

8d Mousy drips — sloppy element (10)
DYSPROSIUM: an anagram (sloppy) of MOUSY DRIPS. Not an element I’d heard of.

9d Younger brother who’s dispatched cricketer (5,3)
THIRD MAN: double definition, the first a reference to Abel who was murdered by his older brother according to the fairy tale in Genesis, the second a fielding position in cricket.

14d A rotter with malice worked from a university (10)
ACADEMICAL: stick together A, a word for a rotter or scoundrel and an anagram (worked) of MALICE.

16d Paying one pound to be in particular environment? (8)
SETTLING: insert the abbreviation for a pound sterling into a word for a particular environment.

18d Silly male bishop — wet fool? (9)
LAMEBRAIN: rivet together an anagram (silly) of MALE, the chess abbreviation for bishop and the type of weather that we refer to as the wet.

20d Philosopher and boxer needing support around (7)
REALIST: this proponent of a philosophical doctrine comes from inserting Crosswordland’s favourite boxer into a support or stand.

21d In match there’s nothing that’s nasty? That’s hard to answer (7)
TOUGHIE: a match in a knockout competition contains the nothing-resembling letter and an expression meaning “that’s nasty”.

23d Beer here? What fellow drinks is bad, not half! (5)
DEVON: a fellow (and Giovanni’s forename which often features in his puzzles) contains the first half of an adjective meaning bad or wicked. The answer (easy for me, because it’s the county where I live) is where you’d find Beer, a picturesque fishing village on the Jurassic coast.

25d Husband, lost for words, sounded hesitant (5)
HAWED: the genealogical abbreviation for husband and an adjective meaning struck for words.

26d Music-maker and storyteller being listened to (4)
LYRE: this sounds like someone who tells stories.

I liked 17a, 2d and 23d with my favourite being 9d. Which one(s) made your shortlist?

17 comments on “Toughie 3115

  1. I enjoyed bringing various bits of information out of the depths of my memory, the only thing I had to check was that the element I’d created from the anagram fodder did exist

    My top favourite was 23d, closely followed by 9d and 17a

    Thanks to Giovanni – fairly clued as usual – and to Gazza

  2. Probably the gentlest toughie of all time but I absolutely loved it. Yes, there’s some GK – all very (short!) fairly clued – but nothing obscure apart from that bird, but that was a lurker so no complaints whatsoever. I especially liked 23D. The only pause was 27A, which had me looking for a short aim for a little while. Very good indeed. Many thanks to Giovanni, and Gazza of course.

  3. My main reason for grappling with this one was for the pleasure of looking at Gazza’s cartoons afterwards – you let me down badly, sir!
    Reference books required, of course, but I managed far more than expected without recourse to them and finished up with the same answers on the podium as Gazza and CS nominated – 17a plus 2,9&23d. 17a took the gold.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the cartoon-less review. To answer your question, I’m not sure that I could actually have brought the 21a bird to mind but reading the clue triggered a faint memory so it was obviously buried somewhere in the cobwebs that pass for a brain!

  4. Fairly-clued unknown GK is okay with me, and it is a chance to learn, and then forget, some new words. Overall a terrific and enjoyable puzzle that produced 23d was my top clue.

    My thanks to The Don and Gazza.

  5. I needed the hint to parse 9d and 23d. 11a, 21a and 8d were all new to me. The rest were fairly straightforward. I enjoyed the challenge. Favourite was 2d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. My DT was AWOL today so I couldn’t even begin to tackle this. I am overcome with admiration for those who solve online. It seems to add another level of difficulty.

    1. Like you I can’t solve online. I always print out the puzzles from the online puzzles websites. Could you not do the same?

      1. I expect I could. Luckily an absent paper is a rare occasion. Trouble with a delivery to the SW yesterday. Back to normal, I hope, today

  7. This 18d always more than a little chuffed to successfully complete a 21d from this setter having twigged the unknowns from the wordplay & there were plenty of ‘em too – Augustine’s place, the 8d element, the 15a wagon, the 21a bird & the delightful looking Devonian seaside village at 23d all required post solve investigation. I’d heard of the 2 science fellas at 1d&27a & the goddess at 19a but enjoyed reading about them too & though I knew the Greek scribbler it’s always a plus to get his spelling right first time even if the checkers helped. Any fleeting feeling of triumph was sadly punctured by a woeful & extremely irritating failure to parse 2d so no full marks on the exam paper. Lots of ticks but 9d my runaway fav.
    Thanks to all 3 Gs – Giovanni, Gazza & Mr G
    Ps the actor who played Radar in Robert Altman’s brilliant film was the only one who went on feature full time in the long running TV series

  8. With respect to the blog rules about discussion of sensitive topics, I’d still prefer it if a Bible story wasn’t referred to as a “fairy tale” in a blog post, please.

    1. One of the meanings of fairy story in the BRB is ‘an incredible tale’. Do you disagree with that description of the Adam and Eve story?

      1. Agree with AgentB. By your definition, Gazza, Christ rising from the dead is a fairy tale. Along with a couple of billion people on the planet I would beg to differ. Nice crossword btw!

  9. We saw who the setter was so had all our reference material to hand and it did get some use.
    Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

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