Toughie 3130 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3130

Toughie No 3130 by Silvanus

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Toughie Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Silvanus provides this week’s Wednesday Toughie

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Apple engineer denies colluding, receiving nothing for information ultimately (6,9)
GOLDEN DELICIOUS An anagram (engineer) of DENIES COLLUDInG once you have changed one of the instances of the letter at the end (ultimately) of informatioN for the letter representing nothing

9a    Country united after rogue exposed by Greek character overthrown (7)
VANUATU A reversal (overthrown) of the inside letters (exposed) of a rogue, the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, followed by the abbreviation for United

10a    Camera that is fixed on PM (7)
BROWNIE The abbreviation meaning that is ‘fixed on’ or going after the surname of a former Labour Prime Minister

11a    Upset about students meeting space enthusiast, one who’s boring (9)
TUNNELLER A reversal (upset) of the ‘usual’ about or on the subject of, two abbreviations for student, a printer’s space and a person with an obsessive interest (enthusiast)

12a    Identify trophies for cycling (4)
SPOT Cycle the letter at the end of some informal trophies to the front of the word

13a    Anticipate resistance, being replaced by Conservative in authority (6)
EXPECT Replace the abbreviation for Resistance in an authority on something with the abbreviation for Conservative

15a    Lieutenant regularly stops attack from the east, showing courage (8)
GUMPTION A reversal (from the east) of the naval slang for a lieutenant, the regular letters of sToPs and an informal verb meaning to attack

18a    Headgear, British make, runner is wearing (8)
BEARSKIN The abbreviation for British and a verb meaning to make or gain by labour into which is inserted (is wearing) a runner [over snow, for example]

19a    Attraction of advanced university course male discovered (6)
APPEAL The abbreviation for Advanced, an abbreviated university course and the inside (dis covered) letters of mALe

22a    Article, the kind on reflection occasionally making Egyptian cross (4)
ANKH An indefinite article and a reversal (on reflection) of the occasional letters of tHe KiNd

23a    Reportedly they are responsible for balance being overdue (2,7)
IN ARREARS A homophone (reportedly) of parts of your body that are responsible for balance

26a    Lake in Iran, too polluted? (7)
ONTARIO An anagram (polluted)of IRAN TOO

27a    Flying very close to drone aboard glider originally (7)
BUZZING A droning noise, an adverb meaning aboard and the original letter of Glider

28a    Right to stop future interest developing bus shelters, perhaps (6,9)
STREET FURNITURE The abbreviation for Right going inside (to sop) an anagram (developing) of FUTURE INTEREST


1d    Showed almost too much energy in dance (7)
GAVOTTE Almost all of a synonym for showed, the informal abbreviation meaning too much and the abbreviation for Energy

2d    Stock new cloth (5)
LINEN Stock of a particular product and the abbreviation for New

3d    English advantage over key opponents vanishes (9)
EVANESCES The abbreviation for English, an advantage, a key on a computer keyboard and two abbreviated bridge opponents

4d    Horse racing bet that’s deceitful (6)
DOUBLE A horse racing bet or an adjective meaning deceitful

5d    American, smart feeding pollarded fruit tree (8)
LABURNUM The abbreviation for American and a verb meaning to smart or sting ‘feeding’ or going inside a type of fruit without its first letter (pollarded referring to a tree with the whole of its crown chopped off)

6d    Falsify pass introduced by firm (4)
COOK Falsify accounts etc – an interjection of approval (pass) goes after an abbreviated firm

7d    Bordeaux fan, maybe one I hope excited about loanee’s debut (9)
OENOPHILE An anagram (excited) of ONE I HOPE into which is inserted (about) the ‘debut’ of Loanee

8d    Pacify tiny tot, finally cradled by nurse (7)
SWEETEN A Scots adjective meaning tiny and the final letter of toT ‘cradled by’ or inserted into an abbreviated nurse

14d    Practical joker tormented partner and kids heartlessly (9)
PRANKSTER An anagram (tormented) of PARTNER and the outside (heartlessly) letters of KidS

16d    Those who usually click with celebrities? (9)
PAPARAZZI A cryptic definition of some annoying celebrity-chasing photographers

17d    Get on with greeting to welcome Italian aristocrat (3,2,3)
HIT IT OFF An informal greeting into which is inserted (to welcome) the abbreviation for Italian, the result followed by a slang term for an aristocrat

18d    Warning signals maybe a conservationist comprehends (7)
BEACONS Hidden in mayBE A CONServative

20d    Way to incorporate spinach for some people when cooking pasta dish (7)
LASAGNE A way or road into which is inserted (to incorporate) the Indian (for some people) word for spinach

21d    Waffle from person giving inoculations? (6)
JABBER To talk on and on or a possible way of referring to someone giving inoculations

24d    Revolutionary cures Indian oddly ignored for so long (5)
ADIEU A reversal (revolutionary) of the even (oddly ignored) letters of cUrEs InDiAn

25d    Infer releasing prisoners is right (4)
TRUE Remove (releasing) some informal prisons from a verb meaning to infer

29 comments on “Toughie 3130

  1. Off at a gallop but slowed to a crawl. Found this quite challenging but entertaining nonetheless. Got there once I had tuned in but had to parse a few afterwards. Still not sure of the rogue that gets exposed to leave the first 3 letters of 9a. Any help CS?

  2. I thought that this was a smidgen trickier than previous Silvanus Toughies but as enjoyable as ever – thanks to him and CS.
    Top clues for me were 15a, 23a and 17d.

  3. Enjoyable but I found the NW a bit tricky today despite 1a going straight in. I prefer two a’s in my Indian spinach. Thanks to Silvanus amd CS.

  4. Some more good Wednesday fun to complement the back pager – 2*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 23a, 26a, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  5. Exactly what Gazza said with my top clues being 1,15 (once I’d finally worked out how it worked but great word) plus 18d with the top spot going to the brilliant 23a.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Cryptic Sue.

  6. Despite its wordiness I loved 20d – “spinach for some people when cooking” works really well. I also laughed at the homophone in 23a [once the penny dropped].
    Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  7. A rare foray into Toughie territory for me, but well worth it. I solve on my iPad which does not name the compiler, but it came as no surprise to learn that it was Silvanus.
    Most enjoyable and very high quality as ever.
    Thank you Silvanus and CS.

  8. It was certainly more than a 1* for me but then I’m not as smart as CS! A lot of bung-ins thanks to the typically fair definitions, so a lot of Reverso, but wonderful as ever. 23a was indeed a peach, and it all read beautifully. Many thanks to Silvanus, and CS, of course.

  9. Seems as though I’m alone in not knowing the 9a country and I was definitely glad of the checkers to help with that one. The others that took a while to solve were 15a – a great word that my dear old dad regularly used – and 8d where I was too busy thinking of dummies and Linus’s blanket!
    An excellent challenge from one of my favourite setters in which my top three were 23&28a plus 17d.

    Many thanks to the brilliant Silvanus and thanks to CS for the review and the trip down memory lane with the illustration of the first camera I ever owned.

      1. Yes, I think mine was a slightly earlier model as well. Think I was given it as the ‘main’ present for my 11th birthday.

  10. I found this a very enjoyable Thursday Toughie, on a Tuesday! While three-quarters was pretty straightforward, the other quarter, scattered around the board, escalated the difficulty rating considerably for me. Some very well hidden definitions &/or wordplay (I didn’t even spot the 18d lurker until reading this blog) left me with several unparsed.

    The anagrams at 1a and 28a were very helpful and, fortunately, swift to solve; ‘comprehends’ as a lurker indicator was new to me, and does the ‘in’ of 27a come from aboard? I would usually think of that as being on – one would usually say they are aboard or on the ship/train/bus, not in it. Ah well.

    So many great clues I could go on forever, so will limit to my COTD, 17d, not for complexity but for the laugh out loud moment.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to CS

  11. Many thanks to CS and to all commenters. Great pictures to accompany the hints!

    Greetings from The Oval where England look well poised to beat New Zealand (sorry. Colin and Carol).

  12. I found this extreme hard in places and needed the hints to parse several. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to Silvanus foot challenge and CS for the hints.

  13. We always look forward to solving a Silvanus puzzle and this one certainly lived up to expectations.
    Thanks Silvanus and CS.

  14. Couldn’t start. Gave up after an hour or so. Too hard for me. Annoyingly, I guessed 3d correctly by guessing the first letter but couldn’t make it fit with the clue.

  15. Late posting today as I’ve just returned from The Oval having seem England soundly beat New Zealand, with Ben Stokes playing one of the finest 50 over innings ever.

    I’ll be very brief. I thought this was as tough a Silvanus Toughie as I have ever tackled, but it was absolutely excellent and very well worth the effort.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to CS.

  16. Been out all afternoon & early evening & just back. Nearly choked on my coffee when I saw a * difficulty rating. At least RD gives me comfort that it wasn’t just me who found it very tough indeed. Did eventually manage to complete however & without a letter reveal though many of the parsings travelled on a different bus arriving much later than the answers – other than the one for 15a which never boarded & still not sure I get it. 1a my fav
    Thanks to Silvanus & to Sue

    1. 15a a lieutenant is a No 1, the regular letters of sToPs and MUG (attack) – all reversed (from the East)

      1. Ah it was the No 1 that was new to me. Thanks Sue. Must say the definition synonym didn’t immediately spring to mind either

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