Toughie 3147 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3147

Toughie No 3147 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Many thanks to Silvanus for a very gentle and most enjoyable puzzle. There are multiple hints at the top and bottom of the grid that Silvanus may have knocked up a half-century of Toughies – if that’s the case then many congratulations to him.

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

Across Clues

8a Current Conservative facing sack over incident ultimately that’s untrue (7)
INEXACT: an adjective meaning current or topical and an abbreviation for Conservative contain the reversal of a verb to sack. Finish with the ultimate letter of ‘that’.

10a Flatter ground a tad gluey, lacking cover (7)
ADULATE: an anagram (ground) of A TAD [g]LUE[y].

11a Sweet idol relishes every so often retired boxer’s protection (9)
GUMSHIELD: a gelatinous type of sweet followed by the reversal of alternate letters in ‘idol relishes’.

12a Suppose plenipotentiary’s to some extent revolutionary (5)
OPINE: hidden in reverse.

13a Called Yorkshire’s opener “long-legged” (5)
RANGY: a verb meaning called or belled and the opening letter of Yorkshire.

14a Vegetable wine idiot will guzzle? On the contrary (7)
CASSAVA: a sparkling wine containing a synonym of idiot.

17a Seaside town, resort two men pressure American to visit (6-5-4)
WESTON-SUPER-MARE: an anagram (re-sort) of TWO MEN PRESSURE with an abbreviation for American entertained within.

19a Filled with grief, pal felt he’s occasionally lost (7)
REPLETE: remove the odd letters from “grief pal felt he’s”.

21a Peeping Tom emerges from hearing earlier (5)
PRYER: a homophone of an adjective meaning earlier.

24a Most awful defeat (5)
WORST: double definition, the second being a verb.

26a Actor was furious with Scotsman after termination of contract (9)
TRAGEDIAN: a verb meaning ‘was furious’ and a traditional Scottish forename both follow the terminating letter of contract.

27a Instrument, one held by a Corsican, sadly so scratched (7)
OCARINA: insert the Roman numeral for one into an anagram (sadly) of A CORSICAN after we’ve scratched out the Latin word meaning ‘so’.

28a Falls once more, going west around centre of Carmarthen (7)
NIAGARA: reverse an adverb meaning once more around the central two letters of Carmarthen.

Down Clues

1d Remain behind selling ermine coats (6)
LINGER: hidden.

2d No female natives of Flanders will keep minute rodents (8)
LEMMINGS: start with some natives of Flanders, remove the abbreviation for female and insert the abbreviation for minute.

3d Tearful scholar, disturbed about my raised voice finally (10)
LACHRYMOSE: an anagram (disturbed) of SCHOLAR contains ‘my’ reversed. Finish with the final letter of voice.

4d Picture of antelope’s better moving heading to the bottom (9)
LANDSCAPE: stick together a large antelope with its ‘S and a verb to better or outdo. Now move the first letter to the end.

5d Extremely unnatural being upset over party game (4)
LUDO: reverse the outer letters of unnatural before a festive party.

6d Posh boy advanced to embrace princess (2-2-2)
LA-DI-DA: a synonym of boy and the abbreviation for advanced contain the popular name of a late British princess.

7d Advantage in student meeting Australian TV celebrity (8)
LEVERAGE: our usual abbreviated student followed by the surname of a ‘titled’ Australian TV celebrity’.

9d Reportedly make fun of banker (4)
TEES: this river in North-East England sounds like a verb to make fun of someone.

15d Dismantled late MP’s car that’s found in junkyard (5,5)
SCRAP METAL: an anagram (dismantled) of LATE MP’S CAR.

16d Key people mostly returning to support German city (9)
ESSENTIAL: reverse a word for people (as opposed to clerics or professionals) without its last letter and append it to a city in the Ruhr valley.

17d Abrasive European in Irish court left following wife (4,4)
WIRE WOOL: insert an abbreviation for European between an abbreviation for Irish and a verb to court. Add the abbreviation for left then append the lot to the genealogical abbreviation for wife.

18d Play, Act I cast finding unusual (8)
ATYPICAL: an anagram (cast) of PLAY ACT I.

20d Door of sports hall repeatedly out of bounds (6)
PORTAL: remove the outer letters from two consecutive words in the clue.

22d Cost of letting different Aldershot houses (6)
RENTAL: hidden.

23d Troublesome individual that Parisians toast? (4)
PAIN: double definition, the first may be troublesome in the neck or lower down.

25d Labour triumph’s beginning to be undermined by smear (4)
TOIL: the first letter of triumph followed by a verb to smear or lubricate.

I’ve picked 24a, 4d and 7d for my podium. Which one(s) 24ed the rest for you?

19 comments on “Toughie 3147
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  1. A very enjoyable not too Tough offering from Silvanus which was most welcome after Ray T’s head scratching back pager – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 4d, 16d, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Hmm – a lot of ‘Ls’ in the top and bottom lines, if it means what Gazza has suggested in his preamble then hearty congratulations to Silvanus.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  2. Telegraph Toughies don’t come any better than this; and there is a presumably appropriate Nina to boot, which suggests that this must be Silvanus’ 50th appearance in this slot.

    Many congratulations to him. I’m looking forward very much to the next 50. Thanks too to Gazza.

  3. Super puzzle, mfull of wit and ingenuity throughout.
    I loved the fact that WSM got a mention (the M standing for Mud!), a place I’ve been to many times over the years but my podium contenders are 21a plus 2,4(excellent), 6&23d but could have mentioned more.
    Many thanks weLL done to Silvanus on a mini milestone puzzle and to Gazza.
    Here’s to the next 50! If Hudson looks in a belated congratulations to him too on a similar achievement.

  4. Please sir, an early-week backpager has escaped and found its way into the late-week Toughie slot! But what a wonderful and hugely enjoyable canter it nevertheless was, and needless to say the Nina escaped my notice entirely. Congratulations on the milestone, Silvanus, and may there (please!) be many, many more, both ‘Toughie’ and Backpager alike. Podium for me occupied by COTD 21a, 2d & 4d.

    Many thanks indeed to Silvanus for all the pleasure, and to Gazza for (yet another) excellent review.

  5. Didn’t find this one as easy as everyone else – it took me twice as long as the back-pager & didn’t realise it was a Silvanus production either. Anyway thoroughly enjoyed it, as is always the case with my favourite setter, despite making much harder work of it than I ought to have. Don’t know what it is about messages in crenellated squares – never seem to clock them however blatant they are. There’s one in today’s Graun cryptic which I didn’t spot either. Top 2 for me were 4&20d.
    Thanks & congrats to Silvanus + thanks to Gazza for the review – needed to understand the mostly reversing people (d’oh)

  6. I gave up trying to make the anagram work at 27a so extra thanks to Gazza for that. Odd that such an obscure instrument [OK, I know – “Wild Thing” by the Troggs] is so popular with setters, alternate vowels and consonants perhaps.
    Fave clues were 21a, 20d [harder than it looks – I assumed alternate deletions before the PDM] and 23d [seen it before but it’s very well done here].
    Thanks to Gazza and Sylvanus.

  7. Another Dream Team day so I am very content. Many congratulations to our setter on his 50th Toughie and many thanks for being rather less brutal than your team-mate today!
    Difficult as ever to isolate a top three but I eventually settled for 4,6&23d.

    My thanks to Silvanus for all fifty of the puzzles and to Gazza for the review and humorous cartoons – the scrap yard raised a big smile!

  8. An excellent Silvanus production! I found this roughly the same difficulty as today’s back-pager with great clues providing an enjoyable sovle. Favourite: the crafty 4d.

    Gazza, the picture at 11a. I didn’t know that Australian rugby players enjoyed eating giant maggots! :-)

  9. Congratulations to Silvanus. Of course I didn’t spot the proliferation of L’s even though it is difficult to miss. Many smiles as always with Silvanus, but my biggest smile was for 23d and I see I am not alone in my choice. Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza

    1. I tried to edit my post as I meant to say I see I am not alone in my choice but it wouldn’t save my edit. Never mind. I can express my appreciation this way.

  10. Add me to the list of people who didn’t spot all the ‘L’s at the top and bottom, how unobservant am I. Top notch puzzle. I did need the hint to parse 27a. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  11. What a delightful puzzle and a great way to mark Silvanus’s half century. Many more like this please!
    Thanks and congratulations to Silvanus and thanks to Gazza for the excellent blog.

  12. Many thanks to Gazza for his Hints and Tips and to everyone for their kind comments. Thanks also to those plugging the puzzle when commenting on the back-pager today.

    My colleague Hudson and I both started setting Toughies a few weeks apart in 2018 and we have just about kept pace with each other ever since. Congratulations to him on reaching the same milestone yesterday.

  13. A cracking toughie and I congratulate Silvanus on the milestone, I realised that the top and bottom rows were likely to be the same and that helped me over the line
    6d brought to mind It Aint Half Hot Mum and Gunner ” 6d ” Graham

    Thanks too to Gazza for the hints I too needed the help in parts

  14. Congratulation Silvanus on this ‘ell of a good puzzle.
    Thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.
    Thanks to you and to Gazza.

  15. So glad I finally got round to doing this, having heard so much about it from others, though not really a toughie person.
    Loved the shortie 23d, but fave goes to 27a, really because I like the name, though couldn’t parse it. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard one, but I think I first heard of it, or something v similar, 30/40 years ago reading a Stroumph story to one of my kids.
    Thanks and many congratulations to silvanus for tempting me into Toughieland, and to Gazza for parsing 27a!

  16. 2*/4* …
    liked 2D “No female natives of Flanders will keep minute rodents (8)” …had to laugh at the cartoon in the hints.

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