Toughie No 3153 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 3153

Toughie 3153 by Chalicea

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone from grey(ish) South Devon coast.

Tuesday regular Chalicea get things moving this week with a fun puzzle that I enjoyed solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Smart little pullet! Not entirely (4)
CHIC: Remove the final letter from an abbreviated young hen.

3a Horse‘s hardtack (3,7)
SEA BISCUIT: As far as I can see this is a double definition, the less obvious being an American champion horse in the 1940s.

8a Expedient note, one providing information (8)
RESOURCE: A note on the sol-fa scale followed by reference or authority.

9a 6 in European capital getting disease (6)
PLAGUE: Apply the solution of 6d to a rather splendid East European capital city and we have an epidemic.

10a Having diamonds in the place of gold primarily makes goof a lot of money (6)
BUNDLE: A similar clue to the one above, this time we need to change the first letter of Gold in a synonym of goof or error to the single-letter abbreviation for Diamonds.

11a However tense, start to spread ideas (8)
THOUGHTS: A synonym of however, the abbreviation for Tense and the initial letter of Spread

13a Settled exactly after article originally drafted by editor (8)
ADJUSTED: A charade of the indefinite article, the initial letter of Drafted, an adverb that could mean exactly and the usual abbreviated editor.

14a Last goal not oddly hurried (6)
ENDURE: A goal or aim followed by alternate letters of hUrRiEd. Here’s a song that has lasted for good reason.

16a Old ship coated with preposterous blood colour is more sinister (6)
DARKER: Insert a biblical ship (coated with) into a reversal of the colour of blood

19a See about moving apart? (8)
SEPARATE: Place “see” from the clue around an anagram (moving ) of APART.

21a US force, through revised roster, becomes more efficient (8)
STRONGER: Place an abbreviated military reserve force in The US into an anagram (revised) of ROSTER

22a Refreshing tip off for motor sport? (6)
RACING: Remove the initial letter (tip off) from a synonym of (very!) refreshing.

23a Cancellation with reference to visit (6)
RECALL: The usual two-letter preposition meaning about or regarding and a synonym of visit.

24a Statesman, perhaps a Crimean, in trouble (8)
AMERICAN: The statesman here is a man of The States. Anagram (in trouble) of A CRIMEAN.

25a Fierce eagles spotted principally in uncultivated region (10)
WILDERNESS: Put together a synonym of fierce or untamed, some sea eagles and the initial letter of Spotted.

26a Inquisitive and loud without first hint of imagination (4)
NOSY: Remove the initial letter (first hint of) of (i)magination from a synonym of loud.


1d Material from humorist was the opposite of entertaining for the audience (9)
CARDBOARD: Start with a rather dated word for a humourist or quirky person and follow it with a homophone (for the audience) of an antonym of entertaining.


2d Could wildly silly person settle in this fantasy realm? (5-6-4)
CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND: A charade of an anagram (wildly) of COULD, a silly or slightly mad person and a synonym of settle or arrive at. Lol.

3d Reptile exhausted circling eastern river (7)
SERPENT: A synonym of exhausted or “done in” goes around abbreviations for Eastern and River.

4d Positively declare tough youth turned away (7)
AVERTED: A word meaning state or declare followed by a 1950’s “tough” youth.

5d I persuade marketing boards to get better (7)
IMPROVE: Start with I from the clue then insert (boards) some abbreviated marketing into a synonym of persuade. Nice.

6d Encroaching tide flowing back (6,9)
CHANGE DIRECTION: Anagram (flowing) of the preceding two words.

7d Toss cycling pants (5)
TREWS: A synonym of toss or scatter with the initial letter cycled to the end.

12d Prominence of tipped-over rubbish (3)
TOR: A reversal (tipped over) of a synonym of rubbish or balderdash!. The prominence is common on Dartmoor in my part of the world.

15d Issue leaders of newspapers covering yesterday’s serious situation (9)
EMERGENCY: A synonym of issue or emanate and the initial letters (leaders) of Newspapers Covering Yesterday.

17d Well-chosen answer essentially recaptured (3)
APT: The abbreviation for Answer plus the essential letters of recaPTured. The solution also lies within the final word!

18d Pistol raised on a Republican soldier (7)
REGULAR: A reversal of one of crosswordland’s favourite pistols plus (on in a down clue) A from the clue and the abbreviation for Republican.

19d Area in Normandy above exposed part of cliff (7)
SURFACE: The French word (in Normandy) for above plus the exposed part, or the part facing the sea, of a cliff. Very smart. Here’s one in Sidmouth.

20d Quarrel mounting over the Spanish packages (7)
PARCELS: A reversal of a quarrel or fight goes around a definite article in Spanish.

21d Wages of small company (5)
SCREW: The abbreviation for Small and a group or gang.

Thanks Chalicea. My medals go to 2,5&19d. Which ones were on your podium?

17 comments on “Toughie No 3153
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  1. For me, etc, the Floughie Lady is definitely getting less Floughie with each Tuesday Toughie production but still as enjoyable – 2.5*/4*

    Favourite – a toss-up between 25a and 15d – and the winner is 25a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Stephen.

  2. Solved from the south to north for the simple reason that a quick scan through the first few clues yielded nowt. Once I got going it all went in reasonably quickly for an enjoyable solve. Reckon 9a was my fav once the penny dropped that flowing was an anagram indicator at 6d. Wouldn’t disagree with our reviewer’s choices & maybe add 1d to them.
    Thanks to both Chalicea & Stephen – love the guitar on the JM clip.

    1. Isn’t it just great, the video, the song (with the iconic lyrics to the first verse and chorus) the singing and the musicianship.

  3. Crikey, Tuesday Floughie for me has gone up a few notches, but no complaints. I had a head scratch moment with 21d but it had to be what it was and then it clicked. Not my favourite grid with those double unches. Thanks to Chalicea and StephenL

  4. Another highly entertaining and accessible puzzle that seemed a notch up in difficulty from some of her previous offerings. I loved 19d, but my top clue was 3a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and SL.

  5. Our setter definitely casting off her ‘floughie’ image with this one and, knowing how meticulous she is with her definitions, I wouldn’t dare to challenge any of her assertions!
    Rosettes handed out to 1d (I’ll refrain from suggesting any names!) and 3d with the red one going to 25a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to Stephen for the review. I do keep listening to your music choices but still can’t find anything enjoyable in them – sorry.

    1. No apologies necessary Jane, we all like different things…. though I couldn’t help but notice that clip has 58K likes on YouTube!

  6. Although still quite light, I found it less Floughie than usual from this setter but as enjoyable as ever.

    I didn’t know the specific meaning of preposterous needed in 18d.

    Thumbs up for the American indicator in 21a but thumbs down for the lack of one in 7d.

    The &lit 19a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to SL.

  7. Don’t usually do the Toughie, but tried it for a change and found it great fun, thankfully not much harder than the normal one. Favourites today were 3a and 6d. ta to our setter on this one.

  8. I found this harder than all the previous commentators not helped by the double unches. 19d was a bung in and I needed the hint to parse it. Favourite was 2d. Thanks to Chalicea and SL.

  9. Thank, folks – I’m happy that you enjoyed it and, thanks as always to StepehenL. My own favourite clue was 19a – not my original cue exactly but one with an editorial tweak which I really appreciated.

  10. Another enjoyable solve and agree with the setter on the elegance of 19a so will go with that as favourite clue.
    Thanks Chalicea and SL.

  11. Good evening
    I rarely attempt Toughies, or Floughies – Floughie? Not arf, crossword lovers! – so I’m happy with a DNF. 5 solutions shy of a full grid. I’ll take that.
    Thank you Chalicea and Stephen L

  12. I always enjoy Chalicea’s puzzles. I found this one a bit tricky in places, and am relieved others have also found it to be a bit more difficult than usual.
    I have a crop of clues that I particularly liked — 1d, 2d, 19d, 9a (which took me ages because I kept thinking of the wrong capital) and 25a. I liked 3a, although I did have to check that it was also a horse.
    Thank you very much Chalicea for the very entertaining puzzle. And many thanks to StephenL for the review and its illustrations. The music isn’t my cup of tea, alas, but I’m sure it is much to the taste of others…

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