Toughie 3162 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3162

Toughie No 3162 by Hudson

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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

Another Toughie treat from Hudson – the extra 0.5* for difficulty has a lot to do with the time it took me to ferret out how 27a worked

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1a    Short supply premium of very caustic, volatile aluminium being imported (8,5)
SCARCITY VALUE An anagram (volatile) of VERY CAUSTIC into which is ‘imported’ the chemical symbol for aluminium

9a    Each editor admits silly blundering, being gullible (6,3)
EASILY LED An abbreviated way of writing each and an abbreviated editor ‘admits’ an anagram (blundering) of SILLY

10a    France returning Italian island? That’s a lie (5)
FABLE The IVR Code for France and a reversal (returning) of an Italian island

11a    Enjoy enormous lead in Grand Prix? (3,2)
LAP UP A phrasal verb meaning to enjoy could also describe an enormous lead in a Grand Prix race

12a    Every now and again recognise ages (4)
EONS The even (every now and then) letters of rEcOgNiSe

13a    Revolting stuff which is a by-product of winemaking (4)
MARC A reversal (revolting) of a synonym for stuff in the sense of overfill gives us a type of brandy which is a by-product of winemaking

15a    Show bacteria mutated when leaving India (7)
CABARET An anagram (mutated) of BACTERiA without (leaving) the letter represented by India in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

17a    Plant article America’s written about China (7)
ANCHUSA An indefinite article and an abbreviation for America into which is inserted (written about) the abbreviation for China

18a    Goodness me … finally berthed in port first thing on Saturday (7)
HEAVENS The final letter of mE inserted (berthed) in a port and then followed by the first ‘thing’ on Saturday

20a    Discreetly, queen enters — ready to drive off I hear (2,3,1,1)
ON THE QT The chess abbreviation for Queen ‘enters’ a homophone (I hear) of where someone ready to drive off in a game of golf would be found

21a    Girl about to be expelled from school group (4)
LASS The Latin abbreviation for about ‘expelled’ from a school group

22a    Bishop departing dance in swanky motor (4)
LIMO The chess abbreviation for Bishop ‘departing’ a West Indian dance

23a    Witchcraft cult which sounds like basket case material! (5)
WICCA This sounds like the sort of material you might use to make a basket

26a    Duck bill pierces woman in garden (5)
EVADE An abbreviated advertisement (bill) ‘pierces’ a woman in garden – not just any woman in a garden but the first one!

27a    Shut in 1,000 after senior detectives go overboard, perhaps (9)
DISEMBARK An archaic verb meaning to shut in and a symbol for 1000 go after some abbreviated senior detectives

28a    Child minders distraught, only occasionally seeing their town (13)
KIDDERMINSTER An informal child, an anagram (distraught) of MINDERS and the occasional letters of ThEiR


1d    When drunk, oh he smells! Rock Hudson gave him shelter (8,6)
SHERLOCK HOLMES As I said to Mr CS at breakfast: who knew that an anagram (drunk) of OH HE SMELLS ROCK’ would produce the name of the fictional detective ‘sheltered’ by Mrs Hudson

2d    Adult model upset producer of 10s (5)
AESOP The abbreviation for Adult and a reversal (upset) of a synonym for model or sit

3d    Maybe Savoy Hotel employee who worked in memorable bars (4,6)
COLE PORTER A general name for plants of the cabbage family (maybe savoy) and a hotel employee combine to give the name of an American composer and songwriter (who worked in ‘memorable’ bars)

4d    Most lofty exam everybody entered (7)
TALLEST Everybody ‘entered’ into an exam

5d    Patna developed uplifting, inclusive Hindu school (7)
VEDANTA Hidden in reverse (uplifting …. Inclusive) in the first two words of the clue

6d    Pick up £1 newspaper (4)
LIFT The abbreviation for Pounds Sterling, the letter representing one and the [abbreviated] ‘pink’ newspaper

7d    An opening for Gunners supporters, outwardly shy — though not at first! (9)
EMBRASURE An opening in a wall for cannon to fire through – a synonym for shy without its first letter goes outside crosswordland’s usual “supporters”

8d    Financier adjusting a benchmark rent (8,6)
MERCHANT BANKER An anagram (adjusting) of A BENCHMARK RENT

14d    Sultanate supports taxes on whiskey (she’d call it whisky) (10)
SCOTSWOMAN A sultanate ‘supports’ some historic taxes and the letter represented by Whiskey in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

16d    Heads discuss Jack’s extraordinary growth (9)
BEANSTALK Some informal heads and a verb meaning to discuss

19d    Daughter left in clutches of beastly individual, a fraud (7)
SWINDLE The abbreviations for Daughter and Left inserted into (in clutches of) a beastly individual

20d    Post Office sent over very large amount resident of Australia carried in pouch (7)
OPOSSUM A reversal (sent over) of the abbreviation for Post Office, an abbreviation meaning very large and an amount

24d    Take it easy, since confined to bed (5)
COAST A conjunction meaning since ‘confined’ to a bed

25d    Vendetta draining resistance from psychoanalyst (4)
FEUD The symbol for electrical resistance ‘drained’ from the name of a psychoanalyst


24 comments on “Toughie 3162

  1. A most enjoyable Wednesday Toughie challenge from Hudson but I made unnecessarily heavy weather of 17a/7d and 1d. For 1d, I (correctly) assumed that it was nothing to do with the American actor but it took quite a while for the PDM on which Hudson it actually was! So – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 20a, and 26a – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks to (the other) Hudson and to CS.

  2. Yet another delightful not too tough Toughie to continue the week with 20a my favourite, although most of the other clues came into contention.

    I failed to parse 27a and now I’ve seen CS’s explanation, it gets a hmm from me for the use of an unindicated archaic word.

    I was also flummoxed by 17a, which I’ve never heard of, and which is clued using a non-existent abbreviation for China (except, as far as I can see, in America according to Collins!). The closest I got was ANCHUMA, using “chum” for China. Fortunately Mrs RD, my resident horticultural expert, came to my rescue when I said I needed the name of a plant which fitted A-C-U-A.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to CS.

      1. D’oh. I looked it up using my Chambers app and it’s not listed under CH, but on rechecking I see it’s there under Ch. !!

        At least if one uses the BRB itself rather than the app, you can see all five variants (CH / ch / Ch. / ch. / c.h.) one after the other on the same page whereas with the app there are three entirely separate pages for the five entries.

    1. Know about as much about plants/flowers as Daisy does about cricket. It was my last in & also thought anchuma initially. Interestingly it’s not listed under either flowers or plants in Bradford’s 5th Edition so what chance have we got….

      1. I thought the wordplay was particularly helpful – and the plant is both in the BRB and all over our garden! About forty years ago, someone said have some of this, its very nice, without telling us that once you’ve got it, it spreads everywhere and you can never get rid of it or its very deep roots :(

      2. The plant obviously had a late surge in popularity because it made it into Bradford’s 7th edition.

    2. RD, 27a. I was just wondering, why would it be beneficial or make any difference if that archaic word was indicated as such in the clue?

  3. A tremendously enjoyable mid-week challenge, and I was not in the least surprised to see that it’s from Hudson, who can be relied on for a witty, fun and amusing puzzle. Super clueing throughout with a few that went in sans parsing – that meaning of Savoy was new to me, likewise the archaic “shut in” and the scientific name for the bugloss (who gave us Viper’s Bugloss the other day?), but all were fairly indicated and went in without trouble. But wot larks! Unusually for me I’m nominating an anagram to my podium, in 1d, joined by the amusing if painful-sounding 26a, and 16d.

    Many thanks indeed to Hudson, and also to Sue

  4. Very enjoyable – thanks to Hudson and CS.
    Like RD I’d never heard of the 17a plant though the checkers and wordplay made it pretty clear. Like CS I was held up by 27a where I tried to justify the 1,000 being M before the penny dropped.
    I have lots of ticks including 20a, 26a, 3d and 16d with my favourite being 1d.

  5. Predictably found it a deal tougher than our reviewer did. Can’t really claim an unaided finish as 7d&17a the hold outs at the end. Couldn’t for the life of me think dredge up the beheaded shy synonym to stick round the lingerie & succumbed to impatience & consulted the thesaurus – hadn’t heard of the word anyway. The plant then took 2 stabs. 5d&23a unfamiliar & required confirmation & still can’t parse 27a – what’s the archaic verb? As ever with a Hudson puzzle very entertaining. 3d my clear fav with ticks for 9&20a + 14&16d.
    Thanks to Hudson & to CS – your illustration at 9a prompted me grab my copy of FFTMC & read the final couple of paragraphs of the chapter where George’s son drives Gabriel’s flock over the cliff top & gets shot in consequence – ‘another instance of the untoward fate which so often attend dogs and other philosophers who follow out a train of reasoning to its logical conclusion, and attempt perfectly consistent conduct in a world made up so largely of compromise’

  6. Add me to the list of people who hadn’t heard of 17a and 7d. I found this harder than most but don’t I always. Satisfying to complete. Favourite was 1d, I was looking for an explorer initially. Thanks to Hudson and CS.

  7. I did need to check on the plant name and the Hindu school and was grateful when a couple of checkers appeared to give me a nudge about 1a but there was some great humour to be found in this one – gullible editors spring to mind!
    Podium places awarded to 20a plus 14,19&24d – 19d having a special resonance here………

    Thanks to Hudson for the enjoyment and to CS for the review.

  8. We also needed to check the plant.
    The four long perimeter answers went in without too much fight and this gave a very helpful framework for the rest of the clues. A real pleasure to solve for us.
    Thanks Hudson and CS.

  9. Always a pleasure to tackle a puzzle by this setter wherever he appears, perhaps particularly so here. On wavelength from the off with this so would concur with our bloggers rating.
    Lots of amusing clues as per, I’ll pick out 20&26a plus 1,16&20d.
    Many thanks to Hudson and Sue for the top-notch entertainment.

  10. A bit late, Toughies are becoming more doable but they take a while. Could someone explain the “10s” in 2d please. I got the answer but not sure why

    Many thanks

  11. 1*/5* …
    liked 21A “Girl about to be expelled from school group (4)”
    amongst so many clever & amusing clues.

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