Toughie 3172 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3172

Toughie No 3172 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Nice to see proXimal on a Friday. I enjoyed this puzzle. Some easy entries and some trickier clues

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


8a    Fiend guided by desire about to tuck into ribs and offal dish (8,7)
DEVILLED KIDNEYS: A fiend, a word meaning guided, then a reversal (about) of a desire goes inside (to tuck into) a verb meaning ribs

9a    Cleaner returned around five (3)
VAC: A reversal (returned) of the Latin abbreviation for around and the Roman numeral for five

10a    Stone plaza is rocky you said, piercing bad back (5,6)
LAPIS LAZULI: An anagram (rocky) of PLAZA IS plus a homophone (said) of “you” go inside (piercing) a reversal (back) of a word meaning bad

11a    Sweet  tin (5)
LOLLY: Two meanings, the second slang for money

12a    Clan member goes across British Isle (9)
TRIBESMAN: Some goes or attempts containing the abbreviation for British, then an island in the Irish Sea

15a    Old European state facing large country with power (7)
PRUSSIA: The abbreviation for power and a large country

17a    Drawn close, embracing more than once with wife absent (7)
ENTICED: A word for close or finish contains (embracing) a word meaning ‘more than once’ without the abbreviation for wife

19a    Interrupted silence on telephone with scoff (9)
PIECEMEAL: A homophone (on telephone) of silence or calm, plus some scoff

20a    Turning tail from woman, canine fled (5)
FLOWN: A reversal (turning) of the last letter (tail) in woman and a wild canine animal

21a    Water shortage restricts Dane moving boat (11)
DREADNOUGHT: A 7-letter water shortage contains an anagram (moving) of DANE

24a    Clamour from Titanic not good (3)
HUE: A 4-letter word meaning titanic or enormous without the abbreviation for good

25a    Having covering that’s sequined is temperamental horse’s complaint (6,9)
EQUINE DISTEMPER: Hidden (having covering that’s …)


1d    Bird-rearing adult in charge feeding bird of prey (10)
AVICULTURE: The abbreviation for adult, then the abbreviation for ‘in charge’ goes inside (feeding) a scavenger bird of prey

2d    Character regularly ignored sleepy spa town (6)
ILKLEY: A word meaning character or nature then the odd letters (regularly ignored) of sleepy

3d    Effect of a personal cost (10)
PERPETRATE: A word meaning ‘a’ (as in a head), a word meaning personal or favourite, and a word meaning cost or price

4d    Runners show passion after cycling (4)
SKIS: A 4-letter bit of affection with the last letter cycling to the front

5d    Dieter’s agreed to be in advert — money next (8)
ADJACENT: The German (Dieter’s) word for yes goes in between a 2-letter advert and an American coin

6d    Picked up something to adorn present for boyfriend (4)
BEAU: A homophone of something to adorn a wrapped present

7d    Fool oddly missing king and knight for set (6)
ASSIGN: A 3-letter fool, the even letters (oddly missing) of king, and the chess abbreviation for knight

8d    Advance of French victor overturning European (7)
DEVELOP: The French for ‘of’, the letter with radio code Victor, and the reversal (overturning) of a European national

13d    It’s good lie to confuse theoretician (10)
IDEOLOGIST: An anagram (to confuse) of IT’S GOOD LIE

14d    This writer’s climbing with footwear containing popular tech parts (10)
MICROCHIPS: A reversal (climbing) of “this writer’s” (1’1), then some trendy plastic footwear containing a 3-letter word for popular

16d    Making stable overlooking yard and farm buildings (8)
STEADING: A 9-letter word for ‘making stable’ without (overlooking) the abbreviation for yard

18d    Man in tights nursed a wound (7)
DANSEUR: An anagram (wound) of NURSED A

19d    Went by foot  cushioned with soft material (6)
PADDED: Two meanings

20d    Article dons removed pops (6)
FATHER: The definite article is contained by (dons) a word meaning removed or distant

22d    Finding these winged beasts in bed would make you puzzled (4)
EMUS: Place the answer inside ‘bed’ to get a word meaning ‘puzzled’

23d    Dispute case from Oxford with detective (4)
ODDS: The outer letters (case) of Oxford plus an abbreviation for a detective

I was impressed by the hidden in 25a. My favourite was 22d – big smile – yes, it would indeed! Which clues did you like?

14 comments on “Toughie 3172
Leave your own comment 

  1. Very enjoyable.
    I thought some of the wordplay construction was outstanding (8&10a, extremely difficult to clue) so I doff my cap to our setter, though I can’t make much sense of the surface read of 20d though I can see how it works.
    My votes goes 17&19a plus 5d but top spot goes to the hilarious 22d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Dutch.

  2. I rarely look at the Friday toughie as it is normally too much of a struggle, but this was very approachable.
    My favourite was 22d, and I smiled at the man in tights.
    Many thanks to proximal and to Dutch.
    3*/4* for me.

  3. I will join the so far exclusive group of solvers who picked 22d as their favourite clue from this highly entertaining Toughie. Some really hard clues offset the slightly easier ones so a good balance.

    Thanks proXimal for the challenge and to Dutch.

  4. Apart from the fact that I’m often impressed with some very clever anagrams, I also marvel at the way crossword setters hide an answer within the clue – take 25a for instance, sheer brilliance. Like Jezza, I too rarely look at a Friday Toughie, but seeing that it was proXimal I decided to have a shot. I did need some help from Dutch, but I largely stuck to the task and solved as many unaided as I could.
    Lots of great entertainment and much to enjoy. Top marks from me for 25a, but many other clues were close runners up. Thank yous to proXimal and Dutch.

  5. Puzzle of the week in my book or maybe I’m just pleased to have a Friday Toughie I’ve a realistic prospect of completing unaided. Clever wordplay, another 15 letter lurker & delightful wee ones – what’s not to like. Ticks all over the shop – 8,15,21&25a along with 5,8&22d the standouts for me but pretty well liked ‘em all.
    Thanks to proXimal & to Dutch whose review will hopefully confirm my parsings.

  6. I don’t generally look at the rather intimidating Toughies but thought I’d give today’s a go. I managed to crack about two thirds of it which I was very pleased with.

    I was only asking the other day about long lurkers, and here we are presented with a whopper of a 15-letter lurker in 25A. And with a good surface reading I think it’s a superb clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and blogger. I might have to venture into Toughie-land a little more often now.

  7. It was all going so well until I got my ‘runners’ the wrong way round which made the offal dish somewhat impossible. Rather than backtracking to find the mistake, I assumed it was a weird foreign dish that I hadn’t come across – how stupid is that!
    Top three here were 10&17a along with 22d. First time I came across 10a was in a poem, by Stephen Spender I think, that I read in the school library and I’ve remembered it ever since. Strange how some random memories stay with you.

    Thanks to proXimal for the puzzle and also to Dutch for the review – could you not find a pic of 22d’s in bed?!!

  8. We’ll go along with the 15 letter lurker as our favourite. A really enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  9. Glad to see that proXimal has enticed more folk to attempt the Toughie! I thought today’s was pitched just right with some easier clues to help get some checkers in for the head-scratchers.

    Can’t believe I only spotted the brilliant 25a lurker after solving it. So that gets my vote.

    The picture in 4d hint is usually how I end up when trying to keep up with the kids 😁

    Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  10. Finished about 75% then came to 10a. What! I thought then went for 11a. And that was that, time for the hints. Actually in this two cases the hints didn’t help much so looked up the answer

  11. Slow but steady progress and very satisfying to have completed the puzzle unaided.
    I did not understand the parsing of 22d, so thank you Dutch for explaining it. Very clever.
    I also loved the 15 letter lurker.
    Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.