Toughie 3179 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3179

Toughie No 3179 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

There’s a theme in today’s puzzle. All the definitions shown as ‘8’ in the clues are examples of the 8d answer when it’s split 4,4. Clever!

Thanks to Firefly for the entertainment.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you liked about the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a The setter’s exactly right — niece represented excitability! (10)
IMPATIENCE: assemble how the setter would say that he is, an adverb meaning exactly right and an anagram (re-presented) of NIECE.

6a Heads back in daze (4)
STUN: reverse a slang word for heads. This must be the most heavily-used reversal in cryptic crosswords.

10a Ring for 8 (5)
CLINK: double definition, the first a verb to make a ringing sound.

11a Support chap with short sign of approval from Sibyl, perhaps? (9)
PROPHETIC: join together a support used to hold something up, a male pronoun and a written sign of approval without its last letter.

12a Boris perhaps turns attention to John in Edinburgh? (7)
ETONIAN: reverse a synonym of attention or consideration and add a Scottish forename that corresponds to John.

13a Time to perform! Agreed! (5,2)
YOU’RE ON: this could be what a performer waiting in the wings is told.

14a Work very well but disappear in the morning? (2,4,1,5)
GO LIKE A DREAM: something that you may experience at night tends to fade when you wake up.

18a Intern, a type I fancy in 8 (12)
PENITENTIARY: an anagram (fancy) of INTERN A TYPE A.

21a Muck one spread for 8 (7)
DUNGEON: animal muck and an anagram (spread) of ONE.

23a Abundant taxis carrying groups from centre (7)
UBEROUS: taxi cabs named after a worldwide company that’s been going less than 15 years contain the central two letters of ‘groups’. The answer, new to me and rare according to the BRB, derives from the Latin word for an udder and means ‘producing a lot of milk’.

24a No point in adversely maladaptive studio location (5,4)
MAIDA VALE: an anagram (adversely) of MALADAptIVE after removing the abbreviation for point gives the name of BBC sound studios in West London.

25a Clear most of retina that’s split in regulating 8 (5)
GULAG: remove most of the word ‘retina’ in two separate bits from ‘regulating’.

26a 8 gets tips from carpenter about garage extension (4)
CAGE: initial letters.

27a Downfalls this month inside art gallery destroying fine models (10)
RAINSTORMS: the abbreviation for this month in business letters goes between an abbreviated art gallery in London and a synonym of models without the pencil abbreviation for fine.

Down Clues

1d Bound to lose first of clubs, took it bit by bit (6)
INCHED: a verb meaning bound or tightened without the first example of the abbreviation for the card suit clubs.

2d Under leader of party, not one gentleman put up for 8 (6)
PRISON: the first letter of party followed by the reversal of ‘not one gentleman’ (2,3).

3d Scarper from adult wearing strangely moth-eaten kilt (4,2,2,3,3)
TAKE IT ON THE LAM: the film classification meaning adult is contained inside an anagram (strangely) of MOTH-EATEN KILT. Not a phrase I’d ever heard.

4d Spread made with bygone utensils only half Greek (9)
EXPANSION: fuse together a prefix meaning bygone, some kitchen utensils and the first half of an adjective meaning Greek.

5d Rather stifling 8 (5)
CHOKY: double definition.

7d Was on verge of ruin — reckoned to capture Republican base (8)
TOTTERED: a verb meaning reckoned or added up contains the abbreviation for Republican and the letter used for the base in logarithms.

8d English people moving north endlessly, accepting cold in particular style? (8)
NICKNAME: join together an abbreviation for English and a word for all human beings collectively without its last letter. Now reverse that and insert the tap abbreviation for cold.

9d Bear on mountain top is almost up to my neck (8-6)
SHOULDER-HEIGHT: a verb to bear or sustain and a word for mountain top.

15d Sensual, timeless portrait featured in Elle’s opening article (9)
EPICUREAN: insert a synonym of portrait without the physics abbreviation for time between the opening letter of Elle and one of our grammatical articles.

16d Rash half contained by large-scale … (8)
EPIDEMIC: rash here means a large number of occurrences. Insert a prefix meaning half into an adjective meaning large-scale.

17d … continuous management, eliminating resistance, including early dosage for starters? (8)
UNENDING: start with a synonym for management without the abbreviation for electrical resistance and insert separately the starting letters of early and dosage.

19d 8‘s not so hot (6)
COOLER: double definition.

20d “Herb” confiscated by American customs (6)
USAGES: a culinary herb is stuffed inside a 2-letter abbreviation for American.

22d Antelope turns up in Malay neighbourhoods (5)
NYALA: hidden in reverse.

My favourite clue today was 14a. Which one(s) did it for you?


13 comments on “Toughie 3179
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  1. I really struggled to get going on this, but then I got one of the themed clues and the rest of it just fell into place like a Monday back pager. I guess the theme was just too helpful. I had to google 3 down though, a new one on me.

  2. This was most enjoyable and not the toughest Toughie, yet was still engaging and fun to complete. The linked clues certainly speeded up the solving process, and I particularly liked 14a and my favourite, 3d, mainly for the surface read.

    My thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  3. Well, Firefly always has a trick up his sleeve and today was no exception. But it did make for a slightly uneven solve, I thought. Despite some pretty tricky wordplay the undeniably clever theme made it oddly quite easy. Some gimmes too, eg 6a. And surely I can’t be the only one who desperately wanted “train” in 14a? At first glance, the grid looked impenetrable, but no. Twas solid and very doable fun. Thanks to Firefly, and Gazza, of course.

    1. I have to say that I thought back page and toughie had been swapped! Thanks to setters and bloggers on both.
      8d and its recurrent theme was my favourite today – a real p-drop.

  4. Very enjoyable **/**** and the theme undoubtedly helped, even with 3d as I always thought that the expression related to escaping gangsters. Thanks to Firefly and Gazza.

  5. Had to resort to help from Mr G with 23a & 3d and gave thanks that 24a involved an anagram but the glorious 14a and our reviewer’s cartoons made up for it!

    Thanks to Firefly for a very unusual theme and to Gazza for the review and ‘extras’ – really liked the guy with the suspended sentence!

  6. I’m going to buck the trend and say this was really hard and needed the hints for about a third of it, not helped never having heard of 3d or 23a or the location of the BBC studio. Too hard me to find out enjoyable. No real favourite but thanks to Firefly anyway and Gazza for the hints.

  7. Sorting out the cleverness in 8d certainly helped a lot in getting to grips with this one.
    Lots of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Firefly and Gazza.

  8. I thought this considerably harder than yesterday. 14a & 3d went in pretty swiftly followed by the18a anagram which in turn yielded 8d though that one remained a themed bung in. Thereafter it was a case of spotting the themers & working from there. Can’t say it was my favourite puzzle but there was a satisfaction in completing it albeit with the model bit of 27a also unparsed.
    Thanks to Firefly & to Gazza for filling in the 2 parsing blanks.

  9. I’m not often in the habit of attempting Toughies, but I have more time on my hands than I thought this evening…
    I actually completed it, although not without some intense scratching of the head, and a couple of visits to the e-dictionary (3d, anybody?). I figured that 8d was a key answer, but it was actually the last to fall!
    Thank you Firefly and thanks also to Gazza

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