Toughie 3192 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3192

Toughie No 3192 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A no-frills blog today. I haven’t slept all night (no, no that). Great puzzle

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1 Wretched kid’s not in class (4)

SECT: A 6-letter word for a wretched kid without (not) ‘IN’

3 With its repetition laughter should come easy – then silence (7,3)

RUNNING GAG: A word that can mean easy, or to go around freely, then a word meaning to silence

9 Article lodged within and bust zip (4)

NADA: An article goes inside (lodged within) an anagram (bust) of AND

10 Energised with self-confidence, takes rather too much linen (5,5)

WHITE GOODS: An anagram (energised) of WITH, a 3-letter word for self-confidence, and an abbreviation for ‘takes rather too much’ (of a drug)

11 Twisting I could do with double (7)

WRINGER: The abbreviation for with and another word for double

13 Train one boards at any time for return journey (7)

RETINUE: A reversal (for return journey) of a 4-letter word meaning one inside (boards) a poetic version of a word that means ‘at any time’ or ever

14 Pretend one hasn’t heard about United rosette fan crumpled (4,1,4,2)

COCK A DEAF UN: A 7-letter word for rosette and an anagram (crumpled) of FAN go about the abbreviation for United

18 Who’d invest a little passion in robot’s origin? (11)

ARBITRAGEUR: A from the clue, then a word for little and a word for passion go inside R.U.R., a 1920 science fiction play that introduced the word robot into the English language

21 Pirate Radio’s rugby song? (7)

CORSAIR: A homophone (radio’s) of a (6,3) phrase meaning vulgar song

22 Gracious medic leaves gadget outside small west-facing hospital (3,4)

GEE WHIZ: Remove an abbreviation for a medic from the end of a 5-letteer gadget, and place outside a reversal of a word meaning small plus the abbreviation for hospital

23 Doing nothing now cuts likely? Not entirely (2,2,1,5)

UP TO A POINT: A (2,2) phrase meaning doing, then the letter that looks like zero plus a word meaning now or trendy go inside a 3-letter word that can mean likely

24 A warning sign at entrance to hen party? (4)

OMEN: Split (1,3), the could be a sign outside a hen party

25 Western woman gets together with cracking boatbuilder (10)

SHENANDOAH: A 3-letter word for woman, plus a word meaning with inside (cracking) a biblical boatbuilder

26 Someone hoping to catch opponent  cutting (4)

SLIP: Two meanings, the first a cricket fielder


1 Where one may enjoy world-class golf  club? (8)

SANDWICH: Two meanings, the first a place name in Kent

2 A portion from the chippy bag (8)

CODPIECE: Split (3,5), we see something we can get at the chippy

4 Escort compilers, Elgar primarily, out of this establishment (5)

USHER: A pronoun for compilers (from Elgar’s perspective), then remove the first letter of Elgar from the end of a word that could mean ‘this establishment’

5 Difficulty for supply that employee will be clearing up (3,6)

NET PROFIT: A word for difficulty, a word for ‘for’, and a word for supply or agile

6 Awarding Sir Alex naked nurse (11)

NIGHTINGALE: A phrase meaning ‘awarding sir’ + ALEX without the first and last letters (naked)

7 Greatly reduced  playing area (6)

GROUND: Two meanings, the first as in reduced to a powder

8 Two turns, but one left out the truth (6)

GOSPEL: Two different kinds of turn (2,5), and remove one L(eft) from the second one

12 Mexican city girl not half upset after borders open (11)

GUADALAJARA: The reversal (upset) of the first half of female offspring, then a French expression for after or ‘in the way of’ covers (borders) a word meaning slightly open

15 War reporter covering transportation for heroes hit with ban (9)

EMBARGOED: A 5-letter reporter assigned to a military unit goes around a legendary boat for heroes

16 Got large, snacking on hot sauce (8)

BECHAMEL: A (6,1) translation of ‘got large’ (where the 1 is an abbreviation) containing (snacking on) the abbreviation for hot

17 Double bill of animations set in Siberia? (6,2)

FROZEN UP: Two full-length animation films (6,2), and set can mean ‘turned solid’

19 Trashes  what people assume about theatre (6)

SCRUBS: Two meanings, the second surgical wear

20 Decline to promote the denouement of Oliver Twist (6)

WRITHE: A 6-letter word meaning decline in which the last letter of Oliver is promoted higher up

22 LeMond’s going to worry about cycles (5)

GONNA: A 3-letter word for worry or hassle, and a word that can mean about, then cycle first two letters to the end. An Americanism

Lots to like. I’ll let you pick the favourites today. Enjoy!

13 comments on “Toughie 3192
Leave your own comment 

  1. A proper, beautifully clued Toughie that was a real delight to solve. The Mexican city and the cracking boatbuilder were my favourite clues.

    Thanks Elgar for the challenge and to Dutch for filling in a couple of parsings for me.

  2. I’m afraid I found this a real struggle. Of course it’s brilliant as usual, but after what I think of as 3* time, I had precisely two answers filled in, 1a and 24a. I would never have got anywhere without a good deal of electronic help, so I must formally record this as a DNF. Hey ho. Merry Christmas to all, and I hope Dutch gets a better night’s sleep tonight. Have you tried gin?

  3. Bunged in “sick” [wretched] for 1a then couldn’t parse it – couldn’t parse 5d and think the definition’s a stretch – and who the …. is LeMond and why is he/she/it necessary? Otherwise fine, a medium Elgar. Loved “takes rather too much” in 10a, “RUR” in 18a and the 2nd great homophone of the week plus a lol moment, at 21a.
    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch [hope you don’t have the dreaded 100 day cough].

    1. Greg LeMond, American cyclist, won 3 Tours de France in the 80s.

      Didn’t help me, I managed 2 and a half in this puzzle.

  4. Took me all the way from Burwash to Bray to solve this beauty, with a few electrons required along the way. I spent a long time staring at a grid with just a single entry. Super fun and just right for the M25.

    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  5. I have called my kids and other’s many things, but insects? Don’t understand that one – hmmmm. now back to the puzzle.

    1. No, not for me. Elgar and I must be intelectually poles apart – have no idea what a running gag might be, so after two hours bending my mind I’m chucking it in – fair play to those of you who can understand it all, but that’s just my Sec Mod education for you, lol, lol.

  6. Good evening

    Stared, perused, concentrated, cogitated, thought some more, then after 3 hours, on and off, hoyed the sponge in. Total number of clues solved = 0. Way above my pay grade!

    One day….

  7. Needed Dutch’s help to finish.
    And only had to reveal 14a.
    Got 19a and 25a from the parsing and had to be checked.
    Bunged in the Mexican city though.
    Well, now you know everything.
    Great challenge as usual.
    Thanks to the master and again to Dutch for the help and review.

  8. That was difficult… I spent a long time over several sessions and finally got there with a couple of bits of electronic help to unlock areas where I was totally stuck. Hints were very much needed for parsings of several clues.

    It’d be nice to have a themed Elgar again ?


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