Toughie 3202 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3202

Toughie No 3202 by Hudson

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Toughie Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

It took me a short while to get going on this crossword (I blame the early start to our day) but I finished in my usual time for a 1* Toughie and as usual with Hudson there was lots to enjoy throughout. Only one question: are six ‘reversals’ a few too many??

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Chilean ready to eat starter of tomato sauce (5)
PESTO Chilean currency (ready) to ‘eat’ the first letter (starter) of Tomato

4a    Sore swelling caused by poor Bill being shackled? (9)
CHILBLAIN An anagram (poor) of BILL put in a shackle

9a    A piece from Grieg or Bach evoking an instrumental figure (9)
GORBACHEV Hidden in a piece of grieG OR BACH EVoking

10a    Invigorating bottled Tango (5)
VITAL The letter represented by Tango in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet inserted into a bottle (bottled)

11a    Reginald and Evangeline briefly reviewed Iron Man, say (7)
AVENGER A reversal (reviewed) of a brief of informal way of referring to Reginald and Evangeline as a couple

12a    Arab finds career in hospital (7)
SARACEN To run fast (career) inserted in a hospital

13a    Large malt with a twist guzzled? Not half! (3,3)
ILL SAY The abbreviation for Large inserted into a type of whisky (malt) with the second and third letters ‘twisted’

15a    Christian designer, American, cut back an instant 26 (8)
POLAROID A reversal (back) of the fashion designer whose forename was Christian, the abbreviation for American and a verb meaning to cut

18a    Exile flying monoplane miles away (8)
NAPOLEON A French emperor known for many things, including being exiled towards the end of his life, is an anagram (flying) of mONOPLANE without the M (miles away)

20a    Initially called time leaving pub which is popular with potholers (6)
CAVERN The initial letter of Called and a pub without the abbreviation for Time

23a    Anticipate European politician popping into sandwich shop (3-4)
PRE-EMPT The abbreviations for European and a politician ‘popping into’ an informal name for a sandwich shop chain

24a    Chat idly about voting system with former PM endlessly (7)
PRATTLE An abbreviated voting system and almost all (endlessly) of a post-war Prime Minister

26a    Snap up hot organic wraps (5)
PHOTO Hidden in (wraps) the 2nd, 3rd and 4th words of the clue

27a    Like a slug chewing the garlic? (9)
LETHARGIC An anagram (chewing) of THE GARLIC

28a    Seated with The Sun perhaps, taking in garden before end of day (9)
SEDENTARY Misleading capitals time, so not the newspaper but something in the sky such as the sun ‘taking in’ a Biblical garden, the ‘end’ of day being added at the end

29a    Total strop Trump’s thrown on a regular basis (3,2)
TOT UP The even letters (thrown on a regular basis) of sTrOp TrUmP


1d    Complex theatre work? I’m only a GP getting trained! (9)
PYGMALION A psychological phenomenon (complex) in which high expectations lead to improved performance in a given area and low expectations lead to worse, or a play (theatre work) by George Bernard Shaw – an anagram (getting trained) of IM ONLY A GP

2d    Sawbones amputating leg that’s swelling (5)
SURGE A medical person informally known as a sawbones without (amputating) the side of a cricket pitch also known as the leg side

3d    Homesickness leaving Poles nagging pain (7)
OTALGIA The nagging pain more commonly known as earache. A synonym for homesickness without (leaving) the abbreviations for the North and South Poles

4d    Companion‘s “Phwoar!” occasionally in bed? (6)
COHORT A companion or follower – the ‘occasional’ letters of pHwOaR inserted into a bed

5d    Angel wearing singlet, gold (8)
INVESTOR A two-word phrase meaning wearing singlet and the heraldic name for gold

6d    Sheepish sound, with one supporting the video ref intervening where Bayern play (7)
BAVARIA The Roman numeral for one ‘supporting’ or going after the video ref in a football match inserted into (intervening) the sound made by a sheep

7d    Vegetable soup of haricot and kale, cored (9)
ARTICHOKE An anagram (soup) of HARICOT and KalE (cored telling you to only use the outside letters)

8d    Material transatlantic route shortened? (5)
NYLON An abbreviated way of describing the route across the Atlantic from an American city to our capital city

14d    Californian cops note my admitted impressive bit of speeding! (3,6)
LAP RECORD The abbreviation for a Californian police force into which is inserted (admitted) a musical note and an informal interjection of surprise

16d    New in: falsely accused, papa must be daft to get fitted up with this (6,3)
DUNCES CAP The abbreviation for new inserted into an anagram (falsely) of ACCUSED followed by the letter represented by Papa in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

17d    Taught here commonly spoken Spanish course (8)
TORTILLA  Good thing I was on my own while muttering the solution and ‘taught here’ until I got the right amount of ‘commonly spoken’ to parse the clue

19d    No ordinary Prime Minister, Johnson familiarly sent up in satire (7)
LAMPOON A reversal (sent up) of NO (from the clue), the abbreviations for Ordinary and Prime Minister and an informal way (familiarly) of referring to a former Labour Minister

21d    A tad upset, chap goes in hard! (7)
ADAMANT A reversal (upset) of A TAD into which is inserted a chap

22d    Spanish snack served up with heartless, haughty indifference (6)
APATHY A reversal (served up) of a Spanish snack followed by ‘heartless’ HaughtY

23d    City boss Yves discharged diary keeper (5)
PEPYS The manager of Manchester City and the outside (discharged) letters of YveS

25d    Like Scrooge when squiffy? (5)
TIGHT Miserly like Scrooge or intoxicated (squiffy)


20 comments on “Toughie 3202
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  1. Well once again I found CrypticSue’s assessment of difficulty well below my own thoughts. No surprises there then!
    That said it was all doable though I had some difficulty parsing a number after I had an answer.
    3D was a new word for me.
    17D, like Sue I had to say it out loud before I could parse it, and then I laughed when I got it – good clue.
    23D I could not parse without the hints, and will take Sue’s word for it rather than researching football managers.
    27A I realised I was in a bad way when I started inventing words like gastropodish and looking for short forms, again it was a pleasure when I finally got back on the right track.
    I did like 9a though felt a bit of fool when I spotted I had misspelt a lurker.
    I also liked 10 & 28A, and 6,7 & 8D, but I am staying with 17D for my favourite.
    Thanks again to CS and to Hudson for a great puzzle.

  2. We are being spoilt today. This is an excellent puzzle producing lots of laughs – thanks to Hudson and CS.
    I think that just a single-letter papa is needed in 16d.
    I highlighted 9a, 10a, 14d, 17d and 23d.

    1. That’s what it said on my piece of paper but it didn’t transfer to the hint. In my defence, it did seem that it had already been quite a long day when I typed the blog

  3. That was fun: reasonably light, possibly, for a Wednesday, and another eminently approachable puzzle that I hope finds the wider audience it deserves. Wasn’t in the least surprisewd to come here and find this to be a Hudson composition. I agree that 6 reversals is a but much, but then again there were also 6 anagrams, and I’d rather have an excess of the former than the latter! Iron Man was a wonderfully constructed clue though my answer was a bung-in, the only media11a that ever interested me being re-runs of the old Patrick Macnee / Diana Rigg TV series. Presumably Iron Man is one of these new film creations from the Marvel / DC Thomson comics character stables? I looked for a much more complex rationale for 23d.

    Highlights on the podium for me were 9a, 17d & 19d.

    Many thanks to Hudson and CS

  4. Much preferred this Toughie to yesterday’s – most enjoyable even though I did have to check on the 3d pain and guess the Marvel character.
    Tops here were 13a plus the 15/26 combo along with 8d.

    Thanks to Hudson and to CS for the review.

  5. An archetypally CS difficulty score, which is always a joy to see! But ‘twas very fair as this was eminently doable as well as being a huge amount of fun. I loved 4a but perhaps a slight shame to see the same device effectively used again so soon in 10a. And the definition in 29a rather gave the game away but, all in all, this was a real treat. A tremendous lurker at 9a, 13a tickled me (though it certainly required checkers) and 3d was superb. Great surfaces throughout, apart from 15a possibly but it was jolly clever. Definitely 4* plus for enjoyment. Many thanks to Hudson, and CS, of course.

  6. Lots of good stuff here but I found it rather more difficult than did CS. Got 1a and 1d but little else in the top half so worked up from the bottom. Special mentions for 10a, 8d and the surprisingly good homophone at 17d.
    Thanks to Hudson and CS.

  7. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t even notice that there were so many reversals. Unlike last week both of Toughies thus far have been no harder than a middling back-pager which suits me just fine. As ever with Hudson puzzles entertaining, well clued throughout & with ✅s aplenty – 9a probably my fav as squeezing Mikhail into a lurker was no mean feat & also particularly liked 13,20&24a plus 4,14&19d. Puzzle of the week thus far for me.
    Thanks to Hudson & Sue – hope Mr CS isn’t feeling too fed up.

  8. I was slow out of the starting blocks but the bottom half down clues came to my rescue after that I progressed smoothly if slowly to the conclusion. 13a was my LOI. I really enjoyed this in the end. Favourite was 14d. Thanks to CS and Hudson.

  9. Another enjoyable doable puzzle this week. Lots of ticks but my 2 favourites were 13A and the lol 17D.
    Thanks to CS and Hudson.

  10. The difficulty was just right for me, and I really enjoyed this.

    13a seemed to me to be straying very close to indirect anagram territory but I suppose it is OK, 3d was a new word for me and I realised that I have never come across the singular of tapas before.

    My top picks from a very fine selection were 9a, 8d & 17d.

    Many thanks to Hudson and CS.

  11. We got 23d easily enough from definition and checkers but, not surprisingly, the wordplay escaped us. A pleasant solve as we can always count on from this setter.
    Thanks Hudson and CS.

  12. A joy to solve – as indeed Hudson’s puzzles always are. I did have to check the hints to parse 23d, despite the answer only being what it was. Thanks Hudson and CS

  13. I actually found this easier in places than the cryptic and finished while still stumped on the other puzzle. Got there in the end though on both.
    Favourite was 17d

  14. Got to like 13a, I have been banging on about those particular malts for a while, I am not sure any of the smoky malts from that island are suitable with a twist but each to his own I suppose. I am going to take mine up to the bath for a soak
    Thanks to CS for the hints amid all the other mayhem I hope George will be sorted soon
    Thanks to Hudson too each day the toughie and back pager are a little tougher but as they should be if we want to improve

  15. Needed help for 13a & 17d. Probably would have got 17d if I hadn’t spelt 18a wrong.
    Took a while though.
    Thanks for the help.

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