Toughie 3207 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3207

Toughie No 3207 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Thanks to Silvanus for a very entertaining Thursday challenge.

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

Across Clues

9a Son splits modest prize money (5)
PURSE: the abbreviation for son is inserted in an adjective meaning modest or chaste.

10a Star performer, that woman overshadowing band on bill (9)
HEADLINER: a female pronoun contains a band or strip after an abbreviated bill.

11a Bet United boss backtracks about places for substitutes? (7)
DUGOUTS: a boss or knob is reversed around a verb to bet (as in ‘** three no trumps’) and the abbreviation for united.

12a Channel dominated essentially by darts (7)
NARROWS: the central letter of dominated and an informal word for a dart player’s equipment.

13a Club runs out of alcoholic spirit (5)
BANDY: remove the cricket abbreviation for runs from an alcoholic spirit to get a club that’s bent at the end.

14a Social class when very young (9)
RECEPTION: double definition, the second the name of the class for youngsters starting infant school.

16a Simple chap isn’t used to travelling round Italy (15)
UNSOPHISTICATED: an anagram (travelling) of CHAP ISN’T USED TO containing the IVR code for Italy.

19a Filled in document to maintain exercise in retirement (9)
DEPUTISED: a legal document contains the reversal of a physical exercise (3-2).

21a Inability to control movement of an articulated vehicle (5)
ATAXY: this sounds like a passenger vehicle.

23a Give new name to flipping large European farm machinery (7)
RELABEL: assemble abbreviations for large and European and a large item of farm machinery then reverse it all.

25a Sanguine about unspecified number wanting old coins (7)
GUINEAS: remove the abbreviation for an unspecified number from SA[n]GUINE and make an anagram (about) of what remains.

27a Coming out of crisis, changing philosophy ultimately to energy (9)
EMERGENCE: start with a crisis or disaster and change the ultimate letter of philosophy to the physics abbreviation for energy.

28a Man, say, behind source of ludicrous yarn (5)
LISLE: what Man is an example of follows the starting letter of ludicrous.

Down Clues

1d King Edward possibly seemed upset to take over? (4)
SPUD: hidden in reverse.

2d Cycling, travel north or finally leave state? (6)
OREGON: join together a verb to travel, the abbreviation for north, OR and the final letter of leave then cycle the letters.

3d Yates pub struggling over time in scenic location (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT: an anagram (struggling) of YATES PUB precedes the abbreviations for over and time.

4d Racehorse English mind Conservative withdrawing from Cesarewitch surprisingly (6)
CHASER: remove five consecutive letters (consisting of abbreviations for English and Conservative bracketing a synonym of mind or brains) from Cesarewitch and make an anagram (surprisingly) of what’s left.

5d Delay ringing new firm to install small panelling (8)
WAINSCOT: a Russian doll clue. A synonym for delay contains abbreviations for new and company around the abbreviation for small.

6d Dropping soft drink causes stain (4)
SLUR: remove the musical abbreviation for soft from a verb to drink noisily.

7d Individual briefly working with leading DUP politician perhaps (8)
UNIONIST: splice together a synonym for individual without its last letter, an adverb meaning working and a short way of writing leading.

8d Contemporary gift given to daughter away on vacation (7-3)
PRESENT-DAY: a gift followed by the abbreviation for daughter and the outer letters of away.

13d House with superior Spring borders (10)
BOUNDARIES: an astrological house with a falsely-capitalised spring above it.

15d One of many taken by tourer around capital? (10)
PICCADILLY: the definition relates to a road in our capital frequented by tourists and sightseeing tours. String together the sort of shot that tourists take on their smartphones, a 2-letter abbreviation for around or approximately and an informal word for something excellent.

17d Vendor, more flexible accommodating one (8)
SUPPLIER: a comparative meaning more flexible contains the Roman numeral for one.

18d Repeatedly half-cut, begins to ogle aunt; that’s rude (8)S
INSOLENT: remove half of the letters from four consecutive words in the clue.

20d Hole on golf course Harry set up (6)
DOGLEG: a verb to harry or stalk followed by the reversal of a verb to set or solidify.

22d Form of discrimination is depressing male after time (6)
AGEISM: IS and the abbreviation for male follow a period of time.

24d Bunny having more than one disease (4)
BUGS: double definition. That’s all folks!

26d Exeter, say, attracting back from Bedford, top-ranked player (4)
SEED: what Exeter is an example of in the Church of England and the final letter of Bedford.

For my podium I’ve picked out 11a, 18d and 24d. Which one(s) did the job for you?

16 comments on “Toughie 3207
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  1. I liked the social class at 14, the articulated vehicle at 21 and the house at 13d but remain to be convinced about 15.
    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  2. Thought Needles was a good shout for 12a which held me up awhile, obvs. Some obscure synonyms made it an enjoyable crossword … but at the top end of what’s achievable as far as i am concerned.

    Thanks Gaza.

  3. That was a bit of a slog, I thought. It didn’t actually take that long, it just felt like it. I must applaud Gazza for doing the hard work and parsing 15d – I’m afraid I just bunged it in, life being too short. Thanks to him and Silvanus, of course.

  4. Another good workout from this fine setter. 11A and 16D were bung-ins because although I knew they were correct, I couldn’t completely parse them. I’m still struggling with the GOU in 11A and the Dilly in 25D.
    My podium goes to 14A.
    Many thanks to Gazza and to Sylvanus.

    1. 11a is STUD (boss) reversed containing GO (bet) and U(nited).
      25d Dilly as an adjective can mean outstanding (possibly a shortened form of delightful says Merriam-Webster).

  5. Found this one from Mr Smooth to be quite a tricky solve, perhaps at the top end of his spectrum? Slowly but surely it all came together with a small blip when my GK knowledge let me down over the 13a club necessitating some checking.
    Rosettes awarded to 14a – wide smile for that one – plus 13&20d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the workout and to Gazza for the review and the illustrations – time for an ad break I think!

  6. :phew: That was quite the toughest Silvanus puzzle I have ever attempted, and very unusually for his compilations I failed to parse one of my answers (15d). That said, it was very enjoyable with clever clueing and super-smooth surfaces throughout.

    13a was a new word for me, and my top picks were 14a, 21a & 24d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza, particularly for the explanation of 15d.

  7. Many thanks to Gazza and to all solvers/commenters.

    Yes, it was about as tough as my puzzles get, but for those who struggled I can promise that not all my future ones will be quite this challenging!

  8. Like others here I failed to parse 15d so I doff my cap to Gazza for putting in the hatd yards on our behalf 👍
    The rest was nicely challenging but went OK for me. I liked the saucy 18d ogler and the cartoon bunny, which probably demonstrates my 16a tastes 😁
    My thanks to Silvanus and Gazza

  9. A very stiff challenge indeed. I had to put it down as 4 in the SW held out. Got 3 of them when I returned but 21a was a hold out until the penny dropped with articulated reading halcyon’s opening comment – not that I was familiar with the word. There’s also a few I can’t parse fully – 11a + 15&18d so will have another look tomorrow. Top 3 for me 4&20d + 21a.
    Thanks to Silvanus for another very enjoyable puzzle & to Gazza whose explanations I’ll almost surely require.

  10. I must admit I put 15D in on the available crossers, but in the end I think I’m okay with it as &lit.

    A fine puzzle: Silvanus is an excellent setter for me.

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