Toughie 3210 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3210

Toughie No 3210 by Serpent

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A lovely midweek Toughie from Serpent with, as usual for one of this setter’s crosswords, something hidden in the grid start with the second letter of 7d and precede in a clockwise direction to reveal INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISE However, the repetition radar did give a little whimper at the use of ‘about’ three times to indicate an insertion

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Bank guards left government agents without cover we hear (10)
REPORTEDLY Bank or depend on ‘guards’ the left side of a ship or plane and some abbreviated American government agents without the outside letters (without cover)

6a    Attempt to deploy cutting-edge technology? (4)
STAB An informal attempt or a way to deploy something with a cutting edge

9a    Career pressure stops one tipped for success (5)
SPEED The abbreviation for Pressure ‘stops’ or goes inside someone tipped for success (at Wimbledon, for example)

10a    Aware Zoning Act needs to be reformed (9)
COGNIZANT An anagram (needs to be reformed) of ZONING ACT

12a    Fight that is something members of flock wouldn’t want (7)
SCRAPIE An informal fight and the abbreviation meaning that is combine to give a nasty disease of sheep (something members of flock wouldn’t want)

13a    Good boy beginning to exploit opening in growth area (5)
GLADE The abbreviation for good, a boy and the ‘beginning’ to Exploit

15a    Block article about Republican Party in South Africa (7)
TRANCHE A definite article goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for Republican and an abbreviated South African political party

17a    Military ruler charged with misconduct ultimately involving coercion (7)
SHOTGUN An historic Japanese military ruler ‘charged with’ the ultimate letter of misconduct

19a    Forget name chosen to take on head of government (7)
NEGLECT The abbreviation for Name and an adjective meaning chosen into which is inserted (to take on) the ‘head’ of Government

21a    Acknowledge offers regularly accepted by right-wing politicians (7)
CONFESS The regular letters of oFfErS ‘accepted’ by the abbreviation for right-wing politicians (plural)

22a    Remove clothes and belt (5)
STRIP A verb meaning to remove clothes or a long narrow piece (belt)

24a    Embarrassment of short bloke half smiling (7)
CHAGRIN Almost all (short) of an informal  man (bloke) and the first half of a synonym for smiling

27a    Original stimulus requiring chapter and verse change (9)
INVENTIVE Change the abbreviation for Chapter in a stimulus to the abbreviation for Verse

28a    Son showing unwillingness and reluctance to do anything? (5)
SLOTH The abbreviation for Son and an adjective meaning reluctant (showing unwillingness)

29a    What may accompany statement of false witness? (4)
LYRE A musical instrument (what may accompany) is a homophone (statement) of a false witness

30a    Turn puce with anger about children’s latest “allergy” (10)
REPUGNANCE An anagram (turn) of PUCE with ANGER goes ‘about’ the last letter of childreN – apparently the solution is an informal synonym for allergy


1d    Game of chance (4)
RISK A strategy board game presumably given its name from the chance of loss or injury

2d    Ratings used to recruit team of journalists? (5,4)
PRESS GANG A body of sailors used to recruit men into the navy could also be a description of team of journalists

3d    Person mounted clear case for employer (5)
RIDER A verb meaning to clear and the ‘case’ for EmployeR

4d    Contents of deep space alarmed person involved in flight (7)
ESCAPEE An anagram (alarmed) of the ‘contents’ of dEEp and SPACE

5d    Incapable of standing? (7)
LEGLESS An informal reference to people having had too much to drink comes, literally, from the lack of limbs which enable one to stand

7d    Dementia rapidly shows what may go over one’s head (5)
TIARA Hidden in the first two words of the clue

8d    Resentment of female living in the Fens? (10)
BITTERNESS Add the suffix denoting the female of the species to a marsh bird of the heron family with a booming call

11d    Popular vocal complaint developing towards body? (7)
INGROWN The usual two-letter popular and a homophone (vocal) of a complaint

14d    Stoppage nevertheless supports strongly held view (10)
STANDSTILL An adverb meaning nevertheless supports or goes under in a Down solution, a strongly held view

16d    Lower reputation of each flawed writer (7)
CHEAPEN An anagram (flawed) of EACH followed by a writing instrument

18d    Place for putting warning system in car for learner? (9)
GREENHORN A place for putting golf balls and a warning system in a car

20d    Reporter’s quickly fixed passage relating to particular sense (7)
TACTILE Homophones (reporter’s) of a verb meaning quickly fixed and a passage – relating to the sense of touch

21d    Large pile of gold church had to begin with (7)
CHATEAU An abbreviation for Church and a verb meaning had (food) go before (to begin with) the chemical symbol for gold

23d    Test for one type of liquidity regulated by banks? (5)
RIVER The Test is an example (for one) of a place (type) where “liquidity is regulated by banks”

25d    Controls drops in sticky substance (5)
RESIN Take a synonym for controls and drop the IN to the end of the word

26d    Novel about love in Oxford? (4)
SHOE Rider Haggard’s famous novel goes ‘about’ the letter representing love

19 comments on “Toughie 3210
Leave your own comment 

  1. Straightforward although would never have seen the Nina. I liked 29a which was my last entry.

    Thanks to CS ans Serpent.

  2. Perhaps I’ve finally cracked Serpent’s wavelength as this flew in very happily. I have grown to really like his style. Very smart with lateral thinking required – but you’d expect that from a maths professor, I guess. I thought 8d was slightly naughty and I did waste time trying (pointlessly as it turned out) trying to parse 6a but I loved 24a, 27a and 18d. 23d was pleasingly Serpentine too. Like Jonners, I failed to spot the Nina and I did look! Many thanks to Serpent and Sue.

      1. Hidden messages in the grid – usually in the unchecked boxes, vertically, horizontally or even rotationally – which are invariably way too hidden for me! Very clever. Serpent’s known for this and I ALWAYS miss it.

        1. ah, thank you for that, and with Crypticsue’s hint above I have now reviewed the solution and see how it is done.
          that said I too would never have spotted this, but more significantly I can’t begin to comprehend how much more difficult it must be to create the crossword with such additional complexity – massive respect to Serpent, I am in awe…

  3. This took me a little while to solve rather reinforcing my tenderfoot status at these toughies. It seems to me that I may be letting myself get psyched out by the title toughie as I am sure I would solve some of these exact same clues somewhat more effortlessly if they were in the back pager…
    Still I got there with a little perseverance and I did a enjoy fair few on the way.
    Notably the cutting edge technology made me smile and I was properly misdirected in 18D. 4 and 14d I also enjoyed, but as an angler I have to vote the clever 23d as my favourite.
    Thanks to CS without whom I was not able to parse 8d (I got the bird but not the female and now feel rather foolish), and of course to Serpent for conjuring up the guzzle.

  4. Is Serpent in danger of overdoing the quirkiness? No fewer than 9 clues here have ? at the end and OK, I know it’s subjective, but a couple of these just don’t work for me. I find “technology” in 6a forced and as for 5d… But some of em show the old flair [8 and especially 23d]. He can do “normal ” well too – 27a for example. Overall it was good fun.
    Thanks to Serpent and CS.

  5. A very enjoyable Serpent puzzle. Thanks to CS for explaining the female in the Fens … I also failed the test in parsing 23d.

    ps. Has anyone here present ever read the Rider Haggard novel? Almost as popular as Ibsen in crosswordland.

    1. hmm, yes I did read it but that must have been some 50 years ago and I now have very little recollection of its content…

  6. Haven’t commented for ages, but did enjoy this.
    All very fairly clued and rewarding to complete.
    8down female bird required parsing assistance.
    Missed the Nina as usual.
    18d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Serpent and CS.
    (I’ve noticed in the past sometimes there are very few comments, but I’m sure there are many people out there like me who greatly appreciate this site and it’s contributors.)

  7. I’m annoyed with myself for putting a couple of wrong answers in the South West so I failed today. An excellent Wednesday Toughie with lots to like. Ticks for 18 21 and 25D with the very clever 23D taking the podium.
    Thanks to CS for the explanations and Serpent for the enjoyment.

  8. A very entertaining midweek Toughie – thanks to Serpent and CS.
    I forgot to look for the customary Serpentine Nina so thanks to CS for the hint.
    I’ve selected 8d, 18d and 23d for my podium.

  9. A challenging puzzle for me. Fairly new to Toughies and hadn’t heard of a Nina before. Very inventive.
    Favourites were 8d, 18d and 29a.
    Thanks to setter and CrypticSue.

  10. Many thanks to crypticsue for the excellent blog. Apologies for causing your repetition radar to give a little whimper (lovely turn of phrase!) – I certainly should have avoided that. And thanks to everyone who has taken the time to comment.

  11. We struggled in two opposite corners. One was the parsing of 8d and we had forgotten that the first word of 23d could be a ‘flower’. Both clever clues once we were enlightened.
    Enjoyed the challenge.
    Thanks Serpent and CS.

  12. Lovely puzzle. I made a horlicks of the SW & wonder if my 2 wrong entries were the same as the ones made by PJ. Soon corrected once I’d hit the reveal mistakes facility at the end though I too failed the parsing Test at 23d & at 8d. Forgot to look for the hidden message & doubt I’d have spotted it if I had. Top 3 for me 8,18&23d even if I couldn’t parse 2 of them & one took 2 stabs to get the right answer.
    Thanks to Serpent & to Sue

  13. Flipping heck. Pleased to finish it, with a little electronic help, but now I’ve got to get my head around NINA. Managed to parse them all myself, though.
    Very impressed with 8d.
    Thanks for the hints.

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.