Toughie 3216 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3216

Toughie No 3216 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A satisfying solve. My last ones in were the 18/8 combination.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


7 Intro from this musical group slipped in by Halloween party? (7,7)

WITCHES SABBATH: The first letter (intro) of this, a musical, a Swedish pop group all go inside (slipped in) a 4-letter word meaning by

9 Price offered for horse painting left misery (10)

SPOILSPORT: The abbreviation for a horse racing bet, some painting, and the nautical word for left

12 Direct route from Selby to Gateshead? (3)

AIM: The name of the route from Selby to Gateshead. The road name includes parentheses not in the answer, hence the question mark.

13 Party people still standing (10)

STAGNATION: A male party and a people or race

16 Appeal that was, perhaps, way out (4)

EXIT: Split (2,2), we see some old appeal

17 Large-scale spread? Not always large or small (7)

ACREAGE: An anagram (spread) of LARGE-SCALE without (not) all the abbreviations for large and the abbreviation for small

18 Book group (8), but missing the show, sadly (4,3)

WHO’S WHO: The group (8) evolved into (3,3) but without (missing) THE, plus an anagram (sadly) of SHOW

20 Writer given second reminder (4)

MEMO: The writer of this crossword (from Elgar’s perspective) and a 2-letter word for a second

21 Some charge for every pardon in love (6,4)

AMPERE HOUR: A 3-letter word meaning ‘for every’ and an interjection meaning ‘pardon?’ go inside a 5-letter love

23 Managed   a single   marathon? (3)

RUN: Three definitions, the second being a score of one in cricket

24 Boss fleeced dimwits (4)

UMBO: A 6-letter word for dimwits without the outer letters (fleeced)

25 Top hat in America and China (5,5)

CROWN DERBY: A word for top and the American word for a bowler-type hat

28 Means study in second-class state (5-3-6)

BREAD-AND-BUTTER: A word meaning to study goes inside a (4,1) phrase for second class, then a word meaning to state


1 Sort we compare to round-dodging drunk (3-3,8)

TWO-POT SCREAMER: An anagram (drunk) of SORT WE COMPARE T(o), dodging the final round

2 Prone to intermittent leaks, kept mum in case (4)

ETUI: Even letters (prone to intermittent leaks) in ‘kept mum in’

3 So close, having exchanged tips (4)

THUS: A word meaning to close with the outer letters (tips) exchanged

4 FC Flora’s home wingers missing testimonial, as I am (7)

ESTONIA: TESTIMONIAL from the clue missing the outer letters (wingers) and the contraction of I AM

5 Tar has caught cold on windy moor (4,6)

CAST ANCHOR: An anagram (windy) of TAR HAS C(aught) C(old) ON

6 Superman uniform, shade of blue, being adorned with merch pants! (10)

UBERMENSCH: The abbreviation for uniform, the first letter (shade) of blue, then a 3-letter word for being or existence is covered (adorned) by an anagram (pants) of MERCH

8 He/she might burn out rockers, but not for long (3,4,7)

THE HIGH NUMBERS: An anagram (out) of HE SHE MIGHT BURN. This was the fleeting name of a rock group in 1964 before they gained fame under a different name

10 “Wild cat” her Valentine’s signature? (3)

LYN: How this lady might sign a Valentine’s card gives a 4-letter wild cat

14 Worry about parcels on my order from two parts of Europe (5-5)

GRECO-ROMAN: The reversal (about) of a 3-letter word for worry contains (parcels) a 2-letter word for on, an interjection meaning ‘my!’ and an order or medal

15 Jack’s behind ex-Gold Coast clothing firm’s cutting winter wear (6,4)

AFGHAN COAT: The nautical term for behind is cut by the African country that used to be known as Gold Coast around (clothing) the abbreviation for firm or business

19 Moves data describing aviation fanatic? (7)

UPLOADS: Split (2,5), the answer is descriptive of an aviation fanatic

22 The answer is here in the written word (3)

END: The last letters (as suggested by the answer) of the last 3 words in the clue

26 An absence of American intellect (4)

NOUS: Split (2,2), the answer suggests an absence of American

27 A little sustenance at supper-time? (4)

EATS: Hidden (A little … )

Lots of great clues. I liked 7a, 1d, but my favourites were 18 and 8. Which clues did you like?

11 comments on “Toughie 3216
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  1. At first pass I had several little’uns but nothing longer than 4 letters. Then I twigged the lovely 8/18 combo [it’s an age thing Dutch!] and it all came together. Some Googling needed for 11 and 4 but otherwise straightforward for Elgar. Best clues, for me, were 9a, 15d [last in] and, of course, the oo two.

  2. I’ve been anialated yet again by the master. I only managed 10 clues. By the way Dutch you missed out 11A but thankfully I managed that one.
    I thought 16A and 26D were brilliant.
    Thank you Dutch for your explanations and I bow to Elgar’s genius.

  3. Really struggled to get on Elgar’s wavelength today, so blog very much appreciated, thanks, Dutch. As is often the case with Elgar, the solutions look a lot more obvious with hindsight. Lots of very witty and very crafty wordplay. Great stuff.

    Nho 1d before but it’s an amusing phrase that I shall try to find an excuse to use.

  4. One of those ‘well I got there in the end’ Friday puzzles that had me scratching my head a goodly number of times. In fairness the longish anagrams gave me a strong foothold, then a combination of luck and judgement got me over the line. There were so many clever constructions, but I think the 8/18 combo plus 1d for the surface complete my top three.

    Many thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  5. I thought quite gentle for Elgar – i.e. a monster from anyone else! Solved in 4* time but I failed to parse 6d: I was scrabbling around looking for some very strange four letter words that might mean shade of blue. D’oh! Bravo to Elgar, super fun, and many thanks as ever to Dutch.

  6. Managed this eventually over two sittings. Helped when I twigged the rockers in 18/8 but needed consult Google for the whisky and the Dutch Oracle for some parsings, 6d for instance.

    This was good fun though, particularly liked 13a & 19d, both made me smile.

    Thanks Elgar and Dutch.

  7. Thought this was quite gentle today. 13ac and 19d made me smile too, but no big groaners. Never heard of 1d and had Serbo-Croat in 14d till I couldn’t parse it so had to rub it out and think again.

  8. A typical Friday brain mangler from Elgar, completed with a lot of dictionary assistance, a couple of confirmations from here that I’d got the right answers, and a hint. Satisfied to have finally finished, but not at all sure how I feel about it. A few too many biffs. The puzzle had a few clues that I felt were variously ‘green paint’, obscure in the extreme (8d), dubious or unnecessarily padded.

    5* / 2.5*

    Thank you to Elgar and Dutch

  9. That took the smile off my face. I started it last night in the bath and did about 6, including the lovely sewing case. Then couldn’t sleep and at 2am was in the linen with a cup of hot chocolate and a digestive, managed a few more including the last one across. Lovely. I have just read the hints from Dutch and when I get up I shall have another go. I would never have got superman, I was going through cerulean and sky blues. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter for knocking me down to size!

  10. Found this very hard, and ultimately needed the hints for the last five or six. I also started with a few small words and then got 8/18, then slow going. Quite a few I’d never have got, e,g. the boss.


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