Toughie 3250 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3250

Toughie  No 3250 by Hudson

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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

Another most enjoyable Wednesday Toughie from one of my favourite setters.

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1a           Former boss of North Korea gang lands (6)
REAGAN A former US ‘boss’ is hidden in words five and six of the clue

4a           Shelled shellfish crossing a hundred pound barrier (8)
OBSTACLE ‘Shell’ or remove the outside letters of a type of shellfish and put it round (crossing) A (from the clue), the Roman numeral for hundred and the symbol for pound

9a           Field cut outside each day (6)
MEADOW Cut (the grass) goes ‘outside’ abbreviations for each and day

10a         Gather sister regularly dropped the pace when walking laps (8)
ASSEMBLE The regular letters of SiStEr ‘lapped’ or going round a walking pace

12a         Returned neighbour’s instrument (4)
TUBA A reversal (returned) of a synonym for neighbour

13a         Country home to the east of Belgian city (5)
SPAIN The ‘usual’ two-letter home goes after (to the East in an Across solution) of a Belgian city

14a         Wham’s first hip hop cover (4)
WRAP The first letter of Wham and another name for a type of ‘music’ also known as hip hop

17a         Left angry deejay playing Queen (4,4,4)
LADY JANE GREY An anagram (playing) of L (left) ANGRY DEEJAY

20a         Floundering badly, Theresa is tested by the police (12)
BREATHALYSED An anagram (floundering) of BADLY THERESA

23a         Overlook Holmfirth occasionally (4)
OMIT The ‘occasional’ letters of hOlMfIrTh

24a         After date, actress Sophia undressed to make love (5)
ADORE An abbreviation for After Date and the inside (undressed) letters of the surname of the Italian actress Sophia

25a         Ban doctor beginning to operate (4)
VETO An abbreviated doctor and the ‘beginning’ to Operate

28a         Hire vehicles without charge, teacher travelling back first class (3,5)
AIR TAXIS A reversal (travelling back) of a teacher and the two-letter first class go outside (without) a charge

29a         Setter — a social elitist — knocked over potted plant (6)
BONSAI A reversal (knocked over) of how our setter would refer to himself, A (from the clue) and a person who sets too much value on social standing

30a         Drive with sea view my delightful husband put in (8)
CORNICHE An informal interjection of surprise (my) and a synonym of delightful into which is inserted (put in) the abbreviation for Husband

31a         Consuming large beer by hotel block, maybe under the table? (6)
PLINTH A quantity of beer ‘consuming’ the abbreviation or Large, the result followed by the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet


1d           From a distance, right, turn volume up … see? (8)
REMOTELY The abbreviation for Right, a reversal (turn … up) of a large book (volume) and Crosswordland’s favourite diocese (see)

2d           Novel with a title encompassing plot (4,4)
ADAM BEDE A novel by George Eliot – A (from the clue), the title of a lady with the same rank as a knight into which is inserted (encompassing) a [garden] plot

3d           In a state of frenzy, flipping curry runs out! (4)
AMOK A reversal (flipping) of a type of curry without the cricket abbreviation for Runs

5d           Bishop questioning extortionist, a fishy character (7,5)
BASKING SHARK The chess abbreviation for Bishop, a synonym for questioning and an extortionist

6d           Muppet from the south abandoning M1 journey (4)
TREK A reversal (from the south in a Down solution) of one of the Muppets without ‘abandoning’ MI

7d           Exhausted county tennis champ who’s a bit robotic? (6)
CYBORG Only a bit robotic because the rest of him is ‘biological’ – the outside (exhausted) letters of CountY and a tennis champion who was sometimes described as being a bit robotic

8d           Former partner desolate, with yen to run free (6)
EXEMPT A former partner and an adjective meaning desolate without the abbreviation for Yen

11d         Golf tournament on Kent course for which a slice will do the trick? (4,8)
OPEN SANDWICH A golf tournament often held ‘just down the road from me’ at a Kent course can also describe a light meal using only one slice of bread

15d         Around 1st of January, wade across narrow inlet (5)
FJORD A place where water can be crossed by wading goes ‘around’ the first letter of January

16d         Wooded country with rolling dale (5)
WEALD The abbreviation for With and an anagram (rolling) of DALE

18d         Shockingly, Sun hires escorts (6,2)
USHERS IN An anagram (shockingly) of SUN HIRES

19d         Simon had woven carpet (8)
ADMONISH Carpet in the sense of tell off – an anagram (woven) of SIMON HAD

21d         Israeli spies not unhappy upsetting their US colleagues; it’s a complex picture (6)
MOSAIC The Israel spies without a synonym for unhappy and a reversal (upset) of their American ‘colleagues’  My favourite Sicilian example of the solution – I love the  girl in the middle whose expression clearly shows that they were making her wear the hat when she really didn’t want to!

22d         Reflective article in newspaper? (6)
MIRROR A reflective article or, with a capital M, a daily newspaper

26d         Possible home for Asian global investment banks (4)
BALI Hidden in (banks) words five and six of the clue

27d         A way to dismiss British Member of Parliament (4)
BOWL A way to dismiss in cricket – the abbreviation for British and a bird that is a ‘member of parliament’


8 comments on “Toughie 3250
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  1. Absolutely super puzzle from beginning to end, smiles everywhere, a humour and deftness of touch that makes me wish Hudson featured more frequently in the DT.

    Highlights 24a, 31a, 1d, 3d & 7d, but in truth I could have selected another two dozen.

    1.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to CS and Hudson

  2. I echo Mustafa G’s thoughts about this splendid medium-strength Toughie.

    I’ve never heard of 28a but Collins tells me it is an American expression. I haven’t got my BRB to hand to see what they think about it.

    I got held up by writing in “club” as the first word for 11d, although I thought it was a bit of a strange answer in relation to the definition. It turned out to be wrong and the correct answer became my favourite of many ticked clues.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to CS.

  3. What MG said. Took about half the time as T’s back-pagers but wish it had lasted longer.
    Many thanks to Hudson & to Sue.

  4. Yes, a very pleasing puzzle which exercised but didn’t overstretch the old grey cells. Too many to name a podium, but almost all clues were excellent.

    Thanks to Hudson and crypticsue.

  5. Very much enjoyed this one and had ticks galore on my paper. 17a has to take pride of place on the podium simply because I remember as a child being delighted to discover that England once had a Queen Jane, if only for a very short time! My other chart-toppers were 20a along with 1,5&11d.

    Many thanks to Hudson and to CS for the review – really enjoying reading about the bookbinder.

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