Toughie 2933 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2933

Toughie No 2933 by Dada

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Hello everyone from South Devon.

It’s always nice to see Dada’s name atop a puzzle. I don’t know whether being tired affected my solve but I found this a tad tricky but as ever with this setter a lot of fun. Insertions seemed to be the order of the day!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.



1a Present president, bovine (8)
HEREFORD: A synonym of present plus a forgettable 1970’s American President, the only one never to have been elected to that office or the office of Vice President

5a  Partial attempt to acquire answer, only odd letters checked (6)
BIASED: Place a synonym of attempt or try around (to acquire) the odd letters of AnSwEr.

9a Around Beds town, image of igneous rock (8)
PLUTONIC: An informal synonym of an image or photo goes around the largest town in Bedfordshire

10a Solver filling spaces with misspellings, originally (6)
HOLMES: Dada is not thinking of you and I here. Insert the initial letter of Misspellings into some spaces or voids to give a fictional sleuth or “solver”. Great clue.

12a Working with series that’s in production (6)
ONLINE: An adverb meaning working and a synonym of series in the sense of a row.

13a For example, one deep colour (8)
CARDINAL: Double definition, one a number, one a colour. The punctuation within the clue is there to mislead.

15a Retrieve number from Fab Four (3,4)
GET BACK: This synonym of retrieve is also a well known song from the original and authentic “Fab four” (not to be confused with the “royal imposters” sometimes described as such)

16a  PM in hole, did you say? (4)
PITT: A homophone (did you say) of a synonym of hole or mine.

20a Green leaf I angled back, somewhat (4)
NAIF: Hidden and reversed (back somewhat) in the clue.

21a Dish is found in cave, unopened (7)
RISOTTO: Insert IS from the clue into a type of cave which has had its first letter removed

25a Hot food, cooler serving? (8)
PORRIDGE: The cooler here refers to a prison and the serving is the time spent within it. A real smiler.

26a House brightly painted? (6)
ORANGE: A mildly cryptic definition of a European Royal House.

28a Squeeze, see, in a big way (6)
HUGELY: A synonym of squeeze or embrace plus one of our usual “see cities” or diocese.

29a Work on hands I covered primarily in muck (8)
MANICURE: Insert I from the clue and the initial letter of Covered into some equine muck.

30a Strong tissue — significant amount bandaging foot (6)
TENDON: Place a heavy weight (significant amount) around (bandaging) a synonym of foot in a positional sense.

31a Piece in newspaper featuring workers on newspaper (8)
FRAGMENT: Another insertion, this time a derogatory word for a low-class newspaper and some workers go inside the abbreviation for another newspaper, it’s pink in its dead tree form.


1d Powerfully rhythmic music in dance (3-3)
HIP HOP: A synonym of in in the sense of popular or fashionable and a three-letter synonym of dance. The solution itself is also a style of dance so interpret it as you will.

2d Russian ready to skim surface of deep water (6)
ROUBLE:. Ready here is not an adjective but a noun that seems to have come up a lot lately. It’s obtained by removing the initial letter (skim surface) of a synonym of deep water in the sense of bother.

3d Swimmer hit a bad patch (8)
FLOUNDER: Two meanings, one a noun, the other a verb.

4d Wreck: one consumed by bomb (4)
RUIN: Place the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one inside a synonym of bomb in the sense of go fast or hurry.

6d Operatic figure seen in Verdi’s old Ernani (6)
ISOLDE: Thank goodness this was a lurker (seen in)

7d Concerned with meaning of piece in quotes, written up (8)
SEMANTIC: Another insertion, this time a (chess) piece in a reversal (written up) of a synonym of quotes as a verb.

8d Miss held up by partner, abandoned (8)
DESOLATE: A reversal (held up) of a synonym of miss goes inside a romantic partner.

11d Mammal possibly needing a lift up to catch wings of cuckoo (7)
RACOON: Insert the tips of CuckoO into the reversal (2-3) of a term which could mean needing a lift. This did make me laugh. Incidentally if we precede the solution with “Rocky” we have another (not very good) song by the Fab Four.

14d Cut, a bit of a fiddle (7)
ABRIDGE: A from the clue and a component part of a fiddle or violin.

17d Picture game in pieces (8)
SNAPSHOT: A card game is followed by a synonym of “in pieces” or destroyed.

18d Gas ring on with heat evenly spread (8)
NITROGEN: Anagram (spread) of RING ON plus the even letters of hEaT.

19d Number one fish for bird (8)
STARLING: A word that could mean number one or top of the bill plus one of crosswordland’s most popular fish.

22d Suffering in boy unfortunately very much like it? (5-1)
BILLY-O Place a synonym of suffering in an anagram (unfortunately) of BOY to give a kind of extended definition, the boy being the first part of the solution.

23d Fill pack currently occupied with minimum of food (6)
INFUSE: Insert (pack) the letter F (minimum of food) into a two-word term meaning occupied.

24d Two or three points, most original (6)
NEWEST: If we split the solution 2-4 we have two points (of a compass), split it 1-1-4 we have three points

27d Batting disaster cut in broadcast? (4)
PAIR: A nice easy homophone (in broadcast) of a synonym of cut giving a cricket term no batsman would like to acquire.

My winners were 10&25a plus 11d. Which were yours?



21 comments on “Toughie 2933

  1. The batting disaster eluded me , not knowing much about cricket.
    A proper toughie .
    Thanks to Dada and StephenL.

  2. Great fun – many thanks to Dada and StephenL.
    It was a photo-finish with lots of strong contenders but the winners standing on my podium today are 10a, 25a and 11d.

  3. After being confused by who set today’s back pager in an ‘Anthony Plumb’ grid, I find it even more confusing that I have no significant problems with solving, decrypting, and hinting a Dada Sunday Prize Puzzle, 203 and counting, but when it comes to a Dada Tuesday Toughie I have all sorts of problems. But I got there in the end, OK I did need some e-help.

    Favourite – 15a with an Honourable Mention for the 27d homophone.

    Thanks to Dada and StephenL.

    1. I found it significantly more difficult than his Sunday back-pagers too if that’s any consolation Senf.

  4. I thought this was slightly trickier than usual for a Tuesday Toughie but very accessible and thought-provoking with some inventive and clever clueing. I particularly liked the popular 10 and 25a.

    Thanks to Dada for the entertaining challenge and to SL.

  5. Well, I found this a great deal trickier than I’d expected, both for a Tuesday Toughie and a Dada crossword, especially on the right-hand side, and the NE corner in particular – 25a was my favourite too

    Thanks to Dada and Stephen

  6. A bit of e-help here too (the igneous rock, the cricket term) got me to a very happy and thoroughly enjoyable finish. Glad to see my favourite Wagnerian soprano making the rounds these days in a really neat lurker, and I agree with those who have chosen 10a & 11d their favourites and add 26 & 28a (in a draw) to a crowded podium. Thanks to SL for his review and to Dada for the great pleasure.

  7. Only managed the north east corner and one or two more before 3d-ing completely and resorting to these welcome hints. However, I did love 11d. Stephen, your hint to 18d needs a slight adjustment. Thankyous to blogger and setter

      1. It’s a miracle what you hinters do on a daily basis and all before the deadline, I would be so stressed!

  8. Tricky Tuesday for me, particularly where a few on the right were concerned. My top three were bunched together – 21,25 &29a – but there were several other clues of note.

    Thanks to Dada and to Stephen for the illustrated review – you’d be lucky indeed to find that 19d perched on your garden fence!

  9. Phew! A right proper Toughie, held up for ages in the SE. I do find these 5-in-1 grids frustrating (as is doubtless intended) with so little assistance given by each distinct puzzle to the next. Still trying to equate 24d (one of my earliest answers, but the LOI) with “most original”, and I just don’t see it.

    Cracking puzzle, though, with many great clues. Tried to make “Donald Trump” work with “president, bovine”, but it just wouldn’t fit. Ah well, maybe next time.

    Many thanks to Dada for the super puzzle and to SL for the review (& Coolio!)

  10. A lot to like about this one which I found slightly more accessible than normal for a Dada Toughie. Favourite clues were 1a, 27d and, as others have noted, 11d. Many thanks to Dada and to Stephen for the blog.

  11. Very difficult but very enjoyable with 8d the last to be parsed, simple once the penny dropped. Equally difficult to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 10a. Thanks to Dada and SL.

  12. The western half rattled in no problems, but then a grinding halt on the east. Once 7d and 8d fell, the rest followed slowly.
    In 23d, I’m happy with the solution meaning original, less time for it to be adulterated.
    Thanks Dada and SL

  13. Well I’m very surprised. Solved earlier this morning & couldn’t see this week’s Toughie setters listed on the blog so assumed it must be one of Chalicea’s as I waltzed through this one in brisk time & enjoyed it immensely. Top clues for me – 9,10,21,25&29a & probably best of all 11d (irritatingly my only parsing blip)27d my last in & the expletives were on the tip of my tongue but the penny fortunately dropped.
    Thanks to D& the other S.

  14. The geography knowledge needed for 9a was a bit of a challenge from this side of the world but having the checkers in made it possible. Last in, and it took quite a lot of head-scratching, was 27d. Lots to enjoy and good fun to solve.
    Thanks Dada and SL.

  15. Awful grid. 4 puzzles with 1 link each to a blob in the middle. Not the setter’s fault I guess. I found 3 corners and the middle straightforward but the SE much more taxing. Favourites – 18d, an excellent anagram clue, and 29a.
    Thanks to Dada and SL

  16. I skipped around the grid earlier today and had about 6 solved after about 15 mins or so and decided to leave it. Came back to it late afternoon and managed to get it solved, but it took me a while. I’d definitely say this was a Toughie and certainly a sterner test than his Sunday offerings of late – reminded me of his first few Sunday blighters when he took over from Virgilius.

    Excellent puzzle with thanks to SL and Dada.

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