Toughie 3094 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3094

Toughie No 3094 by Silvanus

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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

A very nice Wednesday Toughie with a slight football theme

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Commit foul against defender that brings strong reaction (8)
KICKBACK What you might do to commit a foul against a defender

5a    See good in some oddly lacking self-centredness (6)
EGOISM The even (oddly lacking) letters of sEe GoOd In SoMe

10a    Magpies, twenty nearly, caused Neil to be agitated (9,6)
NEWCASTLE UNITED An anagram (to become agitated) of nearly all of TWENTy CAUSED NEIL

11a    Vacuous actor friend enthrals Universal by means of audition (7)
AURALLY The outside (vacuous or empty) letters of ActoR and a friend ‘enthrals’ or takes in the abbreviation for Universal

12a    Spend extravagantly, flaw exposed before turn to buy drinks round (4,3)
LASH OUT The inside (exposed) letters of fLAw go before an informal turn to buy a round of drinks

13a    Functional period of large iron bridge, one’s claimed (8)
LIFESPAN The abbreviation for Large, the chemical symbol for iron and a bridge into which is inserted (claimed) I S (one’s)

15a    Not quite right way to imbibe Scotch (5)
STRUT Almost all of an adjective meaning right or genuine inserted into an abbreviated street (way to imbibe) produces a word that you have to check in the dictionary to find that the solution is indeed one definition of scotch

18a    Parties Tom possibly announced (5)
CREWS A homophone (announced) of the surname of a well-known actor called Tom

20a    Award finally stops shy private becoming depressed (4,4)
CAST DOWN The final letter of awarD ‘stops’ a throw (shy), the result finished with a synonym for private

23a    Comparatively unpleasant retsina that’s drunk (7)
NASTIER An anagram (that’s drunk) of RETSINA

25a    Matisse, say, firmly capturing posh individual’s heart (7)
FAUVIST A member of a particular group of expressionist artists just like (say) Matisse. An adjective meaning firm or fixed ‘capturing’ the letter representing posh and the letters at the heart of individual

26a    Point admitted by respondent working for football club (7,5,3)
PRESTON NORTH END A compass point inserted (admitted) into an anagram (working) of RESPONDENT

27a    Listen out for mum (6)
SILENT An anagram (out) of LISTEN

28a    Greek character elated first off back in old country (8)
RHODESIA The former name of an African country is obtained by following a Greek character with a reversal (back) of a synonym for elated or lifted without its first letter


1d    Lisa’s naked to some extent around Dorothy’s home (6)
Hidden in reverse (to some extent around) in liSAS NAKed

2d    Playwright barely took risks, showing timidity (9)
COWARDICE A playwright and part of a verb meaning took risks without its outside letters (barely)

3d    Reforming liberal type, raised to be tactile (7)
BRAILLE An anagram (reforming) of LIBERAL

4d    Empty-headed son ignored being spiteful (5)
CATTY An informal term for being slightly disorganised or unpredictable without the S (son ignored)

6d    Book rock band … (7)
GENESIS The first Book of the Bible or a rock band

7d    … enthusiastic about covering Queen for opening musical piece (5)
INTRO An informal term for being enthusiastic about or interested in ‘covering’ the Latin abbreviation for queen

8d    Consider referee must possess ultimate in self-restraint (8)
MEDITATE A verb meaning to referee into which is inserted (must possess) the ultimate letter in self-restrainT

9d    Going after croupier’s job, succeeded in negotiations? (8)
DEALINGS The abbreviation for succeeded going after (in a Down solution) a description of part of  a croupier’s job

14d    Cheese price soon changes, having small cut (8)
PECORINO An anagram (changes) of PRICE sOON without the S (Small ‘cut’)

16d    Unruly behaviour in delicatessen I’d worried over (9)
ROWDINESS Hidden in reverse (over) in delicateSSEN ID WORried

17d    Outside church photograph discontented parishioners making alcoholic beverage (8)
SCHNAPPS A quick photograph goes outside the abbreviation for church, the result followed by the outside (discontented) letters of ParishionerS

19d    Infatuated with tennis? Not half, supporting former Wimbledon champion mostly (7)
SMITTEN The first half of TENnis goes after (supporting in a Down solution) most of the surname of the 1972 Wimbledon’s Men’s Singles Champion

21d    Relative in Germany tends occasionally to get subdued (7)
DAUNTED A female relative inserted between the IVR Code for Germany and the occasional letters of tEnDs

22d    Revolutionary helps to inspire cheers arriving at arenas (6)
STADIA A reversal (revolutionary) of a synonym for helps ‘inspires’ an informal expression of thanks (cheers)

24d    Picked up appropriate brace (5)
STEEL A homophone (picked up) of a verb meaning to appropriate or take without permission

25d    Head banker in Scotland’s right to receive promotion (5)
FROTH The R in the name of a Scottish river (banker) moves up the word (receives promotion)

17 comments on “Toughie 3094

  1. Because of solving and hinting all of the back pager I had to delay ‘lights out’ in order to complete this very enjoyable Toughie which, on the whole, was, for me, on a par with the back pager – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 18a, 4d, and 24d – and the winner is 24d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and crypticsue.

  2. Another great puzzle of the Silvanus production line that was not too difficult but which I thoroughly enjoyed solving. 8 and 21d were two favourites of many.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and CS.

  3. Lovely. I always enjoy a Silvanus production. I do think the second football club was a tad mean (whatever next, Poole Town?!) but the parsing made it eminently fair. Top notch.

    1. Oh come come! PNE may be in the “second division but they have won the FA cup twice, albeit some while back, and produced one of the best players of his generation in Tom Finney. Poole Town they are not.

    2. I saw Cryptic Sue had rated this * and Senf thought it is on a par with a back pager. So I thought I’d see how many I could get. Not many as it turns out! Seems that at my level the difference between a Toughie and the back pager is vast. I did get 26a though. The club might not be in the limelight anymore as you say, although it remains famous to football fans for being the first winners of the league and (I think) their ground being the longest in continuous use in the league. However, more crucially for me, I can’t think of another football club whose name has the structure 7,5,3!

      1. First team to do the double, the league without losing a game, and the cup without conceding a goal. Also the biggest victory in the cup 26-0. The highest score in the Scottish F A Cup was 36-0. It’s true what they say about Scottish keepers!

  4. Silvanus is as enjoyable as ever – thanks to him and CS.
    My podium selection consists of 11a, 3d and 25d.

  5. Enjoyable and reasonably straightforward – NHO 15a or 25a, but both fairly clued & parsed, likewise the NHO tennis chappie – my interest in tennis is match by my interest in watching paint dry. Reverse-parsed 28a & wouldn’t readily have equated elated with ******. Lovely surfaces almost without exception, natch. Ticks afterwards to 2d, 25d, 5a, & 18a, with COTD 16d – great rekrul.

    Many thanks indeed Silvanus, and also to Sue

  6. Pleasant enough with nicely constructed clues. The 2 that made me ponder most were 25a and 25d, so I’ll vote for those.
    Thanks to Sylvanus and CS.

  7. Really surprised myself by nailing the two football teams with no trouble but then having to work hard to remember the name of the Wimbledon champion – he obviously didn’t make much of an impression on my 23-year-old self!
    I did make an error with 15a where I’d decided upon ‘scrat’ which I could almost justify……. Hanging my head in shame now as I usually manage to follow our setter’s clear instructions.
    So many worthy contenders for the podium – my final choice being 1a plus 3&25d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for an excellent puzzle and to CS for the review – looking at a pictorial representation of the ages of man is somewhat depressing when you realise that you’re at the far end of the scale!

  8. Very enjoyable with lots of well constructed clues although 15a was a bung in it was the only word I could parse. Favourite was 13a. Thanks to Silvanus and CS.

  9. Many thanks to CS (great choice of pictures to accompany the hints) and to all commenters.

  10. Late on parade today, having solved this this morning before heading off to play cricket.

    What a magnificent puzzle – nicely challenging and a joy from start to finish. I didn’t know the specific meaning of scotch needed for 15d, and I needed electronic help to solve 25a.

    I had a plethora of ticks with 25d in first place. 6d/7d earn a special commendation for the exemplary use of ellipses.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to CS.

  11. Like TG&RD the parsing at 15a eluded me but mercifully straightforward after yesterday’s Serpent brain mangler. As ever a super puzzle with ticks too many to mention. 17d my fav.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to CS

  12. I too, went for scrat at 15a, with the dubious parsing of r for right within ca for circa or almost within st for way. But a very satisfying puzzle. Thanks to both

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