Toughie 3132 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3132

Toughie No 3132 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

proXimal provides a welcome respite from the usual tortuous Friday toughie. Once I had a way in, this went fairly smoothly. NW was last. Nice smooth surfaces

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Fixed up a cross casing witch in coffin (11)
SARCOPHAGUS: An anagram (fixed) of UP A CROSS contains (casing) a 3-letter witch

7a    Grumble from fifty involved in strike (5)
BLEAT: The Roman numeral for 50 goes inside (involved in) a word meaning to strike or hit

8a    Dreams of devotee when taking part in matches (9)
FANTASIES: A 3-letter devotee, then a word for ‘when’ goes inside some sporting matches

10a    Document bearing little boy’s name (7)
DOMINIC: The 3-letter abbreviation for document containing (bearing) a word meaning little

11a    Space firm with German article that converts messages (7)
ENCODER: A printing space, an abbreviation for firm, and a German article

12a    Instruments avid folk use after removing cases (5)
VIOLS: Remove outer letters from 3 words in the clue ( … after removing cases)

13a    Shortly top and tail bananas to make curative (9)
ANTIDOTAL: An anagram (bananas) of TO(p – shortly) AND TAIL

16a    Fruit, carrying it by large boat without restrictions (9)
LIMITLESS: A citrus fruit contains (carrying) IT from the clue plus the abbreviation for large, then the abbreviation for steamship

18a    Revolutionary tricks with tube (5)
STRAW: A reversal (revolutionary) of a word meaning tricks or crafts and the abbreviation for with

19a    English politician bound to be discharged (7)
EMPTIED: The abbreviation for English, a politician, and a word meaning bound by rope

22a    Uneasiness from this writer going round French city without leader (7)
MALAISE: A pronoun suggesting ‘this writer’ (from proXimal’s perspective) goes round a French city missing its first letter (without leader)

23a    Keep tabs on uniform found among model’s attire (9)
TRACKSUIT: A word meaning to keep tabs on or to follow, then the letter with radio code uniform goes inside (found among) a word meaning to model or pose

24a    Dog lead in the bar (5)
TRAIL: The first letter (lead) in ‘the’ plus a bar or rod

25a    Department with command to store hydrogen bomb (5,6)
DEPTH CHARGE: The 4-letter abbreviation for department and a word meaning command (as “in command”) contain (to store) the chemical symbol for hydrogen


1d    Gang in heathlands climbing misty location (5,4)
STEAM ROOM: A 4-letter gang or crew goes inside (in) the reversal (climbing) of some heathlands

2d    Marks, those found on board (7)
RATINGS: Two meanings, the first referring to grades, the second related to a ship

3d    Turned on big Old Firm battle oddly lacking referee (9)
OFFICIATE: A word meaning turned, a big old firm, and the even (oddly lacking) letters of battle

4d    Unopened beef joint (5)
HINGE: A beef or complaint without the first letter (unopened)

5d    Looked pleased to embrace new church (7)
GLANCED: A word meaning pleased contains (to embrace) abbreviations for new and church

6d    Cast one that’s in another cast (5)
SHIED: The Roman numeral for one goes inside a word meaning cast. The first cast means threw; the second means discarded

7d    Sack bad people, tons giving aggravation (11)
BEDEVILMENT: A word for sack as in place of retirement, a word meaning evil, another word for people and the abbreviation for tons

9d    Suspect owls call here, finding a rejected part of mouse (6,5)
SCROLL WHEEL: An anagram (suspect) of OWLS C(a)LL HERE, with the A rejected

14d    Screen one illuminated showing sporting event (4,5)
TEST MATCH: A word for screen and something that illuminates if you strike it

15d    Redeveloped main street apart from southern end (9)
TERMINATE: An anagram (redeveloped) of MAIN (s)TREET (apart from southern)

17d    Imagine watery vessel in sound (5,2)
THINK UP: A word meaning watery, as a soup or gruel might be, plus a homophone of a drinking vessel

18d    One making tribute acts disheartened and upset musician (7)
SALUTER: ACTS from the clue without the central letters (disheartened) and reversed (upset), then the player of a stringed instrument

20d    Cloth put beneath piano (5)
PLAID: A word meaning put (past tense) goes beneath the abbreviation for piano

21d    Picked up note that’s money (5)
DOUGH: A homophone (picked up) of a musical note

Plenty to like “tribute acts”, “southern end”, “looked pleased”, etc. My favourite today was the story about the owl and the mouse. I had the right mouse but still took me a while to see the answer. Which clues did you like?

11 comments on “Toughie 3132
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  1. For once, I can join in with the Friday Toughie gang – proXimal was being very gentle with us and I wondered whether the Thursday/Friday puzzle combo had gone awry.
    Have to admit that 9d was a ‘guess the definition’ – didn’t realise that it had a ‘posh’ sounding name and the parsing of 3d took a while despite the answer being fairly obvious.
    Podium places went to 7&10a plus 14&17d.

    Thanks to proXimal for the ego-booster and to Dutch for the review – loved the linguistic sheep!

  2. Yes, pretty gentle (and very enjoyable) for a Friday Toughie. I’d have completed it in less than half the time had I not decided very early on that the beef in 4d was rankle, but once 1a finally convinced me I’d need another complaint for the joint, the final few clues fell like a house of cards. Hon Mentions to 9d and 25a.

    Many thanks to ProXimal and Dutch – yes, excellent sheep!

  3. End the week on a high with an unaided Toughie solve! Is it really Friday? Lots of great clues, 9d & 17d particular faves. Great fun. Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  4. Very enjoyable! No matter what the difficulty the X-man invariably comes up trumps.
    I was held for a short while with 2d, as with the checkers I had at the time I confidently entered “notches” as marks on a (head)board! Ah well, didn’t cause too much trouble.
    I particularly liked 23a plus 3,5&7d with top spot going to the super 18d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Dutch.

  5. What Jane said except that for me brain fog descended at last in 18a & I bunged in screw first then twigged it at the second stab.
    Thanks to proXimal (you’re welcome any Friday in this slot) & to Dutch whose review I’ll now read

  6. Re 18d, a person who plays the lute is known as a lutenist. A luter is someone who applies lute to objects, lute being a form of sealant. The clue does not therefore really work.

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