Toughie 3160 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 3160

Toughie No 3160 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have a Nina which proved useful in the solve. I wonder who the she and his refer to?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


8a     Spirited away to the East Side after school (4)

GAMY: The last letter (east side) of away comes after a school or pod of whales

9a    Stereotyped pet seen swallowing (just) head of pig (4,3,3)

SPOT THE DOG: A 7-letter verb meaning seen and a 3-letter pig, where only the first letter (just head) of the pig is contained (swallowed) by ‘seen’

10a    They may be kept in kitchen cabinet, unless it shatters (8)

UTENSILS: An anagram (shatters) of UNLESS IT

11a    One that was appreciated getting behind very funny novel (6)

LOLITA: The Roman numeral for one, a 2-letter comment meaning ‘that was appreciated’ come after (getting behind) a text message abbreviation for ‘very funny’

12a     One whose act will entertain and carpet will spoil! (3,6)

TAP DANCER: An anagram (will spoil) of AND CARPET

13a    Somewhere shady  I’ll be on the fiddle (5)

BOWER: Two meanings, the second referring to a musical instrument

15a    Getting very wet, they think about adopting alias (7)

SOAKAGE: Reversal (about) of a 4-letter plural word for the self, or that which is conscious and thinks, containing (adopting) an abbreviation meaning alias

17a    China, Japan and more regions covered in feet (3,4)

FAR EAST: A 5-letter word for regions is contained (covered) in the abbreviation for feet

20a     Brother of the French Resistance breaks out of jail (5)

FRERE:    The abbreviation for resistance goes inside (breaks) a word meaning ‘out of jail’

22a    Receiver’s ID that wasn’t intended to upset (2,7)

NO OFFENCE: Split (2,2,5), the answer reveals receiver’s ID

25a    The first  person named on an envelope? (6)

OPENER: Two meanings

26a    Addressed to Teddy, could it be someone up the line? (8)

FOREBEAR: Split (3,1,4), this could be addressed to Edward (Mr Teddy)

27a    What could make best bra home for toucan? (10)

RAINFOREST: Split (2,2,3,3) the answer becomes an instruction to convert ‘best’ to ‘bra’

28a    Matilda’s weakness  remains (4)

LIES: Two meanings, the first referring to a poem in which Matilda burns her home down


1d    Ahead of the game appeal stalls against City (8)

SANTIAGO: Coming before (ahead of) a 2-letter board game, a 2-letter abbreviation for appeal contains (stalls) a word meaning against

2d    What’s articulated intermittently by “amen” in half-hearted note? (6)

HYMNED: The even letters (what’s articulated intermittently) in ‘by amen’ go inside a 4-letter word meaning to note or pay attention to, but without one of the double central letters (half-heartedly)

3d    Foot of The Sun’s front page carries first of items on counter-intelligence (9)

ESPIONAGE: The last letter (foot) of The, the first letter (front) of Sun, then PAGE from the clue contains (carries) the first letter of items plus ON from the clue

4d    Man-about-town is a cock, according to Mr Ross (7)

WOOSTER: How Jonathan Ross might pronounce a 7-letter cock

5d     My Latin picked up here? (5)

ITALY: Reverse hidden ( … picked up here?)

6d    Out of shackles, so old Terry Venables stays away from the ground (3,5)

LET LOOSE: A reversal (away from the ground) of SO from the clue and the abbreviation for old contained in (stays) the (2,3) nickname for Terry Venables

7d    Ultimately derived from ill-will, to actively hate? (6)

LOATHE: The last letters (ultimately derived from) in ill-will and to, then an anagram (actively) of HATE

14d    Vera? The rest is 28 (4-5)

HALF-TRUTH: ‘Vera’ is the first 50% of an 8-letter word, so it can be said to be a (4-5). 28 refers to the answer of 28a

16d    Lady Gaga Inn, set in one thousand acres? (8)

KARENINA: An anagram (gaga) of INN inside the abbreviation for a thousand and a word meaning region of space, exemplified by ‘acres’

18d Athenian Club’s reduced joining fees (8)

SOCRATES: A 3-letter shortened (reduced) version of a 7-letter club or organisation joining a word for fees or prices

19d    Fine to waive it, carrying on without charge (3,4)

FOR FREE: A 7-letter word for a fine or penalty without (to waive) the final IT containing (carrying) a short word meaning ‘on’ or concerning

21d    Game good – I see Javan rhino? (6)

RUPIAH: A 2-letter abbreviation for a game, a word meaning good, and an exclamation meaning ‘I see’

23d    They block mobile, self-descriptively (6)

EMBOLI: An anagram (mobile) of MOBILE (self-descriptively)

24d    Catherine’s favourite who fought – as Meat Loaf would do most things – without armour (5)

ORLOV: Catherine the Great’s most favourite noble. According to the song, Meat Loaf would do anything (3,4) – well most things. Now remove the outer letters (without armour)

I quite like the Meat Loaf reference though I had to check the answer, and I liked Vera. Which were your favourite clues?

10 comments on “Toughie 3160

  1. Usual head scratching stuff. 1d and 8a held me up untiI saw the error of my ways in 15a. Needless to say I didn’t spot the Nina.

    2d and 27a were my picks.

    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch.

  2. A test as always with Elgar. Many bung ins for which I’m grateful for Dutch’s help. Quite a few favourites but cotd is 27a
    Thanks to Elgar and Dutch

  3. Such fun! The NW corner made me think he was being especially gentle, although I had never come across the word for a pod of whales… But then I slowed down quite dramatically. Got there in the end with a couple of bung-ins, never having come across the Matilda poem, and I got stuck on thinking that ‘fine’ was the letter ‘f’ in 19d and couldn’t see past it.

    Meat Loaf was my favourite too, but also thought 10a was beautifully done, and am grateful for 27a for giving me the opportunity to feel very pleased with myself for getting it almost at once. Just a joy. As always, thanks to Elgar for that, and for Dutch for his customary infallibility.

  4. i got there eventually with lots of head scratching . I am trying to decide whether i enjoyed it or not
    On balance i did but it was more a feeling of achievement against the odds rather than delight.
    As testing as they come but mostly fair although 1 across was and still i s a mystery to me.
    Thanks to Elgar and the reviewer for his explanations 27a was my standout clue.

  5. As usual with an Elgar, I had to wait for Dutch to explain a few unparsables. I wouldn’t have spotted the Nina either. I got the Meat Loaf straight away, great clue.
    I also liked the just swallowed pig and Vera. Podium goes to 27a though. Thank you Elgar and Dutch.

  6. All complete. Spotted the Nina about halfway through. Loved the Meat Loaf clue, and just needed your clarification for 27a. After many previous struggles, I am finally starting to enjoying the Elgar challenge. Thanks all.

  7. Quite brilliant. Took me an age but surprisingly only one or two unparsed bung-ins this afternoon. As for a favourite, I honestly don’t know where to start, but I will go for Meatloaf too.

    Thanks as always to Elgar for a magnificent challenge, and to Dutch.

  8. Almost indestructible, despite my persistence. *****/*. Tomorrow is another day, as they say.

  9. Needed a nudge on 1d/8a to finish,but managed the rest with the usual mix of DOH moments and inspired guesswork. I’m still not sure that I understand the parsing of 8a though.


  10. Much, much too hard for me. One of the few I solved unaided was 14D – so I like it. I didn’t get 27A – even with Dutch’s hint, but I appreciate it now that I know the answer.

Comments are closed.