Toughie 3178 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3178

Toughie No 3178 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Toughie Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Robyn set one of those ‘it doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable’ Toughies – I found it friendlier than his Sunday Toughie but I am sure there will be many people who will disagree

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    A large supermarket stores soft drink (7)
ALCOPOP A (from the clue), the abbreviation for Large and a supermarket, the latter ‘stores’ or has inserted the musical abbreviation meaning soft

5a    Peer in entrance to vintner’s, one with French cheese (7)
VICOMTE The ‘entrance’ to Vintners, the Roman numeral for one and a type of French cheese.  The peer is also French but telling us that would spoil the surface reading

9a    Like a Scot, or possibly Japanese (5)
ASIAN A conjunction meaning like or the name often given to a Scotsman

10a    Thus spies possibly skinny party grandee? (9)
SOCIALITE An adverb meaning thus, the American spies and an adjective relating to food low in calories (skinny)

11a    Bereft of assistance, drunk as well as sober (4,3,3)
HIGH AND DRY A synonym for drunk, a simple way of saying as well as, and a synonym for sober

12a    Utterance seeking attention in extremely pretentious way (4)
PSST The ‘extreme’ letters of PretentiouS and an abbreviated way

14a    One getting free case loaded with game meat (12)
ESCAPOLOGIST An anagram (loaded) of CASE followed by a game played on horseback and the main point of the matter (meat)

18a    Alarming changes ready to overwhelm a nervous MP here? (8,4)
MARGINAL SEAT An anagram (changes) of ALARMING and a synonym for ready into which is inserted (to overwhelm) A (from the clue)

21a    Queen covered by country stars (4)
URSA The Latin abbreviation for Queen ‘covered’ by an abbreviated country

22a    A number of sailors have to accept time in slum (10)
SHANTYTOWN A sailors’ song (number)  and a verb meaning to have ‘accept’ the abbreviation for Time

25a    Cooked greens, in the main, rolled around in relish (9)
EAGERNESS An anagram (cooked) of GREENS inserted into a mass of salt water (main), the first letter of which has been ‘rolled around’ to the end of the word

26a    Did a spring clean naked? Choose to conceal nothing (5)
LEAPT The inside (naked) letters of cLEAn and a verb meaning to choose without the O (concealing nothing)

27a    Most ordered tea, we hear, that is taken around one (7)
TIDIEST The letter you hear when you say ‘tea’ out loud and the Latin for that is ‘around’ the Roman numeral for one

28a    Uncouth child withdrawing before blunder (7)
YOBBISH A reversal (withdrawing) of a boy child goes before an informal term for a blunder


1d    Disengaged attitude in course filling up a year (6)
APATHY A course ‘filling up’ or going between A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Year

2d    In case of collapse, call shrink (6)
CRINGE Call (on the telephone) inserted into the case of CollapsE

3d    Swans around island with trendy talent for writing (10)
PENMANSHIP Female swans go around an island in the Irish Sea, the result followed with one of the usual informal adjectives meaning trendy

4d    Asked what model did (5)
POSED Asked a question or what a model did

5d    Surrogate father perhaps promises to square up (9)
VICARIOUS A member of the clergy (father perhaps) and some promises to pay (square up)

6d    Guy making crack (4)
CHAP A man or a crack in the skin

7d    Source of current trouble, something used by a sailor (8)
MAINSAIL A source of [electrical] current and a verb meaning to trouble

8d    Anteater, say, in gallery at the back of garden (8)
EDENTATE A toothless animal such as an anteater – the name of a gallery goes at the back of a biblical garden

13d    List and track staff in community organisation (6,4)
ROTARY CLUB A list, an abbreviated track and a heavy stick (staff)

15d    Attending entertaining party, people feeling embarrassed (9)
ABASHMENT A simple way of saying attending into which is inserted (entertaining) an informal party and some people

16d    Fresh mint chopped around sweet course, ultimately (8)
IMPUDENT An anagram (chopped) of MINT goes around an informal sweet and the ultimate letter of coursE

17d    Media hasn’t succeeded with old forecast (8)
PRESAGED The print media without the final abbreviation for Succeeded with a synonym for old

19d    African from really African country (6)
SOMALI An adverb meaning really and an African country

20d    Bit of song? Song’s intro, obviously (6)
SNATCH The ‘intro’ to Song and a slang word meaning obviously

23d    Refusal and agreement? Flipping curious! (5)
NOSEY A word of refusal and another of agreement, the latter being reversed (flipping)

24d    Drive from centre of Thurso, say, northwards (4)
URGE – The ‘centre’ of thURso and a reversal (northwards in a Down solution) of the abbreviation meaning ‘say’


14 comments on “Toughie 3178
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  1. I agree with Sue’s opening lines entirely: really enjoyable yet not particularly tough. All was very fairly clued, with plenty of wit and pleasant misdirection. 5d proved to be my favourite.

    My thanks to Robyn and CS.

  2. A superb puzzle – many thanks to Robyn for the entertainment and to CS for the review.
    My ticks went to 22a, 3d, 5d and 7d with top prize going to the hilarious 26a.

  3. Completely agree. Delightful puzzle with ticks against the lot of ‘em. Solved on the mobile over a cup of coffee in Costa (mind you it was my freebie one so got the big cup) so it must have been gentle
    Thanks to Robyn & to Sue

  4. Didn’t think it was that easy – but good fun regardless. Favourites were 22a [number of sailors] 26a [lol] and 5d.
    Thanks to Robyn and CS.

  5. I’ll piggy-back YS and RD! 5d is such a delightful word.

    Thanks to Robyn – more like this, please, and to CS for the review.

  6. Brilliant puzzle!
    The flair and wit in putting the wordplay together is outstanding.
    I liked lots but I’ll mention the brilliant 14&26a plus 5d.
    Top stuff.
    Many thanks to Robyn and Sue

    1. Welcome to the blog

      27a TIDIEST – T (what you hear when you say tea out loud) ID EST (the Latin for that is, usually abbreviated to IE) into which is inserted an I (the Roman numeral for one)

      What did you think of the crossword?

      1. I enjoyed it, I can’t normally do the toughies, I did over half of this one
        Thanks for info, ID EST, was missing from my brain!!

  7. Very enjoyable indeed.
    My favourite is definitely 5a as Comté is the best cheese in the world.
    Or is it because I was born in Besançon, my mother in Morteau and my father in Pontarlier ?
    Franc Comtois rend toi! Nenni ma foi!
    Thanks to Robyn and to CS.

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