Toughie 3255 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3255

Toughie No 3255 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Silvanus has given us a fairly gentle Toughie with his usual smooth surfaces – many thanks to him.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you liked about the puzzle.

Across Clues

7a  No shock victory for PM (7)
BALDWIN: the description of a person (usually a man) who’s lost his shock and a synonym of victory give us the name of a Conservative PM from about a century ago.

8a  Afternoon essentially spent travelling west, bound to be exhausted (7)
EMPTIED: join the abbreviation for afternoon and the central letter of spent, reverse that and add an adjective meaning bound or fastened.

10a  Well, abridged book by current Republican includes nothing! (9)
RESERVOIR: assemble a verb to book without its last letter, the symbol for electric current and the abbreviation for Republican then insert the letter that resembles nothing.

11a  Character of musketeer beginning to change (5)
ETHOS: change the first letter of one of the Three Musketeers to a different vowel.

12a  Excessive university cuts subordinate detailed (5)
UNDUE: an abbreviation for university goes inside a truncated adjective meaning subordinate.

13a  Worry about returning odd bits of yellow fabric (9)
POLYESTER: a verb to worry or nag contains the reversal of the odd letters of yellow.

15a  One might run cycling heat without permit (7)
ATHLETE: the cycled letters of ‘heat’ contain a verb to permit.

17a  Pretended minute piercing caused embarrassment (7)
SHAMMED: the abbreviation for minute is inserted into a verb meaning ‘caused embarrassment’.

18a  Dice Charlie removed put an end to children’s game (9)
HOPSCOTCH: remove the letter that Charlie represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet from the beginning of a verb to dice and add a verb meaning ‘put an end to’. Compare and contrast the wordplay here with that of 26a in today’s back-pager.

20a  Cuff at last sadistic hooligan (5)
CLOUT: the last letter of sadistic and another word for a hooligan.

21a  Wine from flooded valley comprising one jeroboam originally (5)
RIOJA: a flooded valley contains the initial letters of ‘one jeroboam’.

23a  Troubled public behind protest regularly over seedy nightspot (5,4)
STRIP CLUB: an anagram (troubled) of PUBLIC follows the reversal of regular letters of ‘protest’.

24a  Squeeze for instance through narrow roads around country (7)
SENEGAL: insert the abbreviation of ‘for instance’ into the reversal of narrow roads.

25a  Violent home, imperfect perhaps (7)
INTENSE: an adverb meaning at home and what imperfect is an example of grammatically.

Down Clues

1d  Compulsory union membership policy forced store to cease trading (6,4)
CLOSED SHOP: this could mean ‘forced a retail establishment to cease trading’.

2d  Answer verified to check deviation (6)
SWERVE: hidden in the clue.

3d  After month barely, husband and wife separate (8)
UNCOUPLE: a Summer month without its clothing letters and a word for ‘husband and wife’.

4d  Hearing American gas, one travels over seas (6)
PETREL: this sounds like our name for what Americans call gas.

5d  Each grasping MP here worried they’ll not last long? (8)
EPHEMERA: the abbreviation for each contains an anagram (worried) of MP HERE.

6d  Near old man that’s naked (4)
NIGH: a ‘man on board’ without his outer letters gives us an archaic word meaning near.

7d  Clothing, black fancy trousers mad husband puts on (7,6)
BERMUDA SHORTS: the abbreviation for black is followed by the genealogical abbreviation for husband ‘wearing’ an anagram (fancy) of TROUSERS MAD.

9d  Shameful police officer sure to guzzle cider when working (13)
DISCREDITABLE: our usual senior detective and an adjective meaning sure or unwavering containing an anagram (when working) of CIDER.

14d  Within brief time after whiskey’s gone, pass over large cocktail (3,7)
TOM COLLINS: start with a way of writing 120 seconds (3,4) and delete the letter that whiskey represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. Within that put a mountain pass and the clothing abbreviation for large.

16d  Trade in old coins, say (8)
EXCHANGE: split 2,6 the answer could mean old coins.

17d  Superficially looks upset embracing idol’s almost round figure (8)
SPHEROID: a verb (usually followed by ‘into’) meaning superficially looks or skims through gets reversed and contains a synonym of idol.

19d  Fight deposing leader results in disorder (6)
TUSSLE: an anagram (in disorder) of [r]ESULTS without its leading letter.

20d  Writer inspired by America potentially (6)
CAPOTE: hidden is the author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and many other works.

22d  Result of pen leaking possibly produces grunt (4)
OINK: split the answer 1,3 to get what you might be left with if your fountain pen leaks. Possibly a reference to our King’s strop about his ‘leaky pen’?

My rosettes today were pinned to 7a, 25a, 3d, 14d and 22d. Which one(s) made the grade for you?


20 comments on “Toughie 3255
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  1. A very enjoyable Silvanus production with a lot of smiles and some PDMs that took some time to occur – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 7a, 24a, 1d, and 20d – and the winner is 7a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

    P.S. Sorry Gazza, you can’t give a rosette to 1a – :smile:

  2. A very enjoyable if happily benign lunchtime diversion. Trademark smooth surfaces, plenty of amusement throughout. Almost any of the clues would merit a place on the podium, but in an effort to be a little more discriminating I’ll limit the top three to 7a, 14d & 20d.

    Many thanks indeed to Silvanus and to Gazza – in particular, as ever, for your selection of cartoons!

  3. Another vote for 7a as favourite this afternoon. Delightfully composed as ever, full of wit and gentle misdirection, this was a joy to solve.

    Thanks Silvanus for the fun, and Gazza for the review.

  4. Always a pleasure to solve a Toughie from this setter and he will doubtless be amused to learn that I followed him down every garden path and blind alley that he placed in the way before eventually reaching the middle of the maze.
    Looks as though our old PM in 7a is going to take the gold cup today and I also awarded rosettes to 13a plus 1&16d.

    Many thanks to both Silvanus for the puzzle and Gazza for the review and cartoons – shame about those intrepid fighters not getting any muskets!

  5. 7a was fun, 3d too. I loved the construction of 7d, though I had to read it a couple of times to make sense of the surface! And smart 22d made me smile. Many thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  6. Smooth, smooth and smooth again! What a joy to solve. It started with an absolute peach of clue at 7a and carried on in similar vein all the way to the end.

    Parsing 3d & 14d took me a little while to unravel but, other than that, it all came together beautifully.

    I ticked too many clues to list them all, and gave double ticks to 7a. 13a, 23a, 7d & 22d.

    Many thanks to SIlvanus and to Gazza.

  7. Nice smooth clues. My dix points go to 7a. Runners-up were 24a, 17d and 22d [which always makes me smile- dunno why].
    Thanks to Silvans and Gazza.

  8. I always enjoy tackling Mr Smooth”s offerings and today was no exception. What a way to start, such fun, it made my day start with a smile and a chuckle. What followed was most enjoyable.
    I enjoyed from start to finish but podium can only go to 7A.
    Many thanks to Gazza, especially for the cartoons which I always look forward to and of course to Sylvanus for giving us a super puzzle.

  9. 7a was my FOI, my second one in was a long way down grid. In short I struggled to get a foothold so concentrated on the bottom half. Once I’d finally done that the NW went in fairly swiftly, the NE was another kettle of fish entirely. I did enjoy the 19d though. Favourite was 7a. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  10. I liked this a lot. Not a poor clue amongst them, and just the right level of challenge for me.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza (great cartoon choices).

  11. Another rosette for 7a. from me. Plenty of smooth surfaces to admire along with enough diversion to keep things challenging. I was convinced for quite a while I was looking for a band like Squeeze in 24a 🙄.

    Thanks Silvanus and Gazza (I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist illustrating 23a!😁)

  12. Many thanks to Gazza and to everyone who has taken the trouble to comment.

    As always on a Thursday, a great selection of cartoons!

    1. Excellent puzzle as always. Enjoyed it immensely.
      Thanks to Silvanus & to Gazza for confirming my thoughts on a couple of the whys

      1. Thanks, Silvanus – I really enjoyed this.
        22d made me smile. My son set up a very successful laser tattoo removal business in St Albans five years ago and I tried my best to persuade him to call it Oink, with a little pig as the logo. He was not convinced, sadly, and went for the slightly more prosaic and less cryptic “Elliott Laser Tattoo Removal”. My solution also had brevity on its side, but he was not for turning. Pity!
        Thanks to Gazza for the blog and for your help yesterday.

        1. Haha,

          I like it! I have some friends who live in St Albans, untattooed I hastened to add, but I’ll ask them if they know the shop!

          Thank you, Shabbo.

  13. Very enjoyable toughie from our super setter. Completed whilst watching Liverpool struggle to compete in Europe. Did need ehelp to complete my last one in 17d, then wondered why! Thanks to Gazza for helping me parse 6d.
    Lots of great clues. Have to agree 7a takes the podium but I really liked 3 and 4d. 22d though earned the biggest chuckle!
    Many thanks Silvanus. Your ability to keep creating masterpieces does you great credit.

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