Toughie 3273 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Toughie 3273

Toughie No 3273 by Zenas
Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

ALP is otherwise engaged today so we’ve done a swap this week and he’ll be here on Thursday. He’s missed out on blogging a very entertaining themed puzzle from Zenas – thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a  Rash with overwhelming smell, a strange sign of injury (5-6)
HARUM-SCARUM: an informal word for an unpleasant smell overwhelms or contains A, an adjective meaning strange and a bodily sign of injury.

9a  Randomly fire on a Yankee base (9)
NEFARIOUS: an anagram (randomly) of FIRE ON A followed by a 2-letter abbreviation for Yankee.

10a  Review European opportunity for 19 Across (5)
MOORE: stick together an abbreviation for European and a synonym of opportunity or scope then reverse it all.

11a  Haughty expression of surprise captivates student (6)
LORDLY: an exclamation of surprise contains our usual abbreviated student.

13a  Regularly mess about with new mushroom (8)
ESCALATE: assemble regular letters from ‘mess’, an abbreviation meaning about or approximately and an adjective meaning new or recent.

14a  Ruffians go away cycling after short talk (6)
YAHOOS: cycle the letters of an instruction to go away and precede that with a truncated informal verb to talk at length.

16a  Uncredited collectors supply 19 Across (8)
COSTELLO: remove the abbreviation for credit from COLLECTORS and make an anagram (supply) of what remains.

19a  Direct to carry e.g. press card (8)
COMEDIAN: the key to today’s theme. A verb to direct or steer contains what the press is an example of.

20a  19 Across, group of ladies and The Who’s fans making a comeback (6)
WISDOM: the abbreviation for a women’s organisation and the reversal of a group who enjoyed The Who and rode motor scooters.

22a  Deny rogue agent is entering Lincoln (8)
ABNEGATE: an anagram (rogue) of AGENT is inserted in the abbreviated forename of Mr Lincoln.

24a  Dog for 19 Across (6)
BARKER: double definition. The first is not a specific breed of dog but based on the sound all dogs make.

27a  A mistress for Charles returns for 19 Across (5)
ALLEN: A followed by the reversal of the most famous of Charles II’s many mistresses.

28a  Vantage point from Native American’s home (5-4)
CROW’S-NEST: cryptically this could be the retreat of a Native American tribe.

30a  Prize money daughter spread around (6,5)
SILVER MEDAL: a type of coin and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter with a spread or feast around it.

Down Clues

1d  Convenient to house the French 19 Across (7)
HANDLEY: an adjective meaning convenient or at one’s fingertips contains one of the French definite articles.

2d  Turn either way (5)
REFER: a palindromic verb to turn (as in ‘the witness turned to his notes’).

3d  Detract from detailed assessment (3)
MAR: dock the final letter from an assessment or grade.

4d  County approval for 19 Across (4)
COOK: the abbreviation for county and an informal expression of approval.

5d  Where Americans pull off organised protests (4,4)
REST STOP: an anagram (organised) of PROTESTS for where Americans maybe pull off the interstate.

6d  Footloose dance with a reptilian creature (5)
MAMBA: a Latin American dance without its bottom letter followed by A.

7d  In addition, Dragons’ Den investor pockets half of profit (7)
THERETO: I’ve never watched the programme so had to Google the investors. We need the forename of this one which contains the first half of a synonym for profit or yield.

8d  Reportedly informed about Cheers being shot in Atlanta? (8)
TOTALLED: this sounds like a past participle meaning informed containing a short word for cheers. This gets us an informal verb which means killed in Atlanta (but which could mean ‘written off’ in Aldershot).

12d  Sindy, for one, stands up to embrace unknown 19 Across (5)
LLOYD: the reversal of what Sindy is an example of contains an algebraic unknown.

15d  Kindly see person is put first (8)
HUMANELY: our usual see in Cambridgeshire preceded by a synonym of person.

17d  Forest animal is heard by some (5)
TAIGA: a homophone of a predatory animal. I’m pleased to see the ‘by some’ because the homophone doesn’t work for me.

18d  Marine is a lunatic when at sea (8)
NAUTICAL: an anagram (when at sea) of A LUNATIC.

19d  Travesty of fizzy tea! (7)
CHARADE: should Schweppes, for example, ever produce a brand of fizzy tea this is conceivably what they might call it.

21d  Wedded one raised in military (7)
MARITAL: an adjective meaning military with the Roman numeral for one moved up a bit.

23d  Upwardly mobile setter maybe kind (5)
GENUS: bring together what sets (in the West) and an abbreviation meaning maybe then reverse it all.

25d  King Edward keeps adult in work (5)
KNEAD: the chess abbreviation for king and one of the shortened forms of Edward containing the film classification for Adult.

26d  Long for 19 Across (4)
HOPE: a verb to long or yearn.

29d  19 Across taking part of Quasimodo (3)
SIM: hidden.

The clues I liked best included 14a, 30a and 8d with my favourite being 19d. Which ones did you favour?

19 comments on “Toughie 3273
Leave your own comment 

  1. After a slow start when I was cursing the importance of 19a another clue gave me an insight into what 19a was about. From there on it was just great fun. One or two head scratches not helped by putting rotor into 2d. A nice change. Thanks to Zenas and Gazza

  2. I found this OTT for a Tuesday. Impenetrable if you haven’t spent your life watching comedy. ****/**

  3. The linked clues certainly helped me gain a good foothold in this one, with only 7d remaining a mystery as I have never seen the programme in question. Everything else was very fairly clued, with 19d being my favourite. Overall this was really good fun, and nicely testing without being overly tough.

    Thanks very much to Zenas and Gazza.

  4. There were definitely some Marmite clues in this one but all was forgiven as I watched the clip of probably my favourite 19a. Went to see him once at a dinner held at Talk of the North – couldn’t eat the meal for laughing so much. My word, he could put away the whisky – the bonus of that being that he stayed on stage for hours!
    Rosettes awarded to 1,25&30a plus 15d – wooden spoons to 2&17d.

    Thanks to Zenas whom I don’t recall crossing swords with previously and many thanks to Gazza for the review – back off to watch more of 27a now!

      1. Oh dear, that doesn’t surprise me in the least! Must refresh my memory or clear some cookies out of my brain……….

        1. Cookies now cleared, I should have just looked up who the Greek guy was – that’s what I did last time!

  5. Even with the theme I found this as tough as many Friday puzzles, so I was pleased to finish without reference to any aids. I did know all of the themed characters but it took me a while to get Sylvia Syms out of my head for 29d (Yes I know she has a y in the middle and an s on the end, but I started to doubt myself till the required first name popped into my head). I am not an expert on the vagaries of setters, but I don’t think I have come across Zenas before. If he / she is going to be around on a regular basis I suspect it will take me a while to get on the right wavelength,

    1. I imagine you meant to use your usual alias rather than your name so I’ve edited it for you. If you really wanted to use your name let me know and I’ll change it back.

      Zenas will be around on a regular basis. You probably know him better as Prolixic.

      1. Thanks Gazza, the perils of autofill. Interesting that the setter is one of the regulars, I had convinced myself that the wavelength was somewhat different, but I was obviously wrong.

  6. Completed only because in an ideal world I don’t like to see a puzzle go to waste. A tedious, mind-numbing, dated slog, largely lacking wit or sparkle despite the misconceived and unavoidable theme. Ten clues linked to one starter clue, long-dead and for the most part forgotten names from many decades ago, and to cap it all, needing to know a reality TV show (how else one define the ghastly Dragon’s Den?) panel member.

    3.5* / 0*

    Thank you setter, but just not for me and I do hope your next puzzle has no theme or heavily connected cluing please. Thanks also to Gazza.

  7. Quite tricky, I thought, until I cracked 19a’s key to the door. Great clue. I enjoyed the freshness of Yankee instead of the obvious in 9a. 7d stretched my GK to its limit, 17d was new to me (but fairly clued) and 19d is perhaps pushing it. It’s an anagram, of course, but I loved 5d – reads beautifully. 6d’s footloose was clever, too. I enjoyed this. Thanks to Zenas and double thanks to Gazza for the swap, etc. See you all on Thursday. I can only hope my dearth of cartoons isn’t too disappointing!

  8. I smiled at 19d but otherwise, ironically, not a lot of laughs. I agree with Mustafa G that 7d adds insult to injury.
    Thanks to Zenas and Gazza [at least the Dave Allen sketch was funny].

  9. Our main stumbling block was 7d. A double unch to start then a name from a programme we never watch. Eventually got in from definition and extensive investigoogling.
    Certainly much more of a challenge that usual for us for a Tuesday and a real trip down memory lane with many of the 19a’s.
    Thanks Zenas and Gazza.

  10. Well that would have been better suited to a Friday rather than a Tuesday. I got on better after I got 19a but still struggled. 1a came in a flash of inspiration and I reverse engineered it, 2d I thought tenuous, never heard of 5d but fairly clued, never seen dragons den so bunged in the only word that fitted that had a name on the outside, never heard of 17d so Googled again, 23d was anther bung-in and I wouldn’t have called 29d a 19a. Favouite was 12d. Thanks to Zenas anyway and Gazza for the explanations.

  11. Really pleased to finish this without recourse to a letter reveal or the hints though it took two visits & an awful lot of head scratching. It wasn’t an entirely unaided solve as I had a senior moment at 26d & got it into my head that Chris Pine (he’s an actor) rather than Rock was the chap clumped by Will Smith at the Oscars & only pegged Bob once I’d pressed the check grid facility. Knew all of the funny men (once 19a was in the theme certainly helped) though I did have to confirm Tommy at 1d. 17d (new to me) was last in & a correctly called coin toss for the second letter between A & a silent H. Like the 2Ks 7d was a def bung in – rarely watch the programme but had heard of the fella so ought to have twigged the parsing. Wouldn’t disagree with any of our reviewer’s choices though I’d add Norman at 20a – he was close friend of my godparents & I met him a couple of times as a child & he wasn’t the least bit funny as I recall.
    Thanks to Zenas/Proximal for the considerable challenge & to Gazza for confirmation of the whys.

  12. I really enjoyed this puzzle. So very very clever. It certainly helps that I am north of 75, so I have heard of these people. Surprised so many had not watched Dragon’s Den. Been a favourite of mine for 10 years or more. Essential watching for business people. Looking forward to the next offering by this setter.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.