Toughie 3284 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3284

Toughie No 3284 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A fun doable crossword.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Cents gathered by Spanish artist lie on cloth (10)
MICROFIBRE: A 4-letter Spanish artist who uses primary colours contains (gathered) the abbreviation for cents, then a lie and a short word meaning on or concerning

6a           Has no time for settlements (4)
OWNS:  A 5-letter word for settlements without the initial T(ime)

9a           Happy having bear holding paw back (7)
GLEEFUL: A reversal (back) of a 3-letter word meaning to carry or bear containing (holding) a word meaning to paw

10a        Mark poorly inscribed in cut wood (7)
CEDILLA: A word meaning poorly goes inside (inscribed) into some 5-letter wood without the last letter (cut)

12a        Discussing doing nothing in particular (7,6)
KICKING AROUND: Two meanings; the first is what you might be doing with an idea

14a        Such work unfortunately going over day is overdue (6)
OEUVRE: An anagram (unfortunately) of the answer containing (going over) the abbreviation for day would give you OVERDUE

15a        Embraces toyshop award between regularly emitted weeps (8)
WELCOMES: The abbreviation for Early Learning Centre plus an award or medal go inside the odds letters of ‘weeps’

17a        Company looking west, Japanese firm with new event (8)
OCCASION: Reversal (looking west) of the abbreviation for company,  a, and the abbreviation for new Japanese electronics firm

19a        Third of plants on verge flourish (6)
ABOUND: The third letter of plants plus a verge or edge

22a        Maths symbol bookmaker initially inserted in even row (6,7)
SQUARE BRACKET: The first letter (initially) of bookmaker goes in between (inserted in) a word meaning even or quits and a row or din

24a        Determined to attack (3,4)
SET UPON: Two meanings

25a        Portion banks withheld from merchants in conflict (7)
TRANCHE: An anagram (in conflict) of mERCHANTs without the outer letters (banks)

26a        Swimmer leaving hot island (4)
SARK: A 5-letter sometimes dangerous fish without (leaving) the abbreviation for hot

27a        Look to bear north-east with winds from West Africa (10)
SENEGALESE: A 3-letter word meaning look contains (to bear) the abbreviation for north-east and another word for winds


1d           Great after switching halves in match (4)
MEGA: A match or fixture with the two halves of the word switched

2d           Look at summer destination in Iceland, say (8,7)
CHECKOUT COUNTER:  A (5,3) phrase for ‘look at’ plus a ‘summer’ or adder

3d           Belonging to force, one oddly cheery copper (7)
OFFICER: A preposition meaning belonging to, the abbreviation for force, the Roman numeral one and the odd letters in ’cheery’

4d           Superficially decorated home with large donation (6)
INLAID: A 2-letter word for home, the abbreviation for large, and a donation (as in foreign ***)

5d           One attending comps upended vehicle? I … I’m not sure (8)
RACEGOER: Reversal (upended) of a 3-letter vehicle, a 3-letter word for ‘I’ and an utterance meaning “I’m not sure”

7d           Convulsive muscle was author’s obvious facial feature (6,9)
WALRUS MOUSTACHE: An anagram (convulsive) of MUSCLE WAS AUTHOR

8d           Stall on A11? Give way (5,5)
STAND ASIDE: Another word for stall, A from the clue, and a sport group of 11

11d        Funny person occupied by electric current turned physicist (5)
DIRAC: Reversal (turned) of a 4-letter funny person containing the physics abbreviation for electric current

13d        Defeat in sports venues disheartened heavyweights (10)
COLOSSUSES: A 4-letter defeat goes inside some 7-letter sports venues, perhaps race tracks, without the central letter (disheartened)

16d        University vexed German city dons (8)
SORBONNE: A 4-letter word for vexed or annoyed that a german city is covered by (dons or wears)

18d        Raised large sum to secure frost-free rice paddy (5)
STROP: Reversal of a 4-letter informal word for a large sum containing ( to secure) R(ice) from the clue without a word meaning frost

20d        Caught second discharge of cone’s sweet fare (7)
BAKLAVA: A homophone (caught) of a 4-letter word meaning to second, plus discharge from a cone

21d        Construction material engineer used on sides of lodge (6)
WATTLE: A Scottish engineer and the outer letters of lodge

23d        Simple measure to avoid nation revolting (4)
MERE: MEASURE from the clue but without the reversal of a powerful nation

I quite liked the summer destination in Iceland (2d). Which were your favourite clues?

8 comments on “Toughie 3284
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  1. I found this slightly chewier than our esteemed blogger’s 3*, probably due to proXimal’s clever misdirection in clues such as 2d and 21d. I also had to look up the Spanish painter and the physicist for confirmation.
    A number of parsings eluded me for a while (8d & 15a for instance), but that’s fairly normal for a Friday Toughie for me.

    Thanks proXimal and Dutch, much appreciated.

  2. After gormlessly looking at every clue without success for what seemed like an age, I found a foothold in the SW. My perseverance paid off as the pennies continued to drop. A hugely enjoyable solve in a sunny Kentish garden. Many thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  3. Yes, doable and fun, altho’ the heavyweights at 13d are rather clunky – but it’s the only word that fits so heigh ho. My pick of the clues is 14a, the inventive 8d, 21d and my last in, obvious when you see it , 23d.
    Thanks to proXimal and Dutch.

  4. Sorry, way above my pay grade!! After an age I was down to ten clues to solve but little enjoyment with this one, I’m afraid. *****/** for me. Still, three finished this week; roll on Sunday!!

  5. Diligent perseverance paid off for us in what we found was a challenging and very satisfying solve.
    Thanks proXimal and Dutch.

  6. A very enjoyable Friday Toughie, and more accessible than usual, I thought. Could not parse 15a – the toyshop eluded me; thought 13d’s answer clumsy and I see Grammarian too did not give it a thumbs-up. The answer to 2d was strange but straightforward. But otherwise, what a cracker – highlights for me included 26 & 27a, 8 & 16d, but many others could equally have been cited.

    Many thanks indeed to ProXimal and Dutch.

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