Toughie 3287 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3287

Toughie No 3287 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Silvanus for an enjoyable and not too brain-mangling puzzle. The only clue which held me up was 17d where I needed all the checkers and verification from the BRB.

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

Across Clues

1a  Risk keeping new barman (6)
WAGNER: a verb meaning to risk or speculate containing the abbreviation for new.

4a  Falling back, individual decked by hard weapon, candlestick (7)
MENORAH: a synonym of individual is contained in the pencil abbreviation for hard and a weapon. Reverse it all.

9a  Modified Mini actor gives undertaker (9)
MORTICIAN: an anagram (modified) of MINI ACTOR gives the North American word for an undertaker.

10a  Shakespearean role foremost of thespians needs one day (5)
TIMON: assemble the foremost letter of thespians, the Roman numeral for one and the short form of a day of the week.

11a  Film expert cheers before movie over (7)
ACETATE: string together a synonym of expert, a short word of thanks (cheers) and the reversal of our usual Spielberg movie.

12a  Justification in underdogs playing without half of side? (7)
GROUNDS: an anagram (playing) of UNDERDOGS after we’ve removed half of the word ‘side’.

13a  Witness reportedly spotted Charlotte? (9)
SPECTATOR: homophones of a) a past participle meaning spotted (i.e. marked with spots) and b) an informal word for what a Charlotte is an example of.

16a  Back hosting Oscars, already under way (5)
AFOOT: the back of a vessel contains two occurrences of the letter that Oscar represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

17a  Article stolen from grubby pawnbroker (5)
UNCLE: remove one of our indefinite articles from an adjective meaning grubby.

18a  Farm some hated being dilapidated (9)
HOMESTEAD: an anagram (being dilapidated) of SOME HATED.

21a  Barrister was able mostly to tackle three points (7)
COUNSEL: a modal verb meaning ‘was able’ without its last letter contains three cardinal points.

22a  During particular crisis, whiskey’s required for student, delivery person (7)
MIDWIFE: start with the sort of crisis which may hit you from the age of 29 onwards and change the abbreviation for student to the letter that whiskey represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

25a  Palm species briefly turned into essential oil (5)
ATTAR: reverse a species of palm from which walking sticks are traditionally made without its last letter.

26a  Histrionic display from each artist performing American ignored (9)
THEATRICS: an anagram (performing) of EACH ARTIST after ignoring the single-letter abbreviation for American.

27a  Mishandle man consumed by drink (5,2)
SCREW UP: a verb to man goes inside a verb to drink.

28a  See someone getting out, possibly caught? (6)
EXETER: a homophone of someone getting out or departing.

Down Clues

1d  Two lambs gambolling, not ultimately all animals (7)
WOMBATS: our third subtractive anagram, this one (gambolling) of TWO LAMBS after removing the ultimate letter of all.

2d  Gluttonously eat biltong or get sandwiches? (5)
GORGE: hidden.

3d  Around six, approximate arrival time for musical
EVITA: the abbreviation meaning estimated arrival time contains the Roman numeral for six.

4d  Boss Jürgen Klopp perhaps cycling? (7)
MANAGER: start with what Jürgen Klopp is an example of (1,6) (another example might be Angela Merkel) and cycle the letters.

5d  Subjects in newspapers printed countrywide (9)
NATIONALS: double definition, the newspapers are not regional.

6d  Feature of flower covering sultanate, calendula essentially (5,4)
ROMAN NOSE: a fragrant flower contains the name of a sultanate and the central letter of calendula.

7d  On time deliver small electronic telephone component (7)
HANDSET: preceding the physics abbreviation for time we need a verb to deliver and abbreviations for small and electronic.

8d  Aim straight (6)
DIRECT: double definition, the first a verb.

14d  Come across European nobleman punching retired Frenchman (9)
ENCOUNTER: a European nobleman goes inside the reversal of a French male forename.

15d  Bats rest here with another tiny mammal (4,5)
TREE SHREW: an anagram (bats) of REST HERE followed by the abbreviation for ‘with’.

17d  Spies stopping second large Greek character lifting manuscripts (7)
UNCIALS: transatlantic spies are inserted into the reversal of abbreviations for second and large and the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. The answer (new to me) relates to old manuscripts written in unlinked upper-case letters.

18d  Churchill, topsy-turvy to some extent in summit (7)
HILLTOP: hidden.

19d  Representative recalled repeatedly being exposed (6)
MEMBER: remove the outer letters of a verb meaning recalled then do the same thing again.

20d  Backstage, one assisting actor that’s tall and wooden? (7)
DRESSER: double definition, the second could be Welsh.

23d  Suggested going north, denying Victor unknown rehab treatment (5)
DETOX: reverse a verb meaning suggested or proposed, delete the letter that victor represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and add one of the algebraic unknowns.

24d  Disdain or occasionally close to disrespect for Wally (5)
IDIOT: occasional letters from the first two words followed by the closing letter of disrespect.

The clues I liked best were 13a, 22a and 20d. Which ones had most appeal for you?

14 comments on “Toughie 3287
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  1. A fairly swift solve for a Toughie with just the manuscripts causing a pause for thought. Enjoyment and excellence comes as standard with this setter, so no surprise that the choice of favourites is spread throughout the grid, with 20d coming out on top.

    My thanks to Silvanus and Dutch.

  2. I found this considerably simpler than yesterday’s 1* and, I’m afraid, rather run of the mill. 22a raised a smile but that’s it.
    Thanks to Sylvanus and Gazza.

  3. Although this was at the easier end of the Toughie scale, I thought it was superb.

    I struggled with 17d, but once I had the checkers in place I followed the instructions in the wordplay and found the answer generated thereby in the BRB.

    With plenty of ticks on my page, 22a took my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Gazza.

  4. Enjoyable, as ever. Silvanus more than knows what he’s doing and he always plays by the rules. But I have to agree with halcyon – it perhaps lacked just a little fizz. Like others, it was only 17d (typically fair clueing) that gave me any pause. And as fond as I am of subractive anagrams they were getting rather repetitive by the end. I did like 13a’s bravura and I loved 22a’s construction, though I felt the surface just missed. Not by much, mind. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza – 1a’s cartoon made me chuckle. How very true!

  5. I really enjoyed this admittedly relatively benign Toughie, and do hope some of the more back-page orientated solvers give it a shot. I was relieved to see I was not alone in my ignorance of 17d but, as RD has said, the instructions were clear and the resulting answer correct. Some surfaces did not feel up to the usual Silvanus standard but plenty of excellent clues.
    Highlights for me included 2d (I have something of a biltong habit and buy it in 500g bags from a local producer down here in Cornwall), 13a and 4a – which reminded me of Cluedo, doubtless as Silvanus intended!
    Thank you to Silvanus for the challenge, and Gazza for the blog & excellent cartoons!

  6. An easy, but most enjoyable puzzle from the setter who never fails to give such pleasure. Although I had to look up my answer to 17D, the wordplay proved me correct. Lots of ticks with mention to 1A,13A, 16A and 4D. Podium goes to 22A.
    Thanks to Gazza and Sylvanus.

  7. By no means as fiendish as this setter can sometimes be but, nevertheless, a joyous romp through Toughieland. 17d took a leap of faith plus a check in the BRB and 28a bothered me as I couldn’t ‘see’ the homophone indicator as I was solving – silly girl!
    Rosettes here went to 22&27a plus 20a with an hon. mention to 1a just because it made me smile.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and also to Gazza for the review and cartoons – can’t decide whether my top choice would be the fellow having a mid-life crisis or the one trying to get sponsorship from the Scottish Arts Council!

  8. Add me to the list of never having heard of 17d but I have now. I didn’t find it quite as straightforward as most but nothing new there. Most enjoyable. Favourite was 16a. Thanks to Silvanus and Gazza.

  9. I managed to sneak in a Toughie solve under the pretext of having a siesta this afternoon and was amply rewarded by this fine puzzle.
    17d and 25a were the last to fall for me. I especially liked the barman in 1a, the film in 11a and the delivery person in 22a.
    Great stuff, Silvanus and many thanks also to Gazza.

  10. Not as easy for me as others clearly found it. Needed 2 letter reveals to stumble over the line – the candlestick & 17d / 25a requiring the nudges.
    Shame as the remainder of the puzzle was surprisingly accessible for a Silvanus Toughie & enjoyable as ever
    Thanks to Mr Smooth & to Gazza

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