Toughie 3290 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3290

Toughie No 3290 by Stick Insect
Hints and Tips by crypticsue
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Toughie Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

For the second day running, we have a Toughie that turned out to be trickier than I was expecting.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a Beggar is safe imbibing condensed drink particle (10)
PETITIONER A slang name for a safe ‘imbibing’ that abbreviated (condensed) informal name for Italian Vermouth and an electrically-charged particle

6a Saint Paul’s opening morning messages that aren’t wanted (4)
SPAM The abbreviation for Saint, the ‘opening’ of Paul and the abbreviation meaning morning

9a Appropriate parking space salesman takes, last in lot (3-4)
PRE-EMPT The abbreviation for Parking, a printer’s space taken in by an abbreviated salesman, followed by the last letter in loT

10a Weak one leaves over pretence in apparently chaotic pattern (7)
FRACTAL An irregular or chaotic geometric pattern – the Roman numeral for one leaves a synonym for weak and is replaced by a pretence

12a Attention, a pal resorted to source of drink (3,10)
TEA PLANTATION An anagram (resorted) of ATTENTION A PAL

14a Public unity is harmonic (8)
OVERTONE A musical harmonic – an adjective meaning open to view and a synonym for unity

15a Bill amendment gets resistance for regulation’s end (6)
CHARGE The symbol for Resistance replaces the N (regulation’s ‘end’) in an amendment or alteration

17a Primitive condition seen in the rut, animals regressing (6)
NATURE – Hidden in reverse (regressing) in thE RUT ANimals

19a Concerned with abuse about old access (8)
RECOURSE The usual two-letter concerned on the subject of, with some verbal abuse ‘about’ the abbreviation for Old

21a Motive‘s importance (13)
CONSIDERATION A double definition – both words in the clue appear in a list of definitions for the solution

24a Keep late aunt’s dressing table (7)
PLATEAU – Hidden in (dressing) keeP LATE AUnt

25a Supporter follows youngster absolutely (7)
TOTALLY A supporter follows or goes after a young child

26a Assistant putting papers in attache’s case (4)
AIDE Abbreviated personal papers inserted into the outside letters (case) of AttachE

27a One hoping to get high, one way or another? (5,5)
SPACE CADET A trainee at NASA perhaps, or an informal name for a person habitually high on drugs


1d Sing in irrational exercise (4)
PIPE An irrational number and some abbreviated school exercise

2d Article covers worry beginning to restrict field of operations (7)
THEATRE A definite article ‘covers’ an informal verb meaning to worry and the ‘beginning’ to Restrict

3d Repeatedly send back later notes (4,5,4)
TIME AFTER TIME A reversal (back) of a verb meaning to send [out], a synonym for later and two musical notes

4d Foolish aunt folk get the better of (8)
OUTFLANK An anagram (foolish) of AUNT FOLK

5d Child tells friend to ignore odds (5)
ELFIN The even (ignore odds) of tElLs FrIeNd

7d Stronger current gets into vessel that’s caught out (7)
PITHIER Remove the cricket abbreviation for Caught from a jug for holding liquids and then insert (gets into) the symbol for electrical current

8d German lied outrageously and threw a sickie (10)
MALINGERED An anagram (outrageously) of GERMAN LIED

11d A choir can’t, for the most part, sing Free – All Right Now? No! (13)
ANACHRONISTIC An anagram (free) of A CHOIR CANT and most of SINg – anyone else stuck with an ear worm?

13d Company turned aircon up getting abundant supply (10)
CORNUCOPIA The abbreviation for company and an anagram (turned) of AIRCON UP

16d Nice muscle covering girl boxing soldier, perhaps (8)
PEDANTIC Nice in the sense of over-particular – an informal name for a muscle ‘covering’ an abbreviated girl’s name into which is inserted (boxing) one of Crosswordland’s soldiers

18d Travel fast? It’s difficult when husband bails out vessel (7)
TANKARD Travel at great speed and a synonym for difficult without (bails out) the abbreviation for Husband

20d Vexed with order, took 15 (7)
RANKLED A synonym for order and a simple way of saying took 15a

22d Provide online joke? (5)
EQUIP The usual single letter indication that something is on line and a joke

23d City street sends out appeal for growth (4)
CYST Remove the two-letter sexual appeal from CitY and add the abbreviation for street

9 comments on “Toughie 3290
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    1. You’ve changed your alias again (previously you were RF and Rajf)

      You are of course correct and I have amended the hint accordingly

      What did you think of the crossword?

  1. Thank you: it’s such a rare privilege for me to be right rather than turning here in desperation and confusion!!

    I thought it was an interesting mix of some quite straightforward clues and a few that I so struggled with. 27A made me smile!

  2. I found the SE corner the trickiest and this time I agree with your rating Sue. Spot on for a Weds. Took me ages to parse 3d tho’ it seems so obvious now. Top clues for me were 11d and the neat little 23d.
    Thanks to SI and CS.

  3. Managed to fit answers into all the little spaces but, in several instances, the parsing became a battle of wills and the BRB was called into service. Thought Hoskins had taught me everything I needed to know about drugs but 27a proved me wrong!
    No particular favourite, just extremely grateful to get everything done and dusted.

    Thanks to Stick Insect and to CS, who seems to know everything, for the review.

  4. A pleasant enough puzzle but not one which will stay long in the memory – thanks to Sticky and CS.
    The clues I liked best were 3d and 7d.

  5. An enjoyable puzzle which I found less of a challenge than yesterday’s offering. Lots to like with 6A, 21A, 7D, 22D and 23D getting a special mention. Podium goes to 3D
    Many thanks to CS and Stick Insect.

  6. Struggled a bit with the definition for 16d but did get it from the wordplay.
    Pleasant solve with 3d earing top spot.
    Thanks Stick Insect and CS.

  7. Found it tough going & needed to reveal the letter checker in order to finally crack 7d&10a – didn’t know the word for the latter & was stupidly trying to shoehorn a pretence into letters 4-6. Runaway fav was 27a with podium spots for 3&11d – an earworm for both.
    Thanks to Sticky & Sue.

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