Neil Dexter's career-best figures of 5/27 put Middlesex in a dominant position at the close of day three at Trent Bridge, despite a stirring fightback from the Nottinghamshire tail.
Dexter's part-time medium-pacers tore through a Notts top order boasting six internationals and with the hosts still trailing Middlesex when their seventh wicket fell on 68, seemed to have put the match to bed.
But Andre Adams made a furious unbeaten half-century in just 37 balls, including three sixes, and found some fine assistance from Luke Fletcher (47) as they put on 89 for the ninth wicket to revive Nottinghamshire's hopes.
Their partnership proved there are fewer demons in the pitch than their top order performance alluded to though, and with the lead still a slender 107 with one wicket remaining, Middlesex enter the final day as heavy favourites.
John Simpson was earlier denied a third first-class century when he ran out of partners to be left stranded on 97.
Notts' bowlers had a great degree more purpose about them than on a flat second day, with Andre Adams, Ajmal Shahzad and Andy Carter chipping in to finish of the Middlesex innings and restrict the first-innings deficit to 75.
That looked a mountainous task for the 2010 county champions though as they quickly fell to 6/2.
Alex Hales made a crisp 32 as he and James Taylor led a recovery, before Dexter - only offered the chance of an extended bowl due to the absence of the injured James Harris - got in on the act.
At one stage the Middlesex club captain was showing figures of 4/6 after picking up three wickets in the same over before Shahzad gave him his first first-class five wicket haul.