Toughie 182 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 182

Toughie No 182 by Giovanni

Payback Time!

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

Last time up we gave Giovanni only two stars for difficulty and the time before that it was three. Well, today it is payback!  A true Toughie, which gives that real sense of achievement when you have filled in the final square.

Today it is Tilsit’s turn to suffer hardware problems.  Unfortunately, his email to me got lost in the ether for nearly 4 hours, so my apologies for the lateness of the review.  I think you will agree that this puzzle was worth the wait.


1a In anticipation, poet comes to river plant (10)
{HELIOTROPE} – inside HOPE (anticipation) put (TS) ELIOT and R(iver) to get a plant

6a Author with friends abroad (4)
{AMIS} – a double definition – for the author you can take your pick of Sir Kingsley or his son Martin, the friends are French

9a Son in muddle in his group may ask for concessions (10)
{PENSIONERS} – one of those nearly-all-in-one clues – an anagram of SON IN inside PEERS gives a group who may ask for concessions

10a Girl making a bit of money once (4)
{ANNA} – a double definition – a girl’s name and a former currency of India (1/16 Rupee) – note how the setter tells you that the money is not current, they don’t all do that!

12a First appearance made by the in group? Certainly not! (6)
{OUTSET} – a cryptic definition – it’s not the in group, but the OUT SET

13a Recent hospital deliveries? (8)
{NEONATES} – I got the general idea of this cryptic definition early on, but needed the checking letters to get this cryptic definition of newly born children

15a Get bored with windbag, discursive historian (6,6)
{EDWARD GIBBON} – this was the first time I had seen discursive as an anagram indicator, but it works well – resolve BORED and WINDBAG for the author of “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” – with excellent, and very appropriate, surface reading,

18a Firm of less importance gets chance (12)
{COINCIDENTAL} – a charade of CO and INCIDENTAL for this chance

21a Can a river join up having two separate channels? (8)
{BINAURAL} – another charade, this time BIN A and URAL combine to give a word meaning using two separate sound channels

22a Dress that’s ventilated almost getting dry inside (6)
{ATTIRE} – one of those where you guess the answer and retrofit the wordplay – this dress comes from AIRE(D) around TT (TeeTotal)

24a Chops lines at right angles? (4)
{AXES} – good double definitions are usually difficult to find for short words, but this one works really well

25a Least likely to fall by the wayside — thus ascent can be organised (10)
{STAUNCHEST} – an anagram of THUS ASCENT

26a European social event excludes Conservative (4)
{DANE} – two days ago, in DT 25981, I mentioned how European usually leads to E, Pole or Dane – well, we had the first two then and today we have the other one – DAN(C)E

27a Famous victory by macho chaps put on telly regularly with intensity of feeling (10)
{VEHEMENTLY} – I built this one from the back towards the front! – TLY (telly, regularly) then HE MEN (macho chaps) and finally VE (famous victory) – and it was only when I was nearly there that I realised I was not looking for a victory as the answer, but intensity of feeling


1d Hello — pub has classical work and modern music! (3-3)
{HIP-HOP} – a charade of HI (hello) PH (Public House) and OP (classical work) leads to the kind of modern music for which I won’t be posting a video link!

2d Man heading business community not about to show tolerance (6)
{LENITY} – combine LEN and (C)ITY to get this synonym for tolerance

3d Passing remark cut — I’m beginning to blame editor for being silly (6,6)
{OBITER DICTUM} – this Latin phrase meaning something said by the way, a cursory remark, is an anagram of CUT I’M B(lame) and EDITOR, but don’t you just love “being silly” as the anagram indicator

4d Character of fruit softly melting away (4)
{RUNE} – this character from the Ancient Germanic alphabet is simply (P)RUNE

5d Signalling opening and finishing (10)
{PORTENDING} – another excellent charade – PORT and ENDING combining to give a synonym for signalling

7d A fool in crowd descending on a Canadian place (8)
{MANITOBA} – put A NIT inside MOB and add A to get this Canadian Province

8d Last bit of artistry before pen is laid to rest? (4,4)
{SWAN SONG} – a pen being a female swan, this is a reference to the Dying Swan

11d A new little extra thing? It was once that to a physicist (12)
{ANTIPARTICLE} – A N(ew) TIP (little extra) and ARTICLE (thing) – would you have guessed that Giovanni has a Physics degree from Bristol University?

14d Keep close to the sea’s edge? (10)
{SANDCASTLE} – superb surface reading for this cryptic definition

16d Scoundrel poet, a dagger-concealer? (8)
{SCABBARD} – this dagger-concealer is a charade of SCAB (scoundrel) and BARD (poet)

17d Poor on the outside, pub’s ace inside, in terms of classification (8)
{LINNAEAN} – LEAN on the outside, INN A(ce) inside, for a system of classification

19d Rob a rich man, taking tons (6)
{DIVEST} – a word meaning to rob comes from Dives, the rich man at whose gate Lazarus lay, and T(ons)

20d Watch star’s first appearance (6)
{SENTRY} – S(tar) and ENTRY combine to give this person who keeps watch

23d Wanting energy later, pick sweet (4)
{CUTE} – E (Energy) after (later) CUT (pick, in the sense of to cull) gives a word meaning sweet

Tilsit will be kicking himself for handing this one over to me!  I’m inclined to agree with 14 down as favourite, by a whisker from 15 across.  Puzzles like this are as rare as rocking-horse shit.

10 comments on “Toughie 182

  1. CluedUp is showing only 34 submitted Toughie 182’s at 17.30pm UK time. A monster :-). I look forward to Giovanni’s normal offering tomorrow.
    I got 15a with a magical eureka moment.

  2. Favourite clue 14d – got 15 a from Chambers and had to get help for 3d. Apart from that all the others were do-able and enjoyable.

      1. Thanks guys! I keep missing those biblical references. Heartily agree with the ratings on this one!

  3. I did not know who Dives was but guessed the answer, my favourite clue was 14d.
    Brilliant crossword.

  4. I think that in 8d there is also a reference to a writer or musician laying down his pen after completing his last work (his swansong).

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