Toughie 192

Toughie No 192 by Giovanni

Giovanni gives us an easy ride

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Last time we had a puzzle from Giovanni, it was a tough time.  This time he has been a lot kinder to us.  A smattering of new / lesser known words, but altogether the same excellent standard that we have come to expect.


9a Old coins forged from plate (5)
{LEPTA} – the smallest of ancient Greek coins, called mites in the New Testament, are an anagram (forged|) of PLATE

10a Form of belief is held by those people following pagan god (9)
{PANTHEISM} – the belief in many or all gods is built up by putting IS inside (held by) THEM (those people) after (following) PAN (pagan god)

11a A lot of sand and noise in NZ (7)
{DUNEDIN} – a charade of DUNE (a lot of sand) and DIN (noise) gives a place in New Zealand

12a Tinned bread as source of vitamin A (7)
{CAROTIN} – put ROTI in CAN (bread in can / tinned bread) to get this source of vitamin A

13a Stop people settling in another country endlessly (5)
{COLON} – this punctuation mark comes from COLON(Y) (people settling in another country) without the Y (endlessly)

14a Workers coming to a good lake for beasts (9)
{MENAGERIE} – this charade of MEN (workers) A G (A Good) and ERIE (lake) gives a collection of beasts – the same lake was part of the wordplay in today’s other puzzle

16a Cave-maintainers, itinerant pre-modern people (6,9)
{NATIVE AMERICANS} – an anagram (itinerant) of CAVE-MAINTAINERS leads to these people that were mistakenly called Indians (pre-modern people) – somehow Cowboys and Native Americans doesn’t sound the same

19a A sign ‘inders what it’s supposed to represent (9)
{AMPERSAND} – a combination of punctuation and Cockney constructs – this sign (H)AMPERS AND, or (h)inders what it’s supposed to represent

21a Destructive creature finds a place, losing little time (5)
{LOCUS} –  the definition, a place, is in the middle of LOCUS(T) (destructive creature) and the instruction to drop the T (losing little Time)

23a Balloon at someone’s home, first hint of excitement (7)
{INFLATE} – to balloon comes from IN FLAT (at someone’s home) followed by E (first hint of Excitement)

25a Problem fire trapping French and British (7)
{SETBACK} – to get this problem you need to put SACK (fire) around ET (French and) and B(ritish)

27a Meeting death almost, having to fight (9)
{ENCOUNTER} – a meeting that is built by combining EN(D) (death almost) and COUNTER (having to fight)

28a The dark rider heading off (5)
{NIGHT} – darkness is derived from (K)NIGHT (rider) without the K (heading off)


1d Stupid person lacking emotion, twisted inside (4)
{CLOD} – this stupid person comes from swapping the middle letters (twisted inside) of COLD (lacking emotion) – to me this is a very close relation of the dreaded indirect anagram  – what do you think, is it fair or unfair?

2d Mineral? You’d need firmness of character to have litre (6)
{SPINEL} – any mineral of a group of aluminates, ferrates, and chromates of magnesium, iron, zinc, etc crystallizing in octahedral is derived from SPINE (firmness of character) and L(itre)

3d Dynamic type admitting excellent study is a success in a particular field (6,4)
{MAIDEN OVER} – here MOVER (dynamic type) includes (admitting) A1 (excellent) and DEN (study)  to get a success in the cricket field

4d Any poem can be stirring except for a ‘Maud’, say? (6)
{EPONYM} – an anagram (stirring) of (A)NY POEM (any poem … except for A) gives a word meaning a character who gives a play, poem, etc its title (‘Maud’, say)

Maud ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

COME into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown.

5d Settle two opponents at table? Fine! (8)
{ENSCONCE} – a word meaning to settle comfortably  is a charade of E(ast) and N(orth) (two bridge opponents at the card table) and SCONCE, a fine imposed at Oxford University for some breach of university rules or etiquette (paid in ale or in attempting to drink a large amount of ale without taking a breath, or otherwise) – thanks, once again, to Chambers for the explanation!

6d Domestic delight in short supply (4)
{CHAR} – this domestic help is CHAR(M) (delight) without the M (in short supply)

7d Water is swirling around one plant (8)
{WISTERIA} – an anagram (swirling) of WATER IS placed around I (one) to give this plant

8d Difficult Aussie man not primarily one to be dictated to (10)
{AMANUENSIS} – an anagram (difficult) of AUSSIE MAN and N (Not primarily) give this  literary assistant, especially one who writes to dictation or copies from manuscript (one to be dictated to)

13d Construed as ‘ancient’, a people yielding to the Jews (10)
{CANAANITES} – an anagram (construed) of AS ANCIENT A gives a people yielding to the Jews

15d What may frustrate MPs, being group inside beset by craftiness (10)
{GUILLOTINE} – a Parliamentary technique used for shortening a parliamentary discussion (what may frustrate MPs) comes from LOT IN (group inside) all inside (beset by) GUILE (craftiness)

17d Souvenir? Could be kind with false front (8)
{TYPEFACE} –  I hadn’t realised that Souvenir was a typeface, but it is – and it’s built from TYPE (kind) and FACE (false front)

18d Scan tale furiously for literary passages (8)
{ANALECTS} – an anagram (furiously) of SCAN TALE gives these collected literary fragments (literary passages)

20d Abandon course being a bit gutted (6)
{DESERT} – take DES(S)ERT course and remove the middle letter (being a bit gutted)

22d Sway in church? Traditionalists may not like it (6)
{CHANGE} – HANG (sway) inside CE (Church of England)

24d Chemical coming from a chimney on the Clyde? (4)
{ALUM} – this is a chemical, available in profusion on the Isle of Wight, and A LUM is a Scottish word for a chimney

26d Outfit beginning to explore a device for testing public opinion (4)
{KITE} – a charade of KIT (outfit) and E (beginning to Explore) give a rumour or suggestion given out to see how the wind blows (a device for testing public opinion)

Give your rating of this puzzle by selecting from one to five stars below:


  1. Kram
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Although I loved most of the usual compilers high standard clues, I feel that resorting to places as answers is a bit sub standard,especially when in NZ, no atlas on the bus!!,see 11a. YES 1d is an indirect anagram and I have it from a good source that this is considered at times to be unfair to solvers, perhaps this is one such occasion!.

  2. Libellule
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My personal comments:
    1d might be as you suggest, but by the fact that it consists of only 4 letters, and the two checking letters are L & D, it’s not exactly difficult to work it out is it :-) I mean as a clue it would be at home in a normal cryptic, let alone a Toughie.
    Re. 11a Although “obscure” place names etc might be frowned on in a normal cryptic, I have no problem with this one in a Toughie, the word play leads you right to the answer.

    • Kram
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Libellule, you are almost correct regarding the checking letters for 1d, however one of them namely the D is reliant upon solving the unfair 11a, which as I stated without an atlas on the bus becomes unsolveable, accordingly I still think the indirect anagram is misplaced!.

      • Libellule
        Posted August 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        No problems – it takes all sorts. Basically I feel the rules that should be applied to the normal cryptics, should be relaxed a bit for the Toughie’s :-)

  3. Posted August 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Place names are in so many puzzles and they are not going away. This leaves the question of where to draw the line between interesting places and uninteresting ones. Which side of that line does Dunedin fall? Your guess is as good as mine.

  4. nanaglugglug
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    liked 15d, and Hotlips knew 11a immediately, being the sporty type that he is-apparently Dunedin is always very cold and very wet!

  5. Giovanni
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    in 11A the word ‘location’ somehow got missed out by the printer after the NZ, alas, but even so I thought that the clue should be solvable. As ever, thanks for the feedback.

  6. bigboab
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not as good as usual from the Master Setter. I quite liked 11a actually.

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