Toughie 371 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 371

Toughie No 371 by Giovanni

Use your loaf

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today we have a couple of clues that use bakery-related slang terms for money. I finished this more quickly than today’s regular cryptic, but thoroughly enjoyed both of them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Society group entertained by genial farmer (10)
{HUSBANDMAN} – put S(ociety) and a group of musicians inside a word meaning genial, as in kind or considerate, to get this farmer

6a    Nitrogen-free exhaust blasted (4)
{SPED} – drop the N (nitrogen-free) from a word meaning to exhaust, or use up, to get a synonym for blasted, as in went very fast

9a    Irritable, lacking yen at the end for living (5)
{CRUST} – take a word meaning irritable and drop the final Y (lacking Yen at the end) to get a living which you can earn

10a    Tongue-twisting clergyman’s to be corseted for flights (9)
{STAIRWAYS} – the tongue-twisting clergyman is the Reverend WA Spooner, who was famous for the transposition of initial sounds of spoken words – split this answer as (5,4) and transpose and you get “to be corseted (4,5)”; leave it as it is and you get flights or series of steps

12a    It could be the dear that’s badly hurt (6-7)
{BROKEN-HEARTED} – find an anagram of THE DEAR and precede it with an anagram indicator and you get badly hurt emotionally

14a    Sort of medicine that gives a patient hesitation for a time (8)
{APERIENT} – a laxative (sort of medicine) is constructed by taking A PATIENT and putting ER (hesitation) instead of A T(ime)

15a    This shopkeeper is said to be more stupid (6)
{GROCER} – this shopkeeper sounds like grosser (more stupid)

17a    One fruit topped with another (6)
{ANANAS} – take a fruit and remove the first letter to get another name for the pineapple

19a    Unhappy players at Bangor? (8)
{DOWNCAST} – a word meaning unhappy is derived by placing theatrical players after the Irish county where Bangor is located

21a    A bishop in epic region recreated Homer (7,6)
{CARRIER PIGEON} – put A Right Reverend (bishop) inside an anagram (recreated) of EPIC REGION to get this homing bird – the capitalisation leads you to think of Homer the Greek epic poet or Bart Simpson’s father

24a    A ‘dosing’ is arranged — after this? (9)
{DIAGNOSIS} – an anagram (arranged) of A DOSING IS gives what may precede the arrangement of a dosing!

25a    Mathematician replacing first item of geometer’s equipment? (5)
{EULER} – this Swiss mathematician is found by taking an item used in geometry and replacing the initial letter with E

26a    Entreated pretentious person audibly (4)
{SUED} – this verb meaning entreated sounds like the kind of pretentious person who has his own corner in Private Eye

27a    Isn’t he dopy! (Possibly being this?) (10)
{HYPNOTISED} – an anagram (possibly) of ISN’T HE DOPY gives a word meaning in a dopy state


1d    Maybe saw newspaper columnist? (4)
{HACK} – a type of saw is also a newspaper columnist

2d    One good ‘iding light under a bushel? Blunder (7)
{STUMBLE} – a good person is followed by a word meaning “hiding one’s light under a bushel” as spoken by Uriah Heep, ie without its first letter, to get a blunder

3d    Writer I squashed, I being held to be right (13)
{AUTHORISATION} – a charade of the writer of book, I and a phrasal verb meaning squashed (3,2) is placed around I to get a right or parmission

4d    Recognises research establishment must be placed in East Anglian town (8)
{DISCERNS} – a word meaning recognises is obtained by inserting the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire inside an East Anglian town (yes, that one again!)

5d    A wide wood becomes flooded
{AWASH} – a charade of A W(ide) and a type of wood gives a word meaning flooded

7d    Material obtained from model, one nabbed by copper (7)
{PLASTIC} – this synthetic material is built up from a model of the foot on which boots and shoes are made and I (one) inside a policeman

8d    Trade’s idea to work out the essential elements (10)
{DESIDERATA} – an anagram (to work out) of TRADE’S IDEA gives thing that are much desired

11d    Shuffling back over mountains, chaps start to tire (13)
{REARRANGEMENT} – this shuffling is a charade of synonyms for back, mountains and chaps followed by T (start to Tire)

13d    Marches as gangster leading another baddy into grottoes? (10)
{CAVALCADES} – these formal procession of people walking, on horseback, or riding in vehicles, are built up from America’s public enemy No 1 with a person who behaves dishonourably all inside some grottoes

16d    You may see ______ your bird table, Anne? (8)
{ROBINSON} – split this answer as (6,2) and insert it into the blank space – the definition is the Anne who enjoys being rude to people on The Weakest Link

Personally I’d prefer this lady any day of the week! I met Anne Bancroft (and Mel Brooks) at a London theatre several years ago.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d    Charge to go up (3,4)
{AIR FARE} – the price charged to go up in an aeroplane

20d    Ring girl that’s texted you with unending desire (7)
{ANNULUS} – this ring is a charade of a girl with a name similar to the one in 16d together with U (texted you) and most of (un-ending) a sexual desire

22d    Skittish, losing head, insecure (5)
{RISKY} – take a word meaning skittish or lively and drop the first letter (losing head) to get a synonym for insecure or dangerous

23d    Raised cash, but article’s not secured (4)
{BRED} – raised, for example, children is found by taking a colloquial word for cash and removing the A (article’s not secured}

The Toughie week tends to get harder each day – I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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11 comments on “Toughie 371

  1. When I mailed BD earlier I was 50% through and sweating (not due to the heat neither!). After finding out who the setter was I think the ‘Giovanni Switch’ turned over in my head and the rest fell in quite nicely. I had to check on 14a as an unknown and favourites were 27a and 13d. I must say I am not too fussed about the clue construction at 16d – I have seen it before, notably in the Grauniad, but it doesn’t really float my boat – what about you lot?Thanks BD and thanks to Giovanni – I will be reviewing his Friday DT as cover for gazza who has a prior engagement in the morning and he would rather the review went out at normal time.

  2. Two fabulous crosswords in one day. I loved this but would have given 4* for difficulty. Thanks BD for the review and thanks Giovanni for another cracker.

  3. Good quality fun from Giovanni. Favourite clues were 12a and 16d. Many thanks to BD for the hints and to Giovanni for the crossword.

  4. Got practically nowhere with this one ! Finally got 12a and guessed from then on, but did like 16d and 21a. Finished NW corner with Giovanni’s hints, mighty thankyous

            1. I agree – how they come up with these clues is a mystery! A proper toughie butyI got there in the end.

  5. Solved last night in a tour of recent toughies – probably a notch easier than the daily for the same day. I missed the Spoonerism at 10 but admire the effort to find a way of writing a Spoonerism clue without a “sore thumb” indicator. Also liked 16D and the cheeky 20D. Helped by some ideas I’d seen before, e.g. dosing & diagnosis (24A) and the players from the setter’s favourite NI county (19). The humble charade at 11D is done well too.

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