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Toughie 511

Toughie No 511 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A very pleasant but not too difficult puzzle from the Maestro.

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1a    Obtain power, energy inside (6)
{DERIVE} – to get a word meaning to obtain take a word meaning power or thrust and insert E(nergy)

4a    Vandal having instrument destroyed, almost (8)
{VIOLATOR} – this vandal is created from a stringed instrument followed by most of a word meaning destroyed

9a    Geezer around back of building is computer programmer (6)
{CODGER} – this geezer is derived by putting G (back of building) inside another word for a computer programmer – a bit of Yodaspeak here!

10a    Get seats organised — a must for the play (5,3)
{STAGE SET} – an anagram (organised) of GET SEATS gives “a representation consisting of the scenery and other properties used to identify the location of a dramatic production”

11a    Information on fare for journey will be given here (6-3)
{DINING-CAR} – a cryptic definition of a train carriage devoted to eating

13a    Meal from a Far Eastern country left to be eaten (5)
{THALI} – this set Indian meal consisting of a variety of curry dishes with rice or chapatis is constructed by taking a word meaning “from a particular Far Eastern country” and inserting (to be eaten) L(eft)

14a    A welcome sign for anyone who hasn’t got ready? (9,4)
{ADMISSION FREE} – a very welcome sign if you want to visit somewhere and you haven’t got any money (ready)

17a    Old-style entertainment has magnetism, I fancy (8,5)
{ISTHMIAN GAMES} – this old-style entertainment, which used to be held in Corinth, is an anagram (fancy) of HAS MAGNETISM I

21a    We may discuss this item of headgear, having got cold (5)
{TOPIC} – the subject of a discussion is a charade of a sun hat made from the pith of the stems of sola plants, formerly worn in India, and C(old)

23a    Happen to be in flat by gallery outside university (9)
{EVENTUATE} – a word meaning to happen to be in is derived from a word meaning flat or level and a famous art gallery around U(niversity)

24a    Looking from a particular angle, see inn as wicked (2,1,5)
{IN A SENSE} – a phrase meaning looking from a particular angle is an anagram (wicked) of SEE INN AS

25a    Funny Tommy who rolled out the barrel? (6)
{COOPER} – the surname of a popular comedian called Tommy is also a person skilled in making barrels

26a    Deficiency in lavatory rod restricting flush finally (8)
{LOOPHOLE} – a deficiency or ambiguity in a contract is built up from a lavatory (3) and a rod placed around (restricting) H (flusH finally)

27a    They go up and they come down (6)
{SKIERS} – balls hit high in the air of people sliding down a hill on two planks


1d           Resolve to get rid of one in the most terrible form of murder? (6)
{DECIDE} – to get a word meaning to resolve drop the first I from the killing of a god

2d           Return when nothing’s left — worker on the scrap heap? (9)
{REDUNDANT} – take a little-used word meaning to return, drop the O (nothing’s left) and add a worker to get a word that can be colloquially expressed as on the scrap heap – see below for Chambers’ explanation of the difference between the two similar synonyms of to return

3d           Vigour needed to contain potentially explosive situation in country (7)
{VIETNAM} – put a synonym for vigour around a well-known volcano to get a Far Eastern country

5d           Mix when at university, say, in front of a fire (11)
{INTERMINGLE} – a m to mix is a charade of when at university, say (2,4) and a fireplace

6d           Temper evident when sea captain loses head in front of a number (7)
{LIGHTEN} – a word meaning to temper or calm is constructed from the captain of the Bounty without his head (first letter) and a number

7d           A lecturer joining group — revolutionary physics unit (5)
{TESLA} – combine A, L(ecturer) and a group then reverse the lot (revolutionary) to get the derived SI unit of  magnetic flux density – a derived unit is a unit of measurement derived from the fundamental units of a system – they are in The Mine!

8d           Sold with a new bit added on at the end? (8)
{RETAILED} – a part-cryptic double definition – the main definition is sold

12d         Holiday location that could do for coolest lads (5,3,3)
{COSTA DEL SOL} – this holiday location on the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain is an anagram (could do for) of COOLEST LADS

15d         Fruit — mash or else pap (4,5)
{ROSE APPLE} – this fruit from an East Indian tree of the clove genus is an anagram (mash) of OR ELSE PAP

16d         Examination not fair when one’s restricted by wind! (8)
{MISTRIAL} – this unfair examination, rendered invalid through an error in the proceedings, is derived by putting I (one) inside (restricted by) a strong cold north-westerly wind that blows through the Rhône valley and southern France towards the Mediterranean

18d         Drama in which Bill and little woman get married at the start (7)
{MACBETH} – a drama by Shakespeare is built up from a bill (2) and a shortened form of a girl’s name (one of the March sisters in Little Women) preceded by M(arried)

19d         Pick dull-looking wine, not the top one (7)
{MATTOCK} – an agricultural tool shaped like a pickaxe, with an adze and a chisel edge as the ends of the head, is built from a word meaning dull-looking followed by a German wine without its first letter (not the top one, as this is a down clue)

20d         Teacher embarrassed — knocked over plant (6)
{DERRIS} – combine the form of address for a male teacher and the colour associated with embarrassment, reverse the lot (knocked over, another down-clue construct) and the result is a woody climbing plant of the pea family

22d         Instruction from composer shown briefly at start of prelude (5)
{PIANO} – this instruction from a composer to play softly is frequently abbreviated to P (shown briefly at start of Prelude)

rebound or redound?

To rebound is ‘to bounce back’, in either a neutral, a good, or a bad sense:
She was throwing the ball against the wall and catching it as it rebounded;
His overweening ambition rebounded on him, as, having displaced his father from the throne, he was in turn ousted by those who would not accept him as the legitimate ruler

To redound (now a rather old-fashioned or formal word) is ‘to have advantageous or disadvantageous consequences’:
His actions redounded to the credit of the regiment;
A child’s bad behaviour in public inevitably redounds on the parents.

29 comments on “Toughie 511

  1. As you say, very pleasant solving. My favourite is my last one to go in 27a for the d’oh moment after I had tried palindromes and all sorts. Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and BD for the hints.

    1. I first thought ‘parachutist ‘or ‘paratrooper’ then noticed it was only 5 letters! For some reason when solving on line I often don’t ‘see’ the enumeration – never happens on paper! Haven’t clue why. However, I think that having thought of people who go up and then down, albeit the wrong ones, it made the answer more obvious.

  2. Very enjoyable – bet I wasn’t the only one to put in buffet-car for 11a and then have problems in the NW corner! Thanks to Giovanni and BD.
    If your thirst is still unslaked there’s a stunning puzzle in the Indy by Nimrod (Elgar) with all his usual tricks.

    1. I thought of both options, and decided to play safe until I had some checking letters. I did pen car in though :-)

  3. This is my sort of Toughie! Much more of a challenge than the cryptics but accessable.
    I’m really not up to Elgar yet, but then I wasn’t up any Toughie a few months ago! Methinks I might give the Indy a miss Gazza.
    Thanks to Giovanni for a great puzzle – more like this please!
    Thanks for the blog BD.BTW, I don’t mind a bit of ‘Yodaspeak’ at times – watched ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ last Sunday (again!).

    1. Yes, I tend to find Elgar as approachable as Harrison Birtwistle or Karlheinz Stockhausen and usually switch off. This one today was definitely more Mozartian/Schubertian in its elegance of composition…….

  4. Haven’t seen my favourite French wind featured for a while, and liked 26a (I expect a BD clip for that one). Got 3d quite quickly, so didn’t get trapped in the buffet. Thanks to The Don & Dave.

  5. I enjoyed this today mainly because I found it a lot easier than normal Toughies.

    I, also, tried to solve 27a with a palindrome, but eventually solved it even though I completely missed the cricket reference – thought it must be more complicated than just a definition of alpine skiers.

    Looking forward to the explanation of the downs, as I am not too sure about 19d & 20d.

    1. 19d – The answer is a large tool used for digging. The first 4 letters are a synonym for a dull colour, followed by a 4 letter word for German wine missing its first letter (not the top one).

    2. 20d – The answer is a type of plant. Take a 3 letter word for teacher, followed by a 3 letter word for embarrassed, and then reverse them both.

    3. 20d is a three letter word for a male teacher followed by the colour you go when embarrassed. Reverse the whole thing (knocked over) to get the name of a plant.

    4. 19d – word meaning dull (4) then a German wine missing the first letter. Not a word hitherto in my vocabulary!
      20d The answer is a type of plant. Think about embarased, then what you called a master at school, then reverse it all.

      1. Thanks all for your replies!
        19d – I always spell matt with a single “t” – but now so obvious!
        20d – Plants are not my strong point – when a “plant” clue turns up, it always makes me feel more sympathetic to those who know little about cricket.

        PS! Mozilla Firefox spell-check has just objected to “matt”

        1. Hi Franco
          Strange, until I started doing xwords I always thought double T for matt but have often come across single T in puzzles! Today was a nice change for me!
          I’m with you on plants – fortunately pommette often comes to the rescue!

  6. Well 27a held me up as I had RISERS although I did put DINING CAR in straight off but had ti think hard before confirming.
    Very enjoyable Toughie from Giovanni and thanks to BD for the review.

  7. Very enjoyable crossword from Giovanni. I must have been in the right mindset for one of his puzzles today as I found this easier and quicker to complete than the backpage puzzle from Shamus! Favourite clue was 26a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to BD for the review.

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle today with many good and innovative clues. Fav was 17 and also enjoyed solving 1 2 3 4 etc. Lets face it – they were all good with no ABBS! Thanks Giovanni.

  9. Agree with most of the above – not difficult but certainly enjoyable and a nice start to the week.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to BD for the review.

  10. A serious challenge from the Don. I struggled with a bunch of words I never heard of before. I constructed 13a from the clue but it’s a first encounter for me. I still have not figured out the wordplay of 2d, except for the worker and a state of undress. I’ll have a look at BD’s hints after this post.
    20d: same story but quite obvious clue.
    17a another first for me but the last word followed easily and the rest just had to fit. I recognised the Greek toponym but not the phenomenon itself. 1d was the source of an “Aha!” moment. I regard the word with the “i” as one of the most blasphemous words in the English (or any other) language.

    Tremendous fun overall!
    Diff *****, Enjoyment: ****

    Thanks, Giovanni and website commendatore!

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