Toughie 573 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 573

Toughie No 573 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A typical Giovanni Toughie – perfectly fair and not overtough

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1a    Child in old-style school, a learner denied soup (7)
{BORSCHT} CH (child) goes inside an old-style school for bad boys from which A L (learner) has been removed. This gives an Eastern European beetroot soup

5a    Hounds after the chase perhaps getting food (3,4)
{HOT DOGS} After the chase the hounds are likely to be perspiring and thus will be *** ****

9a    Hair to go round front of nose into area even further down (7)
{CHIGNON} A knot or roll of hair worn at the back of the head and nape is formed from GO around N (front of nose) put inside part of the head which is lower down from the nose

10a    Historical ship from South Africa protected by fibrous material (7)
{CORSAIR} A privateer (from the Barbary Coast) is formed from a 3-letter abbreviation for South Africa inside the strong fibre of coconut husks

11a    Old French resort not being used for the time being (2,3)
{ON ICE} O (old) + a resort of the French Riviera gives “not being used for the time being”

12a    Ancient language a national spouted (9)
{ANATOLIAN} An anagram (spouted) of A NATIONAL gives a language named after a part of Turkey

13a    Imagine possible enemy blockading Red Sea endlessly (7)
{FORESEE} An enemy goes round RED SEA with the last letter of each word removed

14a    Inner quality of ascetic about to be locked up (7)
{ESSENCE} Inner quality is formed from an ancient Jew leading a retired ascetic life going round (locked up) C (about)

16a    Formality rigid (as you might say!) diminished gradually (7)
{TAPERED} Take a term (3,4) meaning rigid formality and transpose the two parts to get “diminished gradually”

19a    Fighting body? It’ll take one a short distance to get to the front (7)
{MILITIA} A body of citizen soldiers is formed from IT I (one) A going after a unit of distance with the last letter removed

22a    Name a good worker who makes life hell for men? (9)
{TERMAGANT} Name + A + G (good) + worker (insect) gives a brawling, scolding woman

24a    Languishes with minimal energy in legs (5)
{PINES} “Languishes” is derived from E (minimal energy) inside an informal word for legs

25a    Policeman set free after a while (7)
{MOUNTIE} This policeman (who always gets his man) comes from “set free” after a very short time

26a    Son enthralled by cartoon character who plays on a field? (7)
{BATSMAN} S (son) goes inside the caped crusader to give someone you’ll see on a cricket field

27a    Camp using portable bed by lake (7)
{COTERIE} A camp (party or group) is formed from a portable bed + one of the Great Lakes

28a    River engaging engineer (7)
{EXECUTE} A river of SW England + “engaging” gives “to engineer”


1d    Retreat of female having returned earlier (4,3)
{BACK OFF} “To retreat” comes from OF F (female) following “returned”

2d    Wetter prince who married actress (7)
{RAINIER} 2 meanings: wetter / Grace Kelly’s husband

3d    Study closely packed bit of reading initially with lens (9)
{CONDENSER} “To study” + “closely packed” + R (bit of reading) = a lens for focusing light, e.g. in a microscope

4d    It’s not bottled beer, they say, for a man of the Bible (7)
{TYNDALE} A homophone of canned beer gives the surname of an English Protestant (?1492-1536) who translated the Bible into English. You can spell his surname in two ways both of which fit the clue and the grid

5d    The care about to be given to piece of land? (7)
{HECTARE} An anagram (about) of THE CARE gives a unit of area used in measuring land

6d    Part of body thus buried under pile of rocks (5)
{TORSO} A part of the body is formed from “thus” following a rocky height

7d    Group of stars keeping a time for talk (7)
{ORATION} A constellation containing 7 very bright stars goes round A T (time) to give a talk

8d    Remarkable litres emerging from hamper (7)
{STRANGE} “Remarkable” is formed by removing L (litres) from a word meaning “to hamper”

15d    Chemical alert — pet’s ill (9)
{SALTPETRE} An anagram (ill) of ALERT PET’S gives a chemical used in gunpowder

16d    Up the pole? (7)
{TOTEMIC} An adjective that might be considered to describe a type of pole set up by indigenous people in North America

17d    In the auditorium put down a floor covering (7)
{PARQUET} A homophone of “put down a” gives a floor-covering of wooden blocks

18d    Top marksman killed investigator? (7)
{DEADEYE} An unerring marksman is formed from “killed” + a private detective

19d    Shifting item of furniture? There’s hesitation to climb at first (7)
{MUTABLE} “Subject to change (shifting)” comes from a common item of furniture following the reversal of an interjection signifying hesitation

20d    Meat in a mouse is more than enough for this bird (7)
{TINAMOU} A South American partridge-like bird is hidden in meaT IN A MOUse

21d    Want a change of scene having crossed Belgium (7)
{ABSENCE} “Want” comes from A + an anagram (change of) of SCENE round B (Belgium)

23d    Excited atmosphere around street (5)
{ASTIR} “Excited” = atmosphere round ST (street)

No real problems today

13 comments on “Toughie 573

  1. A very nice Toughie from Giovanni today. Took me the same time as the back page (quickish for a toughie, very slow for a cryptic) but I did enjoy the middle-of-the-paper experience. No particular favourites – all round problem-free fun. Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo too.

  2. I got a little stuck in the NW (as I also did in the back page puzzle today).
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Bufo.

  3. Needed to check 9a, new word to me, otherwise no real problems or issues. Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo

  4. 16a is an awfully structured clue. Why does ‘as you might say!’ mean to switch the order of the previous two words????

    1. Rigid formality = red tape. Therefore, formality rigid = tape red! The “as you might say” shows that it’s a fanciful construction.

  5. Enjoyable and fun crossword, although I found it easier than most back-pagers.

    I particularly liked 16a and 24a, but wasn’t so keen on 16d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Bufo for the review.

  6. It seems like I’m the exception today, found this a real struggle NW last to go in. Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the comments.

  7. I have to be honest that I found this a lot more difficult than normal – partly because of the clueing – 16d not keen on , 8d why litres plural ? and 16a I still fail to grasp the hint to reverse . However some nice ones – 22a best for me . Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo

    1. Re 8d: L can be singular or plural (there’s no difference for SI units)

      Re 16a: “Rigid formality” = “Red tape”, so “Formality rigid” = “Tape red”.

  8. Just back from an extended lunch (a thank you for preaching on Ascension Day). Still smiling at 4d. Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Bufo for the review.

  9. I don’t usually try the Toughie, but didn’t get into the back-page one, so am working on this & enjoying it.

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