Toughie 930 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 930

Toughie No 930 by Giovanni

Elementary said Sherlock

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A pretty good puzzle, especially for one selected as the Tuesday Toughie. The handful of words that were new to me were clued in such a way that they could be easily derived from the wordplay.

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1a    A foreign city used to be called such a failure always (6)
{BOMBAY} – our PM was here yesterday! – a four-letter word for a failure followed by a poetic word for always

4a    Money not noted for being type in short supply (6)
{SPECIE} – this word for money in the form of coins rather than notes was new to me – drop the final letter (short supply) from a type or kind

8a    Something weighty from nameless benefactor — lots of cash around (8)
{DOORSTOP} – drop the N (nameless) from a benefactor and add lots of cash reversed (around)

10a    Tramp‘s bits and bobs (6)
{LUMBER} – a verb meaning to tramp or trudge and a word for bits and bobs or clobber

11a    Was at table maybe holding King in game of cards (4)
{SKAT} – a verb meaning was at the table around (holding) K(ing) gives a three-handed card game using 32 cards

12a    ‘Mr Smith’ staying at hotel with one ‘Mrs Smith’? The conjecture may be fair enough! (10)
{GUESTIMATE} – a word for someone staying at a hotel followed by I (one) and, possibly, the partner of the first person

13a    Sacrificing youngsters to Moloch? A hot topic for debate (7,5)
{BURNING ISSUE} – sacrificing at the stake followed by a biblical term for youngsters – Moloch was a Canaanite idol to whom children were sacrificed

16a    Invalid may stare down — words addressed to doctor (2,4,6)
{MY DEAR WATSON} – an anagram (invalid) of MAY STARE DOWN – the doctor in question lived with Sherlock Holmes

20a    Group  assignment (10)
{DELEGATION} – a double definition

21a    Physicist not someone interesting to listen to? (4)
{BOHR} – this physicist sonds like (to listen to) someone who is not very interesting

22a    A repetitive process keeps them in control (6)
{REMOTE} – a repetitive process around (keeps) the abbreviated form of them

23a    Japanese drama about a small island’s rescue facility (5,3)
{NOAH’S ARK} – a three-letter Japanese drama around (about) the A from the clue followed by a small Channel Island – inserting apostrophes into the enumeration didn’t last long!

24a    Broken bits father finally dumped in hut with son (6)
{SHERDS} – the final letter of fatheR inside a hut and followed by S(on)

25a    Name of former Soviet President, one of those gone in a flash (6)
{LEONID} – the first name of a former Soviet President Brezhnev is also a name for a meteor encountered at a particular time of the year (one of those gone in a flash)


1d    Plan movement of actors in session — get stuck in (5,3)
{BLOCK OUT} – another new one for me, this phrasal verb meaning to plan or rehearse the movements of the actors in a scene is derived by putting a session around (get … in) a word meaning stuck

2d    Graduate, disreputable person who ended in hot water? (5)
{MARAT} – a graduate followed by a disreputable person gives someone who was murdered in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday

3d    Opposing dope that could help towards fighting infection (7)
{ANTIGEN} – a charade of an adjective meaning opposing and some dope or information

5d    Hand-washer’s series of exercises (7)
{PILATES} – split as (6’1) this could mean of the Roman procurator of Judaea who , according to the Gospel of St Matthew, washed his hands to show that he was not responsible for the execution of Jesus – giving rise to the saying “to wash one’s hands of”

6d    What Jerry may want to nibble — and maybe Tom will eat constituent part (9)
{CAMEMBERT} – the Jerry of Tom and Jerry is a mouse – put the type of animal of which Tom is an example around (will eat) a constituent part

7d    Not bad odds? Time to enter such competitions (6)
{EVENTS} – some reasonable betting odds around T(ime)

9d    Grammatical construction that could make editor panic (11)
{PREDICATION} – an anagram (that could make) of EDITOR PANIC

14d    Supremo, being less sensitive, was successful, we hear (6,3)
{NUMBER ONE} – an adjective meaning being less sensitive followed by what sounds like (we hear) a verb meaning was successful

15d    Word of reassurance needs to be received by person upset (8)
{BOTHERED} – a word of reassurance inside (needs to be received by) a colloquial word for a person

17d    Hopeless situation somehow saddened society missing out (4,3)
{DEAD END} – an anagram (somehow) of (S)ADDENED without (missing out) the S(ociety)

18d    Ambitious type with flag holding bar up (7)
{WANNABE} – a verb meaning to flag or weaken around the reversal (up) of a bar or prohibition

19d    Parts may be dangerous — change direction finally (6)
{SEVERS} – to get this verb meaning parts start with an adjective meaning dangerous and change the final e (direction) to a different direction

21d    Something very small making number cry, being upset (5)
{BOSON} – this subatomic particle is derived from the abbreviation of number followed by a verb meaning to cry all reversed (being upset)

Not a bad start to the week.

16 comments on “Toughie 930

  1. I really enjoyed this offering from Giovanni, I loved 5d,13a and 23a but had to look up 21a and 21d. Many thanks to Giovanni and to BD for the excellent review.

  2. A couple I had to check; 4a, and the second definition of 25a. Also, I had to confirm the card game at 11a.
    Apart from those, the rest went in without too much difficulty.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to BD.

  3. I found this pretty tough for a Tuesday, last one in 1d favourites were 6d 12a and 13a thanks to Giovanni and to Big Dave for the comments.

  4. Unexpectedly tough for a Tuesday but I did know all the unknown words which helped. I wrote 21a in straight away, he appears quite a lot in crosswords although usually as a homophone when you need the uninteresting person instead.

    Thanks to Giovanni and BD too.

  5. Re 25a Being picky, did you know the only SOVIET President was Gorbachov? After his resignation the Soviet Union broke up and became the Russian Federation. Putin is President of Russia not the Soviet Union. Leonid Breschnev was a General Secretary not a Soviet President.. The things one finds out doing research for a “Toughie”!

  6. Found this tough full stop,but very enjoyable .
    .I wouldn’t care to admit how long I stared at Chambers for 1d .Three new words for me .Absolute faves 14d and 23a .
    The explanations were also very informative .
    Thanks very much .

  7. Only my second comment in as many years, and as last time on a point of detail The Don needs to brush up on his immunology re 3d. If foreign to the body, it is the antigen that can CAUSE disease; it is the antibody that FIGHTS the infection.

    Otherwise a typically splendid and precise offering from Giovanni and equally precise analysis from BD.

    Be warned, this pedant will continue to lurk.

    1. Dear Geoff, I have to gently disagree with you as the antigen would stimulate the production of antibodies and hence fight infection. I will of course stand corrected.

    2. It is people like you who give us lurkers a bad name. Balliejames 100% correct in his response to you. I suggest that next time you comment , do your home-work.
      Thanks to the setter and BD.

  8. This one gave us a lot of hard work, especially the SW corner, but eventually yielded to perservation and cogitation. Did not know the meteorite definition for 25a though, despite having the right name. (should have looked in BRB). Many very clever clues as we have learned to expect from this setter.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD.

  9. I found this very tough, getting er reversed in 24a did not help and putting the incorrect answer for 20a, although plausible, did not help. Thank you to BD for correction and to setter?

  10. Pretty tricky for a Tuesday.

    I enjoyed the physics references at 21 a/d, and, as always from Giovanni, there was some lovely clueing.

  11. Tuesday, really. Molochs. I’m trying to get friends to progress from the back page to toughie and we have this, 95% really good , really good and then words which nobody uses , why? I’m in sherds(?), Gripe over, cheers BD and Giovanni

    1. Maybe it’s time to revive the campaign for a Monday NTT (Not the Toughie) crossword on the blog. I know BD was looking at it but I think it was more a matter of resource than a willingness to go with the idea that put it on the back-burner.

      1. At the moment I have to find 64 puzzles a year for the NTSPP/MPP series. To find a further 52 could be quite difficult. Please also bear in mind that not only is my time given for free, but more importantly, so is that of the setters.

        1. …and your efforts and those of the “others” are greatly appreciated by everyone who accesses this site I am sure. Perhaps we expect too much given everything else that is given so freely on the site. Many thanks once again. S.

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