Toughie 946

Toughie No 946 by Giovanni

I’ll give it a 4a

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

The usual immaculate clues from Giovanni, but for me it lacked any sparkle.

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.

Across

1a    Erstwhile Tory minister‘s derisive witticism about European Parliament (6)
{JOSEPH} – the name of one of Mrs Thatcher’s most trusted advisers is derived by putting some derisive witticism around the abbreviation for European Parliament

4a    Unblocked  all right? (8)
{PASSABLE} – a double definition

9a    Group left enthralled by enchanting female (6)
{CIRCLE} – L(eft) inside an enchantress who lived on the island of Aeaea

10a    Romantic nonsense beginning to bind Germany and America (8)
{STARDUST} – a word meaning the beginning around the IVR code for Germany and the two-letter abbreviation for America

11a    Odious old mob bumping off one of the bishops outside city (9)
{EXECRABLE} – a two-letter prefix meaning old followed by a mob without one of the B(ishop)s around the postcode for the City of London

13a    Put up and put in having switched sides (5)
{ERECT} – a verb meaning to put in of select for office with the L(eft) and R(ight) switched

14a    Al Capone in mob surprisingly convivial (13)
{COMPANIONABLE} – an anagram (surprisingly) of AL CAPONE IN MOB

17a    A fine notice from striker on gate, full of skill, about top governor (7,6)
{PARKING TICKET} – start with a person stationed at a gate to dissuade those who go to work during a strike then insert (full of) a skill and put that around a top governor

21a    Game — just four would get score (5)
{FIVES} – multiply the answer by four to get a score

23a    Authority and order at home, steps being taken to secure such (9)
{DOMINANCE} – the Order of Merit and a two-letter word meaning at home inside (being taken to secure such) some steps

24a    Incidental charge about to be introduced (8)
{INDIRECT} – a verb meaning to charge with an offence around (to be introduced) a word meaning about

25a    Word of honour with which respected Indian is addressed by learners being keen (6)
{SHRILL} – a word of honour with which a respected Indian is addressed followed by two L(earner)s

26a    Dud with aggro around? Yes and (hopefully!) no (5,3)
{GUARD DOG} – an anagram (around) of DUD with AGGRO – not much of a definition

27a    ‘Have an accident’ maybe in school lecture? (6)
{SPEECH} – a verb meaning to urinate in SCH(ool)

Down

1d    Deviously seek advantage, indulging in banter about Conservative (6)
{JOCKEY} – an adjective meaning indulging in banter around C(onservative)

2d    Desire maybe creates trembling, right churning within (9)
{STREETCAR} – the Desire of a play by Tennessee Williams is derived from an anagram (trembling) of CREATES around () an “anagram” (churning) of R(igh)T

3d    Turning cheek, resolute person on spiritual path (7)
{PILGRIM} – reverse another word for cheek or impertinence and follow it with an adjective meaning resolute

5d    What’s in spore mud in the air could convey (11)
{ANTHERIDIUM} – an anagram (could convey) of MUD IN THE AIR

6d    Hospital person is jerk, fictional doctor taking wrong direction (7)
{SURGEON} – a jerk followed by the reversal (taking wrong direction) of a fictional doctor (not Doctor Who this time!)

7d    Scot wanting English restraint reversed (5)
{BRUCE} – E(nglish) and a restraint all reversed

8d    Being inadequate, was first to be qualified! (8)
{ENTITLED} – a being without (inadequate) its final Y followed by a verb meaning was first

12d    Broadcasting Lord coming to a party, one in company boasting (11)
{BRAGGADOCIO} – the name of an ennobled broadcaster followed by the A from the clue, a party and I (one) inside CO(mpany)

15d    Busy type meaning to get in the way — one held to be a bugbear (4,5)
{BÊTE NOIRE} – a busy type around (to get in the way) a meaning, itself around (held) I (one)

16d    Super society with insufficient pounds for spending (8)
{SPIFFING} – S(ociety) followed by an adjective meaning insufficient or trivial without the L (pounds for spending)

18d    One facing sun horribly sunburnt should be covered (7)
{INSURED} – I (one) followed by an anagram (horribly) of SUN and an adjective meaning sunburnt

19d    Position of ruler lacking good rapport (7)
{KINSHIP} – the position of a ruler without (lacking) G(ood)

20d    Open country that’s left in good shape (6)
{HEALTH} – some open country around L(eft)

22d    Drink very little, all right? A day to be limited (5)
{VODKA} – V (very, little) followed by a two-letter word meaning all right and the A from the clue with D(ay) inserted (to be limited)

A bit like listening to the James Last Orchestra!

11 Comments

  1. BigBoab
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this very much although I think it was one of Giovannis lighter toughies. Many thanks to Giovanni and to BD for the excellent review.

  2. Jezza
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I found this very hard today, and must confess to using an anagram solver to save time on a couple of the long ones, especially 5d.
    I wonder whether 1a is a coincidence that today is St Joseph’s Day.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Big Dave.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Nice start to the week, favourites for me were 1d 15d and 27a thanks to Giovanni and to Big Dave for the comments.

  4. Balliejames
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the four rating, but enjoyed it a bit more than two. Have to confess getting held up looking for Dr Who. Agree 26a a bit of a dud. Many thanks to Giovanni and BD.

  5. Only fools
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Lots of penny drop moments, but they did not come quickly. Never come across 12d before and only got 5d because of the checking letters.
    Agree with difficulty rating but 3* for enjoyment.
    Thanks very much.

  6. Liverpool Mike
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Got there in the end but 3 words new to me – antheridium, braggadocio and shri. Any 4* difficulty is very enjoyable if I can finish it without the hints!

  7. marcus brown
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Antheridium. Come, Giovanni. You can do better than that

  8. gazza
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Micawber tomorrow. :D

    • Jezza
      Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know why you’re grinning. Anyone would think you are reviewing it! :)

  9. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Found this one quite a challenge, even had to leave the NW corner so we could let it work on us overnight. (Our excuse is that we had had a big day’s travel.) Not having heard of the 1a person did not help, but we did manage to fill the grid before breakfast this morning. Really enjoyed it. A couple of new words that we had to confirm with the BRB.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD.

  10. Qix
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    The usual excellent Giovanni clues; I enjoyed this a great deal. 5d is obscure, but this is a Toughie!