Toughie 1040 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 1040

Toughie No 1040 by Giovanni

The Thursday Moan

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Bufo has dislocated his shoulder, but should be back as soon as he can type with both hands!  A typical Giovanni puzzle that, once again, didn’t do it for me.

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    Old group walk briefly around school (7)
{CRAMMER} – an eighties American rock band followed by most of (briefly) a verb meaning to walk in a military manner, all reversed (round) gives a school that intensively prepares pupils for an examination

5a    Little man has got hold of wrong gismos (7)
{DEVICES} – the shortened version of a man’s name around a wrong or sin

9a    Haughty pinko with love for the East (5)
{LOFTY} – start with another word for a pinko or socialist and insert an O (love) in place of the E(ast)

10a    Wife facing criticism about garment (9)
{WRAPROUND} – a charade of W(ife), a three-letter word for criticism and word meaning about

11a    Fill our pan, mixing kitchen ingredient (5,5)
{PLAIN FLOUR} – an anagram (mixing) of FILL OUR PAN

12a    Famous preacher to become wearisome for those listening (4)
{PAUL} – sounds like (for those listening) a verb meaning to become wearisome

14a    Spooner’s regarding saint as a money-collector in town (7,5)
{PARKING METER} – reverse the initial letters, Spooner style, of a word meaning regarding or and a Saint – yet another so-called Spoonerism that probably makes the Revd W. A. Spooner turn in his grave; if I never saw another one it wouldn’t worry me

18a    Congenial conversation in small rooms with meadows in view (12)
{PLEASANTRIES} – small rooms that are usually found in kitchens around some meadows

21a    Plant  crop (4)
{DOCK} – two definitions – the second being a verb

22a    Various cities entertaining politician and Irish philosopher (10)
{EMPIRICIST} – an anagram (Various) of CITIES around (entertaining) a politician and IR(ish) gives a word for a type of philosopher

25a    Within a distance you and I must cross a nation to find foreign city (9)
{MILWAUKEE} – inside (within) an Imperial measure of distance insert a word meaning you and I and place that around (must cross) the A from the clue and our nation

26a    Notice nothing about Ms Rondstadt? (5)
{LINDA} – a notice followed by a word meaning a score of nothing in football all reversed (about) fives the first name of a famous singer

27a    Noisy talk from councillor over coffee (7)
{CLATTER} – C(ouncillo)R around a type of coffee

28a    Go steady, not half, on first of dates — having done this? (7)
{TRYSTED} – a go ar attempt followed by the first half of STEady and the initial letter (first) of Dates


1d    Religious leader — his name perhaps has power in church (6)
{CALIPH} – a first name that might be that of this religious leader and P(ower) inside CH(urch)

2d    Quarrel makes one sound scared almost (6)
{AFFRAY} – as if homophones weren’t bad enough, this one sounds like most of an adjective meaning scared

3d    Creamy stuff annoys me? Wrong — excellent for eating! (10)
{MAYONNAISE} – an anagram (wrong) of ANNOYS ME around (eating) two characters that represent excellent

4d    Wheel giving someone in boat change of direction (at the end) (5)
{ROWEL} – start with someone in a boat and swap the final (at the end) R(ight) for the opposite direction

5d    Fuss first to last over sprinter, possibly Bolt (2,1,6)
{DO A RUNNER} – start with a three-letter word for a fuss, move the first letter to the end and follow it with a sprinter – ignore the capitalisation, the definition has nothing to do with Usain Bolt

6d    Green line going up to halfway point (4)
{VERT} – the first half of a line that goes up as opposed to across

7d    Way little crawler comes in for second dance (8)
{COURANTE} – start with a way or route and insert a crawling insect in place of the S(econd)

8d    Rebellious lad’s ready to abandon a job with horses (8)
{SADDLERY} – an anagram (rebellious) of LAD’S RE(A)DY without (to abandon) one of the As

13d    This person’s beautiful female, friend in a majestic sort of way (10)
{IMPERIALLY} – the shortened form of “this person is” in the first person followed by a beautiful fairy and a friend

15d    Words used to describe God in Warwick (9)
{KINGMAKER} – concatenate two words used to describe God to get the nickname of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick – especially easy for those, like me, that have just watch “The White Queen”

16d    Fantastic medicine, not new, beginning to prevent disease (8)
{EPIDEMIC} – an anagram (fantastic) of MEDICI(N)E without (not) the N(ew) but with the initial letter (beginning) of Prevent

17d    12 came out making confession of sin (3,5)
{MEA CULPA} – an anagram (out) of the answer to 12 across and CAME gives a Latin confession of blame

19d    Plant zoo animal in den? (3-3)
{PIG-NUT} – a large African antelope inside a den

20d    Yarn in old magazine (6)
{STRAND} – two definitions – a yarn or fibre and a magazine that used to publish stories by the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Wallace, and P. G. Wodehouse

23d    Friend’s heart classically extended, in other words (2,3)
{ID EST} – take the i.e. from the middle (heart) of frIEnd and expand it to the full Latin phrase

24d    River coming from spring (4)
{DART} – two definitions – a river in Devon and a verb meaning to spring or move rapidly

A bit like listening to James Last when I prefer to be listening to John Coltrane.

12 comments on “Toughie 1040

  1. For the 2nd day running, I’m with Big Dave re the ratings. The NE corner of this one took me ages to sort out.

    Thanks to BD and Giovanni – sorry but I liked your Guardian puzzle today so much more than this one.

  2. Well I enjoyed it, not his greatest perhaps but enjoyable enough with being overly difficult, I loved 5a. Thanks to Giovanni and BD.

  3. I found this one really tough ****/**, but on looking through Big Dave’s analysis I can’t really see why.
    I too dislike Spoonerisms. Except in special cases, you only have to see the Rev’s name to know exactly what the clue wants of you.
    5dn was my favourite clue. Thanks to Giovanni and Big Dave.

  4. The school and the dance were new words for me but both fairly clued, favourites today were 15d 20d and 23d thanks to Giovanni and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. I needed a couple of letters to finish this one off. I got completely bogged down with 1a (in hindsight i really should have spotted ‘around’ as a reversal indicator). Thanks to Giovanni, and to Big Dave.

  6. It was a good thing that it was too wet for golf yesterday as this puzzle took us longer than we often have available on a Thursday. Eventually we got everything safely in place and even quite liked the Spoonerism. 1a was our last one to parse. An enjoyable challenge for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD.

  7. Preacher, Saint, religious leader, Church, God, confession of sin. Who else could it be? But one can’t fault the wordplay.

    Thanks to The Don and to BD [I, too, prefer Coltrane].

  8. Thanks BD ,I too struggled with1a and 7d but enjoyed the puzzle ,Personal favourite 23d Enjoyed the back- pager too so thanks to both setters .
    Best wishes to Bufo for a speedy recovery .

  9. I did not attempt this puzzle as usual because I have a busy life and the Cryptic and Quickie are very nice to do early in the morning especially now I have an ipad and don’t have to wait for the paperboy (He is about 30 years old and lives in his own fantasy world – best avoided but I do leave a soft drink out for him in the summer). Those two satisfy my puzzling needs but infuriate me when they are so simple as on Tuesday when each clue was a read and write. having looked at the clues and answers to today’s Toughie I am glad I did not tackle this puzzle. I do, however agree wholeheartedly with Big Dave’s comment on Spooneristic Clues. I hate them. Thank you. Good night. See you in the morning. 6.30 to 7.00sh. (Did anybody read this)?

    1. Therapy is available !
      Sleep tight I am on coastguard watch ( never volunteer)
      Keep happy

Comments are closed.