Toughie 1071

Toughie No 1071 by Giovanni

A Lot of Different Notes but No Dohs

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I thought that this was pretty straightforward with not a lot of laughs. Do let us know how you fared.

Across Clues

5a  Catholic about to be presented with willow staff for bishop (7)
{CROSIER} – reverse the abbreviation for a Roman Catholic and add a small willow tree. I’m more used to seeing the answer spelt with a ‘z’.

7a  Endorse party that gets stuck in ready to learn (5)
{ADOPT} – a party (the festive sort) goes inside an adjective meaning ready to learn or smart.

9a  Minister clever but not always? Fine! (6)
{CLERIC} – take the synonym for always away from clever, then add an old Irish word for a blood-fine paid by a murderer to the family of his victim.

10a  Academic garaging old car in Canada once? (8)
{DOMINION} – this was the status of Canada between 1867 and 1982. A member of the teaching staff at a university contains (garaging) O(ld) and a model of car.

11a  Like style of art somehow so clean and so ‘Latin’? (10)
{NEOCLASSIC} – an anagram (somehow) of SO CLEAN followed by the Latin word for so or thus.

13a  Type born at the outset to be cheat (4)
{BILK} – a verb to cheat by obtaining or withholding money fraudulently comes from an old-fashioned word for type or sort with B(orn) preceding it.

14a  Shame impostor is wicked — complete conversion needed (13)
{METAMORPHOSIS} – an anagram (is wicked) of SHAME IMPOSTOR makes a word that I always have difficulty in spelling.

16a  Note, note, note (4)
{FAME} – I’ve underlined the third word here, but the definition could equally well be the first. Put together two notes from tonic sol-fa.

17a  Officers change name in requirement for membership (10)
{SUBALTERNS} – a verb to change and N(ame) go inside what you need to cough up to renew your membership.

19a  Legal petitioner‘s humbug, left with ambition squashed (8)
{CLAIMANT} – a word for humbug or hypocrisy with L(eft) and an ambition or target contained (squashed) inside it.

20a  Diverted at Oxford? The reverse by Bullingdon Club type! (3,3)
{PUT OFF} – reverse an adverb meaning at university (Oxford being an example) and add the type of person allowed to join the Bullingdon Club.

22a  Son — someone funny or a pain? (5)
{SHOOT} – S(on) followed by an informal word for an hilarious person. I didn’t know that this word could be used as a noun for a type of pain but it’s there in the BRB.

23a  Operations in sudden move forward, taking line (7)
{SURGERY} – a sudden move forward or upswing is followed by a two-character abbreviation for line.

Down Clues

1d  Square or circle concealed in coat (4)
{FOUR} – conceal the circular letter inside an animal’s coat.

2d  Reject recording, having left before end (8)
{DISCLAIM} – a medium for recording followed by L(eft) and an end or target. ‘Left before end’ is virtually the same as the ‘left with ambition’ of 19a.

3d  River animal surfacing, finishing on the road? (6)
{TARMAC} – a charade of a river in East Anglia and a smallish animal with the whole lot reversed (surfacing, in a down clue).

4d  Jazz musician renders number with one in support (5,5)
{COUNT BASIE} – start with a word meaning number or tally and add a support or foundation with I (one) inside it.

5d  Lady‘s companion with affection not very little (5)
{CHLOE} – the abbreviation for an honoured companion followed by a word meaning affection without the abbreviation for V(ery).

6d  Leftie is given commendations for what he does in Robin-Hood act? (13)
{REDISTRIBUTES} – the colourful description of a leftie followed by IS and commendations or testimonials.

8d  Cut charge for framing painting showing prince (7)
{TROILUS} – this is a mythological Greek prince. A word meaning charge or responsibility without its final T (cut) goes round (framing) a type of painting.

12d  Journalist, I cited Tory being corrupt (4,6)
{CITY EDITOR} – an anagram (being corrupt) of I CITED TORY.

14d  Disease that could create lameness, knocking out any number (7)
{MEASLES} – knock out the letter standing for an unspecified number from lameness and make an anagram (could create) of what’s left.

15d  Front of hotel priest has left — place to fly away from (8)
{HELIPORT} – string together the front letter of H(otel), an Old Testament priest and left on a ship.

17d  In short second year gets lean, thin (6)
{SCANTY} – a verb to lean or tilt goes between the abbreviations for second and year.

18d  Quick half-century, new opener (5)
{NIFTY} – start with a half-century and change the opening letter to N(ew).

21d  Be fruitful as side, according to report (4)
{TEEM} – this sounds like (according to report) a sporting side.

My favourite clue was 3d. How about you?

If you want a lot of laughs I recommend Paul’s puzzle in the Grauniad.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I was delayed in starting this but eventually found time and it all fell into place in a reasonable time with my last two being 13a/11d not helped by a ‘friend’ emailing me and commenting that he had initially put BRAT into 13a, which meant of course that I couldn’t think what the right word should be for hours and hours.

    Thanks to the Gs. I second Gazza’s recommendation of the Paul puzzle in the Graun.

  2. Jezza
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    One of Giovanni’s easier puzzles, although there were a few to think about. I also liked 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the comments.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Entertaining puzzle if only just a toughie, thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  4. Pegasus
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward puzzle today, favourites 4d and 13a thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the comments.

  5. pommers
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Held up a bit in the NE corner but otherwise fairly benign. No obscure words for once :smile:

    Thanks to the 2 G’s

  6. JB
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I worked out 1d but the word play escapes me. Why is the answer a number unless it it 2×2? Pretty obscure if it is! Could be nine, or sixteen – if it fitted.

    • gazza
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      It is, as you say 2 x 2. It could, theoretically, be any number which is a square but only FOUR fits the wordplay.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Four is the only number that has the same amount of letters as its actual value!

        Sorry! Been watching far too many day-time quiz shows! :grin:

  7. KiwiColin
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Solo flight today. 6d took much longer for me than it should have, but, on the whole, it all slotted in without too much fight. Smooth and clever cluing throughout. Much enjoyment.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  8. andy
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I rather enjoyed this, thanks Giovanni and Gazza. 16a deserves a mention imho

  9. Only fools
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza but 8 d and particularly 13a were doh moments for me and the latter raised a smile .Completed away from base without a dictionary just pen and paper so quite pleased to solve although 22a delayed for a wee while too .thanks to Giovanni too for a puzzle minus obscurities .

  10. Don Manley
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I am honoured indeed to have been elevated at last to the ranking of ‘Poor”. Quick, somebody, press the one star!

    • mary
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink


  11. michael mason
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    No weird words. Let’s be grateful for small mercies

  12. Catnap
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    This was very enjoyable, and I managed to complete it. (No, I haven’t been struggling with this for ages, as I have with some Toughies! I started it last evening.) I agree with Kiwi Colin that the clues are ‘smooth and clever’. I also liked 3d, as well as 16a, 8d, and 18d. Enjoyed your review, too, Gazza. Although I reached the answer, I didn’t know about the Old Irish word for the blood fine (9a); nor was I sure of my reason for the first two letters of 5d, but I’m glad to see I was on the right track.
    Many thanks to both Giovanni and Gazza.