Toughie 1146

Toughie No 1146 by Giovanni

A day to forget

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment *

I found nothing to enjoy in this puzzle – a dreadful grid with isolated corners, too many proper nouns and nary a smile.

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    Female hit boyfriend? One’s seen to be fiery (8)
{FLAMBEAU} – F(emale) followed by a verb meaning to hit and another word for a boyfriend

5a    Enlargement of hostelry seen as retrograde — vulgar interior (4-2)
{BLOW-UP} – reverse (seen as retrograde) a hostelry then put an adjective meaning vulgar inside (interior)

9a    Move firm to the west — get special advisory service round (8)
{RELOCATE} – reverse (to the west in an across clue) a two-letter abbreviation for a firm or business inside (get … round) a special advisory service for marriages that are in difficulty

10a    Queen isn’t whimsical (6)
{QUAINT} – QU(een) followed by a slang word meaning isn’t

12a    Endlessly flourishing church in the country (6)
{GREECE} – drop (endlessly) the final letter from an adjective meaning flourishing and add the usual English church

13a    Paper shows one garment, one found in South Africa (8)
{IZVESTIA} – to get this Russian daily newspaper start with I (one) and then add an undergarment and another I (one) inside the IVR code for South Africa

15a    City‘s coarse food on the turn (7)
{HAMBURG} – this German city is a charade of an adjective meaning coarse or inexpert followed by the reversal (on the turn) of some food

16a    PM as Lord after change of direction (4)
{PEEL} – the surname of a former Prime Minister is derived by changing the direction of the final letter of a Lord to the opposite direction

20a    Old governor making one toe the line (4)
{OBEY} – O(ld) followed by a Turkish governor

21a    Unrighteousness makes girl looking two ways hurt inside (7)
{ADHARMA} – a three-letter palindromic (looking two ways) girl’s name with a verb meaning to hurt inside

25a    Soldier, fellow to defend a country (8)
{PARAGUAY} – the four-letter abbreviated form of an airborne soldier followed by a fellow around (to defend) the A from the clue

26a    Slip back over island to make observation (6)
{ESPIAL} a slip or mistake reversed (back) around (over) I(sland}

28a    Disturbance as drink after drink gets knocked back (6)
{RUMPUS} – the wordplay suggests that this is an alcoholic drink following (after) the reversal (knocked back) of a verb meaning to drink, but if you read it as “drink, after drink, gets knocked back” it’s actually the reversal of a verb meaning to drink after the alcoholic drink – I looked at both drinks being reversed as there is a Sudanese drink called hulu-mur, but it doesn’t work for me

29a    What quiet Axminster offers as a place for dodgy financiers? (3,5)
{TAX HAVEN] – the three-letter word hidden inside the clue and what the two words surrounding it offer as a shelter

30a    One animal to suffer when impeded by fool (6)
{DASSIE} – I saw some of these creatures on Table Mountain a few years ago – a verb meaning to suffer or be eager around a fool

31a    Bird dunked in wet dressing, not cold wine (8)
{SAUTERNE} – a seabird inside (dunked in) a liquid food dressing without (not) the C(old)

Down

1d    March forward to restrict a hunt (6)
{FORAGE} – a verb meaning to march forward or make headway around (to restrict) the A from the clue

2d    Colleagues in gatherings after leader has been deposed (6)
{ALLIES} – some gatherings or meetings without (deposed) its initial letter (leader)

3d    Effrontery in support given to heartless deception (8)
{BACKCHAT} – a verb meaning to support followed by a deception without its middle letter (heartless)

4d    Affected person quietly drifting away (4)
{ARTY} – a person, particularly when mentioned in a legal document, without (drifting away) the P (musical notation for quietly)

6d    Archbishop when meeting Her Majesty becomes a comedian (6)
{LAUDER} – the surname of a 17th century Archbishop of Canterbury followed by the regnal cipher for Her Majesty The Queen gives this Scottish entertainer

7d    Poet needs to be more funny — that’s an extra aspiration (8)
{WHITTIER] – this 19th century American poet is derived by putting an adjective meaning more funny around H (an extra aspiration)

8d    Very good food for one to tuck into? It’s wretched (8)
{PITIABLE} – a two-letter adjective meaning very good in the religious sense followed by a general word for food around (for … to tuck into) I (one)

11d    Old ruler’s down, up in dance (7)
{CZARDAS} – the alternative spelling of an old Russian leader followed by an adjective meaning down or unhappy reversed (up in a down clue) gives this obscure Hungarian dance with a slow introduction and a fast, wild finish

14d    African city making offer in the course of a month (7)
{ABIDJAN} – this city and chief port of Côte d’Ivoire is derived by putting a three-letter offer or tender inside the A from the clue and the three-letter abbreviation for one of the months of the year

17d    Officer and politician (a Leftie) set side by side (8)
{COMPARED} – the two-letter abbreviations for a senior military officer and a politician followed by the A from the clue and the usual leftie or communist

18d    Stains produced by insects, dreadful being embedded (8)
{BEGRIMES} – some busy insects around (being embedded) an adjective meaning dreadful

19d    This strangely gripping old TV series seen as a big success (5,3)
{SMASH HIT} – an anagram (strangely) of THIS around (gripping) an old TV series

22d    Animal is excellent, without disease (6)
{AGOUTI} – the visual representation of the excellent or first-class, as used by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, around a disease

23d    Gentleman admitting affection, nothing less for the old folk? (6)
{SILVER} – the form of address for a gentleman around (admitting) some affection without (less) the O (nothing)

24d    Good weapon making oblique movement (6)
{GLANCE} – G(ood) followed by a weapon

27d    This Irish singer will be seen in a commercial coming up (4)
{DANA} – the indefinite article and a commercial all reversed (coming up in a down clue)

9 Comments

  1. Pegasus
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t enjoy this one very much, with it being a pangram helped with a couple of the obscure ones, favourite 29a thanks to Giovanni and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. spindrift
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    That felt “bitty” as my mother used to say. Hopefully the rest of the week will be an improvement.

  3. Chris T Heswall
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I seldom try the Toughie and now I know why! Thank you BD for your excellent hints.

    • Roger
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      It’s worth trying them from time to time, Chris. Sometimes they are not that dissimilar in degree of solving to the cryptic, Not today’s though which I found particularly opaque and could only manage one answer.

      • Chris T Heswall
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Roger – might give tomorrow’s a chance.

  4. BigBoab
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Tough going but unlike most I didn’t mind it, thanks to Giovanni and to BD.

  5. Chris
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Slow and tougher than some but I enjoyed the struggle.
    Some new words to me.
    Thanks to Giovanni.
    Thanks to BD.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    A very long hard struggle for us, and even with all the electronic assistance we could muster, failed to get both 11d and 21a.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD.

    • andy
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Was solving on a train, I had 6 answers to check later on that they were actual words or my parsing was correct. 2 of which you have mentioned. Thanks to BD.