Toughie 1162

Toughie No 1162 by Giovanni

Religious Instruction

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Giovanni provides some religious knowledge in today’s puzzle – a minor hold-up in the north east corner was my only problem.

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1a    A third identity concealed by syndicate (6)
{RIDING} – a former administrative division of Yorkshire, of which there were three, is derived from ID(entity) inside (concealed by) a syndicate or cartel

4a    Familiar OT book returning saint carried around Surrey town (3,5)
{TWO KINGS} – this “familiar” form of a book in the Old testament is almost invariably written with a number rather than the word for that number, as here, – S(ain)T is reversed (returning) around a town in Surrey

9a    Pulpy stuff available from flower club (6)
{POMACE} – an Italian river (flower) followed by a club of the kind once wielded by Michael Heseltine

10a    Stage show about one of the 4 in building (8)
{STACKING} – reverse a famous Lloyd Webber musical and follow it with just one of the answer to 4 across

11a    One condemns squalid quarters used by wild cat, right? (9)
{DENOUNCER} – squalid quarters followed by a wild cat and R(ight)

13a    Is it not common, the thing behind the bar? (5)
{INNIT} – a common way of saying “is it not” is derived by putting a two-letter word for a thing after a bar or hostelry

14a    Two Conservatives worried by country — it’s one thing after the other (13)
{CONCATENATION} – a three-letter abbreviation for Conservative followed by a single-letter one, a verb meaning worried and a country

17a    Possibility of thin gnu where pursuers operate (7-6)
{HUNTING GROUND} – the second word could be an instruction to generate THIN GNU as an anagram of the first word

21a    Guile about a lot of things? (5)
{CRAFT} – the single-letter abbreviation of the Latin for about followed by a word meaning a whole lot of things

23a    Ambassador trounced article opposing the official line (9)
{HERETICAL} – the usual abbreviation for an ambassador followed by an anagram (trounced) of ARTICLE

24a    Writer needing time, keeping on after work from rival (8)
{OPPONENT} – a writing implement and T(ime) around (keeping) ON and preceded by the usual two-letter word for a musical work

25a    Quarrel about unethical use of animal material? It’s groovy! (6)
{FURROW} – split as (3,3) this could be a quarrel about the unethical use of animal material

26a    Very hard one to complete, outwardly brill? (8)
{FIENDISH} – I (one) and a verb meaning to complete inside the type of creature of which a brill is an example

27a    Bad spell that’s reduced London football team? Gosh! (6)
{WHAMMY} – reduce the name of a London football team from (4,3) to (1,3) and add an interjection meaning gosh


1d    A spider in trouble — ‘e disappears in fast flowing water (6)
{RAPIDS} – an anagram (in trouble) of A SPID(E)R without (disappears) the E

2d    Religious person  in the WI (9)
{DOMINICAN} – two definitions – a religious or person bound by monastic vows (thanks Prolixic) and a native of a republic in the West Indies (not the Women’s Institute!)

3d    With absence of churchgoers initially change part of service (7)
{NOCTURN} – a two-letter word meaning “with absence of” followed by the initial letter of Churchgoers and a verb meaning to change direction

5d    Fatwa, terrible, may be seen as such a sign (5,6)
{WATER BEARER} – fatWA TERrible could be described as this, giving a sign of the zodiac

6d    One of the ancestral spirits, thousand over a huge country (7)
{KACHINA} – the metric abbreviation for a thousand followed by the A from the clue and a huge country – easy enough to follow the wordplay once a few checking letters are in place, Chambers does the rest

7d    Name given to Scottish child not born in a Scottish town (5)
{NAIRN} – N(ame) followed by a Scottish child without (not) the initial B(orn)

8d    Audibly making reference to an observation (8)
{SIGHTING} – sounds like (audibly) a verb meaning making reference to

12d    Work leaders may have gone out with hard cash but no love (6-5)
{CHARGE HANDS} – an anagram (out) of G(O)NE with HARD CASH without (no) the O (love)

15d    Impropriety around Christmas time? Nothing odd! (9)
{INDECORUM} – a phrase that could mean around Christmas time (2,3) followed by O (nothing) and an adjective meaning odd

16d    Maybe put a tick against what playwright sounds like? (5,3)
{CHECK OFF} – sounds like a Russian playwright

18d    Making some complaint, one definitely sounded like the vicar? (7)
{INTONED} – hidden (making some) inside the clue is this verb meaning reciting with little rise and fall of the pitch of the voice, just like the vicar

19d    Story book under domestic fixture I pulled out (7)
{UNTRUTH} – a book of the Old testament preceded by a domestic fixture, of the kind often found in the kitchen, without (pulled out) the I

20d    Coarse times full of beastly sounds (6)
{BLOWSY} – a two-letter word meaning times, as in 2 times 3 equals 6, around the beastly sounds made by cattle

22d    Wood that’s mottled first to be discarded (5)
{APPLE} – this type of wood is derived from an adjective meaning mottled or marked with spots by dropping (to be discarded) its initial (first) letter

Not a bad start to the Toughie week.



  1. Expat Chris
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    A slow start, and the NE corner was a killer. I needed electronic help there. 14A and 6D new words for me. I needed your help, BD to fuly explain some of my answers, particularly 2D, so many thanks. I can’t say that I enjoyed this all that much but I appreciate the setter’s skill.

  2. spindrift
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    BD – i think there may be an error at 5d

  3. BigBoab
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks t Giovanni and BD for a very enjoyable toughie and review.

  4. Towser
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Don’t usually attempt The Toughie but now that I’m close to retiring and haven’t got much on at work will give it a go more regularly. enjoyed this and made quite good progress until I got to the top right hand corner when I used BD’s hints for five of the clues and gave myself a big kick for not getting 7d as I come from Scotland. 6d was a new word for me and really should have just trusted to the wordplay. Enjoyed 27a – a fun clue. Thanks for the review and to the setter for the puzzle.

    • BigBoab
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Towser, I also come from Scotland and I also had a wee bit of difficulty with 7d, it was my last one in and was my first “doh” moment with a toughie for a while, just put it down to the mastery of Giovanni as I did.

  5. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Our hold-up in the NE corner was a bit more than the minor one described in the review. However we did get there eventually, An enjoyable challenge.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD.

  6. Salty Dog
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a tester, this, and l would score it at 3.5*/4*. Some wonderful clues from Giovanni, as usual, and 26a really lived up to its solution. Like BD l found the NE corner the toughest part, not helped by my plumping for “reciting” for 8d, which fits the clue as in “making reference to an observation” but throws out 4 and 10a.

  7. andy
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know 6d, but as BD says straightforward from the wordplay. I’m probably being remarkably stupid but doesn’t 22d need the first and last to be dropped? 3* 4* from me, many thanks BD and Giovanni

    • gazza
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      The original word is dapple, an adjective meaning marked with dapples or spots.

      • crypticsue
        Posted April 1, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        He’s obviously too young to know the old nursery rhyme “I had a little pony, his name was Dapple Grey…”

        • andy
          Posted April 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          I just think dappled equals mottled in the context of both clue and hint. Bowing to more knowledgables I shall shut up now :)

  8. Heno
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Way too difficult for me. Only got 8 solved. Quite enjoyed looking at the hints, but I would never have thought of any of them. Was 5*/2* for me.