Toughie 1231 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1231

Toughie No 1231 by Giovanni

You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There were one or two clues that needed a bit of thought but on the whole this was a fairly straightforward Toughie.

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Across Clues

1a Individual outside school expected to collect learner as planned (2,8)
ON SCHEDULE – put an adjective meaning individual or single around the abbreviation for school. Follow that with an adjective meaning expected or awaited containing the symbol for a learner.

6a Brief description plausible but wrong, not half (4)
SPEC – the first half only of an adjective, often applied to an argument, meaning plausible but wrong.

9a Start of solemn declaration bringing war (5)
SWORD – the first letter of solemn is followed by a declaration or promise to make a metaphor for war.

10a Female about to go to doctor, unwell — one admitted for emergency procedure (4,5)
FIRE DRILL – string together F(emale), a preposition meaning about or concerning, an abbreviation for doctor and an adjective meaning unwell. Finally insert the Roman numeral for one.

12a Account for reason why man with roving eye sought new lover? (7)
EXPLAIN – split the answer (2,5) to get a blunt justification for someone dumping their previous partner and looking for an alternative.

13a Indian page who tries to suck up to boss? (5)
CREEP – a member of an American Indian people followed by P(age).

15a Channel offering cruel TV broadcast (7)
CULVERT – an anagram (broadcast) of CRUEL TV.

17a Horse is calmer, having bitten trainer initially (7)
EVENTER – this is a horse that competes in a multi-disciplined sport. It’s a comparative meaning calmer containing the initial letter of trainer.

19a Overseas we will be full of hesitation, very timid (7)
NERVOUS – a word meaning ‘we’ across the English channel contains an expression of hesitation and V(ery).

21a Someone with secure accommodation having floor at back of house (7)
HOSTAGE – someone held in captivity as a security comes from a floor or storey following the abbreviation for house.

22a Name of little women in demonstration (5)
MARCH – double definition, the first the surname of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in Louisa M Alcott’s novel.

24a White book unit in print shop (7)
ALBUMEN – a charade of a blank book for the insertion of various collectables and a unit of measurement in printing.

27a A bounder grabbing girl (or boy) in church procession (9)
CAVALCADE – A and a bounder or scoundrel contain an abbreviated forename which can apply to either sex, then that all gets placed inside one of the abbreviations for church.

28a Christmas book included famous Swede (5)
NOBEL – not Ulrika or even Sven but Alfred. Insert B(ook) in another word for Christmas.

29a Stories from either extreme of literature (4)
LORE – choose either of the outer letters of literature.

30a I feel tact’s inappropriate — we must be honest (4,4,2)
LET’S FACE IT – an anagram (inappropriate) of I FEEL TACT’S.

Down Clues

1d Thick smoke ascending to obscure this Russian city (4)
OMSK – hidden (to obscure) and reversed (ascending) in the clue.

2d Bird — one to push across ‘orrible place (9)
SHOVELLER – someone who pushes contains a horrible place without its leading H.

3d Poor king being deposed and brought to trial (3,2)
HAD UP – a phrase meaning poor or poverty-stricken (4,2) loses the abbreviation for king.

4d Aggressive expert — this writer with article penned (7)
DEFIANT – an adjective meaning expert or skilful contains the subjective first person pronoun and an indefinite article.

5d Moody maybe in lead, wrecking play (2,5)
LA RONDE – Moody is the first word here to disguise the need for capitalisation because Mr Moody is a British actor best known for playing Fagin in the musical Oliver! Insert his forename inside an anagram (wrecking) of LEAD. The answer is a play, very risqué for its day, written by Arthur Schnitzler in 1897.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d I should be evident in model (5)
POISE – put I in a verb to model to get what a model should display.

8d Musical man? One who has got the sack, we hear! (4,6)
COLE PORTER – this prolific American composer and songwriter sounds like someone who might carry sacks of fuel.

11d Detective being created by author (7)
DICKENS – a charade of a slang term for a detective and a word used in philosophy to mean being or existence. We have a choice for the author – either a 19th century Englishman or his great-granddaughter.

14d Careful performance’s ending with funny entertaining number (10)
ECONOMICAL – the end letter of performance is followed by an adjective meaning funny or amusing containing (entertaining) the abbreviation for number.

16d Survive after revolution and note uprising as historically significant (7)
EPOCHAL – two reversals are needed here – firstly a verb to survive or get by and secondly a note in tonic sol-fa.

18d Boys initially introduced to Latin are working as learners should be (9)
TRAINABLE – an anagram (working) of the initial letter of B(oys) and LATIN ARE.

20d Audible search for drink and food by the coast (7)
SEAKALE – this, a new word for me, is a plant of the cabbage family that grows on the coast. A homophone (audible) of a verb to search for is followed by an alcoholic drink.

21d Job description for beer-maker (male) in book (7)
HEBREWS – split (2,5) this describes what a male beer-maker does.

23d Remote-controlled vehicle finished under river (5)
ROVER – an adverb meaning finished follows R(iver).

25d Stars appearing down under, a bright bunch (5)
MENSA – double definition, the first a constellation in the southern hemisphere.

26d What litres poured into stomach may constitute! (4)
GLUT – insert the abbreviation for litres into a word for stomach.

12a is probably not very PC but it did make me chuckle. Other clues I liked today were 3d and 5d. Let us know which one(s) you enjoyed.

11 comments on “Toughie 1231

  1. Held up briefly by putting in drone ( R and done) for 23D, but soon resolved because I know my Little Women. I’ve heard of 20D but thought it was two words. A check of the BRB confirmed the single word. I liked 8D and 21D. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review.

    1. I’m with you on 20d. Thanks to the 2 Gs. The FT puzzle has a clever (IMHO) theme today.

  2. I found this a bit on the tough side but I did enjoy it, favourites were 3d 8d and 11d thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review.

  3. Enjoyed this. Lower on ecclesiasticals and higher on fun than usual. Favourites were 12a, 19a and 7d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

  4. It all went together relatively smoothly for us. Although we had BRB close to hand when we saw who the setter was, it was not needed for this one. Plenty to chuckle and smile over.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  5. Hated 6a and 17a and giggled at 21d.

    My newest and latest BRB arrived yesterday. Hope it proves useful.

  6. A Giovanni toughie without an obscurity and with some smiles , crikey , 3d just about nicks favourite for me .More of the same DM no matter the location .Thanks yet again to Gazza too .

  7. Bach to square one after Tuesdays easier one.. I only managed about half and had several other answers I couldn’t rationalise like 11d but needed a lot of help from gazza (thanks) Like JB I particularly hated 6a and 17a but I liked 12a and 30A
    For me ****/**

  8. I enjoyed this. There are some very amusing clues. 12a was my fave, but I also liked 10a, 13a, 3d, 8d (being featured on BBC Radio 3 this week) and 21d.

    I needed two hints to complete this — 5d and 17a. Despite having the answers, had problems working out the parsing of 24a, and of 11d (where I didn’t know that *** means ‘being or existence in philosophy’). My only other error was missing the double definition in 25d.

    Thanks and appreciation to Giovanni for the enjoyable Toughie and to Gazza for the invaluable review.

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