Toughie 1264 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1264

Toughie No 1264 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ***

A slow start but once I’d got started the answers went in very quickly until I was left with the final few. The double unchecked letters were a factor in the final slow-down.

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1a    Impudent as one after bathroom exercise looking in the mirror? (9)
BARE-FACED:    As a man would be after shaving

6a    Yard right inside Philistine city (5)
GARTH:    R (right) goes inside the name of the city that was home to Goliath. I didn’t know this word for a yard

9a    Pattern of morally weak one out to conceal deed (7)
FRACTAL:    A mathematical term for a repeating pattern that displays at every scale = ‘morally weak’ with the letter I (one) removed round a deed

10a    Belonging to spineless group, girl with criminal connection faces university scrutiny (9)
MOLLUSCAN:    A gangster’s girlfriend + U (university) + scrutiny

11a    Clean three articles from Continental Europe (7)
LAUNDER:    A French definite article + a French indefinite article + a German definite article

12a    Quiet home? Mine offers a lively party (7)
SHINDIG:    Quiet! (2) + home (2) + a mine (3)

13a    Actresses, aren’t, I suspect, totally able to ward off wrinkles (6-9)
CREASE-RESISTANT:    An anagram (suspect) of ACTRESSES AREN’T I

17a    Second temporary Worthing home not hard — quite a soft pad (7)
SANDBAG:    S (second) + the receptacle in which Mr Worthing was discovered as a baby in The Importance of Being Earnest with the letter H (hard) removed

19a    Part of plant is sound, having taken month to bed in (7)
TAPROOT:    ‘To sound (as a horn)’ goes round the fourth month of the year

22a    Dissolute type from unruly tribe in row (9)
LIBERTINE:    An anagram (unruly) of TRIBE on a row or rank

23a    Fighter a bit ahead of other ranks? Miles to the front (7)
MATADOR:    A bullfighter = A + ‘bit (small amount)’ + the abbreviation for ‘other ranks’ all preceded by M (miles)

24a    One’s raised game at table — one’s born to lose (5)
RIDGE:    Remove B (born) from a card game

25a    Minister’s home found by detective in the phone book? (9)
DIRECTORY:    The abbreviation for Detective Inspector + minister’s home


1d    Happened to ring about education after school (6)
BEFELL:    ‘To ring’ round the abbreviation for ‘further education’

2d    With adjustments made, users are put at ease (8)
REASSURE:    An anagram (with adjustments made) of USERS ARE

3d    Hunk of a lout given the gear? (6)
FITTED:    An adjective meaning ‘sexually attractive (like a hunk)’ + an unruly adolescent (or lout)

4d    More still arrived to cover one side then another (6)
CALMER:    ‘Arrived’ round L (left) + R (right)

5d    Call sister having yen for injection or some other hospital procedure (8)
DIALYSIS:    ‘To call (on the phone) and ‘sister’ round Y (yen)

6d    Followers of game endlessly eating food (8)
GROUPIES:    Followers of pop acts or other celebrities = a game bird with the last letter removed round a baked dish

7d    Surveyed road containing city church (6)
RECCED:    The abbreviation for ‘road’ goes round the postcode for the City of London and the abbreviation for the Church of England

8d    One kind of party summit in which name recurs (3,5)
HEN NIGHT:    A summit (high place) round N (name) and another N (name)

13d    Rebuilt cloister is needing more brass (8)
COSTLIER:    An anagram (rebuilt) of CLOISTER = more expensive

14d    Brother or sister correctly said to be someone fond of luxury (8)
SYBARITE:    Homophones of ‘brother or sister’ sib and ‘correctly’ aright

15d    Recovered Humpty Dumpty maybe less good having fallen down outside (8)
REGAINED:    Remove G (good) from the object that Humpty Dumpty is portrayed as. Put the result in ‘fallen down (from the skies)’

16d    A governor set up with a wicked rod — man of law (8)
AVOGADRO:    A = a reversal of an abbreviated form of ‘governor’ + A + an anagram (wicked) of ROD = an Italian scientist who has a law named after him

18d    Person of importance on couch pointed (6)
NIBBED:    A person of importance + a couch = pointed (like a pen)

19d    What could bring sort of movement in pile of rocks? (6)
TREMOR:    A sort of movement of the eyes during sleep inside a rocky height (pile of rocks????). The whole clue provides the definition

20d    Vigour and twitching in the digestive system (6)
PEPTIC:    Vigour + a convulsive twitching of certain muscles

21d    Difficult old character wanting supremacy ultimately (6)
THORNY:    A letter in the Old English alphabet + the last letter of supremacY

A perfectly acceptable puzzle

16 comments on “Toughie 1264

  1. On the cusp between back pager and toughie – I can’t have had any problems because my handwriting is particularly neat! My favourite has to be 17a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo

  2. 14 double unches certainly didn’t help much. 17a definite stand out favourite

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo

  3. Another really good toughie from Giovanni, my thanks to him and to Bufo for the superb review. Personal favourite was 14d.

  4. A bit of a let-off after yesterday’s battle and only 1 clue requiring biblical knowledge.
    Favourites were 11a, 17a, 3d and 6d.
    Thanks to the Don and to Bufo.

  5. I did not understand the wordplay for 1D, and although I had the right word for 9A, it was a guess. I had unthinkingly put in ‘all’ for the first word of 8D, which made 6A difficult. I settled for Garda, making a giant leap from Irish police force to “The Yard” as in Scotland Yard. It seemed to work at the time! I also thought the old character in 21D was Thor, so was left with one letter unaccounted for. 16D was a new word for me, but not difficult to work out. I did like 24A and14D. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Bufo for the review.

  6. Finished so I knew that someone would say it wasn’t a very difficult Toughie – I was right.
    I needed the hint to understand why my 17a was right.
    I’d never heard of Signor Avogadro but ‘invented’ him and looked him up. Never heard of the 6a city or 9a either.
    I liked 12 and 13a and 3 and 5d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo.

    1. You may have been right but they are wrong in my humble opinion. It felt plenty tough enough to me. If that appeared on the back page I think Brian would go into total melt down!

    1. Ouch. I know most folks like to know up front who they’re dealing with, but I think that overall I’d rather be in the dark so that I don’t go into the puzzle with a black cloud of doom over my head! He’ not been too terribly bad recently, so are we due for a stinker?

  7. We struggled a bit with this one. The last two to go in were 17a and 18d. Although we have heard of “His Nibs” had not heard of ‘nib’ in this context before . After reading the hint have now seen the light with 17 ac. Had quite forgotten Earnest and his temporary home! A great clue. Enjoyed the solve. Thanks Giovanni and Bufo.

  8. An enjoyable puzzle ,6d just about favourite and a Giovanni puzzle without some Latvian poet or similar .Thanks to him and of course Bufo .

  9. very enjoyable and straightforward. This is one of the few toughies I’ve finished without help and today I needed help with the 27604 on back page.

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