Toughie 1359 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1359

Toughie No 1359 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I started to solve this puzzle without knowing the setter which was quite nice because I had no preconceptions as to whether it was going to be a worthwhile solve or not. However it didn’t take long for me to guess who the setter was. I had no problem in solving it until I came to the northwest corner. Up till then I had been familiar with all the obscurities but 5 across was a new one on me and held me up until I had solved the checkers. I don’t care for this grid with all the black squares and only 26 answers

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.


5a    Cabbage and rolled-up meat served to daughter (7)
COLLARD: Another name for colewort (according to Chambers) = a piece of meat rolled up and tied (according to Chambers) + D (daughter). I struggled with this one because I knew neither the word for cabbage nor the word for rolled-up meat

7a    Laugh at / rubbish (5)
CHAFF: 2 meanings: laugh at (tease)/rubbish

9a    Lizard? Don’t hang around, girl! (6)
GOANNA: A monitor lizard. When split (2,4) It could be an instruction telling a palindromic girl to disappear

10a    Networks broadcasting recital, including Schubert’s 4th (8)
RETICULA: An anagram (broadcasting) of RECITAL round U (the fourth letter of SchUbert)

11a    Liberal agent brought back message (10)
PERMISSIVE: A reversal of a 3-letter word for an agent + a message

13a    Sleeping place that lacks sun — it’s underground (4)
ROOT: Remove S (sun) from a bird’s sleeping place

14a    If ruthless ego gets out of hand, one gets smug (4-9)
SELF-RIGHTEOUS: An anagram (gets out of hand) of IF RUTHLESS EGO

16a    This underlying structure sounds deep (4)
BASE: A homophone of ‘deep’

17a    It’s right for us to say what we want (4,6)
FREE SPEECH: A human’s right to express an opinion freely in public

19a    Bodily restricted, being fixed by side of table, bound by string (8)
CORSETED: ‘fixed’ and E (side / last letter of tablE) in string

20a    Port with a hundred and one smuggled aboard unfortunately (6)
CALAIS: The Roman numeral for 100 + I (one) in ‘unfortunately’

22a    Discernment to think about conflicting directions (5)
SENSE: ‘To think’ round two opposite points of the compass

23a    Early developer, me — Santa found out! (7)
EASTMAN: The early developer is an American pioneer in the field of photography. His surname is an anagram (out) of ME SANTA


1d    Bottom falling out of side dish (4)
FLAN: Remove the last letter from ‘side’ to give an open tart

2d    Idiot interrupting very timid creature, right menace (8)
HARASSER: An idiot inside a very timid and very swift mammal + R (right)

3d    Harm that comes from the woman embracing tiger? (6)
SCATHE: ‘To harm’ = a tiger (possibly) inside the woman

4d    Member of secret society eating fish, ending with the cheese (10)
MASCARPONE: A member of a secret society round a freshwater fish + E (last letter of thE) = a soft Italian cream cheese

5d    Not an original individual about to get detached from others (5)
CLONE: A one-letter abbreviation denoting ‘about’ + ‘detached from others’

6d    One with an eye for embroidery? (7,6)
DARNING NEEDLE: A cryptic definition for an implement with an eye that might be used in embroidery

8d    In the hills that hurts chaps (7)
FELLOWS: Hills (e,g in the Lake District) round ‘That hurts!’

12d    A false man, servant ultimately sacked? (10)
MALFEASANT: An anagram (sacked) of A FALSE MAN T (last letter of servanT). The whole clue provides a definition for this wrongdoer

14d    Performances to include commercial tracks (7)
SHADOWS: ‘Performances’ round a commercial = tracks (follows)

15d    International on the box that may set a precedent (4,4)
TEST CASE: An international cricket match + a box

17d    Workman / better equipped (6)
FITTER: 2 meanings: A person who assembles or repairs the parts of a machine/better equipped

18d    Man in Australian location sacrificing little son (5)
CAIRN: A man (as found on a hill or mountain top) = a place in Queensland with the letter S (son) removed

21d    Tree in white caustic earth (4)
LIME: 2 meanings: a tree/white caustic earth


16 comments on “Toughie 1359

  1. I do hope we get a “Toughie” tomorrow.

    1*/3* for me – my favourite is 23a as I did like the ‘early developer’. Thank you to Bufo for both the review and explaining the ‘man’ in 18d. Thanks to Giovanni too.

  2. This must have been an easy one today because I finished it – a rare event indeed! I did have to look up 9a though as I have never heard of this one before.

  3. Found it rather easy too for a toughie.
    But some great clues.
    9a is great. Hope all the girls called Anna don’t take offense to being refered as palindromic. Good one bufo.
    For 19a I had some cord around a set but maybe I’m wrong.
    As for 17a, je suis toujours Charlie.
    Thanks to the Don and to Bufo for the review

  4. Not a particularly tough ‘Toughie’ from Giovanni today. I agree with Bufo about the grid, I always feel short-changed when this type of puzzle appears. As with the back pager, I have no particular favourite.

    So thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and Bufo for the review.

  5. I got stuck in NW – couldn’t think of the lizard, and hence missed the checking 1d and 5d. Wasn’t clear on the definitions for 12d (a false man) and 18d (Man in australian location..). Struggled a bit with think=see in 22a and “It’s right” for “it’s a right” as definition in 17a.

    I did like the definition in 23a (early developer).

    Many thanks Giovanni and Bufo

  6. worked most of this out, but wouldnt have got 5a in a month of Sundays. This also held up 2d though I see it now.
    liked 4d.
    Thanks to setter and to Bufo for the explanations,

  7. We learnt a new meaning for ‘man’ in 18d. A couple of other words 5a and 12d as a noun needed some checking. We did feel slightly grumpy with the DT for again leaving us with a Mr Ron setter but should have been able to guess who it was anyway. Good puzzle, pleasant solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and Bufo.

  8. I di this in two sessions between work. The NW corner was my last one to complete, too. I did know the 5A cabbage, but dithered over it putting it in until I solved 5D because I’d never heard of it before moving to the USA . It’s a staple in the Supermarket produce aisle here. Too strong and coarse for my taste, but collards and ham hocks is a classic soul food dish. I also did not know the “man in 18D. Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo. 9A was the last one in and I’ve vaguely heard of it but did google to check. Overall, I quite liked it, and checked 23A and 19A as favorites.

  9. Some of this was too tough for me – but I often find even the Don’s back-pagers something of a challenge.
    With a bit of electronic help I managed all but the NW corner where 5&9a were complete unknowns and I was short on checkers.

    Not to worry – another learning curve. Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for setting me straight.

  10. Agree 3*/3*. I quite liked 4d, but l think the “early developer” at 23a gets my vote as favourite. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Bufo for the review.

  11. A busy week. I managed to complete the three toughies so far in my own slow time. I did not know the name of today’s setter (until now) and was cursing the obscure stuff (I normally recognize the Giovanni signature primarily from Christian matters which seemed lacking today so I did not suspect him) I had NW corner problems as wellas others . Nice puzzle yesterday but a touch too easy to savour properly. Tuesday’s puzzle, for me, was neither easy, nor hard nor fun.

    As so often I found the Monday back-page Rufus puzzle hard to get the last few

    So Notabalis tomorrow – I cant imagine anything other than superb. Selfishly I hope for one at the easier end of his spectrum as I have too many work commitments.

    Thanks to the bloggers and setters this week

  12. Giovanni must be a man! Whoever heard of 6d being used for embroidery – mending of course, but embroidery? That requires a much finer implement.

  13. re 18D I’m sure it must be somewhere, but could someone let me know which dictionary includes this usage of man (sour grapes of course because I didn’t get it). Anyone using a darning needle for embroidery has been badly briefed.Otherwise enjoyed it.

    9a the following might come in useful in future:

    Sittin’ at home last Sunday mornin’ me mate Boomer rang
    Said he was havin’ a few people around for a barbie,
    Said he might cook a burra or two.
    I said, “Sounds great, will Walla be there?”
    He said “Yeah and Veggie might come too”.
    So I said to the wife “Do you wanna Go Anna?”.
    She said “I’ll go if Dean goes”.
    So I said “What’ll we do about Nulla?”
    He said “Nulla bores me to tears, leave him at home ….

    from Australiana by Austen Tayshus (available on you tube)

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