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Toughie 1828

Toughie No 1828 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Hellooo, and a very Happy Tuesday to you all.  Your servant in all things hinty is as happy as one might expect of a kitty who recently caught a pigeon.  (Don’t be alarmed: the little creature flew in through the open door and found herself on the wrong side of the glass in a window display, and I simply wrapped her in a towel and saw her safely back out.  The poor thing probably flew in to escape the crowds of amorous males outside.)  I hope you are in good spirits also.

Today’s Giovanni did not at first grab me by the furballs with excitement, but it grew on me and I was purring by the end.  I’m not quite sure about difficulty: it took me less time than normal, but I was feeling unusually alert, able to concentrate and generally in the zone.  I think I shall leave the ratings at a bet-hedging average and let you have the final say.

The definitions are underlined in the clues below, and you’ll find the answers inside the PIGEON PIGEON PIGEON buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative – click only if you wish to reveal all



1a    Bit of fog around province to west of country hardly noticeable? (10)
MINIMALIST:  Some light fog surrounding a province of the UK and a country in West Africa, the former being to the left (west) of the latter

6a    The Parisian in charge of people in the pews? (4)
LAIC:  A French definite article and the usual abbreviation for in charge

9a    Transporter over sea, launch — yen in our country to board it (6,4)
FLYING BOAT:  Start with another word for launch (shares on the stock market, perhaps).  Inside this (to board it), insert the concatenation of Y(en), IN, and two letters for this country (unless you are in the province mentioned in 1a, in which case you might understandably be irked)

10a   AC/DC bishop is sound (4)
BIRR:  An abbreviation for something that AC/DC is slang for and the abbreviation for a bishop’s form of address

13a   Modern baddies about to achieve big-name status (7)
STARDOM:  A reversal (about) of an abbreviation of modern and some despicable people

15a   Tiny bit of food that has the same effect as onions? (6)
WEEPIE:  A Scottish word for small and some food (not usually pigeon these days) baked within (or under, according to Chambers, but I don’t wish to re-ignite what can be a heated debate) some pastry

16a   Edge shown by guitarist Brian in state of confusion (6)
MAYHEM:  Edge (noun or verb) follows the surname of a guitarist and defender of badgers

17a   We’re hit badly — distress possibly produced by fateful females (3,5,7)
THE WEIRD SISTERS:  Two adjacent anagrams, of WE’RE HIT (badly) and then of DISTRESS (possibly)

18a   Lout sank teeth into hairy little adventurer (6)
HOBBIT:  The first three letters of the answer are the lout (in a meaning that was new to me); they are followed by a verb to sink teeth into (like I didn’t do to the pigeon)

20a   Say ‘I’m so special’ to reveal it? (6)
EGOISM:  Say or for example, then an anagram (special) of I’M SO

21a   Encourage French art by French artist — no bad thing, English! (7)
ESPOUSE:  We start with a French word for are (art used in the archaic poetic sense – as in thou art – to mean are) and put this by a French artist (POUSsin) minus a transgression (3) (no bad thing), then add an abbreviation for English

22a   Challenge from the radicals rebuffed (4)
DARE:  This challenge is contained in (from) part of the clue reversed (rebuffed)

25a   Greeting given to Queen and a King — elegant, befitting class distinction (10)
HIERARCHIC:  Time for charades.  String together an informal greeting, the two letter abbreviation for our current queen, the A from the clue, an abbreviation for King, and finally elegant or stylish

26a   Refusal by someone with final decision about to make a point (4)
NODE:  A word of refusal and the reversal (about) of someone in charge of a newspaper or other media output

27a   Volunteers express disapproval in principality reversing legislation (7,3)
STATUTE LAW:  Our usual volunteers and a sound of disapproval in a principality of the UK backwards (reversing)



1d    Condition keeping the sexes apart creates anger (4)
MIFF:  A condition inside abbreviations for the sexes

2d    More than one opponent makes horsy sound to be heard (4)
NAYS:  The plural of an opponent sounds like (to be heard) to make a sound of a horse

3d    Exact  record for meeting (6)
MINUTE:  Two definitions, the first an adjective meaning finely detailed

4d    Politician making electoral bid, arm having been twisted (7,8)
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT:  An anagram (having been twisted) of ELECTORAL BID ARM

5d    Look into disgrace that’s curtailed wish for peace (6)
SHALOM:  A word meaning look goes inside (into) a word meaning disgrace without its last letter (curtailed)

7d    Activity for summer? (10)
ARITHMETIC:  The summer might be adding up.  She might also subtract, multiply and divide

8d    Doctor thus placed in plate something conveying biological information (10)
CHROMOSOME:  One of the abbreviations for doctor and thus (2), all inside (placed in) a verb to plate with a particular metal

11d   Surprisingly disown tech that’s ‘with it‘ (8,2)
SWITCHED ON:  An anagram (surprisingly) of DISOWN TECH

12d   Celebrated, being given prosthetic limbs? (10)
REMEMBERED:  Enumerated (2-8) this could mean being given replacement limbs

13d   One in need is troubled indefinitely (4,3)
SINE DIE:  The Roman numeral one in an anagram (troubled) of NEED IS

14d   Tamper with religious worship over time (7)
MASSAGE:  A religious service comes before (over, in a down clue) a period of time

19d   Top hits played with skill apart from number one (1-5)
T-SHIRT:  An anagram (played) of HITS and then a word for skill missing its first letter (apart from number one)

20d   Musician’s slowing down after supposedly perceiving remarkable things in life (6)
ESPRIT:  The musical indication for slowing down comes after sixth sense, or supposedly perceiving remarkable things

23d   Pulse showing Roald’s upset inside? (4)
DHAL:  An edible pulse (also, rather pleasingly, called the pigeon pea).  The surname of author Roald with the internal letters switched (upset inside).  The Roald does rather gives the game away, but it’s nice to see him anyway

24d   Boat brings grimace with the bottom falling out (4)
SCOW:  Glower, glare or grimace without end (bottom – in a down clue – falling out)


Thanks to Giovanni.  My favourites today are 10a, 15a and 20a.  Which filled you with 20d and which left you with a re-bottomed 24d?



18 comments on “Toughie 1828

  1. I liked this a lot but I really didn’t find it easy.
    My top pics are 5d and 8d.
    13d is a new one for me, I had to google it to find out what it meant.7d made me smile.
    Thanks to Kitty and Giovanni.

  2. Not one of Giovanni’s trickiest offerings, perhaps because I was familiar with all of the more unusual words. I made a few problems for myself by misspelling the second part of 13d. My favourite was 12d

    Thanks to Kitty and Giovanni

  3. I thought this was rather pleasant but not too taxing. Thanks to Giovanni and Kitty. I chose 15a, 20a and 12d as my top clues.
    Countdown seems to have got a bit raunchier since I last watched it in the days of twice-nightly Whitely – I’ll have to start watching again!
    [Something seems awry with the hint for 27a].

    1. Awry as in unfinished. [Sound of disapproval.] Now edited – thanks, Gazza.

      The video is (partly) from 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, a favourite of the Kitties.

  4. I make no secret of my willingness to cheerlead for the Don and I thought this was a very good puzzle, certainly to ease us into the week. I liked 20ac, 26ac and 4dn, among others. Cheers Kitty and Giovanni!

  5. I enjoyed this and didn’t find it any tougher than Giovanni’s back-page cryptics.
    I’ve never heard of 17a but got there eventually because of the anagram.
    Neither have I ever heard of the ‘lout’ bit of 18a – one to remember maybe.
    I got into a pickle with 9a – launch = fling. :roll:
    I liked 15, 16 and 25a and 1d. My favourite was 12d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Kitty.

  6. Yes, I also started with launch=fling.

    A good start to the toughie week. I enjoyed the top hits (19d) and the hairy adventurer (why does beery hiker come to mind?) I also thought being given prosthetic limbs was nice (12d).

    many thanks Kitty & Giovanni

  7. Sorry to be late in once more – out enjoying myself yet again!
    Thought this was quite benign for a DG Toughie – just needed to check on the ‘lout’ and confirm the spelling of 13d.
    Glad that I waded through yesterday’s Rookie as I otherwise would have been caught short by the musical term in 20d.
    Can’t say that I’ve ever seen 10a spelled quite that way!

    15a got my vote for tops with 25a & 12d not far behind.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to our Girl Tuesday for another great blog. The pic for 1a had me in stitches!

    By the way – if anyone’s interested, my home ‘town’ of Beaumaris was where the imported 9a’s were modified by Saunders Roe.

  8. We failed to get 10a and needed Kitty to explain the parsing for 20d. Otherwise really good stuff after a day out in Chester – 4*/4*.

    Thad to Kitty and Giovanni.

  9. Yes, 20d defeated me too. Otherwise, a doable 3* puzzle with some clever clue construction. I particularly enjoyed 9a and 27a. Thanks to the Don, and to Kitty for confirming my inspired guesswork.

  10. This helped to ease the pain of watching England being beaten by ten-man France. Thanks to Giovanni and Kitty.

  11. Coming off an 11+ hour work day so late to the party. Thankfully, I did actually complete the puzzle before my paid day began. Last ones in were 17A and 10A in that orde, both of which required confirmations from the internet/BRB. Otherwise not too bad at all. My picks are 20A, 7D and 12D. Thanks to Giovanni and Kitty.

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