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Toughie 1892

Toughie No 1892 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Warmest greetings, one and all.  Giovanni has provided us with a Toughie considerably gentler than his usual, and much more aligned with the puzzles normally seen in this slot.  This is largely due to a very generous helping of the most accessible clue type, along with friendly wordplay and a distinct lack of WTF (Where’s That From?) grid entries. 

Speaking of generous helpings, we have been given plenty to eat today (though at times the servings are limited) as well as places to eat in.  We also have something to wash it all down with and a place to rest.

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



1a    Undergo punishment, suffering at length? Untrue (3,3,8)
RUN THE GAUNTLET:  We start with some punishment, and some punishment for anagram-haters: an anagram (suffering) of AT LENGTH UNTRUE

10a   Something eaten at home, boxed by foreign eaterie (9)
AUBERGINE:  Our usual two-letter word meaning at home inside (boxed by) a French word for an inn, also used to refer to a restaurant.  From this wordplay we grow a purple fruit (but of the kind you’d cook, not include in a fruit salad)

11a   Proprietor to acknowledge one deserving royal treatment (5)
OWNER:  A charade of to acknowledge or admit and two letters which are used to refer to the royalest of the royals

12a   Retired folk that woman’s seen outside US university (7)
HERMITS:  “That woman’s” is around (seen outside) the other famous Cambridge university

13a   Furniture I had brought back by suitable transport? (6)
DIVANS:  “I had” contracted and reversed (brought back) next to some vehicles suitable for transporting the answer

15a   Number one animal ultimately — that about it? (4)
LION:  Take an abbreviation for number, the Roman numeral one and the last letter (ultimately) of animal, put them together and turn all that around (that about)

17a   Article fitted in giving support, something wooden mostly — peg leg? (10)
PROSTHETIC:  A grammatical article in an argument giving support and all but the end of (mostly) a small bit of a tree.  A peg leg is just one example of the answer

18a   Mad sister and I tucked into caviar maybe in restaurant (10)
ROTISSERIE:  An anagram (mad) of SISTER and I in some fish eggs (which may or may not be caviar)

20a   Musical piece from choir turning around (4)
TRIO:  This composition for a small number of players can be extracted from the reversal (around) of two words of the clue

22a   Provoke old fellows to wear something pink (6)
FOMENT:  The abbreviation for old and some chaps inside (to wear) a pink organ.  I’m not sure how widely used this word is but I vaguely knew it from somewhere

23a   Plant with unusual name presented to somebody (7)
ANEMONE:  An anagram (unusual) of NAME plus a person

26a   What goes round can go round in reverse (5)
ROTOR:  Something that revolves is a palindrome and thus is the same written backwards

27a   Quietly helping four being imprisoned in state of hardship (9)
PRIVATION:  The musical quietly and a fixed portion (especially of food), with four (written Roman-style) inside it (being imprisoned)

28a   It involves a sequence of matches (6,8)
SERIAL MONOGAMY:  A cryptic definition, where the matches are romantic relationships



2d    Brown‘s old city entertaining honoured member (5)
UMBER:  A very useful two-letter ancient city contains the post-nominal letters given to the recipient of an honour

3d    Muddy and difficult course to the north? Propose to go south (6)
TURBID:  A difficult course (which one might get stuck in) written upwards in the grid (to the north, in a down clue) and to propose or offer written in the normal direction (to go south, still in a down clue)

4d    More than one agent stars — negligent, not right, to begin with (10)
EMISSARIES:  A constellation of the zodiac is preceded by (to begin with) careless or negligent, missing its initial r (not right)

5d    Take off by the highest point (4)
APEX:  Take off in the sense of imitate followed by the mathematical symbol for (multiplied) by

6d    Old stone implement damaged the 15 (7)
NEOLITH:  An anagram (damaged) of THE together with the answer to 15a

7d    Royal house with endless territory and a Roller (9)
LANCASTER:  Some territory missing its last letter (endless) and (a variant spelling of) the kind of roller found underneath some furniture or trolleys

8d    Are trips chosen to be choreographed for them? (14)
TERPSICHOREANS:  An anagram (to be choreographed) of ARE TRIPS CHOSEN.  The trips are dances.  This is the other word which might not be so widely known, but nobody who knows the Muse of dance and chorus will have a problem here.  I’d come across this at a young age thanks to T.S.Eliot

9d    Teacher of history maybe in after-school bar getting drunk (8,2,4)
BACHELOR OF ARTS:  An anagram (getting drunk) of AFTER-SCHOOL BAR.  The answer might teach a humanities subject such as history, I suppose, but this graduate has become a teacher purely to suit the surface.  And it is an appropriate surface, I can confirm!

14d   Eager desire that could be a feature of hotel initially (10)
ASPIRATION:  Unless you are cockney or French, this would describe your pronunciation of the start of the word hotel

16d   Meet actor struggling with long line of verse (9)
OCTAMETER:  An anagram (struggling) of MEET ACTOR

19d   Celebrated with song uplifting wine (7)
SANGRIA:  Celebrated (4) with the reversal (uplifting, in a down clue) of a song.  This is a punch in my book, and my Big Red Book would seem to agree

21d   Grandma hugged by Margaret in in a state (6)
PENANG:  A name for a grandmother contained in (hugged by) an affectionate form of the name Margaret.  Did you spot the misprint?  I didn’t notice the repeated in when solving but thought I was seeing double (maybe after too much 19d?) when doing the hints

24d   Disgust shown by element wanting leader gone (5)
ODIUM:  A metallic chemical element without its first letter (wanting leader gone)

25d   Plans set up to provide rationed food? (4)
SPAM:  Charts or plans reversed (set up, in a down clue)


Thanks to Giovanni for going easy on us.  My favourite today is 15a.  Which would you crown king of the jungle?




28 comments on “Toughie 1892

  1. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Kitty for the suggestive blog, what with the fruity illustration and the pink organ! I missed the double ‘in’ completely and the only problem I had was with the, unknown to me, answer to 3d where I actually checked the BRB to see whether ‘gid’ could mean ‘propose’.
    The clues I nominate for favouritism are 22a and 7d.

  2. Bit confused by some of this – I don’t consider 1a to be literal “punishment”, would have thought the place in 10ac was more than “an eaterie”, I disagree that her in 11a “deserves” royal treatment, and that’s just the first three clues! I did very much enjoy my last one in, 28a, so I’ll nominate that for favourite, with honourable mentions to 13a and 21a. Thanks be to the setter and to the chocolate-suggestive blogger.

    1. Goodness me, Verlaine – you are having a bad day!
      I think it’s fair comment to equate ‘undergo punishment’ with the 1a answer – attempting to do same is surely likely to necessitate a gruelling experience?
      As for 11a – I took it as ‘OWN’ (to acknowledge) plus ‘ER’ which results in the required answer. Perhaps it’s the ‘one deserving’ that gives you a problem, in which case she is still ‘royal’ regardless of how you personally might choose to treat her!

      1. Well said, Jane. 1a is a form of military punishment with a long history, in which a soldier was forced to run between a double line of his fellows while being beaten by them.

  3. Your blogs are just ‘something else’ Kitty – loved your take on the ‘click here’ button and the clip of Harry’s home!

    Sorry – the puzzle’s meant to be the main event…….

    The four long answers certainly helped once I’d got over the idea that 1a would start with ‘get’ and that 28a would have some connection to ‘spread betting’ – not much joy with either of those ideas!
    Think I got my first introduction to 8d in the same way as Kitty – and what a brilliant stage show came from that.
    As for 22a – perhaps the culinary use of the word is the most familiar to me. It certainly made the answer one of my ‘ticks’ with the other going to 14d – sadly a commonplace occurrence in hotels, it all starts out so well……….

    Thanks to Giovanni and to our Girl Tuesday for brightening my day as usual.

  4. Perhaps not a full strength Giovanni but not by any means a write-in either. All quite enjoyable.

    Thanks to Kitty and Giovanni

  5. Very enjoyable, not much more difficult than a Friday back pager.

    Joint favourites – 28a (long non-anagram) and 2d (I haven’t seen the old city for a while).

    Thanks to The Don and Kitty.

  6. Very enjoyable and more accessible than the back pager .
    28a is obviously a fav with most people I imagine and I liked 9d. That I never heard of 8d didn’t matter because it fitted all the checkers.
    Thanks to Kitty and the Don.

  7. Obviously an entry level toughie otherwise it would have been beyond me. Attempting toughies is akin to 1a for me most weeks.- self inflicted of course

  8. Solved in the early hours, but I suspect that even if I’d been fully awake I’d still have found this tougher than most posting here did. Must be that wavelength thing. I knew 8d not from Eliot but from the Monty Python Cheese Shop skit – “I am one who delights in all manifestations of the 8d[s] muse!” Favourite probably 22a. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Kitty for a fine set of hints and illustrations.

    1. Oh dear, Mr K – your education has obviously been severely lacking in some areas. Makes me feel so much better about the fact that my brain often shuts down in the face of your scientific/mathematical skills!

      1. Yes, indeed. I expect that now that’s come out I’ll be required to memorize The Song of the Jellicles

  9. Thanks to Giovanni and to Kitty for the review and hints. Hooray, my first ever completion of a Giovanni Toughie. I thought I had a chance when I got 1a&8d rather quickly. Last in and favourite was 3d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  10. My stumbling block was with 28a. I confidently put in ‘poly’ as the first part of the second word and then could not make any sense of the checkers for 14d and 25d. Eventually it took Google to explain to me that the two phrases can be interchangeable to describe the same phenomenon and the last couple of answers slotted in easily.
    Thanks Giovanni and Kitty.

  11. What a blessed relief from the problematic 1891. This was intriguing but straightforward – very enjoyable with 14d being my favourite. ***/*****.

  12. Not too tricky and quite enjoyable. Only problem was 8d, making up words I don’t know from anagrams is only fun for so long…
    Pic for 10a looks familiar, only smaller. Couldn’t help but think ‘Where’s that from?’ :smile:

    Thanks for the benevolence, Giovanni, and thanks for a very entertaining review Kitty.

  13. An interesting puzzle, say 2*/4*. I liked quite a few – 4d, 17a, 22a among them – and the only part of it that held me up was the SW corner (until l corrected my initial, and unduly impetuous, solution of 19d. I put in “Madeira”, which seemed to work after a fashion). Thanks to the Don, and to Kitty. As to your suggestive vegetable (or perhaps it’s a fruit), my mind still boggles.

  14. Laughed so much at the picture in 10a that I can’t think of anything to say.
    Ah yes.
    Can we really say that 19d is a wine?
    Thanks to the Don and to Kitty for the fun review.

  15. Hmm. I fell on 3D (and didn’t understand the hint at all) and 4D and 8D. No walk in the park for me, then. Thanks anyway to Giovanni and Kitty.

  16. Liked this and finished it with no use of any aids.

    Mr Sheffieldsy, like Mr Kitty, knew 8d from Python’s magnificent Cheese Shop sketch.

    COTD probably 4d.

    Thanks to Kitty for the suggestive aubergine, and the review, and to Giovanni.

  17. And to think I nearly rejected that aubergine! (I also considered hiding him behind the other picture.) It’s kind of comforting that amusingly-shaped veg goes down as well today as it always did.

    By the way, did you spot Hermit the Frog?

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