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Toughie 1940

Toughie No 1940 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Kitty

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

Welcome from Wiltshire.  (Actually, as you read this I will have wended my weary way home.)  I hope you have all been having the Christmas you desire and that your heads are not too sore today.

If you are feeling the after effects of overindulgence, this may not be the puzzle for you.  It’s a solid Giovanni crossword in his usual style.  I’d have preferred something fluffier for Boxing Day, but never mind.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the NOT SO MUCH A CHRISTMAS LOG AS A BOXING DAY LOG buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative — click only if you wish to reveal all.

As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover



1a    Maybe nostalgic German financiers do fail to live up to expectations? (4,3,4)
MISS THE MARK:  This phrase meaning to fall short of a target could also mean to be nostalgic for the old German currency

10a   Love shown by congregation long ago (2,3)
OF OLD:  The usual round character for love/zero and a flock or congregation

11a   Get into a row and rebel after treatment of alien (9)
LINEARISE:  It may be the Christmas season but the row is not an argument.  A verb to rebel follows (goes after) an anagram (treatment) of ALIEN

12a   Cavaliers changing sides at the outset or those staying true to the cause? (9)
LOYALISTS:  Cavaliers of the English Civil War with the initial letter changing from the abbreviation for one side to another

13a   Fancy coming across that  magazine! (5)
HELLO:  Two definitions: an interjection expressing surprise is also (with an exclamation mark) the name of a celebrity gossip magazine

14a   Physicist restricted, having had wings clipped (6)
AMPÈRE:  The physicist who gave his name (minus the accent) to the SI unit of electric current is formed of a word meaning restricted (8), the letters at each side having been removed (having had wings clipped)

16a   Spooner’s arousing strong feelings, group of students being refined (3-5)
CUT-GLASS:  Refined (of an accent) is a spoonerism of strong or instinctive feelings and a school form

18a   Pathetic father twisting in party — pray, wanting rid of pa! (8)
DERISORY:  A four-letter word for father (verb or noun, though the verb is more common) is reversed (twisting) inside the usual crosswordland party and followed by “pray” without (wanting rid of) P and A

20a   Wine in pub fire — save the last of it (6)
BARSAC:  A place where drinks are served and a verb to fire missing its end (save the last of it)

23a   Country finishing off Britain with a superior game (5)
NAURU:  Join together the last letter of (finishing off) Britain, the A from the clue, a single letter meaning superior or posh and an abbreviation for a ball game

24a   Move into a gap on western flank of Andes — to get here? (9)
PATAGONIA:  Make an anagram of (move) INTO A GAP and add the leftmost character (western flank) of Andes.  At the end of this journey you should arrive at a country that actually comprises the south flank of the Andes as well as lands to the east — so I suppose if you move from the west, it could get you here, which would make the clue a semi-all-in-one

26a   The matter with position taken by inferior sort of editor? (9)
SUBSTANCE:  A point of view or posture follows a shortened form of an editor who is not the main one

27a   Weapon has knight’s fate sealed (5)
LANCE:  A companion of King Arthur has a word meaning fate or destiny dropped from the end (sealed, I think in the sense of isolated)

28a   One may have a tot while sitting at home (11)
CHILDMINDER:  A cryptic definition; the tot is not alcoholic



2d    Girl hoarding gold, something with restricted sale (5)
IVORY:  The name of a girl (Holly’s companion perhaps) containing (hoarding) the heraldic word for gold

3d    One who’d be less happy about minimal supply of leather? (7)
SADDLER:  A very nice semi-all-in-one: less happy around the first letter of (minimal supply of) leather

4d    Philosophical approach is evident in rich land by water (6)
HOLISM:  IS from the clue contained in (evident in) some rich flat land beside a river

5d    Liquid surface — one is fouled up with scum, ring’s left (8)
MENISCUS:  An anagram (fouled up) of oNE IS with SCUM, where the O has been dropped because ring (O) has left

6d    Hairy traveller? Good hair, sadly, I may be lacking (4,3)
ROAD HOG:  Well I like this because the hairy traveller works as a definition if we interpret hairy as dangerous … but there is also a cryptic wordplay element to it where the whole could literally describe a hairy animal travelling down the street.  The standard wordplay part requires us to take an anagram (sadly) of GOOD HAiR and drop the I (I may be lacking)

7d    Rash behaviour of soldier Hans in battle (13)
FOOLHARDINESS:  An anagram (in battle) of OF SOLDIER HANS

8d    Boy with inner energy girl grabs and deceives (8)
MISLEADS:  Russian dolls: a young lady surrounds (grabs) a three-letter young man containing (with inner) E(nergy)

9d    Like many a former church, sort succumbing with decadence (13)
DECONSECRATED:  An anagram (succumbing) of SORT with DECADENCE.  An example of this type of former church is the Pitcher and Piano in Nottingham, the venue for one of this year’s S&B events.  I can’t pass any comment on whether the surface is appropriate to this example or not …

15d   Troubles to bring forward with restrictions about to be lifted (8)
PERTURBS:  Forward or saucy and some restrictions with C(irca) to be removed (lifted).  Parsing this took a while as I really wanted to reverse something

17d   Organic liquid for face, withered no end? (8)
PROPANOL:  For or in favour of, a slang word for the face (3) and aged (so perhaps withered) without the last letter (no end)

19d   Leave school, skirting around that grass (7)
SQUITCH:  Leave or give up with an abbreviation for school around it (skirting around that).  The grass was new to me

21d   A new name for certain heights in part of Africa (7)
ANGOLAN:  A, N(ew), and a region in the Levant, the ***** Heights 

22d   Master punished one set of school students? (6)
STREAM:  An anagram (punished) of MASTER

25d   Outside the realm of the established church for the time being (5)
NONCE:  Split (3-2) this could mean not in accordance with the Church of England


Thanks to Giovanni.  My favourites are 11a and 3d, with 9d also making the cut partly because of happy connotations involving the venue pictured.  Which ticked all the right boxes for you?


9 comments on “Toughie 1940

  1. Nice puzzle , though I still needed some help , including that grass.
    It’s the second time we seen 23a in print , this week ,the other time about a certain vote on a capitol city. I don’t think I would have got it otherwise.
    I hate spoonerisms , including 16a.
    Thanks to Kitty and Giovanni.

  2. Must say I liked 28a which took me far too long. Also thought 12a and 1a were quite cute! Thanks to all.

  3. Thanks Kitty, esp for 27a where I was trying to force LACE around the abbreviation for night

    I liked 1a and 10a most. Hadn’t heard of the rich flat land.

    Many thanks and Merry Christmas to Giovanni

  4. Had quite a fight on my hands with this one, not helped by the fact that I didn’t know the 19d grass and (unlike Una) couldn’t recall having met the 22a country before today. Many thanks to Kitty for the full parsing of both 27a (can’t believe I missed that one!) and also 15d.

    12&28a get a mention in despatches but 1a took the accolades.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to our homeward-bound Girl Tuesday – may post-Christmas peace descend upon you!

  5. Greetings from wet and windy Land’s End, where the seas are mountainous and tremendous to observe at Sennen Cove. There were still some nutters on surfboards getting tossed around in the water. Rather them than me…

    I had a bit of a tussle with this but then I usually do with The Don’s toughies so no change there, then.
    I have no clue why, but I suffered a blind spot at 18a – it’s not even one of the harder clues!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Kitty for the blogging duties.

    1. Letterboxroy, where at Sennen/Lands End do you stay? We’ve spent many a summer holiday (and two of the last four Christmases) in Sennen Cove, and I’ve compiled many a puzzle whilst watching the waves crash over the breakwater by the harbour car park!

      1. That’s where we were today, Chris. We stay at a farm outhouse at St Buryan; Banns Farm to be precise. Five miles from everywhere!

  6. An interesting coincidence with the answers to 1a here and 1a in the Christmas Day Toughie, totally different cluing though. Several had us doing a bit of beak scratching and a couple like 19d that we had to check in BRB. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and Kitty.

  7. I was pleased to be able to finish this, and I enjoyed it very much along the way. However, there were a number of things I had not heard of (the country in 23a, the rich land in 4d), but it took me ages to track down the obscure (to me) grass in 19d which was by a long shot my last one in. My favourite (also by a long shot) was 1a. Many thanks to Giovanni and Kitty.

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