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Toughie 1973

Toughie No 1973 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is the first time I’ve had a Donnybrook Toughie to blog and I found it a gentle but pleasant experience. There are lots of proper nouns and at one stage I thought there was going to be a mini-theme relating to scientists but we only got as far as two examples.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Man in suit lifting equipment (4)
JACK: double definition. The suit is one of Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds or Spades.

3a Something essential to dignitary in retirement (5)
PIVOT: join together TO and the abbreviation for a dignitary or big cheese then reverse it all.

6a Fruit reduced by penny when sold alone (4)
EACH: remove the abbreviation for penny from a type of soft fruit.

8a Maybe Hearts and Hibs meet in unspeakable tragedy (3,8,4)
THE SCOTTISH PLAY: Hearts and Hibs are examples of football teams in Edinburgh. The tragedy is ‘unspeakable’ because actors consider it unlucky to refer to it by name.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a Fees schedule brings row over advertiser’s margins (6)
TARIFF: a row or minor quarrel contains the outer letters of advertiser.

10a Presidents honour service personnel (8)
CHAIRMEN: charade of a verb to honour someone by carrying them in triumph and ordinary members of the armed services. Thanks to Jane for providing a much better way of parsing the clue  – an honour or award (2) followed by RAF service personnel.

11a Structure in Steinbeck shows genius (8)
EINSTEIN: hidden in the clue.

13a Ridiculed arrangement trapping knight (4,2)
SENT UP: a word for an arrangement or configuration (3-2) contains the chess abbreviation for knight.

15a Nuts free to generate capital (6)
MADRID: splice together an adjective meaning nuts or deranged and a verb to free or purge.

17a Nightingale one left to occupy nest in place (8)
PHILOMEL: this is a female in Greek mythology who was turned into a nightingale. Insert the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for left into another word for nest or abode. Now put all that inside the abbreviation for place.

19a Old sailors with invitation going round duchy (8)
CORNWALL: assemble the abbreviations for old, our armed sailors and ‘with’ and insert what you’ve constructed inside an invitation or summons.

21a Curse a barmy supporter taking cup (6)
SAUCER: an anagram (barmy) of CURSE A. The same fodder that we had in 11d yesterday.

22a Very rapidly appreciate those giving hand (4,3,8)
LIKE THE CLAPPERS: appreciate or enjoy those applauding.

23a Moved suddenlyphotograph ruined (4)
SHOT: triple definition, the last an informal adjective meaning ruined or worn out.

24a Infernal writer finally burned at stake (5)
DANTE: the final letter of burned and a stake in card games.

25a Female died in Slough (4)
SHED: a female pronoun followed by the abbreviation for died.

Down Clues

1d Current setter involved in predicament (3,6)
JET STREAM: insert an anagram (involved) of SETTER into another word for a predicament or pickle.

2d V-sign from revolutionary facing little man (7)
CHEVRON: force together our usual South American revolutionary, the abbreviation meaning facing (in a sporting contest) and a short male forename.

3d Checked text in page of scripture covered by course (9)
PROOFREAD: start with the abbreviation for page, then insert OF and the abbreviation for a scripture lesson into a word for course or path.

4d Vessel with another following current coming to holy residence (7)
VATICAN: stitch together a vessel for holding liquid, the symbol for electric current and another vessel.

5d Electrical engineer beginning to search in web (5)
TESLA: insert the first letter of search into a word (new to me) used in anatomy for delicate tissue or a web-like structure. The answer is the name of an inventor best known for contributing to the design of the alternating current electricity system.

6d Language operates incoherently without noun (9)
ESPERANTO: an anagram (incoherently) of OPERATES contains the abbreviation for noun.

7d Cat brought to water in French castle (7)
CHATEAU: weld together the French words for cat and water.

12d Tight cord flexed when first pulled (9)
STRINGENT: another word for cord is followed by a verb meaning flexed or angled without its first letter.

13d Sends copy to support hospital orderly (9)
SHIPSHAPE: start with a verb meaning sends or dispatches and add a verb to copy below the abbreviation for hospital.

14d Split in spire damaged with load (9)
POLARISED: an anagram (damaged) of SPIRE and LOAD.

16d Stop sailor heading out from Gdansk? (7)
ABOLISH: an abbreviation for sailor followed by an adjective that could mean ‘from Gdansk’ without its first letter.

17d One frequently landed with large fishing bill (7)
PELICAN: cryptic definition of a bird with a large bill.

18d 8 sees old woman caught by Hebrew character (7)
MACBETH: collate an affectionate word for one’s ‘old woman’, a cricket abbreviation for caught and the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

20d News provider concealed bug (5)
APHID: the short identity of a News Agency based in New York City is followed by a verb meaning concealed.

I ticked 1a, 8a and 13d but my favourite was 22a. Which clue(s) would you highlight?

30 comments on “Toughie 1973

  1. This was fun. I loved 8a and 17d was brilliant. I think I’ve only met 1 Donnybrook before. I look forward to the next one.

    Thank you setter and blogger for a very pleasant morning.

  2. Nice and Floughie – I agree with Gazza’s podium choices.

    Whenever 5d turns up in a quiz and I say its him, Mr CS always asks how I know this, the obvious answer being, of course, purely from his appearance in many a crossword

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza too

  3. Although I agree that this was relatively fluffy in parts, overall I found it nicely challenging. It was just about the right level for a Toughie for me and very enjoyable to boot (except perhaps for the over-contrived 17a).

    I didn’t know the Hebrew letter in 18d nor the web in 5d.

    I have a long list of ticks, with double ticks going to 1a, 8a, 22a (my favourite), 13d & 17d.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and to Gazza.

  4. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but as well as “saucer” (21a) having turned up in the last few days, didn’t we also have “chateau” (7d) (yesterday?) and tesla (5d)? Anyway, very enjoyable with 19a making me smile the most. Thanks to all.

    1. You’re right that we had chateau as well as saucer yesterday. I don’t remember seeing Tesla recently.

  5. A bit of GK which held me up for a while, but finished it. I didn’t check the clock, but it felt like a *** time.

    Needed Google to parse 17a, 5d and 18d, but otherwise fairly starightforward.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  6. A couple of new words for me in 17a and the 5d web, plus – with the middle checker in place – I tried to get ‘duvet’ to work for 3a!
    Struggled to fully parse 3d and parsed 10a rather differently – I used CH for the honour and followed it up with ‘airmen’ for the service personnel – does that work as an alternative, Gazza?

    Thought there might have been rather more to 17d than there appears to be.

    Lots to like – 21&22a plus 1,2&20d all making the final cut.

    Many thanks to Donnybrook for the puzzle and to Gazza for the blog – loved the sign for 19a!

    1. I think your parsing of 10a not only works, it’s far better than my sub-standard effort – I shall update the blog. I too thought there might be more to 17d but couldn’t find anything.

      1. Profuse apologies, Gazza, you are a doubtless luminary of crosswordland; but I couldn’t help but smile at the hint for 10a, followed by the quote in the illustration for 11a!

        Obviously a coincidence, but the irony amuses me no end.
        Sorry to rag :smile:

    2. Correcting toughie stalwarts such as Gazza whilst turning down offers to blog? You are a natural Jane. You can have this weeks Monday’s back pager if you want. I may be under an alcoholic cosh. Go on I dare you.

  7. Never got comfortable with this one, probably because too much of the required GK was unfamiliar. I smiled at 7d of course, and I have 2d down as favourite. Thanks to Donnybrook and to Gazza (collate in the 18d hint is inspired. I wish I’d thought of that.)

  8. Most enjoyable. I think that Donnybrook must be one of the Toughie setters that I am most ‘in sync’ with.

    8a has to take the laurels today.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

    1. Curses! I haven’t had the pleasure of blogging a Myops puzzle for years and I won’t be around to do it tomorrow.

  9. The only bit of GK that might have tripped us up was 17a but luckily one of our team knew this so it all went together smoothly.
    22a gave us the biggest chuckle.
    Thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

  10. Remarkably smooth surfaces once again from our Donny, and lots of fun too.

    I agree with 8A and 17A being particular highlights, but there were many very high-quality clues in this lovely puzzle. Thanks to Donny and to Gazza for his equally high-quality remarks, and to all posting in.


  11. I was really slow on this one, but then I was out and about so can tell myself that that may have been the reason. Maybe.

    I thought of 17d early on but wasn’t sure enough to put it in.

    Likes include 3a, the unspeakable tragedy of 8a/18d, and 15a.

    22a might have been my favourite too but I think that 12d deserves some love – beautifully constructed.

    Thanks Donnybrook and Gazza.

  12. A lovely crossword, but all over too quickly. 2*/3*.

    Our favourites were three consecutive across clues – 19, 20 & 21. 17a was new to us.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  13. Fairly gentle I thought, with some generous long clues opening the grid nicely. I didn’t know the web but I did know the engineer, thankfully, as the only real difficulties encountered were in that part of the grid, and 3d / 9ac in particular. Oh, and my LOI, 21ac. Why, I ask myself now. 8ac was nicely done.

  14. My last one in was 19a and by sheer coincidence I was listening to a cd of the Port Isaac Fisherman’s Friends at the time. Also went to hear them singing at a concert in our county town last night. Anyway, I digress – I like Donnybrook Toughies. I think this is the third I’ve tried. Just the right level of difficulty for my crosswording abilities. Took a while to gain a foothold, but slowly everything eventually slotted into place. 22a made me chuckle, but 17a has to be my favourite as its a completely new word to me. Over the last few days I must have seen 7d in three different puzzles with three very different ways of clueing it. Thanks to Donnybrook and Gazza.

  15. 2*/3*, but a couple of particularly enjoyable clues: 8a and 13d. Thanks to Donnybrook, and Gazza.

  16. Yay! My birth year Toughie in my birth month (nearly the day too – only 5 days adrift) and I managed to complete on my own in one sitting! Didn’t think I would at one point but persevered, only resorting to Google-checking answer to 17a (which I tortuously worked out having all checkers bar 1st letter) and the 4 letter word for web in 5d which I’d never previously heard of. Must make it around 2* or 3* difficulty but wouldn’t have been close a few years ago before I found this blog. I also starred 8a and 13d as favourites and wasnt totally satisfied with 17d. LOI 10a with same parsing as Jane (CH abbreviation is something I have learned from this blog!). Thanks to Donnybrook for the satisfying almost-birthday treat (some clues were a little on the easy side but I’m not complaining!) and to the blog (Gazza and all) as always

  17. Thanks to Donnybrook and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, just about the right level of difficulty for a Toughie. Needed the hints for 17a & 3d. Favourite was 22a, was 3*/3* for me.

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