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Toughie 1993

Toughie No 1993 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too obscure from Giovanni today, though I’d not come across the particular form of the desert traveller before. Thanks to him for the pleasant puzzle (I hope he saw Brendan’s tribute to him in Monday’s Guardian).

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

Across Clues

1a Capital victory followed by a little drink, say (8)
WINNIPEG: to get the capital of Manitoba join together a victory, a wee dram and the abbreviation meaning ‘say’.

6a Thus useless person without love becomes pompous (6)
SOLEMN: an adverb meaning thus followed by an informal word for someone (or something) useless without the letter resembling zero or love.

9a Sweet, turning more than one head (6)
BONBON: an informal word for someone’s head is repeated and it’s all reversed.

10a Put up comment about threatening Conservative being deposed (8)
NOMINATE: a comment or observation contains an adjective meaning threatening after the 4-letter synonym for Conservative has been removed.

11a Differs from rich man, having to grab bit of work (8)
DIVERGES: the traditional name given to the unnamed rich man in one of the Biblical parables contains the word for a unit of work in physics.

12a A table like the captain’s? (6)
ABOARD: A and another word for table or fare. In the surface the “‘s” indicates “has” but as the definition it stands for “is”.

13a Tsar? One looked up to, though sometimes lacking in brightness (8,4)
VARIABLE STAR: a reverse anagram with the first word of the answer being the indicator and the second the fodder.

16a One could age, troubled by minimal energy — keep this on dressing table? (3,2,7)
EAU DE COLOGNE: an anagram (troubled) of ONE COULD AGE is placed adjacent to the abbreviation for energy. Clever clue because this substance is supposed (if you believe the hype) to have a beneficial effect on the mind and the body.

19a Authenticated script offering more than one field of study (6)
REALMS: bring together an adjective meaning authenticated or genuine and the abbreviation for a manuscript.

21a One managing particular shop or factory, unendingly lazy (8)
MILLINER: another word for a factory followed by an adjective meaning lacking vigour without its last letter.

23a What church composer could do, showing bias (8)
PENCHANT: split the answer 3,5 to get what a composer of church music could do.

24a Like famous holy room used by Jesus finally for meal (6)
SUPPER: the adjective identifying the location of a famous holy room in the New Testament follows the last letter of Jesus.

25a Bishop irritable, like a badly behaved youngster (6)
BRATTY: the chess abbreviation for bishop is followed by an informal adjective meaning irritable.

26a Unwavering English group of workers, one not winning after setback (8)
RESOLUTE: string together the abbreviation for English, the abbreviation for an organised group of workers and someone who’s not winning. Now reverse the lot.

Down Clues

2d In charge, undermining club? That’s somehow incongruous (6)
IRONIC: the abbreviation meaning ‘in charge’ comes after a type of golf club.

3d Half-heartedly try to persuade member of the upper house? (5)
NOBLE: start with a verb meaning try to persuade or influence (usually in illegal or underhand ways) and remove one of the repeated letters at its heart.

4d Praise gay prince for coming out (9)
PANEGYRIC: an anagram (for coming out) of GAY PRINCE.

5d Modern music fills Georgia with feeling of unease (7)
GANGSTA: the standard abbreviation for Georgia (the US state, not the European country) contains a word meaning a feeling of unease or anxiety.

6d Salvationists with little time on a group of islands (5)
SAMOA: string together the abbreviation for the Christian organisation known for their brass bands, a word for a short period of time and A.

7d Seafood disgustingly gelatinous I rejected (9)
LANGOUSTE: an anagram (disgustingly) of GELAT[i]NOUS without the I.

8d Significant chum with money in Oman (8)
MATERIAL: a synonym for chum and the name of the currency in Oman (and several other Middle Eastern countries).

13d Device lit when working, that is to say (9)
VIDELICET: an anagram (when working) of DEVICE LIT gives us an adverb more often seen in its abbreviated form …

14d Members keeping within group of top people? They know the rules (9)
LEGALISTS: some bodily members contain an informal adjective (1-4) meaning belonging to a group of top people.

15d Desert traveller in vehicle admitting state of confusion (8)
CAMELEER: a road vehicle contains a word for a state of confusion or rumpus. Here’s the best introduction ever of one of these:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d One restrains learner having conceited boast with little hesitation (7)
LIMITER: knit together the abbreviation for our usual learner, a conceited boast (1’1,2) and an expression of hesitation.

18d Upset after agent shows something we’ve seen before? (6)
REPEAT: a verb to upset or worry follows an abbreviated sales agent.

20d I am surprised, overcome by what is blue and sordid (5)
SEAMY: an expression of surprise follows what we traditionally think of as blue but which can be a variety of colours (including James Joyce’s description of ‘snot-green’).

22d Drive mile in one short shower (5)
IMPEL: insert the abbreviation for mile between the Roman numeral for one and a verb to shower or pepper without its last letter.

I liked the clever 24a and 20d but my favourite was 16a. Which one(s) appealed to you?

18 comments on “Toughie 1993

  1. A bit of a battle today – glad there were a few long anagrams to get me started!. Nice to see a city from Canada which was easy to spot for me. A couple of new words -4d and13d.

    Thanks to Gazza and the setter as usual

  2. There were certainly things I needed to look up today. Unfamiliar words such as 4,5&13d plus the ‘threatening’ part of 10a and then the rich man in 11a, the unknown ending of 7d and the currency of Oman. I also looked for information on 13a and 17d so – all in all – I spent an appreciable length of time with the BRB and Mr Google! How much of this new learning I am likely to remember remains to be seen.

    Podium places went to 19,23&24a.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the workout and to Gazza, to whom I take my hat off – at least I knew the desert nomad which makes me feel slightly less uneducated!

  3. Perhaps I am right in thinking that Giovanni is Don M. In other guises he frequently uses entries that are unusual (the kind version) or arcane (the unkind version). Very nicely set however, and I agree fully with Jane’s podium places.

  4. I just typed a whole long comment on my tablet, pressed post comment and got the ‘this site isn’t working error message’ so I’ve come upstairs to the ‘proper’ computer to try again :(

    I think what I said was that I found this on the cusp of tricky Friday back pager and friendly Giovanni. His puzzles always make you wonder how much other things you didn’t know you knew are lurking at the back of your memory banks waiting for him to provide a clue. (which isn’t exactly what I said before, but it’ll do)

    Thanks to both the Gs

  5. To my disappointment, I was defeated only by the modern music in 5d, which I had never heard of. On the basis of its definition, I am profoundly glad I’ve never heard it, or of it!

  6. It was not a quick solve for us but one where we made steady progress after giving each clue a bit of serious thought and found that we had somewhere, in the backs of our minds, heard of all the less common words here. A very satisfying way to work through a puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  7. Well, I must be on the right wavelength for the Toughie this week, that’s two in a row I’ve managed to complete, previously unheard of, but I am attempting as many as time allows for now, so I’m hoping that it is down to a case of the more you do, the more you can do – or I have I just struck lucky so far this week ? Wonder what tomorrow will bring…?
    4d and 13d were new words to me and I only solved those because they were anagrams, the parsing of 10a and 11a eluded me . Goodness knows when and where I heard “cameleer” , but I managed to dig that from the depths somehow. However, I couldn’t decide on 20d, I thought the answer might be “shaky” , as in “ha” as surprised overcome by “sky” as in blue, but I finally went for “seamy” .
    Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable brain workout and to Gazza for explaining and confirming my answers.

  8. Well, quite a mixture, we thought. Some of the answers required knowledge of the more remote recesses of the BRB, such as 10a and 11a, while others were pretty straightforward. 2.5*/3.5*.

    Liked 1a and 23a.

    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  9. I’d never come across 15d before but I knew “muleteer”. I enjoyed the clip from the film. Noel Coward said that Peter O’ Toole was so pretty that they should have called it Florence of Arabia.
    Thank you Giovanni for an enjoyable challenge and Gazza for the explanations.

  10. Well the wheels came off on that one today😣
    Got a few on my own and even extreme googling and use of the hints left a couple. I didn’t know the unknown rich guy or the pompous one either and 13d went in from checkers and googling. I can usually tackle a Giovanni back pager but he has givem my brain a good workout today. Thanks to G&G. Better luck tomorrow.

      1. I’ve just revisited NTSPP 201.

        An interesting comment from a certain person called Brian.

        NTSPP – 201

        Plus ça change …

        Artix will be very pleased that Brian is on a sabbatical.

  11. My turn to be grumpy today! Not really at the crossword, which was fine, but sometimes one just needs to grump around. Grump grump grump.

    Anyway, for some reason I was short of patience when tackling this, so after a while I did something I don’t usually do and bunged a few of the anagrams into the Chambers app to be handed back the untangled word on an electronic platter.

    Added to that I made a cheeky wildcard search to track down that 15d (silly – as if the vehicle wasn’t the obvious one …) and it still took me about three times as long as yesterday’s (not that that took me out of usual mid-week Toughie range).

    Oh, and I also did as Gabrielle did initially and put SHAKY in for 20d with a ? over the definition.

    Even though it’s one of the anagrams I think my favourite is 4d just because it is a nice short clue with a nice positive vibe.

    Grump ended.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  12. I’m in good company! I had “shaky” for 20d too, and even parsed it successfully from the clue. “ha” is after all a reversal of what one might say if surprised, surrounded by something blue (“sky”). OK, l haven’t come across it as a synonym for sordid, but it might be in somebody’s usage. Isn’t delusion a wonderful thing? All in all, 2*/3.5*, and l enjoyed 5d and 23a. Thanks to the Don, and Gazza.

  13. A *** for difficulty sounds about right. Also tried SHAKY only for it to be flagged up as an error. Didn’t know 7d or 13d so struggled a little with the choice of letters, and in the end saw sense and picked up the dictionary. Ok, it’s on my phone so I didn’t have to reach far for it, but still… 13ac was also new but could be little else with the choice of letters at hand, and that it was inevitably an anagram of STAR.

  14. I’d say 3.5* for this, especially as I carelessly banged in one shaky answer. I rather like clues like 23a, although they are somewhat tricky without the crossers. A few today where I guessed the answer and then parsed.

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