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Toughie 2013

Toughie No 2013 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a fairly standard Giovanni Toughie today with any difficulty coming (for me at any rate) mainly from new words and bits of General Knowledge rather than clever wordplay. It’s slightly odd that we have four anagrams in a row.

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

Across Clues

1a Idiot crossing infernal place who wants maximum exposure? (6)
NUDIST: an informal word for an idiot goes round a word for hell in Roman mythology.

4a Is scrupulous, bringing pet aboard ship (8)
STICKLES: we’re more used to seeing the nounal form as a person who is punctilious but here we need the verb. Insert a verb to pet or touch lightly into the usual steamship abbreviation.

9a Well — that is certainly one! (6)
ADVERB: cryptic definition with ‘well’ (in the sense of skilfully or competently) as an example of the answer.

10a Office worker out of office becoming a model (8)
TEMPLATE: charade of a non-permanent office worker and an adjective meaning out of office or no longer in post.

11a Complaint when beautiful lady clutches vessel wasting time (9)
BELLYACHE: a word for a beautiful woman contains a sailing vessel without the abbreviation for time.

13a Insulated home protected by electronic device (5)
LINED: a 9a meaning ‘at home’ is held inside a light-emitting electronic device.

14a Maybe horse destroyed 8 crops (13)
PERISSODACTYL: these days horses have just one toe per foot but in the past they had five according to scientific research. In either case they qualify as an example of the answer which means an ungulate having an odd number of toes per foot. It’s an anagram (destroyed) of the answer to 8d and CROPS. My last answer and I certainly needed the help of Chambers.

17a Gosh, talk about cheat! There’s confirmation from evidence (13)
CORROBORATION: put together an exclamation meaning ‘gosh!’ and a formal talk and insert a verb to cheat or rip off.

21a Fellow about to collect degree, one looking for greener pastures? (5)
NOMAD: reverse a college fellow and insert an arts degree.

23a Old lady wants to win one more time (4,5)
OVER AGAIN: string together the abbreviation for old, a lady’s name (which you have to guess) and a verb to win or acquire.

24a Quietly a prince admits love, one sort of obsession (8)
PARANOIA: join together the musical abbreviation for quietly, A and a word for a historical Indian prince (RANA) then insert the letter resembling love and the Roman numeral for one.

25a Challenger is put off, the ego being squashed (6)
DEFIER: a verb to put off or postpone has the pronoun used for the ego thrust inside it.

26a Looking like a star, say, having borne ‘orrible nightmare? (8)
STELLATE: a verb to say or announce contains the Cockney pronunciation of a horrible nightmare or trials and tribulations.

27a Greek king construed as true (6)
ATREUS: an anagram (construed) of AS TRUE produces the name of a king from Greek mythology (who was new to me).

Down Clues

1d Terrible barney next door? (6)
NEARBY: an anagram (terrible) of BARNEY.

2d Property magnate? One builds up a picture (9)
DEVELOPER: double definition, the second describing someone working in a dark room perhaps.

3d Sermon’s beginning with invocation — effusive preacher? (7)
SPRAYER: the first letter of sermon and an invocation or entreaty. I presume that the definition is describing a preacher whose delivery is such that his/her parishioners in the front pews need to wear raincoats.

5d Words of resignation in a message to someone in a different place? (5,3,3)
THERE YOU ARE: this is the statement of someone sadly resigned to the fact that things can’t be changed. It could also be confirmation that the person being addressed in is in a different place.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d Head upset everyone, being a star (7)
CAPELLA: a head or promontory followed by the reversal of a synonym for everyone. The answer is apparently the sixth brightest star in the sky.

7d Pick up win after loss initially (5)
LEARN: a verb to win (someone’s respect, say) follows the initial letter of loss.

8d Lydia set to be going out … thus with boyfriend? (8)
STEADILY: an anagram (to be going out) of LYDIA SET.

12d Stoic gloom’s possibly evident in one studying something big (11)
COSMOLOGIST: an anagram (possibly) of STOIC GLOOM’S.

15d A Latin set doing translation — it’s torture (9)
TANTALISE: an anagram (doing translation) of A LATIN SET. Torture is a verb here.

16d Chap spins out of control — one should be denied strong drink (8)
SCHNAPPS: for our fourth anagram in a row the indicator is ‘out of control’ and the fodder is CHAP SP[i]NS without the Roman numeral for one.

18d Old service book from Oxford in a library (7)
ORDINAL: hidden in the clue. The old service book is one with forms of service used at an ordination.

19d This person has a certain appeal, making a claim to know the answer (1,4,2)
I HAVE IT: Put ‘this person has’ into the first person and add an informal word for a certain sexual appeal.

20d Painter in entrance losing footing (6)
INGRES: drop the bottom letter from another word for entrance or ‘way in’.

22d Detective with feeling of contrition about to be let off (5)
MORSE: start with a feeling of contrition or deep regret and drop the preposition meaning about or concerning.

The two clues which appealed most to me were 9a and 3d. Which one(s) earned your plaudits?

15 comments on “Toughie 2013

  1. Two exellent puzzles today and the first Giovanni Toughie that I’ve managed to complete unaided in a while. Last in was 25 across, which held me up for an hour or so – right up to the time the blog became available again in fact. Most enjoyable – thanks to one and all.

  2. I thought there were some great clues here and my journey included discovering horses and Greek kings that I had not met before. However, my enjoyment was diminished by missing only 5d in the end. It’s probably my disappointment speaking, but the definition doesn’t really work hugely well for me – or at least I wasn’t able to put it together even having all of the checkers. I must own that I was trying very hard to make ‘axe’ work for the last word. Many thanks to Gazza and Giovanni – and thanks for getting the blog up and running again!

  3. I started off really enjoying this but my engagement levels waned a little. Used a couple of cheats earlier than I normally would have. Partly because I got fed up with trying to make the 14a anagram, so gave in to temptation and used an anagram solver.

    Was quite surprised at 3d. My favourites are 9a and 1d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  4. I don’t normally even attempt the toughie – i’m not brave enough! But I did today, and got most of the way through by myself. I learnt new things like Tony, and really enjoyed the challenge. However, just to be picky, paranoia isn’t a form of obsession – a misleading clue. When some clues are so obscure and accurate in their definition, please don’t be vague and inaccurate in others.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Dick. I hope that, emboldened by your success, you’ll now attempt the Toughie on a regular basis and let us know how you get on.

  5. The only thing that really held me up was 14a. I wonder whether if it ever turned up again I’d remember it?

    Thanks to both the Gs

      1. If it comes up again I think the closest I’m likely to get is ‘it was something like a pterodactyl’.

  6. Found today’s DT in airport before monthly flight to Sao Paulo. ( I’ve been doing printed off ones from 12 to 24 months ago! )
    14, 20 + 27 new to me so made it all one star more difficult. 3d reminded me of R. Hattersley & spitting images.
    4a, pet? Hmm. 26a – orrible etc. Poor.
    23a ‘ Wants ‘ superfluous
    Rest I enjoyed and presented to airstewardess!

  7. What a wonderful word is 14a. Of course we have never heard of it and will now promptly forget it again, but still fun to discover. The rest all went together without too much resistance and immaculate clue construction as ever.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  8. I was very pleased to finish this bar 25A. I’ve only recently graduated from the back page to the Toughie, so the tenor of the most of the comments has been encouraging.
    However, for some reason, I’ve been thinking about an anagram for Sao Paulo. I can’t quite finish it and have spare letters as follows: A, A, L & O. The start is quite easy, “So up….”.

  9. I was getting annoyed at 18d thinking it must be some strange obscurity until I realised I had misspelled 17a – it all went pretty smoothly after that, though I had to look up the horse.

    I liked 8d, though it uses a random name in anagram fodder, and its use in the horse clue. My favourite was 16d, not an easy anagram given the single vowel, and good surface.

    Many thanks Gazza (especially for Willie Nelson) and thanks Giovanni

  10. Very enjoyable, apart from 5d which took an exceedingly long time to solve. I did need electronic assistance to unscramble 14a – definitely a new word for me.

    Favourite – 17a – a very good Lego clue.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  11. Had to enlist help from both the BRB and Mr Google as I didn’t know the horse or the Greek god and also needed to verify 4a, 6&18d and the Indian prince.

    Not keen on 5d but the clip of Willie Nelson made up for that, thank you Gazza.

    Podium places went to 17a plus 1&15d – how well I remember those wretched Latin translations!

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the blog.

  12. No major problems, but if you knew how long I spent trying to parse 26a… I’m wearing a dunce hat. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni

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