Toughie 2097 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2097

Toughie No 2097 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

There are only two terms today that I didn’t know – that’s quite good for me with a Giovanni Toughie. I thought that this was pleasant and not too tricky – thanks Giovanni.

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

Across Clues

1a A clue to some cut for tight-fitting garment? (8,7)
SWIMMING COSTUME: we start with a reverse anagram where treating the first word of the answer as an indicator and the second as fodder will lead to ‘some cut’.

9a Sun-follower, old fellow, one having a fixation (9)
MONOMANIA: string together what follows Sun (and precedes Tue), O(ld), a synonym for fellow, the Roman numeral for one and A.

10a Back old-fashioned investment as something useful (5)
ASSET: reverse the name of a defunct personal savings plan introduced by John Major.

11a Italian community giving performance outside Italy (5)
TURIN: a performance (on stage possibly) contains the IVR code for Italy.

12a Manage to discover path from the peak (5,4)
TRACK DOWN: this could be a path descending from a high point.

13a Orderly systems function when backed by people’s leader (8)
COSMOSES: stick together an abbreviated mathematical function and a Jewish leader.

14a Good little girl accumulates no special knowledge allegedly (6)
GNOSIS: put together the abbreviation for good and an abbreviated female sibling then insert NO. ‘Allegedly’ presumably because there’s no way of proving the validity of such spiritual knowledge.

16a Saints in defeat? Such may resist change (6)
FOSSIL: insert two abbreviations for saint into a verb to defeat or thwart.

18a Artificially produced man going beyond speed of sound (8)
MACHINED: a short male name follows what looks like the speed of sound (4,1).

22a Talking audibly and grooving (9)
RABBETING: a present participle meaning cutting a groove (a new word for me) sounds like an informal word for talking at length.

23a Such cries may be heard in fortifications (5)
WAULS: these cries (often preceded by ‘cater’) sound like the defensive structures in fortifications.

24a Old Penny, woman offering advice when there’s scare (5)
DAUNT: the abbreviation for a pre-decimal penny followed by a woman employed to advise on readers’ problems. “When there’s” seems to be just padding.

25a One who criticises what lawn specialist uses (9)
SCARIFIER: double definition, the second a tool used to remove mulch and moss from a lawn.

26a Organised gang discredits a president of yesteryear (7,8)
GISCARD D’ESTAING: an anagram (organised) of GANG DISCREDITS A.

Down Clues

1d Maybe Jewish house gets endless approval (7)
SEMITIC: charade of a type of house and a mark of approval without its last letter.

2d Bits inside pub somewhere in NI (7)
INNARDS: weld together a synonym for pub and the name of a district and peninsula in Northern Ireland.

3d At one time in form spelt out a concept in applied mathematics (6,2,7)
MOMENT OF INERTIA: an anagram (spelt out) of AT ONE TIME IN FORM produces what the BRB tells me is “a quantity representing the resistance of a body to a force that causes it to rotate about its axis”. If your thirst for knowledge is not fully satisfied by that explanation then see here.

4d Number born, number at home being put up (8)
NINETEEN: assemble a word, from French, meaning born, the lowest two-digit number and an adverb meaning ‘at home’. Now reverse it all.

5d Box mostly used for storing a very short item of clothing (6)
CRAVAT: a box or container without its last letter contains A and the short form of ‘very’.

6d Evidence showing one’s handled drug? That brings rebuke (5,2,3,5)
SMACK ON THE WRIST: an informal word for an illegal substance found where it could be evidence of drug abuse.

7d Consequences? They may get batsmen caught out (7)
UPSHOTS: split 2,5 these could be strokes not hit along the ground and thus risking a catch.

8d Carries on with old nurses (7)
EXTENDS: a prefix meaning old or previous and a verb meaning nurses.

15d Sheepish male turning up, serious old nobleman (8)
MARGRAVE: reverse a sheepish male (or indeed a maleish sheep) and add an adjective meaning serious or weighty.

16d As hot home supporter, turn up, excited to begin with (7)
FIREDOG: reverse a turn or shot and precede it with an adjective meaning excited or roused.

17d Puts down membership fee, payable now for collection (7)
SUBDUES: a membership fee (4) containing an adjective meaning payable now.

19d Sea creatures suffering mutilation Tom somehow removed (7)
NAUTILI: an anagram (suffering) of [m]U[t]ILATI[o]N without the jumbled letters of Tom.

20d Attractive girl heading student event? One may get into hot water (7)
DISHRAG: cement together a dated term for an attractive girl and a charity event organised by students.

21d Maybe local journalist in East Anglia is treated badly (6)
DISSED: split 4,2 this could be a senior journalist from the town in Norfolk that’s such a boon to crossword setters.

The clues which earned my ticks were 9a, 16a and 6d. Do let us know which one(s) had you on your feet applauding like a delegate at a party conference.

9 comments on “Toughie 2097

  1. I knew the groove thing but not the mathematical one.

    A nice midweek Toughie with Giovanni testing us as to what we might or might not know. I was, however, left with reciting that tongue twister about Moses supposing his toeses are roses, once I’d solved 13 and 14a – strange but true

    Thanks to the Sabbatical Giovanni and the Ever Present Gazza

  2. 26a caused no end of grief – a foreign name of a French president from four decades ago is asking a bit much in my view. I’ve never heard of 22a but it had to be.

    Ah well, apart from that fairly gentle and enjoyable so many thanks to DG and to Gazza for the review.

    1. Indeed Roy that was hard to unravel! I remember upon seeing that name for the first time imagining how hard it would be to spell: encountering it again today I find I was right. 22A also difficult to finish off, given the variance of sound among our vowels. I agree with Sue however that it was a nice challenge.

      Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  3. I thought this was a very enjoyable and elegantly crafted puzzle. I did know the mathematical one (although I think of it more to do with physics), but it took me a lot of Google-time to track down the East Anglian town and the grooving which (unfortunately for me) happened to be intersecting clues, and both unknown to me. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  4. Odd man out here as I found this a hard slog – often the case for me with a Giovanni puzzle. Unlike Gazza, there were far more than two things that I had to look up and I was defeated by 13a.

    The surface read of 3d gave me brain freeze and had to wait for all the checkers to go in and shout ‘anagram’ at me.
    I’m only familiar with ‘slap’ as the first word of 6d and didn’t know 23a minus the ‘cater’.
    Took ages for the penny to drop over the ‘sun-follower’ but that raised a smile when it clanged to the floor.

    Favourite was probably 1a.

    Thanks to DG and to the thesaurus that is Gazza. I’ve seen that Agony Aunt letter exchange previously but it still makes me smile!

  5. We really struggled with this puzzle and in the end were totally defeated by 13a and ended up revealing letters to get it. Kicking ourselves now as the wordplay, once we had the answer, became very straightforward. Also admit to looking through lists of US presidents to find one who would fit the anagram fodder for 26a, but we did eventually get that one.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. Another struggle here. It was the SW corner that gave me the most issues, and the president, who I’d never heard of…

  7. Last in Daisygirl as usual. I found this hard although I did know the president ( I am so old). Does any one use the word 20d, it’s a horrid word. Surely most people say cloth? Thanks to Gaza for the explanations.

  8. Couldn’t finish this until 10 minutes ago. Stumped by 13a. I got the maths function and the prophet but because I was pronouncing the word ‘cozmozies’ to myself, it couldn’t be right, could it? Anyway penny just dropped – nice one Don – got me!!

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