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Toughie 2133

Toughie No 2133 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today we have a pangram from Giovanni that’s not too tricky and doesn’t have too many religious obscurities.

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

Across Clues

1a You and I holding means of access had to sit outside, vigilant (4-4)
HAWK-EYED: a pronoun meaning ‘you and I’ holds a means of access with HAD sitting around the outside.

5a Removes final note to seal fate (6)
PLUCKS: the final note in a letter, say, contains a synonym for fate.

9a Story by European, not right for loyal servant? (8)
LIEGEMAN: bring together a fictitious story and a European citizen without the abbreviation for right.

10a Crime by Conservative Unionist of a former era (6)
CARSON: a crime follows the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative to get a politician associated with the establishment of Northern Ireland. Judging purely from his pictures he doesn’t look like a barrel of laughs.

12a Work by a bad guy going the wrong way from the beginning (2,4)
DA CAPO: this is a musical term meaning ‘from the beginning’ (it’s in BD’s Mine). String together the usual short work, A and a bad guy or bounder then reverse it all.

13a Cut grass, straw-coloured in the middle (8)
REBUFFED: a type of grass contains an adjective meaning straw-coloured or yellowish-beige.

15a Stone I collected is more uneven (7)
JAGGIER: the name of a Stone contains I.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a Destroy party, having got elected (2,2)
DO IN: charade of a social party and an adverb meaning elected.

20a Group of top people coming back in pick-ups (4)
UTES: stick together a synonym of group and a letter meaning ‘of top people’ or posh and reverse it all.

21a Don’t stop listening to the fellow facing a defeat (4,3)
HEAR OUT: weld together a masculine pronoun (the fellow), A and a decisive defeat.

25a Jeer is followed by enthusiasm when crossing island least dry (8)
BOOZIEST: a jeer or shout of disapproval is followed by a word for enthusiasm or gusto containing an abbreviation for island.

26a Cleric returning to study US city (6)
DENVER: reverse the abbreviation for a cleric after a study or lair.

28a Son, cheeky and untrustworthy (6)
SLIPPY: the abbreviation for son and an informal adjective meaning cheeky.

29a Man of grand designs — mug with method (8)
STEINWAY: concatenate a large beer mug and a synonym for method to get a man who designed ‘grands’.

30a Wriggle or deny that (6)
YONDER: an anagram (wriggle) of OR DENY.

31a Hurried as ship filled with water? (8)
SCUTTLED: double definition, the second describing a ship that’s been deliberately sunk by someone on board.

Down Clues

1d Chemical to make one healthy, restricting infectious diseases (6)
HALIDE: an adjective meaning healthy contains the abbreviation for infectious diseases.

2d Something adjustable architect placed on top of church (6)
WRENCH: the name of a famous old architect precedes one of the abbreviations for church.

3d Model of old crusader heading off (8)
EXEMPLAR: a prefix meaning old and a member of a Catholic military order (which played a prominent part in the crusades) without his initial letter.

4d Dash made by wild animal, having lost tail (4)
ELAN: an African wild animal without its last letter.

6d Group seen in the distance (6)
LEAGUE: double definition, the second a measure of distance (the distance itself being somewhat variable and originally defined as how far a man could walk in about an hour).

7d Spooner’s quick runner in a matter of financial concern (4,4)
CASH FLOW: Spooner might have rendered this as an adjective meaning quick or sudden (e.g. a flood) and the name of a middle-distance runner, now a lord.

8d Nudes and nuts? Such may be seen on the beach (4,4)
SAND DUNE: an anagram (nuts) of NUDES AND.

11d One side and another in each riotous action? (7)
REVELRY: start with the abbreviation for one side then insert the other side into a synonym of each.

14d Like a monster with his gore spilt (7)
OGREISH: an anagram (spilt) of HIS GORE.

17d Worthless girl hugging senior minister out of work (8)
RUBBISHY: a girl’s name (rhyming slang for curry) contains a senior cleric without the short word for an artistic work.

18d Cryptic Don, naive fellow from somewhere in the West Country (8)
DEVONIAN: an anagram (cryptic) of DON NAIVE. This is rather clever because our setter Don, who is indeed cryptic though probably not naive, originally hailed from this splendid place.

19d Passive person to resign when holding contrary position (8)
QUIETIST: a verb to resign contains the reversal of a position or location. The passive person is one who follows a contemplative doctrine.

22d Stupid request to remove a facial feature (6)
DIMPLE: join together an adjective meaning stupid and a request without its final A.

23d Declaration of grandparent entertaining old women (6)
AVOWAL: an adjective meaning ‘belonging to a grandparent’ (new to me) contains the abbreviations for old and women.

24d Being frazzled, addressed God loudly rather than quietly (6)
FRAYED: start with a verb meaning ‘addressed God’ then replace the abbreviation for the ‘softly’ musical direction with one meaning ‘loudly’.

27d Ear’s twitching after ring (4)
OTIC: a word for a facial twitching follows the ring-shaped letter.

I liked the man of grand designs in 29a but my favourite clue was the autobiographical 18d. Do let us know which one(s) made your shortlist.

28 comments on “Toughie 2133

  1. In the back pager, it was the SW that slowed me down, here it was the NE – I just don’t get on well with Spoonerisms. Nevertheless, very enjoyable completed in two or three sittings – ***/***.

    And, as usual, I missed the pangram.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 29a.

    Thanks to the Don and Gazza.

  2. I took a proper Toughie time for this one – one of the things that held me up was the grandparent bit of 23d – not to mention some good d’oh moments. I did notice it was a pangram and my favourite was 29a, although the Gazza clue at 18d did come a very close second

    Thanks to both the Gs

  3. I enjoyed this very much. However, I often come to grief with this particular grid – I think there are 14 clues with unchecked first letters, and a group of 4 of them intersecting in the centre of the puzzle. On this occasion all was well, and I was able to get it all sorted out. In previous puzzles I have been stung by failing to recognize the particular stone as in 15a, but I got it this time. However, my last in was 20a – Again, I have met the pick-up in previous puzzles (not a word I am familiar with), but I was slow to remember it on this occasion. I missed the pangarm (yet again). One of these days . . . . . . . . . Like crypticsue, my favourite is 29a. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  4. Curses. If I had looked for the pangram I would have remembered to go back to 15 ac. As my house is made of Kentish ragstone I had something which was one letter out, but I was never happy with my answer. Other than that an enjoyable challenge.

  5. Very enjoyable and relatively mild for a Toughie. 3 days running now – will pay for it tomorrow, no doubt. I missed the pangram. Fortunately I didn’t need it, although it might have speeded up my getting the answer to 15a which was my last in and favourite. 12a and 29a were worthy of mentions. Indeed, while sitting at my 28a, 12a became clear. Well, a 28a lookalike, anyway.

  6. As usual for me with a Giovanni puzzle, I had to check up on a few things and I did sigh a little over the necessity of finding another random ‘girl’ but overall not too displeased with my performance.

    Didn’t care much for either 15a or 14d but I did have ticks beside 29a plus 18 & 22d. Has to be said that 18d reminded me of our blogger rather than our setter!

    Thanks to Giovanni and also to Gazza for both the blog and the name check!

  7. Took me a while, the grid meant I did SW then stared, NE then stared, NW the stared, and … well I don’t want to give away the ending.

    Favourite was 25a. Also brilliant penny drop moments in 15a and 29d. Nice to see some of don’s broad definitions in 1d (what is the “one” doing, incidentally?) and 2d.

    Didn’t know the grandparent bit

    Many thanks Giovanni and gazza

  8. Can someone please tell me where to get the word meaning “belonging to a grandparent” I assumed the answer was avowal but unable to find this Aval. Am I being thick? Don’t answer that bit!
    Many thanks

    1. It is in Chambers – means ‘belonging to a grandparent’ derived from avus (Latin for grandfather). I guessed the answer from the definition, OW and checkers then looked up aval and there it was.

  9. A problem at first with 26a as there is a Verden in Oklahoma. Although 10a was gettable I did feel the gentleman concerned was obscure. Did anyone know him or, like me, had to search Google to see if they was right? I also had a problem with 30a as i thought it meant “over there” not “that”. Good King Wenceslaus comes to mind!
    I also missed the pangram.
    An enjoyable puzzle Thanks to setter and blogger.

  10. Our experience with 23d was exactly the same as Gazza describes above. The thought that “surely that is not a word” and then finding it in BRB. Not a rapid solve but a slow and steady one. Enjoyable.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  11. Did a bit without the hints but soon had to take a few to get me going. Liked 22d but not just a facial feature (_!_) struggled most with 3d and 11d even though I knew it had to have an x in somewhere. I was told many years ago that 28a should have an ery ending but from research I seem to have been taught this by some pedantic grammar nazi both spellings being accepted nowadays. Took checkers before 10a came to me I appear to have forgotten a lit of Irish history.
    Thanks to Gazza and the Don.

    1. I tend to agree about 28a but the answer has a long pedigree:

      The door stood open wide, with silver moonlight shining through.
      The floor was wet and slippy where she trod.
      An ugly knife lay buried in the heart of Mad Karoo.
      ‘Twas the vengeance of the little yellow god.

  12. Several visits to the puzzle in berween doing a few other things and I finally got there. For no good reason 11 defeated me and was last in after a crafty peep at the hints. Similar help was also required for 15 and 25, otherwise slow progress but no real problems…. hmmm, except the grandparent reference in 23 down. I’m a grandad three times over, but a new word for to me. Thoroughly entertaining as always from Mr M. Thanks to same and to Gazza for the hints.

  13. I fear that to some of our chums on this blog any ‘religion” is either ‘obscure’ or even ‘offensive’. Whether you are a believer or not, religion is an important part of our culture, past and present. Someone like me laments the fact that University Challenge students have abysmal Bible knowledge while knowing every lake in Russia. I do not set out to be overtly religious, but I see clueing and vocabulary possibilities linked to religion more than most, i guess. But I also put mythology and science and much else in the mix. Anyway, for those not put off by religious references I commend the Church Times Crossword No 1500 shortly to appear in the double Christmas issue. Order your copy now!

    1. One does not have to be religious to have a knowledge of religion. One doesn’t have to have a great knowledge of architecture to get to the architect at 2d. A good all round general knowledge is essential to cryptic solving. We had Leander on Monday. Nobody complained about obscure mythology. You won’t hear me complain.

    2. It is possible to have a broad understanding of the part that different religions and sects have played in the culture and conflicts of European and Middle Eastern history without needing to know ‘who begat whom’ in the Old Testament and the names of different parts of a church building.

      1. Nun had a son without breaking any religious vows! I am sure Gazza will be able to explain this to fellow bloggers, eh? Or maybe not?

        1. Google enables one to find out about all the obscure old begetters but it’s not a very pleasurable way of solving a crossword. I do prefer Toughies where the toughness is provided by deceptive definitions and clever wordplay.

            1. Presumably we’re meant to think that Nun is a female member of a religious order sworn to chastity, whereas this one appears in one of the many ‘a begat b, b begat c …’ lists.

  14. Just completed this, except for 20a which I didn’t know.

    Favourite was 25a, but I did find 15a and 14d rather odd. 12a was new to me, as was “aval”, despite being a grandpa.

    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

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