Toughie 2148

Toughie No 2148 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment **

No obscure religious terms from Giovanni today but there were several words I didn’t know. However, a combination of Giovanni’s usual precise wordplay and checking letters led me to the answers which I was then able to verify.

I hope that everyone is enjoying their cold turkey today and since this is my last blog of 2018 I’d like to wish all setters, fellow bloggers, commenters and lurkers a Very Happy New Year.

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

Across Clues

1a Mob there so unruly, causing trouble (10)
BOTHERSOME: an anagram (unruly) of MOB THERE SO.

6a Fool making mess quietly (4)
GOOP: glue together a sticky mess and the musical abbreviation for quietly.

9a Show obeisance hearing the first man on the moon? (5)
KNEEL: this sounds like the forename of the first man to walk on the moon.

10a Tending to go backwards in crises, ever falling short unfortunately (9)
RECESSIVE: an anagram (unfortunately) of CRISES and EVE[r] truncated.

12a I’d seem troubled with burden, beginning to crave to be this? (13)
DISENCUMBERED: an anagram (troubled) of I’D SEEM BURDEN and C[rave].

14a A king entertained by six with others providing wine (8)
VARIETAL: insert A and the abbreviation for king into the Roman numeral for six then append an abbreviated Latin phrase (2,2) meaning ‘with others’. The answer is a wine made from a single variety of grape.

15a Number in club ready to be transferred under pressure (4-2)
IRON-ON: insert an abbreviation for number into a type of golf club.

17a Stranger offering glass in the bar? (6)
RUMMER: double definition, the first a comparative meaning stranger or odder and the second a large drinking-glass.

19a Mad fellow, one with a vocation to eliminate fish (8)
MANIACAL: string together a synonym for fellow, the Roman numeral for one, A and another word for vocation without the long-bodied fish of the cod family.

21a Those with cute chat slammed: ‘Stop beating about the bush!’ (3,2,3,5)
CUT TO THE CHASE: an anagram (slammed) of THOSE and CUTE CHAT.

24a Complete process for devaluing stock in report (5-4)
RIGHT-DOWN: this sounds like the process that a shop, for example, might undertake to reduce the book value of stock that it can’t shift.

25a Man maybe hiding behind identity, in a manner of speaking (5)
IDIOM: the abbreviation for the necessarily capitalised Man follows the abbreviation for identity.

26a What’s said to feed physics unit (4)
DYNE: this unit of force in physics sounds like an intransitive verb to feed.

27a Shrubs in shady ground either side of mountains (10)
HYDRANGEAS: an anagram (ground) of SHADY contains a word for a group of mountains.

Down Clues

1d Cook to stop, having lost start of recipe (4)
BAKE: a verb to stop or slow down without the starting letter of recipe.

2d The person looking at newspaper? Not the fellow who goes one step at a time (7)
TREADER: put together THE and a person looking at a newspaper then delete the masculine pronoun. The answer is one of those nouns that nobody is ever likely to use.

3d Abroad she joins game, having crossed lake in town (9,4)
ELLESMERE PORT: start with the French word for ‘she’ and add another word for a game or recreational activity containing a literary word for a lake or pond. The answer is a town on the river Mersey in Cheshire.

4d Father and grandma trapping island mammal (8)
SIRENIAN: this is a member of an order of aquatic mammals including the manatee. Join together another word (both noun and verb) for father and an affectionate term for grandma then insert the single-letter abbreviation for island.

5d Tail-less parrot visible to all in what was Portuguese territory (5)
MACAU: a brightly-coloured parrot without its last letter is followed by the film classification meaning ‘visible to all’.

7d Greek character unexpectedly moronic (7)
OMICRON: an anagram (unexpectedly) of MORONIC.

8d Work steadily, with inner guidance, making earnest entreaty (10)
PLEADINGLY: a verb to work steadily (at one’s trade, perhaps) contains a gerund meaning guidance.

11d Bending to authority, playing on tour is a bind (13)
SUBORDINATION: an anagram (playing) of ON TOUR IS A BIND.

13d ‘Obliterated‘ some of the bowling and got runs (10)
OVERSCORED: join together two terms from cricket – firstly a word for six balls from the same bowler and secondly a verb meaning ‘made runs’.

16d Fellow, a solitary person going round about — or one with a flighty type? (8)
FALCONER: assemble an abbreviation for fellow, A and a synonym for solitary person containing the single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately.

18d Blokes accepting university name for chemical substance? (7)
MUTAGEN: another word for blokes contains an abbreviation for university and a word meaning name or label. This is something (possibly a chemical substance) which causes genetic mutation.

20d Garment of scientist given new hem (7)
CHEMISE: start with a scientist (possibly one working with the previous answer) and change the bottom letter (hem). This confused me at first because ‘hem’ appears in the answer.

22d Shout of surprise — two ducks found inside rubbish (5)
HOOEY: a shout of surprise contains a double helping of the letter resembling a duck at cricket.

23d Ineffectual types, not the foremost troublemakers (4)
IMPS: start with ineffectual or cowardly types and remove their foremost letter.

My top clue was 16d (one with flighty type). Do let us know which one(s) added the bubble ‘n’ squeak to your Boxing Day meal.

7 thoughts on “Toughie 2148

  1. Like Gazza, there were a number of words I didn’t know but no problems getting there via wordplay: the mammal (took me a while to twig we were looking for an adjective), the glass in the bar (shame on me!), the wine (shame on me again!), and i had to check 24a. Giovanni tricked me a few times today with wine, mammal, chemical compound, etc where we were actually looking for a type rather than a specific example.

    I don’t think I’ve seen tailless with a hyphen before.

    many thanks Giovanni and thank you Gazza

    1. Although 4d sounds as if it should be an adjective it can also be a noun – I only know because I’ve been ‘had’ by it before!

  2. A curate’s egg for me both in respect of enjoyment and difficulty.

    Although it seemed very unlikely, I put “poop” for 6a. It fits the definition, wordplay and checkers perfectly.

    I’m not sure why ‘obliterated’ in 13d needs to be in inverted commas.

    Thanks to the 2Gs.

  3. There was certainly a plethora of men, blokes and fellows in this one!
    I thought 2d was somewhat dire but rather liked the ‘one with a flighty type’ in 16d.
    Like RD – I’d got ‘poop’ for 6a but probably wouldn’t have admitted to it had he not been brave enough to do so first!

    Thanks to DG for the puzzle and to Gazza for the blog – a very happy new year to you as well.

    1. I thought poop… that can’t be an answer, surely – words like that are to be avoided in my book, and as it happens, it is.

      With respect, not my favourite setter. Apologies Don, no hard feelings, you are a master of your craft without doubt. Just not my cup of tea.

  4. I don’t think that I’d ever have got off the ground with this one had there not been quite a lot of long anagrams – always my way in to a crossword.
    I failed on a few answers – the 14a wine, the 26a physics unit (I’m not stupid – just good at other things) and, for no good reason, 15a.
    No particular favourite although I liked the 5d tail-less parrot and the simple 1d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza and a belated Happy Christmas and an early Happy New Year to both.

  5. I got there in the end, but I made very heavy weather of it and it turned out to be much more than **/*** in difficulty. The break-through came when I finally tracked down the town in 3d. 6a was my last in, and I was much relieved that it was not palindromic! Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

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