Toughie 2164 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2164

Toughie No 2164 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Giovanni has given us a fair bit of General Knowledge today but we’ve been spared anything as ancient as the Old Testament. I didn’t know the medical creaking, the vitamin name or the tasty maggot but in each case I was able to work out the answer from the wordplay and look it up to find it nestling in the pages of Chambers. Thanks to Giovanni.

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

I’m looking forward to seeing old and new faces at Bridge House on Saturday.

Across Clues

1a Go wrong, putting last message into place the wrong way round (4,2)
TRIP UP: insert a memorial message into the reversal of a verb to place. The use of ‘putting’ in the clue is slightly unfortunate.

5a Bit about disgrace when a whole lot of information is needed (8)
DATABASE: reverse a word for a small amount and append a verb to disgrace or belittle.

9a Part I played with smugness, being good enough (7,6)
PASSING MUSTER: an anagram (played) of PART I SMUGNESS.

10a From what we hear, not all are flexible in this county (8)
SOMERSET: it sounds as though a proportion of people here are obdurate.

11a Expire, no longer in good health (6)
EXHALE: stick together a prefix meaning ‘no longer’ and an adjective meaning ‘in good health’.

12a Kind that may help angler catch fish (6)
GENTLE: double definition, the second being a sort of maggot.

14a New fir trees? Nothing for one to put new trees in! (8)
REFOREST: replace the Roman numeral for one with the letter that resembles nothing in ‘fir trees’ and then make an anagram (new) of FOR TREES.

16a I must have moved slowly around — useless making creaking noise (8)
CREPITUS: I with a verb meaning moved slowly or inched around it is followed by an abbreviation meaning useless or unserviceable. The answer is a medical term for the grating sound caused by the friction between bone and cartilage, for example.

19a Press gently, penetrating muscles? That can bring feeling of anxiety (6)
ABDABS: a verb to press gently or pat is inserted into abbreviated muscles. The answer is a word for extreme nervousness (often preceded by screaming).

21a Bone in the ear not right? Get excited (4,2)
STIR UP: a bone in the middle ear loses one of its abbreviations for right.

23a Party in the courtroom (8)
LITIGANT: cryptic definition of a person taking one side in a legal dispute.

25a It can demonstrate laws centred on moving (7,6)
NEWTON’S CRADLE: this is a toy that at one time was seen on almost every executive’s desk. It’s a clever anagram (moving) of LAWS CENTRED ON.

26a Novel about troubled lass, about a bounder ultimately getting one (8)
CLARISSA: I’ve underlined the whole clue because it’s a rough description of the harrowing novel by Samuel Richardson so I’m taking it as a semi-all-in-one. Start with a single-letter abbreviation for ‘about’ and add an anagram (troubled) of LASS containing A, [bounde]R and the Roman numeral for one.

27a Driver finally taking a wrong turn from busy road? (3,3)
RAT RUN: if what I’ve underlined is the correct definition then the wordplay overlaps the definition. The final letter of driver is followed by A and an anagram (wrong) of TURN.

Down Clues

2d Admonish salesperson on journey without purpose (7)
REPROVE: join together an abbreviated salesperson and a verb to travel around with no fixed destination.

3d Group of friends have to abandon ship (5)
POSSE: a verb to have or own loses its second abbreviation for a steamship. I doubted that this group was necessarily composed of friends but apparently it’s now used as a slang term for a gang of young friends.

4d Is son entertained by minister of religion most proper? (9)
PRISSIEST: IS and the abbreviation for son are contained in a minister of religion.

5d What may not be seen on cloudy night persistently bothers sailor (3,4)
DOG STAR: knit together a verb meaning persistently bothers or hounds and an informal word for a sailor (a word rarely seen outside crosswords these days).

6d Conservative in genuine move towards permanent peace (5)
TRUCE: insert one of the abbreviations for Conservative into an adjective meaning genuine or authentic.

7d However, two revolutionaries may be killed (9)
BUTCHERED: string together a conjunction meaning however and two revolutionaries, the first a specific South American one and the second more generalised.

8d Gentleman reportedly lavish, almost offering superfluity (7)
SURPLUS: charade of what sounds like a gentleman and an adjective meaning lavish or luxurious without its last letter.

13d Excellent artist winning gold award? (3-6)
TOP-DRAWER: with a space rather than a hyphen the answer could mean a prize-winning artist.

15d Bigger monarch gaining pounds? One uses butter (9)
FLATTERER: a comparative meaning bigger or more corpulent and our monarch’s regnal cipher with the abbreviation for pounds sterling getting inserted.

17d Relation suffers, lacking a particular vitamin (7)
RETINOL: an anagram (suffers) of REL[a]TION without the A gives us another name for vitamin A.

18d European region is upsetting the French over one area (7)
SILESIA: reverse IS and add one of the French definite articles, the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for area.

20d One may cover the eyes with boyfriend coming round (7)
BANDEAU: this is normally something worn around the head but Chambers reveals that it can also be a bandage over the eyes. We need an alternative joiner to ‘with’ contained inside a posh word for a boyfriend.

22d Forward types — people paid to keep quiet (5)
PROPS: an abbreviation for people who are paid (as opposed to working without payment) contains the musical abbreviation for quiet. These forward types are rugby players.

24d One waited for move, the tiniest amount (5)
GODOT: this is the character in the Samuel Beckett play who is waited for (but never arrives). Concatenate a verb to move and a word for a very small amount.

The clues I picked out were 25a, 26a and 22d. Do let us know which one(s) earned your ticks.

20 comments on “Toughie 2164

  1. I had the required knowledge so solving this took me about the same time as a ‘friendly’ Friday back pager

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  2. Some head scratching required to finish this enjoyable offering from the Don and there was a furrowed brow or two at the end of the fast canter required for completion – ***/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 18a and 19a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. You’ve changed your alias so this needed moderation. Both variations will work from now on.

      I did consider that ‘busy road’ might be the definition but a rat run is surely an alternative route taken to bypass a busy road?

        1. If ‘busy road’ is the definition how does the ‘from’ fit in? The ODE defines rat run as “a minor, typically residential street used by drivers during peak periods to avoid congestion on main roads”.

          1. I wondered how as well and came to the conclusion that it was a form of ‘reverse engineering’.

        2. I think the definition is “turn from busy road “
          V enjoyable and straightforward puzzle.
          Thanks to G &. G

  3. 27a Collins gives: a minor (often residential) road or route used by drivers hoping to avoid congestion on major roads nearby – not sure if that is of any use, it’s still a tad ambiguous.

    I suppose by inference it’s a busy road because it’s a much-used and unsuitable alternative to an even busier, congested major road. Besides, the ‘wrong’ is the anagram indicator, but even then it would be wordplay ‘from’ definition.

    My non-existent literary knowledge made for some sighs, but fairly clued so mustn’t grumble.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

  4. Didn’t know the vitamin, the maggot or the novel but the wordplay got me there in each case. I was quite happy with ‘busy road’ for the definition of 27a until Gazza’s comment gave me pause for thought – not so sure now.

    Podium places went to 9&19a plus 22d.

    Thanks to DG and to Gazza – particularly for the pictorial representations of 10&25a!

  5. Like CS, I knew the things I needed to know to solve this puzzle in a reasonable time. I liked 25a (naturally), and loved the cartoon to illustrate it, so thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. A steady, enjoyable solve Never heard of 16a but so I had to check the word I made up from the clue and my checkers. Similarly, 26a. I liked rat run. My favourite was 19a. Thanks Don, et al.

  7. Regarding 10ac: Just wondering if you found that picture on the web or you own the sign? I’ve got the exact same sign, assumed I had the original…. ;)

    1. I found it on Google images – if you Google “Somerset and Dorset signs” and select Images you’ll find the same text on there a number of times.

  8. Enjoyable puzzle but thought 20a was worn on forehead like a bandana. Didn’t really know 16a but worked it out. Favourites were 25a and 13d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. If you read my hint for 20d you’ll see that Chambers says it can also be a bandage over the eyes.

  9. The novel wasn’t one which sprang to mind but, unlike the maggot, it fell neatly out of the wordplay. The same goes for the creaking. I thought that 27a had to be defined as a busy road (at least busier that it ought to be), because it’s not an all-in-one and any other interpretation would require double duty.

    I gave up with one to go and used a word search for the maggot. Other than that, an enjoyable solve which taxed me a little more than yesterday’s but not as much as some of Giovanni’s past Toughies. I don’t think I can pick a better selection of favourites than Gazza’s.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Gazza for the blog and pics. See you very soon! :)

  10. The GK that we were searching for was the vitamin. We had heard of something like that but it took us a while to pin down the correct spelling. Loved the pic for 10a Gazza. They don’t write rules like they used to!
    Pleasant solve that all went together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  11. I did enjoy this, although added to the unknowns already mentioned, I did not know the second word in 25a (sorry Physicist), and I found it hard to let go of ‘race’ as the second word in 27a (even though the enumeration did not make sense). Consequently it was a puzzle of two halves for me; a relatively straightforward top half and a bottom half where I struggled. I got there in the end, and I agree that the word play was very helpful for those whose definitions that were not on my radar. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  12. My handwriting meant anything involved with 19d was on to a loser. The A’s Bs ans Ds all look the same. Why oh why do we not get The Toughie with a Daily Telegraph Subscription? I be alright solving on the iPad

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