Toughie 2232 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2232

Toughie No 2232 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I found this fairly gentle with only two answers that I didn’t know (the African money and the Indian bed) and in both cases the wordplay and the checkers made the solving straightforward with just a resort to Chambers required to confirm that I’d got the answers right. I did notice when writing the hints that there are lots of containment/insertion type clues.

Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle.

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

Across Clues

1a Interrupting performance, sailor with drink turned around and ran down (10)
DENIGRATED: stick together an old nickname for a sailor and an alcoholic drink, reverse that and fit it inside a performance or act.

6a A bird like this may be seen in Nile location (4)
SWAN: if you prefix the bird with the A you get the Egyptian city where you’ll find the high dam on the Nile.

9a One north European ‘into’ poet — whose study is superficial? (10)
DILETTANTE: the Roman numeral for one and an old term for Latvian are inserted into the most famous Italian poet.

10a African money is frozen, first to last (4)
CEDI: start with an adjective meaning frozen and move the first letter to the end to get the currency of Ghana.

12a A court involved in measures for sanctions (6)
ENACTS: insert A and the abbreviation for court into measures traditionally used in the printing trade.

13a That was painful, being in exposed carriage (8)
BAROUCHE: an exclamation of pain goes inside an adjective meaning exposed or uncovered.

15a Women excluded in new trade? Further change needed! (12)
READJUSTMENT: insert a phrase meaning women excluded (4,3) into an anagram (new) of TRADE.

18a Real smile as I run around in country air (12)
MARSEILLAISE: an anagram (run around) of REAL SMILE AS I produces a stirring national song. Why can’t the UK have an inspiring song like this instead of our lame effort?

21a Select group in English Literature is embracing someone really good (8)
ELITISTS: start with abbreviations for English and Literature then add IS containing a good and holy person.

22a A knight entertained by clever king (6)
CANUTE: A and the chess abbreviation for knight go inside an adjective meaning clever or astute.

24a Fixed line needed when picking team (4)
AXIS: a synonym for when contains (picking, in the sense of gathering e.g. fruit) the number of players in a cricket or football team.

25a With lot gathered round, bring out toast (10)
FELICITATE: a verb to bring out or evoke has a synonym for lot or destiny placed around it.

26a Country’s name as before, having gained independence (4)
EIRE: a poetic word meaning before contains an abbreviation for independence.

27a Duty to be done — a hint intended to be listened to (10)
ASSIGNMENT: A is followed by homophones of a) a hint or suggestion and b) intended.

Down Clues

1d Hesitate, as one who was tickled to meet the Queen (6)
DODDER: we’re more used to seeing the answer in its adjectival form rather than as a verb. String together the surname of the comedian who was always ‘tickled’ and the Queen’s regnal cipher. The comedian was put on trial for tax evasion (and acquitted) which led him to joke “I told the Inland Revenue I didn’t owe them a penny because I lived near the seaside”.


2d Room with a Parisian sitting up in bed in India (6)
NULLAH: assemble a room (possibly one adjacent to your front door) and a French indefinite article then invert it all. The bed is not one you sleep in but a river bed.

3d He had, having earlier understood scripture, to confront wickedness or become corrupt (2,2,3,5)
GO TO THE DEVIL: the contracted form of ‘he had’ is preceded by a phrase meaning understood or fathomed part of the Bible (3,2) and followed by a synonym of wickedness.

4d A style for home? No (4)
AWAY: A and another word for style or method.

5d Discarded vehicle floating on river outside the building (10)
EXTRAMURAL: what once operated as a passenger vehicle (2,4) precedes the name of a river in Eastern Europe.

7d It’s miserable, being married, having inner strain (8)
WRETCHED: a synonym for married has inside it a verb to strain or heave.

8d Sweet winner — dog that’s lost its tail (8)
NOISETTE: what looks like a winner (2,1) followed by a breed of dog without its last letter.

11d Short story on e.g. Radio 4 generates controversy (12)
CONTESTATION: a word, from French, for a short story and what Radio 4 is an example of.

14d Female associated with false image in party restricted by realists somehow (10)
IDOLATRESS: a festive party is contained inside an anagram (somehow) of REALISTS.

16d Current strength of politician beginning to erupt in a temper (8)
AMPERAGE: our usual elected politician and the first letter of erupt go between A and another word for temper or violent anger.

17d Smarter wooden frame that absorbs water (8)
BRAINIER: a wooden frame used to support a coffin contains water from above.

19d To develop biologically, little animal took food (6)
PUPATE: charade of a young animal and a verb meaning took food.

20d Best achievement follows poor exam grades (6)
DEFEAT: an achievement or accomplishment follows two poor exam grades. Best, here, is a verb.

23d Sound of very important little bird (4)
KIWI: this will surely be the 2K’s favourite clue – stick together homophones of a) very important or vital and b) little.

The clues I liked best were 6a and 15a. Do let us know which one(s) had you tickled.

16 comments on “Toughie 2232
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  1. I knew the bed but not the money although the clue for the latter meant it couldn’t be anything else. I did like 6a but I’m sure I’ve seen something similar recently but don’t ask me where, given the number of crosswords I do each week

    Thanks to Giovanni – hope you got home safely – and to Gazza

  2. Thank you, CS . Bood to meet a fe bloggers yesterday. Point of discussion at Times lunch, which also applies to Telegraph: Should back-page puzzles retain anonymity or be named?
    Answers and reasons here maybe for a straw (unscientific) poll!

  3. I thought this was a terrific puzzle, but a good deal tougher than ** in difficulty for me. I nearly packed it in at the outset with not being able to to make any headway in the NW corner at all for the longest time. 1d and 2d were my last in. In 1d, I had not heard of the comedian, and I would associate the definition as being unsteady rather than hesitate. (I lucked into the right answer on the basis of the checkers, and the Queen, alone). I hadn’t head of the bed in 2d, but the word play led me to it. Am I alone in having MUTATE for 19d? (MUT[T] + ATE). My favourites were 9a and 15a. Many thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Gazza for the review.

  4. My usual policy with Giovanni puzzles is to think of an answer to a clue then discover the most archaic synonym for it that I can find. Works quite well but didn’t help me today with the river bed, the currency, the north European or the short story. Ah well – these things are sent to try us.

    I did particularly enjoy 6,15&27a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for doing the honours.

  5. As someone says over on Times for the Times, it is possible to identify any Manley crosswords fairly easily, with or without the setter’s name being announced

  6. Checked the carriage in 13a in BD’s mine of useful information and there it was in second position.
    1d and 10a were new to me and I still don’t know all the words to La 18a.
    Much easier than the last Pasquale in the Graun.
    Thanks to the Don and to Gazza for the review.

  7. We found this one quite a struggle but eventually, with some resort to resources, we did get it all sorted.
    On the anonymity issue we are very definitely in the Name the Setters camp. This is based purely on our experience where our enjoyment level is invariably higher when we have a named setter to lock horns with. Looking forward to Mr K’s survey.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    • Just noticed that we forgot to mention our favourite clue. Of course it was 23d and surprisingly there was some head-scratching involved before we twigged it. A huge DOHH moment.

  8. Good as always, fairly clued as ever. One or two unknowns – the carriage and the river bed in particular – but with always clear wordplay to lead you home safe and sound. First Toughie attempted in a few days, and a good one to come back to.

  9. Struggled, but got nearly there in the end. Failed on 13a – new word for me. Very enjoyable. I think I would vote to know the name of the setter. 23d best for me.

  10. Having watched the video of Mareille Mathieu singing La Marseillaise, I can’t get the tune out of my head. I am inclined to agree with Gazza’s comment. Only Rule Britannia comes close.

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