Toughie 2247 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2247

Toughie No 2247 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

No surprises here – you know what you are going to get with a Giovanni Toughie. A pretty average puzzle in which the difficulty is ramped up by the inclusion of a couple of words that are not in the average solver’s vocabulary – in my case 23a and 4d.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a    Ghost shortly returning after party and things we cannot name (7)
DOODAHS: the reversal (returning) of most of a ghost or apparition preceded by a party or function

7a    Following left-winger it’s hard to show old-fashioned faith (5)
TROTH: a left-wing socialist followed by H(ard)

9a    Curtailed welcome by relative? Anything but a welcoming word! (6)
AVAUNT: a three-letter welcome reduced (curtailed) to two letters and followed by a female relative

10a    I must follow obvious suggestion (8)
OVERTONE: the number represented by I follows an adjective meaning obvious

11a    Bill quickly embracing Maureen by railway (10)
PROMONTORY: a word meaning quickly around the two-letter shortened version of Maureen and followed by R(ailwa)Y

13a    Shaft of tool held together by end of nail (4)
AXLE: A cutting tool around the final letter of [nai]L

14a    Confused Homer, apt sadly to make literary blunder (5,8)
MIXED METAPHOR: a word meaning confused followed by an anagram (sadly) of HOMER APT

16a    Fat should be reduced slightly — get fruit (4)
PLUM: most of (reduced slightly) an adjective meaning fat

17a    Copper’s beginning to advance in energetic case (10)
ACCUSATIVE: the chemical symbol for copper, the S from ‘S and the initial letter (beginning) of A[dvance] inside an adjective meaning energetic gives a grammatical case

19a    More spirited female is starting row, putting male off (8)
FEISTIER: FE[male] without (putting … off) male, the IS from the clue first (starting) and a row

20a    America facing new extremes of climate — period of reckoning (6)
USANCE: the three-letter abbreviation for America followed by N(ew) and the outer letters (extremes) of C[limat]E

22a    Fish in ditch after river’s drained (5)
TENCH: start with a ditch and drop (drained) the R(iver)

23a    Governor’s office in state that’s absorbed region to the west (7)
SATRAPY: this office held by the governor of an ancient Persian province is derived by putting a word meaning to state around (absorbed) the reversal (to the west in an across clue) of a region or area


1d    Heartless workers’ group set up — not liked by the toffs (3-1)
NON-U: the revesal (set up in a down clue) of a group of workers without their middle letter (heartless)

2d    Switzerland is so preserved, against joining in? (8)
CANTONED: a word meaning preserved around (joining in) a two-letter word meaning against or by

3d    Devious when there’s little support within firm (6)
STEELY: an adjective meaning devious around (when there’s … within) a little support for a golf ball

4d    Wine transported to merchant (10)
MONTRACHET: this white wine is an anagram (transported) of TO MERCHANT

5d    Port taking five hundred and six deliveries? (5)
DOVER: the Roman numeral for five hundred followed by a set of six deliveries in cricket

6d    Who’d caress son struggling to reveal personal plans? (4,4,5)
SHOW ONE’S CARDS: an anagram (struggling) of WHO’D CARESS SON

8d    Worker taken on by king, not a good person for Rex? (7)
HANDLER: a worker followed by Shakespeare’s tragic king without (not) his A

12d    Making the most of wise words, I celebrate (10)
MAXIMISING: some wise words followed by the I from the clue and a verb meaning to celebrate

14d    Being led astray in fog, is calmer than all the others (7)
MILDEST: an anagram (astray) of LED inside a thin fog

15d    A sailor’s heard in criminal acts (8)
ASSAULTS: the A from the clue and what sounds like (heard) a colloquial word for a sailor followed by the S from ‘S

17d    Land suffering from arson attack? (6)
ALIGHT: to land from a vehicle could also be suffering from an arson attack

18d    Hotel in very very cold French city (5)
VICHY: H(otel) inside V(ery) and a word meaning very cold

21d    My sailor is one who hunted whales (4)
AHAB: an interjection like “my!” followed by one of our usual sailors gives the the main protagonist in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick

I hope some of you enjoy this puzzle.


7 comments on “Toughie 2247

  1. Very enjoyable and just about the right level of challenge for a Tuesday Toughie, completed at a (Toughie) gallop – **/****.

    Fortunately, 4a appeared in a novel I was reading at the weekend and I think that the Governor part of 23a has appeared a few times before.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 17a and 21d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and BD.

  2. Pleasant puzzle scoring very low on the obscurity meter with not an Old Testament character in sight. Thanks to Giovanni and BD.
    My podium selections were 5a, 3d and 8d.

  3. Amazingly I have finished the last two Giovanni toughies but I failed on his most recent back pager (wrong type of cable crossing “journo” which I had never come across). In this toughie the two words I had never heard of (4d & 20a) could be worked out from the crossing letters and cryptic. 2d and 23a are related to words I knew. 7a is a word I knew but did not really know its meaning and 1d and 9a appear in crosswords now and then and lurk in the back memory. The whale hunter story featured in another crossword recently. I was lucky that the unknown words did not really cross in the grid

    My favourites are 17a and 18d

    Thanks to Giovanni and BD

  4. A few odd words liked 9a and 7a which I knew and 20a which I didn’t.
    2d and 23a were cases where I knew the base but not the final version. Must admit those 2 sound rather contrived. 11a was a different use of the word “bill” – should have thought of Selsey.
    An interesting workout.

  5. We always keep our BRB close to hand when working on a Giovanni puzzle and it was called on a couple of times, but only as confirmation rather than a search.
    We enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD.

  6. One where I needed the dictionary to hand, but finished, and I enjoyed the challenge. Not as tricky as Giovanni’s Toughies can sometimes be, I thought.

  7. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one BD but thanks for the blog anyway and thanks Giovanni, I finished it, parsed it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Impossible to choose an outright favourite.

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