Toughie 2284 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2284

Toughie No 2284 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It wouldn’t be a Giovanni Toughie if it didn’t have a few terms I didn’t know but the only one which gave me any significant problems was 5d where I was thrown by the unusual spelling. Chambers was pressed into action rather a lot for verification.

Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge.

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

Across Clues

8a Terrible liars seen to fail to find personal fulfilment (4-11)
SELF-REALISATION: an anagram (terrible) of LIARS SEEN TO FAIL.

9a Big bird to sway when hiding tail (3)
ROC: a verb to sway or wobble without its last letter.

10a Coward shows wound, having confronted a second superior rebel (11)
SCARAMOUCHE: string together a bodily wound, A, a second or short time, the letter used to mean posh or superior and our usual South American rebel.

11a Returning space traveller noticed rubbish? (5)
WASTE: glue together Spielberg’s space traveller and a verb meaning noticed then reverse it all.

12a Silly utterances from one member of family, one meeting relations (9)
INANITIES: bring together the Roman numeral for one, an elderly family member, the Roman one again and a word for relations or links.

15a University must keep silver — it’s a sort of duty (7)
KEELAGE: a university in Staffordshire (which was regarded as very cool in the 1960s, I seem to remember) contains the chemical symbol for silver.

17a Lover in shrub denied love initially (7)
LEANDER: the name of a lover in Greek mythology who had a nightly dip comes from a poisonous shrub without the initial letter resembling zero.

19a A couple of characters sticking together (9)
DIPHTHONG: cryptic definition (and a pain to spell). Crypticsue tells me that the ‘sticking’ in the clue was originally missing its T on some platforms (which throws up a rather revolting picture).

20a Tree in City of London hidden in hollow (5)
PECAN: put the postal area for the City of London inside a hollow or basin.

21a Coming together to study feature of Bath’s architecture? (11)
CONCRESCRENT: charade of a verb to study or learn by heart and a (Royal) architectural feature in Bath. Not a word I knew but the wordplay is clear enough.

24a Cat Gladstone knocked over (3)
MOG: Gladstone was known as the Grand Old Man – reverse the acronym.

25a One giving advice on fitness isn’t a pro, learner found out (8,7)
PERSONAL TRAINER: an anagram (found out) of ISN’T A PRO LEARNER.

Down Clues

1d Bishop associated with miss, the female on record as a disgrace (5,5)
BLACK SHEEP: solder together the chess abbreviation for bishop, a verb to miss or go without, a female pronoun and a vinyl record format.

2d Stick of explorer given place in church (6)
CROSSE: apparently this is the name of the stick (with a sort of basket thingy on the end) used by lacrosse players. Insert the name of a polar explorer (take your pick of two, one being the nephew of the other) into the abbreviation for the established church in England.

3d Foreign policeman in vehicle with a large but not good emperor (10)
CARABINERO: assemble a road vehicle, A, an adjective meaning large without the abbreviation for good and a nutty Roman emperor.

4d Foreign city very good, having a certain sort of appeal (4)
PISA: fuse together a short adjective meaning very good in a smarmy way and the abbreviation for sex appeal.

5d Mum carries seasoned oil around in glazed earthenware (8)
MAIOLICA: an affectionate term for one’s mum contains a word for mayonnaise flavoured with garlic and a single-letter abbreviation for around or approximately. This was my last answer as I didn’t know this could be spelled with an I rather than a J and I spent enough time trying to make the wordplay work with a J using an anagram of oil.

6d Record is circular — look for it in there (4)
DISC: hidden word. I’ve underlined ‘it’ but that refers back to ‘record’.

7d Rovers not No.1 — that’s City (6)
ANGERS: start with a word for rovers or ramblers and drop the first letter to leave a city in France.

8d Peaceful army and a king holding green eastern territory (7)
SARAWAK: weld together the abbreviation for an army (whose members carry tambourines rather than guns), A and a king in chess. Now insert an adjective meaning green or callow.

13d Music instruction to let Elgar go with a swing (10)
ALLEGRETTO: an anagram (go with a swing) of TO LET ELGAR.

14d Believer heading off with stick — something to provide motivation (10)
INDUCEMENT: a follower of an Eastern religion loses his or her first letter and that’s followed by a verb to stick or bind together.

16d A set of books astronomer set up in reception area (8)
ANTEROOM: fuse together A, one of the sets of books in the Bible and the reversal of the surname of a popular and eccentric British astronomer.

18d One who goes back on promise to be greener sadly (7)
RENEGER: an anagram (sadly) of GREENER.

19d Instruction to return a piece of headgear found in party (2,4)
DA CAPO: A and a type of headwear go inside a festive party.

20d Asian article buried under footway (6)
PATHAN: one of our indefinite articles follows a footway.

22d Something oily imbibed, endlessly upsetting (4)
NARD: this (new to me) is another name for spikenard which is an aromatic oil or balsam. Reverse a verb meaning imbibed or quaffed without its last letter.

23d Animal left under water (4)
SEAL: the abbreviation for left follows some salt water.

The clues I liked most were 19a and 14d. Do let us in on your selections.


13 comments on “Toughie 2284

  1. Well, I had the grid completed in about ***/**** time, but it took a few visits, so overall it might have been more than that.

    I had to use some electronic help for the last few, words that I’m not entirely familiar with, 10a, 24a, 2d and 7d come to mind.

    I suppose their inclusion is fair in a Toughie.

    Thanks to The Don and Gazza

  2. Almost a Friday back pager with some obscurities to ‘toughen’ it up which, like Gazza, needed the BRB close at hand for verification of a few answers including 5d and 22d – completed at a Toughie (and a back pager) gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 19a and 21a – and the winner is 19a, how can 4 consonants in a row not win?
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  3. At least a Giovanni puzzle gives ones right arm a bit of exercise, repeatedly lifting the BRB off the floor.

    Thanks to the Don and to Gazza for the blog.

  4. Definitely harder than a Friday back pager – and a few too many Manley words for me, and I don’t usually mind such things but today I did

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

    1. I was waiting for someone to say that for me – not a great deal of fun was had here
      Thanks DG & Gazza

  5. This is not my type of crossword. The number of unknowns or knowns that are buried deep in the back of the mind (which comfortably outnumbered the words I know well) simply meant it is not much fun and then becomes a fairly easy puzzle with the use of electronic aids. Where the clue did not involve tricky words of GK, as Senf comments, I found them fairly easy and thought they would not be out of place in his Friday back page puzzle. The difficulty comes from the use of GK and unusual words rather than the cryptic

    Following yesterdays GK-heavy puzzle and anticipating a GK-rich Elkamere on Friday, it is not a great toughie week for solvers like me with ordinary GK and vocabulary. Still I love a Mr T puzzle and he usually sticks to words I know so I am looking forward to tomorrow’s toughie.

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  6. Mainly quite straightforward and enjoyable but I didn’t know the alternative spelling for 5d and never heard of 25d.

  7. I too needed some electronic help for the last few. Too many ”new to me” answers to make it any fun. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  8. Goodness, I found this puzzle a depressing slog although it was lightened by the thought of the two characters ‘sicking together’ and Gazza’s subsequent reference to throwing up!
    BRB now back on the shelf until the next DG onslaught.

    Begrudging thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and many thanks to Gazza for contriving to produce an enjoyable review.

  9. Forgive a second post but other setters seem to be forgiven their obscurities “so long as they are fairly clued”. Don cannot be faulted for the fairness of his clueing so what’s the beef? Is it because of the amount of perceived GK here?

  10. We found nothing in here to complain about. In fact, isn’t it enjoyable to discover a new word or two?

    Favourite was 15a. We needed Gazza’s earthenware explanation and also saw the clue misprint in the physical paper (Telegraph proofreading is getting worse all the time).

    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  11. A few references needed but whenever we know that Giovanni is the setter we always have these close to hand. The long anagrams fell easily so plenty of checking letters to play with and a pleasant solve for us. 15a proved to be quite a challenge as we had not heard of the duty or the university, but we did solve it.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  12. Regarding 5d, apparently ‘majolica’ can be spelled ‘maiolica’ and ‘aioli’ can be spelled ‘ajoli’, so how are we to know which is right? Needless to say, I picked the wrong one.

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