Toughie 2304 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2304

Toughie No 2304 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Not a lot of laughs today – Giovanni has given us mostly pretty straightforward clues but with a couple of obscure terms thrown in to ensure that we get full value from our copies of Chambers. Thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a European fellow entertaining star, having party somewhere in UK (10)
MACEDONIAN: an adult male contains a synonym for star or expert, a festive party and a two-letter abbreviation for a constituent part of the UK.

6a Group having drink before start of meal (4)
TEAM: a non-alcoholic drink precedes the starting letter of meal.

9a Irritating bishop gets round the church HQ, having grabbed head of staff (10)
BOTHERSOME: assemble the chess abbreviation for bishop, the round letter, THE and the city where a major religion has its HQ containing the first letter of staff.

10a Trips to buy things beginning to end (4)
HOPS: a verb to buy things with its first letter moved to the end. Trips here means dances.

12a Preamble has spacing between printed lines reduced slightly (4-2)
LEAD-IN: a word in the printing industry for the strip of a heavy metal used to separate lines of type (LEADING) without its final G. Thanks to Chambers.

13a Cheaper wood has one making attempt to get hold of it (8)
TRASHIER: a type of white, hard wood is contained inside a person who strives.

15a Musical piece Verdi arranged with tempo not unusual (12)
DIVERTIMENTO: paste together an anagram (arranged) of VERDI, a synonym for time or speed and a second anagram (unusual) of NOT.

18a See one man try to change what is needed to secure contract? (7-5)
EARNEST-MONEY: an anagram (to change) of SEE ONE MAN TRY gets us a nominal sum paid in confirmation of a contract. I’d never heard of it and the ODE says it is “chiefly United States”.

21a Two notes one left in church where one lives? (8)
DOMICILE: start with two notes from tonic sol-fa then insert the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for left into one of our usual abbreviations for church.

22a Member needs your and my protection (6)
ARMOUR: stick together a bodily member and a possessive pronoun meaning ‘your and my’.

24a Ancient language in China and India (4)
PALI: what china means in Cockney rhyming slang followed by the letter that India represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

25a See inside record a fifties youngster regarded as ‘disturbed‘ (10)
DISLOCATED: an exhortation to see or behold goes inside a recording medium. Finish with A and what Chambers calls ‘an unruly adolescent’ of the 1950s.

26a Journey made by newly-wed heading off? (4)
RIDE: remove the initial letter from one member of a newly-wed couple. One has to be careful these days not to associate words like he or she to the traditional terms for those getting wed.

27a Line is written by this writer in second episode (10)
INSTALMENT: the abbreviation for line and the objective pronoun for ‘this writer’ go inside another word for second or moment.

Down Clues

1d Fluid and second fluid in the body (6)
MOBILE: fuse together a short word for a second or short time and the name of a fluid secreted by the liver.

2d Peasant and tot sitting awkwardly in vehicle (6)
COTTAR: an anagram (sitting awkwardly) of TOT goes inside a road vehicle. The answer (new to me) is a peasant in Scotland allowed to live in a cottage in return for providing labour to the landlord.

3d Nice guide led off with precautionary steps to avoid trouble (3,9)
DUE DILIGENCE: an anagram (off) of NICE GUIDE LED.

4d It’s clear son is hiding in den (4)
NEST: an adjective meaning clear of all charges and taxes has the abbreviation for son lurking inside it.

5d Notice star leading fashion, upright character being held in high regard (10)
ADMIRATION: bring together an abbreviated notice, the name of a star (MIRA) and a noun meaning fashion or style containing the perpendicular letter.

7d Lovers should express them — so no time to be wasted! (8)
EMOTIONS: an anagram (to be wasted) of SO NO TIME.

8d Pulpy stuff brought to kitchen? You may eat it (8)
MUSHROOM: charade of pulpy or sloppy foodstuff and what a kitchen is an example of in a house.

11d Redeveloped city alarms me, lacking a logical design? (12)
ASYMMETRICAL: an anagram (redeveloped) of CITY ALARMS ME.

14d Huge number, male or female, given work at home, love to get stuck in (10)
SEXTILLION: collect together what can be either male or female, a verb to work (the soil) and an adverb meaning ‘at home’ containing the zero-resembling letter.

16d Mineral I removed from ground glittered, not half (8)
FELDSPAR: remove the I from an area of agricultural ground and append the first half of a verb meaning glittered or twinkled.

17d Complained with good drink allowed to seep away (8)
GRUMBLED: weld together the abbreviation for good, an alcoholic drink and a verb meaning allowed to seep away or drew off.

19d Somewhere in India needing support — it’s hairy (6)
GOATEE: a state on the west coast of India and the name of a support for a small ball.

20d Devon town not getting on — praise looked for (6)
CREDIT: remove ON from the end of the name of a market town in mid-Devon.

23d Idiot in dress — the fellow getting thrown out (4)
CLOT: a verb to dress (someone, as a couturier might) without the male pronoun.

None of the clues stood out for me today. Which one(s) did you like?


17 comments on “Toughie 2304

  1. Probably on par with one of the Don’s more difficult back page crossword puzzles. A very satisfying solve which might have been quicker if I’d not entered ‘CHIN’ at 24 across – well it did fit the clue, but nothing else around it!. Most enjoyable, leaving me time now to spend with grand-daughter number two making fairy cakes for her school. All good fun . . . . . solving and baking. Thanks to Mr Manley and to Gazza.

  2. I found this quite difficult but put it down to solving it about six hours later in the day than I normally do – mind you, I could say the same about the inside back pager and that took less time than ‘usual’

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  3. A couple of clever anagrams but nothing really inspiring. Just back from a very soggy Devon so, having discarded Tivert and Paignt for obvious reasons, was able to chose the right place for 20d.

  4. Needed the BRB for 18&24a plus 2&14d and Gazza’s help to parse 12a.
    I’m sure there will be others who find this puzzle to their liking but it really wasn’t one for me.

    Thanks to DG for his efforts and to Gazza for the review, particularly for sorting out how 12a made sense!

    1. Likewise
      6a is hardly Toughie fodder, while other clues were too esoteric
      With respect to DG and thanks to Gazza

  5. I managed to finish without needing electronic help. My unknown word count came to 7 which is on the low side for a giovanni toughie. Fortunately there was not a lot of crossing of these so allowing intelligent guesses. I am not keen on the use of small towns; today’s has a population less than 20000.

    I wonder if I was the only one to think of “shift” for “dress” in 23d then to reject the answer as “too un-Telegraph like”

    My favourite is 1d as it took me ages to think of the bodily fluid

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

    1. From the Wikipedia entry that we found, the Devon town has fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.
      GRRRR to clues like this. Our only solving option is ‘Guess and Google’.

      1. It’s of some help to the blogger if he lives only about 20 miles from said town but I do agree that it’s not very fair for others. Mr Manley (who was born in Devon) has used the town in clues before.

  6. I admit I needed just a few electrons to finish this one from The Don. I had it all complete, apart from the NW corner when I became stymied. My word finder got me 1a from just three checkers, and I soon bagged the rest.

    Any day I finish a Toughie, is a good day for me. Now all I need is some decent photos of my erinaceous visitor, and I will be a happy man.

    Many thanks to The Don and Gazza.

  7. A pleasant solve for us (apart from 20d) that did not put up too much of a fight. We’d even heard of the 24a language.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  8. A rather gentle, but enjoyable . 2d and 19a were a new words for me, but worked out from the clues and confirmed in the dictionary. I think I’ll go for 16d as my pick of the day.

  9. There is a Bishop of Crediton (‘Place of bishop with unorthodox doctrine’ in the Church Times brought laughter to the B of C many years ago) and Boniface, missionary to Europe, came from that Devon town. At a very young age I discovered that a needle-case was an etui, through solving crosswords. Since then I have discovered many more fascinating words from solving and setting. The cries of ‘Manley obscurities’ will not deter me from helping a number of solvers I know (not necessarily bloggers here) who love to extend their vocabulary. Marmite can be avoided by those who hate it.

    1. Wells (Somerset) said G! I, too, learned many new words at a young age from crosswords and have been using them ever since to extend my vocabulary. I also remember discovering etui, what a ha-ha is and ceilidh (and how to spell it correctly), plus many, many more. I have only driven through Devon twice (to St Ives in Cornwall and back to Derbyshire) but the well-known town of Crediton is no obscurity to me. Keep up the good work!

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