Toughie No 2375 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I thought that this was more akin to the back-pagers that Giovanni used to give us on Fridays than his usual Toughies. There are no obscurities from the Old Testament or classical times and it’s all the better for that. Thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Peach (not a nice girl!) is so very cruel (5-7)
STONY-HEARTED: this is how a peach (the fruity sort) could be described. The bit in brackets is not necessary for the wordplay but clarifies what sort of peach we need and improves the surface reading.
9a HQ in European city left abandoned (4)
BASE: remove the abbreviation for left from a Swiss city.
10a Writer, one engaged by gentleman, is person benefiting from fund (9)
PENSIONER: start with a writing implement and then insert ‘one’ into the title of a gentleman.
12a Suffers at home with beastly types (6)
INCURS: charade of an adverb meaning ‘at home’ and some dogs.
13a Nasty comedian revealing an evil nature (8)
DEMONIAC: an anagram (nasty) of COMEDIAN.
15a They provide drink in bash ahead of game on green (10)
PUNCHBOWLS: join together a verb to bash or thump and a game normally played on a green.
16a Enthusiasm of AB abandoning a port (4)
BRIO: remove the A from ‘AB’ and append a South American port. Hmm.
18a Top dog, from what we hear (4)
PEAK: this sounds like an informal word for a breed of small dogs.
20a They don’t make a prison — delays (10)
STONEWALLS: split the answer 5,5 to get what the English poet Richard Lovelace described in his poem ‘To Althea, from prison‘:
***** ***** do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage.
If I have freedom in my Love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such Liberty.
23a Home for Cockney thieves? (3,5)
TEA CADDY: cryptic definition of where you’d store the Cockney rhyming slang term for thieves.
24a Doughnuts to get rid of before lunchtime? (6)
ANNULI: a verb to get rid of or cancel is followed by the letter that resembles the hour of the day when you might take lunch.
26a Short time with one male friend — taking least time possible? (9)
MINIMALLY: knit together the abbreviation for a period of time, the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for male and a synonym for friend or comrade.
27a Stars bathed in lovely radiance (4)
LYRA: hidden in the clue. I like ‘bathed in’.
28a Meet to entertain performer, all right? (12)
SATISFACTORY: a verb to meet or fulfil contains a word for a performer or luvvy.
2d Divine rule from those people restricting what is wicked? (8)
THEARCHY: the pronoun used for ‘those people’ contains an adjective meaning wicked or sly.
3d Refusal to offer work in former shipbuilding region? (4)
NOPE: the abbreviation for an artistic work goes inside the abbreviation for Tyneside.
4d Worker that has put down line in distant territory (10)
HINTERLAND: a manual worker with inside it a verb to put down or bury and the abbreviation for line. It occurred to me when writing this that the answer could be a cryptic definition for Big Dave’s blog.
5d Friends disappear in a fog, finally invisible (6)
AMIGOS: insert a verb to disappear into ‘a fog’ (1,4) with its final letter suppressed.
6d Cheaper pub involved in row (7)
TINNIER: a synonym of pub goes inside a row or rank.
7d Female minister’s in top role (12)
DIRECTORSHIP: glue together a short female name, a church minister (with the ‘S) and an adjective meaning in or trendy.
8d John repeatedly offering music-hall entertainment (6)
CANCAN: repeat another informal name for a john.
11d Water animal with a hump — it’s moving round river repeatedly (12)
HIPPOPOTAMUS: I think that this is meant to be a semi-all-in-one although the answer’s hump is not that pronounced. It’s an anagram (moving) of A HUMP IT’S containing a double helping of our favourite Italian river.
14d Lo, lard and meat made into a sausage! (10)
MORTADELLA: an anagram (made into) of LO LARD MEAT.
17d Crook and second twister getting outside jail finally (8)
SWINDLER: assemble the abbreviation for second and another word for a twister or turner containing the final letter of jail.
19d In contact with a good person to secure win (7)
AGAINST: A and the abbreviation for a good or holy person contain a verb to win or attain.
21d Stories about radiation detected in Parisian building (6)
LOUVRE: a word for stories traditionally passed by word of mouth contains the abbreviation used for a type of electromagnetic radiation.
22d Letters provided by classics teachers maybe after school (6)
GAMMAS: the degrees that classics teachers may have follow a word for a school of whales.
25d Feature of river at Chiswick had to be broadcast (4)
EYOT: this word for a small island sounds like a verb meaning had or consumed. I first heard the term Chiswick **** when listening to John Snagge’s radio commentary on the University Boat Race in the early fifties. I had no idea what he meant when he spoke of the crews passing this place and assumed that the boats were going past eight spectators on the riverbank.
The clues I liked best were 1a, 23a and 27a. Which one(s) hit the spot for you?