Toughie 2391 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2391

Toughie No 2391 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This didn’t provide too many problems apart from 11a which I’d not heard of and which I needed to look up. The clueing, as always from Giovanni, is precise but there’s not much pizzazz.

Thanks to Giovanni.

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

Across Clues

1a Listener in inn about to deal with situation (4,2)
BEAR UP: insert a listening organ into the reversal of an informal word for an inn.

4a Pale, in pain, showed sign of injury externally (8)
BLEACHED: a verb meaning ‘showed a reddish (or possibly bluish if you’re an aristocrat) sign of injury’ contains a nagging pain.

9a Uncultivated chap lacking English, penning article (6)
FALLOW: another word for a chap loses an abbreviation for English and contains an indefinite article in its place.

10a Angels start to spend time with that man keeping quiet (8)
SERAPHIM: string together the starting letter of spend, a long period of time and a pronoun identifying ‘that man’. Finally insert the musical abbreviation for quiet.

11a Small gift that could be appealing (9)
LAGNIAPPE: an anagram (could be) of APPEALING gives us a small gift or gratuity. Not a word I knew and Collins says it’s a US word.

13a A bloke hoarding millions in the capital (5)
AMMAN: A and a more formal word for bloke contain the abbreviation for millions.

14a Aid to a certain diagnosis — inaction seems out of order (13)
AMNIOCENTESIS: an anagram (out of order) of INACTION SEEMS.

17a Tried with difficulty to get guys to agree, causing harm (13)
DETRIMENTALLY: bring together an anagram (with difficulty) of TRIED, another word for guys or chaps and a verb to agree or correspond.

21a Stupid group of schoolchildren taking the wrong direction (5)
CRASS: start with a group of schoolchildren taught together and change the abbreviation for a direction to the opposite direction.

23a Go to have a fight, showing change of mind (9)
TURNABOUT: glue together a synonym for go or move (in a board game, say), A and a fight or match.

24a A tiny dog, misbehaving, playing up (8)
TOADYING: an anagram (misbehaving) of A TINY DOG.

25a Nothing right in that lot’s speculation (6)
THEORY: insert the letter that resembles nothing and an abbreviation for right into a pronoun identifying ‘that lot’ or ‘those people’.

26a I guess ID may be tricky with this (8)
DISGUISE: a semi-all-in-one with the answer being an anagram (may be tricky) of I GUESS ID.

27a Like some hot food (including noodles primarily) in China (6)
FRIEND: include the primary letter of noodles into how some food may have been cooked.

Down Clues

1d Confound the regulator! (6)
BAFFLE: double definition, the second being a device used to restrain the flow of a liquid or gas.

2d Everyone with great person is full of energy and loyal (9)
ALLEGIANT: knit together a synonym for everyone and a great or tall person and insert the abbreviation for energy.

3d You ultimately number one chap, as befits a wonderful dream? (7)
UTOPIAN: concatenate the ultimate letter of ‘you’, an adjective meaning ‘number one’ or first and a male forename.

5d Expose falsehood with this or let deceit run free (3,8)
LIE DETECTOR: an anagram (run free) of OR LET DECEIT.

6d Ancient gardener, one maybe working very hard (7)
ADAMANT: combine the name of the Old Testament gardener and an insect whose female is a worker.

7d Dull little house with buzzing sound (2-3)
HO-HUM: the abbreviation for house and the buzzing sound (of certain insects, say).

8d Shallow vessel containing little drop (8)
DIMINISH: a shallow vessel contains an adjective meaning little.

12d Christians in favour of both parts of Bible, except for this writer (11)
PROTESTANTS: weld together a prefix meaning ‘in favour of’ and a word for the two parts of the Bible without the pronoun used to identify the writer objectively.

15d Blast you, endless moaners! I get the message! (3,2,4)
SAY NO MORE: an anagram (blast) of YO[u] MOANERS.

16d About old bit of Venice, European editor must be well informed (8)
EDUCATED: bit here is a coin and we want the name of a coin issued by a succession of rulers of Venice. Around that place abbreviations for European and editor.

18d The solver must respond with an answer? How ridiculous! (1,3,3)
I ASK YOU: the setter is making a request of the solver.

19d One hates fuss about love (7)
LOATHER: a word meaning fuss or state of agitation contains the letter that resembles a score of love.

20d Didn’t go quiet from what we hear? (6)
STAYED: this sounds like an adjective meaning quiet or sedate.

22d Collect in a church service (5)
AMASS: for our old chestnut we have to join A and a church service.

My favourite clue was 26a. How about you?


23 comments on “Toughie 2391

  1. This could easily have been a left-over Friday back pager, completed at a Toughie gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    Like Gazza, 11a took some teasing out and needed a BRB check, rather like the coffee in the back pager.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 12d and 20d – and the winner is 20d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  2. Is Don trying to tell us something [15d]? Although it seems he hasn’t [11a]. In fairness the anagram for the latter couldn’t be made clearer, nor that at 14a.
    Fave clue 12d because I had to stare at it for quite a while before the penny dropped.

    Thanks to G and G.

  3. I thought 15d was delightful. I must poach/plagiarise that fine anagram indicator. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  4. This puzzle left me laughing. As someone who dislikes crosswords that abound with obscure words I would be delighted to complete a Giovanni puzzle without recourse to the electronic dictionary – so it was amusing that the only problem I had with this one was 11a – it would indeed have been an “appealing small gift” to have completed it unaided but I had never heard of 11a, nor could I guess unambiguously from the anagram. And I have no idea how to pronounce it.
    I wondered if the clue (and answer) to 15d was targeted at people like me who don’t hide their dislike of strange vocabulary, small towns (there are indeed millions in 13a!) etc. 1d was interesting too. And for 18d I am often unable to respond when I don’t know the word.

  5. Well it must have been fairly straightforward for me to breeze through it although I did have to think long and hard at a number of the clues. I will confess to using an anagram solver for 11a as I couldn’t make a recognisable word out of the letters. Lots to like but favourite goes to 2d. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. Wow, that was the most straighforward Toughie I have attempted for some time, certainly completed in less time than today’s backpager.

    11a seems to have stumped everybody. According to the online Collins its origin is:-
    “C19: Louisiana French, from American Spanish la ñapa, from Quechua yápa addition”, well that’s obvious, then.

    Many thanks to The Don and Gazza.

    1. Not so! I got 11a quite easily (being an American helps, plus being a ‘Cajun’ enthusiast); it was 1d that stumped me (no idea about the second meaning Gazza cites, so being across the pond has its downside too). Much more than pizzazz, I think. Quite sparkly and vintage Giovanni. ****/**** (This is my first-ever comment on a Toughie, and I’m glad it was one of Giovanni’s.)

      1. Just a little surprised that an American might not have heard that they used baffles to stabilise the rocket engines on the Saturn V rockets that powered the Apollo missions.

  7. Sitting in the V&A cafe with the lovely Crypticsue, having a rather nice cake and coffee and having a catch up.

    Thought it was a very pleasant solve with Giovanni’s precise clueing. Like everyone else I’d never heard of 11a, but it’s nice to be challenged. There are fewer more enjoyable puzzles around today.

    Back to our cake…..

  8. Like others, all was going well, pleased I unscrambled 14a, but eventually I was left with 11a. Couldn’t unscramble it, decided it couldn’t be an anagram, but still couldn’t solve it until Gazza enlightened me. In fairness, the anagram indicator was clear, but I had never heard of the answer and couldn’t envisage such a word. Favourite for me was 12d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  9. A pleasant ride today in 1*/2* time, except for the malignant “small gift” – do Toughie setters start with the most obscure word on the planet, then build the rest of the crossword around that? I can’t believe the Don had all the checkers, then thought, “Oh, I know a word which’ll fit.” Very enjoyable all round even if I had to google my three possible anagrams of “appealing”. Thanks G&G.

  10. Waited to have all the checkers before solving the anagram in 11a.
    Thought 14a started with Amino… which was soon resolved.
    Apart from that, nothing else to declare.
    15d made me laugh too.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

  11. Needed electronic help to unscramble 11a as, like nearly everyone, had never heard of it. I do have a dictionary of anagrams and it is not in that. 14a wasn’t much better.
    I thought 4a was convoluted, the answer was plain but the placing of the words was tricky.
    I’m surprised no one has complained about the number of anagrams but I enjoyed them.
    COTD? 15d.

  12. Managed to find time for this one after my lunch guests departed and the clearing up successfully accomplished.
    Same problems as others with 11a and I did check the spelling of 14a before committing pen to paper.
    Not a lot of fun to be found for me in this one (apart from Gazza’s cartoons!) – 9a was probably my favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the blog.

  13. We also struggled with 11a but everything else fell into place in reasonable time.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  14. A nice puzzle, solved at a canter, except for needing to use e-help for 11a.

    Our favourite coincides with Gazza at 26a.

    Thanks Gazza and Giovanni.

  15. Not too tricky, but solved without enough care while watching TV leading me to stick “chaos” in 21a in error.

    Of course, I’d never heard of 11a……

    Favourite was 27a because it took me a while to get it was Cockney slang.

    Thanks to Gazza for the blog and Giovanni.

  16. Any Toughie that I can do, albeit with a little electronic help and a couple of bung ins (27a and 16d) I’m not going to complain about so thanks to Giovanni for setting a fun puzzle that I enjoyed solving. My favourite was 15d, which I thought was brilliant.
    Many thanks to Gazza too for the explanations where needed .

  17. Thanks Giovanni, and Gazza for the hints, of which I used an entirely typical number of me on a Toughie.

    When I had 3 crossing letters for 11a, searching my computer’s dictionary yielded exactly 2 possibilities: the word that indeed is the answer, or rather less appealing as a gift, maggotpie.

    Oxford labels the real 11a as ‘North American’, which obviously wasn’t indicated in the clue.

    I was impressed by 12d, but since there’s apparently a rule about only having a single favourite, I’ll go for 18d.

  18. This temporarily satisfied my withdrawal symptoms from lack of DG elsewhere on Fridays – his wavelength is so easy to find. I enjoyed every minute of today’s solve. Am pleased to be in good company in having had to seek electronic help with 11a. 27a was my Fav. Thanks a million Giovanni and Gazza (for lending extra “pizzazz” with your cartoons).

    1. I’m a day behind with my puzzling, but having just completed this offering from Giovanni I echo everything you have said here, Angellov :-)

  19. Much the same as the majority. Sailed through this apart from 11a. Sadly, I didn’t even realise it was an anagram! Favourite clue was 12d.

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