Toughie No 2443 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment **/***
As I may have mentioned once or twice before I do prefer Toughies which are based on complex wordplay rather than obscure GK. Giovanni seems to delight in finding the most obscure words to populate his grids but, having said that, there were only two bits of GK (11a and 7d) in this one that I didn’t know.
Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge.
Do leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Sort of belt to employ for holding woman together (8)
CAROUSEL: a verb meaning to employ links two parts of a woman’s name.
6a Very bad cold minimised with spirit — gosh! (6)
CRUMMY: string together the abbreviation for cold, an alcoholic spirit and an exclamation like gosh.
9a It may be difficult to make out Schubert’s original slow movement (6)
SCRAWL: the first letter of Schubert followed by a slow movement along the ground.
10a Pirates in my ship wanting ventilation (8)
CORSAIRS: an exclamation meaning ‘my’ (as used in 6a) and our usual abbreviation for ship getting ventilated (i.e. with *** going through it).
11a A university type keeping promises is right (8)
ADVOWSON: this is a right in ecclesiastical law to recommend a member of the Anglican clergy for a vacant benefice (but I’m sure you all knew that!). A and a university lecturer contain a synonym for promises or pledges.
12a Quivering sound curtailed by singer in novel (6)
TRILBY: weld together a quivering or vibratory sound without its last letter and BY to get the heroine of a novel by George du Maurier.
13a Energy unit developed in UK worth a lot, I fancy (8,4)
KILOWATT HOUR: an anagram (fancy) of UK WORTH A LOT I.
16a Nasty President with aim to be ungenerous (4-8)
MEAN-SPIRITED: an anagram (nasty) of PRESIDENT AIM. Nasty President? Who can that be, I wonder?
19a Pet given front position? That’s amazing! (6)
BOWWOW: charade of the front bit of a ship and an exclamation meaning “that’s amazing”. I was surprised to find that the BRB agrees with this enumeration (which looks wrong to me) whereas both Collins and the ODE have it as the more conventional 3-3.
21a Bit of a walk — Michael’s got his Dizzy maybe following around (8)
FOOTSTEP: I remembered that Dizzy was the name of the terrier owned by a Labour Party leader of the 1980s. Start with the politician’s name with the ‘S then reverse what Dizzy was to him (coincidentally the definition of the previous clue).
23a Revolutionary period with good end but not beginning (8)
GERMINAL: this was one of the months in the calendar of the French Revolutionary government. Rivet together the abbreviation for good and a synonym for end without its first letter.
24a Lover is aged, ancient (6)
ISOLDE: combine IS and the ancient spelling of a word meaning aged to give us the lover of Tristan in a medieval legend.
25a Like something written in prison? (6)
PENNED: double definition, the second meaning cooped up.
26a Investigator longed to be even-handed (8)
DETACHED: concatenate an abbreviation for a criminal investigator and a verb meaning longed.
2d Rogue enters region, not a place for amusement? (6)
ARCADE: insert a rogue into another word for region without its final A.
3d Smallest thing I missed on journey in region down under (5)
OTAGO: start with a word for a very small amount without its leading I and add a verb to journey.
4d Trading document giving news of decline in high street? (5,4)
SALES SLIP: this is how a reduction in high street trading might be headlined.
5d Indian city in good fortune at the present time (7)
LUCKNOW: glue together a synonym for good fortune and an adverb meaning ‘at the present time’.
6d No room for litres of red wine? Mark suggests something could be squeezed in (5)
CARET: a type of a red wine has its abbreviation for litres squeezed out.
7d Hindu asap working out his sacred text (9)
UPANISHAD: an anagram (working out) of HINDU ASAP produces a Hindu sacred text.
8d Holy man in ruin nearby (8)
MARABOUT: join a verb to ruin or spoil and an adverb meaning nearby (as in “there’s a lot of the virus *****”).
13d Ma is known to be construed as such — but not pa (9)
KINSWOMAN: an anagram (to be construed) of MA IS KNOWN.
14d Artist first providing support for military show (9)
TATTOOIST: a way of writing ‘first’ follows a military display.
15d Italian city’s birds — number with their usual formation coming in (8)
GENOVESE: the ‘S here forms part of the definition. Some tasty birds contain an abbreviation for number and a letter describing their flying formation.
17d Somehow disposed of, one part of armed forces disappeared (7)
RAFFLED: assemble one of our armed forces and a verb meaning disappeared or skedaddled. It’s lucky that the wordplay is straightforward because the definition seems very woolly.
18d Reward for honoured folk is said to be fiddle (6)
MEDDLE: a homophone of a reward for people being honoured.
20d Ecstasy seen in something magical is diminished (5)
WANED: the abbreviation for Ecstasy goes inside a magician’s instrument.
22d Philosopher thus keeps almost closed (5)
STOIC: an adverb, from Latin, meaning thus contains a second adverb meaning closed or nearly closed. My initial though here was Locke(d) – fortunately I didn’t write it in.
My top clue today was 13d. Which one(s) earned your ticks?