Toughie 2471 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2471

Toughie No 2471 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I got through this puzzle at a stately rather than brisk pace and I enjoyed unravelling it. The only vocabulary that was new to me was the 6d Buddhist movement (although I hadn’t come across the unusual spelling of 21d either).

Thanks to Giovanni.

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

Across Clues

7a A load of directors with extra aspiration said to be very unpopular (8)
ABHORRED: A and what sounds like a group of company directors with an H inserted.

9a Decline, having surrendered a prize (6)
TROPHY: a verb to decline or waste away without its A.

10a Walked with head out of sight and bent (6)
ARCHED: a verb meaning walked in a regimented way loses its leading letter.

11a Once again state treasures will be moved, not for all to see (8)
REASSERT: an anagram (will be moved) of TREAS[u]RES without the letter used in film classifications to mean ‘all may see’.

12a Dissident eccentric a vain dark horse (6,8)
ANDREI SAKHAROV: an anagram (eccentric) of A VAIN DARK HORSE gives us the name of an old Russian dissident.

15a/8d ‘Fantastic singer’ — it’d do for him! (4,7)
OTIS REDDING: an excellent semi-all-in-one clue – an anagram (fantastic) of SINGER IT’D DO. It was only when checking that the anagram worked that I realised that I have been mis-spelling his surname all these years.

17a Security around university that may make someone blush (5)
GUILT: a type of fixed-interest security contains the single-letter abbreviation for university.

19a Old works inspected daily but not completely (4)
EDDA: these old Icelandic books (regular visitors to Toughie puzzles) are hidden in the clue.

20a Ideas for revolution may start here — being red, by implication? (8,6)
BREEDING GROUND: a reverse anagram where the second word is the indicator and applying it to the fodder in the first word gets us  BEING RED.

23a Mistake involving slack traditionalist (8)
BLIMPISH: a dated informal word for a mistake or blunder contains an adjective meaning slack or flaccid.

25a Instrumentalist‘s passionate desire to hold note (6)
LUTIST: a passionate desire contains one of the notes from tonic sol-fa.

27a Befuddled old bands together falling over (6)
STINKO: assemble the abbreviation for old and a verb meaning ‘bands together’ then reverse it all.

28a This Protestant, sir, could be seen as unrighteous (8)
HUGUENOT: a compound anagram – an anagram (could be seen) of the answer and SIR produces ‘unrighteous’. The Protestant was one of those who suffered persecution in France in the 16th and 17th centuries. Does anyone else remember the Edict of Nantes from long-ago lessons in European history?

Down Clues

1d Beam given by that fellow exiting the pub (1-3)
T-BAR: remove the pronoun meaning ‘that fellow’ from ‘the’ and append a synonym for pub.

2d Big tummy leads to the female’s agitation (6)
POTHER: an informal word for a big tummy followed by a possessive adjective meaning “the female’s”.

3d River finished with a hundred-fold increase in content (4)
ODER: start with an adverb meaning finished and multiply one of its letters by C (in the way a pupil in a maths lesson in ancient Rome would have done).

4d Almost total mug, husband in fix (6)
ATTACH: a verb to mug or ‘set upon’ without its last letter has the genealogical abbreviation for husband added.

5d See people behind bars — honest-to-goodness! (8)
CONSTRUE: a charade of a short word for people detained behind bars and an adjective meaning honest-to-goodness or genuine.

6d The artist, very short, a big noise being associated with Buddhist movement (10)
THERAVADIN: I didn’t know the word for the branch of Buddhism but the wordplay is straightforward – string together THE, our usual recognised artist, the abbreviation of ‘very’, A and a big noise or racket.

8d See 15a

13d What brings fame? Something other than competence evidently (10)
NOTABILITY: split the answer 3,7 to understand the wordplay.

14d Heretic who may have a birthday in April (5)
ARIAN: double definition, the second identifying someone born under a specific sign of the Zodiac.

16d Each male participating in smart form of underground crime? (8)
STEAMING: insert the abbreviations for each and male into a verb to smart or tingle. The answer is an informal term for a type of mugging on the London Underground where a group of criminals rush en masse at passengers grabbing whatever goods they can.

18d Island people place mark on a piece of wood (7)
TAGALOG: concatenate a verb to place a mark or label on something, A and a piece of wood. These people are originally from one of the Philippine islands.

21d Giovanni has inner intention to be a good spirit? (6)
DAIMON: the first name of both Mozart’s operatic hero and today’s setter contains a synonym of intention or target. The answer is a variant spelling of a word for a spirit (which may be good or bad – which presumably accounts for the question mark).

22d Shop‘s exit? (6)
OUTLET: double definition, the second being an exit or vent.

24d A hotel doubled up with laughter (2-2)
HA-HA: glue together A and the letter that hotel represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, then duplicate what you have. Finally reverse (up) it all.

26d Man leaves impressive house for holy hill (4)
SION: remove ‘man’ from a posh house to leave the hill in Jerusalem (or another name for Jerusalem itself).

I liked 17a and 20a but my runaway favourite was 15a/8d. Which one(s) would you single out?


17 comments on “Toughie 2471

  1. Found this to be a bit of a slow slog and am not convinced by the big tummy in 2d. 1d was my favourite. ****/** Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  2. An enjoyable Tuesday/Wednesday toughie – and yes, I do remember the Edict of Nantes

    I did like 23a as the ‘mistake’ always reminds of the fun to be had reading Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings stories – he was always making a xxxx of things. Were the first sighting of 19a in a prize puzzle, I’d mention the fact that it had turned up again so quickly ;)

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  3. 28a was really clever and my COTD
    I have my reservations about 12a. It was only by getting 6d, another obscure word, that I got a handle on the Russian dissident. I’m not sure about real people in a cryptic. No doubt comments will be made.

    1. He fits the criteria they use for Times crosswords in that he is no longer living

      1. I hadn’t realised that Otis, too, was a blast from the past. Not that well informed when it comes to the music world.

  4. Good solve , I needed the hints to parse 3d and 21d, google to check 2 and 6d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  5. Strange to see the King of Soul amongst the religious references but a welcome namecheck nonetheless. I, too was unfamiliar with the spelling of 21d and thought they were baddies – you learn stuff every day! To my shame the last one in was 19a. My favourite is 20a.
    Agree with CS – 23’s mistake always invokes Jennings and Darby.
    Thanks to the Don and to Gazza

  6. I just can’t get along with DM’s puzzles and today’s was no exception – ancient foreign name anagrammed, ancient obscure religious references and what sort of definition is ‘traditionalist’?
    With respect do I need to be over seventy to know this stuff? If I wanted to do a GK puzzle I wouldn’t be here, so I’m afraid this one got prematurely filed
    Polite nod to setter and thanks to Gazza

    1. Couldn’t agree more. My heart always sinks when I see Giovanni’s name atop a toughie (particularly earlier in the week, as I generally have a better chance of having a good go at those). Are obscurities really required to define a good test?
      Well not in my book, but I’m sure others love them! One for the obscure GK enthusiasts.
      Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni nonetheless. I enjoyed solving the few I could before I gave up.

  7. I seen the words I dread Giovanni Toughie and I finished it with help, my favourites were 15a/8d and 28a, I learnt something new with 16down, many thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.


  8. Managed to stagger through the top half with a leap of faith over 6d and a ‘guess the first name and then ask Mr G’ where 12a was concerned but I was left with quite a few blank spaces in the bottom half and eventually threw in the towel.
    Enjoyment level was virtually zero with the exception of the ‘fantastic singer’.

    Think Giovanni Toughies are simply not for me but many thanks to Gazza for explaining my failures.

  9. I tried several passes but could solve no more than 9 or 10 without any help, so I had to concede that I do not do very well with Giovanni’s Toughies, though I used to fare much better with his Friday back-pagers. I’m not up to my best physically right now and it takes a “mens sana in corpore sano” (which I am lacking) to do justice to a Giovanni Toughie. Don’t mind the GK at all; in fact, I like the challenge, and I should have lingered longer over the dissident and the singer. Shoulda, coulda. Thanks to Gazza for the clarity of your hints and to Giovanni.

  10. I thought this was a very well constructed puzzle. However, as to be expected in a Giovanni puzzle, there were more things that were obscure to me than I find enjoyable when solving. In this instance I tracked them all down with the exception of the heretic in 14d – added to this, I did not know the adjectival form of the Zodiac sign in question and so I was left with a double definition in which I knew neither of the definitions. Pity – but thanks nonetheless to Giovanni and to Gazza.

  11. We had heard of all the GK that was needed here but that did not stop us using Google for confirmation and a bit more exploratory learning in several places. One of the joys of Giovanni puzzles in our opinion.
    20a gets our vote for favourite.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

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