Toughie 2882 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2882

Toughie No 2882 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A typical Giovanni Toughie where everything, including the words you possibly didn’t know, was fairly clued

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Vehicle carrying exceptionally great load, for example (9)
TETRAGRAM A vehicle ‘carrying’ an anagram (exceptionally) GREAT, the word LOAD being an example of the solution

6a    Man of words, I understand, shortened script finally (5)
ROGET Truncate the word you’d use in radio communications to indicate that something is understood and add the final letter of scripT

9a    Uneasy, having aggressive advocate for Cockney region of city (7)
AWKWARD Do as a Cockney would do and omit the H from a person who advocates aggressiveness and then add an electoral division of a city

10a & 18 Down Wild beasts in land I’ve associated with Satanism, wrongly (9,6)
TASMANIAN DEVILS An anagram (wrongly) of LAND IVE with SATANISM

11a    Town has attractive appearance with river flowing round (7)
GLOSSOP A superficial attractive appearance and a reversal (flowing round) of Crosswordland’s favourite Italian river

12a    Short message not on outside of the box (7)
NOTELET NOT (from the clue) goes round (on outside of) an informal term for a television (box)

13a    Compassion evident in Sophy and Stephen? (4-11)
SOFT-HEARTEDNESS If you look in the middle of Sophy and Stephen, you’ll see the musical abbreviation for piano, an instruction to play softly. A way of describing this could also be an adjective relating to compassion

17a    Where car may be hit at cricket field (2,5)
ON DRIVE Where a car may be left or a particular cricket stroke

19a    More than one Spaniard enjoys the sun, we hear (7)
BASQUES Spaniards from a particular region of Spain sound like (we hear) a way of saying enjoys the sun

22a    Parade around avenue trapping a boy getting caught inside (9)
CAVALCADE The Latin abbreviation for around (about) and an abbreviated avenue ‘trapping’ A (from the clue) and a boy, into which is inserted the cricket abbreviation for Caught

23a    Parking space? About time! (7)
MOORAGE A reversal (about) of some space followed by a period of time

24a    Religious leader may appear in places of worship, no question (5)
MOSES Remove the abbreviation for question (no question) from some places of worship

25a    Insane game getting rid of one disruptive element (9)
MANGANESE An anagram (disruptive) of iNSANE GAME (getting rid of one indicating the omission of the I

Down

1d    Tracking device worn by English sailor that gets into hot water (3,3)
TEABAG The abbreviation for English and a sailor inserted into (worn by) a tracking device

2d    Parody about head of state becomes successful (5,3)
TAKES OFF A verb meaning to mimic (4, 3) goes about the letter that is the head of State

3d    A good primate’s religious feasts (6)
AGAPES A (from the clue), the abbreviation for good and a primate plus an [‘]s combine to give some religious feasts

4d    Sensationalist paper embarrassed the Crown? (3-3)
RED-TOP The colour you turn when embarrassed and the top of anything (crown?)

5d    Composer of religious service with belief primarily lacking (8)
MASSENET A religious service and a belief without its first letter (primarily lacking)

6d    Soldiers, having sounded hypocritical, expressed a change of mind (8)
RECANTED The abbreviation for the Royal Engineers (soldiers) and part of a verb meaning talked in a hypocritical way

7d    Pleasant army officer, one substituting for Queen (6)
GENIAL Replace the Queen’s regnal cipher found in an army officer with an I (one)

8d    Groan maybe going round pub — a problem with background noise (8)
TINNITUS The Christian name of the heir to the house of Groan in the first novel of the Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake, into which is inserted a pub

13d    With such impassivity, man may turn to monasticism (8)
STOICISM A compound anagram where an anagram (turn) of MAN and the solution makes MONASTICISM

14d    Somehow relishes having a problem with a will? (8)
HEIRLESS
An anagram (somehow) of RELISHES

15d    Plant an avens — rodent will invade it (8)
AGERATUM
A (an) and a plant that is a member of the avens family into which is inserted (will invade) a rodent

16d    Retinue that is turning up to protect queen and boy at match (8)
EQUIPAGE A reversal (turning up) of the abbreviation for that is into which is inserted the abbreviation for queen, the result followed by a small boy at a wedding (match)

18d    See 10a

19d    German location mostly generated soldiers (6)
BREMEN Most of a synonym for generated and some soldiers combine to produce a German city

20d    Batty sort of woman in the home counties, perhaps a foreign lady? (6)
SENORA The abbreviation for the part of England known as the Home Counties and the Christian name of Mrs Batty in Last of the Summer Wine

21d    Hard to endure energy cut at first (6)
SEVERE A synonym for cut precedes (at first) the abbreviation for Energy

 

16 comments on “Toughie 2882
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  1. Nothing to laugh about here but I did at least smile at 8d [Groan] and 16d [boy at match]. Thanks to Giovanni and to CS for the blog.

  2. Giovanni in very benign mood this morning with one of his more accessible yet still entertaining compilations. 13 and 16d were my joint favourites ahead of 19a.

    My thanks to The Don and CS.

  3. Thanks to Giovanni and CS for the Wednesday work-out.
    There were some very good clues here but I have to take issue with the statement that everything was fairly clued – 15d (my last answer) is an obscure plant clued by referring to two other obscure plants. I didn’t think that was ‘sympathetic clueing’ at all (although I appreciate that others may be more tuned in to the Alan Tittmarsh experience than I am).
    Top clues for me were 6a, 13a (where I was initially trying to think of a pub related answer – nice misdirection) and 19a.

    1. Completely agree Gazza. The rodent was an easy punt but hadn’t heard of either plant. Thankfully Mr G told me avens was geum otherwise no chance.

  4. Except for the town (which I’ve actually been to but had forgotten), I rather surprisingly breezed through this very engaging Giovanni. A happy finish last night, though with some parsing lacunae, so thanks to CS especially for synthesising 13a for me, which now becomes my COTD, and also for reminding me of Mrs Batty’s name. 8d and 1a complete the podium. Thanks to CS and Giovanni.

  5. Early on in this puzzle I thought it must be from the Don as I wondered what opinion might be expressed in the other place about the number of “religious clues”! What a belter, and a proper mid-week Toughie – nicely gauged to be challenging but not end-of-week-challenging. Good surfaces, plenty of smiles at the wit, with some new things to learn (though I agree with Gazza re 15d – never heard of either, but once I’d looked up Avens and learned what it was, the answer “could only be”) and old things to remember.

    Hon Mentions to 24a and 1d; COTD shared by 6a and 8d – can’t get a fag paper between them!

    Thank you to the Maestro, and of course to CS for the blog.

  6. In 20d I wondered (am still wondering) about the “in” – a red herring to suggest inserting the batty woman in the home counties, or an attributive sort of use of “in”, eg “flowering woman in God’s second favourite county” could be “Yorkshire Rose”? The answer to the clue suggests the latter interpretation, but it does leave me thinking “hummm” (with an eyebrow raised quizzically I’m afraid, Miffypops).

    1. MG. It’s decidedly the latter interpretation, a device not uncommon in cryptic clues. I suspect you’re pondering about some non-existent misdirection – but I do see your point.

  7. Very enjoyable but with a bit of dated feel to it.
    Took me a little while to “break its back” but once I had it fell quite swiftly.
    17&19a plus 8d made me smile but my favourite (predictably) was 13a.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and Cryptic Sue.

  8. I hadn’t heard of the religious feasts in 3d but fairly clued or either plant in 15d, not so fairly clued. I needed the hints to parse 12a and 8d, which I suffer from, but I got there in the end. Favourite was 19a. Thanks to Giovanni and CS.

  9. Spent too long trying to solve an anagram at 13a. Once I got a couple of checkers in that proved it wasn’t an anagram, I spotted the parsing for the answer that I was going to bung in in the first place 😖.
    Agree with CS that Giovanni always provides good clues to make even the most obscure words obtainable, even if these need a good deal of thought and looking up in the dictionary to check.

  10. A sprinkling of humour amongst the expected Giovanni-isms made for a much more pleasant puzzle today from the Don. I certainly didn’t know about Mr Groan, the composer was a ‘work it out and look up’ affair and I’m not au fait with the meaning of 1a – my vehicle spent a while looking for its great load!
    Ticks here went to 13&19a, the oldie but goodie 1d and the batty lady in the home counties.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to CS for the review and the info on Mr Groan.

  11. Really enjoyed this surprisingly benevolent (not a * star mind you) Giovanni Toughie other than 15d. Favourite was 8d for no other reason than I much prefer Peake to Tolkien – I’ve 2 mates who report suffering from it post Covid. The religious feast new to me but that one was fairly clued as was 11a which I’d heard of but wasn’t sure where it was. I also liked both the across & down clues at 1&13.
    Thanks to Giovanni & to CS.

  12. A nice penny-drop moment when we twigged the parsing for 13a.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and CS.

  13. Firmly in the “I enjoyed this” camp, even the fairly-clued and indeed googlable obscure plant. Not Giovanni’s fault but mine that I knew neither the plant nor the composer. Downs fell more readily than acrosses, but as the south went in, the north surely followed. Great entertainment, thanks both.

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