Toughie 2906 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2906

Toughie No 2906 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A typical Giovanni Wednesday-level Toughie

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    A “slider” upset batter (6)
SLEDGE A conveyance that slides or a cricketing slang expression meaning to seek to upset the batsman’s concentration by making offensive remarks

4a    Who classically accompanies Bill? Loveless type not to be taken seriously (8)
QUIPSTER The Latin (classically) word for who accompanies (goes with) an advertisement (bill) without the O (love-less)

9a    Bright, having good fortune. Not half, with a bit of money (6)
LUCENT The first half of a synonym for good fortune with a small coin (bit of money)

10a    Event in old cricket club while international in progress (8)
OCCASION The abbreviations for old and cricket club, a conjunction meaning while, the abbreviation for international and a simple way of saying ‘in progress’

11a    Disciple grabbing senior, one bound to keep going (7,2)
SOLDIER ON A disciple ‘grabbing’ a synonym for senior into which is inserted (bound) I (one)

13a    Outcome that hurts fund (5)
ENDOW An outcome and an interjection expressing pain (that hurts)

14a    Holy creature’s thrown out — for behaving thus? (13)
TREACHEROUSLY An anagram (thrown out) of HOLY CREATURES

17a    Real party man, I worked in Westminster set-up maybe (13)

21a    Opera not quite what you expect? (5)
NORMA The name of an opera by Bellini is almost all of a synonym for typical (what you expect)

23a    Medical person probing malfunctioning inner ear initially gives description of bodily system (9)
ENDOCRINE An informal term for a medical person ‘probing’ an anagram (malfunctioning) of INNER and E (ear ‘initially’)

24a    Restricted noise after appearance of Marie Antoinette? (6,2)
REINED IN A noise goes after the French word for queen (Marie Antoinette?)

25a    What’s black and brown cloth worn by Scots? (6)
TARTAN A black substance and a brown colour

26a    Celebs with gin, sloshed in The Bull? (4,4)
STAR SIGN Some celebrities and an anagram (sloshed) of GIN

27a    Garments made of rag brought aboard ship (6)
SMOCKS A verb meaning to make fun of (rag) inserted into the usual abbreviation for ship


1d    Drop of rain seen as a sensation? (6)
SPLASH A drop of rain and/or a sensation

2d    Real cost disguised with introduction of a clause in contract (9)
ESCALATOR An anagram (disguised) of REAL COST into which is inserted (introduction of) A (from the clue)

3d    Outsider — kind to be kept outside India (7)
GENTILE Anyone who is not a member of a specific religious group – a synonym for kind goes outside the IVR Code for India

5d    A foreign record about individual seizing research lab that’s devil-may-care (11)
UNCONCERNED A foreign indefinite article and a type of record, the latter going ‘about’ an individual ‘seizing’ a European research laboratory

6d    Location with nasty smell that doesn’t affect anybody? (7)
PLACEBO A location and an abbreviated nasty smell

7d    Pass below this position? (5)
THIRD I think the wordplay refers to the lowest position or class of honours degree below which you’d only get a ‘pass’

8d    Airport features to include area for fugitives (8)
RUNAWAYS Insert (to include) the abbreviation for area into some airport features

12d    Where Arabs may compete in a gathering of the tribes? (4,7)
RACE MEETING A place where Arab horses compete sounds like it could refer to a gathering of the tribes

15d    Delay putting out a catalogue, mostly very cold regarding aspect of literature? (9)
STYLISTIC Remove the A (putting out a) from a delay, add a catalogue and most of an adjective meaning very cold

16d    Angry, like baby being carried? (2,2,4)
UP IN ARMS Protesting hotly which may or not be what a baby does when it is being carried like this

18d    Where men gather to eat is disorganised (2,1,4)
IN A MESS Where serving men gather to eat or another way of saying disorganised

19d    Commend a declaration given in speech (7)
ACCLAIM A and a homophone (given in speech) of a declaration or assertion

20d    Man in thief’s situation with wickedness on the up (6)
DENNIS A haunt of thieves and a reversal (on the up) of some wickedness

22d    Work of art that’s left out on a dish (5)
RAITA A work of art featuring a real person without the left side of (perhaps) a ship followed by A (from the clue)


16 comments on “Toughie 2906

  1. Whizzed through this one in half the time that Jay’s puzzle took me. Rare for me to be so easily on Giovanni’s wavelength & all parsed too. Was expecting the dreaded * difficulty rating so a bit surprised to see three.
    Thanks to G & CS

  2. A very pleasant midweek Toughie – thanks to Giovanni and CS.
    I do prefer Giovanni in this mode with accessible answers and clever wordplay rather than in his “Who’s the most obscure character from the Old Testament I can incorporate” style.
    7d held me up for longest but I came to the same conclusion as CS as to what ‘pass below this’ meant.
    For my podium I’ve selected 1a, 24a and 22d.

  3. I don’t think Sue’s parsing of 4a is quite full enough. Yes Qui to start with but then isn’t “Bill loveless” Poster minus the O?

    1. That’s what it said on my piece of paper but sadly that bit didn’t make it to the original hint – now corrected

      1. And the “A” needs to be used first in 19d doesn’t it?

        A very gentle puzzle from the Don I thought. Liked the use of the question mark in 4a.

  4. From what I can recall, a Wednesday Giovanni Toughie ≡ a Friday Giovanni back pager (when there was such a thing), still with some head scratching required – 2.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 10a, 13a, and 6d – and the winner is 1a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to CS.

  5. Like Huntsman, I too whizzed surprisingly through this Giovanni Toughie (he usually gives me a fit) and was also surprised to see a *** rating. 4a, which was my LOI, is my runaway COTD, but 23 and 24a also deserve laurels. Thanks to CS and Giovanni.

  6. I always contend that a ‘sportsman’s’ is the hardest degree to get because it has the narrowest grade boundaries. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

  7. Enjoyed this, some really clever (and witty) wordplay on display I thought.
    Held up in the NW, before the penny drop with 1a, it’s going to take me a while to associate “batter” with someone facing a bowler!
    My winners in a strong field were 4&24a plus 6&22d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and Cryptic Sue.

  8. Really enjoyed this super challenge – I found the lower three-quarters flowed very swiftly but was delayed for almost the same amount of time by my final four clues. Knew 4a had to be what it was but just could not parse it, so thank you to CS for shining the torch of understanding in my direction! I concur re the parsing of 4d.

    22d close to the podium top step, but 11a grabbed gold for me with its parsed answer (as CS notes above), and also the unparsable (to me) insertion of a synonym of senior in an anagram of senior.

    Many thanks to the Don and to CS.

  9. Managed about half but how was a non cricket player supposed to know the alternative meaning of 1a?

  10. We never did get 7d sorted out. We were thinking ballet positions so were obviously well off course.
    Enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and CS.

  11. Thanks to Giovanni and to crypticsue for the review and hints. Enjoyed what I could do, needed 7 hints to finish. Nice puzzle, favourite was 26a. Was 4* / 3* for me.

Comments are closed.