Category Archives: Giovanni

Giovanni is Don Manley, who is also known as Duck, Pasquale, Quixote, and Bradman (all punningly connected with the name Don or Donald), and is the current Friday setter

Toughie 1437

Toughie No 1437 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment *

Giovanni offers us a Pangram today, though the combination of unusual words and ultra-loose definitions made it hard for me to enjoy this puzzle as much as I did last Friday’s.… Read More

Toughie 1417

Toughie No 1417 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating - Difficulty *** - Enjoyment ****

Another high-quality Tuesday puzzle from the Don to which this rather hurried set of hints doesn't really do justice.

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Toughie 1405

Toughie No 1405 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment *****

Four English novelists, an English philosopher, at least three saints, Oxford shoes (and academics), a cathedral city, a classical language and a Tribe of Israel. Yes, folks, it's the Don, who is all over the papers today on the occasion of his 70th birthday.… Read More

Toughie 1389

Toughie No 1389 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating - Difficulty */** - Enjoyment ***/****

An enjoyable breeze of a puzzle by Giovanni on a rare Tuesday appearance, but can someone explain to me how 12d works! [EDIT: False alarm -- the minute I posted the blog I saw the answer.]

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Toughie 1374

Toughie No 1374 by Giovanni

More Tea, Vicar?

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

It may have been that I was distracted by the unaccustomed sunshine outside but I found this one quite tricky for a Wednesday though I did thoroughly enjoy the struggle.… Read More

Toughie 1359

Toughie No 1359 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I started to solve this puzzle without knowing the setter which was quite nice because I had no preconceptions as to whether it was going to be a worthwhile solve or not.… Read More

Toughie 1339

Toughie No 1339 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found this puzzle to be straightforward today despite the usual Giovanni sprinkling of less familiar answers (although the only one I needed to research was 22 across).… Read More

Toughie 1321

Toughie No 1321 by Giovanni

A Grumpy New Year

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment *

I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a Giovanni Toughie, and that certainly hasn’t changed today. Plenty of tooth-sucking moments like 14 and 27 Across, the almost mandatory Spoonerism and a complete absence of satisfaction in solving any of the clues made this a depressing experience.… Read More

Toughie 1303

Toughie No 1303 by Giovanni

100 not out

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

If you get your puzzles from the paper you’ll have noticed that this puzzle marks Giovanni’s century as a Toughie setter – so congratulations to him.
The reason that I’ve given this four stars for difficulty rather than three is due to a) the length of time it took me to see the definition for 1a, although the answer was obvious and b) the NE corner where I didn’t help myself by writing in the wrong answer for 16a.… Read More

Toughie 1295

Toughie No 1295 by Giovanni

More Sherry, Vicar?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This one from Giovanni was not too tricky apart from one unknown (to me) word at 18d, which was difficult to solve without a bit of trial and error. At one stage I thought we were getting a theme based on songs about young ladies but two isn’t really a theme – although I did end up humming the tunes all morning.… Read More