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 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

Toughie 1278

Toughie No 1278 by Giovanni

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

It is rumoured that Giovanni has strong words to say about crossword blogs in the forthcoming update of his beloved manual.  If he continues to produce puzzles like this one then it is not surprising that the Arsène Wenger* of Crosswordland gets bad reviews.… Read More

Toughie 1264

Toughie No 1264 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

A slow start but once I’d got started the answers went in very quickly until I was left with the final few. The double unchecked letters were a factor in the final slow-down.… Read More

Toughie 1244

Toughie No 1244 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found this trickier than most Giovanni puzzles probably because there were several answers that I was not familiar with. There were also a couple of bits of wordplay that needed more thought than Giovanni wordplay usually needs.… Read More

Toughie 1231

Toughie No 1231 by Giovanni

You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There were one or two clues that needed a bit of thought but on the whole this was a fairly straightforward Toughie.… Read More

Toughie 1215

Toughie No 1215 by Giovanni

Hints and Tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is Toughie No. 1215 but there’s no mention of Magna Carta. Giovanni usually smuggles a few obscure words into his Toughies but today there’s only one (14a) that I’d never heard of.… Read More