Toughie 613 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 613

Toughie No 613 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I must have been on Giovanni’s wavelength this morning because I breezed through this with no problems (except that I had to convince myself that the definition in 1 across is OK)

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Disappointing and woeful leader must be replaced (8)
{BATHETIC} Take a word meaning “woeful” and change the first letter. I could only come up with one possible word and thus was led to conclude that “disappointing” is a reasonable definition

9a    Open vessel to capsize (8)
{OVERTURN} “Open” + a vessel (such as contains the ashes of a dead person) gives “to capsize”

10a    Swimmer gets bellyache (4)
{CARP} 2 meanings; a fish (swimmer)/to bellyache

11a    Tight person, one liable to be accused of sexual harassment … (5-7)
{PENNY-PINCHER} This term for a miser might also conceivably describe someone who molests a female with a particular name

13a    … who shows this, putting girl into disarray (8)
{MEANNESS} A quality a miser shows is obtained by putting a girl’s name in a disarray

15a    Mischief-maker and gangster, a beast (6)
{IMPALA} A mischief-maker + the usual gangster + A gives an antelope

16a    Husband in club makes money abroad (4)
{BAHT} H (husband) goes in a club (for hitting something with) to give the monetary unit of Thailand

17a    Train — or its alternative? (5)
{COACH} “To train” is also a vehicle that may be used as an alternative to a train

18a    Current hassle with street blocked off (4)
{RIFE} “Current” is obtained by removing ST (street) from the front of a word meaning “hassle”

20a    Note the general purport from what’s being heard (6)
{TENNER} A bank note is a homophone of the general purport

21a    Trust one placed in cleaner misplaced (8)
{RELIANCE} Trust is formed from I (one) inside an anagram (misplaced) of CLEANER

23a    Ace, almost one intellectual pilot (12)
{EXPERIMENTAL} An ace with the last letter removed + I (one) + “intellectual” gives an adjective synonymous with “pilot”

26a    Wind? Chap finally goes to toilet (4)
{LOOP} “To wind” is given by toilet + P (last letter of chap)

27a    Canopy that casts shadow over more than a yard (8)
{UMBRELLA} A canopy is made up of shadow containing a length of approximately 45 inches

28a    Daughter is essentially separate (8)
{DISPERSE} D (daughter) + IS + a Latin phrase (3,2) meaning “essentially” gives “separate”


2d    Four articles about male pariah (8)
{ANATHEMA} Pariah is made up of 4 articles (3 indefinite and 1 definite) round M (male)

3d    Writer bumping into ten chaps, a peculiar coincidence (12)
{HAPPENSTANCE} Something you write with goes inside an anagram (peculiar) of TEN CHAPS A to give a coincidence

4d    Around bottom of garden detect haze (6)
{TRANCE} N (last letter of garden) goes inside “detect” to give “haze”. I’m not entirely happy with the definition here.

5d    Before end of day get stuff to prepare for publication (4)
{COPY} “Stuff to prepare for publication” is made up of Y (end of day) after “to get”

6d    Good-looking woman — inside is wicked, very wicked (8)
{DEVILISH} An informal word for a good-looking woman goes round “wicked” to give “very wicked”

7d    Career in the backwoods book brought out (4)
{RUSH} “To career” is obtained by removing B (book) from the front of backwoods

8d    Balloon not far from stumps? (8)
{INCREASE} Here’s the cricket reference! “To balloon” = where the batsman stands (i.e not far from the wicket) (2,6)

12d    Bird’s romp with characteristic sound that is engaging one (12)
{CAPERCAILLIE} A type of grouse is made up of romp + characteristic sound + IE (that is) round I (one)

14d    Great performer, furthest back of four (5)
{STARR} A leading performer + R (last letter of four) gives the name of a member of a group of four people who was always positioned behind the other three when they were performing

16d    Try to get round announcement that grocery item has got more expensive? (6,2)
{BUTTER UP} This term for “to try to get round somebody” suggests that an item of grocery has increased in price

17d    See Scottish historian in the auditorium (8)
{CARLISLE} And here’s the religious reference! A see (seat of a bishop) in Northern England is a homophone of a Scottish historian named Thomas (1795-1881)

19d    Turbulent and ready to quarrel when denied right (8)
{FACTIOUS} “Turbulent” is obtained be removing R (right) from “ready to quarrel”

22d    Stimulant going wrong has knocked insect out — substance used in lab (6)
{LITMUS} An anagram (going wrong) of STIMUL (stimulant with ANT removed) gives a substance used an an acid-base indicator

24d    Drink up outside Britain — primarily in wine bars rather than these? (4)
{PUBS} A reversal of “to drink” round B (first letter of Britain) gives drinking establishments which are alternatives to wine bars

25d    The country is suffering regular cuts, by Jove! (4)
{EGAD} Take alternate letters of the country in which most of us live to get “by Jove”

Pleasant enough but one of the easier Toughies

10 comments on “Toughie 613

  1. Certainly a gentler Giovanni but nice nontheless. Thanks to our maestro and to Bufo for the review.

  2. Very nice thank you Giovanni. I was again hindered by the male relatives but did enjoy the solving experience. My favourite has to be 14d. Thanks to Bufo for the hints too.

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed this crossword from Giovanni. Fav clue 3d. Thanks too to Bufo.

  4. I am very much alone here it seems as I couldn’t get on the wavelength for an age, not helped by mispelling 16a which threw 2d. Looking back over it I can’t see why I made such heavy going of it. Oh well. Off for a few days now so maybe the brain had wound down a tad too early. Many thanks to Bufo and Giovanni

  5. I enjoyed this- thanks Gio, and Bufo for helping at the end.

    Am I the only person who has never heard the word “Factious”?

  6. This one took me a while to get into and I was also left with a few fully checked head scratchers. Got there after I realised I was being daft!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the ‘blog.

  7. Help! I’ve just read the comments and can’t believe it’s an “easy” 2*, on the first read-through I’ve only got 22 d. Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo, I’ll try and re-tune my brain to the Don’s wavelength!

Comments are closed.