Toughie No 1341 by Dada
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BD Rating - Difficulty * - Enjoyment ***
A quick, fun solve at the very gentlest end of the Toughie scale.
7a Vital thing having somewhere to go for a battle (8)
WATERLOO A substance that sustains life plus a convenience.
9a Game ending in defeat after upset (6)
PIQUET The last letter (ending) in the word DEFEAT follows a word meaning grievance or upset.
10a Two shockers, one mistake? (6)
BOOBOO A word one shouts to give someone a shock or fright, repeated.
11a Those appreciated for their beauty by wearing suits (4,4)
FINE ARTS A word for by or close to goes inside (wearing) a word for suits or matches (as a verb).
12a Church community with classic tale, I suspect (14)
ECCLESIASTICAL The abbreviation of an international organisation (before it became a Union) plus an anagram of (suspect) CLASSIC TALE I.
15a Combination locks far from straight? (4)
PERM A mathematical term for an ordered combination of numbers, and a wavy hairstyle.
17a Still waiting for drug to lift spirits (5)
ELATE A verb meaning to delight or the lift the spirits (of) could be read as suggesting that a drug has not yet arrived. (Hmmm...)
19a Contact group (4)
RING To contact by phone, and a circle of people.
20a Numbness in legs -- also hands (4,3,7)
PINS AND NEEDLES A numbness (of the limbs, as suggested by the whole clue) is a charade of a word for legs, a synonym of also, and pointers on a dial that are a bit like hands on clock face.
23a Mirth -- girl encapsulating it (8)
HILARITY A girl's name (it could also be a boy's) goes round (encapsulating) IT from the clue.
25a Always stifling yawn when struggling in spite of everything (6)
ANYWAY Scots for always goes round (stifling) an anagram (when struggling) of YAWN.
27a Turn red screens indigo initially, quite colourful (6)
BLUISH To turn red in the face goes round (screens) the first letter (initially) of INDIGO.
28a Legendary hero getting cold in water, doing the backstroke? (8)
ACHILLES A word for cold (in two senses) inside a body of water written in reverse (doing the backstroke).
1d Saucy thing, April 31? (4)
MAYO Another way of writing the non-existent date between April 30 and May 1.
2d Somewhat overbalanced, it's said (6)
VERBAL The solution is hidden inside (somewhat) OVERBALANCED.
3d Almost explode in error (4)
GOOF All but the last letter (almost) of a (2,3) phrase meaning to explode.
4d Group about to attach organ (6)
SPINET ...a musical organ or harpsichord. A word for a group or collection around a verb meaning to attach or affix.
5d Panda, one of four in evidence of fight? (5,3)
SQUAD CAR One of four born together inside a mark left by a wound.
6d Steps taken to cut money -- it's an agent of evil (10)
PESTILENCE A form of steps goes inside (taken to cut) a small amount of money.
8d King in baggy lingerie, bottom only, in check (4-3)
LOOK-SEE KING in chess notation inside a word for baggy, then the last letter (bottom only) of LINGERIE.
13d Welsh town finds royal couple in lacy pants (10)
CAERPHILLY The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh respectively inside an anagram (pants) of LACY.
14d Bill pockets combat medal (5)
AWARD A bill or commercial notice goes around (pockets) combat or military conflict.
16d A segmented language? (8)
MANDARIN A language that is also the name of a segmented fruit.
18d Solution faced in last of apple trees (7)
EYEWASH A solution applied to part of the face is given by the last letter of APPLE followed by two types of tree.
21d Land in flames (6)
ALIGHT Double definition, meaning both to land (like a bird) and on fire.
22d Parent protecting some egg, not all, just hatched? (3-3)
DAY-OLD A familiar term for a particular parent goes round (protecting) part of an egg, without the last letter (not all).
24d You I see as OK (4)
YEAH The old plural form of you plus an exclamation meaning I see or I get it.
26d Belligerent god taking head from horses (4)
ARES Delete the first letter (taking head) from a word for horses of a certain sex.
Lots to enjoy here, especially 11a, 15a, and 13d. As with other of Dada's Tuesday puzzles, I am torn between enjoying his breezy cluing style and a sneaking feeling that some of the clues (like 17a, 23a, 26d) have been somewhat hurriedly set. Am I alone in this?
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