Toughie No 1361 by Dada
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating - Difficulty **/*** - Enjoyment **
Dada or no Dada, three or four smart clues did not stop me finding this dull as dishwater, I'm afraid.
If you haven't yet, you must try Rookie Corner No. 49 by Beet, an exuberant and beautifully worked puzzle from a very gifted new setter.
Definitions are underlined. 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 Brainless beauty cut weight (4-4)
DUMB-BELL Brainless or silly plus a beautiful woman minus the last letter (cut).
5a Second bag concealing one work of art (6)
MOSAIC A second or jiffy plus a bag or pouch (which can be a body part) containing (concealing) the Roman numeral one.
10a Crucial moment as ace played? (5,2,2,6)
POINT OF NO RETURN A plausible description of an ace served in tennis.
11a Very different pacifier (7)
SOOTHER Very or highly plus a word meaning different.
12a Boy in libertine, some dish (7)
ROULADE A word for boy inside a French word for a debauched old man.
13a Raised ground always, one might suppose (1,4,3)
I DARE SAY Anagram (ground) of RAISED plus an archaic or Scots word for always.
15a Tree that's more mature (5)
ELDER Double definition, being both a tree and an adjective meaning senior.
18a Flat back squashing right cheek (5)
NERVE A reversal (back) of an adjective meaning smooth or flat around (squashing) R(ight).
20a Warm quality functions with sunshine, primarily (8)
COSINESS A trigonometric function in the plural, plus the first letter (primarily) of S(unshine).
23a Generous smear enthralling artist (7)
LIBERAL To smear or slander (or something legally close to it) around (enthralling) crosswordese for artist.
25a Impede first of generals punching chap, private (3,4)
BOG DOWN The first (letter) of G(enerals) inside (punching) a word for chap or person, plus an adjective meaning personal or private.
26a Game with very little chance of winning or not at all, one I try foolishly (8,7)
NATIONAL LOTTERY Anagram (foolishly) of NOT AT ALL ONE I TRY. A semi-&lit (or semi-all-in-one) where the definition extends over the whole clue.
27a Bell for match (6)
RINGER A bell or similar is also a word for a match or spitting image.
28a Bird never heard in novel (4,4)
JANE EYRE A sounds-like (heard) of a gaudy bird of the crow family and an old or dialectal word for never.
1d Dismiss record within a specific measure (6)
DEPOSE A vinyl record format inside a measure (of medicine, for example).
2d Fraternity, we hear, that one's sent for? (4,5)
MAIL ORDER The solution sounds like a fraternity or club for men.
3d Kill, as more masculine? (7)
BUTCHER A word for masculine or mannish, often in the context of gay or lesbian relationships, in the comparative.
4d Serious criminal kept in jail, if erroneously (5)
LIFER Hidden (kept) in JAILIFERRONEOUSLY.
6d Excessive employment ever so unlikely, university claimed (7)
OVERUSE Anagram (unlikely) of EVER SO into which U(niversity) is inserted (claimed).
7d A massage on a Caribbean island (5)
ARUBA The first A from the clue, massage as noun or verb, and the second A.
8d Capital in Antipodes under leadership of Britain -- is fallible without it? (8)
CANBERRA The first letter (capital) of (A)ntipodes goes beneath an alternative phrasing of is fallible, going round (without) the first letter (leadership) of B(ritain). An &lit (or all-in-one clue) in which the whole clue is both definition and wordplay.
9d Wearer of glasses that's in possession of 'visibility', did you say? (4-4)
FOUR-EYES A sounds-like of what the word visibility contains...
14d Lashes welcomed by evil Italian (8)
SICILIAN Latin for eyelashes (and hair-like structures on some microorganisms) inside (welcomed by) an evil or vice.
16d Find somewhere to dance, surprisingly (9)
DISCOVERY A night club or other place for dancing plus a word meaning surprisingly or to a large extent.
17d Funny city in Nevada carrying river northward (3-5)
ONE-LINER A funny as a noun meaning a joke or gag. A city in Nevada goes round (carrying) a famous river, all in reverse (northward).
19d A rebel of sorts seizing love, one embracing the stud? (3,4)
EAR LOBE Anagram (of sorts) of A REBEL goes round (seizing) love in tennis.
21d Item worn by women near item worn by men (7)
NIGHTIE Near or at hand plus an item of formal menswear.
22d Catalyst unknown in Yemen, sadly (6)
ENZYME An algebraic unknown inside an anagram (sadly) of YEMEN.
24d Stick sock on (5)
BATON To sock or hit plus ON from the clue.
25d Something light, a chunk lifted (5)
BALSA The A from the clue plus a chunk (of stone), all reversed (lifted).
I liked 10a, 26a, 8d, and (when I twigged) 9d.
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