Toughie No 1414 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
When I first read through the clues I thought that this was going to be pretty tricky but once I’d established a base camp in the SE corner the rest all succumbed at a satisfactory rate and I even managed to drag the answer to 29a from the dark recesses. Thanks to Kcit for the puzzle.
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 Second company rejected investing in development of lens or lenses (8)
MONOCLES – start with a short period of time then reverse the abbreviation of company inside an anagram (development) of LENS.
5a Pounce, letting one escape? Letting one escape (6)
SPRING – a present particle meaning letting someone off or showing mercy to someone without the A (letting one escape).
9a Boys head off and climb rock in illustration (8)
SYMBOLIC – an anagram (rock) of (b)OYS and CLIMB.
10a Gold sovereign once accepted by one source of information (6)
ORACLE – start with the usual heraldic tincture of gold then insert the abbreviation for an old sovereign in ‘one’ in cards or dice.
12a End in trip to seabed, after wrecking? It might (9)
SPEEDBOAT – an anagram (after wrecking) of (tri)P TO SEABED.
13a Head of German army is someone without much presence (5)
GHOST – the first letter of German followed by an old word for an army.
14a Occupant of train in Euston Square (4)
NINE – hidden (occupant of) in the clue.
16a Jotted down evidence of continuing legal action? (7)
WRITTEN – if you split the answer 4,3 this could be evidence that the legal action has been going for some time. Hmm – I’m not keen.
19a A problem besetting one of many a colony of insects (3-4)
ANT-HILL – A and a problem or misfortune surround an adjective used in maths to refer to an unspecified member of a series (one of many).
21a Cut out last bit of fat? (4)
DIET – an all-in-one clue. An intransitive verb to cut out (like an engine that’s out of fuel) followed by the last letter of fat.
24a Ambition about to be held in check (5)
DREAM – a preposition meaning about or concerning is held inside a verb to check or block.
25a A synthetic flower, it seems, is made of stone (9)
ALABASTER – split the answer 1,3,5 and it could be an artificial flower developed by a scientist.
27a Commercial activities will accept suitable changes (6)
ADAPTS – the abbreviation for commercial promotions contains an adjective meaning suitable or fitting.
28a Unusually sullen, in dumps, losing heart, lack of interest (8)
DULLNESS – an anagram (unusually) of SULLEN inside the outer letters of dumps.
29a Complain, being against boarding boat (6)
KVETCH – this is a verb, from Yiddish, meaning to complain or whinge incessantly. The single-letter abbreviation meaning against (in sports fixtures, say) goes inside (boarding) a two-masted sailing boat.
30a Fine male voice incorporating fixed high notes? (8)
FALSETTO – F(ine) and a male singing voice containing an adjective meaning fixed or determined.
1d Poor employment is blocking source of inspiration (6)
MISUSE – IS goes inside (blocking) a source of inspiration for a creative person.
2d Not feeling US TV show should get theme tune? (6)
NUMBER – charade of an adjective meaning without feeling or anaesthetised and a US TV medical series.
3d Dull spot in college gaudy (5)
CLOUD – in the surface gaudy means a celebratory dinner held for old members of a college but for the wordplay it’s an adjective meaning brash or showy in a vulgar way. Precede that with C(ollege).
4d Bout is over, after going in deep, with pummelling (7)
EPISODE – IS and the cricket abbreviation for an over go inside an anagram (after pummelling) of DEEP.
6d Ripe green bananas doing for bird (9)
PEREGRINE – an anagram (bananas) of RIPE GREEN is sufficient to give us a bird.
7d Isle of Grain almost entirely undeveloped (8)
INCHOATE – charade of a Scottish word for a small island and an adjective describing a type of grain (of grain) without its final N (almost entirely).
8d Welcoming evidence of unhappiness amongst the Scots (8)
GREETING – double definition, the second what a Scot may be seen doing when he’s unhappy (at losing a tennis match, for example).
11d Pack five letters (4)
STOW – split the answer 1,2,1 to get the five letters.
15d The old woman filling potty, in a manner of speaking (9)
IDIOMATIC – insert an affectionate term for one’s old lady into an adjective meaning potty or daft.
17d Book player notorious for his tackling? (8)
HARDBACK – split the answer 4,4 and you have a defender with a reputation.
18d Densely-packed travellers here having endless nerve and passion (8)
STEERAGE – charade of a verb to nerve (oneself) or muster one’s courage without its final letter and a word for passion or fury.
20d Bound to identify extra day? (4)
LEAP – the extra day occurs in the years that the Summer Olympics are held.
21d Count a hundred after doctor starts to use Latin again (7)
DRACULA – A and the Roman numeral for one hundred follow an abbreviation for doctor then we finish with the starting letters of three words in the clue.
22d Way ash, say, may be embedded in stone (6)
STREET – what ash is an example of goes inside an abbreviation for stone (that’s 14lb).
23d Picture menial worker keeping up with military leader (6)
FRESCO – reverse (keeping up) a menial worker in the Middle Ages and add the abbreviation for a military leader.
26d Charts end of descent into woe! (5)
ATLAS – insert the last letter of descent into an exclamation of woe.
Top clues for me were 15d and 17d. Which one(s) diverted you?