Toughie No 1453 by Excalibur
Should have gone to Specsavers??
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I quite enjoyed this gentle start to the Toughie week, even though it was annoying to find the paper hadn’t got the right clue for 3d, but had instead an amended version (which matched the online version) of 4d. Fortunately for me, I am an online subscriber too but I bet there are a lot of confused people out there today.
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1a Suitable site to develop for real estate (10)
PROPERTIES Another word for suitable followed by an anagram (to develop)of SITE.
9a Performer that’s mad to retire (4)
DIVA Whether the definition is performer or mad, this clue is definitely an old friend of the crossword solver – this time an adjective meaning keen (mad) is reversed (to retire) to produce an operatic prima donna (performer).
10a I get a raven trained so it’s not eating worms, for example (10)
VEGETARIAN Someone who doesn’t eat any form of meat (especially worms) is an anagram (trained) of I GET A RAVEN.
11a In the thick of having fifth of brandy in a blur (6)
AMIDST The fifth letter of brandy inserted into a way of saying a blur.
12a Advised cheese given as nourishment (7)
BRIEFED Split 4, 3, this might sound like a French cheese being given as nourishment.
15a Fight for jobs, when many left the services? (4-3)
POST-WAR A job followed by a big ‘fight’.
16a Object that’s a little less than decorous (5)
DEMUR This verb is obtained by removing the last letter from an adjective meaning decorous or modest in dress or manners.
17a Manage to catch by one’s tail (4)
COPE A slang verb meaning to catch or capture followed by the ‘tail’ of one.
18a Second person spelling ‘article’ with two Es (4)
THEE An old-fashioned way of referring to the second person or ‘you’ – the definite article followed by another E.
19a For ‘Safety Devices’, contains additional material (5)
HASPS Part of a verb meaning contains followed by the abbreviation for additional material added at the end of a letter.
21a A Gallic translation would be ‘très froid’ (7)
GLACIAL An anagram (translation) of A GALLIC.
22a Flight announced from Eurasian ecoregion (7)
STEPPES This Eurasian region sounds like (announced) part of a flight of stairs.
24a Less lustrous. That’s what’s wrong (6)
MATTER Dull or lustreless or a thing of concern
27a I dither ineptly, about to do the wrong thing, get cut off (10)
DISINHERIT An anagram (ineptly) of I DITHER into which is inserted a moral offence (the wrong thing).
28a Our forfeiting right to child – that hurt! (4)
OUCH Remove (forfeiting) the R (right) from OUR and replace with the abbreviation for child.
29a Watches closely as long-term partnership has foundered (6,4)
STANDS OVER Saying that a long-term partnership, possibly between two batsmen in a game of cricket had foundered because one of them was out would, if changed to 6, 4 (or even 5’1, 4) mean watches closely.
2d Pipe repaired, the two left (4)
REED Remove the couple (two left) from the middle of REPAIRED.
3d Run through – run through article (6)
PIERCE The abbreviation for run inserted into a literary article.
4d With wild cat entering, animals after turning tail didn’t remain impassive (7)
REACTED Some animals are reversed (turned tail) and then have an anagram (wild) of CAT inserted.
5d Gentleman – I must stand for a lady (4)
IRIS I (from the clue) followed by a reversal of a way of referring to a gentleman.
6d Caballero, at the inside, is a politician (7)
SENATOR Put AT (from the clue) inside a Spanish gentleman (caballero).
7d Regarding the stock, don’t buy it (6-4)
WINDOW-SHOP A cryptic definition of looking at stuff one dreams of buying.
8d Closing rounds (4,6)
LAST ORDERS What Miffypops or Saint Sharon might call out just before closing time in order to encourage their customers to buy one more round of drinks.
12d Not mah-jong – mah! (10)
BACKGAMMON Once you have the checking letters it is easy to see which board game (not mah-jong) you require. Split your solution 4, 6, and it would sound like an instruction to reverse a particular type of cold meat. With this in mind, have a look at the last word of the clue!
13d Actually that’s not rusty (2,8)
IN PRACTICE What really happens when something is done could be a way of describing someone keeping their skills up to date (not rusty).
14d Transfer figure in wood frame (5)
DECAL A transfer of a picture or design – insert (frame) the Roman numeral for 100 (figure) into a type of wood.
15d Shoes – large number in the clutches of little guys that chew them? (5)
PUMPS The Roman numeral for 1,000 inserted into (in the clutches of) small animals that might chew these light shoes without a fastening, or indeed any other sort of footwear.
19d With look that’s in, spent dosh for personal grooming (4-3)
HAIR-DOS Insert a look or manner into an anagram (spent) of DOSH.
20d Spotted as it wanders back home (7)
STAINED An anagram (wanders) of AS IT followed by a reversal (back) of a wild animal’s home.
23d English playwright depicting Greek character and notorious Roman one (6)
PINERO This actor and playwright doesn’t sound as if he should be English but he is – the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet followed by a notorious Roman emperor.
25d A second and first-class returns from the continent (4)
ASIA A (from the clue) the abbreviation for second and a reversal (returns) of the two letters used to denote first class.
26d Seven seen off, how many will be left? (4)
FIVE If you remove (off) SEEN from SEVEN you are left with a Roman numeral, translate it into English and you have the answer to the question.
I did like 2d and 26d but I’m not going to call them ‘favourites’ as that will get me into trouble with Kath.