Toughie No 1465 by Dada
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating - Difficulty *** - Enjoyment ****
A bright and breezy first Toughie of the week from Dada.
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.
8a Fly in pain, by the sound of it (4)
SOAR Soundalike of a word meaning hurting.
9a Low figure getting high? (3)
ONE Split (2,1), the solution could mean experiencing a drug-induced high.
10a Story books as a gift (6)
TALENT Story or narrative + abbreviation for some books of the Bible.
11a Appropriate account filed by four neighbouring characters (6)
HIJACK Abbreviation of account inside four consecutive letters of the alphabet. The definition is to appropriate as a verb.
12a Before ending in servitude, no slave in anthem has inspired a singer (8)
BARITONE Member of an obscure jingoistic tribe who never never shall be slaves, taking in A from the clue, then (servitud)E.
13a So sage and things getting cooked, nevertheless (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING A (2,4) phrase meaning very clever or so sage, followed by an anagram of AND THINGS.
15a Fool serving fish with pork pie (7)
CHARLIE Variant spelling of a trout-like fish + a pork pie in the Cockney rhyming slang sense.
17a Father of all insects? Sure! (7)
ADAMANT Split (4,3), the answer could suggest the forefather of all insects of a certain kind.
20a Bodybuilder's drug -- finding a trace in blood is devastating (8,7)
ANABOLIC STEROID Anagram of A TRACE IN BLOOD IS.
23a Promise to keep relative in want (8)
COVENANT A particular family member inside to want or desire.
25a Eat for a laugh, audibly? (6)
INGEST Soundalike of a phrase meaning for a laugh or as a joke.
26a Nasty attack overshadowing nice, oddly (6)
RANCID Word for attack around N(i)C(e).
27a All ends when police arrive, once called (3)
NEE Final letters of (whe)N (polic)E (arriv)E.
28a Game with cash for spending a penny, did you say? (4)
LUDO The answer sounds like it could mean money for admission to a toilet.
1d Cocktail -- magical concoction containing vermouth (6)
MOJITO Magic, or a magical charm, around dated British slang for Italian vermouth.
2d Sustained course of action, as fish out of water swimming (5,3)
GREAT WAR A type of fish outside an anagram of WATER.
3d Dickens character suffering, one in Shakespeare's game (6,9)
POCKET BILLIARDS Surname of a character from Great Expectations, then a word for suffering inside a word meaning poet's that is typically reserved for Shakespeare.
4d Ending in diatribe thus, note cut up, as prolix (7)
VERBOSE (Diatrib)E + thus + a musical note minus last letter (cut), all reversed (up).
5d Terrible sadness about journey under famous flag (5,3,7)
STARS AND STRIPES A word meaning famous or celebrity (as adjective), then a journey inside an anagram of SADNESS.
6d Happy journalist keeps missing the deadline? (6)
ELATED A journalist in crosswordese around an adjective that could mean missing a deadline.
7d Author's work lacking an initial? (4)
ANON The authoritative version of an author's works, minus the first letter, the whole clue suggesting the author of an unattributed work.
14d One who prays towards Heaven or Hell? (3)
NUN Palindromic word (the same whether read up or down) meaning a member of a religious community.
16d Layer wrapped in polythene (3)
HEN Hidden inside POLYTHENE, an animal that lays.
18d Plant -- a source of oil in Welsh town (8)
MARIGOLD The A from the clue + a place where oil is extracted, all inside a Flintshire town.
19d Solvent, brilliant colour (7)
ACETONE Brilliant or fab + colour or hue.
21d Around fifty, strand gets to turn white (6)
BLEACH Roman numeral for fifty inside a verb meaning to strand or drive aground.
22d Batting team avoiding a downpour, perhaps? (6)
INSIDE Batting in cricket + team.
24d Donne's island lacking leadership as a country (4)
OMAN From John Donne's famous line of verse, "(2,3) is an island", minus the first letter.
The lovely 2d and the apt anagram at 20a were this solver's picks. What were yours?
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