Toughie No 1474 by Firefly
Hints and Tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
I can’t say that I enjoyed this a great deal. Getting the answers wasn’t very difficult but several of the definitions seemed woolly and there wasn’t a great deal of amusement.
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1/3/6a Scythe-wielding fellow chasing date repeatedly (4,5,4)
TIME AFTER TIME – string together the old fellow with the scythe, a synonym for chasing and another word for date.
3a See 1a
6a See 1a
8a When a bowler’s left out without hesitation? (2,3,4,2,1,3)
AT THE DROP OF A HAT – bowler here is something worn. This phrase apparently originated in the American West where such an action signalled the start of a fight or a race.
9a Ruin the setter’s salad (6)
ENDIVE – a ruin or downfall is followed by ‘the setter has’ put into the first person. As well as its usual meaning the BRB says that salad can mean ‘a plant grown for or used in salads’.
10a Victor used soy liberally on seconds (8)
ODYSSEUS – an anagram (liberally) of USED SOY is followed by (on?, in an across clue?) S(econds). I’m probably missing something here, and the answer certainly won a few fights, but is victor a reasonable definition for him?
11a Presents a right good entertainment initially, with less to worry about (8)
LARGESSE – A plus the initial letters of the next three words have an anagram (to worry) of LESS put around them.
13a All right to sit in middle of rumble seat, guys? (6)
BLOKES – an exclamation of agreement (all right) goes inside the middle letters of ‘rumble seat’.
15a Start off model on carpet that’s crumpled (6)
RUGOSE – a verb to model or sit with its starting letter taken off follows a small carpet.
17a Tie provides amusement during dressing (8)
LIGAMENT – put a competitive amusement inside a sort of dressing or bandage.
19a Gone past? If you do, it could be wrong (8)
OUTGROWN – split the answer 3,5 and treat it as a reverse anagram.
21a Alarm going off in retro-rockets — half having got loose (6)
TERROR – an anagram (going off) of RETRO-R(ockets) after its second half has escaped.
22a He’s getting a sight better (15)
OPHTHALMOLOGIST – a Rufus-like cryptic definition. A word which I can never spell.
23/24/25a The fruits of wandering urges? (4,5,4)
FREE RANGE EGGS – this is a sort of cryptic definition cum charade. A phrase meaning ‘able to wander’ or having freedom of movement is followed by a verb meaning urges or incites. The BRB has the first two words hyphenated.
24a See 23a
25a See 23a
1d Salesman‘s almost totally involved in Turkey (9)
TRAVELLER – a past participle meaning involved or complicated without its last letter is contained inside the IVR code for Turkey.
2d Fighter in the ring punched at random — number missing (7)
MATADOR – an anagram (punched, presumably in the sense of ‘knocked about’) of AT RA[n]DOM without the abbreviation for number.
3d Recipient of a dead bishop’s office clutching trimmed robe (9)
ADDRESSEE – A, D(ead) and the office or diocese of a bishop contain a robe shorn of its last letter.
4d Like a siren — or her black and white dress? (3-4)
TWO-TONE – having either a couple of notes or a couple of colours.
5d Cold and damp, we hear, but extensive (5)
ROOMY – this sounds like an adjective used to describe air that’s cold and damp.
6d Morph translator’s style to cover a non-smoker (9)
TRANSFORM – the abbreviation for translator and a word meaning style or fashion contain A and the abbreviation for non-smoker.
7d Perhaps bar food not fully reliable (7)
MEASURE – this bar is a unit of atmospheric pressure. A type of food without its last letter is followed by an adjective meaning fully reliable or guaranteed.
12d Little prince’s stuff? (9)
GEORGETTE – this is a thin silk fabric. Cryptically it could be the diminutive name of the prince who’s third in line to the throne. This doesn’t seem right to me – this particular diminutive form makes him sound more like a princess, since it’s also a girl’s name.
13d Arrest a cashier pretty well for a trifle (9)
BAGATELLE – string together a verb to arrest or catch, A and a cashier without the last letter (pretty well).
14d Rudely treat us as soaks (9)
SATURATES – an anagram (rudely) of TREAT US AS.
16d He dispossesses loan shark without a penny (7)
USURPER – a loan shark containing the abbreviation for penny.
17d Snapper‘s sleekness regularly depresses crew (7)
LENSMAN – the even letters of sleekness precede (depresses, in a down clue) a verb to crew.
18d East-ender’s trial announced — as an accessory (7)
EARRING – this sounds like how a Cockney would pronounce a trial or court case.
20d Live without food or water? (2,3)
ON AIR – I’m not sure how this is meant to work. The answer means live or ‘currently being broadcast’ and when the answer is appended to the verb to live the whole thing means to have no apparent means of sustenance. Does that make this a double definition or a cryptic definition or a bit of both? I’ll let you decide.
The best clue for me was 7d for the requirement to ‘lift and separate’. Which one(s) appealed to you?