Toughie No 1497 by Excalibur
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
Excalibur at her shimmering best today! I solved the four interlocking clues in the middle then did the four resulting mini-puzzles in order, anticlockwise from the SE, enjoying it all the way.
1a Ammunition and money, when in US, stolen (8)
BUCKSHOT US slang for dollars + stolen.
5a Ask for call back within days (6)
DEMAND To call or dub, reversed inside two instances of D(ay).
9a It puts paid to the rest of the men (8)
REVEILLE Cryptic definition of a wake-up call for soldiers.
10a Appears clumsily to have dropped a batch of documents (6)
PAPERS Anagram of APPE(a)Rs.
12a Goes for what most herbivores go for (6)
LEAVES Double definition – goes or departs, and what herbivores typically eat.
13a What shot played — is he out? (4,4)
HOWS THAT Anagram of WHAT SHOT to give the question the fielding side asks of an umpire when appealing for a batsman’s wicket.
15a Slit ends, darns roughly, thread required (7)
STRANDS Anagram of S(li)T DARNS.
16a As a whole, East contrarily is cutting aces (4)
ASIA IS reversed inside two instances of A(ce).
20a Secured — the equaliser? (4)
TIED Secured or fastened, or levelled the score in sport.
21a Chap to criticise about most missorting? (7)
POSTMAN To criticise or slat around an anagram of MOST.
25a Return for one ten, free to take break (8)
INTEREST Roman numeral one + anagram of TEN + a break or respite.
26a Something easy for a meteorologist’s forecast? (6)
BREEZE A weather term that can mean a cinch or piece of cake.
28a Delights coming directly from unbridled lust (6)
EXULTS A Latin prefix meaning coming directly from (e.g. a farm, factory or warehouse) + anagram of LUST.
29a That’s sweet, little creatures captivating idiot (8)
MOLASSES Small mammals around idiot or fool.
30a Opinion right-wing male’s held (6)
THEORY Right-wing or Conservative in a UK context, around a male.
31a Did show in retrospect always lead astray? (8)
REVEALED Synonym of always, reversed + anagram of LEAD.
1d Break in needing food to lift, given life if found out (6)
BURGLE Colloquial word for food, reversed + LIFE minus the IF.
2d Warning mounted soldiers seen south of hiding place (6)
CAVEAT A typical place of concealment + the letters of the British reservist force, reversed.
3d Taking back ‘It’s permitted to put together weapon‘ (8)
STILETTO IT’S, reversed + permitted or allowed + TO, all put together.
4d Just working to get tips: lazy (4)
ONLY Working (as of an electrical appliance) + L(az)Y.
6d Note mistake — or go by (6)
ELAPSE A musical note + a mistake or slip.
7d Your parts engineering team’s in purple (8)
AMETHYST Shakespearean your (singular) inside an anagram of TEAMS.
8d Dashing stud role arising for collector of dirty films (4,4)
DUST TRAP Anagram of STUD + a role in a film or play, reversed.
11d Explosive stuff company tried to amend (7)
CORDITE CO(mpany) + anagram of TRIED.
14d Worry about nothing, ourselves. Just have a good time (7)
CAROUSE Worry or concern about O + ourselves (together).
17d Ear-piercing as dentist drilled right through! (8)
STRIDENT Anagram of DENTIST around R(ight), where the anagram indicator ‘drilled’ means disciplined or trained.
18d Not doing as the doctor ordered (4,4)
REST CURE Convalescence that involves inactivity.
19d Bearing in mind there’s a rig working (8)
CARRIAGE Anagram of A RIG inside to mind or have a preference.
22d Journalist summons meeting on the subject of climbing (6)
WRITER Legal summons + a word meaning on the subject of, reversed.
23d Beast makes stand, undermining wife (6)
WEASEL An artist’s stand underneath W(ife).
24d Concluded: ‘Reconnoitred. Entrance must be effected by key’ (6)
CEASED Reconnoitred or staked out, around a musical key or note.
27d A few therefore to be supported by myself (4)
SOME Therefore or thus + 1st person singular pronoun.
I thought 17d and 8d were outstanding, with 28a and 13a not far behind. But I also liked many of the rank-and-file clues like 5a and 12a.
Over to you – please rate and comment on this puzzle below.