Toughie No 1505 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **/***
A decent first Toughie of the week from Samuel, if perhaps not his most entertaining.
1a Make weak argument about current literature (10)
DEBILITATE A symbol in physics for electric current + LIT(erature), all inside an argument or dispute.
6a Clobber good listener (4)
GEAR G(ood) + the listening organ.
9a Fit bachelor, overcome by beer with foul smell, choked (4-6)
ABLE-BODIED B(achelor) inside a word for beer, then a foul personal smell + choked or expired.
10a Secure main lock at first (4)
SEAL Poetic meaning of main + L(ock).
12a Hybrid car with this belt could be erratic (4)
TIER If anagrammed (hybrid) with CAR, the solution could give ERRATIC.
13a Something given cricket side by the Queen, by right (9)
OFFERTORY One side of the field in cricket + the Queen’s initials + right-wing in UK politics.
15a This drains athletics bigwig taking country runs (8)
COLANDER Surname of the former UK athlete who is head of the IAAF around a word for country, then R(uns).
16a Wake up with heavenly body after love? Quite the opposite (4,2)
COME TO Love (in tennis) after a heavenly body.
18a Small bird, fearful, about to come in for seconds (6)
TITCHY A type of bird + fearful or timid but with C (about) instead of S(econds).
20a Change of heart during victory is to become less convincing (4,4)
WEAR THIN Anagram of HEART inside a victory.
23a Samuel comes back crazy about hard cheese (9)
EMMENTHAL How the puzzle’s setter Samuel refers to himself, reversed, then a word for crazy or deranged around H(ard).
24a 51, separated and single (4)
LONE Roman numeral fifty + ONE.
26a Bond’s second to infiltrate order — it’s blown (4)
OBOE (B)O(nd) inside one of the Queen’s honours.
27a Ballesteros, initially 1 up, almost shot under par (10)
SUBOPTIMAL Anagram (shot) of B(allesteros), Roman numeral one, and UP ALMOST.
28a Strip given to Michael Atherton (4)
LATH Hidden in MichaeL ATHerton.
29a People present telecoms provider with space grade cable when disheartened (10)
ATTENDANCE A US telecoms giant + a space in printing + a grade in martial arts + C(abl)E.
1d Pull terrifying woman with amputated leg (4)
DRAG An ogress or battleaxe minus a synonym for leg (side) in cricket.
2d College dance is only every now and then (7)
BALLIOL A formal dance + I(s)O(n)L(y).
3d Manoeuvre by ninth earl to acquire island complex (12)
LABYRINTHINE Anagram of BY NINTH EARL around I(sland).
4d Pond-life stole iPad I lost, carelessly (8)
TADPOLES Anagram of STOLE IPAD minus I.
5d Start to annoy (3,3)
TEE OFF To start a hole in golf, and to annoy.
7d Eeyore’s in trouble; it looks bad (7)
EYESORE Anagram of EEYORE’S.
8d Finally bother about hugging friend for support (5,5)
RALLY ROUND A friend or friendly nation in-between (bothe)R and a synonym for about.
11d King in love with power dealt badly with strong defence (6-6)
ARMOUR-PLATED R(ex) inside a word for romantic love + P(ower) + anagram of DEALT.
14d Play part in Lear? That’s to be reckless (3,3,4)
ACT THE FOOL The solution could mean to play one of the roles in King Lear.
17d Far from rare words of praise (4,4)
WELL DONE When hyphenated, the opposite of rare in reference to a steak, and a phrase used to praise someone.
19d Break profiteer securing backing of record company (4,3)
TIME OUT A former record company reversed inside a profiteer who resells tickets to an event at exorbitant prices.
21d Killer wordgame? (7)
HANGMAN A type of executioner and the name of a wordgame.
22d Force hospital to be taken over by estate (6)
THRUST H(ospital) inside a private financial fund.
25d Run from charge around lake (4)
FLEE A charge or toll around L(ake).
I liked 15a and 21a.
Toro spent most of the day trying to post this, and finally sent it to me at just after 4:00. It’s taken me until now to access the site and post it. I have a point of my own. Several years ago I asked the crossword editor how references like “Samuel” could be resolved in the absence of the setter’s name in the online puzzle; he replied that it would never happen on his watch – well it has now! BD