Toughie No 1517 by Excalibur
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment **/***
Welcome to the Toughie week. Excalibur’s latest puzzle felt tough for a Tuesday, and while it certainly wasn’t dull, I did think one or two of the clues were the wrong sort of difficult. Still, I look forward to her next one.
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.
1a Run onto main road — a blunder (8)
MISPRINT A major trunk road in the UK + to run fast.
5a Capital in recession had been cold and damp (6)
WARSAW A reversal (in recession) of a phrase that could mean had been cold and damp.
9a Doctors covering anything which will be taken orally (8)
DRAUGHTS Abbreviation for doctors around an old word for anything.
10a Passage translated from ’27’ (6)
STRAIT Anagram of the solution to 27a.
12a None — none unaccompanied, that is (5,1,3)
NEVER A ONE The solution could be taken to mean always two or more.
13a Wrote: ‘Yet to reach top in newspaper world’ (5)
NOTED Split (3,2), the solution might mean someone other than the person in charge of a paper
14a This girl making a comeback with us would be a bright star (4)
IRIS A girl’s name which, if reversed and placed before US, would give the name of the brightest star in the night sky.
16a Train has entire derailment going round bend (7)
RETINUE Anagram of ENTIRE around a bend in a water pipe.
19a Return westbound for trenches to provide cover (7)
PROFITS Reversal of FOR inside trenches or excavations more generally.
21a Only in spirit, avowedly (4)
SOLE Soundalike (avowedly) of spirit.
24a About southern French nothing’s come up (5)
RISEN What Edith Piaf regretted, about S(outhern).
25a On trees, meant to carve more than an initial (5,4)
FIRST NAME Certain trees + anagram of MEANT.
27a In spring, backed one evincing these peculiarities (6)
TRAITS To spring or jump, reversed, around Roman numeral one.
28a The telltale shoes (8)
SNEAKERS Cryptic definition of a type of footwear.
29a Repressing again parent’s fears (6)
DREADS Verbal prefix meaning again, inside parent’s.
30a Films, news reels, for rest to fidget through (8)
WESTERNS Anagram of NEWS containing anagram of REST.
1d Bird sanctuary’s in Italian city (6)
MODENA A sanctuary or private hideout inside an extinct giant bird of New Zealand.
2d Look round very fast (6)
STARVE To look or gaze, around V(ery).
3d He‘s got the message (5)
ROGER A man’s name that also means message received.
4d Thoughts of child brought up and given into inner turmoil (7)
NOTIONS Anagram of INTO inside a male child, reversed.
6d That’s before we saw the light (9)
ANTENATAL Cryptic definition of an adjective meaning before birth.
7d Smart, having knack to be in on the ground floor (8)
STARTING Knack or skill inside to smart or hurt.
8d Left, having to get towed (8)
WITHDREW Preposition meaning having + towed or pulled.
11d Herbivores pipe up (4)
DEER A kind of pipe, reversed.
15d Ruled it in, and sparked things off again (2-7)
RE-IGNITED Ruled as a monarch, around IT.
17d Feisty, tears up diet ordered to follow (8)
SPIRITED Reversal of tears or rends + anagram of DIET.
18d False front as a facade? How could you? (3,5)
FOR SHAME False or fake inside front or frontal.
20d Loud drunk’s arrested and restrained (4)
SOFT Musical abbreviation for loud inside a drunk.
21d Not ordinary open country, by the way (7)
STRANGE Abbreviation of type of road + open land for grazing.
22d Shoot a line (6)
CAREER To shoot or hurtle, and a line of work.
23d Stops cold, then moves very carefully (6)
CEASES C(old) + moves carefully into position.
26d With discretion, quash Republican information distributed (5)
TRACT R(epublican) inside discretion or diplomacy.
1d and (despite the iffy anagram indicator) 25a were my picks. I found quite a few of the indicators questionable, and there were rather too many clues with telegraphic or Yoda-like wordplay for my taste, 15d being the worst example.
Over to you – please rate and comment on this puzzle below.