Toughie No 1541 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is a pleasant puzzle of about the right level of difficulty for a midweek Toughie. Anagram lovers will be disappointed that Kcit appears to be following Beam’s lead in cutting down on them. I did notice when I was writing the hints that there are lots of insertions needed.
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1a Harbours attracting sailor in standard bit of garb (6-6)
SPORTS-JACKET – another word for harbours or docks and an informal term for a sailor go inside an adjective meaning standard or fixed. The BRB has the answer as two words with no hyphen.
9a Fruit item, perhaps bit of orange, eaten by the German folk hero (4,5)
PIED PIPER – a cooked dish which could (perhaps) have a fruit filling is followed by a small bit of an orange contained inside a German definite article.
10a Loss of oil perhaps from lighter (5)
SPILL – double definition, the second a thin strip of wood or paper used to set light to something.
11a Permit sound after initial curtailment (6)
ENABLE – remove the initial letter from an adjective meaning sound or sustainable.
12a Second male abandoning fervent campaign (8)
MOVEMENT – a second or short period of time is followed by an adjective meaning fervent or passionate without its male pronoun.
13a Hard to get out of completed channel (6)
TROUGH – an adverb meaning completed or over loses its H(ard).
15a Criticise the consequences of decay? (8)
BADMOUTH – split the answer 3,6 and this may be what you get if your gnashers are decayed.
18a Biographer’s topic, sentence after sentence? (8)
LIFETIME – two sentences that a judge may hand down.
19a Second group securing right to deliver web content (6)
STREAM – the abbreviation for second is followed by a group or squad containing R(ight).
21a Rook I let in to visit occupant of bell tower (8)
CARILLON – the abbreviation for a rook in chess and the Roman numeral for one go inside a phrasal verb (4,2) to visit.
23a Very British form of decoration? (6)
POMPOM – the emphasis required by ‘very’ is achieved by repeating the informal word for British.
26a Workman‘s force in the main requiring some duplication (5)
NAVVY – a sea force has one of its letters duplicated.
27a Time for children to tour neighbourhood — mostly permitted when woman’s about (9)
HALLOWEEN – an adjective meaning permitted without its last letter is contained inside a, mainly Scottish, word for a woman.
28a Ready description of total mechanical failure? (3,7,2)
ALL SYSTEMS GO – this phrase, which originated in the space programme, means that everything is hunky-dory (and ready for lift-off). However, the verb at the end can mean to break down or fail so the phrase could possibly mean the exact opposite. I’m not keen on this one.
1d Fool that is not heartless or wise (7)
SAPIENT – string together a foolish or gullible person, the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and ‘not’ without its middle.
2d Some coloratura reportedly uplifting in this (5)
OPERA – hidden (some) and reversed (uplifting).
3d First-rate way to reach the attic? (3-6)
TOP-FLIGHT – as 3,6 this could be what you need to climb to reach the attic.
4d Judge copy to be some sort of prank (4)
JAPE –the abbreviation for judge is followed by a verb to copy.
5d Pen capturing revolutionary operation of the body (8)
CORPORAL – a pen for livestock contains the reversal of the abbreviation for operation.
6d Follow aim to exclude finale — it’s omitted from set of pieces (5)
ENSUE – an aim or goal without its last letter is followed by a set of pieces (of furniture, for example) from which IT has to be omitted.
7d Easy work to go wrong over energy treatment? (8)
SINECURE – a verb to go wrong or transgress followed by the abbreviation for energy and a treatment or remedy.
8d Articles stolen from gala leading to long hiatus (6)
GLITCH – pinch the two articles from the word gala and follow what’s left with a verb to long or yearn.
14d Shot over very loud broadcast of Verdi (3,5)
OFF DRIVE – start with abbreviations for over and very loud, then add an anagram (broadcast) of VERDI. Our sole anagram.
16d Underground sign with misplaced name and indicator of time (9)
METRONOME – a word for an underground railway followed by a sign or portent with the N(ame) moved.
17d Cathedral cities half-heartedly welcoming Low Church’s embraces (8)
SMOOCHES – a word for cathedral cities loses one of its central letters (half-heartedly) and what remains contains a verb to low and an abbreviation for church. The BRB says that the ‘cathedral cities’ meaning is wrong according to some people.
18d Copper infiltrating network, getting a break (6)
LACUNA – the chemical symbol for copper goes inside the acronym for a limited IT network. After that we need an A.
20d I will also cut round pieces to get souvenir (7)
MEMENTO – an informal phrase (2,3) meaning ‘I will also’ loses its last letter (cut) and contains chess pieces.
22d True line of kings dismissing pretender finally (5)
LOYAL – start with an abbreviation for line and add an adjective meaning ‘of kings’ without the last letter of pretender.
24d Reporters continue to ask questions? (5)
PRESS – double definition, the second a verb to question someone forcefully and repeatedly. I’m not sure why the question mark is needed.
25d Lots of plans out of time, sadly (4)
ALAS – remove the abbreviation for time from a book of plans.
Top clues for me today were 23a and 8d. Which one(s) ticked your boxes?