Toughie No 1557 by Kcit
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ***
For reasons which are beyond me the online puzzles site is unable to display ‘special instructions’ or additional information about a puzzle, so online solvers will have missed the message in the paper which says “Congratulations to today’s compiler on his 100th Telegraph Toughie”. Luckily for me I have an inside source (thanks Crypticsue) who makes me aware of such titbits.
The information led me to look for a Nina which is indeed there and which was actually a help in solving the puzzle. So, thanks and congratulations to Kcit on reaching this significant milestone (though I’m standing by for a comment from BD disputing the arithmetic!). I thought the puzzle was enjoyable but quite tricky.
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1a Sentence in visa identifying things you can do? (8)
PASTIMES – insert an informal term for a prison sentence into a visa or permit.
6a Go and complain having dropped a glass (6)
GOBLET – GO followed by a verb to complain or whine without its A.
9a Not commenting about a tense change (6)
MUTATE – an adjective meaning refraining from speech contains A and the abbreviation for tense.
10a Openings for members? New role has to accommodate opening for member (8)
ARMHOLES – an anagram (new) of ROLE HAS contains the opening letter of member.
11a Wet waste deposit turned dry with application of reel (8)
CESSPOOL – reverse an adjective meaning dry and add a reel or cylindrical device.
12a Lay down ring road beside important road North (6)
ORDAIN – string together the ring-shaped letter, the abbreviation for road, an important road in the UK and the abbreviation for North.
13a The characters in this have something to hide (12)
CRYPTOGRAPHY – I initially thought that this was just a fairly weak cryptic definition but it’s also (I think) Kcit’s hint that there’s something extra lurking in the completed grid.
16a Material from The Wall‘s most unlikely to be covered by a group of executives (12)
PLASTERBOARD – apparently (so Mr Google informs me) The Wall were a punk rock group from Sunderland, but the capitalisation here is just an attempt to deceive. Insert an adjective meaning most unlikely (as in “that’s the **** thing I’d have expected”) into a word meaning A (as in “50p a kilo”) and the senior executives in a company.
19a Part of bridal gear I overlooked, taking this group’s material (6)
VELOUR – something that a bride traditionally wears without its I is followed by a possessive adjective meaning belonging to this group.
21a Expecting amount to be collected in a vocal performance (8)
ASSUMING – insert an amount into A and what the BRB says is an informal noun for a vocal performance.
23a Painting not quite itemised in possession of arts graduate (4,4)
MONA LISA – a phrase meaning itemised (2,1,4) without its last letter is contained inside an arts graduate.
24a Heading off for part of golf course for a breather (6)
AIRWAY – remove the initial letter from part of a golf course.
25a Contents of tank (not tyres) providing problems? (6)
KNOTTY – hidden in the clue.
26a Go beyond disgruntled voters to get leads in every poll (8)
OVERSTEP – an anagram (disgruntled) of VOTERS followed by the leading letters of the final two words.
2d Keen insight shown by expert, note, without hesitation (6)
ACUMEN – an expert and the abbreviation of note contain an expression of hesitation.
3d Puzzles not set (not entirely) producing signs of grief (5)
TEARS – start with a word for puzzles or tricky questions and remove the first two letters of ‘set’.
4d Moneymen unhappy about second source of inspiration (9)
MNEMOSYNE – this was my last answer and I needed all the checkers plus the useful letter from the Nina to work out what it had to be and look it up. It’s the mother of the Muses from Greek mythology. An anagram (unhappy) of MONEYMEN contains the abbreviation for second.
5d Illuminated initial enveloping line one (7)
STARLIT – a word meaning initial or first bit (?) contains the abbreviation for line and the Roman one. ‘Initial’ can be an adjective, noun or verb but I’m not sure which one is meant to correspond with what we need in the answer.
6d Stew in large quantities good for Judge (5)
GUMBO – start with an adjective meaning extra-large and replace the J(udge) with G(ood).
7d Online connection: less important way to get together? (9)
BROADBAND – charade of a less important way or route (1-4) and a verb to get together or form a group.
8d Sense certainly retained by rowers? (8)
EYESIGHT – a response meaning certainly is contained inside a group of rowers.
13d One getting into orbit as moon shot is constrained by economy (9)
COSMONAUT – an anagram (shot) of AS MOON is contained inside the sort of economy or saving that our Chancellor is so fond of.
14d Female fight aboard — say — capsized schooners? (9)
GLASSWARE – a young female and an extended fight go inside the reversal of the abbreviation meaning ‘say’.
15d Attractive stone down next to bog (4,4)
BLUE JOHN – an adjective meaning down or depressed is followed by an informal (mainly US) word for a bog or loo.
17d British party, mostly a party showing swagger (7)
BRAVADO – string together the single-letter abbreviation for British, a noisy musical party without its last letter, A and a festive party.
18d Pointless dropping in with just first two of debutantes — come mob-handed! (6)
INVADE – a phrase meaning pointless (2,4) without its second ‘in’ is followed by the first two letters of debutantes.
20d Like bad weather in blocking element of sunshine (5)
RAINY – IN goes inside a shaft of sunlight.
22d Warlike figure chasing 1,000 horses (5)
MARES – the Greek god of war follows the Roman numeral for 1,000.
My favourite clue was 10a. Which one(s) would you throw bouquets at?