Toughie No 1577 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Osmosis for an enjoyable Toughie. I proceeded steadily, though not that speedily, through the clues with the NE corner putting up the most resistance.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Fictional scientist, as read by Charlie after academic period (10)
QUATERMASS – start with a preposition meaning ‘as’ or ‘in the capacity of’ and add a charlie or pillock after an academic period. His ‘Experiment’ broadcast in 1953 is my earliest memory of watching TV and it frightened me to death – I was staying with my aunt for the Summer (we had no TV or even electricity at home).
6a Spiritual trip experienced by junkie primarily (4)
HADJ – a verb meaning experienced or underwent is followed by the primary letter of junkie.
9a Screenwriter‘s new picture protected by short warning sign (4,6)
ALAN PLATER – this is a scriptwriter who, amongst many other works, wrote for the groundbreaking ‘Z-Cars’ and ‘Softly, Softly’ series. N(ew) and a printed picture or illustration are contained in a warning of danger without its final letter.
10a Significance of the eighth hole? (4)
PITH – if the first hole is ‘*** A’ and the second is ‘*** B’ then the eighth must be …
12a Horse leads in race over at Newmarket (4)
ROAN – the leading letters of four words in the clue.
13a Cast on South Pacific perhaps dividing line (9)
WATERSHED – a past participle meaning cast or sloughed off comes after what the South Pacific is an example of.
15a United fans disrupted city in a perilous way (8)
UNSAFELY – string together the abbreviation for united, an anagram (disrupted) of FANS and a small city in Cambridgeshire.
16a Lent‘s over — see, bread is passed round (2,4)
ON LOAN – this was my last answer as I was well and truly fooled by ‘Lent’. Start with the abbreviation for over then insert an exclamation meaning see or behold into a type of bread.
18a Clothing label associated with regulars in Harrods (6)
TABARD – a small label is followed by regular letters from Harrods.
20a Italian road during depression lacking transport system (8)
MILANESE – a country road goes inside a word meaning depression or despair without the two-letter abbreviation for a mode of transport.
23a Nonconformist rubbish prison announced (9)
REFUSENIK – charade of a word for rubbish or garbage and what sounds like an informal word for prison.
24a Edmonds perhaps presents show at this time (4)
NOEL – double definition, the second identifying the time of year when presents show up. This is a very clever clue because the first definition does tend to present programmes on our screens at this time.
26a Privy to remain, one gathers (2,2)
IN ON – hidden in the clue.
27a Her dispensing work might be in a mess (6,4)
DINNER LADY – cryptic definition – mess here is a place not a condition.
28a Unknown core feature of Chinese publication (4)
ZINE – a mathematical unknown followed by the core letters of Chinese.
29a Gas container? One’s often full of hot air (10)
CHATTERBOX – cryptic definition of someone who rabbits at length. Split 7,3 this could be a gas container. I don’t like this much – the gas and hot air are really the same thing.
1d Part of port and game queen repeatedly avoided (4)
QUAY – start with game or prey and remove the two occurrences of the abbreviation for queen.
2d Floored a jerk landing a left (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS – A and a verb to jerk (one’s head, say) contain A and L(eft).
3d Record whistling sound in retreat of leisure woodland area (6,6)
EPPING FOREST – string together an old record format, a sharp whistling sound, the reversal (in retreat) of OF and a word for leisure or recreation.
4d Folk restricting a water supply have good intentions (4,4)
MEAN WELL – a word meaning folk or people in general contains A. After that we need a source of water.
5d Labourer could get this site around West Yorkshire’s summit (6)
SWEATY – a site or main location contains the abbreviation for west, then we finish with the top letter of Yorkshire.
7d Report from mum in courtyard initially missing ring (1-6)
A-TISHOO – insert an order to keep quiet or mum inside a courtyard without its initial P. Finally add the ring-shaped letter.
8d Two private rooms churchman’s done up for singer (4,6)
JOHN DENVER – start with two rooms (4 and 3) (the first an informal, mainly US, word) for solitary occupation then reverse (done up) the abbreviated title of a clergyman.
11d Personal transmitter broadcasting clearer in van (7,5)
CRANIAL NERVE – an anagram (broadcasting) of CLEARER IN VAN.
14d Extremists gain result wielding it in battle (10)
AUSTERLITZ – the two extremists from our English alphabet contain an anagram (wielding, in the sense of exercising) of RESULT followed by IT. This is one of Napoleon’s most famous battles (and the name of a Paris railway terminus).
17d Wrong equipment stifles a French-style section of kitchen? (4,4)
SINK UNIT – join together a wrong or transgression and a word for equipment or gear then insert “A” in the French style.
19d Polish cooking involves duck and turkey (7)
BUFFOON – a verb to polish or burnish and an adverb meaning ‘currently being cooked’ contain the letter that resembles a duck at cricket. I didn’t know, prior to consulting the BRB, that turkey is a slang term for a fool.
21d Heard second person hit farm resident? (3-4)
EWE-LAMB – this sounds like a second-person pronoun and a verb to hit.
22d Improve centrepieces in Ben’s arid place of worship (6)
ENRICH – the central two letters from each of “Ben’s” and “arid” are followed by the abbreviation for a place of worship.
25d Nicky’s outside feeding huge rejected cat (4)
LYNX – put the outside letters of Nicky into a clothing size meaning huge then reverse it all.
I liked 6a and 16a but my favourite clue today is 24a (as long as I don’t have to watch him!). Which one(s) grabbed you?