Toughie No 1580 by Dada
Hints and tips by ShropshireLad
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
Good Afternoon from your stand in ‘Hinty Person’ here in sunny Shropshire. I’m really not quite sure what to say about this ‘Toughie’ from Dada, I think it may split opinions. I started off in the South and gradually worked my way up, with the NW my last section to be filled in. There are some really good surfaces and clue constructs but a few have left me ‘dithering’ in the DD/Cryptic/&lit area. That’s OK if I’m just solving the puzzle because I know in my head what I mean – but it does leave me in a quandary when writing a review. Anyway, make of it what you will.
The definitions are underlined and if my hints don’t help you to reach the correct answer – you can always press on the grey ‘Click here! Button.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
7a Tool — one wasn’t for grinding (5,3)
TENON SAW: An anagram (for grinding) of ONE WASN’T. Go on, how many thought (like me) of some kind of axe on the first read through?
9a Pie with no filling consumed by stern, grim figure? (6)
REAPER: Take the word ‘pie’ and remove the middle letter (with no filling). That is now inserted into (consumed) by a 4 letter word for ‘stern’. We are not looking for ‘stern’ as in ‘grim’.
10a Travel proposal (6)
MOTION: Double definition, the latter being a ‘proposal’ put the committee.
11a Decade passed by stuck in relationships (8)
TWENTIES: A synonym for ‘passed by’, inserted (stuck in) another 4 letter word for ‘relationships’.
12a Wind echoes upon secreting one — which person sat on it? (7,7)
WHOOPEE CUSHION: Where do I start? The whole clue could be construed to be cryptic/&lit but with wordplay from an anagram (wind) of ECHOES UPON and I (secreting one). Then take a synonym for ‘which person’ before (sat on it) the anagram material. I going to stop right there before my head explodes!
15a Bound to miss out (4)
SKIP: Double definition, the first being a form of exercise you would do with a rope.
17a Catty remark, contrary point that was painful! (5)
MIAOW: Reverse (contrary) a 3 letter word for ‘point’ and a 2 letter exclamation you could use for being in pain.
19a Nut that may turn? (4)
KOOK: A nice little palindrome here (that may turn) of an oddball (nut).
20a National Park hikes as orderly when rambling? (9,5)
YORKSHIRE DALES: An anagram (when rambling) of HIKES AS ORDERLY.
23a Delicate service returned, netted by energetic type (8)
GOSSAMER: A type of religious service reversed (returned) contained in (netted by) a term for an energetic type.
25a Swimmer after coral stripping away odd bits — that’s stupid (6)
OAFISH: The generic term for brill, bass, salmon etc. follows (after) the word ‘coral’ minus (stripping away) it’s odd letters.
27a Queen trendy, wearing flash fabric (6)
MERINO: The 2 letter abbreviation for our current Queen and then a term for ‘trendy are contained (wearing) an abbreviation of a word for a short space of time ‘flash.’
28a Black is in fashion in dump (8)
JETTISON: Take a type of ‘black’ colour. Then insert (in) the ‘is’ from the clue into a 3 letter word for ‘fashion’. I can’t recall ever coming across this term for ‘fashion’, but it’s right there in the BRB in its second definition.
1d Covered in glaze, roast duck (4)
ZERO: A lurker.
2d Charming thing drinhking sweet vermouth, rum, sugar, lime, mint and soda! (6)
MOJITO: This is also is making my head hurt. The answer we are looking for is a cocktail which is made from the set of ingredients – hence the ‘it’. The ‘charming thing’ is a ‘magic spell or a charm’. That contains (drinking) the ‘it’. If you’re none the wiser, that’s OK. I’m not either. [An old crossword favourite that I ought to add to the Usual Suspects – It is short for Italian Vermouth, as in “Gin & It”; French Vermouth gives “Gin & French”. BD]
3d Hoist drags bone up (4)
SWOT: Reverse (hoist) a term for ‘drags’ ie ‘by a tractor.
4d Synopses, pants! (6)
BRIEFS: Double definition, the latter being a term for underpants.
5d Smooth digesting key, it does cows good (4,4)
SALT LICK: Take a synonym for ‘smooth’ (as in a ????? operation) to contain (digesting) a type of ‘key’ found on a keyboard.
6d About right, figure carried a large surge (6,4)
SEVERN BORE: The abbreviation for ‘right’ contained (about) by a number (figure) and a verb for ‘carried’. This one was a bit of a ‘gimmie’ for me considering my geographical location.
8d Shaft setter and supporter (7)
SUNBEAM: A star that sets on our planet (setter) and a type of support (seen exposed in barn conversions etc.).
13d Activity of party, perhaps, importing essential fuel to Scottish island (5,5)
HOKEY COKEY: An island in the Orkneys (Scottish Island) contains (importing) a synonym for ‘essential’ and a type of fuel.
14d Fur on head of indigenous American mammal (5)
COATI: What ‘fur’ could be described as on an animal and the head of (I)digenous. This little chap is becoming quite a regular in crosswordland.
16d Fancy parodist somewhere in Egypt (4,4)
PORT SAID: An anagram (fancy) of PARODIST.
18d Eradicate a little suspicion in the audience? (4,3)
WEED OUT: Little (in Scottish) followed by a homophone (in the audience) of suspicion. I can imagine hearing Private Frazer (John Laurie) say this.
21d Wind is up, low over capital of Morocco (6)
SIMOOM: ‘Is’ from the clue reversed (up – reversal indicator in a ‘down’ clue) and noise from a cow (low) followed by (over) the capital of (M)orocco. Haven’t seen this wind in a clue for some time.
22d Relationship that’s a concern? (6)
AFFAIR: Double definition. The former being a type of clandestine fling.
24d Asian leader that’s not quite shut up! (4)
RAJA: ‘When is a door not a door’? When it’s not quite shut – reversed (up – reversal indicator in a ‘down’ clue). A bit of Déjà vu there.
26d Here, flakes ultimately present? (4)
SNOW: Take the end letter (ultimately) of ‘flakes’ and an adjective for ‘present’. The whole clue provides the definition.
I am now going to lie down in a darkened room with a cool towel over my ‘sweated brow’ – I will never blog a Dada again. I enjoyed it but try reviewing it. Thanks to Gazza for the help.
Let us know what clue(s) made you smile.