Toughie No 1581 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment */**
I didn’t enjoy this a great deal. There aren’t many laughs and we seemed to need an awful lot of abbreviations and fiddling about with individual letters so that writing the hints became a bit of a chore. Unusually for me, I was relieved when I got to the end.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Bird call I missed crossing middle of path (6)
AVOCET – a verb to call or make an utterance loses its I and what’s left goes between the middle letters of path.
5a Speed in rhythmic monologue, one song losing central part (8)
RAPIDITY – string together a rhythmic monologue, the Roman numeral for one and a simple song without its central letter.
9a I’ll advise Lance (young crackpot) (5,5)
AGONY UNCLE – an anagram (crackpot) of LANCE YOUNG.
10a Test moved to the afternoon? (4)
EXAM – this could be interpreted as ‘formerly in the morning’.
11a Ancient water source currently ebbing after interruption by river (4-4)
WELL-WORN – a source of water is followed by the reversal (ebbing) of an adverb meaning currently with R(iver) inserted.
12a Rally not accepting silly mark or symbol (6)
EMBLEM – silly here is a noun meaning a silly person. Remove that from a verb to rally or come together and finish with the abbreviation for mark (the old German currency).
13a American police team positioned to apprehend women (4)
SWAT – a past participle meaning placed or positioned contains the abbreviation for women.
15a Firm with a desire to contain dead fuel waste (4,4)
COAL DUST – join together the abbreviation for a firm or business, A and a desire or passion containing the abbreviation for dead.
18a 50 per cent ruminant changed to 75 per cent of ruminant (8)
MINOTAUR – this is a mythical creature from Greek mythology which was half man and half a specific ruminant. It’s an anagram (changed) of TO and the first 75% of the word RUMINA(nt).
19a Very ordinary officer showing some potential (4)
VOLT – I’m going to have to copy the relevant meaning of potential from Chambers because it may as well be written in Serbo-Croat for all it means to me. It’s “the work done in bringing a unit of mass, electricity, etc from infinity to a point in a field of force, expressed as a function of that point“. The abbreviations for very and ordinary are followed by the abbreviated rank of a military officer.
21a Go for a second sea trip (6)
ASSAIL – string together A, the abbreviation for second and a sea trip.
23a Harsh mood, according to financial centre dumping leader (8)
ASPERITY – a phrase (2,3) meaning ‘according to’ is followed by a financial centre (in London, for example) without its leading letter.
25a Vocal effect occupying the chorus (4)
ECHO – hidden.
26a Keep close to airport building — certain to see first taking off (4,6)
HANG AROUND – an airport building is followed by a past participle meaning certain without its first letter.
27a A parrot biting limb invites symbolic interpretation (8)
ALLEGORY – A and a small parrot from the southern hemisphere containing a limb used in walking.
28a Sombre doctor, before appointment, dispensing repeated quantity of pills? (6)
DREARY – an abbreviation for doctor is followed by an adverb meaning ‘before the arranged time’ without the only letter that’s repeated in the word pills.
2d Unclear what comes ashore in Nice? (5)
VAGUE – double definition, the second being simply the French word for a wave. Too much general knowledge?
3d Put an end to lease that’s given to painter (9)
CANALETTO – we start with a North American slang verb meaning to put an end to, then we have to add A (which doesn’t seem to be explicitly catered for in the wordplay), a verb to lease and TO.
4d French city fashion involves person going topless (6)
TOULON – a word, from French, meaning fashion or good style contains a word for an individual person without its leading S. This city is home to a very successful rugby team which will be competing in the quarter-finals of the European Cup this coming weekend.
5d Any tic-tac erring when failing … to indicate this? (6,9)
RACING CERTAINTY – an anagram (when failing) of ANY TIC-TAC ERRING. A tic-tac man failing to indicate that a runner was this would not be much good.
6d Labourer‘s request, note, about live current (8)
PLEBEIAN – a request followed by the abbreviation for note contain a verb to live and the symbol for electric current.
7d Democrat sites collectively hacked into by European geek (5)
DWEEB – start with the abbreviation for Democrat and add a word we use for all the internet sites (of which there are now more than one billion) collectively with E(uropean) inserted.
8d Wild figure observed in final uphill crossing (9)
TRAVERSAL – someone wild and uninhibited goes inside the reversal of a synonym for final.
14d Wife rubbished his claim, showing capricious mood (9)
WHIMSICAL – the abbreviation for wife followed by an anagram (rubbished) of HIS CLAIM.
16d Perform poem about old lake fish (5,4)
DOVER SOLE – a verb to perform or carry out is followed by a short poem containing the abbreviations for old and lake.
17d Uproar and disapproving comment with friend taking husband inside (8)
BALLYHOO – a disapproving noise has inside it a friend or supporter and the abbreviation for husband.
20d Odd bits of Urdu on edges of map identifying hills (6)
UPLAND – put the odd letters of Urdu round (on edges of) a map or chart.
22d What makes ale singular? (5)
ALONE – split the answer 2,2,1 and you should have what makes the word ale (in a down clue).
24d Drift anchor one tugged up, though only partly (5)
TENOR – as is so often the case the last answer is a hidden word but this one is reversed (up).
None of the clues stood out for me today. Which one(s) enthused you?