Toughie No 1597 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **/***
This one’s not too difficult and there a number of smiles along the way but I also had a few niggles, for which I’ve deducted half a star from the enjoyment rating.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Monotony in bedroom — that’s sad (7)
BOREDOM – an anagram (that’s sad) of BEDROOM.
5a In search of air, finds a lot? (7)
FORTUNE – charade of a preposition meaning ‘in search of’ and an air or melody.
9a Gallery in Diss backed opening of exhibition: ‘To America’ (9)
STATESIDE – reverse DISS (a town in Norfolk that’s very useful for setters) around our usual art gallery and finish with the opening letter of exhibition.
10a ‘On yer bike — and ring the bell when date’s collected!’ (5)
PEDAL – a verb to ring a bell contains the abbreviation for date.
11a Periodically, iron traps particles (5)
IOTAS – regular letters from the middle two words.
12a Parts of building suffer with bug (9)
EAVESDROP – parts of the roof of a building are followed by a verb to suffer or deteriorate.
13a ‘Stand up straight‘ in hole? (4,5)
TALL ORDER – this is one (together with 26a) of a pair of very similar clues. Hole, here, is a tricky situation and ‘stand up straight’ could, cryptically, correspond to the answer. I don’t believe that a hole (an awkward situation) is the same thing as the answer which means a difficult assignment.
16a Falsehood rejected, misguided believer gets long note (5)
BREVE – remove the falsehood from ‘believer’ and make an anagram (misguided) of what’s left.
17a Last drink in institute (5)
BEGIN – a verb to last or continue unchanged is followed by an alcoholic drink.
18a Rather doubt earl’s malt’s matured (5,1,3)
SMELL A RAT – an anagram (matured) of EARL’S MALT.
20a Interrogation from Persian possibly chimes awkwardly (9)
CATECHISM – this is a word I dredged up from my enforced attendance at Sunday School. Start with what Persian is an example of in the animal world and add an anagram (awkwardly) of CHIMES.
23a Month in performance for ‘Pinafore‘ (5)
APRON – an abbreviated month followed by an adverb meaning ‘in performance’.
25a Understood ourselves to embrace quality (5)
ODOUR – a lingering quality or impression is hidden in the clue.
26a ‘Turn right‘ for chips, say? (4,5)
SIDE ORDER – a cryptic definition and a definition by example.
27a It could indicate Ali’s launch? (3,4)
SET SAIL – a reverse anagram which should lead you to ALI’S.
28a In the Paris train there’s scope for footsie! (7)
LEGROOM – a French definite article followed by a verb to prepare or train (someone) for a particular activity or purpose. I don’t really like ‘the Paris’ – ‘the Parisian’ would be fine but how does ‘the Paris’ work?
1d Born to help the lowly performer (7)
BASSIST – the abbreviation for ‘born’ followed by a verb to help. ‘the’ seems redundant here and I’m not convinced that lowly means the same as low.
2d Cook perch — middle needs to be agitated at the outset (5)
ROAST – start with a perch and replace the middle letter with the first letter of agitated.
3d How 7 may be exposed — producing reprimand? (5,4)
DRESS DOWN – 7d may be exposed if there’s a wardrobe malfunction.
4d In a state, conductor’s on drug (5)
MAINE – a principal conductor of electricity is followed by the abbreviation for a specific drug.
5d Veers, perhaps, into unrestrained lines? (4,5)
FREE VERSE – an anagram (perhaps) of VEERS goes inside an adjective meaning unrestrained.
6d Guys maybe promise changes, but I’m up and away (5)
ROPES – an anagram (changes) of what remains of ‘promise’ after we’ve removed the reversal (up) of I’M.
7d ‘Items not to be disclosed‘ are short of use (9)
UNDERWEAR – split the answer 5,4 and it could mean short of use.
8d Obscure snippet in middle of page seven (7)
ECLIPSE – insert a snippet or excerpt into the middle three letters of ‘page seven’.
14d Decamps in the dark? (6,3)
LIGHTS OUT – as 5’1,3 this could mean that we’re in the dark.
15d Princess’s breviary’s in sack (9)
DISMISSAL – string together the name of the late Princess of Wales, the ‘S and a breviary or book of Roman Catholic texts.
16d Measure a ring found in pool (9)
BILLABONG – charade of a measure that the government may try to get through Parliament, A and a ringing sound.
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17d Bluestocking vigorously denies guilt wrongly indicated in summons (7)
BECKONS – remove the letters of ‘guilt’ (not in that order, so ‘wrongly indicated’) from bluestocking and make an anagram (vigorously) of what you have left.
19d Crepitant rumble reveals storm … (7)
TANTRUM – hidden in the clue. Crepitant apparently means ‘making a crackling sound’ but it can also mean ‘breaking wind’ – I intend to drop it into a conversation at the earliest opportunity.
21d … around Channel Islands; reportedly Crevichon’s affected initially (5)
CIRCA – the abbreviation for Channel Island followed by the initial letters of three words in the clue. Crevichon is a tiny, uninhabited island off the coast of Guernsey.
22d Intrude noisily with gong (5)
MEDAL – this sounds like a verb to intrude or interfere.
24d Medium plug inserted in port (5)
RADIO – insert a plug or puff into a South American port.
The ones which made me smile were 1a, 10a, 26a, 28a and 3d. Which one(s) exercised your laughing muscles?