Toughie No 1613 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment **
The grid meant that quite a lot of the answers had an unchecked first letter which made this puzzle more difficult that it might otherwise have been. Straight from the starting gun three of the long answers (21a, 3d and 5d) leapt out at me from the definition and enumeration but after that it was a steady but rather plodding progression to the finish line. At one stage I thought that there might be a mini-theme related to card games but that didn’t materialise.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
8a/9a Charming and rich G-man among those getting the sack (8,6)
MARCHING ORDERS – this is a reverse anagram which could lead to both CHARMING and RICH G-MAN.
9a See 8a
10a 26 in Caledonia, indigenously (3)
AIN – a Scottish adjective meaning 26a is hidden in the clue.
11a Sounds like blackcurrant and sloe together perhaps can produce sickness (4-4)
BERI-BERI – this sounds like what a blackcurrant and a sloe are.
12a Son’s flying shots regularly showing neglect (6)
SLIGHT – start with the abbreviation for son and add regular letters from ‘flying shots’.
13a Cool liquid in tremendous vat (15)
UNDEMONSTRATIVE – an anagram (liquid) of IN TREMENDOUS VAT.
15a May one begin right away in cards? (7)
CANASTA – string together a verb which means ‘may’, a single letter that can mean one and a verb to begin without the 2-letter abbreviation for right.
18a Drama with 50 checking out of the Parisian Grand — one finds somewhere to settle (3-4)
PAY-DESK – remove (checking out) the Roman numeral for 50 from a drama and add a French word meaning ‘of the’ and one of the abbreviations for 1,000 (grand).
21a Monument Station refit — tube’s affected with loads of yuckiness initially (6,2,7)
STATUE OF LIBERTY – start with the 3-letter abbreviation for station and add an anagram (affected) of REFIT TUBE L[oads] O[f] Y[uckiness].
24a Awkward moment briefly follows abortive trick (6)
RUSTIC – a moment or short time without its last letter follows a trick or ploy, also without its last letter.
25a Honour‘s the last word in heart of true-born Tudors (8)
ORNAMENT – insert the last word in a Christian prayer or hymn into the four letters at the heart of ‘true-born Tudors’.
26a Confess, darling! (3)
OWN – double definition. The second is a form of endearment when preceded by ‘my’.
27a Retreat from compound holding stragglers from fearless army (6)
ASYLUM – a chemical compound contains the last letters of [fearles]S [arm]Y.
28a Pleasing composition of Rossini avoids undisciplined flirtatiousness (8)
TASTEFUL – an anagram (undisciplined) of FLirTATioUSnEss after we’ve removed the jumbled-up letters of Rossini.
1d Stress weighs down first pair to encounter incline (6)
CAREEN – a word meaning stress or anxiety precedes the first two letters of encounter.
2d Score with service at both ends, holding game (6)
SCRIBE – score here is a verb meaning to mark with a pointed instrument. The outer letters of service contain the abbreviated name for a card game in which his nob is worth one point.
3d FBI come on the dot mobilising precise search-tool (4-7,4)
FINE-TOOTHED COMB – an anagram (mobilising) of FBI COME ON THE DOT.
4d One’s put on street — that’s touching (7)
AGAINST – string together the single letter for ‘one’ last seen in 15a, a verb to put on (weight, for example) and the abbreviation for street.
5d Friend of the Earth in endless jam — ain’t it so awful! (15)
CONSERVATIONIST – start with a word for jam (the stuff that must go on top of the cream and not under it) minus its last letter and add an anagram (awful) of AIN’T IT SO.
6d Hand in notice editor allowed (8)
ADMITTED – insert an informal word for a hand between the usual abbreviations for a notice and editor.
7d Waggish setter’s singular records (8)
ARCHIVES – join together an adjective meaning waggish or playful, the abbreviated form the ‘the setter has’ and the abbreviation for singular.
14d Slip into river (3)
DON – double definition, the first a verb meaning to slip into or put on.
16d ‘Self-sacrifice’ commonplace under Capone, say … (8)
ALTRUISM – commonplace here is a noun meaning a platitude. That follows Mr Capone’s forename.
17d … like Pharaoh, see, with finesse (8)
ASTUTELY – split the answer 2,3,3 for a preposition meaning like, the short form of the most famous Pharaoh’s name and a see or diocese in Cambridgeshire.
19d Come a cropper in Kielder Reservoir (3)
ERR – the answer is hidden in the clue. I’m not convinced that it means the same as to come a cropper which is to suffer a heavy fall or a disaster.
20d Pants like yaks, maybe? (1-6)
Y-FRONTS – I’m sure most solvers will identify these pants just from the enumeration. If you replace the hyphen with a space it could be how you might describe the word yaks.
22d Trophies forming memories — or not at all? (6)
EMMIES – an anagram (forming) of MEM[or]IES after we’ve removed the ‘or’.
23d Position climbing frames (one French) and prepare to play (4,2)
TUNE UP – a verb to position or place is reversed and contains (frames) one of the words for ‘one’ in French.
None of the clues stood out for me today. How about you? Do let us know what you liked and what you didn’t like.