Toughie 1628 by Warbler
Hints and tips by Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ***
Hello everybody, and welcome. Today is an excellent day to join the Tuesday Toughie club. We have a friendly puzzle which could have flown over from the back page, brought to us on the wings of a cryptic warbler.
The definitions are underlined in the clues below. The answers are hidden under the boxes. The exclamation mark is not an imperative – click only if you wish to reveal the answer.
Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought.
7a New currency is creating anxiety (8)
NEUROSIS: N(ew) and the currency of a union which has been on everyone’s lips lately, and is indeed the cause of much anxiety, followed by IS from the clue. Not a good start, as I was planning to give that subject a very wide berth!
9a Ghouls swirling about lakes in Eire (6)
LOUGHS: An anagram (swirling about) of GHOULS
10a Drink, drink and drink again! (6)
NOGGIN: Take two drinks, one after another, and you end up with a third. Yes, this is how drinking often works. “I’ll just have a couple,” you think …
11a Sycophant disguised as pirate (8)
PARASITE: An anagram (disguised) of AS PIRATE. I have chosen to illustrate one (specifically, it’s a brood parasite) that is a whole lot prettier than some of the options available. Do not image search this answer if you are of a nervous disposition!
12a Most of merchandise free but useless (4-3-7)
GOOD-FOR-NOTHING: Four letters of a five letter word for merchandise or wares and then a phrase (3,7) meaning available at no charge
15a Cut tail off bird (4)
SNIP: Remove the last letter from (cut tail off) a wading bird with short legs and a long straight bill (pictured)
17a Ointment starts to soothe angry lesions – very effective (5)
SALVE: The first letters of (starts to) the final five words of the clue
19a Wilder inheritance factor? (4)
GENE: The forename of the actor who played Willy Wonka in a 1971 film is also a component of DNA
20a Securing name for international field of science renewed belief in one’s abilities (4-10)
SELF-CONFIDENCE: An anagram of FIELD OF SC[
I N]ENCE, after N(ame) has been included in place of I(nternational)
23a Extraordinary individual (8)
SINGULAR: Two definitions, both adjectives and neither requiring further elaboration from me
25a Song at sunrise offered to the French at first (6)
AUBADE: Offered preceded by (at first) the French for “to the.” I first encountered this dawn serenade courtesy of Elgar the setter, so here’s one by the other Elgar:
27a Bridge opponents with energy welcoming my call to play again? (6)
ENCORE: Two opponents in bridge and the abbreviation for energy containing (welcoming) an expression of surprise: my!
28a Queen’s hugged by terribly austere and valued friend (8)
TREASURE: R(egina) inside an anagram (terribly) of AUSTERE. The valued friend is the treasure most worth having
1d Palatine Rome plays host to emperor (4)
NERO: The beginning of the clue contains (plays host to) the emperor who allegedly fiddled
2d Beginning to feel stiff and cold (6)
FRIGID: The first letter of (beginning to) feel. Stiff or hard. Putting those two together here results in cold or frozen
3d Snake swallows ant’s head very quickly (4)
ASAP: The most popular crosswordland snake contains (swallows) the first letter (head) of ant
4d Red mark of omission surrounds line (6)
CLARET: A mark of omission: ^ with L(ine) inserted. The red is fermented from the grape and is one of life’s great pleasures
5d Traitor in Paris who has support (8)
QUISLING: The French for “who is” followed by a support which, for a nice change, is not a bra (instead, it’s a support for a broken or damaged member)
6d After refurbishment, the Co-op in centre of Wigan is striking (10)
PHOTOGENIC: After refurbishment is one of many anagram indicators today. The letters to be rearranged are THE CO OP IN together with the middle letter of WiGan
8d ‘Apollo! Horus! Ra!‘ being chanted, becomes dangerously high (3-4)
SUN-GODS: These are examples of the answer. Being chanted musically then takes too much of a drug (becomes dangerously high). I often think about Ra when it rains, because the superstition of it being bad luck to open an umbrella indoors may stem from the belief that it would anger him
13d Icon Times destroyed, describing knight being a know-it-all (10)
OMNISCIENT: The letters of ICON TIMES anagrammed and wrapped around (describing) the chess abbreviation for knight. The know-it-all knows a lot more than your common-or-garden smartypants
14d Stocking many London stores (5)
NYLON: The second lurker of the day, signposted by stores
16d Old college has good fortune to be multilingual (8)
POLYGLOT: An old type of college (these have all now all been “upgraded” to university status) then G(ood), and finally fortune or fate
18d Remove hair by installing current in electronic metal sheet (7)
EPILATE: We are instructed to construct this verb meaning to remove hair by inserting the electrical symbol for current in between E(lectronic) and a metal sheet
21d One selecting paint we hear (6)
CULLER: One selecting or gathering. The word sounds like (we hear) paint – or it does to my ear, so I’m waiting for Gazza to demur!
22d Decorate letter by employer (6)
EMBOSS: The name of one of the letters of the alphabet followed by an employer or person in charge
24d Blast animals (4)
RATS: Two definitions, the first being an exclamation – which some might well come out with on seeing these rodents (or perhaps you’d use a stronger four letter word)
26d River fish (4)
DART: We end with another double definition. Oh dear! I am not good at rivers or fish. I had to check this one and it took a bit of fishing to find the swimmer of this name. Given the number of both categories out there swimming about / flowing, I wonder if there are other valid answers to be found
I started with a groan (also the sigh of relief that comes when the first answer slips in easily) and also finished with a groan, but enjoyed the body of this. Thanks to Warbler. Now over to you.