Toughie No 1629 by Dada
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Thanks to Dada for brightening up a wet and gloomy day in North Devon with a very enjoyable puzzle. My main area of difficulty was the SE corner. There are no homophones or Spoonerisms to cause dissension today.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Mutton confined to history? Second in line is beef (8)
PASTRAMI – insert a provider of mutton between an adjective meaning no longer current and the second letter of line.
5a Marsupial getting flap cut from behind (6)
WOMBAT – put together a flap or attachment and a verb to cut grass then reverse it all.
9a Amount lost in second act of plundering (8)
SPILLAGE – the abbreviation for second followed by an act of plundering.
10a Old British leader, a general on the wagon? (6)
ATTLEE – split 1,2,3 this could be an abstinent Confederate general.
11a Giving endless criticism after getting bitter in recession (7)
ELASTIC – an informal word for criticism without its last letter follows the reversal of another word for beer.
12a Pork pie made from tail of cow, and frog or kangaroo, perhaps? (7)
WHOPPER – the last letter of cow followed by what a frog or kangaroo could be cryptically.
13a Nonsense, the other half as a whole? (6,5)
DOUBLE DUTCH – two halves make a whole so we have to take a Cockney word for a man’s ‘other half’ and multiply it by two.
16a A disgrace to criticise onion (11)
RAPSCALLION – charade of an informal verb to criticise and a small onion.
21a Fair, engaging revolutionary figure — as such? (7)
MARXIST – a fair or place of trade contains the reversal of a cardinal number.
22a Kind to welcome one not having a certain faith (7)
GENTILE – an adjective meaning kind or tender contains the Roman numeral for one.
23a Spicy thing that will embarrass a footballer? (6)
NUTMEG – double definition, the second is not a reference to Iceland but a verb to pass the ball between an opponent’s legs.
24a Plant first of lupins, flower back in front! (8)
VALERIAN – insert the first letter of lupins and the reversal of a Yorkshire river into an abbreviation for the front or foremost part.
25a Yellow stuff, some corn gets to grow bigger (6)
EARWAX – charade of the seed-bearing part of a corn plant and a verb to become progressively larger.
26a Current to wear a warmer fleece in South American city (8)
ASUNCIÓN – the symbol for electric current is inserted into A, the body that gives us all warmth and a verb to fleece or defraud.
1d Bill of the future monarchy? (6)
POSTER – split this 4,2 and it’s a description of the monarchy after our current Queen.
2d Wind heading for Limoges south of windy Paris (6)
SPIRAL – the first letter of Limoges follows an anagram (windy) of PARIS.
3d Rare to bury dead, it’s told (7)
RELATED – an adjective meaning rare, as in a steak, contains an adjective meaning dead.
4d Perfect drug good, but all mice furious about it? (5,6)
MAGIC BULLET – the abbreviation for good has an anagram (furious) of BUT ALL MICE surrounding it. Although I knew this phrase I didn’t know that it meant a drug that can destroy malignant cells without having adverse side effects.
6d Undergraduate educators told off about university, audibly (3,4)
OUT LOUD – the abbreviation for a UK university which teaches mainly by correspondence and over the airwaves is followed by an anagram (off) of TOLD containing the single-letter abbreviation for university.
7d American bird, one resembling a coot? (8)
BALDPATE – double definition, the first a kind of wild duck also known as the American wigeon and the second a person who could be described as being as **** as a coot.
8d People divided by chief’s divine rule (8)
THEARCHY – a pronoun referring to people in general (especially those in authority) contains an adjective meaning chief or principal.
12d Fish with legs music to a cat’s ears? (7,4)
WALKING BASS – the cat here is a jazz fan and the answer (completely new to me, so thanks Chambers) is a **** part in 4-4 rhythm using a simple repetitive tune moving up and down the octave. Cryptically it could be a sea fish able to move on foot. I think that the question mark really belongs to the ‘fish with legs’ rather than to the definition.
14d All-male relationship as couple heartlessly broken up by sultanate (8)
BROMANCE – a word for a couple or pair without its middle letter contains a Middle Eastern sultanate.
15d A report doctored in support of old surgeon, perhaps? (8)
OPERATOR – an anagram (doctored) of A REPORT follows O(ld).
17d Bell, a monster (7)
CHIMERA – a cryptic definition of a bell (especially one in a clock) is followed by A.
18d Durable material requiring Indian staple, sharp (7)
NANKEEN – charade of a type of Indian bread and an adjective meaning sharp or honed.
19d Pedallin’ over top of incline, gear in little pieces (6)
BIKINI – a present participle meaning pedalling without its final G is followed by the top letter of incline. What a lovely definition!
20d Ivy League member against flag (6)
PENNON – the short name of the Ivy League university based in Philadelphia is followed by a preposition meaning against.
Making my podium today are 10a, 13a and 19d. Which are your medal contenders?