Toughie No 1637 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Kcit for today’s puzzle. Most of it went in without too many problems but I’ve given it an extra half of a difficulty star for the trouble I had with 10a.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Be assured of success in bespoke tailoring? (4,2,4)
HAVE IT MADE – I think that this is a cryptic definition. At first I thought that the definition was just the first four words but I couldn’t make the rest of the clue work grammatically.
6a Avoid taking stuff from bakery back (4)
SNUB – reverse items on sale at a bakery.
9a Unhappy being ‘Prisoner X’, taking refuge in whisky (10)
MALCONTENT – insert an informal word for a prisoner and what X is as a Roman numeral into a type of whisky.
10a Meek individual with change of character becomes such a nuisance (4)
LIMB – this was my last answer as I couldn’t think of a 4-letter nuisance which matched the checking letters – so I ended up having to reveal a letter. The meek individual is actually a small woolly creature (of which Kath has two) and we have to change its second letter to make a word that can mean an imp or mischievous child (from ‘a **** of Satan’ – not a phrase that I’ve ever heard used).
12a Disagreement about bunking off punishment (4)
LASH – remove the letter meaning about or approximately from a disagreement or angry exchange.
13a Bar rings us, calling in copper without arousing suspicion (9)
INNOCUOUS – string together a bar or watering hole, two round letters and US then introduce the chemical symbol for copper.
15a Do this — and risk a wet splashing? (5-3)
WATER-SKI – an anagram (splashing) of RISK A WET.
16a Invade? Best to save force till later (6)
INFEST – start with a superlative meaning of the best quality and move its initial F(orce) a couple of places to the right.
18a College having change of heart after the writer rejected commission (6)
EMPLOY – a word for a technical college has its central two letters reversed and that follows the reversal of a personal pronoun.
20a Friendly enquiry doubting presence of wifi? (8)
AMICABLE – we have to split the answer 2,1,5 and it could, at a pinch, be a query about how one is connected to the internet. Does this work for you?
23a Special tricks in writing — and what they outperform? (9)
SWORDPLAY – the abbreviation for special is followed by a term for verbal ambiguity. The reference is to the adage ‘The *** is mightier than the *****’.
24a Cautious, bringing article forward in the wrong way? (4)
AWRY – start with an adjective meaning cautious or circumspect and bring the indefinite article to the front.
26a United getting behind half of FA — surprised? (4)
AWED – united or hitched follows one of the letters of FA.
27a Description of Queen’s trainer (note Queen not present) at work? (10)
EQUESTRIAN – an anagram (at work) of QUEEN’S TRAI[ner] after removing the abbreviation for note and the Queen’s regnal cipher.
28a Merit attention being given to name (4)
EARN – a word for attention is followed by the abbreviation for name.
29a Malevolent astronomer shunning company about moon of Jupiter (10)
PERNICIOUS – start with the name of the Polish astronomer who proposed the theory that the sun, rather than the earth, was at the centre of the known universe. Now remove the abbreviation for company and insert one of the moons of Jupiter.
1d Work in garden keeps male in (4)
HOME – a verb meaning to work with a garden implement contains the abbreviation for male.
2d With some courage turned round pointed item piercing barrel (7)
VALIANT – reverse a metal thing with a point inside a large barrel or tank.
3d Line taken from where SF is set, often offering a different view (2,5,5)
IN OTHER WORDS – where works of science fiction are often set (2,5,6) with the abbreviation for line removed.
4d I believe spirits may pen writing (8)
METHINKS – the short word for alcohol which has been made undrinkable (for most people) contains a synonym for writing or coverage in the print media. The BRB doesn’t list ‘writing’ as one of the meanings of this word but I did find it in other dictionaries.
5d Activity in restaurant requiring much effort? Artist’s failed to appear (6)
DINING – start with an adjective meaning requiring much effort or exhausting and remove the usual abbreviation for an artist.
7d Nasty moment, turning up amidst clamour (7)
NOISOME – reverse the abbreviation for moment inside a clamour.
8d Prow of boat in inlet — easy target for one with charge (4-6)
BABY-SITTER – insert the first letter (prow) of boat into an inlet or cove and follow that with an informal term for an easy target in sport.
11d Mix of laconic and stoic, shattering received opinion (12)
ICONOCLASTIC – an anagram (mix) of LACONIC and STOIC.
14d Gamble money earned from cleaning chimneys? (10)
SWEEPSTAKE – split as 5’1,4 this could be income from cleaning chimneys.
17d Celebrity upset about fire in the sky (8)
EMPYREAN – this is an adjective meaning ‘relating to the highest and purest region of heaven’. Reverse a word for a celebrity and insert a word for the fire used to burn a corpse.
19d Harbour venue home to a particular person making discoveries (7)
PIONEER – a place for tying up boats contains (home to) an adjective meaning ‘a particular’ or ‘a certain’.
21d Meaty pancake — it fills hole, mostly (7)
BURRITO – insert IT into the sort of hole that Rabbit Dave may call home without its final letter.
22d A question brought in by this organised support (6)
CLAQUE – A and the single-letter abbreviation for question go inside what this (i.e. 22d) is to make a group of hired applauders.
25d Number reflected American responsibility (4)
ONUS – … and we finish with an old chestnut. Reverse an abbreviation for number and add an abbreviation for American.
I liked 15a and 22d but my favourite is 14d. Which one(s) made your day?