Toughie No 1645 by Dada
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ****
Dada is never less than entertaining and this one produced a lot of smiles without falling into the uber-arduous category.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
7a Heavy metal lead singer (7)
MERCURY – double definition, the second being the surname of a flamboyant lead singer.
8a Flier referring to cheese (7)
STILTON – a long-legged bird followed by a preposition meaning ‘referring to’.
10a Cream in cooking vessel around which a finger whipped! (10)
FRANGIPANE – this is a word that I vaguely knew as something edible without knowing exactly what it was. A cooking vessel has an anagram (whipped) of A FINGER placed round it.
11a Thus a republican’s cry? (4)
ERGO – split 2,2 this could be the demand of a republican (with a lower-case r).
12a Seafood dish as mum would make, in cooking really inspirational starters (8)
CALAMARI – ‘as mum would make’ (1,2,2) goes inside the starting letters of three words from the clue.
14a Low and bolshy, tied up (6)
MOORED – charade of a verb to low and a person of bolshy or left-wing views.
15a Kind that’s on plane in container (11)
CONSIDERATE – insert ON and a plane or surface into a container or packing case.
19a Driven thing always in employment (6)
CAREER – charade of what one may drive and a poetic word for always.
20a Order holy, sent in secret (2,3,3)
ON THE SLY – an anagram (order) of HOLY SENT.
22a Agent after drug dealers seeking end of production line (4)
NARC – I take this to be a semi-all-in-one with the answer being an informal North American word for a law enforcement officer targeting drug dealers. The end letter of production is followed by a line or curve.
23a Game of nerve thrills partner? One family’s into it (10)
SPILLIKINS – the word that’s paired with ‘thrills’ to make a phrase meaning excitement and exhilaration goes round the Roman numeral for one and a term for family.
25a Spectacular performance a poke in the eye, possibly? (7)
BLINDER – two meanings, the second a cryptic definition of what a poke in the eye might turn out to be in unfortunate circumstances.
26a Delivery, one posted at the door of a club (7)
BOUNCER – another double definition, the first a type of delivery from a fast bowler.
1d Unverified information present, as cryptically suggested? (7)
HEARSAY – split 4,3 and it could be how a homophone for ‘present’ might be cryptically clued.
2d Darling, I’m a fraudster! (4)
ICON – split 1,3 this could be an admission of fraud.
3d Constables etc standing to arrest boor in carriage (6)
TROIKA – reverse what Constables (or Turners) might be and insert a boor or uncouth person.
4d Pot about right for flower? (8)
STREAMER – a cooking vessel containing R(ight) could be, cryptically, something that flows.
5d Fly low with courage (10)
BLUEBOTTLE – an adjective meaning low or depressed followed by an informal word for courage.
6d Father without eye searched for information (7)
GOOGLED – what the father is in the Christian trinity contains a verb to eye lasciviously.
9d As is Cain, a maniac? (11)
PALINDROMIC – how you might describe the last three words of the clue when reading them in different ways.
13d Awfully late, second child (10)
ADOLESCENT – an anagram (awfully) of LATE SECOND.
16d Upset, seeing those on a trolley wheeled round? (8)
STRESSED – a reversal of what you may be tempted to order from a waiter’s trolley.
17d Qualified assistant’s parting message (7)
CAPABLE – the abbreviation for a personal assistant is inserted into an old type of message.
18d Slight suspicion initially over bank (7)
SLENDER – the initial letter of suspicion is followed by cryptic description of a bank or financial institution.
21d Pull over everyone fat (6)
TALLOW – a verb to pull or drag contains a word for everyone.
24d Man in black or white? In black in general (4)
KING – we finish with our only lurker.
Lots to like including 7a, 12a, 1d and 9d but I’ll nominate 23a as my favourite. Which one(s) fired your imagination?