Toughie No 1653 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
We have only two anagrams today but the puzzle has a lot of container/insertion type clues and many where we have to delete one or two letters. I thought it was not very tough and a bit bland and I’m afraid I couldn’t really work up much enthusiasm for it.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Most of equipment for pub game celebrated by poet? (6)
BARDIC – remove the last letter from the equipment used in a pub game (3,4) where the loser pays for the next round of drinks. As far as I can make out this game is played mainly in North America.
5a I incline to follow dog — boxer? (8)
PUGILIST – I and a verb to incline or lean follow a breed of dog.
9a Walking tour, with pain and blame bandied about (13)
PERAMBULATION – an anagram (bandied about) of TOUR, PAIN and BLAME.
10a Unexceptional European river entering China (8)
MODERATE – insert the name of a central European river into what a china is in Cockney rhyming slang.
11a The Parisian occupies lead through adopting common approaches (6)
PLEBBY – put a French definite article inside the chemical symbol for lead then append a preposition meaning through.
12a National leader indicating succession in letters? (6)
GANDHI – three successive letters of the alphabet.
14a Quiet bird, keeping bill covered, sat beside vase (8)
TACITURN – a songbird contains the abbreviation for a bill and that’s followed by a vase.
16a Criticise about justification having removed working organ (8)
PANCREAS – join together an informal verb to criticise, a single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately and a justification without the adverb meaning working or ‘in operation’.
19a Definitely knowing about one room (6)
FIRMLY – an adjective meaning knowing or canny contains the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for room.
21a Cave is like the pits, mostly round (6)
GROTTO – ‘the pits’ is an informal expression meaning very unpleasant; we want another informal adjective meaning the same thing, but we have to truncate it and add a round letter.
23a Often worry about chesspiece, having no duplicate (8)
FREQUENT – put a verb to worry around a chess piece without one of its repeated letters. I was going to complain that ‘often’ is an adverb and the answer is an adjective but the BRB reveals that ‘often’ is used in the Bible as an adjective (though I can’t furnish an example of this usage).
25a A dab hand playing his part, following pointless vocation (13)
CALLIGRAPHIST – an anagram (playing) of HIS PART follows a vocation without its cardinal point.
26a Film-worker providing shock, having millions stashed in belt (8)
STUNTMAN – a verb to shock followed by the abbreviation for millions inside a verb to belt or thrash.
27a One’s dug fish being in river? On the contrary (6)
TRENCH – the abbreviation for river goes inside a freshwater fish.
2d Drivers should restrict speed or — it’s the jug! (7)
AMPHORA – the abbreviation for a motoring organisation (‘drivers’ in crossword terminology) goes round the abbreviation for a measure of speed and OR.
3d There are no jolly words in this revolutionary English crossword diagram (5)
DIRGE – E(nglish) followed by the diagram that you’ve written your answers into, all reversed.
4d Feature of Venice affected, with a large flow of water underneath (9)
CAMPANILE – an adjective meaning affected or theatrical is followed by A and the name of a substantial African river.
5d Careful study, engaged in quiet routine (7)
PRUDENT – a study goes inside the musical abbreviation for quiet and a boring routine.
6d Understanding old King’s encountered poisonous snake (5)
GRASP – charade of the regnal cipher of one of our old kings (you can choose from six) and a poisonous snake.
7d Parasites back, mostly besetting European city (9)
LEICESTER – parasitic insects and most of the word for the back (of a ship, say) contain the abbreviation for European.
8d Sailor’s first and second award in marine setting (4,3)
SAND BAR – the first letter of sailor is followed by AND and a metal strip on a medal indicating that it has been won twice.
13d Sports event last month, going over most of Irish region (9)
DECATHLON – the abbreviation for our last month followed by a town in the centre of Ireland without its final letter. I’m not sure how this is a region – perhaps Una can explain.
15d Fool concealing payment in fortepiano and jug (6,3)
COFFEE POT – a Russian doll of a clue – put a payment inside the abbreviation for fortepiano which is, in turn, inside an informal word for a (generally old) foolish person.
17d Fruit tree in bed after tricky day? (7)
APRICOT – a child’s bed follows the shorthand way of writing the date (3,1) on which it’s ok to play tricks. The surface doesn’t mean a lot to me.
18d Second slight cut in dyestuff (7)
SAFFRON – the abbreviation for second followed by a slight or insult without its last letter.
20d Country not about to probe the stars, endlessly obsessed by the moon? (7)
LUNATIC – a country or state without the preposition meaning about goes inside a word meaning ‘the stars’ or one’s fortune without its last letter.
22d Leader dismissed from stage in bad odour? (5)
ODIUM – drop the leading letter from a stage much in evidence at the Olympics.
24d Join (the reverse of it here would suggest ‘loosen’) (5)
UNITE – a hint for this one seems redundant since the setter has given his own hint in brackets, i.e. if you reverse the IT in the answer you get a verb to loosen.
None of the clues stood out for me today but I’d like to hear what made your hit list .