Toughie No 1661 by Dada
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
There are some good laughs here and I enjoyed it a lot. I only had two hold-ups – a) I didn’t know the 19a word but with three checking letters it became obvious, and b) I was reluctant to write in the 4d author because for some reason I thought his name was ten rather than nine letters long – a quick Google revealed my mistake. Thanks to Dada for the enjoyment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a British gong collected by US subject — that’s tragic! (7)
MACBETH – a US school subject (one letter shorter than the word we use) contains a gong of the sort recently handed out by our outgoing PM to lots of his cronies.
5a Part of a plane that’s mine put on tip (7)
COCKPIT – append a coalmine to a verb to tip or tilt.
10a Graduate pocketing noble cut as cafe worker (7)
BARISTA – an arts graduate contains an informal term for a noble without his final O.
11a Tree complete with pole, if not fencing? (9)
BUTTERNUT – an adjective meaning complete or total and a geographic pole are contained inside a conjunction meaning ‘if not’ or ‘except that’.
12a Man down under put on game (5)
SPORT – triple definition, the first the way a man may be addressed in the Antipodes (not Bruce!) and the second a verb to wear.
13a Where life is known to exist, it’s terminal (5)
EARTH – double definition, the second an electrical connection.
15a Defined by layabout, earning big money for starters, online designer (9)
WEBMASTER – the starting letters of three words in the clue are contained inside a layabout or slacker.
17a Representation showing some light passing through door (9)
PORTRAYAL – a beam of light goes inside a door or gateway.
19a Cupid links stroke with love (5)
PUTTO – this is the representation of a naked child in Renaissance art (new to me). It’s a charade of a stroke on the green and the letter that resembles love.
22a Course it’s stuff and nonsense, ultimately (5)
ROUTE – start with a verb to defeat overwhelmingly (stuff) and add the ultimate letter of nonsense.
23a I suspect it’s designed to cover astronauts, primarily? (9)
SPACESUIT – an all-in-one clue. An anagram (it’s designed) of I SUSPECT contains the primary letter of astronauts.
25a Synthetic fibre — the other clothes soft also (7)
SPANDEX – a word for which ‘the other’ is an informal humorous euphemism contains the abbreviation for soft together with a conjunction meaning also.
26a What one should do with a plan announced to get the axe (7)
HATCHET – split the answer 5,2 and it sounds like what one should do to come up with a plan.
27a Put pressure on to protect British nation (7)
LEBANON – a phrasal verb meaning to pressurise (4,2) contains an abbreviation for British.
28a Training establishment sure to manage after cutback, investor finally being brought in (7)
NURSERY – join together a response meaning ‘sure’ or ok and a verb to manage, then reverse all that and insert the final letter of investor.
1d Cross nurses flap, being volatile (7)
MUTABLE – a cross or hybrid contains a flap or tag. Nice surface.
2d Vessel — one under a pint, perhaps? (7)
COASTER – double definition, the second what may be used to protect the surface of a table.
3d Royal composition is rot! (5)
ERODE – with a leap of imagination splitting the answer 2,3 may give us a literary work by her Majesty.
4d Writer requiring pen and good technique (9)
HEMINGWAY – string together a phrasal verb (3,2) to pen or enclose, the abbreviation for good and a technique or manner. I delayed writing the answer in because I’d got it into my head that the writer’s name contained a double letter.
5d Measure once shortened, divided by two (5)
CUBIT – a past participle meaning shortened or reduced with a prefix meaning two inside it.
6d One on the fiddle suits stringed instrument (4-5)
CARD-SHARP – charade of what contain four suits and a stringed instrument.
7d Entry document dismissed, as faint (4,3)
PASS OUT – a document to allow entry is followed by ‘dismissed’ (in cricket).
8d Little to savour, fed nothing, one could make breakfast (7)
TOASTER – a small sample to try contains the letter that resembles nothing.
14d Office supporting uncrowned king in part of north London (9)
HARLESDEN – an office or study follows the name of two British 17th century kings without its first letter (uncrowned). One of these kings was literally uncrowned in that he lost his head.
16d Unadorned feature beneath a cloth canopy (9)
BALDACHIN – string together an adjective meaning unadorned or stark, A and a facial feature.
17d Friend, penning her vacuous article, succeeded in a few words (7)
PHRASAL – a friend contains the outer letters (vacuous) of H[e]R, an indefinite article and the abbreviation for succeeded.
18d Nonsense beginning in rough pub in the centre (7)
RHUBARB – start with the initial letter of rough then insert another word for pub into a centre or core.
20d This water tester I’m disgusted one has broken (7)
TOUGHIE – what one may dip in to test the water contains an expression of disgust and the Roman numeral for one.
21d Touts unfortunately always hang around too long (7)
OUTSTAY – an anagram (unfortunately) of TOUTS followed by a Scottish adverb meaning always.
23d Old German instrument working (5)
SAXON – an informal word for a wind instrument followed by an adverb meaning working or operational.
24d Apple tree surprisingly bearing first of apples! (5)
EATER – an anagram (surprisingly) of TREE containing the first letter of apples.
Lots to enjoy – I’ll list 9a, 1d, 3d and 20d but my favourite is 25a. Which one(s) exercised your chuckle muscles?