Toughie No 1689 by Dada
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Dada is never less than entertaining and there are some very enjoyable clues here, mixed with a few old chestnuts to give us some initial toeholds. Overall there’s nothing too scary for the equines.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Excitement as journalist finally put in copy (11)
STIMULATION – insert the final letter of journalist into a noun meaning copy or mimicry.
9a Strain appropriate in rescue (7)
AIRLIFT – charade of a strain or melody and a verb to appropriate or nick.
10a Hamburger manages to define it? (6)
GERMAN – a clever all-in-one with a hidden answer.
12a Call time, previously knocking back small amount of liquid (7)
DRIBLET – a call (by a tennis umpire, say) is preceded by the reversal of another slang word for time or stretch.
13a Capital — could it be holding small party back? (7)
TBILISI – a question (2,2) meaning ‘could it be?’ contains a small (in more than one sense) political party. Reverse the lot.
14a Probably time for bed, as first of girls ensnared by rakish revolutionary? (5)
NIGHT – the first letter of girls goes inside the reversal of an adjective often qualified as being rake-like.
15a Switch behind cooker (9)
REARRANGE – charade of a behind or backside and a cooker or stove.
17a Criminal suspect silent about one not going straight? (9)
LARCENIST – an anagram (suspect) of SILENT contains something that’s curved.
20a Short of time, you and I (5)
MINUS – the abbreviation for a period of time is followed by a pronoun meaning ‘you and I’ (or, more grammatically correct, ‘you and me’).
22a Futile incarcerating evil criminal (7)
VILLAIN – an adjective meaning futile or pointless contains a noun meaning evil or wickedness.
24a The setter covers soldier, perhaps with gold coat (7)
MANTEAU – the objective pronoun that the setter would use for himself contains a type of soldier insect. After that we need the chemical symbol for gold. I only knew this as a French word but the BRB has it as a woman’s loose gown of the 17c-18c.
25a Offspring refuse to clear up (6)
LITTER – double definition, the first being the offspring of an animal.
26a Agents about to steal painting — it could ruin everything (7)
SPOILER – reverse the abbreviation for a company’s sales agents and insert a type of painting.
27a Game changer, male emperor (11)
CHARLEMAGNE – I’ve underlined the whole clue here as this emperor had a major effect on the course of European history, so I think this is a semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (game, in the sense of spirited?) of CHANGER MALE.
2d One of three allowed to follow expedition (7)
TRIPLET – a verb meaning allowed follows an expedition.
3d A sticky substance injected into misshapen items, bones (9)
METATARSI – insert A and a black sticky substance into an anagram (misshapen) of ITEMS.
4d Kosher escape? (5)
LEGIT – split the answer 3,2 for an informal way of saying to escape or run away.
5d Piece of cake kennelling stray dog (7)
TERRIER – put a section or layer of cake around (kennelling) a verb to stray or transgress.
6d Address a punishment ultimately, legendary character belted around? (7)
ORATION – A and the ultimate letter of punishment are surrounded by the mythological Greek hunter who has a constellation, including three stars in a row referred to as his belt, named after him.
7d Passing affection in league (4,2,5)
HAND IN GLOVE – split the answer 7,4 and you have synonyms for ‘passing’ and ‘affection’.
8d Tiresome judicial process (6)
TRYING – double definition.
11d Sign of a product with dinosaur as American tourist attraction (5,6)
TIMES SQUARE – the sign used in mathematics to calculate a product is followed by a dinosaur or stick-in-the-mud.
16d Plant among bonsais I met rambling to the north (9)
ARTEMISIA – hidden and reversed in the clue.
18d Just short spiked with another drink, Elizabeth’s favourite? (7)
RALEIGH – an adjective meaning just or equitable without its last letter contains an alcoholic drink.
19d One no longer playing a part as an unreasonably demanding type? (7)
EXACTOR – split the answer 2,5 and you have a no-longer working thespian. A very old chestnut.
20d Start of the working week, thus getting on the blower (7)
MONSOON – string together the abbreviation for the first day of the working week, an adverb meaning thus and ON.
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21d Old record player one’s eyed (6)
NEEDLE – I’m taking this to be a cryptic definition. It’s something needed to play a vinyl record.
23d Conductor‘s audacity (5)
NERVE – double definition, the first being something in the body which conducts or transmits impulses.
I’ll list 13a, 14a, 20a, 5d and 11d as enjoyable clues but my favourite is 27a. Which one(s) provided your 1a?