Toughie No 1692 by Warbler
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment **
Kitty’s army of fans will be disappointed to find out that she’s not here today – we’ve done a swap and she will be blogging tomorrow’s Toughie.
Thanks to Warbler for a very gentle Toughie today. The only clue which I had to think hard about parsing was 7d and I’ve increased my difficulty rating by half a star for that one.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
8a Abundant enjoyment mostly found in writing (7)
PROFUSE – insert a word for enjoyment without its last letter into non-poetic writing.
10a In March I verified data store (7)
ARCHIVE – the first of our lurkers.
11a Outstanding support for group of stars (5,4)
GREAT BEAR – charade of an adjective meaning outstanding and a verb to support or carry.
12a Small disagreement can be tiring (5)
STIFF – the abbreviation for small (strangely not in Chambers) followed by a minor disagreement or quarrel.
13a Fool runs over explosive (5)
NITRO – an informal word for a fool followed by two single-letter cricketing abbreviations.
14a Figure duck disturbed cat and left shortly (7)
OCTAGON – string together what resembles a duck at cricket, an anagram (disturbed) of CAT and a past participle meaning left without its last letter.
17a Mistakenly be inane about the setter during passage in book (5,3,2,1,4)
THREE MEN IN A BOAT – an anagram (mistakenly) of BE INANE contains the pronoun the setter would use of herself, then the lot goes inside a bodily passage.
19a Comply with old British deal (7)
OBSERVE – abbreviations for old and British followed by a verb to deal or deliver.
21a Manner adopted by lusty leader (5)
STYLE – our second lurker.
24a Nameless rancid mixture is pungent (5)
ACRID – an anagram (mixture) of RA[n]CID without the abbreviation for name.
26a Announced supposed space for visitor accommodation (5-4)
GUEST-ROOM – a homophone (announced) of a verb meaning supposed or imagined followed by another word for space.
27a Girl starts to smile impishly about excuse (7)
EVASION – start with a girl’s name (that of model Miss Herzigová, for example) and add the starting letters of smile impishly and a preposition meaning about.
28a Crafty journalist returned acknowledgements of debt after third of November (7)
DEVIOUS – reverse our usual Crosswordland senior journalist and add the third letter of November and some acknowledgements of debt.
1d Greek descendant of farm animal discovered in vast geological age (6)
EPIGON – insert a farm animal in a word for a very large division of geological time. I didn’t know this word, from Greek, for the (normally less distinguished) descendant or follower of a famous person, but the wordplay was clear.
2d Pastor worked up about the French heavenly guide (4,4)
POLE STAR – an anagram (worked up) of PASTOR contains a French definite article.
3d Sell last pieces of fine Japanese silver? He would. (10)
AUCTIONEER – this is a semi-all-in-one. A verb to sell is followed by the last letters of three words in the clue.
4d Country-loving group second to get cut off following father (9)
PATRIOTIC – a group (of musicians, say) and a second or short period of time without its last letter all follow an affectionate term for father.
5d Island surrounding church freezes over (4)
ICES – one of the abbreviations for island surrounds one of the abbreviations for church.
6d Backing for railway track (6)
SIDING – double definition, the second being a section of track possibly used for shunting.
7d Bond bird hit fellow getting uppity? (4,4)
REEF KNOT – my initial thought here was that the bird was the second word (doubtless a deliberate attempt by the setter to mislead) but I couldn’t get the parsing of the first word to work so I had to think again. The bird is an alternative spelling (3) for a female ruff (a wading bird) and she’s followed by the reversal of an informal verb to hit hard and F(ellow).
9d PM‘s idea of paradise (4)
EDEN – double definition, the first the surname of a UK prime minister of the 1950s.
15d Passing over crossing initially is very easy (10)
TRANSITIVE – a word for a crossing followed by the initial letters of the last three words. The answer and the first bit of the wordplay mean pretty much the same thing.
16d Gas turbine machine with black top (3,6)
JET ENGINE – a machine in which power is applied to do work has an adjective meaning black atop it.
17d Hospital men in Texas remodelled chests (8)
THORAXES – the abbreviations for hospital and enlisted men in the army go inside an anagram (remodelled) of TEXAS.
18d Bullish idiot producing contradiction in terms (8)
OXYMORON – we start with a somewhat whimsical adjective (not listed in Chambers) which, if it actually existed, would mean bullish or ‘like a bull’ and that’s followed by an idiot.
20d Use special 23 for feast (6)
SPREAD – an abbreviation meaning special and the answer to 23d.
22d He-men’s tangle? Exactly! (6)
ENMESH – an anagram (tangle) of HE-MEN’S. Tangle is doing double duty.
23d Study of grass in report (4)
READ – the answer sounds like a type of grass.
25d Irish assembly‘s ideal is shattered after European withdrawal (4)
DAIL – an anagram (is shattered) of ID[e]AL without the abbreviation for European gives us the lower house of the Irish Parliament.
I got a laugh from 18d but my favourite (for the clever bit of deception in the wordplay) is 7d. Which one(s) lifted your spirits?