Toughie No 1725 by Dada
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Everything was going swimmingly until I hit the last couple of clues in the NW corner where I was totally foxed by 2d and 3d. I eventually tracked the problem down to having written ‘below’ in for 1a right at the start (it seemed to work at the time when I thought the wordplay was ‘part (divide) front with the middle two letters of fell’). I wonder whether this was a deliberate misdirection by Dada – if so it certainly caught me out.
Thanks to Dada for the fun.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Lower part in front fell in the middle (5)
BOWEL – front for a sailor followed by the middle letters of ‘fell’.
4a At the start of a race, the odds double for dog (8)
SPRINGER – the abbreviation for the betting odds at the start of a race followed by a double or spitting image.
10a Cunning spiking little drink (7)
MARTINI – insert a synonym for cunning into an adjective meaning little.
11a Old can opener beyond contemporary (7)
NEWGATE – this is the name of a notorious old London prison. Something that opens to allow one to enter or exit follows an adjective meaning contemporary or modern.
12a Club with formidable fringes? (4)
IRON – symbolised by the outer letters (fringes) of formidable.
13a Fit Felixstowe and Southampton, say, the wrong way round (5)
STROP – fit here is a noun, sometimes preceded by ‘hissy’. Reverse what the two places are examples of.
14a Backs in Cambridge extra parlous with westerly — that’s a breeze (4)
EASY – the last letters of four words from the clue.
17a Go for the brown and beat all (4,3,7)
TAKE THE BISCUIT – this could mean to select a pale brown colour.
19a Never finished, boy toying with me and daddy (4,2,4,4)
OVER MY DEAD BODY – start with an adverb meaning finished and add an anagram (toying) of BOY ME DADDY.
22a Strike, something afoot? (4)
SOCK – double definition, the first a verb to strike or thump.
23a Fly, one tucked into bed (5)
PILOT – tuck the Roman numeral for one into an earthy bed.
24a Platform exists behind attorney (4)
DAIS – a verb meaning exists follows the US abbreviation for attorney.
27a Red mullet’s tail taken by rodent that has teeth (7)
RATCHET – our favourite South American ‘red’ and the tail letter of mullet follow a rodent.
28a Very wet grass around tree (7)
SOAKING – a verb to grass or betray contains a type of tree.
29a More than one wave greets us when at sea (8)
GESTURES – an anagram (when at sea) of GREETS US.
30a Impressionist article housed by art museum (5)
MANET – an indefinite article goes inside the colloquial name for a large art museum in New York City.
1d Meet vagrant on horse (4,4)
BUMP INTO – a vagrant followed by a piebald horse.
2d Magician — one securing the action? (7)
WARLOCK – split as 3,4 this could be something that secures military action. Even with the question mark this seems weak.
3d Hide talent, leadership unseen (4)
LAIR – a word meaning talent or knack without its leading letter.
5d Pooterish man and me to perform role for two (9,5)
PANTOMIME HORSE – an anagram (to perform) of POOTERISH MAN and ME.
6d I cry when in pain, a state (4)
IOWA – string together I, a cry of someone in pain and A. This answer must feature heavily in Mr Kitty’s database.
7d Paraguayan money in a carpet rolled up, touring capital in Asuncion (7)
GUARANI – this is not a currency I was familiar with but the wordplay is straightforward. Bring together IN A and a carpet, reverse it all and insert the capital letter of Asuncion.
8d Thin solution, less mass (5)
REEDY – a solution or cure without the abbreviation for mass.
9d Gradually turned on, hit coming up on telly, it is broadcast (6,2,6)
LITTLE BY LITTLE – start with a verb meaning ‘turned on’ (a gas fire, say), reverse a verb to hit or clout and finish with an anagram (is broadcast) of TELLY IT.
15d * mark ultimately grim (5)
STARK – a word used to describe the sign in the clue followed by the ultimate letter of mark.
16d Compound said to define ‘carbolic’ for a start — one of these? (5)
ACIDS – an anagram (compound) of SAID contains (to define, in the sense of circumscribe) the starting letter of carbolic.
18d Figure capturing certain vision (8)
EYESIGHT – a cardinal number contains a response meaning certain (?). I’m struggling to find an example of how this word means certain – it certainly can mean certainly, but certain?
20d A jazz player in short underwear leaves (7)
VACATES – A and an informal word for a jazz player go inside an item of underwear without its final letter.
21d It’s suggested untaxed individual working — would you stand for it? (7)
OVATION – what looks like a rate of tax (1,3), e.g. on books in the UK, is followed by what resembles the number meaning individual or solitary and an adverb meaning working.
22d Baby son on show (5)
SPROG – S(on) followed by an informal word for a show.
25d M U (4)
THOU – nothing to do with either Man Utd. or Mothers’ Union – this is a double definition, the first being an informal word for the value of M in Roman numerals.
26d Wood in hand (4)
PALM – two meanings, the first being the wood from a tropical tree.
I liked 27a, 5d and 25d but my favourite clue today is 11a. Which one(s) cracked you up?