Toughie No 1737 by Shamus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
I’m not sure if it’s a deliberate policy to stiffen up the Toughies in 2017 but after yesterday’s trickier than usual Tuesday puzzle we have another today which I found harder than average for a Wednesday. I did enjoy the process so many thanks to Shamus and a Happy New Year to him and all our readers.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with today’s puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Any of several screen performers using short sawn-off rifle (6)
CUSACK – an adjective meaning sawn-off without its last letter is followed by a verb to rifle or plunder to get the surname of an Irish acting dynasty.
4a Explain in detail losing boxer’s experience? (5,3)
SPELL OUT – a losing boxer, if ko’ed, could experience this.
10a Damage good porcelain — and feature of Hispanic blind? (9)
MARGARITA – blind here is an old term for a drinking bout. Stitch together a verb to damage, G(ood) and a type of Japanese porcelain.
11a Revolver, say, hoarded by criminal bumptiously (5)
ALBUM – hidden word.
12a Vessel making delivery round back of port (7)
STEAMER – a type of delivery on the cricket field contains the last letter of port.
13a Like a proper map, characterising mountain for trekkers? (2,5)
TO SCALE – what trekkers may want when faced with a mountain.
14a Source of flavouring in bird, we hear (5)
THYME – this sounds like another informal word for bird (or porridge).
15a A cold drink disciple drained as appreciative token (8)
ACCOLADE – string together A, C(old), a soft drink and the word disciple without its contents.
18a Investigator among schools heard murmur by lodge (8)
COUSTEAU – schools here are groups of underwater swimmers. This is a double homophone – firstly what sounds like the murmur of a dove, then a verb to lodge or stash.
20a Fine Italian article about a range of animals (5)
FAUNA – the abbreviation for fine (on lead pencils) and an Italian indefinite article contain A.
23a How one might describe performing jazz player’s diaphragm? (7)
MIDRIFF – as 3-4 this could describe a jazz player during his/her performance.
25a Special writer with obsession put over doings (7)
GUBBINS – sting together an abbreviation for special, something with which to write and an obsession or craze. Now reverse it all.
26a What squaddies do is broadcast in row (5)
DRILL – double definition. Broadcast here is a verb meaning to sow.
27a Smith, maybe, over in city with a clear view? (9)
ECONOMIST – put a preposition meaning over or concerning between the postal district for the city in London and a cryptic way (1,4) of saying ‘a clear view’.
28a Seat can be obtained by this horse bucking head (8)
ELECTION – a horse that one’s chosen to put a wager on without the leading letter (bucking head).
29a Keep constant summary of billboard? (6)
ADHERE – split the answer 2,4 and it might describe the function of a billboard.
1d Affected sense, perhaps, picked up in travellers’ area (8)
CAMPSITE – an adjective meaning affected or theatrical and a homophone of one of the senses.
2d Anglicans blocking request to repeat enchanting activity (7)
SORCERY – the abbreviation for the Anglican church goes inside a verbal request to repeat.
3d Clubs unobjectionable but devoid of attraction (9)
CHARMLESS – the abbreviation for the card suit clubs is followed by an adjective meaning unobjectionable or inoffensive.
5d Lifts in theatre form part of one’s job? (7,7)
PLASTIC SURGEON – cryptic definition of someone doing lifts and tucks.
6d Many hungry young men in effect (5)
LOADS – young men with nothing inside them.
7d Note well row probing excessive consumption? That’s agreed (2,5)
ON BOARD – the abbreviation for ‘note well’ and a verb to row go inside the abbreviation for excessive consumption of drugs.
8d Moderate much of painting technique (6)
TEMPER – a painting technique without its final A.
9d Route aged flier devised — it’s shared by South Americans? (6,3,5)
TIERRA DEL FUEGO – our only anagram today (devised) of ROUTE AGED FLIER gives us an island shared between Argentina and Chile.
16d Tale involving female initiate’s source of strength (9)
LIFEBLOOD – a fanciful tale contains the abbreviation for female. After that we need a verb to initiate (young players into a sport, for example).
17d Name advantage in replacement of one container (8)
CASSETTE – start with a verb to name or quote and replace the Roman numeral for one with an advantage.
19d Acceptable rally in action in square? (2-5)
ON-DRIVE – charade of an adjective meaning acceptable or feasible and a verb to rally or participate in motor sport. The answer is what may be seen in a cricket match. I think that ‘action on square’ would be better than ‘action in square’.
21d Take advantage of some revolutionary cigarettes I lit up (7)
UTILISE – hidden reversed.
22d Blur, first sign of drunkenness in self-complacent European (6)
SMUDGE – insert the first letter of drunkenness into an adjective meaning self-complacent then add E(uropean).
24d Cool rental property in bay (5)
INLET – an adverb meaning cool or trendy is followed by a rental property.
My favourite clue today is one of 12a, 23a, 2d and 5d. Which one(s) gave you a lift?