Toughie No 1761 by Dada
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
This is a very enjoyable puzzle from Dada – as usual the tricky bit with many of his clues is to isolate the definition.
I didn’t notice it so much when solving the puzzle but writing the hints brought home to me how many of the clues involve an insertion/container construct – exactly half of the 28.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Dessert wine more ground-breaking? (10)
AFTERSHOCK – charade of another word for dessert or pudding and a type of white wine.
6a Majestic, the picture frames (4)
EPIC – hidden.
9a Tremendous obsession working for breaks (10)
THUNDERING – a preposition meaning ‘working for’ or ‘subservient to’ goes inside (breaks) an obsession or fixation.
10a Bottling last of liquor, stop for a little drink (4)
DRAM – a verb to stop or block contains the last letter of liquor.
12a Drug passing through elderly relative, a bit lost (6)
VIAGRA – bring together a preposition meaning ‘passing through’ and an elderly relative without her last letter. I do like ‘a bit lost’.
13a Front houses in use after development, neighbour miles away? (8)
VENUSIAN – a word for front or spearhead contains an anagram (after development) of IN USE.
15a Some time to take in every city in Florida (7,5)
DAYTONA BEACH – concatenate a period of time, TO, a verb to take in or arrest and a synonym for every.
18a Cleaner, more slender cakes good — as this one? (6,6)
SPONGE FINGER – something used for cleaning is followed by a comparative meaning more slender containing the abbreviation for good.
21a Guide‘s diamonds pocketed by old woman (8)
CICERONE – an informal word for diamonds is contained inside a derogatory word for an old woman. This term for a tourist guide is based on the name of a Roman statesman famed for his eloquence.
22a Something sparkling around high dome (6)
CUPOLA – a sparkling beverage contains an adverb meaning high.
24a Noise from a pen unable to write? (4)
OINK – split the answer 1,3 to get the reason for being unable to write.
25a Fail to find something natural in fish, long and thin (4,1,5)
DRAW A BLANK – an adjective meaning natural or unrefined goes inside a small flatfish, then we finish with an adjective meaning long and thin.
26a That’s right, sucker! (4)
TICK – double definition, the first a mark indicating correctness.
27a Possibly a nude model ne’er disheartened with cold feet (10)
CENTREFOLD – an anagram (model) of N[e’e]R and COLD FEET.
1d Rice production up, keeping Cambodia’s capital busy (6)
ACTIVE – reverse a production (a co-production really) of (Sir Tim) Rice containing the capital letter of Cambodia.
2d Nuclear bomber, spirit captured in bronze (6)
TRUMAN – insert an alcoholic spirit into a verb to bronze to get the name of the only US President (so far!) to order the use of a nuclear bomb.
3d Qualification wasted, becoming writer (5,7)
RIDER HAGGARD – charade of a qualification or proviso added to an official document and an adjective meaning wasted or gaunt.
4d Reported shock for a boxer (4)
HARE – this is a boxer (during the mating season) that sounds like a shock or thatch.
5d About a hundred previously, unknown number in gang (10)
CONCERNING – string together the Roman numeral for a hundred and an adverb meaning previously then insert the letter used for an unknown number into a gang or circle.
7d Underground trains diverted south of US state (8)
PARTISAN – an anagram (diverted) of TRAINS follows the two-letter code for a US state.
8d Happen to secure farm without roof, as plainsman (8)
COMANCHE – a verb to happen or turn out contains a large farm without its top letter.
11d Confusion, the unreliable project of an astronomer? (6-6)
HUBBLE-BUBBLE – this could be a dodgy scheme associated with the most famous US astronomer.
14d Tender love finally, after county gaols control uprising (5,5)
STAFF NURSE – the final letter of love follows the short name of an English county containing the reversal of a verb to control.
16d Mentally intimidate leader in pack, with youths beginning to clear off (5,3)
PSYCH OUT – the leading letter of pack precedes an anagram (off) of YOUTHS and C[lear].
17d Chevron atop roughly conical explosive (8)
VOLCANIC – the chevron-shaped letter is followed by an anagram (roughly) of CONICAL.
19d One touring a cold country (6)
MONACO – a prefix meaning one or single contains A and C(old).
20d Spy chief begged to be in disguise (6)
MASKED – the letter that identifies a fictional spy chief and a verb meaning begged.
23d Heads of senior Whigs and Tories hit sharply (4)
SWAT – the heads of four consecutive words.
12a, 1d and 2d all pleased a lot but my favourite is 1a. Which one(s) made you smile?