Toughie No 1769 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
There’s nothing to terrify the thoroughbreds in this pleasant puzzle from Samuel. I didn’t know the Hobbit or the French composers but in both cases the checking letters and the wordplay soon sorted me out. Thanks to Samuel.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Outsiders on pole caught obstructing racing driver’s view (8)
PROSPECT – the outer letters of pole and the single-letter abbreviation for caught go inside the surname of a former French racing driver.
5a Supply ammunition to one penning article for designer (6)
ARMANI – a verb meaning ‘to supply ammunition to’ and the Roman numeral for one contain an indefinite article.
9a Bashful going to bed (8)
RETIRING – double definition.
10a Hobbit cut short quiet farewell (3,3)
PIP PIP – this is an informal and dated way of saying farewell (so dated, in fact, that Chambers has forgotten all about it) which I got from the checkers because I’ve never managed to get beyond the first few pages of any Tolkien book. Google assisted in finding the Hobbit’s name – we have to drop his final N and add the musical abbreviation for quiet.
12a Jobs perhaps almost degrade retiring docker (9)
STEVEDORE – the forename of the late Mr Jobs followed by the reversal of a verb to degrade or wear away without its final letter.
13a Playwright left cover (5)
SHAWL – append the abbreviation for left to the surname of an Irish playwright.
14a Swapping PC Plod’s head? (4)
CAPE – start with a verb to plod or walk and swap the letters P and C.
16a Convey, avoiding motorway travel (7)
TRANSIT – a verb to convey or communicate without the abbreviation for motorway.
19a Schedule includes love, one might crow (7)
ROOSTER – a work schedule containing the letter that resembles love or zero.
21a Shack is bolted — Russian’s certainly out (4)
SHED – start with a verb meaning bolted or rushed and remove the Russian word for yes.
24a Mug chef, 20? (5)
STEIN – double definition, the second (a chef whose forename is 20d) also appeared in last Wednesday’s Toughie.
25a Crooked dealer maybe offering vehicle with copper instrument (4-5)
CARD-SHARP – a charade of a vehicle, the rank of a police officer and a musical instrument.
27a A smaller amount nine French composers grouped together (3,3)
LES SIX – this is the phrase used in France for a group of composers who worked in Paris around 1920. Put together a word meaning a smaller amount and the Roman numeral for nine.
28a Evil, evil, evil rites (8)
SINISTER – a word meaning evil or wickedness is followed by an anagram (evil) of RITES.
29a Salt mark (6)
RATING – double definition, salt being a sailor.
30a One renting with journalist and academic (8)
LETTERED – a person who rents out and the usual abbreviated journalist.
1d Read an application (6)
PERUSE – an alternative word for ‘an’ in a sentence such as ‘we averaged 40 miles an hour’ followed by a synonym for application or employment.
2d Start shop with son taking over at No. 4? (6)
OUTSET – start with another word for a shop or selling place and change its fourth letter to S(on).
3d Analyse standards on base (5)
PARSE – a word meaning standards or averages followed by the letter used in maths for the base in logarithms.
4d Prisoner with acceptable excuse (7)
CONDONE – concatenate the short form of a word for prisoner and an adjective meaning socially acceptable (as in ‘the **** thing’).
6d Bring back checks on gallery (9)
REINSTATE – a verb meaning checks followed by the usual art gallery.
7d Evaluate program upgrade (8)
APPRAISE – an abbreviation for a computer program is followed by a verb to upgrade or boost.
8d The setter’s humourless, healthy and rude (8)
IMPOLITE – string together the setter’s way of saying “he’s”, an adjective (often followed by –faced) meaning humourless and advertising-speak for healthy or low in calories.
11d Stop on street (4)
REST – a preposition meaning on or concerning and the abbreviation for street.
15d Notice a pressure in the ear? (9)
ATTENTION – A followed by what sounds like a word for pressure or stress.
17d One fights with others joining the French Resistance (8)
WRESTLER – assemble the abbreviation for ‘with’, a word meaning others, a French definite article and the symbol for electrical resistance.
18d Bath’s location very close to gas meter that’s damaged outside (8)
SOMERSET – start with an adverb meaning very then insert the closing letter of gas into an anagram (that’s damaged) of METER.
20d Stack unlimited building-blocks (4)
RICK – remove the outer letters from building-blocks.
21d This fish, blue when cooked, could be undesirable (7)
SARDINE – ‘undesirable’ can be made from a compound anagram (when cooked) of the answer plus BLUE.
22d Ridicule getting stake in old train company (6)
BANTER – insert a gambling stake into our old nationalised train company. I think that the answer means good-natured chaffing rather than ridicule but the BRB disagrees with me and calls it ‘humorous ridicule’.
23d Saved one from terrible despair (6)
SPARED – an anagram (terrible) of DESPA[i]R after we’ve taken away the Roman numeral for one.
26d Change key (5)
SHIFT – double definition, the second being a key on a standard keyboard.
28a, 8d and 18d are the contenders for best clue for me today. Which one(s) would you expect to pull out of the sealed envelope?