Toughie No 1777 by Elkamere
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
It’s always a pleasure to get an Elkamere Toughie on a Wednesday and this one is enjoyable as always. I thought it was going to be a pangram but it failed at the last hurdle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a One might take milk and leave bread (5,5)
TOOTH FAIRY – cryptic definition of a night-time visitor. Bread is an informal word for money.
6a Feeling low, start to drink (4)
MOOD – to low followed by the first letter of drink.
9a Tree well ruined by nasty pest (4,6)
BOLL WEEVIL – join together a type of tree sacred to Buddhists, an anagram (ruined) of WELL and an adjective meaning nasty or foul.
10a Period after making sandwiches (4)
TERM – hidden in the clue.
12a Bank of Scotland over in New York, which is handy (6)
NEARBY – reverse a Scottish word for a bank or hillside and put it inside the abbreviation for New York.
13a Do call (8)
OCCASION – double definition – the first a do or celebration and the second a reason or pretext.
15a To act up is daft with family sitting in silence (3,1,4,2,2)
PUT A SOCK IN IT – an anagram (daft) of TO ACT UP IS containing a word for family or relations.
18a Tragic case — look into it (5-7)
HEART-RENDING – a court case contains a word for look or fashion.
21a Butcher found in service area (8)
MASSACRE – charade of a religious service and a unit of land area.
22a Order to stop speaking (6)
CHEQUE – this sounds like a verb to stop or curb.
24a Base pay (4)
FOOT – double definition, the first a noun and the second a verb.
25a Off-road racing that is circuitous (10)
SCRAMBLING – at first I thought that this was just a pretty weak cryptic definition of a motor sport involving doing laps over rough ground. Then the light dawned and I twigged the wordplay – start with a two-letter abbreviation, from the Latin word scilicet, meaning “that is” or namely and add an adjective meaning circuitous or wandering.
26a Covering over pool (4)
LIDO – a covering followed by the cricketing abbreviation for over.
27a After wrecking taxi he pays for throttle (10)
ASPHYXIATE – an anagram (after wrecking) of TAXI HE PAYS.
1d Pipe from water tower crossing ditch (6)
TUBING – something that tows on water goes round a verb to ditch.
2d Renault turns up, a new lubricant in it (6)
OILCAN – reverse a Renault car model and add A and N(ew). Who remembers the adverts with Papa and Nicole?
3d My suggestion if this fails (3,5,4)
HOW ABOUT THAT – if ‘this’ isn’t working then …?
4d Before kiss, take off top (4)
APEX – a verb to take off or mimic followed by a written kiss.
5d Beating sun, cold air, bringers of storms (4-6)
RAIN-CLOUDS – an anagram (beating) of SUN COLD AIR.
7d Good order — finish books (8)
OBEDIENT – concatenate an order or gong, a verb to finish or conk out and some Biblical books.
8d The same couple hugging in corner (8)
DOMINATE – an abbreviation meaning the same as before is followed by a verb to couple or breed containing IN.
11d Stop watching TV — surprisingly, it appears (4-2-3-3)
JACK-IN-THE-BOX – an informal phrasal verb (4,2) meaning to stop or discontinue followed by an informal term for one’s TV set.
14d Record ‘Beat It’ (4,6)
MAKE TRACKS – this could be what singers do in a recording studio.
16d Shocking fraud over fuel supply (8)
SHAMEFUL – a fraud or pretence followed by an anagram (supply) of FUEL.
17d Idiot returned steel key (8)
PASSWORD – reverse an informal word for an idiot and add what steel is a literary word for.
19d Eagle heads for it, lands in water (6)
AQUILA – put the initial letters of I[t] and L[ands] into a word, from Latin, meaning water.
20d Struggle to eat animal produce, do I? (6)
VEGGIE – this is a semi-all-in-one. A verb to struggle or compete contains the produce of female creatures.
23d 22’s equivalent — about 15 (4)
CASH – an abbreviation for about or approximately followed by a more succinct way of saying 15a.
Lots of clues to like – I’ll pick out 25a, 3d and 11d but my favourite has to be 1a. Which one(s) did you rate highly?