Toughie No 1789 by Micawber
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Micawber’s given us a fairly fluffy Toughie today but it’s as enjoyable as his puzzles always are.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Pool money before getting pricy knitwear (8)
CASHMERE – a pool or lake with some money preceding it.
5a Never be quiet at university dinner? (4-2)
NOSH-UP – a terse instruction to never be quiet (2,2) followed by an adverb meaning at university. Perhaps not Micawber’s finest ever clue.
10a Drunken lecher, into brewing beer, sport and Blue Suede Shoes? (7,8)
BROTHEL CREEPERS – an anagram (drunken) of LECHER goes inside a second anagram (brewing) of BEER and SPORT. The question mark’s an admission that these shoes are not necessarily blue.
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11a On face, where child is baptised? That’s about right (2,5)
IN FRONT – where a child may be baptised (2,4) contains an abbreviation for right.
12a Firm friends? (7)
COMPANY – double definition, the second possibly meaning guests.
13a Insectivore getting sharp pain with ruptured loin (8)
PANGOLIN – charade of a sharp pain and an anagram (ruptured) of LOIN.
15a One with snakeskin hood and cobalt underwear (5)
COBRA – the chemical symbol for cobalt and some supporting underwear.
18a Department following American expert (5)
ADEPT – abbreviations for American and department.
20a Most man-like, apart from pectorals? (8)
BUTCHEST – split the answer 3,5 and it could mean ‘save for the area of the pectorals’.
23a Theatre role: twisted poacher (7)
TRAPPER – join together an abbreviation for a theatre with a permanent company of actors and a synonym for role then reverse it all.
25a Winning team’s cut (7)
TOPSIDE – concatenate an adjective meaning winning or leading and another word for team.
26a Improvised cowboy boot accessory’s on trend (4-2-3-6)
SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT – an accessory that may be seen on a cowboy boot followed by a phrase meaning ‘on trend’ or currently fashionable.
27a Write down what’ll get best out of beta test? (6)
NOTATE – split 2,4 this is what’s needed to isolate ‘best’ from ‘beta test’.
28a Rejected fools, maybe under pressure (8)
STRESSED – reverse what could be fools or purées.
1d Solid young reporter has heart in job on papers (6)
CUBOID – string together a young reporter, the letter at the heart of job and the abbreviation for papers describing their owner.
2d Delicate thing currently getting criticism in some quarters (9)
SNOWFLAKE – put an adverb meaning currently and an informal word for heavy criticism between two cardinal points.
3d Fried jamon with starter of hock, pig’s foot and game (3-4)
MAH-JONG – make an anagram (fried) of JAMON and H[ock] and append the bottom letter of pig.
4d Roofer performing climb gets fired again (5)
RELIT – reverse a roofer.
6d Dubious income when chap finally enters amateur night at the local? (4-3)
OPEN-MIC – insert the final letter of chap into an anagram (dubious) of INCOME.
7d One who’s a notorious laugh picked up by Sloaney humourist (5)
HYENA – a reverse lurker. The ‘s here stands for ‘has’ rather than ‘is’.
8d Lousy pay-cuts head of staffing’s accepted, the wimp (5-3)
PUSSY-CAT – insert the top letter of staffing into an anagram (lousy) of PAY-CUTS.
9d Playground in outskirts of Cheshunt covered by parking space (8)
PRECINCT – string together the abbreviation for a playground or park, IN and the outer letters of Cheshunt then put the abbreviation for parking on top of it all.
14d Student on island getting lecture for free (8)
LIBERATE – start with abbreviations for student and island and add a verb to lecture or reprimand.
16d Domineering manner that characterises a stud? (9)
BOSSINESS – definition and cryptic definition, this stud being a knob.
17d Fraction is a number that’s irregular (8)
PARTISAN – start with a fraction or portion and add IS, A and an abbreviation for number.
19d Radical solution for supplying plant (7)
TAPROOT – cryptic definition of what supplies nourishment to a plant.
21d Dodgy iPhone to get hold of bachelor’s bit on the side (3,4)
HIP BONE – an anagram (dodgy) of IPHONE containing the abbreviation for bachelor.
22d E.g. cat one in 10 perhaps stroked (6)
PETTED – what a domestic cat is an example of is followed by the familiar name of an old inhabitant of Number Ten. I did check to see if any of the ‘official’ cats at No. 10 were thus called – none was (current incumbent is Larry). [As Dave Lawes and CS have pointed out, the ‘ted’ is a Teddy Boy who would probably have worn a pair of 10a.]
24d Grown up in insane sect without leaders (5)
ADULT – select synonyms for insane and sect and drop the leading letter from both.
25d Taking a daily paper (5)
THEFT – split the answer 3,2 for a daily newspaper.
Lots to like here including 20a, 26a, 16d and 21d but my favourite is 10a. Which one(s) tickled your fancy?