Toughie No 1801 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment **/***
Thanks to Firefly for a midweek Toughie that was pleasant enough and not ubertricky.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
6a To some extent heat’s on affair — like this? (5,1,7)
AFTER A FASHION – what we need is an anagram of HEAT’S ON AFFAIR with the indicator being the answer itself.
8a Flight direct from States swallows overdraft (6)
EXODUS – a preposition meaning ‘direct from’ and an abbreviation for the States contain an abbreviation for overdraft.
9a Buck a trend — stupidly dumping R & D — thus fail to progress (8)
STAGNATE – a male animal (buck) followed by an anagram (stupidly) of A T[r]EN[d] without R & D.
10a Runner visits Sikkim from time to time (3)
SKI – the odd letters of Sikkim.
11a To lighten, quarter of load’s dumped in sand (6)
BLEACH – insert a quarter of the word ‘load’ into a synonym for sand.
12a Saucy clothing? (8)
DRESSING – a weakish cryptic definition.
14a May perhaps briefly possessing strong arguments shows vast … (7)
MAMMOTH – a 3-letter abbreviation for what May is an example of contains a metaphor for strong supporting arguments.
16a … skill as Conservative avoiding awkward glitches (7)
SLEIGHT – an anagram (awkward) of GLIT[c]HES without the C[onservative].
20a Canines inspect patch of grass and the endless … (3,5)
EYE TEETH – string together a verb to inspect or contemplate, a patch of grass on a golf course and ‘the’ without its last letter.
23a … drive — undesirably let off (6)
TOOTLE – an adverb meaning to a greater extent than is desirable is followed by an anagram (off) of LET.
24a First half’s missed in smash performance (3)
ACT – drop the first half of a smash or collision.
25a Tidal turbines for the USA, possibly? (3,5)
SEA POWER – double definition, the first a bit cryptic. Tidal turbines harness the strength of the waves to produce electricity.
26a Shrubs seen in western continents — not before noon, though (6)
ERICAS – continents in the west without the abbreviation meaning before noon.
27a Serving on board in advance of the fruit (6,3,4)
BEFORE THE MAST – charade of a preposition meaning ‘in advance of’, THE and the fruit of the oak and other trees.
1d Boss markedly masculine where breeding’s a concern (8)
STUDFARM – concatenate a boss or knob, an adverb meaning markedly or considerably and an abbreviation for masculine.
2d Officer supports hush over airman’s first hint of treachery (5,3)
BRASS HAT – assemble our usual supporting garments, an instruction to hush and the first letters of airman and treachery.
3d GB right or wrong in the game? (7)
OFFSIDE – double definition. It looks as though the editor’s having a little joke this week (this may be “confuse Kath” day!). The first is on the right of a vehicle in Great Britain (although if the vehicle is driving towards you it’s on your left!).
4d Slice of meat? Look out for 8! (6)
ESCAPE – start with a cut of meat and take out the archaic interjection meaning ‘look!’.
5d ‘Sherlock’ is under water, topless, getting supplies (6)
VIANDS – Sherlock is an informal (often ironic) name for a detective. Put the abbreviation for a detective in the CID after a brand of mineral water without its first letter. Uniformed officers often have a pretty low opinion of the investigative capabilities of those in the CID; a uniformed inspector once told me that if two CID officers were in a phone box and one of them farted they wouldn’t be able to detect which one had done it.
6d In modifying part of speech, I left in gold cross surmounting intricate breviary (9,4)
AUXILIARY VERB – insert the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for left into the chemical symbol for gold, the cross-shaped letter and an anagram (intricate) of BREVIARY.
7d Never out of cash? Time he allowed a touch of selflessness in (3,2,3,5)
NOT IN THE LEAST – start with a laconic way of saying ‘out of cash’ (2,3) and add the abbreviation for time, HE and a verb meaning allowed containing A and the first letter of selflessness.
13d Date in York, maybe? (3)
SEE – double definition. Date here is a verb.
15d Single topped the chart, we hear (3)
ONE – this sounds like a verb meaning topped the chart or triumphed.
17d Showing type, Latvian took wrong turning leaving centre (8)
LETTERED – an old-fashioned term for a Latvian followed by a verb meaning ‘took a wrong turning’ or ‘screwed up’ without its central letter.
18d Press controlling nearly everything? That’s wry (8)
IRONICAL – assemble a verb to press, an abbreviation meaning controlling and a synonym for everything without its last letter.
19d Handout of tea and sympathy quietly suspended (7)
CHARITY – an informal word for tea followed by another word for sympathy or compassion without the musical abbreviation for quietly.
21d Warning in argument about surgery coming up (3-3)
TIP-OFF – a minor argument contains the reversal of the abbreviation for a surgical procedure.
22d Tie up trailing ends of rope loosened in Lear, maybe? (6)
EDWARD – reverse a tie or dead heat after the end letters of rope and loosened. This Lear is not the Shakespearean king but the writer of nonsense verse.
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find him pleasant enough.
I bestowed my ticks today on 1a, 3d and 13d. Which one(s) made you gruntled?