Toughie No 1837 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Samuel for an enjoyable but pretty gentle Toughie. We’ve had an easy ride so far this week – are we being softened up for a stinker by the time we reach Friday?
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Swamp’s brown, almost black, and ultimately ordinary (3,8)
BOG STANDARD – string together a synonym for swamp plus the ‘S, a brown colour, an adjective meaning black or unilluminated without its last letter and the ultimate letter of ‘and’.
9a Lies heartlessly about dreadful elitism going on forever (9)
LIMITLESS – the outer letters of ‘lies’ contain an anagram (dreadful) of ELITISM.
10a Relative from Greece insists on return (5)
NIECE – a reverse lurker.
11a Corrupt trade involving this choice could result in deportation (6)
OPTION – this is a compound anagram so the answer plus TRADE make an anagram (corrupt) of DEPORTATION (or to put it another way remove the letters of TRADE from DEPORTATION and make an anagram of what’s left over).
12a Practice try again with forwards in sevens event (8)
REHEARSE – a verb to try again (in court) followed by the leading letters of ‘sevens’ and ‘event’. Surely the definition should be ‘practise’ rather than ‘practice’?
13a Deal with variable agreement (6)
TREATY – a verb to deal with or tackle is followed by one of the mathematical variables.
15a Let off salesperson with leaving dodgy review (8)
REPRIEVE – start with an abbreviated word for a salesperson and add an anagram (dodgy) of REVIE[w] without the abbreviation for ‘with’.
18a Brief run can end in jog (8)
FLEETING – bring together a verb to run or clear off, another word for a can and the end letter of ‘jog’.
19a Roman politician‘s cool and reserved at first in company (6)
CICERO – a verb to cool and the first letter of reserved go inside the usual abbreviation for company.
21a Reportedly glimpse better-looking sailor (8)
SEAFARER – this is a double homophone – firstly a verb to glimpse and then a comparative meaning better-looking or more attractive.
23a Weak moan about the French (6)
FEEBLE – reverse an informal verb to moan or complain and add one of the French definite articles.
26a ‘Heroes‘ single sold badly (5)
IDOLS – start with the Roman numeral for a single and append an anagram (badly) of SOLD.
27a Police information: king has been kidnapped by women (9)
GENDARMES – a short word for information is followed by a single-letter abbreviation for king caught inside an informal (mainly North American) term for women.
28a Large helping mostly eaten when out of sorts? (11)
ELEPHANTINE – an anagram (when out of sorts) of HELPIN[g] and EATEN.
1d ‘Sing live!’ — line offered by ticket-seller (4,3)
BELT OUT – concatenate a verb to live or exist, the abbreviation for line and a (sometimes illegal) ticket-seller.
2d Corporation’s housing is for the first person in range (5)
GAMUT – another word for one’s ‘corporation’ contains the first person equivalent of the verb ‘is’. As the very catty Dorothy Parker said of a stage performance by Katharine Hepburn ‘She ran the whole ***** of emotions from A to B’.
3d Flier in favour of diplomacy, not cold revenge (3,3,3)
TIT FOR TAT – assemble a feathered flier, a preposition meaning ‘in favour of’ and a synonym for diplomacy without the abbreviation for cold.
4d Celebration that could make hotel hot (4)
NOEL – split the answer 2,2 to make hotel into hot.
5d One responds with ‘Fans were ruining boxing!’ (8)
ANSWERER – hidden (boxing) in the clue.
6d Fool‘s caught trapped in sand (5)
DUNCE – insert the cricketing abbreviation for caught into a heap of sand.
7d Arrive in advance of quiet retreat (7)
PRECEDE – the musical abbreviation meaning quiet is followed by a verb to retreat.
8d Bring back 15 with time to act for power (8)
RETRIEVE – the answer to 15a with the abbreviation for time replacing that for power.
14d Lift two-thirds of team facing an uphill challenge? (8)
ELEVATOR – two-thirds of a football or cricket term followed by A and a rocky hill.
16d Step up — one entering may become very angry (5,4)
RAISE CAIN – knit together a verb to step up or increase and a synonym for ‘may’ containing the Roman numeral for one.
17d Cajole father to leave free-living drunk (8)
INVEIGLE – an anagram (drunk) of FREE-LIVING after we’ve removed the abbreviation for the religious father.
18d Make trend (7)
FASHION – double definition, the second meaning trend or vogue.
20d Supervise one writing poem for knight (7)
OVERSEE – start with the word ‘one’ then write a word for poem in place of the chess abbreviation for knight.
22d Passage exposed Scottish town (5)
AISLE – remove the outer letters (exposed) from a Scottish town noted for an eponymous fabric pattern.
24d Child ignoring negative Disney character (5)
BAMBI – remove the negative response from a word, from Italian, meaning little child.
25d Move slowly inside church (4)
INCH – fuse together a preposition meaning inside and one of the abbreviations for church.
2d was top clue for me with 1a and 18a runners-up. Which one(s) fired your imagination.