Toughie No 1873 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
We don’t often get new Toughie setters (about one a year on average, I reckon) so a warm welcome to Stick Insect. My investigoogling has turned up little information about our new setter other than that he/she is a compiler for the Listener crossword. I hope that he or she will drop in and leave a comment so that we get to know him/her better.
Today’s puzzle is a pretty gentle introduction with plenty of anagrams (my anagram counter just crept into double figures).
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Carol and Jerry, both heartless, resorted to blandishment (8)
CAJOLERY – an anagram (resorted) of CA[r]OL and JE[r]RY.
5a Blow a hot pipe (6)
HOOKAH – a blow, in the boxing ring say, followed by A and the abbreviation for hot.
10a Fairy queen circles broad, complete space over stage for opera (6,9)
MADAME BUTTERFLY – the name of a fairy queen, said to be the bringer of dreams, in English folklore contains an alternative American informal word for ‘broad’ (i.e. woman). Follow that with an adjective meaning complete or total and the (normally plural rather than the singular here) name for the space above the stage in a theatre.
11a Place that is inches high (7)
INSTALL – join an abbreviation for more than one inch and a synonym for high.
12a Meanly taking half levy, revenue’s ending butcher’s device (4-3)
MEAT-AXE – take just half of the word meanly and append a levy or duty and the end letter of revenue.
13a Nearly plagiarise quite freely in review (8)
CRITIQUE – an informal verb to plagiarise without its last letter is followed by an anagram (freely) of QUITE.
15a Chore mixing clay and iron pigment (5)
OCHRE – an anagram (mixing) of CHORE.
18a Perfect fish pursued by small boy (5)
IDEAL – a freshwater fish (one I’ve only ever come across in crosswords) followed by a shortened male forename (we have to guess which one though the definition does give the game away).
20a Place having submerged tin works appearing in map (8)
ATLANTIS – put an anagram (works) of TIN inside another word for map (although you’d be disappointed if you bought one of these and found it contained only one map). I’m not keen on works, as a transitive verb, following rather preceding the fodder.
23a Tolerated party finale in glum tedium (7)
BOREDOM – join together a verb meaning tolerated, a festive party and the final letter of glum.
25a Disgrace in prison embraced by backsliding boys (7)
SCANDAL – a North American slang term for prison is contained inside the reversal of a synonym for boys.
26a Appointment aboard U-boat perhaps creates mutiny? (15)
INSUBORDINATION – split the answer 2,3,10 and it could be a religious appointment aboard a U-boat.
27a Servant takes long time to control (6)
MANAGE – charade of a male servant and a long time.
28a American pen recreated unlimited black art with most extreme characters (8)
ALCATRAZ – an anagram (recreated) of [b]LAC[k] ART followed by the letters at the extremities of the alphabet.
1d Company with exactly what one is looking for to hold two million in pledge (6)
COMMIT – the abbreviation for company and an informal word for ‘what one is looking for’ or ‘the very thing’ contain the abbreviation for million twice.
2d A deer just disturbed rosy flowered plant (5,4)
JUDAS TREE – an anagram (disturbed) of A DEER JUST.
3d Thrash innocent, a saint (7)
LAMBAST – fuse together a metaphor for an innocent or a gentle person, A and an abbreviation for saint.
4d Insurgent, fifty, going after beer, drunk (5)
REBEL – the Roman numeral for fifty follows an anagram (drunk) of BEER.
6d Lear’s daughter that’s broken up loves herb (7)
OREGANO – the name of King Lear’s middle daughter goes between two occurrences of the letter that resembles a score of love.
7d Author involved in mounting pipsqueak fakery (5)
KAFKA – hidden in reverse.
8d Fellow always supporting Welsh town produces irritation (3,5)
HAY FEVER – the abbreviation for fellow and a synonym for always follow the name of the town on the Welsh/English border which is famous for its literary festival.
9d Originating material for organisms hawk traps caught and gathered up (4,4)
STEM CELL – a verb to hawk or peddle contains the reverse of an abbreviation for caught and a verb meaning gathered or assembled.
14d Queen manufactured mirage in difficult situation (8)
QUAGMIRE – an abbreviation for queen followed by an anagram (manufactured) of MIRAGE.
16d More risky to take doctor for producer of hot air (9)
HAIRDRIER – an informal comparative meaning more risky contains an abbreviation for doctor.
17d Game away is monotonous at first, defending one’s area (8)
NIMBYISM – concatenate a game for two people (often involving matchsticks), an adverb meaning away (as in ‘she had a small amount of savings put away’), IS and the first letter of monotonous.
19d Spotted flier in America that’s left bad guy twisting (7)
LADYBUG – start with the abbreviation for left and add an anagram (twisting) of BAD GUY.
21d Once more upset, god falls on border (7)
NIAGARA – reverse an adverb meaning once more and add the name of an Egyptian god.
22d Pancake‘s last remnant of kitchen in sudden attack (6)
BLINTZ – I didn’t know this pancake but it turns out to be a Yiddish variant of a pancake that I did know. Insert the last letter of kitchen into a word for a sudden attack (from the German word for lightning).
24d Irons out ingredient of wax (5)
ROSIN – an anagram (out) of IRONS.
25d Southern inclination to drink greedily (5)
SWILL – the abbreviation for southern and a word meaning inclination or intention.
My favourite clue was 28a (for the clever ‘pen’ misdirection). Which clue(s) engaged you?