Toughie No 1885 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment **/***
I thought that this was a solid puzzle though without a great deal of sparkle. I proceeded round the grid in a clockwise direction, steadily rather than speedily, and ended up in the SW corner. There are lots and lots of abbreviations here and a fair few reversals, which became even more apparent when I was writing the blog. Thanks to Kcit.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Significant curtailment of University course (5)
GREAT – the name used for a Classics course at Oxford without its final letter.
4a One scoundrel coming back in to jeer American — that’s marvellous (9)
BODACIOUS – this is a slang, North American, adjective (often used to qualify ‘babes’). Reverse the Roman numeral for one and a scoundrel inside a verb to jeer and finish with a two-letter abbreviation for American.
9a Pore over millions invested in work on farm — it’s a routine operation (9)
TREADMILL – insert a verb to pore over or study and the abbreviation for millions into a verb to do work on a farm.
10a A lot of good fortune about, leading to wealth (5)
LUCRE – stick together a word for good fortune without its last letter and a preposition meaning about or concerning.
11a Sudden idea to cover grain (7)
CAPRICE – charade of a verb to cover or ‘put a lid on’ and a type of grain.
12a Upset, started new round after trump (7)
RUFFLED – we’re playing bridge here. A verb meaning ‘started new round’ or ‘played the first card’ follows a verb to trump. Did the setter miss a trick by not starting trump with a capital letter which may have fooled us into thinking of golf?
13a Approach shown by skilled players, doubling clubs and spades (6)
ACCESS – start with a word for skilled players or experts and double the abbreviations for clubs and spades.
15a Argue vaguely about introduction of colour in revolutionary painting (8)
GUERNICA – this is the name of Picasso’s famous anti-war painting. It’s an anagram (vaguely) of ARGUE containing the reversal of the first letter of colour and IN.
18a Wielder of axe named ash for demolition (8)
HEADSMAN – this axe wielder plied his trade on a scaffold. He’s an anagram (for demolition) of NAMED ASH.
20a Everyone initially restricted by constant source of irritation, recalled in a fever (6)
HECTIC – insert the initial letter of everyone into the reversal of the constant used for the speed of light and a source of irritation that may need to be scratched.
23a First to oust this person, American getting cheers, relatively speaking? (3,4)
PRO RATA – delete a subjective pronoun meaning ‘this person’ from an adjective meaning first (?) or earlier and add an abbreviation for American and an informal word for cheers or thanks.
24a A popular firm making a return having covered each part of the globe (7)
OCEANIA – reverse A, our usual adjective meaning popular and the abbreviation for firm or company. Now insert the abbreviation for each.
26a Move cautiously around old snare (5)
NOOSE – a verb to move cautiously forward contains the abbreviation for old.
27a Hurrying to protect Frenchwoman in onslaught (9)
HAMMERING – a synonym for hurrying contains the way a Frenchwoman’s title is written.
28a Fruit lolly we returned with fruitcake (6,3)
CASHEW NUT – concatenate what lolly is an informal word for, WE reversed and a fruitcake or crackpot.
29a Offering allegiance (after initial change of side) for monarch (5)
ROYAL – change the initial letter of an adjective meaning ‘offering allegiance’ from one side to the other.
1d Detective in Georgia unwise to burst in uninvited (9)
GATECRASH – an abbreviated way of saying a detective from Georgia (2,3) followed by an adjective meaning unwise or foolhardy.
2d Detective encouraged in case? (3,2)
EYE UP – case here is a verb. Join together an informal word for a private detective and an adverb meaning encouraged or elated.
3d Heart’s latest stirrings provided by lingerie items (7)
TEDDIES – the final letter of heart is followed by some stirrings or whirlings.
4d French island in sea inlet? Bridge designer required (6)
BAILEY – this is the name of a British civil servant who designed an easy-to-erect bridge for use by the army. Insert the French word for island into a sea inlet.
5d Food shop I established in spirit and excitement (8)
DELIRIUM – start with a food shop then insert I into an alcoholic spirit.
6d Conservative enthusiastically supporting demand (4,3)
CALL FOR – an abbreviation for Conservative followed by a phrase (3,3) meaning supporting enthusiastically.
7d Superior officer and copper incline to apprehend tenor, one behaving mysteriously (9)
OCCULTIST – abbreviations for the officer in charge and copper precede a verb to incline or tilt containing the abbreviation for tenor.
8d Germ brought about onset of pandemic with alacrity (5)
SPEED – a germ or source contain the first letter of pandemic.
14d Vocal couple at front of class engaged in canoodling (9)
CLAMOROUS – assemble the two letters at the start of class and an adjective meaning ‘engaged in canoodling’.
16d Creature with wings, one on right having difference over left (9)
ARCHANGEL – string together ‘one’, an abbreviation for right, a word meaning difference or modification and the abbreviation for left.
17d Extended journey — miles over a desert (hot interior) (8)
MARATHON – bring together the abbreviation for miles, A and a verbal phrase (3,2) meaning to desert or betray with the abbreviation for hot inside it.
19d Homes erected to house a European or Asiatic? (7)
SIAMESE – reverse types of homes containing A and finish with E(uropean). I presume that the question mark is there because the answer is outdated.
21d Stuff on prescription that will have you looking better (7)
EYEWEAR – gentle cryptic definition.
22d Mostly stiff and tense in arrangement (6)
FORMAT – an adjective meaning stiff or reserved without its last letter followed by the abbreviation for tense.
23d Head to North after coming round in rising alarm (5)
PANIC – reverse (to North) a word for head or top containing the reversal (rising) of IN.
25d Is on trail of number (unknown) engaging in racket (5)
NOISY – IS follows an abbreviation for number and precedes an algebraic unknown.
The clues which I liked best were 1d, 6d and 14d. Which one(s) got you going?