Toughie No 1889 by Excalibur
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Excalibur is a fairly rare visitor to Toughieland on Wednesdays and today she’s given us a typical example of her quirky style with some clues working much better than others. I got through three of the quadrants fairly swiftly then stalled for a while in the SW. Thanks to her for the puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
5a Can shoot, though second-rate (6)
TINPOT – charade of another word for a can and a verb to shoot something for the table.
8a Deliver pie (8)
TURNOVER – split the answer 4,4 for a phrasal verb to deliver.
9a Attending in lieu to appease (7)
PLACATE – a preposition meaning attending goes inside a synonym for lieu.
10a On to B for ‘bucatini’? (5)
PASTA – if you’re on to B then you must be **** *.
11a Member of team in Bermudas and T-shirt? (9)
SHORTSTOP – this team member is a fielder in baseball. String together what a) Bermudas and b) T-shirt are examples of.
13a Writing round border in yellow (8)
PRIMROSE – a form of writing contains another word for border.
14a Delightful thank you card (6)
TAKING – this is a dated adjective meaning delightful or captivating in manner. Join together an informal word for ‘thank you’ and a court card.
17a Character said what tells character when to speak (3)
CUE – a homophone of one of the letters in our alphabet.
19a Network group of us bought, ought to junk (3)
WEB – a subjective pronoun for a group of us is followed by ‘bought’ after we’ve crossed out the ‘ought’.
20a So grasp to turn off (6)
SICKEN – this was my last answer (not helped by the double unch). String together the Latin word for so or thus and a Scottish verb to grasp or know.
23a Hitch old airline’s admitted to in warm weather (8)
HEATWAVE – a verb to hitch or lift up contains the abbreviated name of an old US airline.
26a Tennis watched on TV in bedroom? (6,3)
SECOND SET – tennis or ‘tennis watched’ seems a fairly imprecise way of describing this – something like ‘bit of tennis’ would surely be more accurate?
28a Said cargo compartment is no longer watertight (5)
HOLED – this sounds like the cargo department on a ship or aircraft.
29a Don’t allow when junior gets to bed on time (7)
BOYCOTT – assemble a young male person, a child’s bed and the abbreviation for time.
30a Gives non-fishing actor angling role — with these results? (8)
MISCASTS – the results could be problems when he throws out his fishing line.
31a Caught sand storms circling again? (6)
SNARED – an anagram (storms) of SAND goes round a prefix meaning ‘again’.
1d Having had small refill, cork (4,2)
STOP UP – the abbreviation for small followed by a phrasal verb to refill (one’s teacup, for example).
2d Covered up in stiff paper, it’s strong (7)
DRASTIC – put IT’S inside (covered in) some stiff paper then reverse (up) the lot.
3d No sign of — absent from event (3,1,5)
NOT A TRACE – adjust the answer to 3,2,4 to get ‘absent from event’.
4d Timeless secrets unfolded in break (6)
RECESS – an anagram (unfolded) of SECRE[t]S without the abbreviation for time.
5d Vandalised letter boxes round surrounding area and stand (8)
TOLERATE – an anagram (vandalised) of LETTER contains (boxes) the round letter and also contains A(rea).
6d Marks ‘Property of Hell?’ (5)
NICKS – with an appropriate apostrophe inserted this could identify the property of the boss down below.
7d Either retiring or friendly and sociable (8)
OUTGOING – double definition, the first describing someone retiring or leaving office.
12d Bite top off — or cut (3)
HEW – remove the first letter from a verb to bite.
15d Derogatory remark about waist that’s going too far (1,3,5)
A BIT THICK – this could be a derogatory remark about a person’s waist (or their intellect!).
16d Showing effects of years in prison? (8)
TIMEWORN – cryptic definition of an adjective meaning run-down (after spending a period in jail).
18d Not having been polished by daily? (8)
UNEDITED – daily here is not a charwoman but a newspaper. I don’t like this – the polishing is not done by the daily but by an employee of the daily.
21d Female that, boarding bus, may get items from garden centre (3)
SHE – put the answer inside ‘bus’ to get items you may buy at a garden centre.
22d This is fabricated — everything in it is somewhat implausible (7)
TALLISH – an anagram (is fabricated) of THIS contains a synonym for everything. Interesting that this should appear today after yesterday’s discussion on the back-page blog relating to -ISH words.
24d Technically, more than half rioting could be racial (6)
ETHNIC – an anagram (rioting) of the first six (out of eleven) letters of TECHNI[cally].
25d Feel destiny has it in store for family heir? (6)
ELDEST – our one and only lurker.
27d Award zero mark (5)
OSCAR – the letter that resembles zero followed by a residual mark.
The clues which I liked best were 5a, 11a, 30a and 22d. Which one(s) made it to your shortlist?