Toughie No 1901 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment **/***
Thanks to Kcit for what I thought was quite a tricky puzzle (especially in the NW corner where I’d managed to start my original answer to 4d with DE, thus making 1a impossible). There aren’t a lot of laughs here but (as I noticed more when writing the hints than when solving) there are lots of clues requiring containments and insertions.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Stick around, taking in start of play involving stars (8)
GALACTIC – reverse a dialect verb to stick or bedaub and insert the start of a play (3,1).
5a Reserve at international? One’s on top of the world! (6)
ICECAP – stitch together a word for reserve or coolness and a sportsperson who’s represented his or her country.
10a Gold to be worth more after one’s ignored media outlet (5)
ORGAN – start with our usual heraldic tincture of gold and add a verb meaning to be worth more without the Roman numeral for one.
11a Visionary religious location — going to take that in (3-6)
FAR-SEEING – a present participle meaning going or ‘getting on’ contains the area overseen by a bishop.
12a Nearer, but missing first place — becoming this? (5)
LOSER – a comparative meaning nearer without its first letter.
13a Make speech after returning flag and disappear (9)
EVAPORATE – a verb to make a speech follows the reversal of a verb to flag (with stones).
14a Stop filling regular pan (7)
SKILLET – a verb to kill or switch off goes inside an adjective meaning regular or standard.
15a Stopped touring South America — not now of interest? (7)
DISUSED – a verb meaning stopped or conked out contains abbreviations for South and America.
18a Come back — ailing person has died (7)
RESPOND – an anagram (ailing) of PERSON followed by the abbreviation for died.
20a The writer’s entering place such as certain hot baths (7)
STEAMED – a pronoun identifying the writer goes inside a word meaning place or role.
21a Abandoned current chapter in a book (old) (9)
ABDICATED – string together A, the abbreviation for book and an adjective meaning old or old-fashioned then insert abbreviations for electric current and chapter.
24a Coach backing team’s beginning to tuck into grub (5)
TUTOR – insert the first letter of team into a verb meaning grub (like a pig looking for truffles) then reverse it all.
26a Serious crime extent evident in assault without club (9)
TREACHERY – a word meaning extent or scope goes inside a synonym for assault (often paired with assault in the phrase ‘assault and *******’) without the word for a club or racket. I suppose if the answer is carried out against the state it can be a serious crime but I don’t really like the definition.
27a Turned on by reckless traveller (5)
NOMAD – reverse NO and add an adjective meaning reckless or foolhardy.
28a Top soldier’s ready for cuddle (6)
COSSET – the abbreviation for the top soldier plus the ‘S is followed by an adjective (the same one we had in 14a meaning regular) here meaning ready or geared up.
29a God appearing in single time period? It wouldn’t surprise me (1,4,3)
I DARE SAY – the Greek god of war goes inside the Roman numeral for a single and a 24-hour time period.
1d Arab fiend has operated primarily in most of Arab region? (5)
GHOUL – the initial letters of ‘has’ and ‘operated’ go inside an oil-rich Middle East region without its final letter.
2d Sit around during argument over singular military movements (9)
LOGISTICS – insert an anagram (around) of SIT inside a word for argument or line of reasoning and finish with the abbreviation for singular.
3d Evidence of plane flight I discounted to one taking to air? (9)
CONTRALTO – the North American abbreviation for what we call a vapour trail loses its I, then append ‘TO’. The definition seems very woolly to me even with the question mark.
4d Change tone of line to be used during blight (7)
INFLECT – a verb to blight or contaminate contains the abbreviation for line.
6d Company adopting Communist beliefs (5)
CREDO – the abbreviation for company contains an informal word for a Communist.
7d Crockery range having article out of place (5)
CHINA – start with a word for range (of mountains, possibly) then move the indefinite article.
8d Obstinate when promoted, soldier with power was leading (9)
PIGHEADED – reverse the abbreviation for a US soldier and the abbreviation for power and add a verb meaning ‘was leading’.
9d Monarch undertook to get Duke a commission (6)
ERRAND – concatenate our current monarch’s cipher, a verb meaning undertook or carried out and the abbreviation for duke.
14d Mocking theatrical airs around performers approaching clubs (9)
SARCASTIC – an anagram (theatrical) of AIRS contain the collective word for the performers in a play. To finish we need the abbreviation for the card suit clubs.
16d Crook enters bringing in small bribe (9)
SWEETENER – an anagram (crook, in the Antipodean sense meaning ill or wrong) of ENTERS contains an adjective meaning small.
17d A remarkable rival to the Telegraph? Not always (9)
SOMETIMES – split the answer 4,5 and it could be an admiring statement indicating that the Telegraph’s daily rival is remarkable.
19d Free to turn up having suppressed the panic (6)
DITHER – reverse a verb to free and insert THE.
20d Bill, in terribly seedy surroundings, is evoking tears (3-4)
SAD-EYED – insert the abbreviation for a bill or poster into an anagram (terribly) of SEEDY.
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22d Pieces of music: concert’s last in subscription (5)
DUETS – insert the last letter of concert into a word for a (normally annual) subscription.
23d Constant pain in store (5)
CACHE – bring together the constant used for the speed of light and a word meaning pain.
25d Wretched bishop abandoning acquaintance in support of King (5)
RUDDY – remove the chess abbreviation for bishop from an informal North American word for an acquaintance or friend and precede that with an abbreviation for king.
The clues which I liked best were 5a and 17d. Which one(s) caught your eye?