Toughie No 1945 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment */**
I really didn’t enjoy this a great deal and, unusually for me, I was relieved when I’d finished writing the hints. There’s an awful lot of inserting bits in other bits and chopping off letters and none of the clues really grabbed me.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Union official’s split about American aim again (7)
REFOCUS: the abbreviation for the title used by the senior shop steward in a printing or journalism enterprise goes between a preposition meaning about or concerning and an abbreviation for American.
5a Excellent movement drawing in singular religious follower (7)
ASCETIC: join together an informal adjective meaning excellent and an involuntary facial movement then insert the abbreviation for singular.
9a Diversify, I say, coming in against a tax (9)
VARIEGATE: I and an abbreviation meaning ‘say’ get inserted into an abbreviation meaning against (in a sporting competition), A and a property tax.
10a Very much split by a book ban (5)
TABOO: we’ve only had four clues and this is our second ‘split’. This time we have to split an adverb meaning ‘very much’ or overly by inserting A and the abbreviation for book.
11a Poet to look good? (7)
SITWELL: the poet could be any one of three literary English siblings of which the most famous was Dame Edith. When split 3,4 the answer means to look good or be suitable.
12a Be unwell in attack of ill-health leading to rescue (4,3)
BAIL OUT: a verb meaning to be unwell or sickly goes inside an attack or period of ill-health.
13a Painful time and tense when daughter leaves to tour university (9)
TRAUMATIC: start with the abbreviation for time, add an adjective meaning tense or action-packed, remove the abbreviation for daughter and insert the single-letter abbreviation for university.
16a Fabric lines appearing during day (5)
TULLE: two abbreviations for line go inside the short form of a day of the week.
17a Boat stuck beside lake? That’s a bad look (5)
SCOWL: a flat-bottomed boat is followed by the abbreviation for lake.
18a Like a king or queen, adapting Roman style (9)
MONARCHIC: an anagram (adapting) of ROMAN and a noun meaning style or elegance.
21a Quote to secure a high-class car turned unreliable (7)
ERRATIC: a verb to quote contains A and the abbreviation for a high-class car. Reverse the lot.
22a A skin blemish concealed by old woman’s make-up (7)
MASCARA: A and a skin blemish are contained in an affectionate term for one’s old woman or mother.
25a Northern city to continue splitting? (5)
RIPON: splitting seems to be the word of the day – split the answer 3,2 to get a phrasal verb which could mean to continue splitting or tearing. It’s a convention in UK crosswords that anywhere in England that’s north of Birmingham is referred to as ‘northern’ whereas as far as the whole country is concerned (and especially to those living in Aberdeen or Inverness, say) this city is really in the ‘midlands’.
26a Second-rate, awfully nasty Left-wing revolutionary seen in Spectator (9)
BYSTANDER: string together the letter used to mean second-rate, an anagram (awfully) of NASTY and the reversal of an adjective meaning left-wing.
27a A remedy that’s failed? That’s unfortunate (5,2)
DEARY ME: make an anagram (that’s failed) of A REMEDY.
28a Small offence, carrying off last valuable plant (7)
SAFFRON: the abbreviation for small (commonly used in clothing sizes but strangely not recognised by Chambers) is followed by another word for an offence or insult without its last letter.
1d Further address rising row about half-a-dozen sons (7)
REVISIT: the reversal of a row or bank contains the Roman numeral for six and the abbreviation for sons.
2d Stone found below tree tops (5)
FIRST: the abbreviation for stone (i.e. 14lbs) follows a type of evergreen tree.
3d Celebrated completion of fine railway junction (5)
CREWE: a verb meaning celebrated or boasted followed by the last letter of fine.
4d Vehicle, large, appearing in fixed shade (7)
SCARLET: a motor vehicle and the abbreviation for large (another commonly-used clothes size not known to Chambers) go inside an adjective meaning fixed or inflexible.
5d Bitter: excellent, endlessly full-flavoured, about foremost of beers (7)
ACERBIC: an informal adjective meaning excellent (exactly the same as we had in 5a!!) is followed by an adjective meaning full-flavoured or creamy without its last letter containing the foremost letter of beers.
6d Rising charge brought in to supply pet essential (3,6)
CAT LITTER: reverse a verb to charge (as Don Quixote did at windmills) inside a verb to supply (food, for example).
7d Label majority of French game to get hot Mediterranean salad (9)
TABBOULEH: assemble a label or tag, a French game played with metal balls without its last letter and the abbreviation for hot. I’m not sure what the surface means.
8d Laughter: difficult job suppressing this laughter initially (7)
CHORTLE: a difficult or boring job contains the initial letters of “this laughter”.
14d Outburst restrained by a father hard on a set of religious texts (9)
APOCRYPHA: an outburst or ejaculation is contained inside A, an informal (mainly North American) word for father, the abbreviation for hard and A.
15d Extremism? It’s in Italian city, and city’s to dismiss it (9)
MILITANCY: insert IT into a city in Northern Italy then add ‘city’ after removing the IT.
17d Are brought in lost, like sheep, often (7)
SHEARED: insert ARE into a past participle meaning lost or discarded.
18d Grim carriage, with horse either side (7)
MACABRE: a carriage or vehicle for hire goes inside a female horse.
19d Individual dodging initial chaos, brought about one source of vengeance (7)
NEMESIS: start with a noun identifying an individual without its first letter and add a word for chaos or muddle containing the Roman numeral for one.
20d Series about historical king produces exasperation (7)
CHAGRIN: a synonym for series or sequence contains the cipher of one of our old kings (we’ve had six of them, so far, although another may be in prospect).
23d Man following dietary concerns up (5)
STAFF: the definition here is a verb. Concatenate the abbreviation for following and one of the main constituents of our diet (along with carbohydrates and proteins) and reverse it all.
24d Tree, a polled tree (5)
ALDER: A followed by a type of small tree without its initial E (i.e. polled, without its top).
None of the clues stood out for me today. Which one(s) made your list of highlights?