Toughie No 1953 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
I have the feeling that Stick Insect is still working his way into Toughie setting and I didn’t really find this puzzle terribly stimulating. There’s not a great variety of clue types and quite a few of the surface readings (e.g. 28a, 17d and 22d) don’t make a great deal of sense.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Erase stuff shown by son’s notebooks (11)
SCRATCHPADS: string together a verb to erase or cancel, a verb to stuff or fill and the abbreviation for son. Chambers has the answer as two separate words.
10a Better name cool river (5)
NICER: assemble the abbreviation for name, a verb to cool or chill and the abbreviation for river.
11a New term involving ancient city’s study of body’s impulses (9)
NEUROLOGY: a word meaning a newly coined term (photobomb and listicle are recent examples) containing our usual old Biblical city.
12a Suppress church, certainly with European help (5,4)
CHOKE BACK: draw together an abbreviation for church, a response expressing agreement (certainly!), the abbreviation for European and a verb to help or support.
13a One giving hope, not supporting penny-pincher (5)
MISER: start with a noun for someone who gives hope or raises expectations and take away the prefix meaning supporting or ‘in favour of’.
14a Overcome by drink, is backing daughter’s legal position? (6)
ONSIDE: inside a word for a drink (as in ‘*** for the road’) we have to put the reversal of IS and the abbreviation for daughter.
16a Frenchman discovered better light cloth (8)
JEANETTE: join together a popular French male forename and the word ‘better’ without its outer letters (dis-covered). I’d never heard of the light cloth. A little Googling reveals that this forename is not all that popular in France at the moment with the most favoured boys’ names being Gabriel, Jules, Raphaël, Léo and Adam.
18a Anger in the majority being overturned: electorate’s conclusion is ‘boring‘ (8)
TIRESOME: insert a synonym for anger into the reversal of a word meaning ‘the majority’. Finish with the concluding letter of electorate.
20a Stop working after idiot mostly becomes eating obsessive (6)
FOODIE: a verb to stop working or conk out follows an idiot without his or her last letter.
23a Acts like a Viking god, one sad on reflection when Freya finally leaves (5)
RAIDS: knit together the Egyptian god of the sun, the Roman numeral for one and S[a]D reversed without the final letter of Freya.
24a Hairy grub‘s wife provided most of destruction within equipment (4,5)
KIWI FRUIT: insert the abbreviation for wife, a conjunction meaning ‘provided’ and a word for destruction or demolition without its last letter into another word for equipment or uniform.
26a I will enter factory with former partner first to translate unencoded writing (5,4)
PLAIN TEXT: insert I into a factory or mill and append our usual former partner and the first letter of ‘translate’.
27a Ancient mother-in-law I grumble about (5)
NAOMI: reverse I and a verb to grumble or whinge to get an Old Testament mother-in-law.
28a The French badly treat the English imitation hide (11)
LEATHERETTE: bring together a French definite article, an anagram (badly) of TREAT THE and an abbreviation for English.
2d 4 disregarding news over tree (5)
CACAO: remove the two examples of N(ew) from the answer to 4d and append the cricketing abbreviation for over.
3d: Idiot blonde loses agent’s protection (7)
AIRHEAD: start with an adjective meaning blonde (4-6) and remove the informal word for a US agent or lawman from its periphery.
4d: Dance has the power to preserve (6)
CANCAN: charade of a modal verb meaning ‘has the power’ and a verb to preserve food.
5d All keep moving around university artist (4,4)
PAUL KLEE: an anagram (moving) of ALL KEEP containing the single-letter abbreviation for university.
6d One who welcomes party with alternative staff (7)
DOORMAN: concatenate a festive party, a conjunction introducing an alternative and a verb to staff.
7d Excellent medicine is way to get out cold (8,5)
KNOCKOUT DROPS: an informal adjective meaning excellent or stunning and liquid medicine applied in small amounts.
8d Squeezed company group invested in wine (8)
CORSETED: the abbreviation for company followed by a group or gang inserted in a type of wine.
9d Colder city, her cooking supplied by natural power (13)
HYDROELECTRIC: an anagram (cooking) of COLDER CITY HER.
15d Mostly grumpy about exam hangover (8)
SURVIVAL: an adjective meaning grumpy or morose without its last letter contains an oral exam.
17d Time after moment in heavens is foggiest (8)
SMOKIEST: the abbreviation for time follows a short moment contained in a synonym for heavens.
19d Woman from South America meeting Henry’s second wife (7)
SUSANNE: abbreviations for South and America precede the forename of Henry VIII’s second wife. I know that Mr Cohen spelt the woman’s name slightly differently but I don’t think it matters:
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21d Displeasure from Church consuming Slough (7)
OFFENCE: a preposition that can mean ‘from’ and the abbreviation for the established church in England contain another word for a slough or marsh.
22d Article supporting cut with raised cover (6)
SWATHE: a definite article follows a verb to cut having its W(ith) raised towards the top.
25d Forbidden to rear duck inside — it’s designed to dive (1-4)
U-BOAT: reverse an adjective meaning forbidden and insert the letter that resembles zero or a duck.
The clue I liked best was 6d. Which one(s) took your fancy?