Toughie No 1969 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment **
When I started this in the North-West corner I thought it was going to be a doddle but things got a bit more difficult as I travelled South-East. I didn’t find it all that enjoyable as the wordplay contained masses of abbreviations and “drop the last letter” constructs which made writing the hints a bit of a chore.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Face slump in contest (6)
VISAGE: a verb to slump goes inside a verb to contest or compete.
4a Comment on artist’s popularity bearing fruit (6)
RAISIN: split the answer 2,2,2 and it could be saying that an artist is popular.
8a Daughter is avoiding person uncovered as crazy (3)
NUT: start with a person who likes being uncovered and remove the abbreviation for daughter and IS.
10a Ear catching business graduate with old complaint (7)
LUMBAGO: an informal word for an ear contains the degree awarded to a business graduate. Finish with the abbreviation for old.
11a Turn up, finally coming with lots of cash (7)
ROLLING: a phrasal verb to turn up or arrive in a casual sort of way (4,2) followed by the final letter of coming.
12a Number of thieves favouring heartless thievery (5)
FORTY: a preposition meaning ‘in favour of’ and the outer letters of ‘thievery’.
13a Faint illumination to begin enveloping a lot of land (9)
STARLIGHT: a verb to begin contains a verb to land or come to ground without its last letter.
14a Flapping facing pioneer birdman? (6,7)
PIGEON FANCIER: today’s only anagram (flapping) of FACING PIONEER. Even though I identified the correct fodder it took me some time to work out the birdman because I was initially looking for the name of an aviator.
17a Longed to constrain one to leave American attraction (7,6)
PAINTED DESERT: this attraction (which I’d never heard of) lies near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Join together a verb meaning longed or yearned containing the Roman numeral for one and a verb to leave or forsake.
22a Carry sandwiches for every person with holiday clothes (9)
BEACHWEAR: a verb to carry or convey contains an adverb meaning ‘for every person’ and the abbreviation for ‘with’.
23a Respectable European country having King within a year (5)
PUKKA: the abbreviation for a European country (well known to most of us) and the chess abbreviation for king go inside an abbreviation meaning ‘a year’ or ‘every year’.
24a Bays? A lake has bays (7)
ALCOVES: string together A, the abbreviation for lake and another word for sheltered bays or inlets.
25a Zero outlay to secure latest school event? (4,3)
OPEN DAY: start with letter resembling zero, add a verb to outlay or expend and insert an adjective meaning latest or final.
26a Book falling from stand gets attention (3)
EAR: remove the abbreviation for book from a verb to stand or stomach.
27a Failing to retain river in desertification? (6)
DRYING: a present participle meaning failing or conking out contains the abbreviation for river.
28a Pop star‘s names appearing in and around sign? (6)
LENNON: insert two instances of the abbreviation for name into a sign of the zodiac and add another instance of the same abbreviation at the end. I suppose that ‘around’ here means ‘nearby’ rather than ‘on each side’ but I don’t like it very much.
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1d Verse he read in French — Kipling poem, variable rubbish (6)
VILIFY: knit together the abbreviation for verse, the pronoun meaning ‘he’ in written French (and indeed in spoken French), the name of Kipling’s most famous poem and one of the algebraic variables. ‘Rubbish’ here is an informal verb meaning to treat as worthless.
2d I will need a drink when upending warrior (7)
SAMURAI: bind together I, A, an alcoholic drink and a synonym for ‘when’. Now reverse it all.
3d Seriously offloading the Spanish funds (5)
GRAVY: start with an adverb meaning seriously or solemnly and take away a Spanish definite article.
5d A legal graduate has need of rugby players (3,6)
ALL BLACKS: charade of A, the degree awarded to a law graduate and a verb meaning ‘has need of’ or ‘is deficient in’. The answer is the name of the national rugby team where 2Kiwis live.
6d One carries hard stones (7)
SHINGLE: an adjective meaning one or sole containing the abbreviation for hard.
7d Deny most of additional spectators (6)
NEGATE: an adjective meaning additional or fresh loses its last letter and that’s followed by a word for the total number of spectators attending a game.
8d Nobody will accept reduced cast and cuts in production of Lear? (8,5)
NONSENSE VERSE: a synonym for nobody (4) contains a past participle meaning cast or propelled without its last letter and a verb meaning cuts or separates.
Beneath these high Cathedral stairs
Lie the remains of Susan Pares.
Her name was Wiggs, it was not Pares,
But Pares was put to rhyme with stairs.
9d Experimental justification for the Court of Appeal? (5,3,5)
TRIAL AND ERROR: the raison d’être of the Court of Appeal is to right mistakes made in lower courts.
14d Sharp operation bottling champagne (3)
POP: hidden word.
15d A German pacifist securing hearts going to Northern Dutch city (9)
EINDHOVEN: a German indefinite article is followed by someone who is less warlike than a hawk containing the cards abbreviation for hearts. Finish with the abbreviation for Northern.
16d Half-hearted support? Nonsense (3)
ROT: start with the part of a plant which supports it by conveying nourishment to it and remove one of the two central letters.
18d Cunning involved in some chaos (7)
ANARCHY: an adjective meaning cunning or roguish goes inside a synonym of ‘some’.
19d Gathered playboy oversees racket (5,2)
RAKED IN: charade of a playboy or libertine and a racket or loud noise.
20d A poet’s written about love on a cruise? (6)
ABOARD: A and a literary word for a poet contain the letter that resembles love.
21d Peer round unknown atomic particle (6)
BARYON: a member of the British nobility contains a letter used for an unknown quantity in mathematics. I didn’t know this word which the BRB defines as “a heavy subatomic particle involved in strong interactions with other subatomic particles and composed of three quarks bound together by gluon.” – so now you know!
23d Grouse mostly favoured the day before festival (5)
PEEVE: stick together an adjective meaning favoured or cherished without its last letter and a word for the day preceding a festival.
The best clue for me was 8d. Which one(s) would you nominate?