Toughie No 1977 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
We have a theme today in a Toughie which is quite pleasant but reasonably gentle. Thanks to Firefly for the entertainment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Guy gets brother involved in ‘domestic’ … (6)
HOMBRE: put an abbreviation for brother into an adjective meaning domestic. This was my first answer and I wondered if we were in for a Spanish trip following yesterday’s excursion to Italy, but it was not to be.
5a … it may be about his present computer image: ‘Gin-soaked Wife’ (4-4)
GIFT-WRAP: start with a 3-letter format for computer images and append the abbreviation for wife contained inside what a gin is a particularly nasty type of.
9a Married a New York tenor initially — Henry’s son? You shouldn’t have! (4,6)
we have no less than six bits to stitch together here – the abbreviation for married, A, the abbreviations for New York and tenor, Start with the initial letters of the first five words of the clue and add a common nickname for a man called Henry and, finally, the abbreviation for son. Thanks to Ora Meringue for correcting my flawed parsing.
10a Grow apart from grand primate (4)
GAPE: the abbreviation for grand and a primate of the animal kind.
11a Pope’s digested pronouncements mentioning knowledge of guns? (5,3)
CANON LAW: this is a digest or compilation of ecclesiastical rules laid down by Papal pronouncements. It may sound to some (but not to me) like ‘ knowledge of guns’ (CANNON LORE).
12a See 24 Down
13a Women having a way with patients (4)
WARD: fuse together the abbreviation for women, A and the abbreviation for a way or route.
15a Friar’s jaunt into candy store (4,4)
TUCK SHOP: start with the name of Robin Hood’s religious comrade and add the ‘S and a word for a jaunt or short trip.
18a/2d: At heart, Carol’s worried for her in 5 (8,5)
SCARLETT O’HARA: the heroine of 5d is an anagram (worried) of AT HEART CAROL’S.
19a Game of pool I dropped out of — you, we hear, substituted? (4)
LUDO: an open-air swimming pool has its I replaced by the letter that sounds like ‘you’.
21a Fasten in place and push! (6)
PROPEL: a verb to fasten or tether goes inside the abbreviation for place.
23a Disc with edge half-destroyed — these things don’t last (8)
EPHEMERA: assemble an old disc format, a synonym for edge or fringe and half of a verb meaning destroyed or expunged.
25a Farewell from Lancashire estate in 5 (4)
TARA: double definition, the first a common word for goodbye in the North of England (often followed by ‘chuck’).
26a Manual trades’ criteria? (10)
GUIDELINES: charade of another word for the sort of manual that comes with new equipment (invariably placed unopened on a shelf and only consulted if all previous attempts to get the damned thing to work have failed) and a synonym for trades or professions.
27a Don’t need to get involved in a row (3-2-3)
END-TO-END: an anagram (to get involved) of DON’T NEED.
28a Contract Jobcentre at Yeovil — do it! (6)
TREATY: contract or shorten words 2-4 of the clue by removing letters from both ends. ‘Contract’ seems to be doing double duty.
2d See 18 Across
3d Prodigy, currently growing up in Derby, trained with zero input (3,6)
BOY WONDER: reverse an adverb meaning currently and insert it into an anagram (trained) of DERBY with the letter resembling zero brought in.
4d Former husband on drink? Blow! (6)
EXHALE: string together the usual prefix meaning former, the abbreviation for husband and an alcoholic drink.
5d Dead from flatulence — that’s novel! (4,4,3,4)
GONE WITH THE WIND: today’s theme, the title of which could mean, cryptically, died due to flatulence.
6d Among the running deer he may gain a speedy advantage (4,4)
FAST BUCK: cryptically this could be a male deer who could outpace the rest of the herd.
7d Isle of Man? (5)
WIGHT: double definition, the second an archaic or dialect word for a person (new to me).
8d Material irritated poodle’s paw — no suggestion of soreness (9)
APPLEWOOD: an anagram (irritated) of POODLE'[s] PAW without the first letter (suggestion) of soreness.
14d Discover a crime without trace, unusually … (9)
ASCERTAIN: A and a sort of religious crime contain an anagram (unusually) of TRACE.
16d … turning up misdemeanour in exclusive Middle East setting, celebrate (9)
SOLEMNISE: the misdemeanour is the same one we had in the previous clue! Reverse it and place it inside an adjective meaning exclusive and the abbreviation for Middle East.
17d Georgia’s wearing changed style in glee — such revelatory attire! (8)
NEGLIGÉE: the IVR code for Georgia goes inside an anagram (changed style) of IN GLEE.
20d For that reason, first European’s dropped ultimatum (6)
THREAT: start with an archaic adverb meaning ‘for that reason’ or ‘on that account’ and remove the first E.
22d Pull a pint regularly in Barnet? (5)
PLAIT: select regular letters from the first three words. Barnet is Cockney rhyming slang (derived from Barnet Fair).
24d/12a: Letter Ruth redirected about book for him in 5 (5,6)
RHETT BUTLER: an anagram (redirected) of LETTER RUTH contains the abbreviation for book. Who gives a damn?
The clues I liked best were the connected and amusing 1a and 5a. Which one(s) appealed to you?