Toughie No 2021 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is a fairly standard midweek Toughie – thanks Firefly. Having found the names of two UK political party leaders I was wondering whether there was a theme but nothing more came to light.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a In reduced circumstances, Torquay is the answer for great-granny, perhaps? (8)
ANCESTOR: the answer is lurking.
5a Cake from Wittering? (6)
WAFFLE: another word for (falsely capitalised) wittering.
9a Woolly character Wigan’s exposed (8)
CARDIGAN: a character or oddball followed by “Wigan’s” without the outer letters.
10a Choosing left-winger fails in poll — Page gets in (6)
OPTING: start with a word for poll (or what happens in a poll), drop the first letter (left-winger fails) and insert the abbreviation for page.
12a Time for breakfast fare? (3,6)
DAY RETURN: cryptically this could be when the sun comes up once more.
13a Force‘s exceptional policemen, drunk once, getting sacked (5)
IMPEL: remove the letters of ONCE (not in that order, so drunk) from POLICEMEN and make an anagram (exceptional) of what you have left.
14a Jaguar could be heard in watery wood (4)
CARR: this (new to me) is a copse in boggy ground. It sounds like what a Jaguar is an example of.
16a Tender parts initially plastered in acne (7)
PINNACE: the initial letter of parts and an anagram (plastered) of IN ACNE. Tender here is a small boat.
19a Youth’s into Playboy and food (7)
ROULADE: put a young male into a playboy or sexually promiscuous man.
21a Get-together with Penny’s a hoot! (4)
BEEP: join together a meeting of people for amusement or competition and the abbreviation for penny.
24a Cross source of Volga river with daughter (5)
VEXED: assemble the first letter of Volga, a river in Devon and the abbreviation for daughter.
25a Family may take heart from vicar’s prayers in near future (9)
OFFSPRING: insert the three letters at the heart of “vicar’s prayers” into a word meaning the near future.
27a Something wrong with the doorbell? Entering! (6)
NOTING: split the answer 2,4 and it could mean the doorbell’s broken.
28a One among 25 pianos in performance (8)
GRANDSON: more than one instance of a type of piano followed by an adverb meaning ‘in performance’. The ’25’ refers to the answer to 25a.
29a Coin easy clue? Regularly do! (6)
ESCUDO: regular letters from ‘easy clue’ precede DO. I was going to comment that coin should be preceded by ‘old’ but a bit of Googling informs me that this is still the name of the currency in the Cape Verde Islands.
30a Advocate treaty with no vacillating (8)
ATTORNEY: an anagram (vacillating) of TREATY and NO.
1d Paradise Yard offers new exit to passageway (6)
ARCADY: this is a poetic name for a region in ancient Greece considered an ideal rustic paradise. Start with a covered passageway and replace its last letter with the abbreviation for yard.
2d I must evade eccentrically Byronic leader (6)
CORBYN: an anagram (eccentrically) of BYRON[i]C without the I.
3d Bottle first of Edradour drams up (5)
SPINE: stick together the first letter of Edradour and another word for drams or tots. Now reverse the lot.
4d Less clear over Dad’s poser? No end to it! (7)
OPAQUER: weld together the cricketing abbreviation for over, an affectionate term for dad and a word for a poser or question without its last letter. This is a horrible word – would anyone use it as a comparative rather than saying ‘more ******’?
6d With cover and base defunct, intended to pop into PC supplier for machine (9)
APPLIANCE: an engaged male person (intended) without his top and bottom letters goes inside a manufacturer of PCs and other communications equipment.
7d Justice for the shy, perhaps? (4,4)
FAIR PLAY: cryptically this could describe a shy (for a coconut, for example).
8d Overwhelmed, lunged out, grabbing iron (8)
ENGULFED: an anagram (out) of LUNGED contains the chemical symbol for iron.
11d Snatch second game (4)
SNAP: the abbreviation for a second and a card game make a verb to snatch or seize.
15d Uninhibited amateur group a certain disaster at first (9)
ABANDONED: string together the abbreviation for amateur, a musical group, an adjective describing ‘a certain’ or ‘a specific’ something and the first letter of disaster.
17d Old hand Cable, maybe, for department? (8)
PROVINCE: charade of an informal word for an old hand or experienced performer and the forename of Cable, the veteran politician.
18d Depart around ten with nothing — French here mostly unrealistic (8)
QUIXOTIC: a verb to depart contains the Roman numeral for ten and the letter that resembles zero. To finish we need the French word for ‘here’ without its final letter.
20d Young archer 24 brought up (4)
EROS: reverse an informal synonym for 24a.
21d Expect trouble with back — that thing should support (2,3,2)
BE FOR IT: a phrasal verb (2,3) to back or support is followed by a pronoun meaning ‘that thing’. The answer means to expect trouble as in the threat “You’ll ** *** ** when your father gets home!”.
22d Neckwear all the rage for associates (4,2)
TIES IN: charade of items of neckwear and an adjective meaning all the rage or fashionable.
23d Account covering info on year in Bureau (6)
AGENCY: the abbreviation for account contains an informal word for info, then we finish with the abbreviation for year. Since Bureau is capitalised I presume it’s a reference to the FBI.
26d Show — ‘Phantom’ — Queen not attending after rift (5)
PANTO: remove the two letters used to describe the Queen (not ER) separately (after rift) from ‘phantom’.
My favourite clue is 21d. Which one(s) appealed to you?