Toughie No 2041 by Messinae
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
Messinae is in uncharacteristically gentle mode today and this one didn’t pose too much of a challenge. Usually I jump all over the place filling in answers as and when I find them but today I was able to start at the top and proceed in a stately manner to the bottom, only held up by having to verify that ‘gin’ in 10a can be a verb and that the fuel in 20a actually exists.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Restrained worker dealt a blow (10)
HANDCUFFED: charade of a manual worker and a verb meaning struck.
6a Dress to boast over (4)
GARB: reverse a verb to boast or crow.
9a One working together with old film star and another caught out (2-8)
CO-OPERATOR: a male film star from the golden age of Hollywood and another word for a film star with the abbreviation for caught removed.
10a Model of inebriety initially wallowing in gin (4)
NEWT: insert the initial letter of wallowing into a verb to gin or snare. This small creature is the model against which an inebriated person is compared in a well-known saying (which derives apparently from the fact that the creature has a tight skin).
12a Elude fielder (4)
SLIP: double definition with the fielder being one positioned behind the wicket on the off side.
13a Daft to grip the dangerous crossing? (9)
TIGHTROPE: an anagram (daft) of TO GRIP THE.
15a That is treatment keeping bridge pair vulnerable (8)
INSECURE: string together the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and a synonym for treatment or remedy and then insert one of the two pairs of partners in a game of bridge.
16a Rebuke English cricket side getting duck (6)
WIGEON: weld together a dated verb to rebuke or scold, the single-letter abbreviation for English and one of the sides on a cricket field.
18a Resistance shown in a fake religious community (6)
ASHRAM: insert the abbreviation for electrical resistance into A and an adjective meaning fake.
20a Fuel was great for cooking (5,3)
WATER GAS: an anagram (for cooking) of WAS GREAT.
23a Became upset about intimate rubbing down (9)
TOWELLING: reverse (about) a verb meaning became and insert a phrase (4,2) meaning intimate or on friendly terms.
24a Police force seizing a substance (4)
MEAT: the nickname of our capital’s police force contains A.
26a Part played in control experiment (4)
27a With Gore ousted by Republican, tyro usually worried me (5,5)
YOURS TRULY: replace the forename of Mr Gore the former US Vice-President with the abbreviation for Republican in ‘usually’ and then make an anagram (worried) of TYRO USURLY.
28a Ruin radio receiver, perhaps (4)
DISH: double definition, the first an informal verb to ruin or destroy.
29a Friend with cold wrapped in fur (10)
CHINCHILLA: a Cockney friend with a feverish cold wrapped inside.
1d Nag writer (4)
HACK: double definition, the second being a plodding or unoriginal writer or journalist.
2d Knight loads pasta (7)
NOODLES: the chess abbreviation for knight and an informal word for loads or masses.
3d Bug associated with ghost town in Sussex, we hear (6-6)
CREEPY-CRAWLY: stick together an adjective meaning rather eerie (associated with a ghost) and a homophone of a town in West Sussex which is next door to what the late Ray Moore always used to refer to as Gatport Airwick.
4d Compliments cook imbibing coffee (8)
FLATTERY: a verb to cook in a specific way contains a milky coffee.
5d Musician Brian’s horrified expression no more! (6)
ENOUGH: concatenate the surname of Brian the musician who was a founder member of Roxy Music and an expression of repugnance.
7d Excellent condition, being solvent (7)
ACETONE: bring together an informal adjective meaning excellent and a verb to condition one’s body through exercise.
8d Female marsh bird apparently showing resentment (10)
BITTERNESS: cryptically this could the female of a marsh bird.
11d Heartsick Matt almost frantic to get a new flame? (6,1,5)
STRIKE A MATCH: an anagram (frantic) of HEARTSICK MAT[t].
14d Drunk’s written about one in columns (10)
PILASTERED: an informal adjective meaning drunk or blotto contains the Roman numeral for one.
17d Sycophant of distinguished person pricked by needle (6-2)
HANGER-ON: the abbreviated title given to a distinguished person (or to an undistinguished one given the title purely because of who their parents are) contains a verb to needle or annoy.
19d Sources supplying quicksilver writer (1,1,5)
H G WELLS: since I couldn’t parse A A Milne this had to be the other famous writer whose name conforms to the pattern. If you split the answer as 2,5 you get the chemical symbol for quicksilver (mercury) and the places it may come from.
21d Gentle old king has a double (7)
GRADUAL: collect together the regnal cipher of six of our old kings, A and an adjective meaning double.
22d Put a stop to one born in Greek island hospital (6)
KIBOSH: insert the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for ‘born’ into a Greek island and append the abbreviation for hospital.
25d Bird that’s surprising North America (4)
MYNA: an exclamation meaning “that’s surprising!” followed by the abbreviation for North America.
The clues vying for favouritism today were 10a, 27a (for the well-disguised definition) and 8d (for the smile it produced). Which clue(s) gave you a boost?