Toughie No 2098 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
Good afternoon from South Staffs, where I’m sitting in for Bufo who is otherwise engaged this week.
Today’s Toughie is set by Hudson, who appears to be a new recruit to the team of Toughie setters. Welcome to him or her. There is a North American flavour to some of today’s answers, as there is to the setter’s nom de plume. I didn’t find anything particularly tough about the puzzle, once the American usages had been sorted out, and it would not have felt out of place if it had been one of my normal Friday back page puzzles.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
9a Zoroastrian play Russia regularly censored (5)
PARSI – Alternate letters (regularly censored) of PlAy RuSsIa.
10a Barb exposed argument with England cricketer (paper version includes: that’s turned up) in West Indian ground (9)
ARROWROOT – Start by removing the outer letters of bARb, then add an argument and the surname of England’s Test captain. You get a West Indian rhizome which, in powdered form, is used as a thickener.
11a Legendary location in California runs out of wine (7)
CAMELOT – The abbreviation for the state of California, followed by a red wine grape with the R removed (runs out).
12a It helps to get delivery from Languedoc pizzeria on the way back (3,4)
ZIP CODE – Hidden in reverse in the clue.
13a Rubbish hotel invested in downmarket coffee bar (5)
CHAFF – The letter which is Hotel in the NATO alphabet, inserted into an informal word for an unpretentious coffee bar or greasy spoon.
14a Swindler in bed, suffering strain (3,6)
CON ARTIST – Anagram (suffering) of STRAIN with another word for ‘bed’ around it.
16a It’s used for dressing, calming abrasive wound (8,7)
BALSAMIC VINEGAR – Anagram (wound) of CALMING ABRASIVE.
19a Criminal fraudster advanced to take over from old ballistics expert (9)
RACKETEER – Start with a particular sort of ballistics expert, then replace the Old with Advanced.
21a Had moved down, securing a point? (5)
OWNED – Anagram (moved) of DOWN wrapped around one of the points of the compass.
23a On Broadway, section of theatre role showcasing Manuel’s trademark reply? (7)
PARQUET – Manuel, the waiter from Barcelona in Fawlty Towers famously replied to almost any question or request with the Spanish equivalent of ‘What?’ Insert this into a word for a theatrical role, and you get the part of a theatre which in England we call the stalls.
25a First or second tragedy to enfold over Grace (3,4)
LOW GEAR – A shortened form of the title of one of Shakespeare’s tragedies wrapped round the cricket abbreviation for an Over and the initials by which Dr Grace, the Victorian cricketer, is best known. The definition refers to what you need to engage to get a car or bicycle up a steep hill.
27a Whip with peeled sharp stick? It’s purifying! (9)
CATHARTIC – A short form of the name of the instrument used to flog British sailors in Nelson’s navy, followed by sHARp and sTICk with the exterior letters removed.
28a Long Island city, 100 in the shade? (5)
LILAC – Put together the initials of Long Island, an abbreviation for a West Coast US city, and the Roman numeral for 100.
1d Heroic digital photo? (4)
EPIC – If you split the answer (1-3) you could get a term for an electronically produced photo.
2d Cold frost on American peninsula (6)
CRIMEA – Put together Cold, another word for frost, and American, to get a Black Sea peninsula.
3d Menu in Paddington’s ‘as much as you can eat’, according to Spooner (4,2,4)
BILL OF FARE – If you gave A famous Peruvian immigrant as many marmalade sandwiches as he could cope with, you might have a Spoonerism for the answer, which is simply a rather dated expression gor a restaurant menu.
4d Main course initially covered in curry (6)
BALTIC – The main here is the aquatic version. Start with a curry served in a shallow steel dish, then add the first letter (initially) of C
5d 1970s leader the last character to be embraced by retiring Archdeacon Basil? (8)
BREZHNEV – Start by putting together the abbreviated title given to an Archdeacon and a generic word for the plants of which basil is an example. Reverse the result and insert the last letter of the alphabet, to get a Soviet leader from the Cold War era.
6d Second hand, put up for exchange (4)
SWAP – An abbreviation for Second, followed by the reverse (put up) of an informal word for a hand.
7d Travelling quickly, yacht finally berthed? (8)
MOTORING – A variety of marine berth wrapped around the last letter of yachT.
8d Flog trade secret, losing a measure of respect with the kids (6,4)
STREET CRED – Anagram (flog) of TR(a)DE SECRET with the A removed (losing a).
13d Bishop in strange secrecy about father’s virtual world (10)
CYBERSPACE – Anagram (strange) of SECRECY wrapped around the chess notation for a bishop, the whole then wrapped around an informal word for father.
15d Workman and lad, unusually, in indication of trendlessness? (6,4)
RANDOM WALK – Anagram (unusually) of WORKMAN and LAD. The answer is defined in the BRB as ‘a series of processes, quantities, variables, etc following no discernible pattern’.
Paper version: Trendlessness in chart of track featuring No Particular Place To Go. (6,4)
RANDOM WALK – Cryptic definition of something defined in the BRB as ‘a series of processes, quantities, variables, etc following no discernible pattern’.
17d Rip jagged tear beneath delicate fabric (8)
LACERATE – A fine fabric, mostly holes surrounded by thread, followed by an anagram (jagged) of TEAR.
18d Yours truly had substance and character (8)
IDENTITY – An abbreviated way of saying ‘yours truly had’ followed by a substance or being.
20d Journalist on the up leaving ramshackle reminder of a bygone era (6)
RELICT – Start with a word for ‘ramshackle’ or ‘abandoned’, then remove the reverse (on the up) of the usual crossword journalist from the beginning of it.
22d It’s used to irritate; there is a point to it (6)
NEEDLE – Double definition: metaphorically, a way of irritating someone; physically, something with a sharp point.
24d It meanders, surreally, off and on (4)
URAL – Alternate letters (off and on) of sUrReAlLy.
26d Topless pair in competition (4)
RACE – A word for a pair (of pheasants, perhaps) with its first letter removed.
Sorry for the lack of illustrations, but I’m having difficulty accessing the site, and have emailed the text to BD in the hope that he can post it. [There has been a problem with the site – I had to reboot the server to get it working again. BD]
Back tomorrow (I hope) with the Friday back page puzzle.