Toughie No 2141 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
There’s nothing really frightening in the stables here so it’s not too tough. I thought that some of the surfaces were not terribly smooth (e.g. 12a and 3d). Thanks to Stick Insect.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Against writing text for computer and compulsorily listing (12)
CONSCRIPTING: charade of a word meaning against and a present participle meaning ‘writing a set of instructions for a computer’. Listing can mean enlisting.
9a Well in favour of US pay (6,3)
SPRING FOR: this is a North American informal phrasal verb meaning to pay for or purchase. Stick together a well or source and a preposition meaning ‘in favour of’.
10a Chapter One: Everybody that’s backed Sixties singer (5)
CILLA: start with an abbreviation for chapter and the Roman numeral for one then reverse a synonym for everybody.
11a Malign worry follows wally (6)
ASSAIL: malign here is a verb. A verb to worry follows a wally or nitwit.
12a Match involving pulling stud has no limits with rough confusion around (3-2-3)
TUG-OF-WAR: the inner letters of stud are followed by the reversal of an adjective meaning rough or unpolished and a metaphor for impenetrable confusion.
13a Purify all, it’s idiotic holding it back (6)
DISTIL: hidden in reverse.
15a Scoop follows tips of journalist urging politician to abscond (4,4)
JUMP BAIL: a verb to scoop (water from a vessel) follows the first letters of ‘journalist urging’ and our usual elected politician.
18a Trump folk cooking with tuna (8)
OUTFLANK: an anagram (cooking) of FOLK and TUNA.
19a Hollow for burnt stuff is hot in a rain (3,3)
ASH PIT: insert the abbreviation for hot into A and a verb to rain lightly.
21a Good spot to find gold? Not for being dug up when king enters mark on map (4,4)
FORT KNOX: an anagram (dug up?) of NOT FOR contains the chess abbreviation for king. Finish with the letter used to indicate a location on a map.
23a Spice Girl losing head is detained by spies (6)
CASSIA: a synonym for girl without her first letter goes inside our usual US spies.
26a Arab offspring is lighting up illicitly (5)
ARSON: join together the abbreviation for Arab and a male offspring.
27a Ruin of slum hut causing outbursts (9)
MOUTHFULS: an anagram (ruin) of OF SLUM HUT.
28a Stalin is too crazy, following India in avoiding political links (12)
ISOLATIONIST: an anagram (crazy) of STALIN IS TOO follows the letter that India is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
1d In focus, Tardis is something running the Milky Way? (7)
CUSTARD: hidden in the clue. Does the definition really work?
2d Grasses progressed up centre of workshop (5)
NARKS: reverse a verb meaning progressed or moved swiftly and add the central letters of workshop.
3d Jolly trick: small flask holding six (9)
CONVIVIAL: a trick or scam followed by a small flask containing the Roman numeral for six.
4d Vacant idiocy about folios is risky (4)
IFFY: the outer letters of idiocy containing a double dose of the abbreviation for folio.
5d Sort out supply around uniform, full of twists (8)
TORTUOUS: an anagram (supply) of SORT OUT contains the letter that Uniform represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
6d Chip china potty, swapping half of it for nothing (5)
NACHO: in the word china swap one half of the word ‘it’ for the letter resembling zero then make an anagram (potty) of what you now have.
7d Hot stuff from this oil company hosting small thrash (8)
BLOWLAMP: a British oil company contains an adjective meaning small or short and a verb to thrash.
8d Simplistic function mostly for army unit (6)
PATROL: stitch together an adjective meaning simplistic or perfunctory and a synonym for function or part without its last letter.
14d Comic posed with flag above front of theatre (8)
SATIRIST: assemble a verb meaning posed, a flag or plant with sword-shaped leaves and the first letter of theatre.
16d Knights quitting bar following sanctimonious nut (9)
PISTACHIO: start with an upright bar or post, remove the two chess abbreviations for knight and precede what’s left with an informal short word meaning sanctimonious or holier-than-thou.
17d In class a student becomes familiar (8)
INFORMAL: string together IN, another word for a school class, A and an abbreviation for student.
18d Swap parts in vacation, not most brilliant patch (3-3)
OFF-DAY: start with a (very short) vacation (3,3) and swap the two parts.
20d Van is crossing (7)
TRANSIT: double definition, the first a trademarked type of van.
22d Top posts on board from family introductions to good sorts (5)
KINGS: the definition here relates to chess. A synonym for family followed by the introductory letters of ‘good sorts’.
24d Sierra car belonging to a Middle-Easterner (5)
SAUDI: the letter that Sierra stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet followed by a make of car.
25d Stop Oscar going from ring (4)
QUIT: remove the letter that Oscar stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet from a type of ring that’s thrown in a game. This was my last answer and I had to work my way through the alphabet before the correct first letter became clear.
The best clue for me today was 15a (which seems quite topical considering what’s happening at Westminster). Do let us know which one(s) you favoured.