Toughie No 2152 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
After yesterday’s pretty tough start to the new year we’re back on gentler ground today with an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Donnybrook.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
7a Grammatical device that one encounters in Hansard? (8,6)
REPORTED SPEECH: a member’s contribution to a parliamentary debate that may be read in Hansard.
9a Calm cop discomposed by cool criminal partner (10)
ACCOMPLICE: an anagram (discomposed) of CALM COP followed by a verb to cool.
11a Bruised and cut on the tongue (4)
SORE: allegedly this is a homophone (on the tongue). (my lips are sealed).
12a Runner outside failing to finish (3)
SKI: one’s external organ without its last letter.
13a Ms Principal seeing agent’s coming round (10)
SPYMASTERS: a synonym for principal with a secret agent (plus the ‘S) going round it. Clever clue and nothing to do with the Dallas actress who first came to mind.
16a Man one to be flayed soon (4)
ANON: flay (i.e. remove the skin from) ‘man one’.
17a Enigmatic alumnus tested outside clubs (7)
OBSCURE: start with the abbreviation for a former pupil and add an adjective meaning tested or guaranteed containing the abbreviation for the card suit clubs.
18a What’s kept in hillsides and vales is delightful! (7)
WELCOME: a reference to the hospitality of the Welsh (who, if all goes to plan, will be saying hello to the Rugby World Cup later this year).
20a Shakespearean prince with love that could make one light-headed? (4)
HALO: a Shakespearean prince and the letter resembling a love score at tennis.
21a Irish woman can start to gossip — that’s tiresome (10)
IRRITATING: string together the abbreviation for Irish, a woman’s name, a metal can and the starting letter of gossip.
23a Large American lorry stuck in Brighton (3)
RIG: hidden in the clue.
24a Hawk-headed god entertains explosive Titaness (4)
RHEA: the Egyptian sun god, usually depicted with a falcon’s head, contains the abbreviation for an explosive. The Titaness is a mythological goddess of female fertility.
25a Dissent from champion hugging the heartless mistress (10)
HETERODOXY: a champion or brave man contains ‘the’ without its middle letter. Finish with an archaic word for a mistress.
28a Such suits as may look well on Amazon? (6-8)
SINGLE-BREASTED: cryptic definition. Amazon here is not the low-tax-paying mail order company but one of a tribe of fierce woman warriors in Greek mythology who were reputed to have cut off one of their body parts to enable them to use a bow and arrow more effectively.
1d British caprice ordered manifestation of armed power (7,7)
TRICEPS BRACHII: an anagram (ordered) of BRITISH CAPRICE.
2d Surgery, evidently reversible, seen in China (4)
OPPO: the abbreviation for a surgical procedure then its reverse produce what china is rhyming slang for.
3d Set piece player involved in scrum (4)
PROP: double definition, the first being a piece of a theatrical set.
4d Live fish on board as well? (7)
BESIDES: assemble a verb to live and a freshwater fish that’s inside our usual abbreviation for a ship.
5d Mugs people in street for amount to be paid (10)
ASSESSMENT: start with a synonym for mugs or twits then insert a word for people into the abbreviation of street.
6d Hairy pet for each Welshwoman on boat (7,3)
PERSIAN CAT: weld together a preposition meaning ‘for each’, a Welsh female name and the abbreviation for a twin-hulled boat.
8d Toxic gas swirling in mix once on B-road? (6,8)
CARBON MONOXIDE: an anagram (swirling) of MIX ONCE ON B-ROAD.
10d Bird lost taking off close to ditch (3)
MOA: remove the last letter of a defensive ditch to leave an extinct bird.
14d Be satirical about Dutch house plant (4,6)
MOCK ORANGE: charade of a verb to satirise or lampoon and the name of a Dutch Royal House.
15d Called out random number to be put in order (10)
STRAIGHTEN: join what sounds like an adjective meaning random or accidental and a cardinal number.
19d Chapel area in gold and blue (7)
ORATORY: insert the abbreviation for area between our usual gold tincture and an adjective meaning blue (in a political sense).
22d Notice nothing that causes trouble (3)
ADO: an abbreviated notice and the letter resembling nothing.
26d Bay tree not wide (4)
ROAN: a tree (also known as mountain ash) without the cricket abbreviation for wide.
27d Tax on goods and service (4)
DUTY: a straightforward double definition to finish.
I liked 18a with its homage to the Land of My Fathers, 20a and 28a but my favourite clue was 13a for its delightful misdirection. Do let us know which one(s) you favoured.