Toughie No 2180 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
This is an interesting mixture of fairly straightforward clues (e.g. 9a and 3d where the answers leap out at you) and clues with clever and misleading definitions (e.g. 11a, 6d and 20d) which provoke thoughts along the lines “How on earth does that mea….? – Ah”. I enjoyed it – thanks Donnybrook.
Those who read or contributed to yesterday’s back-page blog will find 4d and 15d especially interesting.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Giant pig carrying dog around (7)
GOLIATH: put a pig round a verb to dog and reverse it all.
5a Old soldier fired in anticipation (7)
HOPLITE: this is an ancient Greek foot soldier (new to me). Insert a synonym of fired or ignited into another word for anticipation.
9a Heartburn Pepys said should be treated (9)
DYSPEPSIA: an anagram (should be treated) of PEPYS SAID.
10a Against introducing one live percussion instrument (5)
VIBES: a 2-letter abbreviation meaning against or ‘opposed to’ contains the Roman numeral for one and a verb to live. The answer is a short word for an instrument similar to a xylophone.
11a Bottom fan in ship, American, initially cut out (7)
TITANIA: stick together the name of the most famous (and least successful) passenger ship and a single-letter abbreviation for American then remove the initial letter of ‘cut’.
12a Speaker’s expression, crude perhaps, bringing disorder (7)
TURMOIL: start with what sounds like an expression or phrase and append what crude or unrefined is a type of.
13a Here plant growth may be seen in graph done wrongly (3-6)
HOP-GARDEN: an anagram (wrongly) of GRAPH DONE.
16a Short story being broadcast, one that grips (5)
TALON: a synonym for a story without its last letter and an adverb meaning ‘being broadcast’.
17a Spirit seen in March and November (5)
DEMON: a short word for a march or rally followed by the letter that November is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
18a Problem for walker on island, needing sign (9)
CAPRICORN: a problem growth suffered by walkers follows the name of an Italian island.
21a Dog that is sent back after biting (4-3)
SHAR-PEI: reverse the abbreviation for ‘that is’ following an adjective meaning biting or chilly.
22a Base has cargo brought round front (7)
LEADING: front here is an adjective as in ‘the front runner’. The letter used for the base in natural logarithms is contained in a word for cargo or freight.
25a Books returned in totally tropical paradise (5)
ATOLL: reverse the abbreviation for some Biblical books inside a synonym of totally. Some of these (especially in the Maldives) are marketed to tourists as a tropical paradise but the word doesn’t actually mean that so I think the clue needs a question mark.
26a Ready to excuse faults in largely boring chap (9)
INDULGENT: knit together IN, an adjective meaning boring without its last letter and a posh chap.
27a Predict charge to cover valued metal sources (7)
FORESEE: a word for charge or price contains materials from which valuable metals can be extracted.
28a Clouds from high blue area gathered in north-east (7)
NEBULAE: insert an anagram (high) of BLUE and the abbreviation for area into the abbreviation for north-east.
1d Leave spouse in Bow and settle equitably (2,5)
GO DUTCH: a verb to leave and how a wife might be referred to in Bow (which is at the heart of Cockneyland).
2d Sound tip for music writer (5)
LISZT: homophone of a verb to tip or lean.
3d Finding energy in a can, dined at home (3,2)
ATE IN: A and a metal can contain the abbreviation for energy.
4d Man United having to manage wisely (7)
HUSBAND: a man who’s been united. Lovely clue!
5d Buoy, made with clay, but hard on top (7)
HEARTEN: buoy here is a verb. Start with an adjective meaning ‘made of clay’ then relocate the abbreviation for hard to the top.
6d Air ace unsettled patriot holding Bible (9)
PAVAROTTI: an anagram (unsettled) of PATRIOT containing the abbreviation for a version of the Bible authorised by King James I (or James VI if you are Scottish).
7d Big limo or convertible in massive jam (9)
IMBROGLIO: an anagram (convertible) of BIG LIMO OR.
8d Refusal to receive Liberal is picked up in letter (7)
EPSILON: a slang word of refusal contains the abbreviation for the Liberal party and IS. Reverse the lot.
14d Ceremony requires a severe hairstyle (9)
POMPADOUR: cement together a word for ceremony or pageantry, A and an adjective meaning severe or grim.
15d An Italian city and southern capital (9)
ANNAPOLIS: glue together AN, the Italian spelling of an Italian city and the abbreviation for southern to get a US state capital.
17d Rod following obese man sent north (7)
DISTAFF: weld together the abbreviation for following, an adjective meaning obese and a man’s short name and then reverse it all. I can imagine Rabbit Dave sucking his teeth!
18d Hint given about one error in French cooking (7)
CUISINE: a hint or signal contains the Roman numeral for one and a moral lapse.
19d Young man breaking bread for French champion (7)
PALADIN: insert a young man into the French word for bread.
20d Late shift perhaps in close connection (7)
NIGHTIE: assemble an old adjective meaning close or near and a connection or link.
23d German newspaper article drawn up freely (2-3)
AD-LIB: join together the name of a German tabloid newspaper and an indefinite article and reverse what you have.
24d Current understanding serves as example (5)
IDEAL: the abbreviation for electric current is followed by another word for an understanding or settlement.
I very much liked 4d and 6d but my favourite, for the laugh it produced, was 11a. Do let us know which one(s) had you in stitches.