Toughie No 2192 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
There are two types of Toughie I like – ones which provide a tricky set of clues which torment the grey matter and need to be teased out and ones which contain a lot of humour and make me laugh. This is definitely in the second category and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Samuel for a gentle, witty puzzle with no obscurities.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Dishonest dealer in skyscraper, one who moans according to Spooner (4-7)
CARD-SHARPER: Spooner might mangle the dishonest dealer into the name of a London skyscraper (5) and an habitual moaner or complainer (6).
9a Brag once mob from pub ask all to strip for bitter (9)
RANCOROUS: strip the outer letters from the first six words.
10a Make a turnover that’s somewhat stupendous (5)
11a Like a brother perhaps getting hold of wife’s last £500 (6)
MONKEY: ‘like a sister’ in Crosswordland might be ‘nunny’ – here we need the male equivalent containing the last letter of wife. If you don’t know why the answer is £500 it’s explained here.
12a King maybe showing love isn’t working (8)
NOVELIST: an anagram (working) of LOVE ISN’T.
13a Vegetable to stick in shelter (6)
LEGUME: insert a verb to stick or paste into a shelter.
15a Minister in hospital ran about, the result of overdoing it (8)
HANGOVER: start with the abbreviation (on maps) for hospital then insert the name of a Tory cabinet minister (best known for stabbing Boris in the back) into an anagram (about) of RAN.
18a Inclination to secure right education (8)
LEARNING: an inclination or tendency containing an abbreviation for right.
19a Divine beings enthralling ancient city — they’re fruity! (6)
GOURDS: put some divine beings around our usual old Biblical city.
21a Trouble Bond’s boss’s boss about India (8)
MISCHIEF: string together James Bond’s boss and the ‘S and another word for boss or principal then insert the letter that India is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
23a Old tease provided backing for musical character (6)
FIGARO: assemble the abbreviation for old, a verb to tease and a conjunction meaning ‘provided’ then reverse the lot.
26a Roadie regularly cheers accompaniment (5)
RAITA: regular letters from roadie followed by a short informal word meaning cheers or thanks.
27a Aggressive corporation cut short one company’s enquiry, initially (9)
BELLICOSE: concatenate a word for a corporation or stomach without its last letter, the Roman one, the abbreviation for company (with its ‘S) and the initial letter of enquiry.
28a Daughter ate out in film (3,8)
THE GRADUATE: an anagram (out) of DAUGHTER ATE.
1d One with the hump about artist? That’s sweet (7)
CARAMEL: an animal with a hump contains the abbreviation for a recognised artist.
2d Keep talking of game with no name (3,2)
RUN ON: bind together the abbreviation for the 15-a-side game, NO and the abbreviation for name.
3d Representative of one dealing in bicycle wheels? (9)
SPOKESMAN: cryptically (very cryptically!) this (6,3) could be someone dealing in bicycle wheels.
4d Missing nothing in something boring (4)
AWOL: insert the letter that resembles zero into a boring tool.
5d Earlier test of the country (8)
PASTORAL: stick together an adjective meaning earlier or former and an unwritten test.
6d Get up and complain having missed golf (5)
ROUSE: a verb to complain or whine without the letter that golf is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
7d Pensioner told off Queen having adopted son (7)
OLDSTER: an anagram (off) of TOLD followed by our Queen’s cipher has the abbreviation for son inserted.
8d Very young scout with story for a convert (8)
BELIEVER: start with a young member affiliated to the Scout Association then replace his ‘a’ with a fabricated story.
14d Nan’s family — and what they might wear (8)
GOATSKIN: split the answer 4’1,3 to get a nan’s family. This nan is more usually called nanny.
16d Praised first piece of gammon cooked fried with oil (9)
GLORIFIED: the first letter of gammon followed by an anagram (cooked) of FRIED and OIL.
17d Group of bluesmen playing on base, but not for all (8)
ENSEMBLE: an anagram (playing) of BL[u]ESMEN (without the letter used in film classifications to mean ‘for all’) followed by the letter used for the base in logarithms.
18d Swimmer seen in large empty aquarium before game (7)
LAMPREY: weld together the abbreviation for large in clothing sizes (not in Chambers for reasons unknown), the outside letters of aquarium and a word for game or quarry.
20d Mick or Keith, the compiler of this puzzle? Crikey! (5,2)
STONE ME: what both Mick and Keith are (musically) followed by how today’s compiler might refer to himself objectively. The answer is an exclamation much used by the great Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock.
22d Person unlucky in love could be this broken (5)
HEART: the word which might precede ‘broken’ to describe a person unlucky in love.
24d Savour memory stifled by teetotallers (5)
AROMA: a type of computer memory is contained inside the abbreviation for the organisation dedicated to turning drunks into teetotallers.
25d It’s a slight waste, removing lines (4)
SLUR: start with a type of waste (of manure or coal, say) and remove the abbreviation for railway lines.
15a, 27a, 14d and 20d all made me laugh but my favourite clue was the lovely 11a. Do let us know which one(s) contributed to your enjoyment.