Toughie No 2200 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
Given the amount of GK that’s contained in this puzzle I’m surprised that it didn’t actually pose many problems. I think I was helped by getting all four of the 15-letter answers fairly quickly. I didn’t know the Egyptian god, the Spanish region or the Scottish loch but in every case the answers were readily obtained from the definition and checkers.
Thanks to Donnybrook for an enjoyable puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
8a Simple before going by motorway (4)
MERE: the abbreviation for motorway and a poetic preposition meaning before.
9a One swoops near ground, moving left to right (3)
OWL: start with an adjective meaning near the ground and move the leftmost letter (or the abbreviation for left – take your pick) to the far right.
10a Meat one found in the tail? (6)
RABBIT: double definition, the second an informal word for a poor batsman who would be one of the tail-enders in the batting order.
11a Relax in day following success at General Assembly? (6)
UNWIND: the abbreviation for day follows what might be a success at the General Assembly in New York (2,3).
12a Retired aristocrat, one in residence, shows genial nature (8)
BONHOMIE: reverse an informal word for an aristocrat then insert the Roman numeral for one into a domestic residence.
13a When at work, an unhappy doctor gets about very rarely (4,2,1,4,4)
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON: string together ‘after having arrived at work’ (4,2), ‘an unhappy doctor’ (1,4,2) and a preposition meaning about (2).
15a Philosopher‘s stolen meat! (7)
BENTHAM: stick together a slang term for stolen and a type of meat to get the name of an English philosopher and social reformer whose preserved head can still be seen at University College, London (that ‘godless institution in Gower Street’).
17a Wrong skill shown by advanced backing singer (7)
SINATRA: start with a moral wrong then reverse a synonym for skill or technique and the abbreviation for advanced.
20a Emulate Lot’s wife nearing breaking out? That’s drama! (4,4,2,5)
LOOK BACK IN ANGER: a phrase meaning to do as Lot’s wife supposedly did in the Old Testament (4,4) is followed by an anagram (breaking out) of NEARING.
This reminds me of a letter to Private Eye from someone claiming that the cutbacks in funding for public libraries in Essex had led to a “Book lack in Ongar”.
23a Is obliged to cross road in difficulty (8)
HARDSHIP: a verb meaning ‘is obliged or compelled’ contains the abbreviation for road. Finish with an informal and dated adjective meaning in or trendy.
25a Egyptian god captivates American writer (6)
AUSTEN: one of the many mythological Egyptian gods (one of the many that I’ve not heard of) contains a 2-letter abbreviation for American.
26a Burning pictures outside private office (6)
ARDENT: a general term for pictures contains a word for a private office or study.
27a Long time inside after attacks (3)
ERA: hidden in the clue.
28a First Lady having concern ultimately quits (4)
EVEN: the Biblical first lady followed by the ultimate letter of concern.
1d ‘Woman’ writer? New name in Spanish region (6)
LENNON: insert abbreviations for new and name into the name of a historic region in the north-west of Spain.
2d Topping feature one metre from bar (8)
PEDIMENT: remove the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for metre from a word meaning bar or obstruction.
3d What’s received, after dismissal, from much-admired opener? (6,9)
GOLDEN PARACHUTE: this is an informal term for a large payment made to a company executive to compensate for job loss in the event of a takeover or merger. Put together an adjective meaning much-admired or dazzling and something that’s meant to open as it falls to earth.
4d Fabled woodcutter joins a party with a scholar (3,4)
ALI BABA: assemble A, an abbreviation for a political party, A again and a degree.
5d Lawless old Nicaraguan drained northern waterway (5,5,5)
GRAND UNION CANAL: an anagram (lawless) of OLD NICARAGUAN N[orther]N.
6d Sailor leading, say, ladies and maiden out? (6)
ABLOOM: knit together one of our usual abbreviations for a sailor, a facility of which ‘ladies’ is an example and the abbreviation for a maiden over in cricket.
7d Article removed from Floridian city’s unfortunate sewer (4)
MIMI: remove the indefinite article from a city in Florida to get the tragic seamstress from Puccini’s opera La Bohème.
14d Propel boat to Capri regularly (3)
OAR: regular letters from two words in the clue.
16d I knock the top off blocks (3)
EGO: take away the first letter from some plastic blocks.
18d Ideas revised about animal used in sacrificial offering (5,3)
AGNUS DEI: an anagram (revised) of IDEAS contains another name for a wildebeest.
19d One in doze succeeded first as team leader (7)
SKIPPER: the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded precedes someone having a doze.
21d Dye and ink spattered in class (6)
KIDNEY: an anagram (spattered) of DYE and INK gives us a word that can mean class or type.
22d Players finally arrive at Kinross loch (6)
ELEVEN: the final letter of arrive and the name of a loch adjacent to the burgh of Kinross in eastern Scotland.
24d Muslims besieged here exist without cold water? (4)
ACRE: a verb meaning exist or be contains the letter telling you that the water exiting a tap will be cold. The answer is a port city north of Haifa where Muslim forces were besieged during the Crusades.
On my podium today, in no particular order, are 10a, 20a and 6d. Do let us know which one(s) were chosen by you.