Toughie No 2256 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ****
It took me a little while to get going on this one but once I’d established a base camp in the SW corner it all proceeded in a serene fashion with no great problems. It’s very enjoyable with smooth clues throughout as we’ve come to expect from this setter. Thanks Silvanus.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Medieval weapon, one prominent on breakfast TV? (7,4)
MORNING STAR: double definition, the first (new to me) being a vicious-looking weapon with spiked ball(s) on a stick which could give you a nasty headache. My first thought, from the second definition and the enumeration, was Susanna Reid but I couldn’t see her as a weapon so I moved on and waited for some checking letters.
7a Actor, upset on Sunday, occasionally lost temper (7)
SNAPPED: reverse the surname of a male Hollywood actor after the odd letters of Sunday.
8a City attracts English talent up front, that’s firmly established (4-3)
WELL-SET: start with a city in Somerset (there are only two and it’s not Bath) and append the front letters of English and talent.
10a Outcry developing about opponents and good manners (8)
COURTESY: an anagram (developing) of OUTCRY contains opponents at bridge.
11a Slim Scandinavian, typically, almost reaching officer grade at last (6)
SVELTE: string together a typical Scandinavian male forename without its last letter, the abbreviation for a military officer and the last letter of grade.
13a Excuse source of gratification when half-cut (4)
PLEA: the first half only of a word meaning sensual gratification. I wondered initially why ‘source’ was there but ‘source of gratification’ is a meaning taken straight from Chambers.
14a Verbal attacks coming from verge of motorway maybe between discontented bikers (10)
BROADSIDES: a word for the verge of a motorway (or other thoroughfare) goes between the outer letters of bikers.
16a A cup, please, for mixing something to complement roast meat (5,5)
APPLE SAUCE: an anagram (for mixing) of A CUP PLEASE.
18a Drop rent (4)
TEAR: double definition, the drop being a liquid secretion.
21a Nutrition expert refuses to stop working as artist (6)
TITIAN: start with a nutrition expert who’ll advise you on what (or more usually in my case on what not) to eat and remove from the front a verb to stop working or conk out.
22a Showing imagination, island invested in reforming vet care (8)
CREATIVE: insert one of the abbreviations for island into an anagram (reforming) of VET CARE.
24a Crack case of cybercrime, catching cleric in charge (7)
CREVICE: the outer letters of cybercrime contain the abbreviated title of a member of the clergy and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.
25a Drink needed after service failure bringing disappointment (3-4)
LET-DOWN: an informal verb to drink follows the sort of service failure that we’ll hear a lot about over the next couple of weeks from London SW19.
26a Fabulous flier considered important to read out in Bedfordshire town (11)
BIGGLESWADE: bring together the name of W E Johns’s fictional flying ace and a homophone of a past participle meaning ‘considered important’ or ‘having a significant influence’.
1d Size of each square oddly checked by the setter (7)
MEASURE: the definition here is a verb, not a noun. The abbreviation for each and the odd letters of square are contained inside what the setter would call himself objectively.
2d Backed well-informed European visiting Irish broadcaster to find fame (6)
REPUTE: reverse an adverb meaning well-informed or ‘au courant’ and an abbreviation for European inside the abbreviation for the Irish state broadcaster.
3d Type of action from Democrat to interrupt current American hearing (10)
INDUSTRIAL: the abbreviation for Democrat gets inserted into an adjective meaning current or fashionable, a 2-letter abbreviation meaning American and a hearing or court case.
4d Stare when wife takes male’s place with umbrella (4)
GAWP: start with a dated term for a large umbrella and replace the abbreviation for male with that of wife.
5d Points I’ve allowed to be raised in broadcast (8)
TELEVISE: knit together two cardinal points, I’VE and a synonym of allowed then reverse the lot.
6d Van leaving area bears sign of corrosion, it’s whispered (7)
RUSTLED: a word for van or first place loses the abbreviation for area and that’s preceded by a reddish sign of corrosion.
7d Obsequious City chap son sacked (11)
SYCOPHANTIC: an anagram (sacked) of CITY CHAP SON.
9d One treating date, perhaps awfully generous supporting starlet regularly (4,7)
TREE SURGEON: an anagram (awfully) of GENEROUS follows the even letters of starlet.
12d Venetian songs Fletcher and Arkwright possibly heard (10)
BARCAROLES: homophone of the characters (6,5) played by a much-missed English comic actor (which included Norman Stanley Fletcher and Albert E Arkwright).
15d Intimidating, big-serving male tennis players? (8)
MENACING: split the answer 3,5 and we could have male tennis players delivering unplayable balls at the start of a point. Incidentally, does anyone understand why tennis players are given two goes at getting the ball into play? It’s a bit like a football referee saying “You’ve made a complete Horlicks of that penalty kick. Never mind – have another go!”.
17d Vegetable adding flavour if cooking mostly pea broth (3,4)
POT HERB: an anagram (cooking) of PE[a] BROTH.
19d Ground that is enthralled following record for event (7)
EPISODE: the abbreviation for ‘that is’ contains a word for a piece of ground and that all follows an old record format.
20d Several words repeated frequently in German translation (6)
MANTRA: our only hidden answer of the day.
23d Female swimmer makes impression (4)
FEEL: solder together the abbreviation for female and a thin swimmer.
I ticked 11a, 21a and 15d but my favourite clue was 12d. Do let us know which one(s) impressed you.