Toughie No 2312 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I found this one fairly straightforward with a number of old chestnuts but I did enjoy solving it. I thought that a few of the surfaces (e.g. 4d) were a bit iffy.
Thanks to Stick Insect for the puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Check bags cadet vacantly put by old scanner (8)
DETECTOR: a verb to check or discourage contains the outer letters of cadet and the abbreviation for old.
5a This writer is second-class — current chapter’s concerned with feet! (6)
IAMBIC: put ‘this writer is’ into the first person (1,2) and append the letter used to mean second-class, the symbol for electric current and one of the abbreviations for chapter.
9a Shrinks salty cooking in pots without lid (8)
ANALYSTS: an anagram (cooking) of SALTY goes inside types of kitchen pots without their first letter.
10a Men she gets mixed up in tangle (6)
ENMESH: an anagram (gets mixed up) of MEN SHE.
11a Should tough cycling without limits stop? (5,2)
OUGHT TO: cycle the first letter of tough round to its end and add ‘stop’ after removing its outer letters.
12a ‘Local drink’ announced one in the know (7)
INSIDER: stick together homophones of a local or pub and an alcoholic drink.
13a Officer almost into rebuilding firm (11)
CORPORATION: a non-commissioned army officer without his/her last letter is followed by an anagram (rebuilding) of INTO.
16a Student corruptly taps umpire for test sheet (6,5)
LITMUS PAPER: the letter displayed by a student precedes an anagram (corruptly) of TAPS UMPIRE.
21a Outdoor feature film about queen (7)
ROCKERY: the name of a film (the first of a series, starting in 1976 and still going in 2018) contains the regnal cipher of our current Queen.
22a Spurn salesman with line in profit (7)
REPULSE: combine an abbreviated salesman and a synonym for profit or advantage containing the abbreviation for line.
23a Detroit truck reverses over silver statues (6)
IMAGES: we need the prefix for a type of US truck which pulls a trailer with just half of the usual number of axles (i.e. it has no front axle). Reverse that and insert the chemical symbol for silver. I’d never heard of the truck.
24a Immature satirist, one for adult audience finally (8)
JUVENILE: start with the name of a Roman satirist, replace the abbreviation for adult with the Roman numeral for one and finish with the final letter of audience.
25a Grocer gutted river carp (6)
GROUSE: remove the inner letters from gutted and add the name of a number of rivers in England of which the best known is in North Yorkshire.
26a Influence husband, for instance squandering money (8)
HEGEMONY: string together the genealogical abbreviation for husband, the abbreviation of ‘for instance’ and an anagram (squandering) of MONEY.
1d Inside a convent shelters a churchman (6)
DEACON: our only lurker.
2d Chinese dynasty’s adopting western nasal tones (6)
TWANGS: the name of a Chinese dynasty which ruled from the seventh to the tenth century plus the ‘S contain the abbreviation for western.
3d Sob quietly, habitual response describing the Toughie? (7)
CRYPTIC: weld together a verb to sob, the musical abbreviation meaning quietly and a habitual response or involuntary muscle contraction.
4d Perturbed Tory must limit animal strike, initially helped using right characters (11)
ORTHOGRAPHY: an anagram (perturbed) of TORY contains a farm animal, a verb to strike or knock and the initial letter of helped.
6d Failure to recall wounded men trapped in continent (7)
AMNESIA: insert an anagram (wounded) of MEN into the name of a continent.
7d Book perused going to prison store (5,3)
BREAD BIN: assemble the abbreviation for book, a verb meaning perused and a slang term for prison or cell.
8d Company lease housing male orderly (8)
COHERENT: the abbreviation for company and a verb to lease contain a male pronoun.
12d Untimely end of Doctor, trapped by River Song after fashionable operation (11)
INOPPORTUNE: the last letter of doctor goes between an Italian river and a synonym for song or air. All that is preceded by an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy and the abbreviation for a surgical operation. River Song is the name of a female character in Doctor Who – I didn’t know that before today.
14d Trifling with new arrangement? (8)
FLIRTING: this is an all-in-one – it’s an anagram (with new arrangement) of TRIFLING.
15d Tom’s upset man with oxygen disconnected (8)
STACCATO: reverse what a tom is in the animal world, not forgetting the ‘S, then add a word used among jazz fans for a man and the chemical symbol for oxygen.
17d Poor encouragement to economise? (7)
USELESS: split 3,4 this could mean to economise.
18d Full theatre allowed start of expansion (7)
REPLETE: glue together the abbreviation for a type of theatre involving the performance of multiple plays, a verb meaning allowed and the starting letter of expansion.
19d A floor covering contains black and white (6)
ALBINO: A and a type of floor covering contain the abbreviation for black.
20d Vegetable expedition lacks a certain something (6)
CELERY: start with a synonym for expedition or speed and remove a short word meaning a certain something or a special quality.
The clues I liked best were 14d and 15d. Which one(s) made the grade for you?