Toughie No 2336 by Gila
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is the first Gila puzzle that I’ve had the pleasure of blogging. Thanks to our setter.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Leak of crude oil messed with skin of seals (10)
DISCLOSURE: an anagram (messed) of CRUDE OIL and the outer letters of S[eal]S.
6a The high point is when one gets married (4)
ACME: the playing card that counts as one in some games contains the genealogical abbreviation for married. I don’t like ‘gets’ as a containment indicator.
9a Honey, in addition to fruit (5)
MELON: bolt together the Latin word for honey and a preposition that can mean ‘in addition to’.
10a Watching musical, laid back, drinking wine (9)
ATTENTIVE: reverse the name of a Lloyd Webber/Rice musical and insert the name of a deep red Spanish wine.
12a Actor hit Italy, then a country near there (7)
CROATIA: an anagram (hit) of ACTOR is followed by the IVR code for Italy and A.
13a Guitarist in AC/DC? (5)
SLASH: the stage name of the one-time guitarist from Guns N’ Roses is found at the centre of “AC/DC”.
15a Trendy resort that’s in England, not Belgium! (5-2)
RIGHT-ON: remove the IVR code of Belgium from the name of an English south coast resort.
17a Tense debate in anti-government action (7)
TREASON: the grammatical abbreviation for tense precedes a verb to debate or think through.
19a Very mindful of extremely atypical partner (3,4)
ALL OVER: stick together the outer letters of atypical and a sexual partner.
21a Old, empty toilet in prison house (7)
COTTAGE: put the abbreviation for old and the outer letters of toilet into another word for a prison or lock-up.
22a Doctor carries performance enhancer around for cheating athlete (5)
DOPER: one of the abbreviations for doctor contains the reversal of the abbreviation for Erythopoietin (a performance enhancing drug).
24a Many changes spoil part of South-east Asia (7)
MYANMAR: knit together an anagram (changes) of MANY and a verb to spoil.
27a Being on the bench/left out is unrewarding (3-6)
NON-PAYING: remove the abbreviation of left from a term meaning ‘on the bench’ (i.e. identifying a substitute who’s not in the team’s starting line-up).
28a US narcos oddly lose supplies of drugs (5)
DEALS: the abbreviation for the US organisation which has the job of combating drug trafficking is followed by the odd letters of ‘lose’.
29a Small, pale-coloured bird (4)
SWAN: stick together the abbreviation for small and an adjective meaning pale-coloured.
30a Styptic thread in a hospital department (10)
ASTRINGENT: this is a substance applied to the skin to stop or reduce bleeding. Insert another word for thread or cord between A and the only hospital department known in Crosswordland.
1d Piece of well-made, modern music from an unsigned band (4)
DEMO: hidden in the clue.
2d Drying agent — all but illegal — is manufactured without copyright (6,3)
SILICA GEL: an anagram (manufactured) of ILLEGA[l] and IS containing the abbreviation for copyright.
3d Large, independent charity possibly making very specific terms (5)
LINGO: string together abbreviations for large and independent and the abbreviation for a non-profit organisation that is not part of the government (e.g. a charity).
4d Rigorous thing boxers do — train regularly! (7)
SPARTAN: what boxers do as part of their training followed by the odd letters of TrAiN.
5d Upstanding president takes time to withdraw (7)
RETRACT: reverse the surname of a US President from the 1970s and append the abbreviation for time.
7d Punch a friend (5)
CHINA: glue together an informal verb to punch someone in the face and A.
8d Worker made matching boxes for fair (4-6)
EVEN-HANDED: a verb meaning ‘made matching’ or equalised contains (boxes) a manual worker.
11d Simple food, mostly with fresh tea (2,5)
NO SWEAT: concatenate an informal word for food without its final H, the abbreviation for with and an anagram (fresh) of TEA. The answer is nothing to do with Prince Andrew’s excuse explaining why he couldn’t be guilty of anything!
14d Mongrel enraged at first sign of some big dogs (5,5)
GREAT DANES: an anagram (mongrel) of ENRAGED AT followed by the first letter of ‘some’.
16d Tax rises are about to overwhelm new European restaurant (7)
TAVERNA: reverse a tax on goods and services and add the reversal of ARE containing the abbreviation for new.
18d Principal lawsuit covering the start of ill-fated flight (9)
STAIRCASE: weld together a word for the principal or main performer in a film, say, and another word for a lawsuit then insert the first letter of ill-fated.
20d Dead body is still (7)
REMAINS: double definition, the second a verb meaning ‘is still’ or ‘continues to be’.
21d Put something in the base of solar battery unit (7)
CHARGER: a verb to put something in or fill (a glass or a gun for example) followed by the last letter of solar.
23d Endangered animal in the outer parts of Patagonia? (5)
PANDA: the outer letters of Patagonia (1,3,1) make the animal’s name.
25d I’m upset and assume a potentially silly position (3-2)
MID-ON: reverse I’M and add a verb to assume or wear. The answer is a fielding position in cricket (a variant of which is closer to the batsman and prefixed by ‘silly’ – silly here doesn’t mean daft but has an archaic meaning of defenceless).
26d Rider on way over here (4)
PSST: combine abbreviations for a rider or additional bit added at the end and a way or urban thoroughfare.
The clues which I ticked were 8d, 20d and 25d. Which one(s) won your approval?