Toughie No 2344 by Messinae
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
There are a number of gimmes in this puzzle which make it one of the less ‘tough’ Toughies. I wasn’t greatly enamoured with it during the solving process but my enjoyment grew as I wrote the hints.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
3a Possibly greasy food in reserve (6)
GRUBBY: charade of an informal word for food and an adverb meaning ‘in reserve’ (as in ‘money was put ** for a rainy day’).
6a Champion returned (4)
BACK: double definition, the first being a verb.
8a Weapon seen a lot around Lima (5)
RIFLE: an adjective meaning ‘seen a lot’ or widespread contains the letter that Lima is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
9a Person to raise spirits playing Amen Corner round clubs (11)
NECROMANCER: an anagram (playing) of AMEN CORNER contains the abbreviation for the card suit clubs.
10a Peculiar item adorning leader of religion? (5)
MITRE: an anagram (peculiar) of ITEM surrounds the leading letter of religion.
11a Register with embassy getting let back in (11)
READMISSION: a verb to register or display and another word for embassy.
16a First stages where films are shot (6)
ONSETS: split 2,4 this could be where films are shot. A very old chestnut.
17a Infiltrator — one penetrating in French meeting (8)
ENTRYIST: insert the Roman numeral for one into the French word meaning ‘in’ and a romantic meeting or date.
19a Early American rustic hero keeping masks (8)
CHEROKEE: hidden in the clue.
20/22a Who will give instructions to pack up (6,2,9)
MASTER OF FOXHOUNDS: cryptic definition of the “unspeakable” individual on horseback (up) who directs his pack in pursuit of the “uneatable”.
22a See 20a
25a Tried assiduously to reserve energy (5)
HEARD: an adverb meaning assiduously or energetically contains the abbreviation for energy.
27a He investigated rude message about poet (6,5)
SEXTON BLAKE: the name of this fictional detective is built from a) a recently coined word for a sexually explicit message, b) a preposition meaning about and c) an English Romantic poet.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
28a Bush, G. H. W. relative to G. W.? (5)
ELDER: the term used to distinguish G.H.W. from his son G.W.
29a Crackers brought back are amazing (4)
STUN: reverse an informal adjective meaning crackers or mad. Another old chestnut.
30a Work performed before makes theatre company scoff (6)
REPEAT: stick together the abbreviated word for a theatre company putting on a variety of plays and a verb to scoff or consume.
1d Musical entertainment for millions (4)
PROM: a preposition meaning ‘for’ or ‘in favour of’ followed by the abbreviation for millions.
2d What’s in store, having finally found a boyfriend? (3,3,5)
OFF THE SHELF: this could be a rather catty description of a woman who was previously thought to be too old for romance but who has now got a boyfriend.
3d Exonerating unruly children of the 1970s (10,1)
GENERATION X: an anagram (unruly) of EXONERATING.
4d Mother’s brother Bill fails to get Megane finally out of gear (6)
UNCLAD: stick together your mother’s brother and an abbreviated bill or poster then remove the final letter of Megane.
5d Bishop threatening to be fresh? (8)
BLOOMING: the chess abbreviation for bishop precedes a present participle meaning threatening or impending.
6d Banker initially given responsibility for extra pay (5)
BONUS: glue together the initial letter of banker and a synonym for responsibility or obligation.
7d Company embracing radical set of beliefs (5)
CREDO: the abbreviation for company contains an informal word for a radical or leftie.
12d Peter dashes off something on a computer (11)
SPREADSHEET: an anagram (off) of PETER DASHES. I spent some time trying to make a word starting with safe..
13d Help for TV presenters — radio bods will get confused with it (5,6)
IDIOT BOARDS: an anagram (will get confused) of RADIO BODS and IT.
14d Rugby score ruled out? Engage a lawyer (6)
NOTARY: the unsuccessful verdict (2,3) (possibly after an attempt to score has been replayed from umpteen different angles by the TV match official) contains A.
15d Top man perhaps for a laugh round North Carolina (6)
HONCHO: a deep laugh contains the abbreviation for North Carolina. This word (which is derived from Japanese and which the BRB describes as US slang) is often preceded by ‘head’.
18d Increase fortification endlessly anticipating the French (8)
REDOUBLE: fuse together a word for a military fortification or defensive structure without its last letter and one of the French definite articles.
21d Lag during match (6)
INMATE: weld together a preposition meaning during and a word for a match or duplicate.
23d Fast walkers keep in line (5)
FLEET: the bodily parts that do the walking contain the abbreviation for line.
24d Decimal points being removed from this won’t change meaning a lot (5)
OFTEN: start with how you might explain decimal (2,3). If you remove the two cardinal points from this what you are left with means the same as the full answer.
26d Dreadful person running company? Not half (4)
DIRE: half of a board member.
The clues which got through to the play-off for me were 20/22a, 27a, 2d and 14d. Which one(s) made the cut for you?