Toughie No 2348 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
There’s nothing too demanding here with the main hold-ups being down to a few bits of GK (in 1a and 5d in my case). There are some innovative insert/contain indicators in use in the puzzle. Thanks to Hudson.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a A southern French department is heaven for northerners (6)
ASGARD: string together A, the abbreviation for southern and the name of a department in the south of France (Gard) to get a place occupied by the gods according to Norse mythology.
5a Some Tokyo semi-terraced park, where Sam lives (8)
YOSEMITE: hidden in the clue. I didn’t know the name of the cartoon character though I recognised him after I’d sought help from Mr Google.
9a Palace upset, wasting time playing Sunday side? (5,5)
APPLE SAUCE: an anagram (playing) of PALACE UPSE[t] after you’ve killed off the abbreviation for time gets you something to go with your Sunday roast.
10a Patsy rejected last slice of Yorkshire pudding (4)
DUPE: Stick together the last letter of Yorkshire and an abbreviated pudding then reverse it all. I wonder whether the clue was originally a reversed lurker but had ‘last’ inserted to change the wordplay because there’s already a reversed lurker clue elsewhere in the puzzle?
11a Much the same as 2, caught malaria travelling (8)
CALAMARI: the cricket abbreviation for caught and an anagram (travelling) of MALARIA.
12a Oscar rents ace apartment aboard houseboat? (6)
AFLOAT: the letter that Oscar is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet ‘rents’ (i.e. lives in) A and another word for an apartment.
13a Current Tory sex symbol? (4)
ICON: the symbol for electric current and one of the abbreviations for Tory.
15a Queue go after westbound taxi, last in rank (8)
TAILBACK: paste together a verb to go after or follow, the reversal of a taxi and the last letter of rank.
18a Largely bustling bar, base in city (8)
BRISBANE: start with an adjective meaning bustling or lively and remove its final K (largely). Now add a verb to bar or veto and the letter used to mean the base in logarithms.
19a Bill’s partner will invest Republican capital? (4)
BERN: Bill’s puppet partner contains the abbreviation for Republican. The question mark is there, presumably, because this is not the only way of spelling the capital city.
21a Do brilliant talk (6)
CONFAB: charade of a verb to do or swindle and an informal (and somewhat dated) adjective meaning excellent.
23a Mo — Grade I funny character! (8)
IDEOGRAM: an anagram (funny) of MO GRADE I.
25a Tabloid paper, e.g. the Sun (4)
STAR: this is what our sun is an example of.
26a Old warhorse candid about fresh change? Quite the opposite (10)
COPENHAGEN: ‘What was the name of Wellington’s horse?’ is a common quiz question. An anagram (fresh) of CHANGE contains an adjective meaning candid or frank.
27a One might inspect article penned by retired collier (8)
EXAMINER: one of our indefinite articles is contained in a retired collier (2,5).
28a Posh boy, wildcat every now and again (2-2-2)
LA-DI-DA: a synonym for boy is followed by regular letters from wildcat.
2d Ink producer constant in its environment (5)
SEPIA: put a mathematical constant inside where the answer lives.
3d Shearer left Southampton, November 1st (3,6)
ALL SAINTS: glue together the abbreviated forename of Mr Shearer (the ex-footballer and current pundit – he did at one stage play for Southampton), the abbreviation for left and the nickname of Southampton FC. I’m no expert on Christian festivals but does the answer mean the specified date when it’s not followed by day?
4d Gloomy face, bored by second minute (6)
DISMAL: insert abbreviations for second and minute into the face (of a clock, say).
5d What an Aussie says admiringly, seeing his daughter tearing up? (3,6,6)
YOU LITTLE RIPPER: this was my last answer because I was thinking that ‘tearing up’ meant crying. In fact what it means here is shredding. The last word of the answer is something especially admirable in Australian slang.
6d Upsetting Nato, Iran ecstatically embraces the situation (8)
SCENARIO: a rather good reversed lurker.
7d Recorded fiddle and gong? (5)
MEDAL: this sounds like a verb to fiddle or interfere.
8d Pranced around following tango — a hoofer (3,6)
TAP DANCER: an anagram (around) of PRANCED follows the letter that tango represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and A.
14d Duty paid by hood in America burning new energy on his chopper? (6,3)
CARBON TAX: delete the abbreviations for new and energy from what an American motorist might refer to as a hood (3,6) then append how the same American might spell the word for his chopper (No tittering at the back!).
16d Little Joanna‘s book advanced £1,000, given Times plug (4,5)
BABY GRAND: knit together abbreviations for book and advanced and an informal word for £1,000. Now insert or plug in the word used to mean ‘times’ in multiplications. When I was searching for a picture I discovered that the answer is not just a vague term for a smaller instrument but specifically means one between 5′ 00″ and 5′ 05″ in length – you learn something new every day.
17d Dolly girl almost is able to keep … (8)
BARBICAN: bring together the name of a well-known female doll (now 60 years old) without her last letter and a verb meaning ‘is able to’.
20d … her boyfriend Len over in the doghouse (6)
KENNEL: the name of 17d’s boyfriend followed by the reversal of LEN.
22d In which we discuss freedom of movement, initially hacked by Russia online (5)
FORUM: the initial letters of ‘freedom of movement’ contain the internet suffix for Russia.
24d Leading area manager (5)
AHEAD: the abbreviation for area and another word for manager or boss.
The clues which I liked best were 6d, 16d and 17d. Which one(s) appealed to you?