Toughie No 2352 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Thanks to Stick Insect for a fun puzzle which I enjoyed a lot and which wasn’t too tricky.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Fighters search area, beat gutless traitors (10)
COMBATANTS: paste together a verb to search thoroughly, the abbreviation for area, a verb to beat and the outer letters of ‘traitors’.
6a Second person once without clothes (4)
THOU: hidden in the clue.
10a My girl? (5)
MANDY: spell out ‘my’ (1,3,1).
11a Rabble in election swamped by different calls for attention (3,6)
HOI POLLOI: a synonym for election is enclosed in two different interjections used to attract someone’s attention in a brusque manner.
12a Footballer from France is best at dribbling? (8)
MESSIEST: bring together the surname of a famous Argentinian footballer and the French verb meaning ‘is’.
13a Fruit that would make Cara sweet? (5)
MELON: to get a type of sweet we have to split the answer 3,2 and apply it to the word cara.
15a Language student is first in exams and put on a pedestal (7)
IDOLISE: string together an artificial language, the letter used for a student, IS and the first letter of exams.
17a Initially Equity underserved northerners, casting such men without parts (7)
EUNUCHS: the initial letters of three words in the clue followed by an anagram (casting) of SUCH. Ouch!
19a Tragic King Edward is wise (7)
LEARNED: charade of one of Shakespeare’s tragic kings and one of the short forms of Edward.
21a Speculator in taking over gold bars (7)
BULLION: someone who buys shares in the hope that their value will rise (as opposed to a bear, who sells shares hoping to buy them back later at a lower price) followed by IN containing the cricket abbreviation for over.
22a Corpulent alumnus has half of cheese (5)
OBESE: knit together the abbreviation for a former male student and half of the word cheese.
24a No matter which person TV doctor married, cut son out (8)
WHOMEVER: concatenate a long-running TV doctor, the genealogical abbreviation for married and a verb to cut without the abbreviation for son.
27a Journey there and back on the circle line? (5,4)
ROUND TRIP: cryptic definition of a return journey which might involve starting and finishing at the same station on the Circle Line.
28a Jump lead (5)
START: double definition, the second meaning to play the first card.
29a Place the object in empty safe (4)
SITE: put a pronoun identifying an inanimate object between the outer letters of safe.
30a Curse after small opening in whites perhaps (10)
SPORTSWEAR: a verb to curse or blaspheme follows the abbreviation for small and an opening in the side of a ship.
1d Head of space body is cold, woman discovered (4)
COMA: the abbreviation for cold and the inner letters of ‘woman’. The answer, new to me, is the luminous cloud surrounding the frozen solid nucleus in the head of a comet.
2d Criminal nominates place to find St Paul (9)
MINNESOTA: an anagram (criminal) of NOMINATES. St Paul here is not a person.
3d Chaos when idiot takes Times (5)
ABYSS: an idiot contains a word meaning times in multiplications.
4d Active type at hotel permitted opening of escalator (7)
ATHLETE: glue together AT, the letter that hotel represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, a verb meaning permitted and the opening letter of escalator.
5d First line in the national symbol? (7)
THISTLE: insert what looks like a way of writing ‘first’ (in a date, for example) and the abbreviation for line into ‘the’.
7d Food that’s permitted in hospital, prepared with hint of lemon (5)
HALAL: weld together the abbreviation for hospital, a phrase meaning prepared or cooked in a certain way (1,2) and the first letter of lemon.
8d Recruiting brothers and sisters, I celebrate after wedding (10)
UNIONISING: I and a verb to celebrate vocally follow a synonym for wedding.
9d Instrument holds second half of vial containing internal secretions (8)
HORMONAL: a wind instrument contains an informal word for a second or brief time. Finish with half of the word vial.
14d American promoters may use these two Shakespearean titles to gain Oscar, having succeeded (10)
BILLBOARDS: two attributes of Shakespeare, the first his name and the second a poetic title, contain the letter that Oscar represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. Finally, append the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded.
16d Local university on edge over slur (8)
INNUENDO: bolt together a synonym for local or bar, an abbreviation for university, another word for edge or limit and the cricket abbreviation for over (for the second time).
18d Want to limit one call that keeps police busy (5,4)
CRIME WAVE: a verb to want or long for contains the Roman numeral for one and a feline call.
20d Turning up, we would decline overnight deposit (7)
DEWDROP: reverse the shortened form of ‘we would’ and append a decline or fall.
21d Dictator’s sad for each mistake (7)
BLOOPER: assemble a homophone of an adjective meaning sad or depressed and a preposition meaning ‘for each’.
23d Rejoice in lovemaking sect losing leaders (5)
EXULT: start with a lovemaking sect (3,4) and remove the leading letter of both words.
25d Third of army missing from canteens is what’s found at beginning and end of sorties (5)
ESSES: drop the third letter of army from a word for military canteens.
26d Disturb bird (4)
STIR: double definition. Bird here is a slang term.
Lots to like here – I’ll pick out 10a, 2d, 14d and 23d. Which one(s) made it to your shortlist?