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Toughie 2371

Toughie No 2371 by Gila

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Gila has given us a fairly straightforward puzzle today with some solid clues but nothing to really set the pulses racing. Thanks to him.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.

Across Clues

1a Middle of massive empty cupboards stuffed with vintage carpets (6)
SCOLDS: start with the middle letter of massive then insert a synonym of vintage or ancient into the outer letters of cupboards.

5a Old bit of kitchenware taken by extremely cheeky tenant (6)
OCCUPY: the definition here is a verb, not a noun. Assemble the abbreviation for old and the outer letters of cheeky containing an item of kitchenware (I’d describe it as an item of tableware rather than kitchenware but it’s a minor point).

10a Addiction is slightly hard at first (5)
HABIT: slightly (1,3) prefixed by the abbreviation for hard.

11a Complete getting better without unlimited jabs (3-3-3)
OUT-AND-OUT: if you insert the central letters of jabs into the answer you get a phrase meaning convalescent.

12a Ducks seen regularly flying around part of a cruise ship (7)
SUNDECK: an anagram (flying around) of DUCKS and [s]E[e]N.

13a Feeling of love appearing in no time, unexpectedly (7)
EMOTION: an anagram (unexpectedly) of NO TIME contains the letter that resembles a tennis score of love.

14a Small steps leading to cool NASA vehicle? (9)
SPACESHIP: string together the abbreviation for small in clothing sizes, a verb meaning steps or walks and an informal word meaning cool or trendy.

17a Freak out and stare with mouth open over nothing (2,3)
GO APE: a verb to stare open-mouthed contains the zero-resembling letter.

18a Retiring professor gets to come over boorish (5)
GROSS: hidden in reverse.

19a Traders ultimately falter and suffer, shown in terse broadcast (9)
RETAILERS: start with the ultimate letter of falter then insert a verb to suffer into an anagram (broadcast) of TERSE.

21a Distinguished peer interrupted by cheers (7)
NOTABLE: a peer contains a short informal word meaning ‘cheers!’ or ‘thanks!’.

23a Mobile’s location in a research room starts to aid medical activities (7)
ALABAMA: Mobile is a US Port on the Gulf of Mexico. Knit together A, an informal word for a room where scientific research takes place and the starting letters of the last three words of the clue.

25a Log container crossing a harbour (9)
ENTERTAIN: a verb to log or put on file followed by a metal container holding A.

26a Dirty cap removed and lubricated (5)
OILED: an adjective meaning dirty or grubby without its leading letter.

27a Fly places to fill time on vacation (6)
TSETSE: a verb meaning places or positions goes inside the outer letters of time.

28a Gives out, eyelids fluttering with energy singularly gone (6)
YIELDS: an anagram (fluttering) of EY[e]LIDS without one of the abbreviations for energy.

Down Clues

2d Basic home essentially lacks a means of waste disposal (5)
CABIN: glue together the central letter of ‘lacks’, A and something in which to dispose of waste.

3d Flexibility outside the rules succeeded (9)
LITHENESS: rules are straight ***** printed or drawn on paper. Put those around THE and finish with the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded.

4d Conventionally used cooking ingredient (5)
STOCK: double definition, the first an adjective meaning customary or routine.

5d Ten photos developed there and then (2,3,4)
ON THE SPOT: an anagram (developed) of TEN PHOTOS.

6d Somewhat frantic and oddly positive in attitude (3-2)
CAN-DO: hidden.

7d Cattle fed to jungle animal next (9)
PROXIMATE: insert a bovine animal into a type of mammal typically living in the jungle.

8d Good party organisers will provide spirits (6)
GHOSTS: the abbreviation for good and those throwing a party.

9d Example lacking in opinion (6)
STANCE: remove IN from another word for example.

15d Rats in a group circling under the entrance to Angel station (9)
APOSTATES: A and the reversal of a group or clique follow the first letter of Angel and another word for a station or assigned position.

16d Sporting contest, seeing people up front run in short pants (5,4)
HORSE RACE: a word for a people or nation is preceded (up front) by a word meaning close-fitting breeches (often worn with a doublet) containing the cricket abbreviation for runs.

17d Ignore help and try breaking toenail (2,2,5)
GO IT ALONE: a word for a try or stab followed by an anagram (breaking) of TOENAIL.

18d Horse rearing upset angry-looking bird (6)
GANDER: reverse an old horse then reverse an adjective meaning angry-looking.

20d Browse through passport, say, when coming northwards from Oslo? (6)
SCANDI: a verb to browse or look through is followed by the reversal of an abbreviation for what could be a passport.

22d Seed cases finally just split open (5)
BURST: the alternative spelling for prickly seed-cases followed by the final letter of just.

23d Uncovered sound systems get on people’s nerves (5)
ANNOY: the trademarked name for a type of public address systems loses its top letter.

24d After the end of Zumba, I ran and was sick (5)
AILED: you live and learn – I thought that Zumba was a city in Malawi but it turns out that it’s a sort of keep-fit regime involving dancing (at least that makes the surface more credible!). Weld together the end letter of Zumba, I and a verb meaning ran or controlled.

My favourite clue was 23a for the attempted misdirection. Which one(s) made you smile?


15 comments on “Toughie 2371

  1. Took a bit longer than the back page today but got there unassisted. Had to plug 23a as had never heard of the place; thanks for the explanation. My favourite clue was 20d.

  2. Found this difficult with several answers rather stretched. Glad to finish it but couldn’t say it was enjoyable. Better luck tomorrow!

  3. Very straightforward and somewhat more enjoyable than the back pager, completed at a Toughie gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 23a, and 27a – and the winner is 23a, the ease of solving of which depended on selecting the appropriate pronunciation of the first word of the definition.
    Thanks to Gila and Gazza.

  4. Definitely on the Toughie spectrum but with no particular favourites

    Thanks to Gila and Gazza

  5. As I’ve found previously with this setter, it took me quite a while to get onto the right wavelength. It then all came together quite smoothly and was reasonably enjoyable.

    I’ve always spelt the seed cases in 22d with 2Rs and I needed Gazza’s explanation of the parsing of 11a which eluded me.

    23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the 2Gs.

  6. Somewhat relieved that some found it on the Toughie spectrum because I thought it was jolly difficult. The NW corner held out the longest for me but eventually managed to grind to an unaided conclusion having puzzled over it on and off for most of the afternoon.15d & 23a were among my favourites of the day.
    Think I’m slowly getting into the habit of seeking the answer via the wordplay (the proper way to do it I assume) rather than trying to identify the clue, think of a synonym & then fit it to the wordplay. Unfortunately I realise I’ve a long way to go when I have to read Gazza’s excellent review to tell me that in 27a time on vacation indicates removal of the i & m.
    Still it would be no fun if it was easy I suppose……

  7. I’m still not ‘feeling the love’ for this setter but perhaps that will happen in time.
    Needed Gazza’s input to sort out the parsing of 11a and thought it was a bit of a stretch. The cleverness of 23a was lost on me as I didn’t know the location in question.
    Favourite was a toss up between 22&23d.

    Thanks to Gila and to Gazza for the review.

  8. We scratched our heads for a while on how the wordplay for 11a worked. Eventually the penny dropped.
    Another enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Gila and Gazza.

  9. Even if I thought some of the constructions were a bit fiddly, I quite enjoyed the ride.
    Liked the Oslo and Mobile clues.
    The kitchenware didn’t bother me as a cup is so often used as a measure in recipes.
    Thanks to Gila and to Gazza.

  10. Completed this without too much difficulty. One slight gripe, though. Does ‘cattle’ in 7a suggest that we should be looking for a plural, rather than a singular, synonym?

      1. I agree – this recently came up in a test solve for an Indy setter and I said exactly the same after much dictionary-thumbing

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