Toughie No 2379 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ****
I found this one surprisingly gentle for a Hudson puzzle but very enjoyable. I thought at one stage that we were getting a mini-theme on types of verse but I don’t suppose that two is sufficient even for the most minuscule theme.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Dusty well cracked, life hard in the extreme (11)
SPRINGFIELD: string together a synonym for a well, an anagram (cracked) of LIFE and the last letter of hard.
10a Composer has temperature following short vacation (5)
HOLST: the abbreviation for temperature follows a short informal word for vacation.
11a Dandy, 50, taking refuge in wicked Southern city (9)
NASHVILLE: start with the surname of a celebrated 18th century dandy then insert the Roman numeral for 50 into a synonym for wicked or loathsome. “Southern” presumably because this city was once the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
12a In retirement, Mrs Thatcher having to admit ‘time is a four-letter word‘ (9)
TETRAGRAM: reverse Mrs Thatcher’s forename and insert the abbreviation for time.
13a Freud really missing regular letters from the country (5)
RURAL: miss out regular letters from the first two words of the clue.
14a Fur claimed with some hesitation? (6)
ERMINE: a possessive pronoun indicating the setter’s claim to ownership follows a short word of hesitation.
16a Present awfully posh feature of museum? (4,4)
GIFT SHOP: bring together another word for a present and an anagram (awfully) of POSH.
18a Chill wind has Daisy sheltering in the city (8)
EASTERLY: a type of flower that includes the daisy is contained in Crosswordland’s favourite Cambridgeshire city.
20a Band originally white hot, no longer ‘with it’ (3,3)
THE WHO: an anagram (originally) of WH[it]E HOT after we’ve taken out the ‘it’. The whole clue possibly suggests that the band, who are still performing, are no longer the force they once were.
23a Rebellion at the top reported in verse? (5)
HAIKU: this sounds like a rebellion or putsch at the top (4,4).
24a Sitting inside drinking old chai naked? It could have its charms! (4,5)
GOLD CHAIN: hidden in the clue.
26a Evil location of 28’s remote debts? (9)
NEFARIOUS: glue together the area of England where 28a is to be found, a synonym for remote or distant and our usual debts.
27a Surf is finally up around Maine (5)
SPUME: assemble the final letter of ‘is’, the reversal of ‘up’ and the standard abbreviation for the state of Maine.
28a Riverside communities want year-end reforms (4,3,4)
TYNE AND WEAR: this is an English county the name of which comes from its two major rivers. It’s an anagram (reforms) of WANT YEAR-END.
2d Lead sanctimonious bunch (5)
PILOT: charade of a short adjective meaning sanctimonious or ‘holier than thou’ and another word for a bunch or large number.
3d Where a Yorkshireman needs his umbrella when under way? (2,5)
IN TRAIN: where an umbrella is needed in Yorkshire dialect.
4d Derrick’s supporter mounting horse, on the go! (6)
GANTRY: reverse an old horse and follow that with a go or attempt.
5d Condition preventing one being out after dark? (8)
INSOMNIA: cryptic definition where ‘out’ means unconscious.
6d Youngster left on high peak — son’s escaped (7)
LEVERET: the abbreviation for left followed by a high (indeed the highest) peak without the abbreviation for son.
7d Bank holiday, Spain — the plane’s heaving; it’s difficult to move (5,8)
WHITE ELEPHANT: weld together a religious bank holiday, the IVR code for Spain and an anagram (heaving) of THE PLANE.
8d Champ getting to grips with algebraic characters oddly omitted four lines (8)
CLERIHEW: a verb to champ or masticate containing the even letters of ‘algebraic’. I hope that Smylers has a go at this puzzle.
9d Fit American President: upfront, sharp, expensively kitted out (4-9)
WELL-APPOINTED: knit together an adjective meaning fit or healthy, an abbreviation for American, the front letter of President and an adjective meaning sharp or barbed.
15d Dogs, mum’s pets (8)
MASTIFFS: concatenate an affectionate term for one’s mum, the ‘S and another word for pets or spats.
17d Staff get tired hearing of election (8)
FLAGPOLE: a verb meaning to get tired or slow down is followed by a homophone of a synonym of election.
19d Drug problem involving king’s personal servant? (7)
EQUERRY: the abbreviation for Ecstasy and a problem or uncertainty containing one of the abbreviations for king.
21d Journalist witnessed item smuggled into prison? (7)
HACKSAW: bind together a word for a less than sparkling journalist and a verb meaning witnessed.
22d A person of exceptional courage saving small girl (6)
ALISON: A and a metaphor for a very courageous person contain the abbreviation for small.
25d Adult massage area in Caribbean location (5)
ARUBA: cement together the abbreviation for adult (in film classifications), a verb to massage and the abbreviation for area.
There are lots of clues to like. I’ll mention 1a, 12a and 20a with my favourite being 3d. Which one(s) had you in stitches?