Toughie No 2387 by Gila
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment **
I’m not sure what to make of this puzzle as a ‘Toughie’. 4-letter answers usually cause some problems and may even be labelled as ‘pesky’ but there are no less than twelve of them here and all twelve went in with no delays and could easily have appeared in a back-pager. There is a modicum of GK required for a few clues but on the whole I thought that the term ‘fluffy’ might have been invented for this puzzle.
Thanks to Gila.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Terribly unfair clue ultimately edited to give ‘British artist‘ (6,5)
LUCIAN FREUD: an anagram (terribly) of UNFAIR CLUE with the ultimate letter of edited appended to it.
8a MC is most excited about a cracking sample (11)
TOASTMASTER: an anagram (excited) of MOST containing A goes inside (cracking) a sample.
11a A hideout somewhere in Western Asia (4)
ADEN: stick together A and a hideout or lair.
12a Meat vendor does loin on odd occasions (4)
DELI: the odd letters from words in the clue.
13a Multi-part dramas on the radio? They can be corny! (7)
CEREALS: a chestnutty homophone – I’m sure I don’t need to say more.
15a Backing singer had moan (7)
ULULATE: the definition here is a verb. Reverse the stage name of a Scottish singer and add a verb meaning had or consumed.
16a Hot soup and some cask ales on the counter (5)
LAKSA: hidden in reverse.
17a Large stringed instrument making lots of noise (4)
LOUD: the abbreviation for large and a sort of lute of Arab origin. The word lute itself comes from the Arabic word for the instrument.
18a Fed starts to needle Andy Murray, goofing around (1-3)
G-MAN: reverse the initial letters of four words in the clue.
19a Load vehicle, then depart (5)
CARGO: charade of a road vehicle and a verb to depart.
21a Insect swatted at first with tent-door flap (7)
SANDFLY: weld together the first letter of swatted, a conjunction meaning ‘with’ and the word for a tent-door flap.
22a Posters produced for video games contests (7)
ESPORTS: an anagram (produced) of POSTERS gives us a fairly recent term for these contests. As far as I can see the term hasn’t yet made it into Chambers but it is now in some dictionaries (though they can’t agree on whether it should be hyphenated or not). Inclusion in the Olympic Games can’t be far off!
23a Student is given time to register (4)
LIST: knit together our usual student, IS and the abbreviation for time.
26a Left in charge, do a runner (4)
FLEE: insert the abbreviation for left into a monetary charge.
27a Private sign for government ministers (11)
SECRETARIES: charade of an adjective meaning private or confidential and a star sign.
28a Money’s needed after lacking biscuits (11)
SHORTBREADS: stick an informal word for money (plus the ‘S) after an adjective meaning lacking or in insufficient supply.
2d You don’t cut with certain type of noodle (4)
UDON: hidden. I take cut to mean section (as in a cut of beef) because I don’t think it works here as a verb.
3d Fit one new compartment (7)
INSTALL: glue together the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for new and a compartment or enclosure.
4d Celebrity family (4)
NAME: double definition, the second meaning family or clan.
5d Antipodean bird soared and lifted everyone (7)
ROSELLA: this is an Australian parakeet (new to me). Start with a verb meaning soared or ascended and add the reversal of a word for everyone.
6d Called on the services of American journalist? (4)
USED: abbreviations for American and journalist.
7d In unique fashion, the French entering contest with guile (11)
MATCHLESSLY: insert the plural form of the French definite article between a sporting contest and an adjective meaning ‘with guile’ or cunning.
8d Funeral sets off state of sadness (11)
TEARFULNESS: an anagram (off) of FUNERAL SETS.
9d They fly from Madrid, possibly in true style up front (3,8)
RED ADMIRALS: insert an anagram (possibly) of MADRID into an adjective meaning true or genuine and finish with the first letter of style.
10d A kid needs nearly all of her bats for game (4-3-4)
HIDE-AND-SEEK: an anagram (bats) of A KID NEEDS HE[r].
14d Guy perhaps scoffing a spicy dish (5)
SATAY: a type of support that could be a guy rope contains A.
15d Legendary horse throwing off rider up for treatment (5)
USAGE: start with a legendary horse from Greek mythology, remove the 2-letter rider or additional bit of information from its periphery and reverse what’s left.
19d Chapter on Shakespearean king and queen is more coherent (7)
CLEARER: bring together the abbreviation for chapter, a Shakespearean king and our Queen’s regnal cipher.
20d Playwright of Australian descent, it’s said (7)
OSBORNE: split 2,5 this English playwright (who wrote ‘Look Back in Anger’) sounds like he was of Australian descent.
24d Train lacking advanced computers and such? (4)
TECH: remove the abbreviation for advanced from a verb to train or educate.
25d Try small amount of LSD (4)
STAB: the abbreviation for small followed by an informal word for a pill containing LSD.
26d Conflict involving France, Spain and united Germany (4)
FEUD: the IVR codes for the three countries mentioned with the abbreviation for united in the specified position.
The top clue for me was 15d. Which one(s) earned your approbation?