Toughie No 2395 by Musaeus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ***
Yesterday’s Toughie was generally acknowledged to be pretty easy so how does one rate the difficulty of this one which is even easier?
There are two clues here where the definitions are given as underlined blanks – I don’t like this much, not least because it because it makes the blogger’s job of underlining the definition impossible. Many years ago when there were occasionally quotations in clues the required word would often be left blank and underlined (as in “Now is the ________ of our discontent”). However that type of clue has virtually disappeared and I don’t see why the relevant clues here can’t have a proper definition. Your views would be welcome – let’s have a mass debate as the late Mrs Merton used to say.
Thanks to Musaeus.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Place like Massachusets could be gas (6)
PLASMA: stick together the abbreviation for place in street names, a synonym of ‘like’ and the usual abbreviation for the US State. A spelling mistake in the first clue is rather a poor start.
5a Completely with one featuring in Carry On Muse (8)
CALLIOPE: an adverb meaning completely and the Roman numeral for one go inside a verb to carry on or get by.
9a Old at sea recline around an ___ ___ (5,5)
OCEAN LINER: the abbreviation for old is followed by an anagram (at sea) of RECLINE containing AN.
10a Crack geezer (4)
CHAP: double definition, the first a verb to crack (one’s skin in cold weather, for example).
11a Train on vehicle which won’t bring you back (8)
REHEARSE: a prefix meaning on or concerning and a vehicle on which you can’t book a return ticket.
12a Reprimand French and complain upfront (6)
CARPET: the French word for ‘and’ preceded by a verb to complain or beef.
13a Parasite initially found close to meadow (4)
FLEA: the initial letter of ‘found’ and a grassy area.
15a Document is left after change (8)
PASSPORT: what’s left at sea comes after a verb to change or convert.
18a Nurse, single, getting over chap from La-La Land? (8)
ANGELENO: glue together a metaphor for a nurse and the reverse of a word meaning single or unique.
19a Ordinary writer is generally accessible (4)
OPEN: the abbreviation for ordinary and a writing implement.
21a Moneylender‘s safe in old city (6)
USURER: put an adjective meaning safe or secure into our usual old Biblical city.
23a Cool Bordeaux bottles? One is blown (8)
CLARINET: an adjective meaning cool or trendy is contained in a type of Bordeaux wine.
25a Caught by a Red Cap in ____? (4)
CAMP: string together the crickety abbreviation for caught, A and the abbreviation for a Red Cap (one who enforces discipline in the forces).
26a Badger-hunter knowing trail around Australia (7,3)
SAUSAGE DOG: an adjective meaning knowing or wise and a verb to trail contain an abbreviation for Australia. The formal name of the answer means badger hound in German.
27a Dwelling on upland pasture is bombed (4,4)
FELL FLAT: a place to live follows an upland pasture (especially one in the Lake District).
28a Title about bohemian believer to the end (6)
MARTYR: a male title contains an informal adjective meaning bohemian.
2d It could be filthy, it could be cruel (5)
LUCRE: an anagram (could be) of CRUEL.
3d Dizzy agent blocking similar soubriquet (5,4)
STAGE NAME: an anagram (dizzy) of AGENT is inserted into an adjective meaning similar or matching.
4d Lead on aluminium bait that’s artificial (6)
ALLURE: charade of the chemical symbol for aluminium and an artificial bait used in angling.
5d Do coax from date this disobedience (8,2,5)
CONTEMPT OF COURT: fuse together a verb to do or swindle, a verb to coax or entice, a synonym of ‘from’ and a verb to date or woo. I can’t see why ‘this’ is in the clue – the surface would be better without it.
6d Busily sit with Cyril being poet? (8)
LYRICIST: an anagram (busily) of SIT and CYRIL.
7d Suffer rotter batting first (5)
INCUR: another word for a rotter or cad is preceded by a cricket term meaning currently batting.
8d E.g. earth bank cut back forming feature of city park (5,4)
PLANE TREE: what the Earth is an example of is followed by a word for a bank or sandbar without its final letter. I wondered about ‘city park’ but a bit of investigoogling revealed that these are very common in London, especially in the city’s parks.
14d Prospect in new places, collecting too (9)
LANDSCAPE: an anagram (new) of PLACES contains a conjunction meaning ‘too’ or ‘as well as’.
16d Make a quick buck for, well, alway (9)
PROFITEER: bind together a prefix meaning for or ‘in favour of’, an adjective meaning well and an old word for always (to match alway, which is also archaic).
17d Rare slip upset quid pro quo (8)
REPRISAL: an anagram (upset) of RARE SLIP.
20d From Uppsala, a mighty welcome (6)
SALAAM: hidden in the clue.
22d Drive back social outcast that must be put up (5)
REPEL: reverse a social outcast.
24d Shifting Earl to the north, Napoleon gains key wood (5)
EBONY: start with a nickname for Napoleon and shift the abbreviation for earl northwards to get a type of wood used for piano keys.
The clues I liked best here were 11a (good bit of dark humour), 18a and 27a. Which one(s) featured on your jukebox?