Toughie No 2399 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Nothing too tricky today and a few amusing clues. Thanks to Hudson.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Foreman first to resign following blunder (6)
GAFFER: an old chestnut to start – append the first letter of ‘resign’ to a blunder.
5a Dangerous to include 1000 in US city in prayer (4,4)
HAIL MARY: a Russian doll clue. An informal adjective meaning dangerous or hazardous contains the abbreviation for a US city which in turn contains the Roman numeral for 1000.
9a How to make barnacle bare? (10)
DESALINATE: … you do so by removing the chemical formula for common salt.
10a A tough, tense, embrace (4)
THUG: the grammatical abbreviation for tense and a verb to embrace.
11a Underwear designer — his pants having poor taste (8)
BRACKISH: join together an item of women’s underwear, the logo (and initials) of a famous clothes designer and an anagram (pants) of HIS. An amusing surface.
12a Greek, wild-eyed when separated, and rapacious (6)
GREEDY: combine the abbreviation for Greek and an anagram (wild) of EYED. ‘when separated’ is just telling us to change the hyphen in wild-eyed to a space.
13a Belgium — the greatest holiday destination (4)
BALI: the IVR code for Belgium and the greatest boxer.
15a ‘Greenhouse gas discovered in NY. Roger. Out.’ (8)
ORANGERY: make an anagram (out) of NY ROGER with A contained inside it.
‘How does A mean a gas?” you ask – well the only explanation I can come up with is that the chemical symbol of Argon was A until 1957 when it was changed to Ar. Any better explanation would be welcome because mine doesn’t seem very good. The A comes from the ‘discovered’ word [g]A[s] – thanks to Jonners and LetterboxRoy for pointing out what I should have seen.
18a Aboard pedalo, Eve rationed sunburn remedy (4,4)
ALOE VERA: hidden (aboard) in the clue.
19a One sleeping reportedly in sheepskin (4)
NAPA: the answer is one possible spelling of a type of leather made from sheepskin. For those people who can’t pronounce the letter R it sounds like someone having a short sleep.
21a Answer American soldier bagging forbidden source of bushmeat (6)
AGOUTI: cement together abbreviations for answer and our usual US soldier and insert an adverb meaning forbidden or excluded. This creature is a South American rodent so I needed a bit of investigoogling to find out that it is also the name of the greater cane rat in West Africa where it is prized as bushmeat.
23a The first few clues were hard — now you can relax (4,4)
REST EASY: the implication is that the remainder of the clues weren’t hard.
25a Brute went after this, murderously (2,2)
ET TU: the words preceding Brute in a Shakespearean tragedy.
26a Teen having trouble with the French perfume (10)
ADOLESCENT: stick together a synonym of trouble or fuss, a French article and another word for perfume.
27a Intricate patterns in part of church (8)
TRANSEPT: an anagram (intricate) of PATTERNS.
28a Detroit car test now having start postponed (6)
MOTOWN: the annual car test in the UK followed by the word ‘now’ with its starting letter postponed until the end.
2d A simple-sounding ruler? (5)
AMEER: A followed by what sounds like an adjective meaning simple or paltry.
3d Licensed business that chap’s established in country (9)
FRANCHISE: a possessive adjective meaning “that chap’s” goes inside a European country. How many more times are we going to get this word?
4d Limitlessly extolling the grape? (6)
RAISIN: start with a present participle meaning extolling and remove the outer letters.
5d Ground with a rather poor transport hub (8,7)
HEATHROW AIRPORT: an excellent anagram (ground) of WITH A RATHER POOR. I was looking forward to seeing Bojo lying down in front of the bulldozers here but a recent legal decision may mean that it won’t happen.
6d Oriental character perhaps in topless DVD recording? (8)
IDEOGRAM: remove the initial V from something pre-recorded, possibly on DVD.
7d The Queen and her son-in-law rolling a joint (5)
MITRE: stick together Her Majesty’s regnal cipher and the short forename of her daughter’s current husband (Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence) then reverse it all.
8d Return flight with Turin drop off? (5,4)
ROUND TRIP: an anagram (off) of TURIN DROP.
14d According to Spooner, ship’s kitchen consumed female reptile (9)
ALLIGATOR: I suppose that Spooner might have said “galley ate ‘er” but it seems really poor to me.
16d Moggy: ‘ERG acting strangely’ (6,3)
GINGER CAT: an anagram (strangely) of ERG ACTING. ERG is the European Research Group (a group of Brexit-supporting Conservatives having Jacob Rees-Mogg among their number).
17d Pure Charlie swallowed, about to bring up bile (8)
CELIBATE: the letter that Charlie stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and a verb meaning swallowed contain the reversal of the word ‘bile’.
20d Last member of Cottesmore Hunt’s turned up to pay respects (6)
ESTEEM: the last letter of Cottesmore is followed by the reversal of a ‘hunt’ (including the ‘S). The word needed is the assembly of the unspeakable prior to a hunt, not the hunt itself.
22d Volte-face of Universal Artists’ act (1-4)
U-TURN: the abbreviation for universal and a stage act.
24d Pig dropping weight, turning to muscle (5)
SINEW: another word for a pig with the abbreviation for weight dropped to the bottom.
The clues I liked best, all of which raised a smile, were 11a, 5d and 7d. Which one(s) were on your list?