Toughie No 2403 by Gila
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
A pleasant puzzle which is not too tough. Thanks to Gila.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Food set out on plate (7)
POLENTA: an anagram (set out) of ON PLATE.
5a Showing little humour, people often initially rejected weaker coffee (2-5)
PO-FACED: the initial letters of People and Often followed by the reversal of a type of coffee which lacks the vital ingredient (a bit like mint sauce without the mint).
9a Taxi service housed by a grand European hotel (7)
AUBERGE: the name of a recently introduced taxi service (to the dismay of black cab drivers) is contained inside A and abbreviations for grand and European.
10a Money saved up for foreign holiday property (7)
PENSION: double definition, the second a small hotel or boarding house in Europe.
11a A great new place to study and somewhere to eat (3,6)
TEA GARDEN: stick together an anagram (new) of A GREAT and an informal place to study.
12a Spy acts oddly without information (5)
AGENT: the odd letters of ‘acts’ contain an informal word for information.
13a Poem of Frost broadcast on the radio (5)
RHYME: this sounds like a type of frost.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
15a Downbeat artist’s gripped by good southern country music (9)
BLUEGRASS: start with an informal word for downbeat or depressed and append our usual artist and the ‘S bracketed by abbreviations for good and southern.
17a Shy person beginning to get, for the most part, really tense (9)
INTROVERT: string together a word for the beginning of a piece of music, an adverb meaning really or extremely without its last letter and the grammatical abbreviation for tense.
19a Was liable to miss the opening over (5)
ENDED: a verb meaning ‘was liable to’ without its first letter.
22a Excel is known to work (5)
OUTDO: charade of an adjective meaning known or in the public domain and a verb to work or perform.
23a I book transportation first, then head out of Jamaica? (9)
CARIBBEAN: the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for book are preceded by a type of transportation and followed by an informal word for someone’s head.
25a Records of note provided by US tax officers (7)
MEMOIRS: knit together a short note or message and the US equivalent of our beloved HMRC.
26a Cocktail is 50% neat rum or gin (7)
NEGRONI: half of the word ‘neat’ followed by an anagram (rum) of OR GIN.
27a Clothing and drink reportedly coming from south-east Asia? (7)
NECKTIE: weld together an informal word to drink or knock back and a homophone of a description of someone or something from a specific south-east Asian country.
28a No more money held by former heads of city trading (7)
EXTINCT: a dated informal term for money is contained inside a prefix meaning former and the leading letters of City and Trading.
1d Column missing front piece of Italian stucco? (7)
PLASTER: start with a rectangular column partly projecting from a wall and remove the first letter of Italian.
2d Where one might get a fine collection of records (7)
LIBRARY: double definition, the first where being late with your returns may get you a fine. There’s a considerable overlap between the two meanings.
3d Female, Type A (5)
NORMA: another word for a type or pattern and A.
4d Willing daughter stops being open to possible change (9)
AMENDABLE: the abbreviation for daughter goes inside an adjective meaning willing or compliant.
5d Visit American relative at home (3,2)
POP IN: concatenate an informal word for a male relative in the USA and an adverb meaning ‘at home’.
6d Cheap ornament is cool to hang (9)
FANDANGLE: stick together verbs to cool and to hang or swing loosely.
7d Fancy ring given to a king on retirement (7)
CHIMERA: start with a verb to ring or peal then add the reversal of A and an abbreviation for king.
8d Head of family put away small gifts (7)
DONATES: cement together the head of a criminal family, a verb meaning put away or scoffed and the abbreviation for small in clothing sizes.
14d Rioting is to come closer to Milton Keynes? (9)
ECONOMIST: an anagram (rioting) of IS TO COME and [Milto]N.
16d Complete opportunity to disregard children, it’s said (9)
UTTERANCE: an adjective meaning complete or total and an opportunity without the abbreviation for children.
17d Superhero name adopted by one Italian (4,3)
IRON MAN: the abbreviation for name goes inside the classical number one and an Italian citizen.
18d Much-revered thing a singer does on stage? (7)
TOTEMIC: split 4,3 it’s what a singer moving around on stage might have to do.
20d Within two days, odd bits of ice have to subside (3,4)
DIE DOWN: insert the odd letters of ice between two occurrences of the abbreviation for day then append a verb to have or possess.
21d A number of people possibly sit and tend to shift about (7)
DENTIST: cryptic definition coming from an anagram (to shift about) of SIT and TEND.
23d Class project supported by headteacher at the halfway point (5)
CASTE: a verb to project or fling followed by the middle letter of headteacher.
24d Large, extremely hot section of Australia’s coastline (5)
BIGHT: assemble a synonym for large and the outer letters of hot. I didn’t know that The Great Australian ***** is the name of the large indentation in the southern coastline of Australia.
I ticked 17a and 23a but my runaway favourite was 14d. Which one(s) did you select?
In these grim times it’s necessary to have a bit of cheer from time to time and my newly-arrived Private Eye gave me a laugh this morning: