Toughie No 2422 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Big Dave
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
This puzzle required a fair degree of General Knowledge, but the composer was the only one I had not encountered before. Although this was my last one, in retrospect the wordplay was very straightforward.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
8a Good results with point to secure at home (4)
WINS: W(ith) and a compass point around (to secure) a word meaning at home
9a Men returning caught enormous bird (3)
ROC: the reversal (returning) of some army men is followed by C(aught)
10a Choice to turn it on after surgery (6)
OPTION: The reversal (turn) of IT followed by ON from the clue and preceded by some short surgery
11a Old Spaniard in firm runs trial that’s incomplete (6)
CORTÉS: the two-letter abbreviation for a firm or business followed by R(uns) and most of (that’s incomplete) a trial
12a Military force works to contain Frenchman having last word (8)
ARMAMENT: some works or paintings around (to contain) the abbreviated form of address for a Frenchman and the last word of, say, a prayer
13a One knocking forest spirits? (5,10)
GREEN WOODPECKER: a forest (9) followed by spirits, as in the exhortation to keep this up – many years ago I was working in Washington DC when one of the girls asked me what was meant by this phrase, which had been included in a letter from the UK office and had an entirely different meaning to her!
15a Wine produced by Middle Eastern country endlessly (7)
MADEIRA: a four-letter word meaning produced followed by most of (endlessly) a Middle Eastern country
17a Staines Massif character Scots hooligan put straight (7)
ALIGNED: the leader (3,1) of a fictional gang called “Da West Staines Massif” is followed by a Scots hooligan – fortunately I recognised this straightaway, but overseas solvers might have a problem here!
20a What might give heart a big shock? (5-10)
EARTH-SHATTERING: This could indicate an anagram that leads to HEART
23a Membrane found defective in a primate (3,5)
PIA MATER: although this looks like the title of a classical song, it is actually the vascular membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and it is derived from an anagram (found defective) of A PRIMATE
25a Bum around new French location (6)
NANTES: put a technical word for the buttocks around N(ew)
26a Composer changes not one note, ultimately (6)
VARESE: this, to me obscure (and, after listening briefly to one of his compositions, will stay that way!), French composer is constructed from a word meaning changes from which the I has been dropped (not one) followed by the final letter (ultimately) of [not]E
Do you agree with my assessment?
27a Blockhead in Obama’s shoes (3)
ASS: hidden (in) inside the clue
28a Secret agent necessarily underground? (4)
MOLE: this type of secret agent is named after an underground mammal
1d Robust force from Spanish and Babylonian cities (6)
VIGOUR: combine a four-letter Spanish city with a Babylonian one
2d You could say we admitted to sick satire (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE: WE inside (admitted to) an anagram (sick) of of SATIRE
3d Group cutting worst records ruined me (9,6)
CROSSWORD SETTER: a group goes inside (cutting) an anagram (ruined) of WORST RECORDS
4d Hunter in exploit over enormously long period (7)
ACTAEON: a three-letter exploit followed by an enormously long period of time
5d Plato with commission to destabilise global view (15)
COSMOPOLITANISM: an anagram (to destabilise) of PLATO with COMMISSION
6d Incredibly small alpha male in charge (6)
ATOMIC: A(lpha) followed by a male cat and the abbreviation for In Charge
7d Depressed daughter to have drink at speed (4)
DOWN: two definitions separated by some wordplay – D(aughter) followed by a verb meaning to have
14d Beast taking zig-zag course? (3)
EWE: the course mapped out by the letters of this beast would form a sort of zig-zag
A blast from the past! How may of you remember this one?
Can anyone help with the original lyrics?
From what I can remember they went a bit like this:
I’m Tom Hark,
How do you do?
Pleased to meet you.
16d Turkish commander edges away from infidel (3)
AGA: drop the outer letters (P and N) from an infidel
18d Big Chief Iron Cuckoo enters stone circle (8)
GERONIMO: an anagram (cuckoo) of IRON inside a precious stone and the circular letter
19d Waller took top tip from Roach — piano’s inside (7)
HADRIAN: nothing to do with, as I initially thought, Fats Waller but a Roman emperor associated with the building of a wall – a verb meaning took followed by the top letter in R[oach] and the inner letters of [p]IAN[o]
21d Mike cuts Roman flower in wood (6)
TIMBER: M(ike) inside (cuts) a Roman river (flower)
22d Sewer, lake and river up in north-east (6)
NEEDLE: not a drain but something used in sewing – L(ake) and a river are reversed (up) inside North East
24d Small measure taken to rein in a cleric (4)
IMAM: a small measure of length (1,2) around (to rein in) the A from the clue
Each time I solve one of Donnybrook’s puzzles I enjoy it more than I did the previous time.