Toughie No 2455 by Musaeus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Maybe I’m feeling grouchy after months of lockdown but I found this puzzle a bit lacklustre. Please do feel free to disagree. Thanks to Musaeus.
Do leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a What’s written after fantastic pit stops with little credit added (10)
POSTSCRIPT: an anagram (fantastic) of PIT STOPS with the abbreviation for credit inserted.
6a Plough-jogger capriciously holds back a good day’s work? (4)
ACRE: hidden in reverse in the clue is what was traditionally defined as the amount of land a man could plough in one day with a yoke of oxen.
10a New term for dispensing with borders in transport system (5)
METRO: an anagram (new) of TERM followed by ‘for’ without its outer letters.
11a Southern headland attack — one’s sure to get blamed (9)
SCAPEGOAT: string together the abbreviation for southern, a synonym for headland and a phrasal verb (2,2) to attack.
12a Cope with assignment being penny-a-line stuff (8)
HACKWORK: charade of an informal verb to cope or manage and an assignment or commission. The answer means poor quality writing paid by the amount produced with little regard to quality.
13a Page on this mammal would make you a children’s writer (5)
OTTER: if you precede said mammal by the abbreviation for page you get the creator of Jemima Puddle-Duck.
15a Jenny’s often like this — Anne is possibly embracing one (7)
ASININE: an anagram (possibly) of ANNE IS containing the Roman numeral for one.
17a Balding husband disappearing into a state of invisibility? (4,3)
THIN AIR: start with a phrase for a less than a full barnet and remove the genealogical abbreviation for husband. I don’t think this quite works grammatically – the original phrase only matches ‘balding’ if it’s preceded by ‘having’ or similar.
19a Nearly all of team drink around Spain and become tight (5,2)
TENSE UP: bring together almost a full football or cricket team and a verb to drink containing the IVR code for Spain.
21a With regard to two travel documents, the last is incomplete (3-1-3)
VIS-À-VIS: join two occurrences of the same travel document, the second being incomplete.
22a Surprising success surrounding sailor’s customary dress (5)
HABIT: put a surprising success around one of the abbreviations for sailor. I’m not sure that the success is necessarily surprising but the BRB is.
24a Succeeded along with count in bar (8)
SANDBANK: cement together the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded, a conjunction meaning ‘along with’ and a verb to count or rely.
27a Shy holding acid, causing alarm (9)
STARTLING: a verb to shy or toss contains an adjective meaning acid or sharp.
28a Incline to follow Conservative stiffness (5)
CRAMP: an incline follows an abbreviation for Conservative.
29a Jerk, Virginia’s son? (4)
YANK: possibly a native of Virginia.
30a A rigorous preparation for toning the skin (10)
ASTRINGENT: A followed by an adjective meaning rigorous or exacting.
1d Vanity shown by narrow-minded politician (4)
POMP: the shortened form of an adjective meaning narrow-minded or humourless is followed by our usual elected politician.
2d Relocate to Tunisia for employment (9)
SITUATION: an anagram (relocate) of TO TUNISIA.
3d Small wine jar (5)
SHOCK: the clothing-size abbreviation for small and a white wine.
4d Do up residence with rent (7)
RESTORE: the abbreviation for residence and a verb meaning rent or ripped.
5d Feature of shirt left in wrapper (7)
PLACKET: insert the abbreviation for left into a wrapper or paper container. I didn’t know this word which, when applied to a shirt, apparently means the double layer of fabric holding the buttons and buttonholes.
7d Cold oik garners influence (5)
CLOUT: join together the abbreviation for cold and a synonym for oik or uncouth person.
8d Begin quietly then grow readiness for undertaking (10)
ENTERPRISE: assemble a verb to begin or move into, the musical abbreviation for quietly and a verb to grow or climb.
9d Tossing caber, so I will find a way to keep fit? (8)
AEROBICS: an anagram (tossing) of CABER SO I.
14d Talk whimsy about superior drink? (4,6)
MALT WHISKY: an anagram (about) of TALK WHIMSY.
16d Independent daughter being in character (8)
IDENTITY: abbreviations for independent and daughter followed by a word meaning being or existence.
18d Trailer on truck with electronic ID first to benefit (9)
ADVANTAGE: weld together a short word for a trailer or promotion, a load-carrying truck and the abbreviation for electronic which is preceded by a form of ID.
20d Not quite the most unhealthy-looking snacks (7)
PASTIES: a superlative meaning most unhealthy-looking loses its final T.
21d Vigor (sic) in volume in vogue upset (7)
VINEGAR: knit together the abbreviation for volume, IN and the reversal of a word meaning vogue or craze. The ‘sic’ indicates that vigor is not a typo but the spelling of the word in North America where the answer is an informal term meaning energy or vitality.
23d Reason I’ll get stuck into health food (5)
BRAIN: insert I into a health food.
25d Company in grip of embargo is what one often wants to save (5)
BACON: the abbreviation for company goes inside a synonym of embargo.
26d Bath time barney (4)
SPAT: a type of bath and the abbreviation for time.
My top clue was 6a. Which one(s) made you smile?
I was cheered up by the latest Private Eye crossword which arrived this morning. I particularly liked:
6d Jiggle nuts, like a lockdown sufferer? (4-5) Answer: STIR-CRAZY