Toughie No 2459 by Messinae
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****/*****
This was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle with a number of chuckle-inducing clues (including one at 10a which I would have expected to find in Private Eye but probably not in the straitlaced Telegraph). Thanks to Messinae for the entertainment – it will be great if he can bring this level of fun to his future Toughies.
Do leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a One particular fine place to accommodate me informally (7)
5a Large crowd welcoming back returning group (7)
9a I carry out business model (5)
10a Authorising chap after it? (9)
11a ‘Silence of Lambs’ gets put on in Oxford theatre (10)
12a Band chat on radio (4)
14a One’s altogether united in disguising dirty habits (8,4)
18a Economical over, one delivered on stump possibly, in debut at Lords? (6,6)
21a Primate securing small niche (4)
22a Rail coach carrying the French turned over business (10)
25a Poor quality of voice is sneered about (9)
26a Some wretched gents act shiftily (5)
27a Take away tons transported back (7)
28a Radio bringing in leader of Yemen’s despotic regime (7)
1d Very delicate insect wings I am studying primarily (6)
FLIMSY: an insect contains (wings) the contracted form of ‘I am’ and the primary letter of studying.
2d Horse drinking whiskey gets drunk (6)
STEWED: a literary word for a horse contains the letter that whiskey is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
3d Powerful shot built up runner (10)
PILEDRIVER: concatenate an adjective meaning built up or heaped and something inanimate that runs.
4d Skinflint provides money in an instant? The reverse all round (5)
TIMON: this is Shakespeare’s Athenian skinflint. ‘all round’ indicates two forms of reversal in that a) he doesn’t provide money and b) the wordplay involves putting an instant (2) into a slang word for money.
5d Give rough treatment to new worker he takes in (9)
MANHANDLE: put the abbreviation for new and a manual worker into the type of person for whom ‘he’ is used as a pronoun.
6d What smoker craves? Contrary habit! (4)
DRAG: double definition, the second meaning the habit or dress of a person of the opposite sex.
7d Final chapter Poe composed with guile (8)
EPILOGUE: an anagram (composed) of POE and GUILE.
8d Wisdom in place where everyone’s over fifty? (8)
SAGACITY: cryptically, when split (4,4), this could be the dwelling place of customers of a British firm serving the needs of the over-fifties.
13d Watch baseball player, one who’s striking (3-7)
EYE-CATCHER: knit together a verb to watch and a fielder positioned behind the batter at baseball.
15d Will reservists get involved in ordeal? (9)
TESTAMENT: insert the soldiers of our volunteer army (2,3) (which was actually renamed as the Army Reserve as long ago as 2014) into a word for an ordeal or trial.
16d Rogue broadcast not up to scratch (8)
IMPAIRED: glue together a small rogue and a verb meaning broadcast or transmitted.
17d What embarassment is making girl hide? (8)
MISSPELT: How many of us looked at the clue and thought ‘another mistake’? (D’oh). Put together an unmarried girl and an animal hide or skin. Very clever and innovative!
19d Guard nuclear bunker? (6)
WARDEN: cryptically, when divided (3,3), this could be a nuclear bunker.
20d Expression to introduce unknown belief not widely accepted (6)
HERESY: split your answer 4’1,1.
23d Surprising result riding on clot (5)
UPSET: an adverb meaning riding (a horse) and a verb to clot.
24d Terrorist group carrying pounds in old money (4)
LIRA: a terrorist group is preceded by the abbreviation for pounds. The answer is ‘old money’ in at least one country but in others, including Turkey, it’s very much current.
I have a long list of clues I liked including 10a, 14a, 18a, 6d and 17d. Which one(s) did you enjoy?