Toughie No 2463 by Serpent
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
There’s not a lot to worry the horses today, though I couldn’t see any reason for the capital letters in 22a and 18d.
Do leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Stocktaker taking boss round empty supermarket (7)
5a Throw nearly all back that’s caught in the sea (7)
9a Easily forged credit cards? (7)
10a Broadcast fewer programmes that could be seen as stuffy (7)
11a Having rogue agent on encrypted line is awkward (9)
12a What may be used to identify body of old murder victim? (5)
13a Live and prosper without love (5)
15a Divinity doctor singled out student at the beginning (9)
17a True novel about being in army? (9)
19a Plan almost allowed growth of many branches (5)
22a Place Depression turned against America (5)
23a After leaving university, most vocal individual is centre of attraction? (9)
25a Innkeeper has house converted into a studio (7)
26a This player would create record when losing 6-0 (7)
27a Elongated skinless bananas producing hybrid fruit (7)
28a See what’s being said in Spooner’s rent guide (3-4)
1d Made a comeback with a revolutionary song (7)
REPLIED: string together the reversal of ‘a’ (as in 50p a kilo) and a German song.
2d Climb north face of Everest made up of different sides (7)
SCALENE: assemble a verb to climb, the abbreviation for north and the first letter of Everest.
3d Hospital invested in most recent cutting-edge equipment (5)
LATHE: insert the map abbreviation for hospital into an adjective meaning most recent or ‘immediately preceding’.
4d Shape of playing field introducing confusion (9)
RECTANGLE: the abbreviation for a community playing field precedes a word meaning confusion or muddle.
5d Listed days when there’s nothing to be had on the radio (5)
LEANT: a homophone (on the radio) of the period when some religious individuals fast.
6d Be badly upset having criminal bury me outside (9)
BERYLLIUM: reverse an adverb meaning badly or adversely inside an anagram (criminal) of BURY ME. Neatly disguised definition but the surface isn’t great.
7d Male singer holds quaver (7)
TREMBLE: we have another visit from Yoda. A singer with a high-pitched voice contains the abbreviation for male.
8d Ulster’s settled scores involving opposing sides (7)
RESULTS: an anagram (settled) of ULSTER’S.
14d Many countries broadcast fake news of dictator’s crushing victory (9)
LANDSLIDE: knit together a synonym of countries and a homophone (of dictator’s) of a verb meaning ‘broadcast fake news’ or ‘told porkies’. The ‘many’ seems superfluous.
16d Adventurous sort was about to drink American wine (9)
DAREDEVIL: reverse a verb meaning ‘was’ or existed and insert an abbreviation for American and a generic type of wine.
17d Courageous rogue has left to overcome resistance (7)
VALIANT: start with an adjective meaning rogue or unorthodox and change the abbreviation for resistance to that of left.
18d You are reportedly leaving academic with new Reader’s support (7)
LECTERN: remove the two letters that sound like ‘you are’ from a university teacher and append the abbreviation for new.
20d Outline argument in favour of data collection (7)
PROFILE: charade of an argument in favour and a collection of data.
21d Preferred not to have succeeded in office (7)
ELECTED: remove the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded from a verb meaning preferred or chose.
23d Slow movement characteristic of particular gorillas (5)
LARGO: our one and only hidden answer.
24d Vessel in water capsized (5)
SLOOP: reverse some areas of still water.
The clues sitting atop my podium are 1a (an oldie but goodie), 13a and 21d. Which one(s) did you select?