Toughie No 2467 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
This is a fairly gentle but entertaining puzzle with a theme (identified by 24a). Thanks to Hudson.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
7a Breaking news: Spooner — poor chap — stripped of his status (3-6)
NON-PERSON: an anagram (poor) of SPOONER goes between two occurrences of N(ew).
8a Foreign film (5)
ALIEN: double definition, the second being the first in a series of science-fiction/horror films released in 1979.
10a Undesirable pub song penned (6)
PARIAH: the map abbreviation for pub contains a song.
11a Pass made by S. Spielberg’s favourite actor after new Oscar (2,6)
NO THANKS: the abbreviation for new and the letter that Oscar stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet precede the American film actor (1,5) who is apparently Spielberg’s favourite.
12a Jilt Juliet in Crete when sozzled (6)
REJECT: what Juliet means in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet goes inside an anagram (when sozzled) of CRETE.
14a Neat, if simple retro housing eccentric (6)
MISFIT: hidden in reverse.
16a Good, free crossword? (4)
GRID: the abbreviation for good and a verb to free.
17a Send abroad fabric — tons leaving repeatedly (5)
EXILE: start with a synonym for fabric and remove both occurrences of the abbreviation for tons.
18a Former president familiarly ignoring bill for sailing ship (4)
BARK: remove the abbreviation for a bill or invoice from the forename of a recent US president from the time when the office had some dignity.
19a Adult sin? I think so, too (6)
AGREED: stick together the abbreviation for adult and one of the deadly sins.
21a Elmer left base to go on a bender (6)
FUDDLE: it’s said that the Inuit languages have more than fifty words for snow and English has a similar surfeit of words for drink or drunk. I didn’t know this one which is a verb meaning to drink to excess (though it’s a common word when prefixed by be-). Join together the surname of Elmer the cartoon character who’s the foe of Bugs Bunny, the abbreviation for left and the letter used for the base in logarithms.
24a Striking actors start to sabotage The Vanquished (8)
OUTCASTS: string together an adverb meaning striking (in the sense of refusing to work), the actors in a production and the first letter of sabotage. The answer identifies today’s theme.
26a Benefit one writing cheque returned (6)
REWARD: reverse the word for someone writing a cheque. If this crossword is still around in twenty years time there’ll be queries along the lines of “What’s a cheque?”.
27a Article dropped by someone jumping — he’s untouchable (5)
LEPER: remove an indefinite article from someone jumping.
28a Bath’s no.1 forward Thiebaud regularly getting sent off, the idiot (9)
BLOCKHEAD: assemble the first letter of Bath, a second-row rugby union forward and what’s left of Thiebaud after removing regular letters.
1d Hill-climbing traveller? (5)
NOMAD: there was a penny-drop moment when the correct Hill came to mind. Just reverse his first name.
2d Pay money to bandage inflamed hair fracture (5,3)
SPLIT END: a verb to pay money contains an adjective meaning inflamed.
3d Cathar chieftain kidnapping Sussex lad (6)
ARCHIE: hidden in the clue is the name of a young lad who may (or may not, I don’t know and don’t care) still be classed as a royal.
4d Pull in finally in London? (4)
TOWN: a verb to pull and the final letter of [i]N.
5d Irish county’s banning golf forever (6)
ALWAYS: a county on the west coast of Ireland plus the ‘S has the letter that golf is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet removed.
6d Log rolling — ready kids? (4,5)
DESK DIARY: an anagram (rolling) of READY KIDS.
9d Motorway’s boring eyesore spoiling green strategy (6)
STYMIE: our primary north-south motorway is inserted in what is literally an eyesore. The answer is a problem on the putting green when an opponent’s ball blocks the way to the hole.
13d Husband wearing cravat. Loud. Criminal, actually (5)
THIEF: insert the genealogical abbreviation for husband into something like a cravat and finish with the musical abbreviation for loud.
15d Wearing short dungarees to work, question artiste (4,5)
DRAG QUEEN: the single-letter abbreviation for question is contained in an anagram (to work) of DUNGAREE[s].
17d Real adversity oddly bypassed first-born (6)
ELDEST: regular letters from the first two words of the clue.
18d/25d When ordering hotel tables, wife’s admitted in the cheap seats? (5,3,4)
BELOW THE SALT: an anagram (when ordering) of HOTEL TABLES with the genealogical abbreviation for wife inserted. See here for an explanation of the answer.
20d Shun key hospital we set up (6)
ESCHEW: rivet together one of the keys on a computer keyboard, the map abbreviation for hospital and reversal of ‘we’.
22d Frank Capra for one robbed of gold (6)
DIRECT: start with what (Frank) Capra was in the film industry and remove the tincture of gold.
23d 500! Five hundred sheets! Imagine! (5)
DREAM: charade of the Roman numeral for 500 and a word for 500 sheets of paper.
25d See 18d
The clues I liked best here were 1d, 3d, 18/25d and 22d. Which one(s) topped your list?