Toughie No 2475 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I’ve realised that some potential solvers check the difficulty stars on the Toughie blog before deciding whether or not to try the puzzle. I hope that my ‘two star’ grading will encourage some to give this one a go.
I thought that this was a pleasant but not too challenging puzzle. It looked as though it was going to be a pangram but the J has escaped. Thanks to Stick Insect.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Like sis, off ill in medical procedure (4,2,4)
KISS OF LIFE: an anagram (ill) of LIKE SIS OFF.
6a Outlook that is embodied by car manufacturer (4)
VIEW: the abbreviation meaning ‘that is’ goes inside a German car manufacturer.
9a Doctors, say, attending fight involving the same leader of aliens knocked back (10)
PARAMEDICS: a fight or brawl contains a Latin word used in writing to mean ‘the same as something previously cited’ and the first letter of aliens. Now reverse it all.
10a Blue material produced by corporations from the East (4)
SMUT: reverse what corporations mean when used humorously.
12a Metal zither inspired new composer’s intros (4)
ZINC: leading letters of four words in the clue.
13a Regular advance covers most of audition for old leading lady (9)
MATRIARCH: a steady military advance on foot contains an audition or test without its last letter.
15a Soldiers caper about new artillery (8)
ORDNANCE: the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers is followed by a verb to caper or skip containing the abbreviation for new.
16a Warning from Mad Hatter (6)
THREAT: an anagram (mad) of HATTER.
18a Definitely not nuts, initially supporting Wanderers (6)
NOMADS: assemble a response meaning ‘definitely not’, an adjective meaning nuts or crackers and the initial letter of ‘supporting’. You don’t need to look too far away to get the word for nuts.
20a Daisy confused over law — it can make cash from case? (8)
DYSLEXIA: an anagram (confused) of DAISY containing the Latin word for law produces a condition involving word confusion. There is, of course, a funnier anagram:
23a Plastic Bertrand takes on European drinks provider (9)
BARTENDER: an anagram (plastic) of BERTRAND containing the single-letter abbreviation for European. ‘Plastic’ seems an odd epithet to apply to a forename and I checked, in vain, to see if Bertrand had another meaning. [Thanks to RD and CS (I think) for making me aware that Plastic Bertrand was the stage name of an old Belgian singer – next time I’m asked to name ten famous Belgians I shall certainly include him.]
24a Deft Jayawardene attacks covers (4)
NEAT: a hidden word. Jayawardene was a prolific Sri Lankan batsman.
26a Fidelio’s finale, fluid composition (4)
OPUS: combine the final letter of Fidelio and an unpleasant bodily fluid.
27a Obscure study admitting note is badly handled (10)
MISTREATED: bring together a verb to obscure and a verb to study at university then insert a note from tonic sol-fa.
28a Dim zero’s about to go for seconds (4)
DUSK: start with what we call a score of zero in cricket and replace the abbreviation for ‘about’ with that for ‘seconds’ to get a verb to dim.
29a Parts of bed are in front of tables (10)
HEADBOARDS: split the answer 4,6 and it could mean ‘are in front of tables’.
1d Celebrated skater upset occasionally (4)
KEPT: pick out regular letters from ‘skater upset’. Does this work for you? OK, it’s a regular sequence once we get started but we get started at the second letter.
2d Rushed out thus, attempted to turn first pair (7)
SORTIED: stick together a synonym for thus and a verb meaning attempted with its first two letters reversed.
3d Novel with troops succeeds among faint-hearts (2,4,3,3)
OF MICE AND MEN: ‘with troops’ (3,3) follows ‘among faint-hearts or timid individuals’ (2,4) to get the title of a John Steinbeck novel.
4d Notice my upset in fortune produces one feeling superior (4,4)
LADY MUCK: an abbreviated notice and the reversal of ‘my’ go inside another word for fortune.
5d Club’s striker trying Shearer’s headers and angles (6)
FACETS: the striking surface of a golf club and the first letters of “trying Shearer’s”.
7d Jimmy discovered Irish duck (7)
IMMERSE: Jimmy without his covering letters is followed by the Irish Gaelic language.
8d Guard’s trick that may keep hunter in place (5,5)
WATCH STRAP: a word for a guard or vigil plus its ‘S is followed by a trick or ruse. This hunter is an instrument (see illustration).
11d Confounding logical men, he becomes Renaissance figure (12)
MICHELANGELO: an anagram (confounding) of LOGICAL MEN HE.
14d Solvers go astray with blond, getting new ideas (5,5)
YOUNG BLOOD: start with how the setter might address the solvers and add an anagram (astray) of GO and BLOND.
17d Disliked concealing dry bananas with added water (8)
HYDRATED: a synonym for disliked contains an anagram (bananas) of DRY.
19d Noble king penetrates resistance (7)
MARQUIS: an abbreviation for king is inserted into the name used for resistance fighters in France during the German occupation in WWII.
21d Vote in favour of adopting decree produces that certain something (1-6)
X-FACTOR: the letter used to mark one’s vote and a preposition meaning ‘in favour of’ contain a word for a decree or edict.
22d Bill has very cool opinion (6)
ADVICE: string together an abbreviated bill or poster, the abbreviation for very and a verb to cool.
25d Scraps bad bits in brandy? (4)
ODDS: which letters of ‘brandy’ give us the word ‘bad’?
My ticks today went to 10a, 5d and 25d. Which one(s) made your list?