Toughie No 2479 by Musaeus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
I didn’t find it too tricky to get the answers here but had to do some investigoogling to understand all the references. Thanks to Musaeus for the challenge.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Oblique poetry on coaches one’s forgotten (10)
TRANSVERSE: a word for poetry follows a verb meaning coaches without the Roman number one.
6a Junk clocks coming from the east (4)
SPAM: both clocks and the answer when reversed are slang words for human faces. I recently came across this version of a Ewan MacColl classic by a music legend towards the end of his life. It’s markedly different from the Roberta Flack version but it gives me goosebumps. Tell me what you think.
10a Second story is insipid (5)
STALE: the abbreviation for second and a synonym of story.
11a China in place or out of place (9)
PORCELAIN: an anagram (out of place) of IN PLACE OR.
12a There’s trouble when this is left on travel (8)
PASSPORT: the mariner’s left follows a verb to travel or proceed.
13a Five shots of Absolut on ice with — (5)
TONIC: hidden in the clue.
15a E.g. a claret I decanted (7)
ARTICLE: an anagram (decanted) of CLARET I.
17a The cutting edge of food processing (7)
INCISOR: a gentle cryptic definition.
19a Snowy step perhaps is small and cold, children step on it first (7)
SCRUNCH: start with abbreviations for small and cold then add the abbreviation for children preceded by a verb meaning ‘step on it’ or ‘go quickly’.
21a Thus see in action monster-slaying hero (7)
THESEUS: an anagram (in action) of THUS SEE gives us the mythological Greek hero who slew the Minotaur.
22a Hackney and a Liberal council causing intrigue (5)
CABAL: string together what hackney is a type of, A and the abbreviation for Liberal to get a small group of intriguers. The word was, coincidentally, used as an acronym for five secretive advisers of Charles II because the initial letters of their surnames formed the word.
24a Back having more grass when housing northern animal (8)
REINDEER: reverse a comparative meaning ‘having more grass’ containing the abbreviation for northern.
27a Adore more travelling? Get away from here (9)
AERODROME: a very apt anagram (travelling) of ADORE MORE.
28a Private bar (5)
CLOSE: double definition, the first an adjective and the second a verb.
29a Classic drama repeats showing an impossibility (2-2)
NO-NO: repeat a form of classic Japanese drama.
30a Commandeer a good egg, a publicity-seeker (5,5)
PRESS AGENT: assemble a verb to commandeer or requisition, A and the short form of a word for a ‘good egg’ or honourable person.
1d First from Telegraph with question for Labour (4)
TASK: the first letter of Telegraph and a verb to question.
2d Sculptor uses this American clobber disguising minute on Queen (9)
ALABASTER: knit together the single-letter abbreviation for American, a verb to clobber or criticise without the abbreviation for minute and the Queen’s regnal cipher.
3d Features of many gardens: ditches (5)
SHEDS: double definition, the second a verb meaning ditches or discards.
4d Scout learning under former leader of pack (7)
EXPLORE: a word for traditional learning follows a prefix meaning former and the leading letter of pack.
5d Compose tritest forms of Italian fugues (7)
STRETTI: an anagram (compose) of TRITEST. Not a word I knew.
7d You might enjoy this fresh in outskirts of Paignton? (5)
PRAWN: insert an adjective meaning fresh or inexperienced into the outer letters of Paignton.
8d Absurdly busy judge initially dismissed law student for digital pro? (10)
MANICURIST: weld together an adjective meaning absurdly busy or hectic and a student of law without the initial abbreviation for judge.
9d Camp champion consuming large bit of snail, say (8)
TENTACLE: bring together a verb to camp and a synonym for champion containing the clothing abbreviation for large.
14d Plant to restrain group of self-supporting dealers (5,5)
DAISY CHAIN: a flowering plant and a verb to restrain or tether make a term for a group of dealers who fraudulently conspire to rig the price of stocks and shares. I only knew the answer as a method of connecting electronic devices but Googling it revealed other meanings (probably best to avoid if you’re of a nervous disposition!).
16d Close trick tip involving old penny (8)
CONCLUDE: start with a trick or hoax and add a tip or hint containing the pre-1971 abbreviation for a penny.
18d He’s in the dock to wear down old soldiers preposterously (9)
STEVEDORE: cement together a verb to wear down or wear away and a North American word for retired soldiers. Now reverse what you have – one of the meanings of preposterous (rare, according to the BRB) is inverting or putting the last first.
20d Lodging in hot wooded retreat (7)
HARBOUR: this lodging or place of shelter comes from the plumbing abbreviation for hot followed by a wooded retreat.
21d Brawn from church in the course of outings (7)
TRICEPS: insert one of the abbreviations for church into a synonym for outings or excursions.
23d Bank in contact with peer (5)
BARON: charade of a bank (at the mouth of a river) and a preposition meaning ‘in contact with’.
25d Putin’s pad? Yes for him with ace central heating installed (5)
DACHA: the Russian word for yes and the abbreviation in card games for ace contain the abbreviation for central heating.
26d Handy pottery, fifty on the shelf (4)
DEFT: a type of pottery with the Roman numeral for fifty no longer required.
My podium selections today are 27a, 7d and 25d. Which one(s) did you favour?