Toughie No 2507 by Musaeus
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
For the most part I found this fairly straightforward but there are a couple of clues which required a bit more thought. I am conscious that some of the clues (e.g. 8d, 16d and 25d) may increase the difficulty level for overseas solvers because of their UK-specific content. Some of the surface readings (e.g. 10a and 14d) are not terribly smooth.
Thanks to Musaeus.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Brad’s filling room, displaying little speed (6,4)
SNAIL’S PACE: insert what a brad is a type of (plus the ‘S) into a synonym for room or expanse.
6a Excellent leader of people in workplace (4)
BOSS: double definition, the first (new to me) being an adjective meaning excellent.
9a A profit once more (5)
AGAIN: A and a synonym for profit.
10a I’m often caped and hope ruse runs and runs within (9)
SUPERHERO: an anagram (runs) of HOPE RUSE with the cricket abbreviation for runs inserted.
12a Put the mockers on hill exercises before finish (7)
TORPEDO: assemble a small rocky hill, the abbreviation for physical exercises and a verb to finish.
13a Stick around small container (5)
FLASK: another word for stick or criticism contains the clothing abbreviation for small.
15a Ineffective female missing state of dangerous plug? (7)
USELESS: start with an adjective which could describe an electrical plug with no safety mechanism and then take away the abbreviation for female.
17a South-eastern area with channel showing ‘Coast‘ (7)
SEASIDE: strap together abbreviations for south-eastern and area and a word once used to mean a TV channel. In the 1950s when there were only two channels in the UK the question would be asked “What’s on the other ****?” – answering this involved a major operation as someone had to get to their feet, approach the box and turn the knob.
19a Fruit is a necessity when going west (7)
SATSUMA: string together A, a synonym for necessity and a conjunction meaning when. Finally reverse it all.
21a Smart hiding among virile group facing Asterix? (7)
MANIPLE: a verb to smart or sting is contained in an adjective meaning virile to make a unit of foot soldiers in the Roman army.
22a Otherwise fair accepting noun in Latin below (5)
INFRA: an anagram (otherwise) of FAIR contains the abbreviation for noun.
24a Hostage-taking nymph in topical song (7)
CALYPSO: double definition, the first the name of a mythological nymph from Greek mythology who kept Odysseus hostage on her island for seven years.
27a The ultimate source of, say, port’s rumour? (9)
GRAPEVINE: the source of the fruit which goes into the making of port and other such drinks.
28a Drink suffused with very soft fruit (5)
APPLE: insert the musical abbreviation for very soft into an alcoholic drink.
29a Pity husband sticking to tedious course (4)
RUTH: append the genealogical abbreviation for husband to a tedious course or boring routine. These days we tend to see the answer only when it’s suffixed by –less.
30a Relief from unconscious thought? (10)
UNDERSTUDY: knit together an adverb meaning unconscious and a word meaning thought or analysis.
1d Cold spell beginning to settle down (4)
SNAP: the first letter of settle and a synonym for down (a soft covering of hair).
2d Painters, possibly, inside fitting gaff (9)
APARTMENT: insert what could be painters (3,3) into an adjective meaning fitting or appropriate.
3d Boat that’s a joke following one (5)
LINER: if you precede the answer with ‘one’ you have a joke.
4d Gang edges on success finding control (7)
POSSESS: a gang brought together to enforce the law and the outer letters of ‘success’ form a verb to control (as an evil spirit might).
5d Liberal bobby is entering Oxford University (7)
COPIOUS: bring together another informal word for a bobby and IS then insert the abbreviation for Oxford University.
7d Greek character that symbolises resistance (5)
OMEGA: the Greek letter that’s used as a symbol for the SI unit of electrical resistance.
8d Rat who often catches you out would be Arkwright, e.g. (10)
SHOPKEEPER: charade of a verb to rat and a sports player wearing pads who might dismiss you by catching your poor shot.
11d Judge shower song (7)
REFRAIN: assemble an abbreviated sporting judge and another word for a shower from above.
14d First three from Musaeus about died, stick around for one to hurl abuse (10)
MUDSLINGER: the first three letters of Musaeus contain the genealogical abbreviation meaning died. Add a verb meaning stick around.
16d Successfully rival Parky’s nemesis after time (7)
EMULATE: cement together the bird that attacked Michael Parkinson and an adjective meaning ‘after time’.
18d Unrehearsed concert put out, I am opening (9)
IMPROMPTU: one of the recently finished series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and an anagram (out) of PUT are preceded by the contracted form of ‘I am’.
20d Care about being demoted? You’ll see lots here (7)
AUCTION: start with a word meaning care or alertness and move the abbreviation for ‘about’ down a couple of places.
21d False tale’s involving me? This falcon makes a film (7)
MALTESE: an anagram (false) of TALE’S and ME goes before ‘falcon’ to make the name of a 1940s film.
23d What winds one up in firm’s do? (5)
FEAST: the last letter (what winds up) of ‘one’ goes inside an adjective meaning firm or devoted.
25d — what Ernie wrote left in French country (5)
PLAYS: insert the abbreviation for left into the French word for country.
26d Absolutely what V could signify (4)
VERY: V is the abbreviation for the answer. I looked for something a bit more here but I think that’s all there is to it.
My podium is populated by 15a, 29a and 8d. Which clue(s) did it for you?