Toughie No 2543 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
We have a fairly gentle puzzle from Samuel today which produced several smiles (e.g. the privy with no walls and the Lords spouting nonsense). I didn’t have any significant problems although I was very slow to utilise the ‘if all else fails look for a lurker’ rule in parsing 1d.
Thanks to Samuel.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Enthusiastic head touring second small Scottish island (10)
PASSIONATE: an old word for a person’s head contains abbreviations for second and small and an island in the Inner Hebrides.
6a Piece of music inspired by Jolson grates (4)
SONG: hidden in the clue.
9a Row headcase reported (5)
SCULL: headcase cryptically might be something that encases the head. We need to find a homophone of such a thing.
10a Strangely, Mike had to work on stage (3,6)
THE MIKADO: an anagram (strangely) of MIKE HAD TO.
12a Clash with prisoner caught during convention (13)
CONTRADICTION: stick together an informal word for prisoner and a synonym of convention or custom. Finally insert the cricket abbreviation for caught.
14a Moderate unusually strict over backing North-East (8)
CENTRIST: an anagram (unusually) of STRICT contains the reversal of the abbreviation for North-East.
15a At one point almost everyone is available if required (2,4)
ON CALL: knit together an adverb meaning ‘at one point’ without its last letter and a synonym for everyone.
17a Do well from article covering privy with no walls (6)
THRIVE: a definite article contains ‘privy’ without its outer letters.
19a Talk about men with sick animals (8)
GORILLAS: an informal verb to talk contains the abbreviation for men in the forces and an adjective meaning sick.
21a One inside messaging officials — not initially, they might put a dampener on things (13)
EXTINGUISHERS: glue together a term for messaging and officials (those employed in a law court perhaps). Then insert the Roman numeral for one and delete your first letter.
24a Crikey, it wasn’t me! (1,5,3)
I NEVER DID: double definition, the first a phrase (often preceded by ‘Well’) expressing surprise.
25a Page leaving previous Queen’s bloomers? Just one (5)
ASTER: remove the abbreviation for page from an adjective meaning previous or preceding and append our Queen’s regnal cipher.
26a With this entrance, our dancing could result in outrage (4)
GATE: this is a compound anagram – an anagram (dancing) of OUR plus the answer will produce ‘outrage’.
27a Interfering in demos, led astray by this writer (10)
MEDDLESOME: an anagram (astray) of DEMOS LED followed by a pronoun the writer would use to identify himself.
1d Bouquet from Percy’s opponent turned up (4)
POSY: although the answer was pretty obvious from the definition and checking letters this was the last one I wrote in because I wondered who Percy was. I considered various individuals from the Dukes of Northumberland in Tudor times to the Scarlet Pimpernel. Finally the penny dropped with a loud clang – the answer is a ‘reversed hidden’!
2d Little study in support of first course? (7)
SOUPÇON: a verb to study or pore over follows a liquidy first course.
3d Old collectors from both sides parting in eastern location (6,7)
INLAND REVENUE: both sides (1,3,1) go inside IN, the abbreviation for eastern and a location for events.
4d One showing barefaced cheek? (8)
NATURIST: cryptic definition where cheek could mean both nerve and buttock.
5d Flower material (5)
TWEED: double definition, the first being one which flows into the North Sea at Berwick.
7d Something blown in old vehicle auntie regularly turned over (7)
OCARINA: assemble the abbreviation for old, a road vehicle and regular letters from auntie when it’s reversed.
8d Not so fine, maybe, without foundation? (10)
GROUNDLESS: split the answer 6,4 and it could mean ‘not so fine’.
11d Drunken son overcome by home brew scoffed, being selfish (13)
INCONSIDERATE: an anagram (drunken) of SON gets inserted into a) our usual ‘home’, b) a brewed alcoholic drink and c) a verb meaning scoffed.
13d Few peers on occasion will stop chorusing nonsense? (10)
SCATTERING: insert regular letters from peers into a present particle meaning singing nonsense.
16d Jurgen maybe unveiled team with Alexander-Arnold ultimately lacking balance (8)
LOPSIDED: Jurgen is the manager of Liverpool FC (Jurgen Klopp) – assemble his surname without the outer letters, a synonym of team and the ultimate letter of Alexander-Arnold (who does indeed play for Liverpool).
18d Negotiate again somewhere quiet? (7)
RETREAT: double definition. The BRB confirms that no hyphen is necessary for the verb to mean negotiate again or seek another deal (as our government seems to have been doing for ages since the promised ‘oven-ready’ one failed to materialise).
20d Hotels rebuilt round country (7)
LESOTHO: an anagram (rebuilt) of HOTELS followed by the round letter.
22d Inappropriate fun a drug user has in prime positions (5)
UNDUE: select the letters corresponding to the first five prime numbers from ‘fun a drug user’.
23d Genuine end to hostilities when Conservative leaves (4)
TRUE: a word for an end to hostilities with the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative removed.
My podium nominations are 3d, 8d and 13d. Which clue(s) cut the mustard for you?