Toughie No 2590 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Thanks to Hudson for a very enjoyable puzzle which wasn’t too tricky but contains some great clues and produced a number of chuckles. There are a couple of references which may be more difficult for non-UK solvers.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Witness former PM dropping a couple of Es somewhere in Washington (7)
SEATTLE: stick together a verb to witness and an old Labour Prime Minister then remove two Es.
9a Behold threesome featuring husband (Aylesbury’s number one womaniser) (8)
LOTHARIO: an exclamation meaning behold and another word for a threesome containing the genealogical abbreviation for husband and the first letter of Aylesbury.
10a Move clumsily, having a lump hampering bandages (7)
GALUMPH: a splendid verb is hiding in the clue.
11a Female adult, 21, left English sea area (4,4)
FAIR ISLE: one of the 31 sea areas which feature in the UK shipping forecast is constructed from abbreviations for female and adult, the answer to 21a and abbreviations for left and English.
12a Blunder as royal gardens beauty pageant winner announced? (6)
MISCUE: homophone of a possible beauty contest winner (4,3) in the royal gardens in south-west London.
13a Joey crushed fag end outside Queen’s penthouse terrace (4,6)
ROOF GARDEN: another word for a joey in Australia is followed by an anagram (crushed) of FAG END containing an abbreviation for queen.
15a Yarn recalled Battle of Britain pilots from Yorkshire (4)
WEFT: start with a description of Battle of Britain pilots (3,3) (derived from Churchill’s speech “Never, in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few”). Now change that to how it might be said in Yorkshire. Finally, reverse it.
16a Writer Harry in Vienna to retire, laze about having collected Oscar (5,4)
EMILE ZOLA: reverse the surname of Harry in Vienna (i.e. the character played by Orson Welles in the 1949 film “The Third Man“) and append an anagram (about) of LAZE containing the letter for which Oscar is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
21a Woman taking shelter regularly during air raids (4)
IRIS: regular letters from the final two words of the clue.
22a Idiot sheep milling around terminus in Reading — it holds things up on the line (7,3)
CLOTHES PEG: glue together another word for idiot, an anagram (milling around) of SHEEP and the terminating letter of Reading.
24a Decorate Caruso’s unfinished hotel (6)
ENRICH: chop off the last letter of Caruso’s forename and add the letter for which hotel is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
25a Neck brace fitted after surgery — that’s miserable (8)
DOWNCAST: stick together a verb to neck or drink and a brace used to protect a broken limb after surgery.
27a Benefit time went very quickly in recession (7)
WELFARE: concatenate a specific period of time and a verb meaning ‘went very quickly’ then reverse the lot.
28a Emma’s to do nowt to obstruct huge beast (8)
MASTODON: our second hidden answer.
29a Tragedy returning to celebrity magazine (7)
OTHELLO: reverse ‘to’ and add the name of a celebrity magazine.
2d French bloke outside fancy cinema knocked over inspector (8)
EXAMINER: a French male forename contains the proprietary name of a chain of upmarket cinemas with very large screens. Now reverse it all.
3d Curtail reporting of case eight (8)
TRUNCATE: this sounds like a large solid case and eight.
4d Pericles revised, six boxed; it’s rather casually paid (3,7)
LIP SERVICE: an anagram (revised) of PERICLES containing the Roman numeral for six.
5d Pop about to be fitted with oxygen line (4)
COLA: a two-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately contains the chemical symbol for oxygen and the abbreviation of line.
6d One who works their way to the top? (6)
SHERPA: cryptic definition of a very popular chap this week. The ‘top’ is a mountain peak.
7d Be chairperson, in the days before spin? (7)
PRESIDE: as 3-4 this could mean at an earlier time than a synonym of the sort of spin used on a snooker table, say.
8d Drug firm, one from Germany, located in the outskirts of Dundee (7)
CODEINE: start with the abbreviation for a firm then insert the German number one between the outer letters of Dundee.
11d Twerp, fool, horrid little weed lived by here (9)
FLOWERPOT: an anagram (horrid) of TWERP FOOL.
14d Autopilot set to fly around British airport (6,4)
GEORGE BEST: a slang term for an autopilot and an anagram (to fly) of SET contain an abbreviation for British.
17d One’s triggered to show anger with pent-up force (3,5)
AIR RIFLE: a verb to show or broadcast and a verb to anger or annoy with the abbreviation for force contained inside it.
18d To do with organs/claviers being out of tune? (8)
VISCERAL: an anagram (being out of tune) of CLAVIERS.
19d Uplift of Village People hit entertaining a Delaware school (7)
ACADEMY: reverse the name of The Village People’s biggest hit and insert A and the standard abbreviation for Delaware.
20d First part of Pygmalion broadcast — rambling Shaw twaddle! (7)
HOGWASH: start with a synonym for what the first syllable of Pygmalion sounds like and add an anagram (rambling) of SHAW.
23d Browbeat hospital over shocking treatment placed on heads of older residents (6)
HECTOR: abbreviations for hospital and medical treatment involving electric shocks are followed by the first letters of the last two words.
26d Son with excessively twisted smutty material (4)
SOOT: the abbreviation for son and the reversal of an adverb meaning excessively.
There are many clues I could have picked out but I’ll restrict myself to 12a, 15a, 11d and 20d. Which ones put a smile on your lips?