Toughie No 2594 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
I thought that this was a proper midweek Toughie which I enjoyed. Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Island fish — fuss to get caught (8)
BARBADOS: some small fish often found in an aquarium contain our usual word for fuss.
6a European holding party sent around lackey (6)
POODLE: a European citizen contains the reversal of a festive party.
9a Sunday — with such a break you should get sun! (3,3)
DAY OFF: if you apply the answer to Sunday you’re left with ‘sun’.
10a A learner into an Austen novel — one displays ‘sunny’ disposition (8)
ANALEMMA: insert A and the abbreviation for learner into AN and a Jane Austen novel. This (new to me) is a diagram plotting the position of the sun over a year.
11a City walked about with hillock — nothing standing out (8)
DORTMUND: reverse a verb meaning walked and add a hillock or knoll without the letter resembling zero.
12a Poetic comment when identifying a recreational tablet in drink? (6)
TISANE: split the answer ‘3,2,1 to get a literary way of identifying an Ecstasy tablet.
13a Helpful senior person who could bring pax for British Latinists? (6,6)
FATHER FIGURE: split pax 2,1 to get the two elements of the answer.
16a Enlightenment certainly doesn’t come easily from one finding subtractions tricky (12)
OBSCURANTIST: an anagram (tricky) of SUBTRACTIONS.
19a Biological tissue destroyed in a storm (6)
STROMA: an anagram (destroyed) of A STORM.
21a What’s emerged from referendum is — h’m! — a shambolic mess (8)
MISHMASH: hidden in the clue.
23a Joke I poured forth heckled by the audience? (8)
PUNISHED: string together a type of joke, I and a verb meaning poured forth or gave off.
24a Film director‘s arrogance shown when dismissing the lead (6)
AUTEUR: remove the leading H from a word meaning arrogance.
25a Military commander, wasting little time, fired weapon (6)
SHOGUN: start with a weapon that can be fired and remove the abbreviation for time.
26a Sang and cried about love and died (8)
YODELLED: a verb meaning cried or screamed contains the letter resembling love in tennis and the genealogical abbreviation for ‘died’.
2d Flower distributor (6)
AMAZON: double definition, the second a distributor which has prospered during the pandemic.
3d Encouragement to give good person a bad time? (5)
BOOST: split the answer 3,2 to understand the wordplay.
4d Fab change to catch upper-class cheat (9)
DEFAULTER: rivet together a slang word meaning fab or excellent and a verb to change containing the letter used to mean upper-class.
5d One on their feet somehow needs a rest ultimately (7)
STANDEE: an anagram (somehow) of NEEDS A [res]T. According to the BRB this horrible word is ‘especially US’.
6d Factory‘s undercover agent? (5)
PLANT: double definition, the second being someone embedded in an organisation as a spy.
7d Lapse during the hours of darkness — change of direction taking place inside (9)
OVERSIGHT: start with an adverb meaning ‘during the hours of darkness’ and change one of the directions within to its opposite.
8d Soho celebrity here is playing harmoniously (8)
LUMINARY: this is a compound anagram. An anagram (playing) of SOHO and the answer here produces HARMONIOUSLY.
13d Take account of good business involving debts (9)
FACTORING: a phrasal verb (6,2) meaning to take account of followed by the abbreviation for good.
14d Part of Netherlands gets very hot — come to the coast? (9)
FRIESLAND: glue together a verb meaning ‘gets very hot’ and a verb to reach the coast (from the sea).
15d Bait chum in trouble? It’s somewhat unreasonable (1,3,4)
A BIT MUCH: an anagram (in trouble) of BAIT CHUM.
17d Spooner’s comic panto figure, no reason to celebrate! (4,3)
NAME DAY: the answer could mean to fix the arrangements for a wedding (lockdown permitting). Spooner might mangle this into a standard comic figure in pantomime and an old response meaning ‘no’.
18d Reckon like tot finishing with toe (6)
ASSUME: assemble an adverb meaning like, a verb to tot up and the final letter of toe.
20d The female embraced by a knight is looking pallid (5)
ASHEN: a female pronoun goes between A and the abbreviation for a knight in chess.
22d Almost all book up, wanting the Spanish stopover? (5)
MOTEL: reverse a large book without its last letter and append a Spanish definite article.
My top clues were 21a, 2d and 13d. Which ones did you rate highly?