Toughie No 2606 by Django
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Django for a pleasant puzzle. It’s not really a Toughie though is it? – let me know if you disagree.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a/1d Somewhere to pick up messages coming from flat landlord let go (4,6,4)
DEAD LETTER DROP: assemble synonyms of a) flat or lifeless, b) landlord and c) let go.
6a Carve in sweet chestnut (4)
ETCH: hidden in the clue.
10a Leaving platform, politician’s first to show hatred (5)
ODIUM: remove the first letter of politician from a platform or dais. A bit of Yoda-speak.
11a Easy decision from former Prince to abandon a current aristocrat at the start (2-7)
NO-BRAINER: remove one of the symbols for electric current from the name of a Prince who married a glamorous American actress (not that one!) and precede that with an informal word for an aristocrat.
12a Makes good comic broadcast in a state of desperation (2,4,4,3)
AT ONE’S WITS’ END: string together a verb meaning ‘makes good’ or compensates, a comic or humorist and a verb to broadcast or transmit.
14a Hard to get entertaining group of footballers for film (8)
SCARFACE: an adjective meaning hard to get (like toilet rolls at the start of lockdown-1) contains the abbreviation for the body that controls football in England.
16a Drink a toast every now and then — that’s an order (6)
DIKTAT: regular letters from the first three words.
18a Open Irish port after French one (6)
UNCORK: a port in the south-west of Ireland follows the French word for one.
20a Perhaps Freddie Mercury and Queen released tracks on disc (4,4)
ROCK STAR: start with a single-letter abbreviation for queen and add an anagram (released) of TRACKS after the letter shaped like a disc.
22a Beastly collection delivered by angry mailman biting family dog — that’s back to front (6,7)
ANIMAL KINGDOM: an anagram (angry) of MAILMAN contains a word meaning family and the word ‘dog’ with its last letter moved to the front.
26a Somewhat mediocre a.m. — so Dad’s getting a drink (5,4)
CREAM SODA: hidden in the clue.
27a Solving sudoku finally with a number — perhaps, a lot of number twos? (5)
GUANO: the final letters of solvinG sudokU are followed by A and the abbreviation for number.
28a Pair of horses reach bridge (4)
SPAN: triple definition, bridge here being a verb.
29a/25d Start short book in jail before end of sentence — it’s a place where renewal is encouraged (10,4)
ENTERPRISE ZONE: glue together a verb to start or plunge into, a synonym for jail containing the abbreviation for an Old Testament book and the last letter of ‘sentence’.
1d See 1a
2d After defence falls short a sailor returns to identify one connected to scores of thieves (3,4)
ALI BABA: concatenate a defence (in court perhaps) without its last letter, A and the reversal of one of our usual abbreviations for sailor to discover one connected to two scores of thieves.
3d Member with love for dance (5)
LIMBO: a bodily member and the letter resembling love in tennis.
4d Bent occupation making a case for divorce (8)
TENDENCY: the definition (bent) here is a noun not an adjective. Start with a type of occupation (of a flat, say) and replace the A with the outer letters of divorce.
5d Joint trouble rising, pinching limb’s edges (5)
ELBOW: reverse a word for trouble or affliction and insert the outer letters of limb.
7d Northern man after turning up at function (7)
TANGENT: the abbreviation for northern and a synonym for man follow the reversal of AT.
8d The woman’s allowance of food must raise energy — it’s genetic (10)
HEREDITARY: a possessive pronoun meaning “the woman’s” is followed by a dated word for a regulated allowance of food with the abbreviation for energy moved up two places.
9d That cycling sprain represents a great sporting achievement (3,5)
HAT TRICK: cycle the letters of ‘that’ and add a verb to sprain. Originally a bowler who achieved this was awarded a new hat by his cricket club.
13d Promises frisky sauna, ultimately wanting caress (10)
ASSURANCES: an anagram (frisky) of SAUN[a] (with its ultimate letter missing) and CARESS.
15d Weapons companies lug inside (8)
FIREARMS: another word for companies contains what lug is an informal word for.
17d Initially going round to charge servant commission (8)
POUNDAGE: the word ’round’ without its initial letter goes inside a young male servant.
19d Fire-breathing monster created by artist under agreement (7)
CHIMERA: the abbreviation identifying our usual artist follows a word meaning agreement or harmony.
21d Part of orchestra‘s time cut short, non-stop panic follows (7)
TIMPANI: fuse together time and panic, both without their last letter.
23d Recognised and immediately captured by nickname’s essence (5)
KNOWN: an adverb meaning immediately is contained in the central letters of nickname.
24d Find papers backed head of government in revolt (3,2)
DIG UP: reverse the abbreviation for papers confirming one’s name and add the first letter of government and an adverb meaning ‘in revolt’.
25d See 29a
The clues I ticked were 14a, 2d and 4d. Which ones made the cut for you?