Toughie No 2618 by Stick Insect
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **/***
We have a pleasant pangram today – thanks to Stick Insect. It’s not really very tough and all twelve of the four-letter answers (which usually provoke accusations of peskiness) are pretty straightforward.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Creative rap about hedge (11)
PREVARICATE: an anagram (about) of CREATIVE RAP.
8a Old police car gets stuck with hoist missing middle part (3,8)
JAM SANDWICH: bring together a verb meaning ‘gets stuck’, a conjunction meaning with and a type of hoist or lifting device without its central N. The answer is a dated slang term for a police car based on how it looked.
11a Advanced drink plant (4)
ARUM: the abbreviation for advanced and an alcoholic drink.
12a Rush meal, start to repent (4)
TEAR: a meal and the first letter of repent.
13a Handle judge dismissing university cases (7)
LUGGAGE: string together a word for a handle and a verb to judge or estimate without the single-letter abbreviation for university.
15a Experts with reptiles losing leader (7)
WIZARDS: the abbreviation for ‘with’ and some reptiles without their leading letter.
16a Prepare online joke? (5)
EQUIP: cryptically as 1-4 this could be an online joke. How many times have we seen this recently?
17a Seethe, seeing barrel lost in bungling attempt (4)
FUME: start with a bungling attempt (a failure to catch a ball, perhaps) and remove the abbreviation for barrel.
18a By the sound of it, murderer’s brother is competent (4)
ABLE: this sounds like the Old Testament brother of a murderer. The most chestnutty of all old chestnuts?
19a UEFA I think embodies trust (5)
21a Self-inflicted damage that hurt along with treatment (3,4)
OWN GOAL: an exclamation of pain (that hurt!) followed by an anagram (with treatment) of ALONG.
22a Cooked well, soy becomes sickly-looking (7)
YELLOWS: an anagram (cooked) of WELL SOY.
23a Reviewed IMAX exhibition, partly for test (4)
EXAM: hidden in reverse.
26a Italian agreement involves space in penultimate round (4)
SEMI: an Italian response signifying agreement contains a printer’s space.
27a Tiny, evil island placed in trap from the east (11)
LILLIPUTIAN: an adjective meaning evil or ominous, the single-letter abbreviation for island and a verb meaning placed all go inside the reversal of a verb meaning trap or capture.
28a Kiss taxi company worker entering city in high spirits (11)
EXUBERANTLY: the letter used for a kiss, the taxi company which recently lost an important court case and our usual working insect are all inserted into a city in Cambridgeshire.
2d Paper bundle half studied in the morning (4)
REAM: half of a verb meaning studied and an abbreviation meaning ‘in the morning’.
3d Undergarment I receive almost produces mark (7)
VESTIGE: knit together an undergarment worn on the upper body, I and a verb to receive without its final letter.
4d Obnoxious class row (4)
RANK: triple definition. It always used to amuse me to see a Motorway sign warning that the upcoming service station was obnoxious.
5d Fragrant flower subdues impertinence (7)
COWSLIP: charade of a verb meaning subdues or browbeats and an informal word for impertinence.
6d Thanks court for discretion (4)
TACT: a short word of thanks and the abbreviation for court as a road name.
7d Supply foul lice with raw vegetable (11)
CAULIFLOWER: an anagram (supply) of FOUL LICE RAW. This doesn’t sound too appetising!
8d Hear intellectual laying down the law (11)
JUDGEMENTAL: rivet together a verb to hear in court and an adjective meaning intellectual.
9d Desolate earth could result from this (11)
HEARTBROKEN: a reverse anagram which when split 5,6 provides the fodder followed by the indicator.
10d Being an administrator is binding, keeping support in (11)
TRUSTEESHIP: a binding or surgical appliance contains a golf support. Finally append a dated informal adjective meaning ‘in’ or fashionable.
14d Identical plaques uncovered and rebuilt (5)
EQUAL: remove the outer letters from [p]LAQUE[s] and make an anagram (rebuilt) of what remains.
15d Amusing song daughter’s dropped for wife (5)
WITTY: start with a simple song and replace the genealogical abbreviation for daughter with that of wife. I know his name’s not spelt the same way but this reminded me of the recent Private Eye cartoon of the professor whose doom-laden illustrated presentations we’ve grown accustomed to over the past year:
19d Mistake in LA, including African party in backing group (3,4)
FAN CLUB: put an informal North American word for a gaffe (not one I knew) around a South African political party.
20d Give encouragement: ‘Catch — catch up!’ (7)
HEARTEN: a verb to catch (by ear) and the reversal of a verb to catch (a fish perhaps).
25d Post mineral box (4)
SPAR: triple definition – the first two are nouns and the third is a verb.
26d Attack when leaving ships (4)
SAIL: remove a conjunction meaning when from a verb to attack to leave a collective word for ships.
My clue of the day is 8a. What appealed to you?