Toughie No 2643 by Serpent
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
In terms of difficulty this is about par for a midweek Toughie. At one stage I thought we were going to get an equestrian theme but I don’t think there are enough references even for a ‘mini’ one.
Thanks to Serpent.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Row about stray dog (7)
TERRIER: a row or bank contains a verb to stray from the straight and narrow.
5a Regular customer‘s slightly boring tone (7)
HABITUE: slightly (1,3) goes inside a tone or shade.
9a Add spurious detail to bore me rigid about missing serviceman (9)
EMBROIDER: an anagram (about) of BORE ME RI[gi]D without the US serviceman.
10a You’re taking sides after American’s affair (5)
AMOUR: remove the sides from the first word and put what remains after a 2-letter abbreviation for American.
11a Initially take eminent supporter’s part? (5)
THIGH: the initial letter of ‘take’ and an adjective meaning eminent or elevated.
12a You almost call US, upset by Republican with brash manner (9)
RAUCOUSLY: an anagram (upset) of YOU CAL[L] US follows the abbreviation for Republican.
13a Former partner and I worried about my skin (9)
EXCORIATE: string together our usual former partner, I and a verb meaning worried then insert a dated exclamation meaning ‘my!’.
16a Wreckage of canoe found floating here (5)
OCEAN: an anagram (wreckage) of CANOE.
17a Ridiculous play featuring disembodied figure going round bend (5)
FARCE: the outer letters of figure contain a bend or curve.
18a Build up police force coming after criminals time and again (9)
CONSTRUCT: an historical police force follows an informal word for criminals and the abbreviation for time. Finally append the same abbreviation for time. Since the provincial police force was disbanded twenty years ago an ‘old’ or similar might have been relevant.
20a Like surefooted Arab perhaps concealing dosh? (9)
ROUGHSHOD: Arab here is a type of horse and the answer is an old word for having shoes with projecting nails to give a better grip. It’s a reverse anagram – split the answer 5,4 to reveal where the dosh comes from.
23a Radical university student revolutionised painting? (5)
ULTRA: abbreviations for university and student precede the reversal of a synonym for painting.
25a Partial account of 1976 Olympic encounter? (5)
EVENT: convert 1976 to words and you’ll find the answer hidden therein.
26a Turkey supporter follows game at home (9)
LAMEBRAIN: turkey is a North American slang term for a stupid person. Our usual supporting garment follows an adjective meaning game or having an injured leg. Finally append an adverb meaning ‘at home’.
27a Giant satellite orbiting Uranus almost reaches speed of light (7)
TITANIC: the largest of the moons of Uranus (Titania) without its final letter is followed by the symbol for the speed of light.
28a Length of short gap year rearranged around beginning of December (7)
YARDAGE: an anagram (rearranged) of GA[p] YEAR contains the first letter of December.
1d New actors regularly appearing in the cinema? (7)
THEATRE: regular letters from the first two words appear inside ‘the’.
2d Book seized by international court upset teacher (5)
RABBI: the abbreviation for book is contained in the reversal of the abbreviation for international and a word (as used in the phrase ‘called to the ***’) for a court of law.
3d Press hack’s name associated with Express? (4,5)
IRON HORSE: charade of a verb to press and a hack for riding. The answer is a fanciful term for something hauling a method of transport which could be an express (or a stopper).
4d Mounted guard perhaps freed American casualty (5)
RIDER: stick together a past participle meaning freed and the US abbreviation for a casualty department.
6d B is for ‘brilliant!‘ (5)
BRAVO: double definition. Yesterday we had uranium, today we have another word from the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
7d Accurate note stated what’s to be worn for match (9)
TROUSSEAU: this sounds like an adjective meaning accurate and a note from tonic sol-fa.
8d Listening device that is intercepted by line near the start (5,2)
EARLY ON: knit together something that listens and an old literary word meaning ‘that’ then insert the abbreviation for line.
14d Let cop run amok showing signs of greed? (9)
CORPULENT: an anagram (amok) of LET COP RUN.
15d I’ll start to have cocoa? Not usually! (9)
ALCOHOLIC: an all-in-one clue – it’s an anagram (not usually) of I’LL H[ave] COCOA.
16d Have more bodies than anaesthetist has unconscious first (9)
OUTNUMBER: a cryptic description of an anaesthetist follows an adverb meaning unconscious.
17d Reporter’s coverage of animals intended to cause commotion (7)
FERMENT: homophones (reporter’s) of what covers some animals and a verb meaning intended.
19d Student managed without current support packs (7)
TRAINEE: a golf support contains (packs) a verb meaning managed around the symbol for electric current.
21d Flirt with husband into swinging (3,2)
HIT ON: the genealogical abbreviation for husband followed by an anagram (swinging) of INTO.
22d Model is a sucker for kids (5)
DUMMY: double definition, the first a replica of a human being.
24d Gladiator ordered to cast off gold headgear (5)
TIARA: remove the letters of ‘gold’ (‘off’ indicating that they are not in the right order) from [gl]A[d]IAT[o]R and make an anagram (ordered) of what’s left.
My ticks went to 11a, 13a and 20a. Which one(s) filled the bill for you?