Toughie No 2659 by Firefly
Hints and tips by 2Kiwis
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Bet you did not expect to see us back so soon.
Gazza has other important things to attend at present so we have the rare opportunity and privilege of writing the hints and tips for a Toughie.
The NE corner was the sector that gave us the most difficulty in this most enjoyable offering from Firefly.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.
1a Part of salad — pop it in for quickness (8)
CELERITY : Insert ‘it’ from the clue into a stalky salad ingredient.
5a Excited when the setter’s taken into custody? (6)
WARMED : A two letter personal pronoun the setter could use for himself is inside a word for someone in protective care.
13a Girl joins gang in colourful square (8)
BANDANNA : A palindromic girl follows a gang that might be of musicians.
15a Prohibit nasty board game; commercial cancelled (7)
EMBARGO : An anagram (nasty) of BO(a)R(d) GAME once a commercial plug has been removed.
20a Questions from former American (4)
EXAM : The prefix meaning former plus AM(erican).
21a Prodigy moving bishop to the right: that’s painful for Iris! (7)
RAINBOW : Start with a five letter word for a prodigy or intellectual and move the first letter (B) to the end, then an exclamation saying ‘that’s painful’.
25a Well-known panto in production round Fringe (2,3,3)
ON THE MAP : An anagram (in production) of PANTO surrounds a fringe, usually of material.
26a Sweet behind — ‘Elen’s, say? (6)
AFTERS : A three letter usually nautical word for behind, then a female possessive pronoun with the same elision that ‘Elen has in the clue.
28a Top coverage of award given to international skater? (6)
ICECAP : The award traditionally given by universities for sporting achievement comes after the surface a skater would use.
29a Their act becomes more informal (8)
CHATTIER : An anagram (becomes) of THEIR ACT.
30a Backscratchers start to sell in Middle East republic (3-3)
YES-MEN : Insert the first letter of sell into a Middle East republic on the Arabian peninsula.
31a Day trip I organised for 1 Across (8)
RAPIDITY : An anagram (organised) of DAY TRIP I.
3d Romania, with man wearing red cap in, easily win … (4,4)
ROMP HOME : String together the IVR code for Romania, a military lawman who wears a red cap and the domestic location suggested by ‘in’.
4d … top-level game; match being free of cheating (4)
TEST : A match or encounter with a three letter word for cheating removed from its beginning.
6d To-do list assembled from maturity and with variety (6)
AGENDA : Maturity or development over time plus an anagram (with variety) of AND.
7d Notes written about specialty as reminders (8)
MEMENTOS : A three letter medical specialty department is inside notes, often exchanged between colleagues.
8d Spring into the sea for 31 (8)
DISPATCH : A spring or health resort is inside a slang word for the sea. (It is also the name that Kiwis call the one that separates us from Oz.)
11d Rod departs roof garden, sadly in advanced state of disrepair (3,4)
FAR GONE : An anagram (sadly) of (ro)OF GAR(d)EN once the letters of rod have been removed.
14d Fruit and nuts? (7)
BANANAS : A double definition.
17d Old king’s caught up in pursuit — performance I missed in 8 (8)
VELOCITY : Start with a pursuit or hobby and remove from this a three letter performance and ‘I’ from the clue. What’s left surrounds the reversed nursery rhyme old king.
19d Fragments of paper prisoner found extremely tricky to interpret initially (8)
CONFETTI : A slang word for a prisoner, then the first letters of five words in the clue.
22d Establishment in which hands wither? (6)
MENAGE : Hands or male workers, then wither with advancing years.
23d Sign of multiple birth? (6)
GEMINI : A cryptic definition for one of the zodiac signs.
Lots of good clues but we will pick the four related answers that make up much of the border as podium contenders.