Toughie No 2691 by Django
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **/***
Thanks to Django for a Thursday pangram which didn’t cause too many problems.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Ruin unloved folk instrument with interminable rock guitar (6)
BANJAX: stick together a stringed instrument used in folk music without the love-resembling letter and a rock guitar without its final letter.
5a Discover pencil pusher giving away American code (8)
ENCIPHER: knit together the central four letters of ‘pencil’ and p[us]her without an abbreviation for American.
9a Hide point of heroin needle — it can support one’s habit (10)
COATHANGER: assemble a hide or skin, the first letter of heroin and a verb to needle or annoy.
10a Merseyside’s first safari park starting to change focus rapidly (4)
ZOOM: the first letter of Merseyside is preceded by what a safari park could be called.
11a Seabird circling key tropical plant (4,4)
TREE FERN: a seabird contains a key or low island.
12a Initially old puzzles appear quite unusual, even cryptic (6)
OPAQUE: initial letters of six words in the clue.
13a Book on cycling was clean (4)
SWAB: the abbreviation for book follows the word ‘was’ after its last letter has been cycled to the front.
15a Don’t change this without set-back during work — hurry (4,2,2)
STEP ON IT: an instruction to leave some text unchanged contains the reversal of ‘during work’ (2,2).
18a Kylie originally sang all but the opening — a flipping gold disc follows for this iconic Australian (8)
KANGAROO: concatenate the first letter of Kylie, ‘sang’ without its first letter, A, the reversal of a tincture of gold and the letter that looks like a disc.
19a Bad European function (4)
SINE: a synonym of bad (as a noun) and an abbreviation for European.
21a You and I take no time with new exhaust (6)
WEAKEN: paste together ‘you and I’, ‘take’ without the abbreviation for time and the abbreviation for new.
23a One man cuts film out — losing all extreme characters — and finally appreciates Finding Nemo’s craft (8)
NAUTILUS: delete all the outer letters of the first five words and append the final letter of ‘appreciates’.
25a Seat getting lower at one end according to the notes (4)
SOFA: two consecutive notes from tonic sol-fa but with the lower one bringing up the rear.
26a Crook runs away — suspect Den has to agree a deal (5,5)
SHAKE HANDS: a swindler or extortionate lender without the cricket abbreviation for runs is followed by an anagram (suspect) of DEN HAS.
27a Confrontation both sides of divorce intended (8)
DEFIANCE: charade of the outer letters of divorce and an intended person of the male sex.
28a Dig entertaining love film — it’s lyrical (6)
POETRY: a verb to dig in a nosy way contains the letter that resembles love and the film that’s such a boon to setters.
2d An ancient more primitive love affair (5)
AMOUR: join together an indefinite article, an archaic word meaning ‘more’ and a prefix, from German, meaning primitive or original.
3d Scaremonger to skip eating refined butter (9)
JITTERBUG: a verb to skip or dance contains an anagram (refined) of BUTTER. The answer means a type of dance and the BRB suggests that the meaning of scaremonger may be only British and a result of a misunderstanding.
4d Looked into beginning to date after kiss on new year (1-5)
X-RAYED: the first letter of date follows the letter standing for a kiss and an anagram (new) of YEAR.
5d Competition adapted garden gnome’s cap, making end of pompom round (3-3-5,4)
EGG-AND-SPOON-RACE: an anagram (adapted) of GARDEN GNOME’S CAP after we’ve changed the last letter of pompom to the round letter.
6d Rope lassoing display of cowboy skill, mostly getting rusty (8)
CORRODED: a type of rope contains a display of cowboy skill without its last letter.
7d Detective essentially quizzing a Hawaiian, perhaps (5)
PIZZA: glue together an abbreviation for a private detective, the central letters of quizzing and A.
8d Exciting novel out about international development (9)
EVOLUTION: an anagram (exciting) of NOVEL OUT containing the abbreviation for international.
14d Horny material in W. H. Auden’s introduction upset Nobel committee ultimately (9)
WHALEBONE: start with WH and the first letter of Auden and add the reversal of ‘Nobel’ and the ultimate letter of committee.
16d Firm returning some gadget a nit’s bought (9)
OBSTINATE: hidden in reverse.
17d George V and Edward VIII and maybe, Prince Michael of Kent (8)
GRANDSON: how we might say George V (using his regnal cipher) and how Edward VIII was related to him (2,3,3). The answer is the relationship of Prince Michael of Kent (as an example) to George V.
20d In retirement, occasionally, spouse insults garage job (4-2)
TUNE-UP: regular letters from the reversal of ‘spouse insults’.
22d Perhaps automatic starter sounded buff (5)
KHAKI: this sounds to some people (not to me) like something (3,3) of which an automatic or remote starter is an example.
24d Higher direct debit for very quiet milk supplier (5)
UDDER: start with a synonym for higher and change the abbreviation for very quiet to that of direct debit.
My favourite clue was 23a. Which clue(s) diverted you?