Toughie No 2743 by proXimal
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
I do like the cryptic description of our setter at 5d in today’s back-pager. He’s given us an enjoyable puzzle but his usual MO of having either no X at all or a single X in each quadrant seems to have been abandoned.
Thanks to proXimal.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
7a Carried around popular golf clothing (8)
ENROBING: reverse a past participle meaning carried and add an adjective meaning popular and what golf stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
9a Engaged outspoken Asian political party (4,2)
TIED UP: what sounds like a South-east Asian national and a UK political party which has already had three different leaders this year.
10a Game of mixed doubles unstarted (6)
BOULES: an anagram (mixed) of [d]OUBLES without its first letter.
11a Revolutionary closely looked to gather count’s hiding place (4,4)
DEAD DROP: reverse a verb meaning closely looked or scrutinized and insert a verb to count. This is a hiding place used as part of a spy’s tradecraft.
12a One bearing thong? Swimmer is lad showing cheek (14)
WHIPPERSNAPPER: charade of someone carrying a thong or lash and an edible fish.
15a Fighting opening of prong in buckle (4)
WARP: serious fighting followed by the opening letter of prong.
17a Liking comfort as tender hugs (5)
TASTE: hidden in the clue.
19a Judge that’s dressed down in bed (4)
RATE: insert your answer in ‘bed’ to get a verb meaning dressed down.
20a Brief rest matters with walk to give respite (9,5)
BREATHING SPACE: string together a rest or respite without its final K, a synonym for matters and a verb to walk.
23a People once against spy boss are turned secretly (2,6)
IN CAMERA: assemble an old South American people, a fictional spy boss and the reversal of ‘are’.
25a King ousted from fine land (6)
ALIGHT: remove a single-letter abbreviation for king from an adjective meaning fine or ok.
27a See forward tackling that man back (6)
BEHOLD: an adjective meaning forward or brazen contains the reversal of a male pronoun.
28a Bringing up former partner stinking — one male to forget (8)
EXHUMING: our usual former partner and a word meaning stinking without one of its abbreviations for male.
1d Pregnant avoiding almost all hard stuff (4)
INFO: a phrase (2,4) meaning pregnant in the animal world without the first two letters of ‘all’.
2d Toy sunk into prune creating blob (6)
DOLLOP: join together a toy (one usually more associated with girls rather than boys) and a verb to prune or pare. ‘Sunk into’ tells us that the two words are merged together such that the last letter of the first and the first letter of the second are fused into one.
3d Being both discontented, agonising, end of (4)
AGED: this was my last answer. Use just the outer letters of ‘agonising’ and ‘end’. For example: she was a woman of thirty.
4d Layers of stone on grass area (6)
STRATA: start with the avoirdupois abbreviation for stone and add a verb to grass and the abbreviation for area.
5d Mineral one removed from green box (8)
FELDSPAR: remove the Roman numeral for one from a green or grassy area and append a verb to box.
6d At a court rogue in charge is overbearing (10)
AUTOCRATIC: an anagram (rogue) of AT A COURT followed by the abbreviation for in charge.
8d Maybe fly across Portugal to find vet (7)
INSPECT: what a fly is an example of contains the IVR code for Portugal.
13d Try to gain diamonds, beg an eccentric rock enthusiast (10)
HEADBANGER: a verb to try (in court) contains the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds and an anagram (eccentric) of BEG AN.
14d Asian food from dodgy hotel north of India (5)
SUSHI: glue together a slang adjective meaning dodgy or of dubious legality and the letters that hotel and India stand for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. The BRB doesn’t list the ‘dodgy’ word as an adjective (only as a noun) but it is in Collins.
16d One hunting wine aisle, initially blended port bottles (8)
PREDATOR: an anagram (blended) of PORT contains a type of wine and the initial letter of aisle.
18d Glaze for one cut incorporating whiskey (7)
EGGWASH: the abbreviation of ‘for one’ is followed by a deep cut containing the letter for which whiskey is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
21d Time with studies in steps (6)
TREADS: the abbreviation for time and a verb meaning studies.
22d Solid forms of doctrines for spin-doctors? (6)
PRISMS: cryptically as 2,4 this could be doctrines for spin-doctors.
24d Top ten record climbing following article (4)
APEX: reverse the Roman numeral for ten and a record format following a grammatical article.
26d Clue that might give ‘thee’ (4)
HINT: split your answer 1,2,1 to understand how to get ‘thee’.
My ticks today went to 12a, 1d and 26d. Which one(s) floated your boat?