Toughie No 2805 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Stephen L
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Greetings everyone from South Devon. Today Donnybrook, one of my favourites setters, has given us what I thought was a super puzzle (despite parts of it occupying territory that is somewhat alien to me) that certainly can’t be described as a “Floughie”. All fairly and craftily clued throughout.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Composer William having no tips for singer (4)
ALTO: Remove the outer letters (having no tips) from a composer born in Oldham around the turn of the last century. I had the voice before the composer!
3a Something added to letters in sacks returned? (5)
SERIF: A reversal of a synonym of sacks as a verb.
6a Mistake to ignore leader in church area (4)
APSE: Remove the first letter (ignore leader) from a mistake or slip up.
8a Mistakenly put frozen heart before universal literary hero (6,2,7)
RUPERT OF HENTZAU: Anagram (mistakenly) of the following three words. Append the abbreviation for Universal
9a Troops coming to Kentish Town in trying experience (6)
ORDEAL: Some soldiers and a town on the Kent coast, a limb of the Cinque Ports I believe.
10a English lord stirring trouble in fabulous location (8)
ELDORADO: Start with the abbreviation for English. Add an anagram (stirring) of LORD and then some trouble. There’s something about this clue I like!
11a Count’s written about Alpine heroine in Russian novel (3,5)
THE IDIOT: I’m guessing Heidi is the Alpine heroine here which leaves the word TOT around it (written about). I’ve seen “tot up” as count but not tot on its own.
13a Drink from tea service? Nothing wrong in that! (6)
CHASER: Start with an informal 3-letter word for tea. Add the word service from the clue and remove the sin (nothing wrong in that) from it. Great clue
15a Criminal ready when roused to surround island (6)
YARDIE: Anagram (when roused) of READY placed around the abbreviation for Island
17a One disbarks from intact vessel in warehouse (8)
ENTREPOT: A synonym of intact or whole has the letter that looks like one removed from it (disbarks) Add a vessel.
19a Pan embodies singular range of abilities (5,3)
SKILL SET: A type of pan surrounds (embodies) the abbreviation for Single.
21a BBC initially advertising free? (6)
AUNTIE: This rather quaint name for the BBC (from a time when everyone trusted it) is obtained by placing a synonym of free as a verb after the initial letter of Advertising.
22a Drug used illegally seen in training is a trace in blood (8,7)
ANABOLIC STEROID: Anagram (seen in training) of the following five words.
23a Monk securing poor grade in spelling competition (4)
BEDE: Take a 3-letter spelling competition and insert a letter that would be a poor grade in an exam, possibly a fail.
24a Physician became dictator’s prisoner (5)
MEDIC: Hidden (prisoner) in the clue.
25a Resistance encountered in stone structure that develops (4)
GERM: Place the abbreviation for Resistance inside a (valuable) stone to give a word meaning the beginning or genesis, from which something may develop. My last one in.
1d Show big wheel good to leave ground (9)
AIRWORTHY: A synonym for show or display and a “big wheel” in the sense of a dignitary.
2d Nick‘s height advantage (3,4)
TOP EDGE: A crickety clue! Synonyms for height and advantage give a shot which batsman dread, often resulting in being caught out. Great clue.
3d Body going round worried student pair put in place (9)
SATELLITE: A 3-letter synonym of worried plus the abbreviation for (two) students sit within (put in) a place or location.
4d Female the French court following about as muse? (7)
REFLECT: Start with the abbreviation for Female. Add a French definite article and the abbreviation for CourT. Append the result to a preposition meaning about or regarding.
Here’s South Devon superstars Muse. I’m sure our setter will appreciate the drumming.
5d Addict okay with last couple swapping day (5)
FIEND: Start with a synonym of Ok. Swap the order of the last two letters. Add the abbreviation for Day.
6d Winger in a last-minute switch (9)
ALTERNATE: Place one of crosswordland’s favourite birds inside A from the clue and a word meaning last minute. I spent far too long looking for a bird as the solution.
7d Wrap with some meat sandwiches (7)
SWADDLE: A joint of meat “sandwiches” or goes around the abbreviation for With.
12d Fast food store feeding popular belle regularly (9)
INDELIBLE: Here fast means stuck or enduring. The shortened form of a food store goes inside (feeding) the usual 2-letter popular and the regular letters of BeLlE.
13d Christian heretic: habitual response is purging (9)
CATHARTIC: A member of a heretical Christian sect is followed by a 3-letter uncontrolled response.
14d City man lacking principles died before noon (9)
ROTTERDAM: A man without principles, a cad say is followed by the abbreviation for Died and the two letters indicating the morning.
16d Quiz expert about point obliquely (7)
ASKANCE: A synonym of quiz as a verb is followed by the usual expert into which is inserted the abbreviation for a compass point.
17d Lured in, ten brutally murdered (7)
ENTICED: Anagram (brutally) of TEN plus a dated synonym of murdered.
18d Deep problem on way, but staff taken outside (7)
POTHOLE: A shortened form of a synonym of the word “but” is surrounded by (taken outside) by a synonym of staff in the sense of a rod or mace.
20d Where, in Massachusetts, engine driver needs stronger drink? (5)
SALEM: The driver of an engine here is “steam”. Replace the drink within it with a stronger one.
In a strong field 13&17a plus 2,5,18 & 20 down were my highlights. Great stuff.