Sunday Toughie No 21 by Robyn
Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee
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Another tricky toughie that delayed the final swig of Laphroiagh until the wee small hours. I am awake now, refreshed and suitably caffeinated, ready to hint at today’s Robyn Toughie. As is usual for these toughies I am struggling to curtail my hinting to about half. Pictures may help to nudge in the right direction.
In Big Dave’s absence, Tilsit has been taking his responsibilities as the head of the Village Elders seriously and has been exercising his RED pencil on some comments. He may even want to cut some of my hints down!
As it is a Prize puzzle I can only hint at a few and hope that will give you the checkers and inspiration to go further. I’ll be back just after the closing date with the full blog. Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!
I hope I don’t have to redact any comments but I am new at this and don’t want to rock the boat. If in doubt, I’ll rub it out! I think that sentence is a bit redundant. You have all been so helpful in sorting out prior failures of parsing and I am sure I will need similar help again.
Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also” Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.
A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions. Some hints follow: Remember the site rules and play nicely.
1a Commotion, having drink knocked back after drink (6)
A sailor’s drink is followed by a reversal (knocked back) of the action of taking a drink.
5a Return of problem forces beginner to make wine (8)
Return is another reversal indicator here. Reverse the kind of problems that you may use arithmetic for. add a military beginner and you should have made a nice glass of white wine from the lower Loire valley.
Boozing in the first two clues I hope I stay sober enough to finish today!
11a Call to engage team working in undesirable post (4,4)
This undesirable post is an anagram of team, contained in how you may call a cab.
13a Gathering English rap covers showing culture (3,5)
A synonym of rap contains E for English followed by some culture vulture types who claim that a quintessentially British beverage ended up in Boston Harbour because it had Tacks in!
21a Papers penned by mostly puffed up ex-president (8)
The previous incumbent of the Oval Office was often described by this puffed-up adjective, we need to use all bar the last letter of this adjective and insert some official papers to make another ex-president, but not an American one.
The pic could hint 21 or 22
22a Some bread sandwiches dry before I interfere (4,2)
A small bread roll contains one who is abstemiously dry and I from the clue.
24a Prosperous start of week after 33% cut in capital (8)
I don’t want to start a debate about what is the start of a week, but our setter and ISO 8601 are in agreement. Cut the final two letters of a day of the week and append it to a synonym of prosperous. A study of World Capitals may not help, but a study of State Capitals may yield more results.
25a Bread-maker’s apprentice not opening (6)
An apprentice is continuing his education in work. A word for someone in education loses its first letter (not opening) and becomes someone who has the wherewithal to provide “bread” for the household.
2d Mostly mock child showing a lack of sense (8)
Most of a synonym of mock or ersatz and a male child, shows a lack of sense.
3d Cases of aide heading for Egypt wearing shades (8)
An abbreviated aide, the heading for Egypt and some shades of colour are combined to make some medical cases.
5d Extra fat butter? It’s beneath e.g. lid made fancy (6-3,6)
The extra fat that time bestows upon waistlines is an anagram of three words in the clue and the butter or similar you may have overindulged in on your toast to cause this bulging waistline.
6d Half-hearted on-screen presence back in comedy (7)
A pointer that helps navigate computer screens and the back letter of comedy.
8 Hear pop star having romantic encounters (8)
Have a go and hear this you may like it.
14d Means to retain worker with energy in important post (5,4)
A piece of equipment that is a means to an end, contains a short-term replacement worker and appends an E for energy.
Two important posts here;
16d Drug that makes you go wild I tried outside upper-class clubs (8)
One who Nancy Mitford may have considered upper-class, The letter that the club suit of cards suggests go in an anagram of I tried. The drug that made the littlest piggy go wee wee wee all the way home.
19d Soldiers welcoming European fighter’s practicality (7)
I am not 100% sure I have got this correct but I started with a particular rank of soldier, who is the most senior non-commissioned officer, around (welcoming) E for European, and a fighter who many consider the greatest boxer of all time.
As CS points out it is much better explained as some seaborne troops around the E and the great fighter can keep the plural in the clue.
That’s all folks I have hinted at more than half of the clues and hope that helps you to find the rest. Quite a few double unches today but also a couple of clues that have zero unchecked letters that should solve themselves.
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