Toughie No 2877 by Serpent
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Toughie Setters this week
Wednesday Django. Thursday Beam. Friday Elgar
Hello everyone from a cloudy South Devon. Tuesday rolls by again and we have the pleasure of a cracking Serpent puzzle to kick off the Toughie week. We certainly haven’t been “eased” in as I found the puzzle decidedly tricky. It was only when writing the hints that I fully appreciated its cleverness though.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Where deal might be made with noted philosopher (7)
SAWMILL: Deal here is a type of wood. Start with a synonym of noted or observed. Append an eminent English philosopher and Member of Parliament born in 1806.
5a This part of plant receives orders to supply special delivery (4,3)
LILY PAD. This is a compound anagram. Remove the letters that spell out “receives” from “special delivery” and you are left with an anagram of the solution. Thank you Cryptic Sue!
9a Their vital bank contributions are well received by everyone (9,6)
UNIVERSAL DONORS: The bank here is a blood bank. The solution refers to people with a blood type that has the least risk of an adverse reaction in those receiving it.
10a Some teachers could be a pain in the neck (4)
ACHE: Hidden in the clue (some)
11a Fantastic American piece about cuts (5)
GREAT: An American weapon or piece is “cut” by a preposition meaning about.
12a Copies part of church running east west (4)
APES: A recess in a church has the abbreviation for East moved one place to the left.
15a Town square briefly quiet in the morning (7)
EVESHAM: Remove the last letter of a synonym of square in the sense of level. Add an informal exclamation to keep quiet and the usual two letters indicating the period before noon.
16a Range of colours sure to include trace of light blue (7)
YELLOWS: A 3-letter affirmative goes around the abbreviation for Light and a synonym of blue in the sense of miserable.
17a Like recycled tin cans? (7)
STANNIC: Anagram (recycled) of the following two words, giving an extended definition.
19a Yahoo admits leak damaged growth of branch (3,4)
OAK LEAF: A synonym of yahoo in the traditional sense goes around (admits) an anagram (damaged) of LEAK. Most apposite as I think Yahoo was down this morning.
21a Frank not to start competition anyone can enter (4)
OPEN: A very crafty quadruple definition comprising words 1 plus 2&3 plus 4 plus 5 to 8.
22a Objects to attitude ignoring terms of fine print
MINDS: Take an attitude and remove the last letters (terms) of the words finE and prinT.
23a Award initially overlooked evidence of harm (4)
SCAR: Remove the first letter of an award given to a pretentious luvvie at an annual bore fest.
26a Mean, idiotic church banning one entertaining writer, almost (4,2,9)
NEAR AS NINEPENCE: This rather dated synonym is obtained thus. A synonym of idiotic or stupid after removing the letter that represents one plus the abbreviation for Church of England go around (entertaining) a writing implement. Append the result to a synonym of mean in the sense of tight.
27a Hide writing table belonging to old dons (7)
DOESKIN: A writing or office table plus a preposition that could mean “belonging to” “don” or go around the abbreviation for Old.
28a Treatment of allergy for the majority (7)
LARGELY: Anagram (treatment of) ALLERGY.
1d Wise to limit commute with no second-class adult fare (7)
SAUSAGE: A synonym of wise goes around (to limit) a form of transport used as a verb without the letter indicating “second class” and the abbreviation for Adult from the clue.
2d Descriptive statistic revised where data give incomplete information (8,7)
WEIGHTED AVERAGE: Anagram (revised) of the following three words plus some information without its last letter
3d Liberal abandons best conceivable plan (4)
IDEA: Remove the abbreviation for Liberal from synonym of best.
4d Period drama regularly featuring upper-class oppressed by desire (7)
LUSTRUM: Start with a synonym of (sexual) desire. Below it (oppressed) add regular letters of dRaMa which are placed around the abbreviation for Upper class.
5d Dance during Christmas period mainly served up music unsuitable for the occasion (7)
LULLABY: Place a formal dance inside a Christmas period minus its last letter. Reverse (served up) the result. I guess the music is unsuitable for a Christmas dance
6d Butcher’s left with no pork every so often (4)
LOOK: The abbreviation for Left and the alternate letters of nO pOrK. The definition is Cockney rhyming slang.
7d Shoe shop starts to rile customers, foolishly charging money for shine (15)
PHOSPHORESCENCE: Anagram (foolishly) of SHOE SHOP plus the initial letters of Rile and Customers all inside (charging) a small quantity of money.
8d Leaves off sides and tops of small trees are variegated (7)
DESISTS: Anagram (are variegated) of SIDES and the initial letters of Small Trees.
13d Some growth in knowledge is deliberate (5)
THINK: Deliberate here is a verb and the answer is hidden in the clue using the same indicator as 10a!
14d IKEA rotated 50 lines with identical features (5)
ALIKE: insert the Roman numeral for 50 into an anagram (rotated) of IKEA.
17d Felt contempt for Sun’s top journalist ringing my number (7)
SCORNED: The first letter of Sun’s (top) plus the usual abbreviation for a journalist go around (ringing) and exclamation meaning “my” in a sense of surprise and the abbreviation for Number.
18d Feature controlling opening of gate on elevated section of locks (7)
CHIGNON: Start with a facial feature. Place it around (controlling) the opening letter of Gate and add On from the clue.
19d Exam containing new papers returned first, perhaps (7)
ORDINAL: One of crosswordland’s favourite exams goes around a reversal of the abbreviation for New and some personal papers
20d Illicit reproduction beneficial to heartless upper classes (7)
FORGERY: Start with a 3-letter preposition that could mean beneficial to. Add some upper class people (apparently those just below nobility) after removing the middle two letters.
24d Cistern smelt awful without lid (4)
TANK: Remove the first letter of the past tense of a verb meaning to smell bad.
25d Return blows (4)
SPARS: The blows here are punches between boxers.
I particularly liked the relatively concise 16, 22&27a plus 6,17and 20d but it was all top notch.