Toughie No 2891 by Shamus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I haven’t had the pleasure of blogging a Shamus puzzle for some considerable time so it’s great to see him back on the Toughie rota. Thanks to him for an enjoyable and reasonably gentle puzzle. There are a couple of references which may be a stretch for our overseas solvers.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Prank caught by a tourist worker in turn (5)
CAPER: string together the crickety abbreviation for caught, A and the reversal of an informal word for someone working at a tourist resort.
4a City director firstly entertained by, maybe, a natural raconteur’s device (8)
ANECDOTE: the postal area of the City of London and the first letter of director go inside what ‘a natural’ is an example of musically (1,4).
10a Northern country includes very advanced, idyllic state (7)
NIRVANA: the abbreviation for northern and a Middle-Eastern country contain the abbreviation for very. Finish with the abbreviation for advanced.
11a Radical dictators take to posturing (7)
DRASTIC: remove ‘to’ from DICTAtoRS and make an anagram (posturing) of what remains.
12a Heroines oddly ignored for long periods (4)
EONS: just even letters.
13a Casually agreed about eating crusts of overgrown bloomer (5)
PEONY: reverse a casual word of agreement around the outer letters of ‘overgrown’.
14a Gloss over one-time trading association, reportedly (4)
GILD: the answer sounds like one of the old trading associations, which still exist under the name livery companies.
17a A wee pun again devised to encapsulate timeless place in country (5,3,6)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: an anagram (devised) of A WEE PUN AGAIN contains a verb to place without its final T(ime).
19a Familiar airs unsettled saturnine guest (9,5)
SIGNATURE TUNES: an anagram (unsettled) of SATURNINE GUEST. Here’s a familiar air that has stood the test of time:
22a Get too old for romantic meeting (4)
DATE: double definition.
23a Artist cuts offer for thread (5)
BRAID: our usual artist goes inside an offer (at an auction, maybe).
24a Section of network’s muting mildly offensive comments (4)
SMUT: hidden in the clue.
27a Inventive sort taking round at home ordinary stuff (7)
MARCONI: glue together an adjective meaning ‘at home’, the abbreviation for ordinary and a verb to stuff or pack. Now reverse it all.
28a Rare poem composed but without a commanding figure? (7)
EMPEROR: an anagram (composed) of RaRE POEM without it’s a.
29a Consider minutes taken in abandoned building at rear of office (8)
RUMINATE: insert the abbreviation for minutes into an abandoned or disintegrated building and append AT and the rear letter of office.
30a Kiwi dancer shortly in charge gets abdominal pain (5)
COLIC: I needed Mrs Google’s help to find the New Zealand dancer (since I’ve never watched Strictly Come Dancing). Remove the last letter of his surname and add the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.
1d Terrible tone set by politician in court giving offence there? (8)
CONTEMPT: insert an anagram (terrible) of TONE and our usual elected politician into the abbreviation for court.
2d Normal bargain for root vegetable (7)
PARSNIP: stick together synonyms for normal and bargain.
3d Study audition of hell-raising actor (4)
READ: this sounds like the surname of a hard-drinking actor who died in 1999.
5d Revised modern reading inspires international bestselling author (6,8)
NADINE GORDIMER: an anagram (revised) of MODERN READING containing an abbreviation for international gives us a South African author.
6d Reticent type turns up in abnormal clothing (4)
CLAM: hidden in reverse.
7d Show more dishonesty adopting new statement lacking details (7)
OUTLINE: to tell more porkies than someone else contains the abbreviation for new.
8d Military hero leads to lively celebrations in festival (2,3)
EL CID: insert the leading letters of lively celebrations into a Muslim festival.
9d Flags could be required for this creative type? (8,6)
PAVEMENT ARTIST: cryptic definition. Flags here are what you walk on rather than salute.
15d Haggard female in family after end to partying (5)
GAUNT: I bet I wasn’t the only one to immediately think of ‘She’ for Haggard female but what we need is a female relative after the end letter of partying.
16d Medical officer in hearing given to making cracks? (5)
WITTY: this sounds like the surname of England’s Chief Medical Officer. Next slide please! Rather tricky for non-uk solvers?
18d Rarefied ground or site retained by English clubs (8)
ESOTERIC: an anagram (ground) of OR SITE goes between abbreviations for English and clubs.
20d Provisional line essentially followed by first person in style (7)
INTERIM: start with the central letters of ‘line’ and then insert a first person pronoun into a verb to style or name.
21d Figure left after period linked to fossil fuel? (7)
NUMERAL: the abbreviation for left follows what could be whimsically called the fossil fuel period (3,3) during which a certain trades union was dominant.
22d Dissent on the rise picked up by hearsay? Not relating to us (5)
DEMUR: start with an adjective meaning ‘by hearsay’ or allegedly, remove the possessive adjective meaning ‘related to us’ and reverse what remains.
25d Favour element disowning Republican (4)
BOON: remove the abbreviation for Republican from a non-metallic solid chemical element to get a favour of the sort craved by King Arthur’s knights.
26d Large-scale Eastern film (4)
EPIC: the abbreviation for Eastern and an informal word for a film.
The clues I liked best were 9d and 21d. Which one(s) gave you a fillip?