Toughie No 2899 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
The word we have to clue in this month’s Telegraph Newsletter competition is ‘smoothie’ – I was tempted to send in ‘Drink in a Silvanus clue? (8)’. Today’s Toughie provides many examples of this setter’s art – many thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Look east to pursue appointment, becoming hotel employee (14)
COMMISSIONAIRE: append a look or manner and the abbreviation for east to an appointment in one of the armed services.
9a Fear, perhaps, behind son stopping Europeans finding fugitive (7)
ESCAPEE: what Fear is a specific example of as a geographical feature follows the genealogical abbreviation for son and that all goes inside two occurrences of the abbreviation for European.
10a Fantastic luck as female comes into large amount (7)
SACKFUL: an anagram (fantastic) of LUCK AS with the abbreviation for female going inside it.
11a Steep cycling race, a classic (4)
SOAK: cycle the letters of the name of a classic race held annually at Epsom.
12a Rainbow-coloured flag briefly coming down (10)
IRIDESCENT: drop the last letter of a flag (a plant with sword-shaped leaves) and add a synonym of ‘coming down’.
14a Suggest replacing Democrat with Republican is something attractive (6)
ALLURE: start with a verb to suggest or hint at and replace its abbreviation of Democrat with that of Republican.
15a Delay over initially ordering that woman’s footwear (8)
GALOSHES: reverse a noun meaning delay and add the initial letter of ordering and the contracted form of ‘that woman has’.
17a Escort fellow to meet monarch, number kept back (8)
CHAPERON: string together an informal word for fellow, the regnal cipher of our current monarch and the reversal of an abbreviation for number.
18a Home ground backing Hampshire’s opener (6)
HEARTH: a synonym for ground or soil follows the opening letter of Hampshire.
21a Priest taken short during show? That’s embarrassing (10)
INDELICATE: an Old Testament priest without his final letter goes inside a verb to show. What a superb surface.
22a Extremely excited having this on the restaurant menu? (4)
SOUP: split your answer 2,2 to get extremely excited.
24a Start seeing bouncy character filled with despair ultimately (7)
TRIGGER: Pooh’s bouncy mate contains the ultimate letter of despair.
25a In general, worried about regularly overlooked German student being upset (2,5)
AT LARGE: a verb meaning worried contains the reversal of the odd letters of German and our usual abbreviated student.
26a Flanking English river creature, they cross awkwardly in waders (6-8)
OYSTER-CATCHERS: abbreviations for English and river and the creature beloved by Mr K are flanked by an anagram (awkwardly) of THEY CROSS.
1d Sort of bun Rachel’s eagerly consumed (7)
CHELSEA: hidden in the clue.
2d Plant in shade Amy claims I cultivated (10,5)
MICHAELMAS DAISY: an anagram (cultivated) of SHADE AMY CLAIMS I.
3d Little devils being wicked, neglecting debt notice (4)
IMPS: remove our usual notice acknowledging a debt from an adjective meaning wicked or ungodly.
4d Chain store’s head reported by police? (6)
SIERRA: how a police traffic officer would say the first letter of store over the radio.
5d Rock band is unsettled touring India following row essentially (8)
OBSIDIAN: an anagram (unsettled) of BAND IS contains the letter that India represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. All that follows the central letter of row.
6d Used to Frenchman visiting one facing criminal charges (10)
ACCUSTOMED: insert TO and the abbreviation for Monsieur into someone facing criminal charges.
7d Additional study, source of help that inspires young college student (9,6)
REFRESHER COURSE: a word meaning a source of help in a difficult situation contains an informal word for a first-year student at university.
8d Tree-dwellers, those periodically observed beneath narrow opening (6)
SLOTHS: regular letters of ‘those’ follow a narrow opening.
13d Permission to proceed with new journey, heading off (5,5)
GREEN LIGHT: an adjective meaning new or inexperienced and a journey (by balloon perhaps) without its first letter.
16d Enchanting individual piece of porcelain, reportedly about to be returned (8)
SORCERER: what sounds (to some) like a piece of porcelain used to prevent your hot cup leaving rings on the table is followed by the reversal of a preposition meaning about.
17d Suggest wearing primarily colourful unknown fabric (6)
CHINTZ: a verb to suggest is clothed in the first letter of colourful and one of the algebraic unknowns.
19d Turns out, doctor snapped — finally dismissed by hospital (7)
HAPPENS: an anagram (doctor) of SNAPPE[d] without its final letter follows the map abbreviation for hospital.
20d Revolutionary American inventor needing little ordinary capital (6)
OTTAWA: glue together an abbreviation for American, the name of a Scottish inventor and the abbreviation for ordinary. Now reverse it all.
23d Coalition barely able to be supported by old Conservative (4)
BLOC: the word ‘able’ stripped of its outer letters is followed by abbreviations for old and Conservative.
Top of the pile for me today were 9a, 11a and 4d with my favourite being the excellent 21a. Which one(s) were the bee’s knees for you?