Toughie No 2909 by Robyn
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone from a cloudy South Devon. Robyn kicks off the Toughie week with a superb puzzle that wouldn’t have been out of place much later in the week. A couple of the parsings took me a while to see but provided great penny drop moments on arrival.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Cracking sham crime in case of embezzling (4-8)
CODE BREAKING: Start with a 3-letter word for sham then insert into the “case” of EmbezzlinG a crime (the police no longer bother to investigate) when enumerated 5-2
9a Cheers team in manoeuvre on ground (4)
TAXI: An informal way of saying cheers or thank you and a (football say) team in Roman numerals.
10a Cryptically suggest way of arriving at how to make a series (6,3)
DOCTOR WHO: To.crytically arrive at “how” one could make an anagram of “who”. We need an anagram indicator to precede it. Brilliant clue.
12a What’s odd in awful, barmy English lit (6)
AFLAME: The odd letters in AwFuL bArMy and the abbreviation for English.
13a Roughly going back and forth in naughty child’s game (8)
BACCARAT: A reversal of the abbreviation for CircA or roughly is followed by it written forwards and the result inserted into way of describing a naughty child.
15a Bottom pocket filled by flask (10)
NETHERMOST: A synonym of pocket as a verb goes around a type of flask.
16a Relative of Isaac Hayes, cutting grass, needing a uniform (4)
ESAU: Don’t bother googling Isaac Hayes!….the relative appears in the Hebrew Bible. Remove the grass from hayES and add A from the clue and the abbreviation for Uniform
18a Broadcaster pinching old American’s bum (4)
HOBO: An American pay television network goes around (pinching) the abbreviation for Old to give (appropriately!) an American term for a bum or down and out.
20a The thing was discovered by criminal? Drat! (8,2)
CONFOUND IT: Start with our usual 3-letter abbreviation for a criminal. Add a synonym of discovered or unearthed and a pronoun meaning “the thing”.
23a Clothing line with two jackets of gauze tailored (8)
NEGLIGEE: Anagram (tailored) of LINE and the outside letters of GauzE twice.
24a One swearing in audition shows on-screen presence (6)
CURSOR: A homophone (in audition) of someone who swears or blasphemes. The screen is that of a laptop for example.
26a Make issue for energy-guzzling old banger (9)
PROCREATE: Begin with a preposition meaning for or in favour of. Add a derogatory term for a rubbish car into which is inserted the abbreviation for Energy.
27a For Louis I, reversing sports car (4)
JEEP: The French (for Louis) word for I followed by a reversal of some Physical Exercise.
28a It’s engineered by breeding with a hint of selection? (8,4)
DESIGNER BABY: Anagram of (it’s engineered) BY BREEDING plus A and the initial letter of Selection for a quite brilliant &lit.
2d Where the clientele is high up and monied, possibly (5,3)
OPIUM DEN: Anagram (possibly) of UP and MONIED.
3d Spin from top Liberal Democrat denied welcome (4)
EDDY: Remove a literary word used to express greetings from the surname name of the current leader of the Lib Dems and append it to his first name.
4d Interrupted by pupils, barking fiery order again (10)
RECLASSIFY: Place an anagram (barking) of FIERY around a group of pupils.
5d Admit I’m in pain, following scripture (6)
AVOUCH: A cry of pain follows a two letter abbreviation for a publication of the bible, also known as The King James Version. Every day is a school day.
6d Divided as counties are away from the edge? (7)
INWARDS: Split the solution 2-5 to see the reference to the division of counties.
7d Grand entertainers including penniless royal — they may knock back spirits (12)
GHOSTBUSTERS: The abbreviation for Grand and some (party) entertainers into which is inserted an informal word for penniless and the royal cipher of our present monarch.
8d Could it be a diminutive actor’s role in the theatre? (6)
HAMLET: If we split the solution 3-3 we have a whimsical description of a small actor.
11d Eating outside a home, this is good for starters (9-3)
LAUNCHING PAD: A synonym of eating (a midday meal perhaps) is placed around A from the clue and followed by an old fashioned word for a home or flat.
14d OTT male, on top of fashion, seeing red coats (10)
IMMODERATE: Start with the abbreviation for Male, add a synonym of fashion in the sense of design and place a synonym of “seeing red” around (coats) the result.
17d Racket in house he endured with forbearance (3-2,3)
PUT-UP JOB: Start with a phrasal verb meaning house or accommodate and append a biblical figure, a would be leader for those who patiently endured.
19d Stud hugs mostly unappealing, weedy sort in bed (7)
BUGLOSS: A stud on an item of clothing goes around an adjective meaning unappealing after it loses its last letter
21d Old man penning adventure story made a career (6)
DASHED: An informal word for one’s father goes around (penning) a novel, subtitled “The history of adventure”.
22d Whence came crude cry for attention, rearing child (3,3)
OIL RIG: A 2-letter word used to get attention plus the reversal of a female child.
25d A stretch of Cherbourg rue? (4)
HERB: Hidden in the clue (a stretch of).
Thanks to Robyn for a great start to the Toughie week, my top three were 10&28a plus 2d.