Toughie No 2967 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ****
Thanks to Silvanus for a most entertaining puzzle with only 25a holding me up and making me seek the help of Mrs Google.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Toy with giving Hitchcock film a miss (8-4)
SKIPPING-ROPE: replacing the hyphen with a space will get you missing a Hitchcock film starring James Stewart.
9a My son, tense inside, faced by male bullies (7)
HECTORS: an exclamation of surprise (my!) and the genealogical abbreviation for son contain the grammatical abbreviation for tense. That’s all preceded by a male pronoun.
10a Have a career, then become a ghost writer (7)
RUSHDIE: a verb to have a career or move swiftly and a verb to become a ghost or pop one’s clogs. I’m slightly surprised that the editor was happy with this given that the writer almost became a ghost after being attacked recently.
11a Invalidate in full badly written treaty ultimately (7)
NULLIFY: an anagram (written badly) of IN FULL followed by the ultimate letter of treaty.
12a Trains in Switzerland with facilities back aboard depleted services (7)
SCHOOLS: the IVR code for Switzerland and the reversal of an informal word for ‘the facilities’ go inside the outer letters of services.
13a Surrounded by lake, unknown house perched high up (5)
EYRIE: a mathematical unknown is contained in one of the Great Lakes.
14a Frank in Stoke-upon-Trent worked overlooking river (9)
OUTSPOKEN: an anagram (worked) of STOKE-UPON-[trent] after removing the river.
16a Explosive content of letter and a PS that’s outrageous (9)
SALTPETRE: an anagram (outrageous) of LETTER A PS.
19a Briefly spot partner making bit of a bloomer (5)
SEPAL: a verb to spot without its last letter and a partner or mate.
21a Return fight ends in historic triumph after comparatively uninspiring rounds (7)
REMATCH: the final letters of historic triumph follow the reversal of a comparative meaning more uninspiring or more humdrum.
23a Menial salary at the start tavern resolved (7)
SERVANT: the starting letter of salary and an anagram (resolved) of TAVERN.
24a Solicitor essentially needs more bright staff (7)
CROSIER: the central letter of solicitor and a comparative meaning more bright.
25a Two tree species, it’s said, in Virginian city (7)
ROANOKE: this was my last answer and needed some investigoogling because I’d never heard of this city in Virginia. It’s a double homophone of two trees, the first another name for the mountain-ash.
26a Alan Bennett, perhaps rare Sky broadcast with him on? (12)
YORKSHIREMAN: an anagram (broadcast) of RARE SKY HIM ON. This gives me the opportunity to play again Alan Bennett’s brilliant skit on the sort of meandering sermon that I was forced to sit through as a youngster.
1d University student rushes around outside being profane (7)
SECULAR: abbreviations for university and student with the reversal of a verb meaning rushes outside them.
2d Greatly admire lounge windows, circular ones, we’re told (7)
IDOLISE: a double homophone of a) a verb to lounge or be inactive and b) the circular organs sometimes referred to as windows to the soul.
3d Prevaricate, extremely fearful at first over succeeding queen? (9)
PUSSYFOOT: stick together an adverb meaning extremely and the first letter of fearful. Now reverse that and precede it with a child’s word for what a queen is an example of.
4d Standards of behaviour indoors, most unwelcome occasionally (5)
NORMS: occasional letters of ‘indoors most’ are not needed.
5d Variety of tea grew fashionable (7)
ROSEHIP: charade of a verb meaning grew or increased and an informal adjective meaning fashionable.
6d Field certain rugby players to defend unusual upset (7)
PADDOCK: a word for the forwards in a rugby team contains the reversal of an adjective meaning unusual.
7d Amazed to emerge from crash with small lorry (13)
THUNDERSTRUCK: join together a crash from the heavens, the clothing abbreviation for small and a type of lorry.
8d One cutting confidential links leading to famous people (13)
PERSONALITIES: insert the Roman numeral for one between an adjective meaning confidential and a verb meaning links.
15d Senator’s back, stopping terribly austere Republican official managing funds (9)
TREASURER: the trailing letter of senator goes inside an anagram (terribly) of AUSTERE. Finish with the abbreviation for Republican.
17d Foreign flower drooping over container almost (7)
LIMPOPO: assemble an adjective meaning drooping or flaccid, the cricket abbreviation for over and a container without its last letter.
18d Celebrated name in Ireland, actor not parting company with the best around (7)
PATRICK: the word actor loses the separated letters of the abbreviation for company and what remains goes inside a noun identifying the best or choicest.
19d Revolutionary piece of journalism’s a crass expression of contempt (7)
SARCASM: hidden in reverse.
20d Academy founder, name inspiring old military unit (7)
PLATOON: a Greek philosopher who founded an academy and the abbreviation for name contain the abbreviation for old.
22d Rigorous hospital on top of outbreak, promoting antitoxin initially (5)
HARSH: the map abbreviation for hospital is followed by an outbreak on the skin with the first letter of antitoxin moved up.
The clues I liked best were 1a, 21a, 24a and 2d. Which one(s) made your selections?