Toughie No 2969 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone from a decidedly chilly South Devon.
Donnybrook kicks off the Toughie week with a puzzle a bit general knowledge heavy but employing his usual clever and witty wordplay that I especially appreciated on writing the hints.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Wicked Zoroastrian priests caught (5)
MAGIC: Some ancient Persian priests and the abbreviation for Caught. Wicked here is in its more informal sense.
Here’s one of Springsteen’s many understated gems.
4a Back in time, French director departs in troubled state (8)
AGITATED: A reversal of a French film director (no me neither!) is inserted into a time and the abbreviation for Departs is appended.
10a Happy to return ring on greeting nobleman (7)
HIDALGO: A reversal of a synonym of happy and the letter that looks like a ring follow an informal greeting.
11a Red, green, blue or black card? (7)
ODDBALL: How one could whimsically describe the value of each of the colours in the clue in snooker.
12a Corrupt English teaching system (4)
ROTE: A simple synonym of corrupt and the abbreviation for English
13a Gear for those going down south copper with black American (5)
SCUBA: The abbreviations for South, Black and American embrace the chemical symbol of copper.
14a Perhaps lost dog runs out, finding stick (4)
STAY: Remove the abbreviation for Runs from a “lost” or homeless dog.
17a Juliet right inside, on her balcony, mixed strong booze (4,10)
JOHN BARLEYCORN: Anagram (mixed) of ON HER BALCONY and the abbreviations for Juliet and Right giving the personification of strong drink.
19a Rise of Muse in Proust, as Mann, excited us (5,9)
MOUNT PARNASSUS: Anagram (excited) of the preceding three words plus US giving the home of the Muses
22a This was made to pluck hot stuff from mouth (4)
LUTE: A homophone (from mouth) of some “hot stuff” in the sense of stolen.
23a 20 governor, old man remains within (5)
PASHA: Insert some remains (perhaps from a fire) into an informal name for one’s old man (parent)
24a Offensive husband seen with drink in retreat (4)
PUSH: The abbreviation for Husband follows the reversal of an informal word for drink. Offensive here is a noun.
27a Drink party not entirely dry (7)
CAMPARI: A synonym of party in the sense of a group or faction and a synonym of dry without its last letter.
28a Spotted baked dish — no cover on top? (7)
PIEBALD: A baked dish (delicious with a steak and kidney filling) plus how you would describe someone with no cover on their head. LOL
29a Spectacular thing as person turned into grotesque deity (8)
DYNAMITE: Reverse a male person and insert into an anagram (grotesque) of DEITY.
30a Shift key (right) (5)
SPELL: The definition and solution were pretty clear but this one caused me a lot of trouble on the parsing. If you key right or correctly you effectively perform the solution. Thanks to CS for the nudge with this one. I had another interpretation originally that involved a key on a Windows keyboard plus an “ell angle”.
1d Prince somewhat open with an awful player needing lift (8)
MAHARAJA: A reversal (needing lift) of a word meaning slightly open (a door perhaps) plus A and an awful player in the acting sense.
2d Share costs — dough split outside revolutionary court (2,5)
GO DUTCH: Anagram (split) of DOUGH (good spot setter!) outside a reversal of the abbreviation for CourT.
3d Ice mass sheared away a little lower (4)
CALF: Double definition, the less obvious one requiring confirmation from Mr Google, a mass of ice detached from a glacier The other refers to a (young or little) animal that “lows”
5d I’m bored with Psycho after adaptation that’s beneath grand film (7,2,5)
GOODBYE MR CHIPS: The abbreviation for Grand plus an anagram (after adaptation) of I’M BORED and PSYCHO.
6d Surge: this does at regular intervals! (4)
TIDE: The regular letters of ThIs DoEs giving a nice &lit where the whole clue serves as wordplay and definition. Here it is in Teignmouth last week
7d One raising a glass to Daisy? (7)
TOASTER: TO from the clue and a (very pretty) type of daisy. Ignore the capitalisation.
8d Team up with Democrat and waste time idly (5)
DALLY: A verb meaning to team up with or unite follows the abbreviation for Democrat.
9d Interaction with CPS that’s involved Horowitz? (7,7)
CONCERT PIANIST: Anagram (that’s involved) of INTERACTION and CPS. The solution is a definition by example.
15d Key material from Napoleon I driving English northward (5)
EBONY: The popular nickname of Napoleon has the abbreviation for English moved to the front of the clue.
16d Legend about fencing clubs’ striking effect (5)
ECLAT: Reverse a synonym of legend in the sense of story and place the result around (fencing) the abbreviation for Clubs.
18d Lops head off plant in damp habitat (8)
ASPHODEL: Anagram (off) of LOPS HEAD.
20d Have a seat with books given to us? (7)
OTTOMAN: Some biblical books, TO from the clue and how we may describe us all as humans.
21d Wurst from Brownshirts convention? (7)
SAUSAGE: The abbreviation for the assault division of the Brownshirts and a synonym of convention in the sense of custom.
22d Clear having left uniform with plainclothes officers (5)
LUCID: The abbreviations for Left and Uniform are followed by some plainclothes policemen
25d You’ll find this among herbal medicines! (4)
BALM: Hidden in the clue and a nice extended definition
26d Where those in service eat dog’s dinner
MESS: Double definition.
My winners are 11&28a plus 13&15d. Many thanks to NYD.