Toughie 2981 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by StephenL
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hello all from South Devon, hope everyone had a good Christmas.
Donnybrook, a regular in the Tuesday Toughie spot it seems, gets the ball rolling this week. You always know you’re going to get a stiff challenge and a quirky fun puzzle from this setter and today proved no exception.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
8a This precedes foxtrot in the choreography (4)
ECHO: Hidden in the clue.
9a Gloriana returned in high dudgeon? (3)
IRE: Gloriana was the name given to Queen Elizabeth 1 in a 16th century poem by Edmund Spenser. We need to reverse her royal cipher.
10a Insect on the ground circles rook (6)
HORNET: Anagram (ground) of ON THE around the abbreviation for Rook.
11a Eggs laid together in strapless bag (6)
CLUTCH: Double definition.
12a Joke after time beset by extra financial burden (8)
MORTGAGE: Insert (beset by) the abbreviation for Time plus a joke or wisecrack into a synonym of extra.
13a Cash Kremlin made sent out for revolutionary tools? (6,3,6)
HAMMER AND SICKLE: Anagram (sent out) of the preceding three words. Well done setter for getting such relevant fodder.
15a Obstructive admin on record that’s involved Democrat (3,4)
RED TAPE: A 2-letter preposition meaning on and a record or video into which is inserted the abbreviation for Democrat
17a Single-handedly cutting through nonsense? (7)
BALONEY: A synonym of single-handedly or by oneself sits inside a 2-letter preposition meaning through
20a Drummer‘s daughter given kiss when naive suitor’s around? (5,10)
GREEN WOODPECKER: Start with the colour that’s associated with naive, (that’s the first word sorted) then insert the abbreviation for Daughter followed by a short kiss into a romantic suitor. The drummer of course refers to the birds actions on the bark of a tree. What a beauty!
23a Check on couple in charmed circle? (8)
BRACELET: A couple or pair is followed by a synonym of check in the sense of impediment or constraint. Think tennis.
25a The Parker-Bowles connection? (6)
HYPHEN: Took me an embarrassingly long time to see this but it’s hiding in plain sight between or connecting the two words of the clue.
26a With word from Baudelaire this writer has purpose (6)
MOTIVE: The French (from Baudelaire) for “word” followed by the first person abbreviated form of “this setter has”.
27a In sound flood rescue vessel reveals bow (3)
ARC: “In sound,” here has nothing to do with a body body of water but is a homophone indicator of a biblical “rescue vessel”.
28a First sign of horse and trap reversing is imminent (4)
NIGH: The initial letter of Horse and an animal trap are reversed
1d Six-headed creature colleague Lewis picked up? (6)
SCYLLA: A reversal as indicated by “picked up” (my initial thought was homophone) of a colleague or partner and the first two initials of the author CS Lewis.
2d Firm conservationists accepting casual worker’s ridicule (8)
CONTEMPT: Start with our usual abbreviated firm or company then insert an informal word for a causal worker into the abbreviation for National Trust.
3d My job’s on the line — it’s over explosive Telegraph work (9,6)
TIGHTROPE WALKER: A reversal of IT plus an anagram (explosive) of TELEGRAPH WORK. Brilliant clue.
4d Would you say mink gave rise to furore? (7)
FERMENT: We need two homophones here (would you say). One of the coat of a mink, the other of a synonym of gave rise to or resulted in.
5d Low on wine, cruel son coming in for unpleasant punishment (5,5,5)
SHORT SHARP SHOCK: Start with a word meaning low on, not enough, and follow it with a German white wine. Insert betwixt the two a synonym of cruel and the abbreviation for Son.
6d Smoke rising beneath apartment’s base: it’s disastrous (6)
TRAGIC: A “smoke” much favoured by Churchill for example is reversed and sits below the final letter or base of apartment.
7d Live game’s beginning: runs written in for scorer? (4)
BERG: The “scorer” here is a musical reference, need I say more. Insert the abbreviation for Runs into a synonym of live and the initial letter of Game
14d Elaine occasionally in position on course (3)
LIE: One for the golfers. Alternate letters of eLaInE.
16d Lead-free transport gets attention (3)
EAR: The lead-free here isn’t a reference to the metal as Donny would like you to think but the initial or leading letter of a synonym of transport in the sense of carry or convey.
18d Resident in Acton dressed to receive grail? (8)
OCCUPANT: Anagram (dressed) of ACTON into which is inserted a biblical cup or platter.
19d Robber never up in bottom flat? (7)
FOOTPAD: This highwayman is obtained by a charade of bottom or base and a bit of a dated word for a flat or apartment. The “never up” is a reference to him not using a horse for his nefarious practice. Great clue.
21d Suggestion upset top mathematician (6)
EUCLID: Reverse a suggestion, signal or prompt and follow it with a top or covering.
22d Issue for example with repair team in service lifts (6)
EMERGE: The usual “for example” and the abbreviation for Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers are reversed. (lifts in a down clue).
24d Batter and crumble that covers over (4)
ROOT: The batter here is (traditionalists look away) someone who you may see at Lords or The Oval. A synonym of crumble or erode goes around the abbreviation for Over. Nice how the setter has some cricket terms in the wordplay. Ending on a high note
Great stuff Donny, my winners are 20a plus 3&19d. Which ones appealed to you?