Toughie No 2995 by Silvanus
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
A very enjoyable puzzle from Silvanus who manages to compile his puzzles without the need to include obscurities. Thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Disease maybe soldier will catch? Not here (6)
ABSENT: a disease suffered by cattle is contained inside an example of a soldier in the insect world.
5a Comic mostly promoting European’s first appearance as Shakespearean prince (8)
PERICLES: start with an informal adjective meaning comic or hilarious, drop its last letter and move the first example of the abbreviation for European a few places to the left.
9a Gordon Ramsay types cooking are true stars across university (13)
RESTAURATEURS: an anagram (cooking) of ARE TRUE STARS containing an abbreviation for university.
10a How crabs will move rocks concealing fish? (8)
SIDEWAYS: a verb meaning rocks or swings contains a fish also called an orfe.
11a Waffle baking attracts publicity (3,3)
HOT AIR: charade of an adjective meaning baking or sweltering and a synonym of publicity.
12a Washington writer once Berlin barman (6)
IRVING: double definition, the surname of Washington and the forename of Berlin. Since neither is still living I wasn’t sure which to associate the ‘once’ with but since the writer lived much earlier I’ve given it to him.
14a Given present, diamonds, by bank not wholly for retirement (8)
DISPOSED: this was my last one to solve and it took a little while even with all the checkers in place. The cleverly disguised definition is ‘given’ as in ‘he is given to bouts of self-pity’. Stick together a verb to present or give rise to and the cards abbreviation for diamonds. Precede that with the reversal of a bank or border without its last letter.
16a Waiter is devastated, making big bloomer (8)
WISTERIA: an anagram (devastated) of WAITER IS.
19a Become inflexible whenever shaven-headed authoritarian is around (6)
OSSIFY: a conjunction meaning whenever goes inside an adjective meaning authoritarian without its first letter.
21a Embellishes Cockney’s basic description of former nanny? (6)
ADORNS: how a Cockney might describe a former nanny is a 3.5 phrase with the leading H stripped from both words.
23a Bishop, perhaps he’s succeeded replacing forward section of crook (8)
CHESSMAN: HE’S and the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded replace an adverb meaning forward in a crook or trickster.
25a Making individual girl’s pension complex area to access (13)
PERSONALISING: insert the abbreviation for area into an anagram (complex) of GIRL’S PENSION.
26a Pomposity from Republican in charge, introducing flipping corrupt pardon (8)
RHETORIC: abbreviations for Republican and ‘in charge’ contain the reversal of a verb to corrupt and a less polite way of saying pardon or ‘please repeat that’.
27a Heard unfamiliar song, it featured in Hair (6)
NUDITY: homophones of an adjective meaning unfamiliar or fresh and a simple song.
2d Block playwright meeting queen (7)
BARRIER: a Scottish playwright and the single-letter abbreviation for queen.
3d Ignoring the odds, Jean is sure to get result (5)
ENSUE: the even letters of three words in the clue.
4d Kid, student with a fine skill turns up for battle (9)
TRAFALGAR: assemble a verb to kid or tease, our usual abbreviated student, A, the pencil abbreviation for fine and a synonym of skill. Now reverse the lot.
5d Read country’s top journalist (7)
PERUSED: a South American country with its ‘S and our usual top journalist.
6d Heave case of claret that woman admits lifting (5)
RETCH: a feminine pronoun contains the outer letters of claret – turn it all upside down.
7d Outsource supply to be obliging (9)
COURTEOUS: an anagram (supply) of OUTSOURCE.
8d Sort of bathroom needing 3 to maintain it? (2,5)
EN SUITE: the answer to 3d containing IT.
13d Explain the meaning of painter prettifying houses (9)
INTERPRET: a hidden word.
15d EU citizen from Vienna somehow supporting Labour briefly (9)
SLOVENIAN: an anagram (somehow) of VIENNA follows a verb to labour hard without its final G.
17d Detailed what speed Dennis regularly goes over (2-5)
IN-DEPTH: regular letters from three words in the clue reversed.
18d Old-fashioned Conservative in a chair, relaxing (7)
ARCHAIC: an abbreviation for Conservative goes inside an anagram (relaxing) of A CHAIR.
20d Tension-filled fear outwardly over anything (7)
FRAUGHT: the outer letters of fear precede an old-fashioned word meaning anything.
22d Polish search (5)
SCOUR: double definition, the first a verb to polish vigorously.
24d Worked for MI5 close to colleagues, black and white? (5)
SPIED: the closing letter of colleagues and an adjective meaning having markings of two or more colours (black and white, for example).
I enjoyed 5a, 12a, 19a and 23a but my favourite clue (because it made me laugh) was 21a. Which clue(s) hit the spot for you?