Toughie No 3141 by Dada
Hints and Tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ***/****
Hello everyone from a blue skies South Devon coast
Dada kicks off the week on this side of the house with a fun and friendly puzzle. Apart from being briefly held up in the South East this flowed very nicely for me.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought
1a Affordable cuisine, anything but escargots? (4,4)
FAST FOOD: Cryptic definition based upon the slow pace of an escargot. I’m not really sure the definition and solution here are the same thing.
5a Old boy in schmuck of little worth to Americans (3-3)
TWO-BIT: An insertion of the abbreviation for Old Boy into a synonym of schmuck or clown (or similar uncomplimentary descriptions). The term is American is origin as the setter has indicated but is widely known here
9a Toast in dishes cut twice (4-4)
CHIN-CHIN: Remove the final letter from something a dish could be made from twice over.
10a Not just with brown or red hair, it seems? (6)
UNFAIR: Cryptic definition based on neither brown nor red hair being of a light colour.
12a Fancy trousers say, something handed down (6)
LEGACY: A synonym of fancy in the sense of patterned or ornate (particularly of material) is placed around (trousers) the abbreviated “for example”.
13a Snobs are out for member of the nobility (8)
BARONESS: Anagram (out) of the preceding two words.
15a Insect has noxious innards, to be honest (7)
FRANKLY: An insertion of a synonym of noxious or smelly into an annoying insect.
16a Number eight unexceptional, to some extent (4)
TUNE: Hidden (to some extent). Here’s another example of the genius of Damon Albarn, this time in his Gorillaz guise. I love this.
20a Destruction, one having broken ladder (4)
RUIN: An insertion (having broken) of the letter representing one into something of which a ladder could be.
21a Copper coated in bright metal (7)
MERCURY: Another insertion (coated in), this time of the chemical symbol of copper into a synonym of bright or jovial.
25a When swimming, notices a person on the water (8)
CANOEIST: A nicely concealed anagram (when swimming) of the following two words.
26a Attack from above, faster when flying (6)
STRAFE: Another anagram, with an indicator (when flying) similar to the one above. The fodder is FASTER.
28a Improve vehicle (4-2)
PICK-UP: Double definition
29a Spirit contains coloured liquidation, I suppose (8)
METHINKS: Place an abbreviated spirit or solvent around a coloured liquid used for writing or printing. My last one in.
30a Almost unrivalled ancient city (6)
THEBES: Split 3,3 we have a phrase that means unrivalled without (almost) its last letter.
31a Grandfather clock? (3-5)
OLD TIMER: Double/Cryptic definition based upon the supposedly advanced years of a grandfather.
1d Too easy, finding account in dossier (6)
FACILE: Place the abbreviation for account inside a dossier or casebook.
2d Mean – as are nettles? (6)
STINGY: Double definition, one informal.
3d Confront character in king, say (4,4)
FACE CARD: A synonym of confront or stand opposite plus one of a character typically comical or eccentric. Say indicates a definition by example.
4d God up in heaven, I’d observed (4)
ODIN: Hidden and reversed as indicated by up in.
6d Shameless desire, performing (6)
WANTON: A synonym of desire as a verb plus an adverb meaning performing or in operation.
7d Battered book finished off (6,2)
BEATEN UP: The single-letter abbreviation for Book and a phrase meaning finished off when applied to a meal.
8d After little time, butcher has herd slaughtered (8)
THRASHED: The abbreviation for or first letter of Time plus an anagram (butcher) of HAS HERD. Not the most pleasant surface read.
11d Wizard device guaranteeing security in conflict? (7)
WARLOCK: If we split the solution 3,4 we have whimsically a description of the surface read after the definition.
14d Strong in future, say (7)
INTENSE: In from the clue and something of which future is an example grammatically.
16d Ludicrous joke on corporation (8)
CRACKPOT: A joke or gag plus a synonym of corporation or tummy. Lol, probably my favourite.
18d Top nail clean off (8)
PINNACLE: A synonym of nail as a verb or a noun and an anagram (off) of CLEAN
19d Note, use of needles has inspired tattooists, primarily (8)
CROTCHET: Insert the initial letter of Tattooist into a rather gentile craft that uses needles
22d Flood takes transport into river (6)
DELUGE: A crosswordland favourite river is placed around (takes) a synonym of transport or carry as a verb.
23d Vessel in which mother keeps a gun, unloaded (6)
MAGNUM: An abbreviated mother around (keeps) A from the clue and the outer letters of GuN (unloaded). Very smart.
24d Stunning device packed with energy in puzzle (6)
TEASER: Place a gun designed to stun rather than kill around the abbreviation for Energy
27d Rock ‘n’ roll (4)
REEL: A very good double definition, one a verb, the other usually a noun.
Thanks Dada. My winners 29a plus 16&23d. Which ones appealed to you?