Toughie No 3161 by Robyn
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
StephenL is otherwise engaged today so he and I have done a swap which gives me the opportunity to blog a puzzle by one of my favourite setters. SL will be here on Thursday when he’ll have the pleasure of blogging a Silvanus puzzle – we’re in for a good Toughie week!
Thanks to Robyn for the entertainment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Maybe Annie Hall’s content to follow Mike round America (7)
MUSICAL: the inner letters of hall follow another short word for a mike containing a 2-letter abbreviation for America.
5a Perhaps one of The Beatles caught in pickle, right? (7)
SCOUSER: insert the cricket abbreviation for caught in a verb to pickle and finish with the abbreviation for right.
9a African runner runs, say, with hip twisted round (5)
NIGER: assemble the cricket abbreviation for runs, the abbreviation meaning ‘say’ and an adjective meaning hip or trendy then reverse the lot.
10a Choreographed lap dances showing artistic vision? (9)
LANDSCAPE: an anagram (choreographed) of LAP DANCES.
11a Was a historian shown in very bad light? (10)
CHRONICLED: an adjective meaning very bad (in relation to a disease) and the abbreviation for a type of energy-saving light.
12a Advanced fast (4)
LENT: double definition – the first a verb, the second a noun.
14a Is each rickety pine frame for usable furniture? (6-6)
CHAISE-LONGUE: an anagram (rickety) of IS EACH followed by a verb to pine and the framing letters of usable.
18a Information about tender old judge pocketing cash (8,4)
EXCHANGE RATE: a prefix meaning old and a verb to judge contain a synonym of cash.
21a Concerned with dinner-set getting scratched now and then (2,2)
IN RE: a legal term, from Latin, meaning ‘with regard to’ appears after scratching out the odd letters of dinner-set.
22a Coming before soldier, say, meeting people online? (10)
ANTEDATING: our usual soldier insect followed by a word (1-6) for meeting people online for romantic (or possibly more lusty) reasons.
25a Supervisor of timeless book’s opening section (9)
CHAPERONE: start with the opening section of a book (7,3) and remove the physics abbreviation for time.
26a Air funny panel show in Arabic (5)
IRAQI: an anagram (funny) of AIR followed by a panel show originally chaired by Stephen Fry.
27a Laments from cricket side I see playing outside (7)
ELEGIES: one of the sides of a cricket pitch with an anagram (playing) of I SEE outside it.
28a Pair of characters taunt husband admitting blame (7)
DIGRAPH: a taunt or snide remark and the genealogical abbreviation for husband contain a verb to blame or rebuke.
1d Champ punched by this person in European city (6)
MUNICH: a verb to champ or chew has a subjective pronoun (this person) inserted.
2d We’re told why Italian sauce’s flipping sweet (6)
SUGARY: string together what sounds like ‘why’ and an Italian meat-based sauce with its ‘S and flip it all upside-down.
3d My home area, surrounded by fine architectural style (10)
CORINTHIAN: an exclamation of surprise (my!), an adverb meaning at home and the abbreviation for area contained inside an adjective meaning fine or slim.
4d Fantastic Camilla leaves American in the shade (5)
LILAC: an anagram (fantastic) of CamILLA after removing the abbreviation for American.
5d Bard‘s Cassandra, around where surfers are? (9)
SONNETEER: Cassandra (named after the character in Greek mythology) means someone who has the gift of prophecy. We need another word for such a person containing a phrase describing where surfers (of the sedentary rather than sporting kind) are to be found (2,3).
6d Missing in old Belarussian city, or Russian one (4)
OMSK: the abbreviation for old and the capital city of Belarus without IN.
7d Herb dresses starter of pasta — great time for rocket! (5,3)
SPACE AGE: a culinary herb contains the starting letter of pasta and an adjective meaning great or first-rate.
8d Scientist from new generation wanting AI (8)
ROENTGEN: the surname of the German scientist who discovered X-rays comes from an anagram (new) of GENERaTiON after removing AI.
13d Stole drawing? It’s an Oxbridge tradition (4,6)
BOAT RACING: a type of stole and a synonym of drawing or outlining.
15d Clever during class about binary digits (9)
INGENIOUS: a preposition meaning during and a biological class containing what look like the two digits used in binary numbers.
16d Undistinguished compiler visiting Bordeaux and Rome on vacation (8)
MEDIOCRE: the subject pronoun used by the compiler goes inside a red wine from the Bordeaux region. Append the outer letters of Rome.
17d Gangster in panic receiving detailed information (8)
SCARFACE: a synonym of panic contains a piece of information without its last letter to make the nickname of Al Capone.
19d Insect spies circling dog (6)
CICADA: the US spying agency contains a dog or rotter.
20d Monstrous mistake when defending PM, nearly (6)
OGRISH: the abbreviation for a serious mistake made by a footballer when defending is followed by the forename of our current PM without the last letter.
23d Polish tough guys in EastEnders put on diamonds (5)
EMEND: give a word for tough guys (2-3) the Eastenders treatment and add the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds.
24d Luke, say, and Diana following yours truly in Paris (4)
JEDI: a French pronoun meaning ‘yours truly’ and the diminutive form of Diana make what Luke Whatsisname became in the never-ending film franchise.
There are lots of great clues here. I particularly liked 1a, 11a, 18a, 22a, 6d and 20d. Which one(s) did the business for you?