Toughie No 2893 by Dada
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone from a bright and pleasantly warm South Devon.
Dada kicks off the Toughie week with a fun and witty puzzle that was definitely a case of quality over quantity. I enjoyed it a lot.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
6a Arrange lecture about conclusion of murder case (11)
ORCHESTRATE: A synonym of lecture or speak goes around the final letter of murder and a type of box or case.
9a US ready to admit presidential laughter initially hollow (6)
DIMPLE: The ready here is money or currency. Place it around the initial letters of Presidential and Laughter
10a Chutzpah and wit in queen, for example? (4,4)
FACE CARD: A synonym of chutzpah, nerve or impudence (could be another body part in the same area) and a wit as a noun
11a I see what you’re thinking! (4-6)
MIND READER: A cryptic definition, someone who can visualise the thoughts of others.
14a Row, some quarrel in essence (4)
LINE: Hidden in the clue (some)
15a Usual place secured by old player, shortly (3,8)
BOG STANDARD: The player here is an actor. Place him around a synonym of place as a verb. Now remove the final letter of his name. As a non film buff I amazed myself by clocking the parsing!
21a Film not watched, heard? (4)
MIST: A homophone (heard) of a word that could mean “not watched” or failed to see.
22a Plot criminal act of a criminal? (10)
CONSPIRACY: Start with the usual abbreviation for a criminal. Add the possessive S and a criminal act at sea.
25a Contract worker cursing company at first? (8)
COVENANT: The “cursing company” refers to a group of witches. Append one of our usual working insects.
27a Worthless muck in head (2,4)
NO GOOD: A sticky or slimy substance goes inside a synonym of head (a football maybe) as a verb.
28a In front of tots, dog pants (5,6)
BOXER SHORTS: Some tots in the alcoholic sense are preceded by a (rather nice) breed of dog.
1d Stand in effect taken up after fall (6)
TRIPOD: A 2-letter word that could mean in effect or act is reversed and tacked onto a fall or stumble
2d What’s said to make people smile in Lancashire, maybe (6)
CHEESE: What a photographer might instruct his subjects to say. Lancashire is a type of said word.
3d A riddle lacking conclusion — I doubt that! (2,2)
AS IF: A from the clue and a synonym of riddle in the sense of strain which loses its last letter.
4d Pile of straw blocks raised a shade (5,3)
BRICK RED: A pile of straw goes inside (blocks) a synonym of raised in the sense of nurtured.
5d Perfectionist provided ultimately faultless puzzle (8)
STICKLER: An informal word for a puzzle, a difficult or delicate problem follows the final letter of faultless.
7d Falsify documentation for firm (5)
RIGID: A synonym of falsify or doctor plus the abbreviation for some personal papers.
8d Turn eccentric (5)
CRANK: Two meanings, one a verb the other a noun. I could think of many illustrations for the latter but discretion rules!
12d Daily banter (3)
RAG: Another double definition, one a down-market daily, the other in the sense of make fun of.
13d Channel God in Babel (5)
DRAIN: A 2-letter Egyptian god goes inside a synonym of a babel or noise.
16d Turn to honed instrument in the end, sharp (2,3,3)
ON THE DOT: Anagram (turn) of the following two words plus final letter of instrument.
17d Philosopher needs help to carry box (8)
SOCRATES: A three letter signal of distress contains (to carry) a type of box.
18d Old pugilist taking out leader of country (3)
ALI: Remove the initial letter of an African country (not my original island!) to give crosswordland’s favourite pugilist.
19d Bumper books for dogmatist (5)
BIGOT: A synonym of bumper in the sense of large or plenty plus some biblical books.
20d Dig up new story (5)
SCOOP: Double definition, one a verb the other a noun often associated with one of the meanings of 12d.
23d US university cricket side flag (6)
PENNON: Start with the abbreviation for an Ivy League US university and add a cricket side.
24d Resort barely okay (6)
RIGHTON: Remove the outside letters (barely) of an East Sussex coastal resort to give an informal word for okay.
26d Throw in the direction of ship (4)
TOSS: Split the solution 2-2 and the wordplay will become apparent.
In a strong field my winners are 15&25a plus 3d. Which clues did you like?