Toughie No 2913 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 Toughie week with a rather Double Definition heavy puzzle. As ever with this setter lots to enjoy however.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Sweet drink chasing first of bitters, say (12)
BUTTERSCOTCH: An alcoholic drink “chases” the initial letter of Butter and a synonym of say.
9a Terribly regal, I gathered, monarch’s ultimate Elizabethan gentleman (7)
RALEIGH: Anagram (terribly) of REGAL I plus the final letter of monarcH
10a Strain is breaking musical group that’s laid back (7)
TENSION: Is from the clue “breaks” a nine-piece musical group and the whole thing is reversed (laid back)
11a Cut beef, by the sound of it? (4)
MOWN: A homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of beef in the sense of complain. I wish I could say this was my lawn but alas it isn’t!
12a Reportedly flash gift (5)
FLAIR: Another homophone (reportedly) of a synonym of flash as a noun giving a gift in the sense of talent.
13a Outer layer broke, almost entirely (4)
SKIN: Remove the final letter of an informal word for broke or penniless.
16a Tired and exhausted, descend quickly (3-4)
RUN DOWN: Double definition
17a In attendance, corrupt potential killer (7)
GAROTTE: Place a synonym of corrupt as a verb inside an attendance at a football match say or large event.
18a Wonderful man sitting at God’s right hand (7)
CORKING: Append (at RHS) a chess piece (man) to a synonym of God as an exclamation.
21a Iris or Lily for example dropped brick? (7)
BLOOMER: Something of which an iris or a lily is an example is also a description of a dropped brick or error.
23a Some territorials, travelling westward, retreat (4)
LAIR: Hidden (some) and reversed (travelling westward) in the clue
24a Load of fun, dammit! (5)
BLAST: Double definition, one a noun the other an exclamation.
25a Activate mind-blowing experience (4)
TRIP: Another double definition, one a verb the other a drug induced experience.
28a Identical class of undergraduates? (7)
UNIFORM: If you split the solution 3-4 you’ll see the wordplay
29a Picture — take it (7)
IMAGINE: Double definition, the first obvious, the second in the sense of suppose or assume.
30a “Chic” dresses half limp — this adds shine (6,6)
FRENCH POLISH: Place a whimsical description of the word chic (based upon its etymology) around (dresses) half of the word LImp.
1d Plain landslide, perhaps, for PM (7)
BALDWIN: A synonym of plain in the sense of bare and a landslide in the sense of a triumph.
2d Suddenly see shoot (4)
TWIG: Double definition, one a verb, the other a noun.
3d Rank: one he and discontented colonel reviewed (7)
ECHELON: Anagram (reviewed) of ONE HE plus the outside letters of ColoneL
4d Session: pain hosting it (7)
SITTING: Place a synonym of pain in the sense of smarting around (hosting) “it” from the clue.
5d Ordinary thing to come from a pen.? (4)
OINK: The abbreviation for Ordinary and what flows from a pen as a writing implement gives the noise that may emanate from a different type of pen.
6d High-jumper in sport? (7)
CRICKET: This sport (think willow and leather) is also the name of a “leaping insect”
7d Proper curry, aloo cooked — yellow perhaps? (7,6)
PRIMARY COLOUR: A synonym of proper is followed by an anagram (cooked) of the preceding two words
8d Running repairs put in and returned (13)
UNINTERRUPTED: Anagram (repairs) of PUT IN and RETURNED
14d Subject on the menu, briefly? (5)
TOPIC: Split the solution 2-3 and you’ll see the reference to “on the menu briefly”, the briefly indicating the last letter has been removed.
15d Tolerate channel (5)
BROOK: Double definition, one a verb the other a noun.
19d American mountain, one covered by black cloud? (7)
RAINIER: Insert the letter representing one into a whimsical description of a black cloud based on what falls from it.
20d Tramp feeding gobbet to upset crone (7)
GALUMPH: A gobbet or a chunk goes inside a reversal of a rather unpleasant word for an unpleasant woman.
21d Far Eastern symbol of loyalty, promise of marriage to US president? (7)
BUSHIDO: Two words uttered by the bride and groom follow a US Republican president, take your pick whether it’s the senior or junior.
22d Very tasty, as Othello in speech? (7)
MOREISH: A homophone of the description given by Christians to the inhabitants of Maghreb, one of whom was Othello.
26d Astronomical body in second lit up (4)
MOON: A 2-letter abbreviation for a second followed by a synonym of lit up as a lamp might be. I took this picture a couple of weeks ago.
27d Queen Cleopatra, nightly, bathes (4)
RANI: Hidden in the clue as indicated by the word “bathes” .
Taking the honours today was 5d. Which ones did you like?