Toughie No 2933 by Dada
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone from South Devon.
It’s always nice to see Dada’s name atop a puzzle. I don’t know whether being tired affected my solve but I found this a tad tricky but as ever with this setter a lot of fun. Insertions seemed to be the order of the day!
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Present president, bovine (8)
HEREFORD: A synonym of present plus a forgettable 1970’s American President, the only one never to have been elected to that office or the office of Vice President
5a Partial attempt to acquire answer, only odd letters checked (6)
BIASED: Place a synonym of attempt or try around (to acquire) the odd letters of AnSwEr.
9a Around Beds town, image of igneous rock (8)
PLUTONIC: An informal synonym of an image or photo goes around the largest town in Bedfordshire
10a Solver filling spaces with misspellings, originally (6)
HOLMES: Dada is not thinking of you and I here. Insert the initial letter of Misspellings into some spaces or voids to give a fictional sleuth or “solver”. Great clue.
12a Working with series that’s in production (6)
ONLINE: An adverb meaning working and a synonym of series in the sense of a row.
13a For example, one deep colour (8)
CARDINAL: Double definition, one a number, one a colour. The punctuation within the clue is there to mislead.
15a Retrieve number from Fab Four (3,4)
GET BACK: This synonym of retrieve is also a well known song from the original and authentic “Fab four” (not to be confused with the “royal imposters” sometimes described as such)
16a PM in hole, did you say? (4)
PITT: A homophone (did you say) of a synonym of hole or mine.
20a Green leaf I angled back, somewhat (4)
NAIF: Hidden and reversed (back somewhat) in the clue.
21a Dish is found in cave, unopened (7)
RISOTTO: Insert IS from the clue into a type of cave which has had its first letter removed
25a Hot food, cooler serving? (8)
PORRIDGE: The cooler here refers to a prison and the serving is the time spent within it. A real smiler.
26a House brightly painted? (6)
ORANGE: A mildly cryptic definition of a European Royal House.
28a Squeeze, see, in a big way (6)
HUGELY: A synonym of squeeze or embrace plus one of our usual “see cities” or diocese.
29a Work on hands I covered primarily in muck (8)
MANICURE: Insert I from the clue and the initial letter of Covered into some equine muck.
30a Strong tissue — significant amount bandaging foot (6)
TENDON: Place a heavy weight (significant amount) around (bandaging) a synonym of foot in a positional sense.
31a Piece in newspaper featuring workers on newspaper (8)
FRAGMENT: Another insertion, this time a derogatory word for a low-class newspaper and some workers go inside the abbreviation for another newspaper, it’s pink in its dead tree form.
1d Powerfully rhythmic music in dance (3-3)
HIP HOP: A synonym of in in the sense of popular or fashionable and a three-letter synonym of dance. The solution itself is also a style of dance so interpret it as you will.
2d Russian ready to skim surface of deep water (6)
ROUBLE:. Ready here is not an adjective but a noun that seems to have come up a lot lately. It’s obtained by removing the initial letter (skim surface) of a synonym of deep water in the sense of bother.
3d Swimmer hit a bad patch (8)
FLOUNDER: Two meanings, one a noun, the other a verb.
4d Wreck: one consumed by bomb (4)
RUIN: Place the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one inside a synonym of bomb in the sense of go fast or hurry.
6d Operatic figure seen in Verdi’s old Ernani (6)
ISOLDE: Thank goodness this was a lurker (seen in)
7d Concerned with meaning of piece in quotes, written up (8)
SEMANTIC: Another insertion, this time a (chess) piece in a reversal (written up) of a synonym of quotes as a verb.
8d Miss held up by partner, abandoned (8)
DESOLATE: A reversal (held up) of a synonym of miss goes inside a romantic partner.
11d Mammal possibly needing a lift up to catch wings of cuckoo (7)
RACOON: Insert the tips of CuckoO into the reversal (2-3) of a term which could mean needing a lift. This did make me laugh. Incidentally if we precede the solution with “Rocky” we have another (not very good) song by the Fab Four.
14d Cut, a bit of a fiddle (7)
ABRIDGE: A from the clue and a component part of a fiddle or violin.
17d Picture game in pieces (8)
SNAPSHOT: A card game is followed by a synonym of “in pieces” or destroyed.
18d Gas ring on with heat evenly spread (8)
NITROGEN: Anagram (spread) of RING ON plus the even letters of hEaT.
19d Number one fish for bird (8)
STARLING: A word that could mean number one or top of the bill plus one of crosswordland’s most popular fish.
22d Suffering in boy unfortunately very much like it? (5-1)
BILLY-O Place a synonym of suffering in an anagram (unfortunately) of BOY to give a kind of extended definition, the boy being the first part of the solution.
23d Fill pack currently occupied with minimum of food (6)
INFUSE: Insert (pack) the letter F (minimum of food) into a two-word term meaning occupied.
24d Two or three points, most original (6)
NEWEST: If we split the solution 2-4 we have two points (of a compass), split it 1-1-4 we have three points
27d Batting disaster cut in broadcast? (4)
PAIR: A nice easy homophone (in broadcast) of a synonym of cut giving a cricket term no batsman would like to acquire.
My winners were 10&25a plus 11d. Which were yours?