Toughie No 2955 by proXimal
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment ****
I started this at the speed of an arthritic snail but very gradually speeded up and ended in a rush. Thanks to proXimal for the enjoyable challenge.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Return when not in place (6)
OUTPUT: the opposite of ‘in’ and a verb to place.
4a Sea creatures get around everything aboard ship (8)
SCALLOPS: a slang verb to get or obtain containing a synonym of everything goes inside our usual abbreviated ship.
9a Biscuit container sealed with clip (6)
PARKIN: a chest or coffer (one used to hold the Torah scrolls in a synagogue) is contained in a verb to pin or fasten.
10a One boasts retro attire with good design (8)
BRAGGART: assemble the reverse of attire or clothing, the abbreviation for good and design or drawing.
12a Disease travelled by water quietly, always retaining force (5,5)
SWAMP FEVER: a verb meaning propelled oneself through water is followed by the musical abbreviation for quietly and a synonym for always with the physics abbreviation for force inserted.
13a Small split in your trousers (4)
14a Win with this shot would make cheerless result (3)
TRY: if you place this shot or attempt after ‘win’ you end up with an adjective meaning cheerless or chilly.
15a They provide closure from ties involving street gang (11)
DRAWSTRINGS: ties or matches in a cup competition, say, contain the abbreviation for street and a gang or syndicate.
18a Plants move slowly in pictures from camera (11)
SNAPDRAGONS: a phrasal verb (4,2) to move slowly goes inside an abbreviated word for photographs.
20a Rabbit that may be sweet (3)
BUN: double definition, the first a child’s word for a rabbit.
21a Hard to escape, bad luck is unchanged (4)
SAME: an informal term for a bit of bad luck loses the pencil abbreviation for hard.
22a Pocket set ordered with neat rulers (10)
POTENTATES: a verb to pocket a ball is followed by an anagram (ordered) of SET NEAT.
24a Performed stop before entering road (8)
RENDERED: a verb to stop and a poetic word meaning before go inside the abbreviation for road.
25a Alternative view after exchanging home for short time (6)
OPTION: start with a view or stance and replace the adverb meaning ‘at home’ with the abbreviation for time.
26a Tea bags with name never used before (5-3)
BRAND-NEW: an informal word for a cup of tea contains a conjunction meaning with and the abbreviation for name.
27a Totally unprotected hazy forest region of Portugal (6)
AZORES: remove the outer letters (totally unprotected) of two words in the clue.
1d They attract work, models possessing je ne sais quoi (9)
OPPOSITES: our usual abbreviated artistic work and a verb meaning models containing a short word for something difficult to describe.
2d Like fine lines of article almost prepared (7)
THREADY: almost all of our definite article and an adverb meaning prepared.
3d Nil desperandum in conflict releasing terrible snarl without restraint (9)
UNIMPEDED: this is a subtractive anagram – remove the jumbled (terrible) letters of SNARL form NIL DESPERANDUM and make an anagram (in conflict) of what you have left over.
5d Don’t let gems go — they are of great importance (12)
CORNERSTONES: split the answer 6,6 to get a phrase meaning to keep control of gems.
6d Here it is, exit sign (4)
LOGO: an old exclamation meaning ‘here it is!’ or ‘behold!’ and a verb to exit.
7d Novelty bar in north gets show of approval (7)
OVATION: start with a word for a novelty or something new and remove (bar) IN and the abbreviation for north.
8d Fare from Asia heading for touristy area in express (5)
SATAY: insert the first letters of touristy area into a verb to express.
11d Nutrient from tea tree hybridised with bacon (12)
BETACAROTENE: an anagram (hybridised) of TEA TREE BACON.
16d Got up to pass quickly over rock (4,5)
ROSE TOPAZ: string together a verb meaning ‘got up’, TO and the reversal of a verb to pass quickly.
17d Function with awards entertaining small social gatherings (9)
SINGSONGS: start with an abbreviated mathematical function and add a word for awards or medals containing the clothing abbreviation for small.
19d First person among fliers dropped over a country (7)
ARMENIA: start with a word for male fliers and move the first person pronoun to the bottom. Now add A.
20d Cut section of wedding cake and more disconnected (7)
BITTIER: stick together a word for a cut or portion (of meat, perhaps) and a layer of a traditional wedding cake.
21d Cancel boat to collect the King (5)
SCRUB: the abbreviation for a type of boat contains the regnal cipher of our new King.
23d Arch nemesis’ leader engaged in plot (4)
BEND: insert the first letter of nemesis into a garden plot.
I liked 13a, 14a, 1d, 6d and 7d. Which ones cut the mustard for you?