Toughie No 2997 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone from another crisp but beautifully sunny day here on the South Devon coast.
Donnybrook, a regular in the Tuesday spot, opens the batting for The Toughie setters this week with a puzzle full of very inventive clueing with a fair bit of GK that had me working hard on a couple of parsings. All good fun though as we’ve come to expect from this setter
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Lock spring breaks to give uninvited access (8)
TRESPASS: Insert (breaks) a mineral spring into a lock of hair.
9a View country houses over river (8)
PANORAMA: A South American country goes around the abbreviations for Over and River, “houses” being the containment indicator
10a Character facing Mio in story about boy created by Lindgren (4)
EMIL: We need to insert the initial letter (character facing) of Mio into a reversal (about) of a crosswordland staple story.
11 See 24 Down
13a Merry old soul’s order for vegetable salad? (8)
COLESLAW: Piece together the “Merry old King” from the rhyme, the possessive S and a legal order. I actually love this stuff.
15a Tea brewed, Satan’s daughter enjoys home cooking (4,2)
EATS IN: An anagram (brewed) of TEA plus the daughter of Satan in legend
16a Huntsman John, soft and slippery character (4)
PEEL: Start with the musical instruction to play quietly or softly, and add crosswordland’s favourite marine slippery character giving an old huntsman in the North of England. I only knew him as a DJ!
17a Haughty writer Marcel died, refusing stone (5)
PROUD: The surname of the French essayist to whom the clue refers has the abbreviation for STone removed and replaced by that of Died
18a Polish golfer’s lead vanished in defeat (4)
LOSS: Remove the initial or “lead” letter of Golfer from a synonym of polish or shine.
20a Data revealed word (6)
OUTPUT: Piece together a synonym of revealed as in “not hidden” and a synonym of word as in “how can I *** this diplomatically”.
21a Electoral system is blocking true revenge (8)
REPRISAL: The abbreviation for a type of electoral system (proportional representation) plus IS from the clue go inside or “block” a synonym of true or authentic
23a Anaemic kitten, poorly, needs iron: this might add colour? (7,5)
PALETTE KNIFE: A charade of a synonym of anaemic, an anagram (poorly) of KITTEN and the chemical symbol of Iron. Apparently this was created using the solution.
26a Extinct language only Army and RAF used? (4)
NORN: If you split the solution 2,2 it could mean only the “Army and RAF”, referring to the absence of the “other” service.
27a 100 and too old for insurance protection (8)
COVERAGE: The Roman numeral for 100 and and an adjective meaning too old or old enough
28a Design surrounding emblem is oddly vulgar (8)
PLEBEIAN: Place a 4-letter design around the alternate or odd letters of EmBlEm Is
2d Stresses good news about lost sheep? (4,4)
RAMS HOME: The solution could whimsically mean some male sheep have returned to the fold. Lol
3d Peril, as close, dreadful portent in sky? (5,7)
SOLAR ECLIPSE: Anagram (dreadful) of the preceding three words
4d Like Jack Dawkins, Rex admitted to terrible fault (6)
ARTFUL: Insert (admitted) the abbreviation for Rex into an anagram (terrible) of FAULT
5d Beat off Leonidas? There’s metal pole (4)
SPAR: Remove a synonym of beat in the sense of thrash from someone of which Leonadis was an example.
6d In Row D? (3-2-3)
END TO END: Easier to solve than hint. If we apply the first two words of the solution to the third word it gives the letter D.
7d In pain, optimist in Candide should ignore 18 (4)
PANG: Another literary reference. We need to remove the solution for 18a from the name of the Professor in the novel by Voltaire
8d Super Ted owns properties second husband must leave (8)
HASTINGS: The “Super Ted” here is the superintendent in the TV series “Line of Duty”. If we split the solution 3,5 it could mean “owns properties” (or anything else) before the removal of the second occurrence of the abbreviation for Husband. Overseas solvers may struggle with this one (or those who don’t watch much TV….eg your blogger)
12d Might you say I wait in line for a measure of this? (12)
INTELLIGENCE: An abbreviatied measurement of the solution is a first person pronoun and a homophone of a synonym of a line of people waiting.
14d One coming to court with reaction to innuendo? (5)
WOOER: The court here is in a romantic sense. Piece together the abbreviation for With and an exclamation expressing surprise.. For those old enough think Kenneth Williams or Frankie Howard, I can’t remember which (or both maybe!) Lol and worth the admission fee alone.
16d Promising player spoils sport around gym clubs (8)
PROSPECT: Place an anagram (spoils) of SPORT around the abbreviation for some Physical Exercise followed by that of Clubs
17d Fit metal tip that’s shaped (5,3)
PETIT MAL: Anagram (that’s shaped) of the preceding two words. The translated solution literally means “small illness”
19d Fruit on branch put into it makes meal (8)
SHAWARMA: This Middle Eastern dish is obtained by an insertion of a red fruit, plus (on in a Down clue) a synonym of a branch or division into an an abbreviated ‘it” in the sense of physical attraction (Sex Appeal)
22d Harry and Meghan finally splitting cost? (6)
PRINCE: Insert the final letter of MeghaN into a synonym of cost, giving a definition by example. Royalists will be happy for the absence of an illustration!
24d & 11a Emotional experience of duck visiting principal tourist attraction? (4,2,5,5)
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: A synonym of duck in the sense of “zero” plus a preposition which could mean visiting, a synonym of principal and a general word for a tourist attraction.
25d Stay fresh in castle tower (4)
KEEP: Double definition.
Good stuff NYD. My winners are 2,6,14&19d Which ones made your sun shine?