Toughie No 860 by Elkamere
Ho Ho Ho!
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Today we have the usual witty and very entertaining offering from Elkamere. It’s not as tricky as some puzzles from his alter ego Anax but it’s ideal for a Wednesday and it’s very nearly, but not quite, a pangram.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and also take the time to click on one of the stars below to record your level of enjoyment.
I’ve used BD’s new method of hiding the answers today – I hope it works.
1a This place is finished ! (8,2)
} – yesterday we had a punctuation mark playing a significant part in a back page clue and today we have a different one in the Toughie. This place (fairly easy for me) is a village on the North Devon coast, named after the novel by local writer Charles Kingsley, and the exclamation mark, as in the novel, finishes off its name.
6a Crazy PM no good? (4)
} – I’m sure that we’ve had a very similar clue to this before but I can’t find it. PM in the wordplay is afternoon rather than Prime Minister and the assumption is that although the afternoon is no good, for an appointment perhaps, the morning is fine.
9a They may predict return of player in some small ways (5,5)
} – reverse (return) a player or luvvie inserted between a word for a small amount without its final D (some) and the abbreviation for (high)ways.
10a Wed after this, keeping Romeo faithful (4)
} – the abbreviation for the day that precedes Wed has the letter that Romeo represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet inserted (keeping).
12a Funny way to give the French king almost nothing (4)
} – a funny way to pronounce (give) ‘the’ is followed by the French word for king without its final letter (almost).
13a It’s acceptable to break wind, and heavenly (9)
} – LOL
. IT (from the clue) and the letter used to mean socially acceptable are inserted (to break) in a verb meaning to wind or twist.
15a Physicist developed early unlimited light (8)
} – this is an English physicist
and Nobel Prize winner. An anagram (developed) of EARLY is followed by (L)IGH(t) without the end letters (unlimited). I’m ashamed to say that I’d never heard of this man but the wordplay is fairly straightforward
16a Gradually increase weird noise, say (4,2)
} – a phrasal verb which sounds like (say) fey din.
18a Awaiting confirmation in approval for fair (3,3)
} – a three-letter abbreviation meaning awaiting confirmation goes inside a gesture of approval.
20a Spooner’s beast, plump flying fox (5,3)
} – this mammal might have been rendered by the good Reverend as brute fat.
23a ABC… D,E… I’m poorly grasped by inferior kids (9)
} – an anagram (poorly) of D E and I’M is contained (grasped) by undersized offspring.
24a Pathetic female admirer rejected (4)
} – an adjective meaning pathetic or inferior comes from reversing (rejected) F(emale) and an admirer or supporter.
26a Heads for unusual girl — extremely lively but not attractive (4)
} – the leading (heads) letters of unusual and girl are followed by the outer letters (extremely) of lively.
27a Wooden bridges worried collie — do not cross! (6,4)
} – an adjective describing something made from a specific type of wood goes round (bridges) an anagram (worried) of COLLIE. I sympathise with the collie’s owner because my black lab resolutely refuses to cross wooden bridges as well!
28a Daughter’s chest hidden (4)
} – the abbreviation for daughter is followed by a chest or coffer.
29a Plugged it in the wrong way opposing front of device (10)
} – IT gets reversed (the wrong way) inside an adjective meaning opposing or hostile, then finally we have the first letter (front) of D(evice).
1d Power unit, sorry to say (4)
} – the SI unit of power sounds like (to say) a query as to what has just been said (sorry?).
2d Spells ‘dishy’ phonetically? (7)
} – the answer sounds like (phonetically) how you might describe the sort of shallow dish you’d rest your cup on.
3d Misanthrope running after wife most cheerfully (4,4,4)
WITH OPEN ARMS
} – an anagram (running) of MISANTHROPE follows W(ife).
4d Transfer power when seizing a ship (8)
} – a word for power or rule contains (when seizing) A and the usual abbreviated ship.
5d Pilgrims enjoyed letter which starts ‘Jesus lives’? Maybe (6)
} – these are Muslims who have made the required pilgrimage to Mecca. Start with a verb meaning enjoyed or consumed, then add the starting letter of J(esus) and another word (maybe) for lives or exists.
7d Tent damage — suspect base is missing (7)
} – a verb meaning to damage followed by an adjective meaning suspect or irregular without its last letter (base, in a down clue, is missing).
8d Of modest design, in the area of caps (4-6)
} – so, not a mini then. Caps here are convex bones.
11d Forged metals, mining being out? (12)
} – an anagram (forged) of METALS MINING.
14d Win over British on home soil (5,5)
} – a two-character abbreviation for British is followed by an adverb meaning at home and a synonym for soil.
17d Virgin can, if taken by force (8)
} – a metal can is contained inside (taken by) a verb meaning to force or lever.
19d Temperature more strange around lake, little one (7)
} – T(emperature) is followed by a comparative meaning more strange containing L(ake).
21d Evidence of poor hygiene? Smell from bottom (scientists) (7)
} – the abbreviation for a personal problem which, according to the old adverts, even your best friends won’t tell you about is followed by the reversal (from bottom, in a down clue) of a verb meaning to smell or scent.
22d Waiting for connection? Ring New Hampshire earlier (2,4)
} – string together O(ld), the standard abbreviation for New Hampshire and an adjective meaning earlier or in the past.
25d Tax cut (4)
} – this was my last answer. It’s a double definition with the second being a verb to cut (the sort of cut which deprives a stallion of a happy retirement at stud).
The clues which I liked best were 1a, 10a, 13a and 25d. Let us know what you liked.