Toughie No 1243 by Micawber
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Micawber is once more in cracking form – great stuff from the maestro.
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1a Thrashing killer whale almost does for range rover? (10)
HILLWALKER – an anagram (thrashing) of KILLER WHAL(e).
6a Couple with little one delay getting married (4)
ITEM – start with a small child (often preceded by ‘poor little …’) but delay putting in the M(arried) until you reach the end.
10a Foreign money upsets county (5)
BUCKS – triple definition – the first an informal term for dollars and the third the abbreviated name of a county in central England.
11a Indeed it’s true — daughter retired, turning in some hours ago (9)
YESTERDAY – we want a word of agreement (indeed) and another word meaning much the same (it’s true) with between them the reversal (turning in) of D(aughter) and the abbreviation of retired.
12a How goods may be taken back, blouse oddly lacking colour (4,4)
NAVY BLUE – reverse (back) how goods may be transported on the road (2,3) and add the even letters (oddly lacking) of blouse.
13a Cause of stoppage in food processing sector (5)
COLON – double definition – what causes a short pause when reading a sentence, say, and part of the digestive system.
15a Wake up kids for dinner? (4-3)
STIR-FRY – charade of a verb to wake up or rouse oneself and a word for youngsters (often preceded by ‘small’).
17a Call on Miss Woodhouse to get rid of a problem (7)
DILEMMA – a verb to call by phone without the A (to get rid of a) followed by the only one of Jane Austen’s heroines to have her name in the book title.
19a Little woman keeping home gets big let-off (7)
AMNESTY – one of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women contains (keeping) a comfortable home.
21a Let rip on accelerator — that’ll clear the road! (4,3)
TEAR GAS – a verb meaning to go quickly (let rip) followed by a mainly North American term for what you step on in order to accelerate.
22a Have fun in bar after retirement (5)
REVEL – reverse (after retirement) a bar or rod.
24a Scented an instant reaction from Italian team? (8)
AROMATIC – split the answer (1,4,3) and it could be an involuntary reaction by a football team from the Italian capital.
27a They are in case of nasty sting with tail (9)
LITIGANTS – an anagram (nasty) of STING and TAIL.
28a Church’s representative entering cloth (5)
CREPE – put the abbreviation for a sales representative inside one of the abbreviations for church.
29a Screech owl’s repeated call (4)
ECHO – the ‘S here stands for ‘has’ so we want a word that the clue has or contains.
30a One using time during break returned to do exams again after having raved excessively (10)
ADVERTISER – this is someone who pays heavily to use the time during the breaks in TV programmes (the bits that we all fast-forward through if possible). Reverse (returned) a verb to take exams once more after an anagram (excessively) of RAVED.
1d That one’s local shrub (4)
HEBE – this, apparently, is an evergreen flowering shrub found in the southern hemisphere. If you split the answer (2,2) it’s how ‘that person is’ may be rendered in local dialect, especially in parts of the West Country.
2d Failed to include Chinese, perhaps, in report of milk production (9)
LACTATION – this sounds like (in report of) ‘was short of [a] person from the East’ (6,5).
3d West’s game fine (5)
WISPY – W(est) followed by a children’s game (1-3).
4d Kings and queens changing sides at first don’t show it (7)
LOYALTY – semi-all-in-one. Start with what kings and queens are and change the initial letter from one side to the other.
5d Wapping boss maybe to ‘urry in ‘ere? (4,3)
EAST END – Wapping is the new Fleet Street so a boss there might be a newspaper boss. Insert (in) a verb to hurry, dropping its initial letter as the people living in that area of London are prone to do.
7d Note pulse rising and falling? (5)
TIDAL – a charade of a musical note from tonic sol-fa and a Hindi word for a pulse such as lentil.
8d You can get chips with this Asian money when converted (10)
MAYONNAISE – an anagram (when converted) of ASIAN MONEY.
9d Paul came out to make a confession (3,5)
MEA CULPA – an anagram (out) of PAUL CAME.
14d Heads for extreme sports gym, clutching a training shoe (10)
ESPADRILLE – the first letters (heads) of Extreme Sports are followed by the abbreviation for gymnastics containing A and a word for physical training.
16d Blend beer, mostly, in main part of crate (8)
FUSELAGE – crate here is an informal word for an old aeroplane. Start with a verb to blend or combine and add a type of gassy beer without its last letter.
18d Sucker getting directions just before end, being close (9)
MUGGINESS – I initially thought that the sucker was the first three letters but the rest of the wordplay didn’t work so a rethink was needed. The sucker is actually a 7-letter word and before the last letter (just before end) we have to insert two compass directions.
20d Did long November come early within accounting period? (7)
YEARNED – start with an adjectival phrase relating to an accounting period (‘We expect to break even by **** *** 2015’) and move the letter that November is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet up a bit (come early).
21d Blasts heads of Internet Explorer for juvenile digital item (7)
TOOTSIE – blasts (on one’s horn) followed by the first letters (heads, again) of Internet Explorer.
23d Plant to check and check (5)
VETCH – a verb to check or screen followed by the chess abbreviation for check.
25d Perhaps one from Ayr racecourse (5)
ASCOT – as (1,4) this could be a person from Ayr.
26d Lech Walesa governed without majorities on left and right (4)
LEER – this was my last answer. Lech here is a verb to lust or look lasciviously. The answer comes from the central letters (without majorities on left and right) of two words in the clue.
As is usual with Micawber I had a problem limiting the number of my favourites. I’ll go with 6a, 8d and 26d but I could have cited half-a-dozen more. Let us know which one(s) you liked.