Toughie No 1269 by Elkamere
Mine’s a Gin and Tonic!
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
In Toughie terms there is nothing too difficult here – I even managed to derive the French poem from the anagram fodder and most, but not all, of the checking letters.
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1a End-of-season nerves make my sub quite erratic (7,3,4)
SQUEAKY BUM TIME: these end-of-season nerves will be familiar to all Spurs supporters! – they’re an anagram (erratic) of MAKE MY SUB QUITE
9a An offer to host game, usually (2,1,4)
AS A RULE: the A from the clue and an offer to purchase around the two-letter abbreviation for a sport
10a Fancy one being given unlimited port (7)
CORINTH: an interjection meaning “fancy!”, I (one) and an abbreviation that indicates an unspecified member of a series of numbers
11a Travel agent’s first choice in India? (3)
GOA: a verb meaning to travel followed by the initial letter (first) of A[gent]
12a Bird crosses empty lake, needing second drink (6,5)
BITTER LEMON: a seven-letter bird around L[ak]E without its inner letters (empty) and a brief period of time
14a Bone-cutting saw in theatre with leather covering (6)
TREPAN: a type of touring theatre company inside (covering) a verb meaning to convert into leather
15a Station‘s wet facilities (8)
WATERLOO: a word meaning wet or moisture followed by some toilet facilities
17a Doctor of law not about to waffle (6,2)
RABBIT ON: a doctor of law who leads a Jewish synagogue followed by the reversal (about) of NOT
19a Familiar 21 for hostile daughter (6)
VERSED: this adjective meaning familiar or accomplished is derived by applying the answer to 21 down to an adjective meaning hostile and following what’s left with D(aughter)
22a Over near 23, fluid to freeze drink (6,5)
ORANGE JUICE: O(ver) followed by an anagram (fluid) of NEAR with the answer to 23 across and finally a verb meaning to freeze
23a Prison psychologist taking November off (3)
JUG: drop the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic alphabet by November from the surname of a famous psychologist
24a Mixed cider as cocktail (7)
SIDECAR: an anagram (mixed) of CIDER AS
26a Beats unconscious — the reverse of ‘warm’ (7)
OUTGUNS: a three-letter adjective meaning unconscious followed by the reversal of an adjective meaning warm or cosy
27a Look here, it says ‘X marks the spot’? (5-9)
CROSS-REFERENCE: the word that is usually represented by X when it has nothing to do with mathematics followed by a pointer to a spot on, say, a map
1d Guess our health will suffer here! (14)
SLAUGHTERHOUSE: an anagram (suffer) of GUESS OUR HEALTH – clever anagram but the definition is a bit iffy
2d In ruins, as we agreed, regularly in the dark (7)
UNAWARE: alternate (regularly) letters from four words in the clue
3d A silly sailor making sketch (11)
ADUMBRATING: the A from the clue followed by an adjective meaning silly or unintelligent and a seven-letter word for a sailor
4d Nice girl gets year with short F1 driver (6)
YVETTE: this French (Nice) girl’s name, perhaps the best known example being the waitress in ‘Allo ‘Allo!, comes from a charade of Y(ear) and most of (short) the surname of an F1 driver who isn’t doing very well this season (schadenfreude?)
5d M Clunes, a comic in America (5,3)
UNCLE SAM: an anagram (comic) of M CLUNES A
6d It can be climbed in short order (3)
TOR: hidden (in) inside the clue
7d Negligible car sickness? (7)
MINIMAL: a famous British car followed by a word, of French origin, meaning sickness
8d French epic poetry, song and dance, these works (7,2,5)
CHANSON DE GESTE: French epic poetry is not, as they say on game shows, my best subject but I was able to derive this one from the wordplay, an anagram (works) of SONG with DANCE, THESE
|Desuz un pin, delez un eglanter
Un faldestoed i unt, fait tout d’or mer:
La siet li reis ki dulce France tient.
Blanche ad la barbe et tut flurit le chef,
Gent ad le cors et le cuntenant fier.
S’est kil demandet, ne l’estoet enseigner.
|Under a pine tree, by a rosebush,
there is a throne made entirely of gold.
There sits the king who rules sweet France;
his beard is white, with a full head of hair.
He is noble in carriage, and proud of bearing.
If anyone is looking for the King, he doesn’t need to be pointed out.
13d One invention designed to show up others? (3,8)
LIE DETECTOR: a cryptic definition of an invention that shows if someone is telling porkies
16d Trick panellist, as magician (8)
CONJUROR: a trick or swindle followed by someone who is a member of a panel
18d Run after black bag (7)
BLADDER: A run or snag in a pair of tights preceded by (after) B(lack)
20d Rest of 22 in 12, ultimately (7)
SOJOURN: presumable this is meant to be the two-letter abbreviation for the answer to 22 across inside a synonym of the first word of 12 across and the final letter of the second word – very clever, but it just doesn’t quite work for me
21d Row over humourless clue? (3-3)
TIP-OFF: a row or argument around a two-letter adjective, usually followed by “faced”, meaning humourless
25d An officer’s function (3)
COS: the two-letter abbreviation for a military officer followed by the S from ‘S gives the three-letter abbreviation for a mathematical function
Perhaps one day Elkamere will put an Anax puzzle in the wrong envelope!