Toughie No 1336 by Notabilis
The Return of the Magician
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
Another excellent puzzle from our Friday 4 Down. Words like quality and class come to mind. So many superb clues it is hard to pick a favourite, but being a lover of splendid words, Cleo’s going for 4 Down, while Antony has picked 22 Down (mainly because he initially got it wrong until the denarius dropped).
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
Across Hints by Cleopatra
2a Cruel to imprison thus and shoot foreign friend from Iraq area (12)
MESOPOTAMIAN: Take a word meaning cruel or nasty and insert into it (imprison) a conjunction meaning thus, a verb meaning to shoot (a creature) and the French (foreign) word for friend.
8a An element of bourgeois desire (4)
URGE: Hidden in part of (an element of ) bourgeois.
9a One’s worked for life’s ultimate complex polymer (8
EMPLOYER: The ultimate letter of life followed by an anagram (complex) of POLYMER.
10a Baggy shorts in parcel carried by sweet son (8)
CULOTTES: A word meaning sweet or quaintly pleasing into which is inserted a parcel or piece of ground. The result is finished off with the abbreviation for son.
11a Stick instruction in layout of classifieds? (6)
ADHERE: Split 2,4 this might be an instruction telling you where to put a classified advertisement.
12a Judge initially at sea, swallowing murderer’s story of seaside crime (7,3)
JAMAICA INN: J(udge), the initial letter of A[t] and a word for the high seas into which is inserted the name of the first murderer in the Bible.
13a Transatlantic counterpart of Co. (UK) providing text collection (6)
CORPUS: A body of writing – how our transatlantic counterpart, an American would abbreviate their word for a company and their nation in the same way as the clue has Co. and UK.
16a Corrupt European leaves tropical disease reduced by last quarter (5)
BRIBE: Remove the E from the first part of an eight-letter tropic disease and then remove the last two letters (reduced by the last quarter).
17a Spoke with hostility to listeners, to make unwelcome advances (6)
INVADE: A homophone (to listeners) of a verb meaning attacked in speech INVEIGHED.
18a Cunning about self-identified feminists, good in a smooth way (10)
SWIMMINGLY: – A variant spelling of women used by feminist writers in order to remove the word ‘men’ from the word and G (good) are inserted into a word meaning cunning.
21a Heavy object‘s width against small cube (6)
WEIGHT: The abbreviation for width followed by a number that is the cube of 2.
23a Soviet leader‘s fall, within a month (8)
ANDROPOV: A leader in the Soviet Union in the 1980s – Insert a fall in something into A (from the clue) and an abbreviated month.
24a Bird with an inclination to interrupt one that’s domesticated? (8)
PARAKEET: A (an) and an inclination from the vertical inserted into a domesticated animal.
25a Attempt to manipulate by following fuel cut (4)
COAX: Remove (cut) the last letter from a type of fuel and follow with the symbol used in maths to mean times or by.
26a Edition of album with reams in that is very big (12)
IMMEASURABLE: Insert into the abbreviation meaning that is, an anagram (edition of) ALBUM REAMS.
Down Hints from Antony
1d Wound Tarzan up, regularly missing mother (6)
TRAUMA: drop the even letters (regularly missing) from two words in the clue and add a two-letter word for mother
2d Accepting Farah possibly raced, made rough notes (9)
MEMORANDA: put the first name of athlete Farah and a three-letter verb meaning raced inside (accepting) an anagram (rough) of MADE
3d Fixed a problem with radio reception (6)
STATIC: two definitions – fixed as in not moving and a word for the crackle heard on a radio
4d Tricky performer‘s piano support that is enjoyed by me before a Glastonbury feature (15)
PRESTIDIGITATOR: P(iano) followed by the support used by a snooker player, a phrase meaning “that is enjoyed by me” (1,3,2), the A from the clue and a feature of Glastonbury (the town not the festival)
5d Desperate character about to stop recording moving performance (3,5)
TAP DANCE: the Desperate comic character and the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about inside (to stop) a verb meaning to record
6d Instant expression of impatience for the Scottish wander (5)
MOOCH: a brief instant of time followed by a three-letter Scottish expression of impatience
7d Two ways to mature, but not with contemporaries? (3,5)
AGE GROUP: start with two words meaning to mature and drop the W(ith) from the second one
14d Toughen control to benefit Anglicans (9)
REINFORCE: a control followed by a word meaning to benefit and the abbreviation for the Anglican church
15d Provide too little equipment for a pit’s description (8)
UNDERARM: split as (5,3) this could mean to provide too little military equipment, but it actually describes where on the body to find a pit
16d Set out to get into beer, say, and start to see dots (8)
BESTREWS: an anagram (out) of SET inside a word that describes a beer followed by the initial letter of (start to) S[ee]
19d Note inversion of flying creature’s major vein (6)
MIDRIB: the third note of the scale in sol-fa notation followed by the reversal of a flying creature
20d Sponge dessert with fruit served up that’s lovely (6)
LOOFAH: the reversal (served up in a down clue) of a dessert containing fruit followed by an exclamation meaning “that’s nice!” – we saw this exclamation a week ago!
22d Give a reflective look, a steady one, taking in lake (5)
GLAZE: a steady look around L(ake) – if you can’t work out how your answer works, and it has an “R” in it, think again!
Both Cleopatra and I were delayed because we were baking (her cakes, me bread!). We hope to see many of you tomorrow.