Toughie No 1338 by Osmosis
A Couple of Old Geezers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment ****
I wasn’t making much progress reading through the clues until I reached 15/18a which more or less wrote itself in and provided some very useful checking letters. Even so some head-scratching was required to fill in the rest of the grid. I found it very enjoyable with some good laughs. It’s a pangram (although, as usual, that was of no help to me since I didn’t twig until I’d finished).
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1a Perhaps do this to pull church seat around passage? No time (6)
SEDUCE – this church seat is not a pew but the seat of a bishop. Put it around a passage or tube without its final T (no time).
4a Laced boot seaman rejected — left and right (8)
BALMORAL – reverse (rejected) one of the abbreviations for a seaman and add L(eft) and an adjective meaning right or ethical.
9a They once studied Irishman shaving head in back (6)
ALUMNI – start with an Irish male forename without its initial C (shaving head) and add the reverse of IN.
10a Tom constantly confronts him about using new container (8)
JERRYCAN – string together Tom’s cartoon adversary, a 2-letter abbreviation meaning about and N(ew).
11a Wine bottles outside in external storage unit (8)
CELLARET – a type of red wine contains (bottles) the outside letters of external.
13a Greengrocer’s serving Geordie in a flutter (6)
PUNNET – the abbreviation for the part of England which can be described as Geordie goes inside a flutter or wager.
15a/18d Jagger maybe sang with other geriatric, supermodel’s saying (1,7,5,7,2,4)
A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS – start with what Jagger is (1,7,5), add an anagram (geriatric) of SANG OTHER and finish with supermodel Kate. ‘Geriatric’ makes the surface reading very funny and I suppose that it’s being used in the sense of doddery as an anagram indicator.
18a See 15a
22a After gutless insinuations, one prosecutes publishing house? (6)
ISSUER – the outer letters of insinuations are followed by someone prosecuting in court.
24a Crow’s foot perhaps covered in this minute ring latterly exiting event (8)
MOCCASIN – Crow here is a member of a Native American people. M(inute) precedes an event or happening from which the second (latterly) ring-shaped letter has been removed.
26a Frank‘s retirement involving line in film (8)
EXPLICIT – a retirement (from the stage) contains L(ine) inside an abbreviated word for a film.
27a Sort of drip that’s not out getting through ales on a bender? (6)
SALINE – the opposite of out goes inside an anagram (on a bender) of ALES.
28a Society girl hides recurrent pain that magnifies (8)
SPYGLASS – one of the abbreviations for society and a girl contain the reversal (recurrent) of a slang term for pain. By one of those strange coincidences I was discussing the validity of recurrent (or it may have been ‘recurring’ – it was all a bit hazy) as a reversal indicator with Andy on Saturday and we agreed that we didn’t like it much. However I now see that it has a second meaning in the BRB relating to anatomy: ‘ running back in the opposite direction or towards the place of origin’ – so all is now clear.
29a Beauty in casino dashes over (6)
ADONIS – hidden in reverse.
1d Model‘s the third to insure hands and face? (6)
SWATCH – the third letter of insure followed by what cryptically has three (or sometimes only two) hands and a face. I don’t like the ‘hands and face’ bit, even with the question mark, very much.
2d What has four legs and makes us laugh — dodo? (6,3)
DOUBLE ACT – do repeated.
3d Dicky once having concealed tax when raising money abroad (7)
CENTAVO – an anagram (dicky) of ONCE containing a type of tax reversed.
5d State that’s associated with Maria Theresa, at heart? (4)
AVER – the word that precedes Maria in the Roman Catholic prayer is followed by the single letter at the heart of Theresa.
6d Last pair leaving tent, definitely Spanish, upset toff (7)
MARQUIS – drop the last two letters from a large tent and add the reversal (upset) of a Spanish affirmative response.
7d Toxic stuff used in twisted crime, we hear (5)
RICIN – this requires homophones of two words – firstly an adjective meaning twisted or contorted and secondly a crime or moral transgression.
8d Fast woman describes good stretch (8)
LENGTHEN – string together a fast in the Christian calendar and an affectionate term for a woman (especially in Scotland). Then insert G(ood).
12d Engage with very minor celebrity to attend opening of envelope? (6)
ENLIST – the opening letter of envelope followed by what would describe an extremely minor celebrity (1-4), one even less well known than those appearing on reality shows.
14d Every second, signior entertains child completely (2,4)
IN TOTO – every second letter of signior containing a small child.
16d Fan may display this old book on kind of musician (9)
OBSESSION – the abbreviations for old and book followed by the type of musician who provides backing during recordings.
17d Being nasty, superior over Grammar School conceals punishment there? (8)
UGLINESS – the letter that stands for superior or upper-class and the abbreviation for grammar school containing what some of us had to write as a punishment.
19d He forecast southern half to freeze over like crazy (7)
EZEKIEL – the bottom (southern) half of the word freeze is followed by an anagram (crazy) of LIKE.
20d Branson misses island, sitting under old trees (7)
ORCHARD – Beardie’s first name, without the I(sland) follows O(ld).
23d Emotional work probing mole (5)
SOPPY – the usual abbreviation for an artistic work goes inside a mole or agent.
25d Swimming gear Europeans picked up (4)
FINS – sounds like some North Europeans.
Lots of good clues here – I liked 1a, 15a, 24a and 2d best. Let us know which one(s) grabbed you.