Toughie No 1358 by Micawber
Simples, my dear Watson
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment *****
The only problem I had with this excellent puzzle from Micawber was that the enjoyment was all over too quickly. Luckily for me I was able to enjoy it a second time during the blogging process.
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.
1a One who’s left school educated to destroy (10)
OBLITERATE – the abbreviation for a former pupil followed by an adjective meaning educated or well read.
6a Northern Irish party’s rejected Murphy (4)
SPUD – reverse the abbreviated name of what’s currently the largest political party in Northern Ireland plus the ‘S.
9a An idiot supplying port (7)
ANTWERP – AN and an idiot or chump.
10a Members of the aristocracy gaining billions in swindles (7)
NOBBLES – insert the abbreviation for billion into members of the aristocracy. Although M can stand for either million or millions, by some strange quirk the BRB only recognises this abbreviation as standing for a single billion, not the plural.
12a Revival of monkey leaving hospital to get special mention (13)
RESUSCITATION – a small brown monkey which is native to southern Asia loses its H(ospital) and that’s followed by a special mention, especially one commending the actions of a member of the armed forces in wartime.
14a Pupil of British philosopher gives courses (6)
LAYERS – start with the letter identifying someone under instruction and add the possessive form of a twentieth century British philosopher.
17a Perceiving failure to finish the cake? (8)
NOTICING – nice to see a familiar friend. Split 3,5 and you’re neglecting to add the finishing touches.
19a Eliminated, Fulham come in for a bit of stick? (6)
OFFCUT – we’re into the 11-a-side game here. An adverb meaning eliminated contains the abbreviation for the Fulham club.
22a This person involved in riotous Russian demo — they might be punished (13)
MISDEMEANOURS – insert the objective pronoun identifying the writer into an anagram (riotous) of RUSSIAN DEMO.
24a Continuing to lead after having lost bearings? (3-4)
NON-STOP – a verb to lead (a league table, for example) follows a lack of two bearings (2,2).
25a Water source flowed between hotel yard and end of street (7)
HYDRANT – insert a verb meaning flowed into the letter for which Hotel is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, an abbreviation for yard and the end letter of street.
26a Character playing self, perhaps free from anxiety (4)
EASE – split the answer 1,2,1 and you could have a character playing itself.
27a Three successive letters: AB … why, it sounds like ABC! (10)
ELEMENTARY – spell out three consecutive letters from the alphabet then add an informal word for what AB is an abbreviation of and the letter that sounds like why.
1d Entrance to Circle Line by both ends of Victoria Tube station (4)
OVAL – this tube station is adjacent to, and named after, a Test Match cricket ground. The outer letters (both ends) of Victoria go between the letter that looks like a circle and L(ine).
2d Service computers, etc, in grip of virus, perhaps (7)
LITURGY – insert the abbreviation for computers, etc. into an unspecified (but often ‘dreaded’) illness which could be a virus.
3d Half-heartedly comfort child during exam — it could be worth a lot! (8-5)
TREASURE-CHEST – a verb to comfort or dispel fears loses one of the pair of letters at its heart. Add the abbreviation for child and put it all inside an exam.
4d Something to eat cooked at supper, cut up (6)
REPAST – remove (cut) UP from AT S(up)PER and cook up an anagram of what remains.
5d Second half of cancan coming up — usher, remove that woman causing problem for audience (8)
TINNITUS – two cans with the second reversed are followed by usher without the female pronoun (that woman).
7d Forecaster relying on manual skills? (7)
PALMIST – cryptic definition of a handy expert.
8d Takes money away from police officers wearing undergarments (10)
DISINVESTS – the abbreviation for senior detectives and ‘wearing undergarments’ (2,5).
11d Outlandish fauns bred to be help to humans (5,2,6)
BEAST OF BURDEN – anagram (outlandish) of FAUNS BRED TO BE.
13d Dessert wine is followed by skin complaint (10)
BLANCMANGE – a type of vin (not rouge but …) followed by a skin disease of animals caused by mites.
16d Insert cutting digested for detectives (8)
INTERPOL – start with a verb to insert or interject and remove (cutting) the verb meaning digested or swallowed.
18d More than one hot drink taken during breakfast is an espresso (7)
TISANES – hidden in the clue.
20d Fool gets stuck into wine and starchy food (7)
CASSAVA – insert a fool or nincompoop into a type of sparkling wine.
21d Song produced by colonialist on border (6)
ANTHEM – one living in a colony followed by a border.
23d Don’t go and wander off course — it’s not right (4)
STAY – a verb to wander off course without the R(ight).
I had the usual problem restricting my choice of clues. 6a and 5d made the podium but on the top step is 27a. Let us know which one(s) did it for you.