Toughie No 1372 by Notabilis
A Very Good Friday
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment *****
Greetings from the Calder Valley!
Nice to be back and have the pleasure of blogging a terrifically enjoyable puzzle from the ever-dependable Notabilis. A nicely challenging crossword with just about the right level of difficulty to make this a Friday puzzle.
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1a Accident from bloke losing head before making unknown street in Cornish town (12)
HAPPENSTANCE: Take a word for a man and remove the first letter (losing head) and then take the name of a Cornish town, home to some Pirates, and switch the letter in the name that represents an unknown quantity with an abbreviation for street. That gives you an old-fashioned word meaning accident(al).
9a Spiteful person‘s coercive pressure trapping leaders of limited liability company (7)
HELLCAT: The name for a spiteful person is revealed by taking a word that can refer to pressure (think of an old proverb about getting out of the kitchen) and inserting the abbreviation for a type of business (the first letters of Limited Liability Company).
10a Motor incompletely rotated with AC/DC input (7)
TURBINE: The name for a type of motor is found by taking a word that means rotated and losing the last letter (incompletely) and inserting an abbreviation for someone who may be described as “AC/DC”, and we don’t mean a heavy metal fan!
11a Potential for change of company involved with generation (7)
COINAGE: The abbreviation for company is added to a short word meaning involved with, and another short word referring to a generation. This gives you a word that refers to change in a financial sense.
12a Embarrassing facts mostly checked by NT writer (7)
PAINFUL: An abbreviation that refers to facts or data, minus its last letter (mostly) is surrounded by the name of a writer of a number of books and letters from the New Testament. This gives a word meaning embarrassing.
13a Engaged in uproar, guests wrangle (5)
ARGUE: A hidden answer. Hidden in the phrase “uproar, guests” is a word meaning to wrangle.
14a Weakness of some earthenware in pieces among stones (9)
IMPOTENCE: This was a clue I worked out the answer from the checking letters, but then when it came to writing out an explanation I was baffled. Thanks to our glorious leader, I can tell you it’s a Russian-doll clue with an item of earthenware inside some chess pieces inside some gemstones
16a She lived primitively, roughly, one kept out of sight by sultanate (9)
CAVEWOMAN: The name for an ancestor along the distaff line is found by taking the two-letter abbreviation for roughly/approximately (circa), adding
A (one) and a word meaning sight or panorama which has lost the abbreviation for one (kept out). Add to this the name of a Middle Eastern sultanate and there you are!
19a Multiply weight borne by bridge (5)
SPAWN: Something that means to multiply or breed is revealed by taking the abbreviation for weight and inserting it in to something that means to bridge.
21a Clothing medium male, is fitting tops (7)
SUMMITS: Around (clothing) abbreviations for medium and male goes a word meaning that something is fitting. This gives a word for tops or peaks.
23a Perhaps a miniature mark left after a wound is bloody? (7)
SCARLET: The question mark at the end of the clue suggests you may be being asked to think outside the box here. A way of saying a small mark left after a wound, in the same way that a small pig is called a piglet, is a description of the colour of blood.
24a I must get in somehow, more or less cramped (7)
ROOMIER: A way of describing somewhere that is less cramped is found by placing I inside an anagram (somehow) of MORE OR.
25a Compress files of computer commands for part of Gettysburg Address? (3,4)
ZIP CODE: Probably my favourite clue of the day. Again, the question mark is part of the definition and suggests something is a bit out of the ordinary. If you were to compress a file of computer commands, you would do this. And this happens to be part of an address in Gettysburg or any other US place!
26a I am embraced by devilish European that ensnares one shady lady (4-8)
DEMI-MONDAINE: A new word on me! The abbreviated way of saying “I am” goes inside a description of someone who is devil-like and comes from Scandinavia. Inside the Scandinavian word place I (one). This gives a phrase for a rather shady lady.
1d Hesitant interruption? (7)
HALTING: Two definitions
2d Choose times to enter A&E, which may cause rocky break-up (7)
PICKAXE: Something that means choose is added to A and E and the mathematical way of showing multiplication is inserted. This gives you a useful tool for rock breaking.
3d Shifty Semtex firm might be fine with this (9)
EXTREMISM: This clue involves a device used in some of the (even) more difficult puzzles. The phrase SEMTEX FIRM can be rearranged to give F (fine) and the answer, which itself is loosely defined by the whole clue.
4d Become alert for crunch (3-2)
SIT-UP: A double definition. Something that means to take notice of, is also a type of crunch (as in the exercise sense).
5d Primarily, as in real life, it’s fantasy that provides a means of escape (7)
AIRLIFT: Indicated by primarily, the first letters of “as in real life, it’s fantasy that” give a means of getting away from a sticky situation.
6d Part under full-face veil, covering not worn over its fabric? (7)
CHIFFON: The name of a fabric is found by taking a part of the face and inserting the reversal (over) of a word meaning not worn.
7d It’s likely a Borgia supports subsequently drinking tea (3,7,3)
THE CHANCES ARE: An expression that means something is likely to happen is found by taking a word for tea and inserting it into something that means subsequently. Add to this the first name of one of the male Borgias.
8d I’m not convinced lines signify nothing when bounded by restraint (4,2,7)
TELL ME ANOTHER: An expression that means one is not convinced is found by taking an abbreviation for (two) lines, plus a word for signify and placing them inside a type of restraint.
15d Tiny snip, it ruined last letter (4-5)
PINT-SIZED: An expression that means small is found by rearranging the letters of SNIP IT’S and adding the written form of the last letter of the alphabet.
17d Take flight, low, aboard vessel (7)
VAMOOSE: An American way of saying to scarper is found by taking the word for low (as in the noise of a cow) and placing it inside a vessel that holds flowers.
18d What for important boat loading place is said to be a beach resort (7)
WAIKIKI: A famous holiday resort in the Pacific is a homophone for words that mean for what purpose plus two uses of one word (spelt differently) that can mean both important and a place where you can load a ship.
19d Stocky dog‘s hips are injured (4-3)
SHAR-PEI: A breed of dog that always looks like it needs ironing is an anagram (injured) of HIPS ARE
20d Uniquely keeping Liberal Democrat, quite finished (3,4)
ALL DONE: The abbreviation for the Lib-Dems goes inside a word meaning by oneself or uniquely. This gives an expression that refers to when you have complete a task fully.
22d Motor vehicle’s starter breaks minerals up (5)
SERVO: A type of motor is revealed by taking V (first letter of vehicle) and placing it inside the reverse of a word for minerals.
Once again, thanks to Notabilis for a splendid puzzle. I’m off to play in a bridge tournament in Ilkley. And I won’t be wearing a hat. See you next week, hopefully!