Toughie No 1374 by Giovanni
More Tea, Vicar?
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
It may have been that I was distracted by the unaccustomed sunshine outside but I found this one quite tricky for a Wednesday though I did thoroughly enjoy the struggle.
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5a US broadcast against imperial measure by implication? (7)
PROGRAM – if you’re 3,4 then the implication is that you’re against pounds and ounces.
7a Time to leave second home for one wanting to explore? (5)
SCOTT – start with S(econd) and a small home and take away a period of time to leave the name of an ill-fated British explorer. I spent some time trying to justify scout here.
9a Skin problem? We’d like to hear from you (6)
CALLUS – split the answer 4,2 and it’s an invitation to get in touch.
10a The woman surrounded by group of soldiers is humiliated (8)
SQUASHED – a feminine pronoun is contained inside a small group of soldiers.
11a Restore the empty vicar with tea possibly? (10)
REACTIVATE – an anagram (possibly) of T(h)E VICAR and TEA.
13a Asian meat dish odd number (not even) consumed (4)
SATÉ – start with an odd single-digit number and drop the ‘even’, then add a verb meaning consumed.
14a A screaming loony grabs a politician in attempt to bring discredit (5,8)
SMEAR CAMPAIGN – an anagram (loony) of A SCREAMING containing A and the usual elected politician. Most politicians seem perfectly capable of bringing discredit on their own heads without needing outside assistance!
16a What may be interpreted as royalist tool? (4)
FORK – split the answer 3,1 and it could mean being in favour of a king.
17a Gets endless grub, ye’d fancy (6,4)
GREEDY GUTS – this is an all-in-one though you have to assume ‘One who …’ at the start. It’s an anagram (fancy) of GETS GRU(b) YE’D.
19a Give a lecture that’s riddle without sounding loud (8)
PERORATE – a verb to riddle or pierce without the musical abbreviation meaning play loudly.
20a Old car that’s kept by city producing different make (6)
OXFORD – O(ld) and a make of car contain (kept) the symbol used in multiplication to mean ‘by’. The answer is the city where Morris Motors manufactured some years ago the model of car which was named after that city. I learnt to drive in my father’s Austin Cambridge which was pretty much the same car with a different badge.
22a Result of match accident? One will get left out (5)
SINGE – remove the L(eft) from an adjective meaning one or individual.
23a Casual acknowledgement to Magi for gold received? (7)
TAKINGS – split the answer 2,5 and it could be a casual expression of gratitude to the Magi for their gifts in the Biblical nativity story. The ‘gold’ in the definition just means money.
1d Register one proverbially sick? (4)
POLL – double definition. For the second one we’re in the world of post-match interviews – if the winning manager is ‘over the moon’ then the loser may be ‘as sick as a …’. The answer is a common name for the sick creature.
2d Louder support not coming to an end (8)
BRASSIER – a supporting garment without its final letter (not coming to an end).
3d Like one learning in small group maybe, mostly perceptive (6)
ASTUTE – like (2) followed by a person being taught (possibly in a small group at university) without the final letter (mostly).
4d Being made up — the tricks one will need to get smart! (10)
CONSISTING – a charade of tricks or scams, one in Roman numerals and an intransitive verb to smart or prickle. ‘The’ seems superfluous.
5d Head belting learner to make an impression (5)
PLATE – an old word for a person’s head contains (belting, in the sense of tying in) the letter used for a learner driver.
6d Bungling fellow taking time, leading others in haze (13)
MISMANAGEMENT – put together a fellow, a period of time and some more chaps and insert it all in a haze or light fog.
8d River beside NJ city (7)
TRENTON – charade of the river that flows through Nottingham and a preposition meaning beside or close to.
12d Report of European corporation gathering in place at international border? (10)
CHECKPOINT – what sounds like a native of Prague, say, is followed by a corporation or paunch containing (gathering) IN.
14d There’s nothing for one in wicked things, slobs! (7)
SLOVENS – start with wicked things or immoral acts and replace the Roman numeral for one with the word used in tennis to mean a score of nothing.
15d Home overlooking harbour area is where Arabs may gather (8)
PADDOCKS – these Arabs have four legs. An informal word for a home is followed by (overlooking) the area round a harbour or commercial port.
17d Good music-maker offering bits of rock (6)
GRAVEL – G(ood) and the name of a French composer.
18d Moulding a group of stars in the auditorium (5)
TORUS – this (new to me) is an architectural term for a large moulding, normally at the base of a column. It sounds like (in the auditorium) a constellation (and one of the signs of the Zodiac).
21d Scandinavian hero of American fiction (4)
FINN – double definition, the second being one of Mark Twain’s fictional heroes.
My top clues today were 9a, 14a and 1d. Which ones took the honours for you?