Toughie No 1390 by Micawber
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment *****
This is pretty gentle as Toughies go but extremely enjoyable. Micawber often turns up on Wednesdays, my Toughie blogging day – long may it continue is what I say.
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1a Daughter invested in black and white set lacking electronic capacity (9)
BANDWIDTH – string together B(lack), AND plus an anagram (set) of WHIT(e) (without the abbreviation for electronic). Finally, insert D(aughter).
6a Ad for Jan, say (5)
PROMO – a preposition meaning for or in favour of is followed by the abbreviation for which Jan is one example.
9a Marines disrupted session (7)
SEMINAR – an anagram (disrupted) of MARINES.
10a Quality of the simple roll and French mineral water (7)
NAIVETE – put together the French word for ‘and’ plus a brand of mineral water and reverse (roll) it all.
11a Power source getting current in all directions (5)
SINEW – the symbol for electric current goes inside all four directions.
12a Bird‘s soft sound interrupted by marine with angry tirade (9)
CORMORANT – insert the abbreviation for a Royal Marine into the soft sound (of a pigeon, say) then finish with an angry tirade. There has been some dispute in the past as to whether the abbreviation can be used for a single marine as opposed to the Royal Marines as a whole.
13a Rejection of expensive bathroom by landlord (4,4,6)
DEAR JOHN LETTER – wonderful cryptic definition of a missive from a dumper to a dumpee.
A soldier serving overseas, far from home, was annoyed and upset when his girl wrote breaking off their engagement and asking for her photograph back. He went out and collected from his friends all the unwanted photographs of women that he could find, bundled them all together and sent them back with a note saying……….. “Regret cannot remember which one is you — please keep your photo and return the others”.
16a Spill incurs eco-taxes? Here’s a good get-out (4-4,6)
CAST-IRON EXCUSE – an anagram (spill) of INCURS ECO-TAXES.
20a Trial grew uncontrollably on a mass scale (4,5)
WRIT LARGE – an anagram (uncontrollably) of TRIAL GREW.
22a Reduce racket in casualty (5)
ABATE – insert a type of racket into the abbreviation for the casualty department in a UK hospital.
23a Halting leader’s missing point — to make an impression (7)
IMPINGE – a present participle meaning halting or walking unevenly loses its leading letter and what remains is followed by a cardinal point.
24a Primary language, one recalled when touring Italy (7)
INITIAL – a language (that was once spoken in Italy) and the Roman numeral for one are reversed (recalled) with the IVR code for Italy inside.
25a Visitors deprived of tea, you say? Imagine! (5)
GUESS – invited visitors without the letter that sounds like tea.
26a To isolate grease, get liquid (9)
SEGREGATE – an anagram (liquid) of GREASE GET.
1d Extremely poor recording of player (6)
BASEST – this sounds like (recording of) the player of a musical instrument.
2d Screen I monitor picked up hidden figure entering field? (7)
NOMINEE – hidden and reversed (picked up) in the clue.
3d After turn west the Doctor’s craft’s heading off, arrives in archipelago (8,7)
WINDWARD ISLANDS – string together a verb to turn or coil, W(est), the TV doctor’s deceptive craft without its leading letter and a verb meaning arrives by sea or air.
4d Penned in bold or iconoclastic style (5)
DORIC – hidden (penned) in the clue.
5d Inched awkwardly round bolted barrier (9)
HINDRANCE – an anagram (awkwardly) of INCHED contains a verb meaning bolted or scarpered.
6d Chained so uncomfortably in custody? This could have unfortunate consequences (8,7)
POISONED CHALICE – an anagram (uncomfortably) of CHAINED SO goes inside the sort of custody that means you’re banged up in a nick.
7d Ham and eggs — the Queen tucked in in front of court (7)
OVERACT – the definition (ham) is a verb not a noun. The Latin word for eggs, with Her Majesty tucked inside, precedes the abbreviation for court.
8d Balls in contact with trade union about proposal (8)
OVERTURE – Balls is not, as the setter would have you believe, our would-be Chancellor but some deliveries at cricket. Add the abbreviation for trade union and a preposition meaning about or concerning.
14d Like certain gases, not sensible to sniff (9)
ODOURLESS – I did think at first that this might be a double definition, but both bits would mean pretty much the same so I’ve plumped for a cryptic definition. In the surface sensible means prudent but for the cryptic definition ‘not sensible to (a) sniff’ means not perceptible by the nose.
15d Lowering fish under boat (8)
SCOWLING – an edible marine fish (very useful to crossword setters) comes after a type of boat which is either (in North America) a wide-beamed sailing dinghy or (elsewhere) a barge used for transporting goods to and from ships in harbour.
17d Southern drink to make dotty (7)
STIPPLE – S(outhern) followed by an informal word for an alcoholic drink.
18d African dictator, after time held by storm troopers, shows ability to keep going (7)
STAMINA – the surname of an old Ugandan dictator follows T(ime) and that all goes inside the abbreviation for Hitler’s storm troopers.
19d In the countryside, it may be green energy (6)
WELLIE – double definition, the second is a slang term for energy or vigour, as in the order ‘Give it some ******’.
21d With difficulty, making Earl sovereign (5)
EKING – the definition is a bit Yoda-like. It’s a present participle (usually followed by ‘out’) meaning managing to make a living with difficulty. The abbreviation for earl precedes a sovereign.
Lots of clues to like including 10a, 7d, 8d and 19d but my runaway favourite is the brilliant 13a. Which one(s) took your fancy?