Toughie No 1397 by Shamus
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating - Difficulty * - Enjoyment **
A very accessible puzzle from the popular Shamus, fairly clued as ever but perhaps a bit short of sparkle on this occasion.
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1a Key elements in data one top team's manipulated (4,3,8)
MEAT AND POTATOES Anagram of DATA ONE TOP TEAM'S.
8a No end to the strange drone (5)
THRUM TH(e) plus a word meaning strange or fishy.
9a Unclear situation in retirement home? (4,4)
GREY AREA Cryptic definition of circumstances where things are not black and white.
11a Behind schedule on account of dampness, we hear (7)
OVERDUE A synonym of on account of plus a soundalike of a kind of natural moisture.
12a Recall is denied in this state? (7)
AMNESIA Cryptic definition of a loss of recall or memory. (The fact that the solution contains a reversal or 'recall' of IS had me looking for a wordplay reading, but I couldn't find it. Am I missing something?)
13a The man goes to begin to work for philosopher (5)
HEGEL The masculine pronoun plus a verb meaning to begin to work or succeed.
15a Bent boss I found corrupt and most haughty (9)
SNOBBIEST Anagram of BENT BOSS I.
17a A set of volunteers see noted swimmer in ailing state (2,1,3,3)
AT A LOW EBB The A from the clue + volunteer reservists + see or behold (as an imperative) + Captain Matthew ____, the first person to swim the Channel.
20a City study becoming weighed down (5)
LADEN A US city plus a study or office room.
21a Raise tax among muddled group, taking away millions (7)
ELEVATE A tax on goods or services inside a muddled group (or a brawl) after removing M(illions).
23a Unknown figure in Hamburg that is maritime enthusiast (7)
YACHTIE Symbol for a mathematical unknown, a number in German, and the abbreviation for that is.
25a Publicity garnered by soldier in pickle (8)
MARINADE A publicity notice or commercial inside a naval soldier.
26a Problems in gulag grow (5)
AGGRO Hidden in GULAGGROW.
27a Diplomat taking scarf if headgear crumpled (6-1'8)
CHARGE D'AFFAIRES Anagram of SCARF IF HEADGEAR.
1d Joint given title that's stupid (12)
MUTTONHEADED A type or joint of meat plus a word meaning titled.
2d Correspond with a boy about king (5)
AGREE The A from the clue plus an expression meaning 'gosh' or 'boy' around the Latin abbreviation for king.
3d A Republican chairman detaining Aussie fool, armour-plated type (9)
ARMADILLO The A from the clue + R(epublican), then an infamous chairman of the Chinese Communist Party around Aussie/NZ slang for a fool.
4d Wander in excavation about ship (7)
DIGRESS An archaeological excavation + about or concerning + crosswordese abbreviation for ship.
5d Source of notes about drug, old herb (7)
OREGANO A musical instrument around a one-letter narcotic, then O(ld).
6d Cooker at home once more (5)
AGAIN Trademark of a Swedish oven + at home.
7d Some cricket writer beginning to deprecate splurge (9)
OVERSPEND A measure of cricket play + author + D(eprecate).
10d Tone a crank cultivated with American that's irascible (12)
CANTANKEROUS Anagram of TONE A CRANK, plus US.
14d Posh team played in festivity in country (9)
GUATEMALA Crosswordese for posh plus an anagram of TEAM, all inside a festivity.
16d Engagement in headwear (9)
BALACLAVA A famous battle of the Crimean War and a head covering originally worn by soldiers who fought in it.
18d Green English executive hosting period on lake (7)
EMERALD E(nglish), then the abbreviation for senior company executive around a period and L(ake).
19d Stall on meadow with fine cooking ingredient (3,4)
BAY LEAF Booth or compartment + poetic word for meadow + F(ine).
22d A number in performance in decline (5)
AGING The A from the clue + N(umber) inside a live performance or concert.
24d One noted for stripes getting grand in rank (5)
TIGER G(rand) inside a rank or level.
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