Toughie No 1422 by Elkamere
Grot? Not today
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
So, what have we today? Lots of containment-type clues, lots of reversals, exactly six anagrams (as is usual from this setter), smooth surfaces and some beautifully disguised definitions – it all adds up to a very enjoyable puzzle from Elkamere.
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1a A meal a day’s included, correct? (8)
ADMONISH – A and a prepared meal with the short form of a day of the week inserted.
5a Greek characters in stone and rock (6)
SCHIST – this is a type of metamorphic rock (not a word that I knew). Insert the plural of the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet in the abbreviation for stone (i.e. 14lbs).
9a Trouble over door tampered with by second most important servant (5-4)
MAJOR-DOMO – reverse (over) a spot of trouble or tricky situation, add an anagram (tampered with) of DOOR and finish with a short time or second.
11a For one horse, backward shove (5)
NUDGE – string together ‘for one’ and a horse of a greyish-brown colour and reverse it all (backward).
12a Scholar blessing monkey (6)
BABOON – a pair of letters awarded to someone who’s studied at university followed by a blessing or godsend.
13a I refuse to return, admitting mum was left (8)
REMAINED – reverse (to return) someone who refuses to accept and insert an affectionate term for mother.
15a 4 more than one 6 (6,7)
SQUASH RACKETS – this is quite tricky. I’ve underlined the 6 as the definition but what I’d really have liked to do was underline just the second half of the 6 because the definition is just the second word of 6d. A verb to 4d or wreck is followed by the plural (more than one) of another word for the first bit of 6d. I found this more difficult to write the hint for than to solve.
18a Free burst lip for cutting remark (13)
COMPLIMENTARY – insert (for cutting) an anagram (burst) of LIP into a remark or account.
22a Local map-makers will keep off island (8)
BARBADOS – a local or watering-hole and the abbreviation for the UK’s mapping agency contain (will keep) an adjective meaning off or rotten.
23a Bloke finishes in the civil service (6)
CHAPEL – another informal word for a bloke followed by the final letters of two words in the clue.
26a Unfinished version of ‘Relax’ – D minor (5)
CHILD – an informal verb to relax without its final letter is followed by D.
27a Crack troops in alien kit (9)
EQUIPMENT – a crack or witticism and ordinary troops go inside Crosswordland’s favourite alien.
28a Screw unfortunately gets turned, extremely risky (6)
SALARY – reverse (gets turned) an exclamation meaning unfortunately and add the outer letters of risky.
29a Former international body’s without worth (8)
EMERITUS – the abbreviation for an international body that the UK is a member of (for the moment) and the ‘S go round (without) a word meaning worth or distinction.
1d Military HQ bombed as may be harbouring resistance (4,4)
ARMY BASE – an anagram (bombed) of AS MAY BE containing the abbreviation for electrical resistance.
2d Perrin’s boss in company that pays little (5)
MCJOB – I didn’t get where I am today by not remembering the identity of Reggie Perrin’s boss. Insert his initials in a company or crowd. The answer means a low-paid dead-end employment and the company on which the word is based tried very hard to get its definition altered in dictionaries.
3d Sweating over running in rising sun (7)
NERVOUS – an anagram (running) of OVER in a reversal of sun.
4d Bar sinks when inverted (4)
STOP – a verb meaning sinks a ball in snooker or billiards gets reversed.
6d With me in tow, dance the hustle (3,4)
CON GAME – a dance with the participants in single file having ME on the end.
7d Home help returned to protect one’s country (9)
INDONESIA – an adverb meaning at home is followed by the reversal of help or assistance containing ONE’S.
8d Hear nurses butt in (6)
TRENDY – a verb to hear in court contains the butt (of a cigarette, say).
10d Broken hammer? (8)
OVERCOME – double definition, the first an adjective meaning broken or crushed emotionally and the second a verb to defeat or hammer an opponent. I’m not overly keen on this one – the two definitions are really two parts of speech from the same verb.
14d Author to appear unsteady through drink (8)
TROLLOPE – a verb to move in an unsteady way goes inside a verb to drink heavily. The author could be either a nineteenth century English novelist or his descendant famous for her Aga Sagas.
16d Cold rain, cloud, winds (9)
UNCORDIAL – an anagram (winds) of RAIN CLOUD.
17d Yes, I’m worried about inflamed back problem (8)
MYELITIS – an anagram (worried) of YES I’M goes round ‘inflamed’.
19d Burning up after grasping snake (7)
MEANDER – reverse an adjective meaning burning (from too much exposure to the sun?) and precede it with an adjective meaning grasping or parsimonious.
20d Darling’s upset over a failure (2-5)
NO-HOPER – reverse a shortened informal term of endearment (darling) and add the cricket abbreviation for over and ‘a’ (as in ’50p a kilo’).
21d Sailor given bill, plus 40 per cent for using calculator (6)
ABACUS – string together an abbreviation for a sailor in the Royal Navy, an abbreviation for a bill and the first 40 percent of ‘using’.
24d Piano allowed to introduce a flute (5)
PLEAT – the musical abbreviation for piano and a past participle meaning allowed with A inserted.
25d University in publication about island (4)
GUAM – reverse (about) the abbreviation for a publication (often glossy) and insert U(niversity).
Lots of likes today – 26a, 27a, 16d – but favourite has to be 15a. Which ones made it to the top of the charts for you?