Toughie No 1466 by MynoT
A Prial of Queens
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is the first MynoT puzzle that I’ve blogged for almost exactly two years (since Toughie 1051) – for some reason he’s been avoiding Wednesdays. Around the grid we have references to three of the Queens who have sat on the English/British throne, but strangely there’s no mention of the current one – perhaps MynoT intended to have her on the right-hand side but couldn’t make it work.
I noticed when solving the puzzle that there were plenty of abbreviations used but it wasn’t until I was writing the review that I found out just how often I had to write the word ‘abbreviation’ – I know that this grates on some people.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a Drunken dean seen in quad entertaining in French? That’s old news (5,5,4)
QUEEN ANNE’S DEAD – an anagram (drunken) of DEAN SEEN goes inside QUAD and a French word for in gets inserted. This is a saying derived from the fact that news of this event was suppressed for political reasons so that by the time of the official announcement lots of people already knew of it.
9a Two sailors in charge of Mongolian (8)
TARTARIC – an informal word for a sailor is repeated and followed by the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.
10a Anastasia captured by secret police? On the contrary (5)
STASI – so the secret police (of the old East Germany) are ‘captured’ by Anastasia.
12a Treacherous character in past this writer’s revealed before (4)
IAGO – an adverb meaning in the past is preceded by a subjective pronoun.
13a Florid appearance in Florida shown by distinctive character; about time! (10)
COLORATURA – start with a word for appearance or complexion as it’s spelt in Florida then add a distinctive character or vibes containing T(ime).
15a Startling, typically French vehicle for a learner (8)
GALVANIC – an adjective meaning typically French (based on the old name for France) has one of its L(earner)s replaced by a road vehicle.
16a Orator in Jersey and Guernsey getting Church on right page (6)
CICERO – string together the abbreviation for Jersey and Guernsey (and a few other islands), an abbreviation for church and the abbreviation for the right-hand page of a book.
18a Drink producing trance? (6)
NECTAR – an anagram (producing) of TRANCE.
20a In short piece, Shakespeare’s found a depository for hogwash (5-3)
SWILL-TUB – Shakespeare’s abbreviated forename is found inside a short piece or truncated remnant.
23a University wise men meeting nasty end never dreamed of (10)
UNIMAGINED – string together an abbreviation for university, the wise men of the Christian nativity and an anagram (nasty) of END.
Scholars have recently discovered that the Biblical Wise Men actually came from Yorkshire, for it is written ‘ Wise men came from the East Riding on camels’.
24a Seaweed found in local garage (4)
ALGA – hidden.
26a African creature‘s vigour died (5)
ELAND – a word for vigour or panache followed by the abbreviation for died.
27a Republican symbol that is often ignored indoors, they say (8)
ELEPHANT – the symbol of the US Republican Party is also used in an expression to highlight the fact that a very big and obvious problem is being ignored.
28a Austere woman troubled journalist that had royal attribution (2,3,3,6)
WE ARE NOT AMUSED – an anagram (troubled) of AUSTERE WOMAN is followed by the usual journalist.
2d English used with advantage to crystallise good news (7)
EVANGEL – bring together an abbreviation for English, a short form of the word advantage (used in tennis) and a verb to crystallise or become clear.
3d Butts with head, a rising blow (4)
NUTS – the reverse of a blow.
4d Drug flowed up opening in centre of the ear (8)
NARCOTIC – reverse a verb meaning flowed or proceeded and add the opening letter of centre and an adjective meaning ‘relating to the ear’.
5d Swindler caught in Corsica heading north (6)
ESCROC – this is a word, from French, meaning a swindler or con man. Insert the cricket abbreviation for caught into the reversal (heading north) of what the Corsicans call their island.
6d Hides label awkwardly in insubstantial garment (10)
DÉSHABILLÉ – an anagram (awkwardly) of HIDES LABEL.
7d Normally a game between South Africa and the French (2,1,4)
AS A RULE – a timely reminder that the World Cup starts this week (though if I’m reading my wall chart correctly the Springboks can’t play Les Bleus until the semi-final stage). Start with A then insert the abbreviation for the relevant game between the abbreviation for South Africa and one of the French definite articles.
8d Inconstant person‘s substitute for bay needs to be cooked (5,2,4)
VICAR OF BRAY – this is a clergyman (possibly based on a real person in either Tudor or Stuart times) who changed his religious beliefs in line with whatever the Government of the time dictated. A deputy or substitute especially in the performance of a religious function (thanks Chambers) is followed by an anagram (needs to be cooked) of FOR BAY.
11d Fifth Tudor untouched piece (6,5)
VIRGIN QUEEN – the description given to the fifth Tudor monarch (if you ignore the nine day reign of the very unfortunate Lady Jane Grey) could be an untouched piece on the chessboard.
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14d Fire iron one’s found in wetlands? (10)
SALAMANDER – double definition, the first (not a usage I knew) being a poker used red-hot for kindling fires.
17d Second little examination is most gentle (8)
SWEETEST – charade of the abbreviation for second, an adjective meaning little and an examination.
19d Invention made by company in time (7)
COINAGE – the invention relates especially to that of new words or phrases. Start with the abbreviation of company and add IN and a period of time.
21d Natural abilities needed to make drink for one in shades (7)
TALENTS – start with a word for shades or hues and move in an alcoholic drink to replace the Roman numeral for one.
22d French writer on Israeli judge (6)
GIDEON – the surname of André, the French novelist and Nobel Prize winner, is followed by ON to make an Old Testament judge (and the first name of our current Chancellor before he changed it to George).
25d Wife and that man? Fancy! (4)
WHIM – the abbreviation for wife and a masculine pronoun.
The clues which I liked best were 1a and 27a. Which one(s) made you sit up?