Toughie No 1477 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Toro
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BD Rating - Difficulty **** - Enjoyment ****
How on earth I failed to guess this was a Giovanni I do not know! Perhaps I was too busy enjoying some very deft cluemanship to notice the Judaeo-Christian references piling up. Quite challenging for a Tuesday puzzle too, I thought, or was it just that failing to spot that there was an anagram in one corner held me up. Let's hear what you think.
Definitions are underlined. 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 Christian caught on the microphone (4)
COPT Soundalike of caught.
3a Two perhaps yet further up the scale of insensitivity (4,6)
EVEN NUMBER The solution could be read as meaning still more desensitised.
9a Square symbolically seen here (4)
NINE A square whose numeric representation is loitering close by...
10a Drug addict half gone, say -- unfortunate fellow preying on youngster? (5,5)
SUGAR DADDY Anagram of DRUG ADD(ict) SAY. (More symbiosis than predator-prey, surely?)
11a Flashy females one spots outside? (7)
RAFFISH F(emale) + F(emale) + Roman numeral one, all inside an outbreak of spots.
13a Simple fare, see -- duck sacrificed to be consumed by heathen god (3,4)
BAR MEAL Location of the Holy See in Catholicism minus the letter for duck, inside a Biblical false god.
14a It could be Oxbridge bag (11)
PORTMANTEAU A travelling bag is also a word coined by fusing two others, as in Oxbridge.
18a Cain? Possibly him (5,6)
THIRD PERSON A grammatical category exemplified by the pronoun him, and a potential description of Cain in Biblical lore .
21a Bumptious official, poor speller given a word of contempt (4-3)
POOH-BAH A notoriously poor speller in classic children's fiction + an exclamation of contempt.
22a A short ordeal involving America or some other country (7)
AUSTRIA Abbreviation of the States inside A + an ordeal or tribulation minus the last letter.
23a Famous person among group of workers in charge of nerve centre (10)
GANGLIONIC Word for a famous person (e.g. an author) inserted between a group of labourers and I(n) C(harge).
24a Singular bigwig who may look down on those deemed inferior? (4)
SNOB S(ingular) + a bigwig.
25a Jean maybe stealing (10)
TROUSERING A word for stealing or pocketing, and part of a garment that might be made of jean or denim.
26a Good listener? Unusually good (4)
GEAR G(ood) + the listening organ. (An easy clue for an obscure piece of antiquated slang.)
1d Mischievous tricks conveyed by hypocrisy with tears (8)
CANTRIPS Hypocrisy or sanctimonious talk + tears or rends.
2d A pro in long dress (8)
PINAFORE A + pro or in favour of, all inside a verb meaning to long.
4d Bear witness giving very short cry of pain (5)
VOUCH V(ery) plus an exclamation of pain.
5d Article taken in arrest registered as food (4,5)
NAAN BREAD Indefinite article inside a word meaning to arrest or collar, then registered or detected.
6d Appear in rags maybe around university, as one unwillingly constrained (5,6)
UNDER DURESS To wear clothing that is too informal around U(niversity).
7d Former enemy of Good Eng.? A beast! (6)
BADGER Taking Eng. to mean England, an equivalent (if rather crude) way of referring to its principal WWII enemy.
8d Revolutionary soldiers rising kill folk in privileged family (6)
ROYALS One of those abbreviations for soldiers, reversed, and followed by a verb meaning to kill, also reversed.
12d Difficult month as bill is put aside for future consideration (2,9)
IN MOTHBALLS Anagram of MONTH AS BILL.
15d Fellow human being from which no rough sound is heard (9)
NEIGHBOUR A regional word for no + a rough pronunciation of the letter r in some dialects, both in soundalike form.
16d Sitting on mountains, Parisian is cut off (8)
ESTRANGE French for is + a group of mountains.
17d Contrary Scot Roy managed to undermine a new US city (3,5)
ANN ARBOR Outlaw ___ Roy McGregor + managed or administered, all reversed (contrary) and placed under A N(ew).
19d Soldier turning up in place of entertainment gets a plug (6)
SPIGOT US soldier, reversed, inside a place of entertainment or night-time hangout.
20d Island that has suffered in need of love (6)
BORNEO Suffered or endured + love in tennis.
22d Something sung, last bit of hymn, following church regarded as heretical (5)
ARIAN Opera song + hym(N).
Uniformly strong clues and plausible surfaces that I enjoyed solving. Perhaps a special mention for the 'drug addict' fodder in 10a - a nice spot. Top half went in very fast but the lower half was a different matter, and anagram-blindness at 12d deprived me of much-needed checkers in the SW corner.
Sorry for the lack of visuals (which time does not permit) but do please share your thoughts.
Over to you - please rate and comment on this puzzle below.