Toughie No 1482 by Petitjean
Slightly Mad Hat Needed
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
This is a puzzle which I had to work at and the time I spent on it was very enjoyable. As usual with Petitjean there is some inventive clueing (e.g. the use of ‘flat’ in 7d).
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 Bus shelters: good trap for evil spirits? (7)
BUGGINS – these are evil spirits or hobgoblins (if you look this up in Chambers you’ll find it as a variant spelling of ‘buggan’). The word bus contains G(ood) and a type of animal trap banned in the UK since the 1950s.
5a Bendy bus under control? And the other half? (7)
HUSBAND – you don’t see a bus for ages then two come along in succession. An anagram (bendy) of BUS is ‘in ****’, i.e. under control or being sorted out.
9a Devise approach (3-2)
RUN-UP – with a space rather than hyphen this is a phrasal verb meaning to devise or make hurriedly.
10a Attacker like skipper a nutcase (9)
ASSAILANT – string together a preposition meaning like, a verb to skipper or navigate a boat, A from the clue and the outer (case) letters of nut.
11a Riddle plus clues which are drawn on out of habit? (6,4)
FILTER TIPS – a riddle or sieve followed by clues or hints (like what you’re reading). I first thought that ‘out of habit’ meant in the nude but it refers to what’s often referred to as a filthy habit.
12a Idiot abandons woodwind, which could be a blessing (4)
BOON – take the idiot out of a large woodwind instrument.
14a Lavish specialist channel is rubbish (5,7)
WASTE PRODUCT – a word to lavish or squander is followed by an abbreviation meaning specialist or full-time and a channel or tube.
18a Dash newsy idea off wanting one to make fast start (3,9)
ASH WEDNESDAY – an anagram (off) of DASH NEWSY [i]DEA without the Roman numeral for one.
21a Downsize roomy accommodation for nothing (4)
ZERO – hidden.
22a Like the idea of force devoid of uniform or distinctive costume (5,5)
FANCY DRESS – a verb to like the idea of or hanker after is followed by a word meaning force or compulsion without the letter that uniform stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
25a How we found a Victorian equerry’s joke? (9)
UNAMUSING – ‘we’ here is the royal we.
26a Line from Pooh composition bridging rhythm and blues (5)
RHUMB – a composition made up by Winnie goes between the abbreviation for rhythm and blues to make an imaginary line on the earth’s surface cutting all meridians at the same angle.
27a Island house the French will make a tempting prospect for some? (7)
KEYHOLE – a charade of a low-lying island, the abbreviation for house and a French definite article. I presume that this is something that tempts snoopers to have a look through it but the definition seems a bit woolly to me.
28a Offbeat way to sport favourite regular outfit (7)
DAYWEAR – an anagram (offbeat) of WAY is attired in (to sport) an adjective meaning favourite or precious.
1d Perhaps widowed female wearing traditional headgear (6)
BEREFT – the abbreviation for female goes inside the traditional headgear of the Basques.
2d Lords changing political allegiance gradually (6)
GENTLY – start with a generic word for lords or nobles and change a single letter from one political leaning to the other.
3d Cursed outburst of acid temper (10)
IMPRECATED – an anagram (outburst) of ACID TEMPER.
4d Burn spruce (5)
SMART – double definition, the first a verb to burn or feel a stinging pain.
5d Tubes destined for Green Park? (9)
HOSEPIPES – the sort of tubes needed to keep a park green during a dry spell. Is it just me or is this cryptic definition a bit weak?
6d It’s foul being this poorly without the end in sight (4)
SOIL – foul here is a verb. It’s a phrase (2,3) meaning ‘this poorly’ with the last letter removed from view.
7d A ‘flat’ young ale brewed in the old-fashioned way (8)
ANALOGUE – start with A and add an anagram (brewed) of [y]OUNG ALE. A ‘flat’ beer has no head so we have to drop the top letter.
8d Tend a toe that’s injured and set off (8)
DETONATE – an anagram (injured) of TEND A TOE.
13d Slimmers’ cheese creates conflict with neighbours (5,5)
LOCAL DERBY – a product advertised for slimmers (2-3) followed by a type of English cheese. I’ve never come across this cheese but it’s on Mrs Bradford’s cheeseboard and apparently it’s similar to Cheddar in taste and texture but with a softer body.
15d Article in Times on a patchwork of lies causing torment (9)
TANTALISE – insert one of the indefinite articles between two occurrences of T(ime) then add A and an anagram (patchwork) of LIES.
16d Top group second to Yes in Germany fear musical fusion (4-4)
JAZZ-FUNK – the first bit of the name of the US rock band ‘** Top’ follows the German word for yes. After that we need a word for great fear (often preceded by ‘blue’). I listened to about 30 seconds of this type of music on Youtube – that was enough.
17d Drug dealer quick to limit damage (8)
PHARMACY – an adjective meaning quick contains a word meaning damage or injury.
19d Fool departs for good in flood (6)
DELUDE – start with a word meaning flood and change the G(ood) to D(eparts) to end up with a verb to fool.
20d Line on weather map as a result of which key is to check air for pollution (6)
ISOBAR – a conjunction meaning ‘as a result of which’ and a musical key go inside (to check) an anagram (for pollution) of AIR.
23d Penned most of page in post-7 medium (5)
CAGED – put most of the letters of page inside a post-7d medium for recording music.
24d 16 player maybe starts to mess up string orchestration (4)
MUSO – the starting letters of four words in the clue.
Top clues for me were 12a and 7d. Which one(s) appealed to you?