Toughie No 1490 by Messinae
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is a pleasant puzzle which is not too tricky and which raised a few smiles. It would have been only ** for difficulty but there were two words that I didn’t know.
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1a Plot to beat chaotic situation (6)
BEDLAM – charade of a plot (in the garden perhaps) and a verb to beat.
4a Two muscles I have in case (8)
ABLATIVE – this is a grammatical case which will be familiar to all those who studied Latin. String together two abbreviations for muscles in the body and add the contracted form of ‘I have’.
9a Company’s determined to indulge (6)
COSSET – the abbreviation for company plus the ‘S followed by an adjective meaning determined.
10a Garment engineering graduate gets about a pound (8)
BATHROBE – an engineering degree contains A and a verb to pound or pulsate.
11a Standard I set in a record of Nirvana (9)
PARADISIC – start with a standard score then insert I into A and a record.
13a Little auk catches a fish (5)
ROACH – I needed the checking letters for this one because I didn’t know the word for the little auk. Insert an A into it to make a silvery freshwater fish.
14a Upper-class girl set about in spreading hypocrisy (13)
DISSIMULATION – reverse the letter used to mean upper-class and the title used for a girl and put them inside a word meaning spreading or growing larger.
17a Letting waters flow the old way (7,6)
WATLING STREET – an anagram (flow) of LETTING WATERS.
21a Over yielding leg bye perhaps (5)
EXTRA – double definition, the second a type of run scored at cricket.
23a Festival to enjoy with artist in bar (5,4)
MARDI GRAS – it was a real d’oh moment when I realised what sort of bar was involved. Insert an informal verb to enjoy or appreciate and the usual artist in an edible bar.
24a Introduces part of Bible in psalm I arranged (8)
IMPLANTS – put the abbreviation for the
older newer part of the Bible into an anagram (arranged) of PSALM I.
25a Servant attending earl’s farewell (6)
VALETE – a manservant is followed by E(arl) to produce the plural form of a Latin word meaning farewell (i.e. the word a Roman would have used to bid farewell to a group of people).
26a Terrible tragedy with end of leg caught in machinery (8)
GADGETRY – an anagram (terrible) of TRAGEDY containing the last letter of leg.
27a The Italian with fast pulse (6)
LENTIL – an Italian definite article follows a Christian period of fasting.
1d Muscle got from second-grade mushrooms I consumed (6)
BICEPS – our third muscle of the day comes from the letter used to mean second grade and edible mushrooms with I inserted.
2d Ring dishing dirt about someone ultimately (9)
DISCREDIT – start with a ring or circle and add an anagram (dishing) of DIRT containing the ultimate letter of someone. This is an all-in-one clue though the definition is not very precise (I presume that for the definition ‘ring’ means telephone).
3d Programmes finish in a fun occasion (7)
AGENDAS – insert a finish into A and an informal word for a fun occasion.
5d Accountant needs to stand article on bar (4,7)
BEAN COUNTER – a verb to stand or exist and an indefinite article precede a bar or worktop.
6d Some spread harm and unrighteousness (7)
ADHARMA – this is a Sanskrit word for unrighteousness which is used in Hinduism. It’s not a word that I knew but it’s pretty easy to spot as it’s hidden (some) in the clue.
7d Going round circuit, length one mile, a racetrack (5)
IMOLA – the letter that looks like a circuit and L(ength) have the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for mile and A going round them. The answer is a racetrack in Italy where what I consider to be the most boring sport in the world takes place (stands by for complaints from petrolheads).
8d Creature roaming the planet endlessly (8)
ELEPHANT – an anagram (roaming) of THE PLANE[t].
12d Feature of election night gets more excited covering victory (11)
SWINGOMETER – an anagram (excited) of GETS MORE contains a victory. In spite of the ever more extravagant and complicated graphics produced on election nights nothing has ever beaten (for me) the clarity and simplicity of the original device used by Professor Bob McKenzie and which looked like he’d spent 5 minutes knocking it up in his garage.
15d Cross brief entering popular court (9)
INTERSECT – an adjective meaning brief or succinct goes between an adverb meaning popular or trendy and the abbreviation for court.
16d Comprehensive school’s initial greeting (8)
SWEEPING – the initial letter of school is followed by what Scots mean by ‘greeting’.
18d I serve a captain in religious role (7)
IMAMATE – split the answer 1’1,1,4 and it could mean ‘I serve a ship’s captain’.
19d Leave country spurning good Arab land (7)
EMIRATE – today’s old chestnut. A verb to leave one’s country without the G[ood].
20d Old rifle made of bone (6)
OSTEAL – the abbreviation for old followed by a verb to rifle or plunder.
22d With listening device on phone, newspaperman made recording (5)
TAPED – ‘on phone’ is trying to persuade us that this is a homophone but in fact we need a listening device which, when attached to a phone, allows others to eavesdrop. Add the usual abbreviation for a newspaperman.
The top clues for me were 23a and 12d. Which one(s) floated your boat?