Toughie No 1502 by Elkamere
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
Last week a Micawber, this week a superb puzzle from Elkamere – Wednesdays can’t get much better. This one is not too tough but is chock full of d’oh-producing clues – I loved it.
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1a Dawn’s slave struggling to hide love pains? (6,6)
FRENCH LOAVES – the surname of comedian Dawn is followed by an anagram (struggling) of SLAVE containing ‘love’. What a brilliant start!
9a Quality of fighters on the move (9)
MIGRATING – split the answer 3,6 to get the appraisal of fighter planes.
10a An acting president (5)
PERON – I expect that lots of you, as I did, thought initially of Ron Reagan here but this was a president from further south. Combine a preposition that can mean ‘an’ (as in ’50p an ounce’) and an adverb meaning acting or performing.
11a A bit sooner (6)
RATHER – double definition, the second meaning sooner (as in “I’d sooner you didn’t do that”).
12a Mean, having no box for games console (8)
NINTENDO – a verb to mean has ‘no’ boxing it.
13a In speech, compare fungus and alga (6)
LICHEN – this sounds like a verb meaning to compare.
15a Idiot turning steel key (8)
PASSWORD – reverse an idiot or gullible person and add the weapon for which steel is a literary term.
18a One is Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman (insert ‘old’) (8)
FORENAME – Hi there, pop pickers. We need an anagram (fluff) of FREEMAN containing O(ld). I always assumed that the nickname ‘fluff’ was related to on-air mistakes (such as his once announcing a record as ‘Cast your wind to the fates’) but I’ve learnt today that it was because he wore fluffy jumpers – how disappointing.
19a Stop account of university (6)
CANTAB – charade of a North American slang verb meaning to stop and a running bill or account.
21a Vehicle attachment, sort of bar to extract oil? (4,4)
ROOF RACK – a sort of bar fitted to the front of road vehicles in the Australian outback is followed by a verb (one that we’ve heard a lot in recent years) meaning to extract oil.
23a An English soft drink — to drink I would (6)
PIDGIN – the musical abbreviation for soft and an alcoholic drink contain the contracted form of ‘I would’. Any accusation that the surface is a bit ropey can be countered by the claim that it’s written as an example of the answer.
26a Produce kittens after room’s emptied (5)
ALARM – a preposition (1,2) meaning after or ‘in the manner of’ is followed by vacated room.
27a Contact that hurts after criminal grabs one (2,2,5)
BE IN TOUCH – an expression of pain (that hurts!) follows an informal adjective meaning criminal or dishonest containing the Roman numeral for one.
28a Unreasonable contract to secure church event (12)
STEEPLECHASE – stitch together an informal adjective meaning unreasonable or exorbitant and a contract of hire containing one of the abbreviations for church.
1d Iron Maiden vocal that’s near the bone? (7)
FEMORAL – string together the chemical symbol for iron, the abbreviation for maiden and an adjective meaning vocal or verbal.
I’m coming back
I will return
And I’ll possess your body and I’ll make you burn
I have the fire
I have the force
I have the power to make my evil take its course
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2d People rowing, worried by announcer (5)
EIGHT – sounds (by announcer) like a verb meaning worried or gnawed away.
3d Blender with scales attached (9)
CHAMELEON – cryptic definition of something that blends into the background.
4d Lane in the heart of Kent (4)
LOIS – that’s Clark Kent. Absolutely brilliant!
5d A Christian point of view, mostly ‘It’s easy for me’ (8)
ANGLICAN – a point of view or approach without its last letter followed by ‘It’s easy for me’ (1,3).
6d Turned up video about unknown person living abroad (5)
EXPAT – reverse a verb (or noun) meaning video containing a mathematical unknown.
7d Show where boxers are during fight (5,3)
BRING OUT – where boxers perform goes inside a fight or contest.
8d Radio broadcast about end of Martian invasion (6)
INROAD – an anagram (broadcast) of RADIO contains the end letter of Martian.
14d Officer material (8)
CORPORAL – double definition, the second an adjective meaning material or physical rather than spiritual.
16d Still about to meet up, in fact (9)
STATISTIC – an adjective meaning still or motionless contains the reversal of a verb to meet (as a parliament, for example, does).
17d Is the writer’s telegram good-natured? (8)
AMICABLE – “Is the writer” posed as a question from the writer’s viewpoint (2,1) followed by another word for telegram. With the Liberal Democrats out of government we no longer get their Business Secretary every other day.
18d Keep pinching the old lady’s make-up (6)
FORMAT – a keep or citadel contains an affectionate term for one’s old lady.
20d Spirit has been beaten (7)
BANSHEE – an anagram (beaten) of HAS BEEN.
22d Take and give out orders (5)
REMIT – the single letter abbreviation for take (appearing on medical prescriptions) is followed by a verb to give out or discharge.
24d A couple beginning to grate up cheese (5)
GOUDA – string together A, a couple and the first letter of grate then reverse it all.
25d Have intention to leave (4)
WILL – double definition, the second a verb meaning to leave or bequeath.
There are a whole host of clues I could mention but I’ll confine my choices to 1a, 10a, 18a, 1d and my absolute favourite, 4d. Which one(s) had you chuckling?