Toughie No 1524 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Toro
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
This was a quite a gentle and certainly an enjoyable start to the short post-Xmas week. Excuse the belated review.
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 Innovative in the end, Federer stops playing advantage (5-5)
AVANT-GARDE Anagram of ADVANTAGE around (federe)R.
6a Heartless wench messed up champ (4)
CHEW Anagram of WE(n)CH.
9a Deed rewritten with this mistake could be reordered (5)
ERROR REORDERED is an anagram of DEED and the solution.
10a Doom Mother Russia? (9)
DAMNATION Archaic word for mother + a country or people.
12a Forgetful people start to suffer terrible racist banter (13)
SCATTERBRAINS S(uffer) + anagram of RACIST BANTER.
14a The French (three of them) on vacation needed a fantasy world (2-2,4)
LA-LA LAND French definite article x3 + N(eede)D.
15a Cook, perhaps, poisoned person with third piece of beef, not second (6)
OPENER A reference to the England cricketer who bats at No. 1. Anagram of PER(s)ON and (be)E(f).
17a Cold sex during loveless game (6)
BITING Two-letter word for the sexual act inside a social betting game minus O.
19a Arrest celebrity over Eastern poison (8)
RATSBANE To arrest + a celebrity, all reversed, then E(astern).
21a Darth … em, Darth? Shoot-’em-up! (5,8)
SPACE INVADERS Read (5,2,6), the solution suggests what an em might be in typography in-between two Dark Lords.
24a Dine out to accommodate composer? No way (1,5,3)
I NEVER DID Anagram of DINE around a composer.
25a Figure missing in picture (5)
IMAGE To figure or conceive in the mind’s eye, minus IN.
26a Number not initially like six or twelve (4)
EVEN A number minus its first letter.
27a Trains excited bloke, 17? (10)
ASTRINGENT Anagram of TRAINS + bloke or chap.
1d Help section of tribute band making a comeback (4)
ABET Hidden backwards inside TRIBUTEBAND.
2d Spray a painful back with oil? Not I (7)
AEROSOL A + synonym for painful, reversed + O(i)L.
3d Affect ignorance of an untidy rebel being out of order (4,1,5,3)
TURN A BLIND EYE Anagram of AN UNTIDY REBEL.
4d Inspecting German car, sound as a bell? (8)
AUDITING German car make + to make a small bell-like sound.
5d Express doubts strange editor from the South (5)
DEMUR Strange or queer + ED(itor), all reversed.
7d Regularly hear painter’s going topless for islander (7)
HAITIAN H(e)A(r) + a Venetian artist.
8d One who might wipe out victory refused somehow having eradicated base on river (10)
WINDSURFER A victory + anagram of R(e)FUSED + R(iver). (The base is e, the base of the natural logarithm in maths.)
11d As an aside, misguided pope ordains heartless rake (1,6,2,4)
A PROPOS DE RIEN Anagram of POPE ORDAINS R(ak)E.
13d Commoner is to call for vote (10)
PLEBISCITE A member of the great unwashed + IS + to call or summon to court.
16d King goes after gold captured by drunken armed pirate (8)
MARAUDER Chemical symbol for gold inside anagram of ARMED, then abbreviation for King in Latin.
18d Swinger sends up essence of Led Zep pictures (7)
TRAPEZE (l)E(d) + ZEP + pictures, paintings etc., all reversed.
20d Mollify fool yearning to get answer rather than run (7)
ASSUAGE A fool or idiot + a yearning with R(un) replaced by A(nswer).
22d Swellings that might make pair despair? Quite the opposite (5)
NODES Split (2,3), how DESPAIR becomes PAIR.
23d Injure hitch-hiker with Ford? (4)
DENT Hero of the Douglas Adams trilogy whisked into space by Ford Prefect.
I enjoyed all of this, with no particular favourites. I wonder whether Jean-Luc’s English is up to 11d?
Over to you – please rate and comment on this puzzle below.