Toughie No 1533 by Sparks
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Thanks to Sparks for a very good and most enjoyable Toughie. He usually incorporates a Nina in the grid and today is no exception – if you’ve not found it there’s more information at the bottom of the review.
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1a Wolves etc mostly fair when tackling men (9)
CARNIVORA – a fair or festival without its last letter contains the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers.
6a Service given by adult store (5)
AMASS – a religious service follows the letter once used in UK film classifications to specify adult.
9a Spoke about beginning to calculate root (7)
RADICAL – a spoke contains the first letter of calculate.
10a Pretend one girl is expecting another? (9)
IMAGINARY – start with the Roman numeral for one then insert one 4-letter girl’s name into another. Presumably ‘expecting’ as a containment indicator is being used in the sense of carrying, as in “she’s expecting a baby”.
11a Protected face from devious type, turning left or right (3,4)
LEE SIDE – reverse (turning) a devious, slippery type and add what may be either left or right.
12a Its beneficiaries expect to be under some pressure (7)
SHIATSU – cryptic definition of a form of therapy from Japan.
13a Apple peel, apricot and nuts — Ma prepared too much for a trifle (1,5,2,1,6)
A STORM IN A TEACUP – make an anagram (prepared) of A[ppl]E APRICOTS NUTS MA.
18a Lifts offered by sailor given drink (5,2)
JACKS UP – an informal word for a sailor followed by a verb to drink.
20a Beat victim, a sucker of sorts (7)
LAMPREY – charade of a verb to beat or thrash and a victim or quarry.
22a Great songs hint how to get this (5,4)
SMASH HITS – obey the answer and you get THIS.
23a Rum served in saloon in anything but Holy Island (7)
BACARDI – insert what saloon is a type of (in the motoring world) into the opposite of holy or good, then finish with an abbreviation for island. Did there ought to be some indication that saloon is being used as an example?
24a Stamp on over-sentimental, hollow WWII song? (5)
OLDIE – a stamping device follows the outer letters of over-sentimental.
25a Run away from pedestrian organised fortnightly events (4,5)
NEAP TIDES – remove the cricket abbreviation for run from PEDEST[r]IAN and make an anagram (organised) of what’s left.
1d Lamb under ribbed cloth made by a king’s daughter (8)
CORDELIA – the king is one of Shakespeare’s eponymous heroes. The pseudonym used by the essayist Charles Lamb follows a type of ribbed cloth.
2d Reminiscent of handout contributing to payment (8)
REDOLENT – a handout from the state goes inside a regular payment.
3d Fashionable young one’s current demons (6)
INCUBI – string together an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy, a young animal or person and the symbol for electric current.
4d Bind top of load in sash, say, for lifting (6)
OBLIGE – insert the first letter of load into a Japanese sash then reverse (for lifting) the abbreviation meaning say or ‘for instance’.
5d At Dunkirk, rescuers were so disoriented (3,2,3)
ALL AT SEA – how one could categorise 100% of the rescuers of the British forces from Dunkirk in WWII.
6d Clubs avoiding habit-forming supplement (8)
ADDITIVE – remove the abbreviation for the card suit clubs from an adjective meaning habit-forming.
7d Out-and-out conceited, ignoring sign of damage to one’s team (6)
ARRANT – start with an adjective meaning conceited or haughty and take away the abbreviation for an accidental addition to the opposition’s score in football.
8d Announcement of copper’s farewell (3,3)
SEE YOU – say aloud the chemical symbol for copper.
14d Remain in institution (4,4)
REST HOME – charade of a verb to remain or stay put and an adverb meaning ‘in’.
15d 18 Down literally in unending fix — shut up! (8)
IMPRISON – insert what’s exactly described in the answer to 18d into a verb to fix or embed without its final T.
16d Fuelled by energy, my geek went round the bend (8)
CORNERED – an exclamation meaning ‘my!’ is followed by a geek or knowledgeable but socially inept person containing E(nergy).
17d One catches deep breath, frees oneself of visionaries (8)
PSYCHICS – this is a double homophone (indicated by ‘one catches’). Start with what sounds like a deep breath and add a homophone of an informal verb meaning ‘frees oneself of’ (an undesirable habit).
18d In a precise manner, tilts to move ring to the bottom (4,2)
JUST SO – a verb meaning tilts in a mediaeval tournament has its ring-shaped letter moved to the bottom.
19d Scratched rule in church before end of synod (6)
CLAWED – insert a rule into an abbreviation for church and add the end letter of synod.
20d QC almost picked up scarf in foreign city (6)
LISBOA – this city is spelt here in the way its inhabitants would spell it rather than how we usually see it. Reverse an informal word for a QC without its final letter and add a woman’s long furry scarf.
21d Port wine (6)
MUSCAT – double definition. The port is on the Arabian peninsula.
Top clues for me today were 22a, 7d and 8d. Which one(s) appealed to you?
As for the Nina – the double unches in the NW, SE and SW spell out (going clockwise in each case) ‘double unches twosomes’ and all four double unches in the NE corner are double letters.