Toughie No 1589 by Petitjean
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I am a great fan of Petitjean’s quirky puzzles but I thought that this one was probably more suited to the back page than the Toughie slot. There are some enjoyable clues but too many seemed very straightforward (especially if, as in the case of 15a, you’ve blogged pretty much the same clue in yesterday’s back-pager).
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Appliance one is content to see gathering dust in a corner? (6,7)
VACUUM CLEANER – when I read this first clue the answer seemed obvious – so obvious in fact that I suspected a trap and didn’t write it in until I had some checking letters. Then I spent time looking for some wordplay, but I concluded that it’s just a very simple cryptic definition – unless you know differently.
9a Cameron confused about Northern area being part of Ireland (9)
CONNEMARA – an anagram (confused) of CAMERON contains N(orthern) and we finish with A(rea).
10a Clairvoyant showing no sign of hesitation; instead a means of communication (5)
MEDIA – start with a clairvoyant and replace the expression of hesitation with A.
11a One charged with possession died from barbiturate (5)
OWNER – remove the abbreviation for died from the start of a type of barbiturate.
12a Woodwind is less loud instrument (4)
LUTE – a woodwind instrument without the abbreviation for loud.
13a Leader of Boomtown Rats missing point — the rascal (4)
BRAT – the leading letter of Boomtown followed by Rats without the cardinal point.
15a Dotty genuine unsophisticated young woman (7)
INGÉNUE – an anagram (dotty) of GENUINE. This is obviously the word of the week since we had the same answer and the same anagram fodder in yesterday’s back-pager.
17a Working in tuxedo — high-class article for ladies’ man (3,4)
DON JUAN – put an adverb meaning working or in operation inside the abbreviation for a tuxedo, then add the letter used to mean high-class and an indefinite article.
18a Drunk‘s sound of snoring interrupting only daughter (7)
SOZZLED – insert the sound of someone snoring into an adjective meaning only and append the abbreviation for daughter.
20a Language at its most basic: ‘Gi’s a bell!’ (7)
PHONEME – this is the smallest unit of sound in a language. Split it 5,2 and it means ‘Give us a bell’.
21a Somewhat loathsome obscenity (4)
OATH – hidden word.
22a Slick 25 perhaps (4)
FILM – double definition. Slick is a noun meaning a coating of oil (on the sea following an oil spill, perhaps).
23a Ape managed to stop try going over (5)
ORANG – a verb meaning managed goes inside (to stop) the reversal of a try or attempt. I didn’t know that just the first bit of the ape (normally 5-4) could be used on its own.
26a Good to ogle without yen to arouse (3,2)
GEE UP – start with G(ood) and add a phrasal verb meaning to ogle (3,2) without the abbreviation for yen.
27a Religious leader in a part of Africa with a youngster? The opposite (5,4)
DALAI LAMA – string together A, a country in West Africa, A again and a young man. Finally reverse the lot.
28a The cultivation and care of arugula could be an intellectually demanding activity (6,7)
ROCKET SCIENCE – this activity or profession is often used as an example of something that requires a lot of brainpower. Cryptically it could describe the cultivation of arugula (a Mediterranean herb used in salads), though why anyone would want to grow the nasty stuff is beyond me.
1d Top dog turned first-class scrounge getting sandwich (8,6)
VICTORIA SPONGE – string together a top dog or gold medal winner, the reversal of the abbreviation meaning first-class and a verb to scrounge or bum.
2d Clergyman accepted rule (5)
CANON – double definition, the second being a generally accepted rule or principle.
3d Loose-jointed girl runner right away approaching style essentially like clockwork (10)
UNERRINGLY – an anagram (loose-jointed) of GIRL [r]UNNER without one of the abbreviations for right followed by the central letter of style.
4d Proper name for a fool? (7)
CHARLIE – double definition, rather clever because when the answer is used to mean a fool it is often preceded by ‘proper’.
5d Acclaimed cockney charm given a rest (7)
EXALTED – put together a charm or magic spell and a past participle meaning given a rest or brought to a standstill. Now drop the initial letter from both elements in the manner of a Cockney.
6d Fancy having turned up. Mike is in shock (4)
NUMB – fancy here is a small cake (of the sort served up on doilies at Sunday teatime when I was young). Reverse an example of this and insert the letter for which Mike is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
7d Wine to go with beef or game (3,6)
RED GROUSE – charade of a type of wine and a verb to beef or whinge.
8d Checked sweet can bake better mixed with last of icing (10,4)
BATTENBERG CAKE – an anagram (mixed) of CAN BAKE BETTER and the last letter of [icin]G. I always thought that this was spelled with a U rather than the second E (and Chambers does give that as an alternative) but the correct spelling is as in the answer because it comes from a town in Germany with that name.
14d Surfing on domain name, one that’s of its time now (4,6)
ANNO DOMINI – an anagram (surfing, presumably in the sense of foaming) of ON DOMAIN N(ame) followed by the Roman numeral for one.
16d Official journalist always has look over Times first (9)
GAZETTEER – ‘official journalist’ is one of the meanings in the BRB for this word. A poetic form of a word meaning always is preceded by a verb to look intently and two occurrences of the abbreviation for time.
19d Peter out with Ian on vacation in double date with loveless Leo (7)
DWINDLE – put the abbreviation for with and Ian without his middle letter between two abbreviations for date. Finish with Leo without the letter that resembles love or zero.
20d Spots politician hoarding fortunes? On the contrary (7)
PIMPLES – not a politician hoarding fortunes but fortunes or stacks of money containing our usual elected politician. Presumably ‘… politician entertaining pains in the ar*e …’ would not have made it past the editor.
24d A victory once more (5)
AGAIN – A followed by a victory or advancement.
25d Ignore the odds of disco record heading to be huge (4)
EPIC – the even letters of disco headed by an old music record.
My favourite clue today was one of 20a, 4d and 6d. Which one(s) made you sit up?