NTSPP – 334
Life’s a Gas by Hoskins
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review by crypticsue follows:
A beast of a Saturday afternoon puzzle from Hoskins – the parsing of a few of the clues took longer than all the rest put together, not to mention most of them being quite tricky to hint at in simple and plain English.
1a He performs poorly with Lee at Lords (5,2,3,5)
PEERS OF THE REALM An anagram (poorly) of HE PERFORMS and LEE AT.
9a Chill and gas with tenor or get back to work? (7)
RESTART Another way of saying relax (chill being an informal term for this), the chemical symbol for Argon (gas) and the abbreviation for Tenor.
10a Flash northern lad having ball breaking wind (7)
MONSOON A seasonal wind we tend to associate more with the rain that accompanies it – an informal term for a small period of time (flash) the abbreviation for Northern, a male child (lad) with the letter that looks like a ball ‘breaking’ or being inserted.
11a Gas board’s second and final letter about energy (5)
OZONE The second letter of board, the final letter of the alphabet, the preposition meaning about, and the abbreviation for Energy.
12a Lack of faith in detective getting second conviction (9)
DISBELIEF The abbreviation for a particular rank of detective, the abbreviation for second and another word for conviction.
13a A gas ousting The First Couple for power or wealth (9)
AFFLUENCE A (from the clue) and the chemical symbol for fluorine, the latter ‘ousting’ the first two letters of a word meaning the power of producing an effect, especially unobtrusively.
15a Fumes associated with mature son, or passing gas (5)
RAGES Fumes here being part of a verb meaning gets very angry – Remove the O for oxygen from OR (passing gas) and add a verb meaning to mature and the abbreviation for Son.
16a Like Hoskins to occupy very large watering hole (5)
OASIS AS I (like Hoskins, our setter) to occupy the two letters used to indicate very large.
18a Male committed after losing head on drugs (9)
MEDICATED The abbreviation for Male followed by a word meaning committed, without its ‘head’ or first letter.
20a Most filthy German titters on sniffing gas (9)
GROTTIEST The abbreviation for German and an anagram of TITTERS into which is inserted the abbreviation for the gas we removed in 15a.
23a Collect a van for major US gas producer? (5)
AMASS A (from the clue), the van or leading letter of Major and the American term for the part of the body that ‘produces gas’.
24a With right direction, a bishop can be up to date (7)
ABREAST A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Bishop go with R (right) and a compass direction.
25a Fellow sat in shivering again without gas money? (7)
AFGHANI A monetary unit of a central Asian republic – F (fellow) ‘sat in’ or inserted into an anagram (shivering) of AGAIN, the result put outside the chemical symbol for Hydrogen (without gas).
26a Possible treatment for a proven hysteria? (8,7)
AVERSION THERAPY An anagram (treatment for) of A PROVEN HYSTERIA
1d Parents groan on raising a black sheep (7,3,5)
PERSONA NON GRATA An anagram (raising) of PARENTS GROAN ON followed by the A from the clue.
2d Reduce intensity of gas after taking drugs orally (4,3)
EASE OFF A homophone (orally) of the informal way we might refer to two tablets of Ecstasy, OF (from the clue) and the chemical symbol for Fluorine.
3d Ops in which German police will ring Domino’s? (5-4)
STAKE-OUTS The abbreviation for the German Nazi police corps ‘rings’ the sort of food of which Domino’s pizza is an example, if you were in North American anyway.
4d Foul gas this setter had after egg and tofu starters (5)
FETID The abbreviated way Hoskins would say I had goes after the chemical symbol we already met in 2d and the ‘starters’ of Egg and Tofu.
5d Ranch dressing some hated (9)
HOMESTEAD An anagram (dressing) of SOME HATED
6d Get up about noon to wash quickly (5)
RINSE A verb meaning to get up goes about the abbreviation for Noon.
7d Like a party with wedding band, perhaps! (7)
ADORING Liking intensely- A (from the clue) an informal way of referring to a party, and the item of jewellery often referred to as a wedding band.
8d New feminists and yet old doctrine? (8,7)
MANIFEST DESTINY An anagram (new) of FEMINISTS AND YET – In the 19th century, this was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America.
14d Crap opium perhaps source of tummy with gas (6,3)
NUMBER TWO Opium is an example, perhaps, of an anaesthetic, so you need the informal way an anaesthetic is referred to, especially in Crosswordland, followed by the ‘source’ of Tummy, the abbreviation for With and the gas we’ve met twice already. I share Expat Chris’s views of this type of clue.
15d Side dominated by City in right form (9)
RECTANGLE The abbreviation for the postal area of the City of London inserted into an abbreviation for right and then followed with another word for side.
17d Pest turned up gas, and egg’s on top of oven! (7)
SCOURGE A reversal (turned up) of a particularly nasty gas used for crowd control, the ‘top’ of Oven, and a verb meaning to egg on.
19d Scholar at autopsy holding heaven-bound reptile (7)
TUATARA The 2Kiwis should know this NZ lizard-like reptile – the rest of us have to spot the reversed (heaven-bound) lurker in scholAR AT AUTopsy
21d Fix up covering over gas leaking from ducts? (5)
TEARS A reversal (up) of a verb meaning to fix covering over the chemical symbol for Argon
22d Weaselly type dropping what looks like a dollar for pledge (5)
TOAST Take a relative of the weasel and drop the letter that looks like a dollar sign down a bit.
I’m going out now and won’t be back until early afternoon, so if anyone spots anything wrong, I’ll deal with it then.