Toughie No 1665 by Elkamere
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
It’s a pleasant surprise to get an Elkamere puzzle on a Wednesday. This is not one of his toughest but it’s full of his trademark cunningly-disguised definitions and very enjoyable.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a In mid-morning, jump gate (10)
ATTENDANCE – a phrase meaning in mid-morning (2,3) followed by a verb to jump.
6a Publicist cautiously holds back book (4)
ACTS – a reverse lurker.
9a I’m pure and I might be perfect (10)
UNIMPAIRED – an anagram (might be) of I’M PURE AND I.
10a Wife‘s endless cheating (4)
FRAU – cheating or swindling without its final letter.
13a CD cases will split (7)
CLEAVED – CD contains a verb to will or bequeath.
15a Gipsy with cuts (not deliberate) (6)
RANDOM – a conjunction meaning ‘with’ is inserted into (cuts) a more PC word for a gipsy.
16a One left turning, bordering on straight (6)
LINEAR – the Roman numeral for one and L(eft) get reversed and they’re followed by a preposition meaning ‘bordering on’.
17a About to fail, filling out conference form? (5,4-6)
GOING PEAR-SHAPED – cryptically this could mean expanding into the form of a type of fruit. Conference in this context is usually capitalised.
18a Fake walls right answer at first place of solitude (6)
ASHRAM – an adjective meaning fake or feigned contains an abbreviation for right. That’s preceded by an abbreviation for answer.
20a Location of Africa‘s lost currency (6)
GUINEA – double definition, the second an old currency unit of ours (still used, I believe, at racehorse sales).
21a 50 visiting one playing field (4,3)
LOVE RAT – the Roman numeral for 50 followed by a phrase (4,2) meaning visiting.
22a Independent sub’s unfinished story (4)
ITEM – the abbreviation for independent and a sub or short-term employee without the last letter.
25a What we need to take home with us? (6,4)
LIVING WAGE – cryptic definition of the pay rate necessary to support an adequate lifestyle.
26a My life’s hard (4)
GOSH – string together a word for life or energy, the ‘S and the abbreviation for hard.
27a Leave a girl single and available (10)
PERMISSION – a charade of ‘a’ (as in ’50p a kilo’), a girl’s title, a single and an adverb meaning available.
1d A weird plant with large leaves (4)
ARUM – A and an adjective meaning weird or odd.
2d Cotton on small piece of wood (4)
TWIG – double definition. ‘Cotton on’ is a phrasal verb.
3d Sort of bomb China used in war (6)
NAPALM – what Cockneys mean by a China goes inside the contracted name used for a 20th century war in the Far East (where this type of bomb was used extensively).
4d Drawing of polar bears? (6,9)
ANIMAL MAGNETISM – cryptic definition of a term for sexual attractiveness or sensuality.
5d Basket full of wife’s yarn (6)
CREWEL – a large fish basket contains the abbreviation for wife. I didn’t know this term for a fine worsted yarn.
7d Fit person moves in line (10)
CORRESPOND – an anagram (moves) of PERSON goes inside a line or string.
8d Good bargain all round? Apparently not (6,4)
SQUARE DEAL – this good bargain sounds as though it’s angular rather than round.
11d Dead heat not quite dignifying motorsport (4-6)
DRAG-RACING – start with a dead heat or tie without its final letter and add a present participle meaning dignifying or honouring.
12d X in naughty English shows? (10)
ENLIGHTENS – what X meant to the Romans goes inside an anagram (naughty) of ENGLISH.
13d Tory, say, rejected a Liberal set (7)
CONGEAL – string together an abbreviation for Tory, the abbreviation meaning ‘say’ reversed, A and L(iberal).
14d Diameter I call exact (4,3)
DISH OUT – the abbreviation for diameter is followed by I and a verb to call loudly. ‘Exact’ here is a verb, as in ‘to exact vengeance’.
19d Still, this isn’t doctor’s anger (6)
MOBILE – charade of one of the many abbreviations for a doctor and a word meaning anger or bitterness.
20d River runs away from farmhouses (6)
GANGES – remove the cricket abbreviation for runs from farmhouses.
23d Saw shortened dress (4)
MAXI – a saw or adage without its last letter.
24d Live with one that’s hard to live without! (4)
BEAN – a verb to live or exist followed by ‘one’. If you didn’t have one of these you’d be on the breadline.
The shortlist for my top spot included 17a, 14d, 19d and 24d but the number in the envelope (for the d’oh moment) is 21a. Which one(s) got you going?