Toughie No 1673 by proXimal
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***/****
The promised heatwave (or at least some very pleasant sunshine) has arrived in North Devon a day late after yesterday’s rain and thunder, but better late than never.
I enjoyed this puzzle and my copy of Chambers stayed on the shelf during the entire solving process (unlike yesterday when it was almost worn out). Thanks to proXimal for the entertainment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Tight girdles might lace up without flapping (14)
PHLEGMATICALLY – an adjective meaning tight or matey contains an anagram (up) of MIGHT LACE.
9a Dashing miles around, fellow is hot (7)
RAFFISH – reverse an adverb meaning miles or a long way and add the abbreviation for fellow, IS and H(ot). A bit like Mr Nadal, perhaps?
10a Clumsily shift rock trapping doctor (7)
SHAMBLE – a type of sedimentary rock contains one of the many abbreviations for a medical doctor.
11a Obviously having lost half crown (4)
PATE – start with an adverb meaning obviously or self-evidently and lose its second half.
12a Novel unidentified after edition’s lost for perpetuity (10)
INFINITUDE – an anagram (novel) of UNIDENTIFI[ed] without the abbreviation for edition. ‘Lost’ used in successive clues to signal a deletion is a bit sloppy.
14a Sloth audibly rushed by (6)
TORPOR – double homophone – firstly a verb meaning rushed, then a preposition, from Latin, meaning ‘by’.
15a Having opened present, European fool’s showing possession (8)
GENITIVE – the abbreviation for European and an informal word for a fool go inside (having opened) a verb to present or donate.
17a Mean bear (5,3)
STAND FOR – double definition, the second meaning tolerate.
18a Disappointed Democrat on channel cut short (6)
GUTTED – append the abbreviation for Democrat to a channel or conduit without its final R.
21a Railway cargo in it’s effectively not fully reviewed (10)
FFESTINIOG – this was my final answer. On first reading the clue I’d thought that ‘not fully reviewed’ was signalling a reverse lurker but the possibilities didn’t seem promising until I had all the checkers in place when there was a great d’oh moment. It’s the name of a narrow gauge railway in Snowdonia.
22a People that would be noble in bars (4)
ONES – if you insert the answer into the word bars you get a noble such as Tanni Grey-Thompson.
24a Magpies nested late today (7)
THIEVES – there’s a two-stage process required here. Start by coming up with a phrase (4,3) meaning ‘later on today’ then insert (nest) the second word into the first. I don’t believe I’ve seen a clue quite like this before but I think it works well.
25a One ousting fifty in Anglo-Zulu fighting, English struggle (7)
AGONIZE – swap the Roman numerals for fifty and one in the word Anglo, then make an anagram (fighting) of that and the letter that Zulu stands for in the Nato Phonetic alphabet. Finally add the abbreviation for English.
26a Promotion time after chief is cornered by mature workers (14)
AGGRANDISEMENT – insert an adjective meaning chief (as in the ***** Mufti of Jerusalem) and IS into a verb to mature and a word for workers, then finish with the abbreviation for time.
1d Soldier on favoured fortification (7)
PARAPET – a flying soldier is followed by an adjective meaning favoured or cherished.
2d The fleeting rain turned severe (4-11)
LIFE-THREATENING – an anagram (turned) of THE FLEETING RAIN.
3d One of brothers reported ill (4)
GRIM – this sounds like the name of the German brothers who published folktales (some of them rather grisly).
4d Oriental textbook I exchanged for a yen (6)
ACHING – start with the name of a Chinese manual (1,5) concerned with the interpretation of symbols and known in English as the Book of Changes, then change the I to A and remove the space.
5d Remarkable home looking like a church (8)
INSPIRED – an adverb meaning at home is followed by an adjective meaning having a phallic appendage common to many churches.
6d A king strangled by a savage is grasping (10)
AVARICIOUS – A and an abbreviation for king are contained inside A and an adjective meaning savage or ferocious.
7d Busy venue in Bristol harbours area needing many workers (6-9)
LABOUR-INTENSIVE – an anagram (busy) of VENUE IN BRISTOL containing the abbreviation for area.
8d Welsh, for example, Frenchman’s acquired (6)
RENEGE – the usual abbreviation for ‘for example’ with a traditional French male forename around it. The definition here is a verb.
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13d Boss died in mountainous region climbing about (4,2,4)
LORD IT OVER – insert the abbreviation for died into a mountainous region of Austria then reverse it and append a preposition meaning about or concerning.
16d Mischief off lad (6-2)
GOINGS-ON – a present participle meaning off (as in “I’m off to the cinema”) followed by a young male. The surface is not great.
17d Reliability with which liar could produce fairy tales (6)
SAFETY – this is a compound anagram – LIAR plus the answer produce an anagram of FAIRY TALES.
19d Policemen addressed protest (7)
DISSENT – more than one senior detective followed by a verb meaning addressed or dispatched.
20d African sots maligned, both half-cut (6)
SOMALI – cut off the second half of two words in the clue.
23d 1 lower than 100 is something like 99 (4)
CONE – spell out 1 and put it after the Roman numeral for 100. The setter is trying to make us think of IC as the Roman numeral for 99 (which it isn’t, of course).
I have asterisks beside 9a, 15a and 23d but my favourite, for the great penny drop moment it produced, is 21a. Which one(s) appealed to you?