Toughie No 1733 by Warbler
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment **
We’re now into Crimbo Limbo, the hiatus between waving farewell to the last scrap of turkey and the breaking of the first New Year’s resolution, so many solvers should have plenty of leisure time to tackle the Toughie – this one, however, shouldn’t take very long at all.
Thanks to Warbler and all the other Toughie setters for their puzzles over 2016 and Best Wishes to them, fellow bloggers and all contributors to the blog for a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with today’s puzzle and what you thought of it.
5a Huge bird caught in area going west (7)
TITANIC – start with a songbird then reverse an abbreviation for caught, IN and the abbreviation for area.
7a On reflection, sketches green turf (5)
SWARD – reverse a verb meaning sketches.
9a Name originally used by Prince for conscription (4-2)
CALL-UP – join together a verb to name, the original letter of ‘used’ and an abbreviation for prince.
10a Spanish fighter travelled quickly by damaged road (8)
TOREADOR – a verb mean travelled quickly followed by an anagram (damaged) of ROAD. ‘Spanish fighter’ somehow sounds noble but this character is anything but.
11a Instruments used when fires, reportedly, circle pub on outskirts of Eccles (10)
SAXOPHONES – lots of lego pieces to assemble here – a homophone of a verb meaning fires or dismisses, the circular letter, the abbreviation for pub, ON and the outer letters of Eccles.
13a/16a/18d Around the beginning of October Keith met Lois in motion picture (4,4,2,3)
SOME LIKE IT HOT – an anagram (in motion) of KEITH MET LOIS contains the first letter of October.
14a Gin, say, with dessert can be pleasant but brief (5,3,5)
SHORT AND SWEET – assemble what gin is an example of, a conjunction meaning with and another word for dessert.
16a See 13a
17a Displaying dislike, trick to conceal one course of action (10)
ANTIPATHIC – a trick or prank contains the Roman numeral for one and a course of action. I had to check with Chambers that the answer without ‘et’ is actually a word.
19a Yankee Doodle’s feather? You could eat it! (8)
MACARONI – double definition. What Yankee Doodle called the feather in his cap means something fanciful and extravagant. This usage derives from the eighteenth century when young men went on the Grand Tour of Italy and developed a liking for the foodstuff so that the word became associated with dandies who dressed in high fashion.
20a Hot number makes summit (6)
HEIGHT – the abbreviation for hot and a cardinal number.
22a Poem for example written in cathedral city (5)
ELEGY – the abbreviation of ‘for example’ goes inside an English cathedral city.
23a Cooked fruits crammed with energy in excess (7)
SURFEIT – an anagram (cooked) of FRUITS contains the abbreviation for energy.
1d Bleat about leaving leader with others (2,2)
ET AL – an anagram (about) of [b]LEAT without its leading letter.
2d Take two photos yet end up with just one (8)
SNAPSHOT – two words for a photo are stuck together to make a third.
3d Egyptian god‘s extra-large flag (6)
OSIRIS – an abbreviation meaning extra-large followed by another name for a flag plant.
4d Though unusually smart he’s an annoyance (10)
HARASSMENT – an anagram (unusually) of SMART HE’S AN.
5d Tenor initially rehearses in the manner of a hum (3-2)
TRA-LA – string together the abbreviation for tenor, the initial letter of rehearses and a preposition (1,2) meaning ‘in the manner of’.
6d Extraordinary escalation in punishment, ultimately — with this? (3-1-4-5)
CAT-O’-NINE-TAILS – an anagram (extraordinary) of ESCALATION IN and the final letter of [punishmen]T.
8d Cross over dull person offering little resistance (7)
DOORMAT – reverse the sort of cross found in a church and add an adjective meaning dull or lustreless.
12d Old region developed early. It’s above the earth (5,5)
OZONE LAYER – start with O(ld) and a synonym for region then finish with an anagram (developed) of EARLY.
14d Ground needs time to produce green fodder (7)
SOILAGE – charade of another word for ground or earth and a period of time. I didn’t know this word for green fodder – it seems to have the same meaning as the same word without the ‘O’, although the two have different roots.
15d County’s housing application, in stone (8)
SAPPHIRE – a word for a non-metropolitan English county contains the short word used for a computer application.
17d Soon unknown male gets pen name (6)
ANONYM – bring together an archaic synonym for soon, an algebraic unknown and M(ale).
18d See 13a
21d Fateful day in Rome that is cut short (4)
IDES – the Latin (in Rome) phrase meaning ‘that is’ without its last letter. ‘in Rome’ could be either part of the definition or, as I’ve taken it, part of the wordplay.
My favourite clue today is 8d. Which one(s) bucked you up?