Toughie No 1745 by Elkamere
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
It’s great to get another Elkamere puzzle on a Wednesday and, as usual, this one entertains splendidly with a fair few d’oh moments for the well-disguised definitions.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Foul landing place for blow fly is here (5,3,4)
BELOW THE BELT – where the fly (on trousers) is located.
8a Show ‘choose’ as ‘choose again‘ (7)
READOPT – this is a verb to choose once more (someone as a parliamentary candidate, for example). It’s a charade of a verb to show or register and a verb to choose.
9a Will not split (Scottish spelling) (7)
CANTRIP – a Scottish word for a witch’s spell (not one that I knew), when split 3’1,3 could mean ‘will not split’.
11a Check this bad language (7)
LETTISH – a word for check or obstruction is followed by an anagram (bad) of THIS.
12a Cuckoo tangles flipping legs (7)
STAMINA – reverse a charade of a black tropical cuckoo (3) (another word I didn’t know) and a verb meaning tangles or gets snarled up.
13a Sweet stall (5)
FUDGE – double definition, the second a verb to stall or prevaricate.
14a Ancient court and shrine in ruins (9)
SANHEDRIN – this old Jewish court is an anagram (in ruins) of AND SHRINE.
16a Mean salesman’s grudge (9)
REPRESENT – concatenate a travelling salesman and a verb to grudge.
19a Good group in cricket ground (5)
GABBA – the abbreviation for good and a Scandinavian group make up the name of the test match ground in Brisbane.
21a One flying boat on right, unfinished (7)
TITLARK – a Biblical boat follows a word meaning right or ownership without its final letter.
23a Rumours of sightings all started right here (7)
ROSWELL – this is the place in New Mexico where a US Air Force balloon crashed in 1947 prompting a host of conspiracy theories that it was a UFO containing alien beings and that it had all been covered up by the government. The starting letters of the first three words are followed by an adjective meaning right or fit.
24a Part of desert area covered in exotic plants (4,3)
SALT PAN – the abbreviation for area contained inside an anagram (exotic) of PLANTS.
25a View over wing (7)
OPINION – the abbreviation for an over at cricket followed by a wing.
26a Male model is going out with English girl (12)
MADEMOISELLE – an anagram (going out) of MALE MODEL IS then E(nglish).
1d Flipping bed clothes don’t wear out (7)
BLASTED – the word bed surrounds a verb meaning endure or don’t wear out.
2d Untruth about dealing with one’s honour (7)
LIONISE – an untruth goes round a preposition meaning ‘dealing with’, the Roman numeral for one and the ‘S.
3d Quickly — what is the anagram? (4,5)
WITH HASTE – an anagram (anagram) of WHAT IS THE.
4d So upset about love cheat (5)
HOCUS – reverse a word meaning so (e.g. in a phrase like ‘so that …..’) containing the usual letter meaning love.
5d Dress in black and appear older (7)
BANDAGE – string together the abbreviation for black, AND and a verb to appear older.
6d With more fat I will have buttery coating (7)
LARDIER – I with a sort of buttery around it. Buttery is a noun here rather than an adjective.
7d Mushrooms and battered tripe for sale (12)
PROLIFERATES – an anagram (battered) of TRIPE FOR SALE.
10d Simple Plan covering single, one by Rod Stewart (5,7)
PLAIN SAILING – insert the letter that resembles one or single into PLAN and add the title of a Rod Stewart single. Apparently Stewart liked the song’s theme of homesickness because he was living abroad to avoid paying UK tax – doesn’t that make your heart bleed for him?
15d Disgraceful American supports recent Olympic ban? (9)
NOTORIOUS – a 2-letter abbreviation for American is preceded by a phrase (2,2,3) calling for a boycott of the most recent Olympics.
17d This can be spread all over bone (7)
PATELLA – a spread (ignoring the circumflex and acute accent) followed by the reversal of ALL.
18d Old enough to be a model (7)
EXAMPLE – join together a prefix meaning old or former and an adjective meaning enough.
19d Country houses like rough monthly charge? (3,4)
GAS BILL – the abbreviation for a geographical area that forms part of our country (but is not, strictly speaking, a country) contains a conjunction meaning ‘like’. Finish with an adjective meaning rough or under the weather.
20d Gathering family to find direct route (7)
BEELINE – a social gathering (of seamstresses for example) followed by a word for family or ancestry.
22d Grasp the same wooden fencing? (5)
KENDO – charade of a word meaning grasp or understanding and an abbreviation meaning ‘the same as what went before’. The answer is a Japanese form of fencing using wooden, rather than metal, weapons.
1a, 21a, 1d and 7d vied for the honours but the winner is 15d. How did your picks match up?