Toughie No 1753 by Warbler
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
After yesterday’s ‘fluffy Toughie’ we have another one today which doesn’t impose too much of a strain on the little grey cells. Thanks to Warbler.
It was great to meet so many old and new faces last Saturday – I hope to see you all again next year.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Joint creative work yours truly left in dubious auction (12)
ARTICULATION – put together some creative work that may hang in a gallery and ‘yours truly’ then insert L(eft) into an anagram (dubious) of AUCTION.
8a Pass on legal tender in Costa Rica (5)
COLON – a mountain pass followed by ON.
9a Recollect about cars in front of church (9)
REMINISCE – assemble a preposition meaning about, small cars and one of the usual abbreviations for church.
11a Bird struggled verbally against empty retaliation (3,3,3)
TIT FOR TAT – charade of a small songbird, what sounds like (to some – not to me) a verb meaning struggled and the outer letters (empty) of against. Recycling is good so here once again is an image from last week:
12a Teacher training isn’t rearranged to include English (5)
INSET – teachers in the UK get five IN-SErvice Training days a year. Include E(nglish) in an anagram (rearranged) of ISN’T.
13a Nervous greeting? (9)
HANDSHAKE – cryptic definition of a greeting which sounds a bit ‘trembly’.
16a Dance leader’s replaced by variable system of exercises (5)
ZUMBA – I’d never heard of this system of exercises conducted to dance music so I initially looked up the word with second letter A before finding the right one. Start with a rhythmic dance and replace its first letter with one of the algebraic variables.
18a Who believes in hiding dagger signs? (5)
OBELI – the word ‘hiding’ in the clue is somewhat of a giveaway.
19a Pampering provided by Conservative gent is so unusual (9)
COSSETING – an abbreviation for Conservative precedes an anagram (unusual) of GENT IS SO.
20a Famous Mr Miliband — David? (5)
NOTED – split the answer 3,2 to differentiate one Miliband brother from the other.
22a Lily endured time inside botanic garden (9)
ARBORETUM – a type of lily contains a verb meaning endured or suffered and the abbreviation for time. A bit Yoda-like.
25a Reprimand total oddball guarding monarch (7-2)
TALKING-TO – an anagram (oddball) of TOTAL containing a monarch.
26a Foreign article contains false statement (5)
ALIEN – an indefinite article contains an untrue statement.
27a Coward’s subject in song exposing certain properties (7,5)
STATELY HOMES – cryptic definition of what Noel Coward warbled about.
1d Suddenly cat left alone goes berserk (3,2,4)
ALL AT ONCE – an anagram (goes berserk) of CAT L(eft) ALONE.
2d Dance to beat with energy (5)
TANGO – concatenate a verb to beat and a synonym for energy or vigour.
3d Damned old dog starts to snarl and threaten (5)
CURST – this is an old spelling of an adjective meaning damned. A dog is followed by the starting letters of snarl and threaten.
4d Immense missile exploded around centre of Scotland (9)
LIMITLESS – an anagram (exploded) of MISSILE goes round the central two letters of Scotland.
5d Old car puts one new learner in a state of agitation vocally (3,6)
TIN LIZZIE – insert the Roman numeral for one and abbreviations for new and learner into a homophone of a word meaning a state of agitation or dither.
6d Rock band‘s place of rest (5)
OASIS – double definition, the second a place of rest in the midst of hectic activity.
7d Mushroom‘s cooked best with no hot touches of capsicum, chilli and nutmeg (6,6)
SCOTCH BONNET – I thought that this was a pepper rather than a mushroom but Chambers came to my rescue again by informing me that it’s also a fairy-ring mushroom. It’s an anagram (cooked) of BEST NO HOT and the first letters of Capsicum, Chilli and Nutmeg.
10d Disaffection of irregular soldiers captured by 26 (12)
ESTRANGEMENT – an adjective meaning irregular or eccentric and some ordinary soldiers go inside our usual film 26a.
14d Wander aimlessly after trip out in car in powdery snow (9)
SPINDRIFT – a verb to dawdle or wander aimlessly follows a short trip out in a car (normally for pleasure) to make a word for powdery driven snow (and the pseudonym of a regular commenter on the blog).
15d Shrewd financial backer in Russian port (9)
ARCHANGEL – an adjective meaning shrewd or cunning is followed by a financial backer (e.g. of a play).
17d Supports leading volunteers in South (9)
MAINTAINS – string together an adjective meaning leading or principal, the old abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers, IN and S(outh).
21d Smallest room I put out for rent (2,3)
TO LET – remove the I from the smallest room (leaving a space in its place).
23d Bar lacking a cooked hot soup (5)
BROTH – remove the A from ‘bar’ and add an anagram (cooked) of HOT. I’m not as meticulous as Silvanus in tracking down duplications but even I noticed that this is the second use of ‘cooked’ as an anagram indicator.
24d Province in Brazil’s ready with motorway (5)
REALM – Brazil’s currency and the abbreviation for motorway.
Highlights for me today were 13a and 20a. Which clue(s) earned your approbation?
The wonderful Arachne has returned to the Guardian today if you’re in need of a real treat.