Toughie No 1765 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
What a delight to get another delightful posthumous puzzle from the much-missed Petitjean. Let’s hope that he’s left us several more.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Leak to be fixed in vessel (8)
KEELBOAT – an anagram (fixed) of LEAK TO BE gives us a type of yacht with a heavy bottom to offset the weight of its sails.
5a One glued to mobile phone with fingers crossed (2,4)
IN HOPE – the Roman numeral for one followed by an anagram (mobile) of PHONE.
10a Attains dry facts about possibly unhealthy substances (5,5,5)
TRANS FATTY ACIDS – a (third in a row) anagram (about) of ATTAINS DRY FACTS.
11a End result of 23? (7)
CLOSURE – this could be the result of a company going to the wall (i.e. folding in the manner of 23a).
12a Seriously guttural — not the ultimate in cool (7)
GRAVELY – start with an adjective meaning guttural or rough-sounding and take out one instance of the ultimate letter of cool.
13a Care a bit about germs (8)
BACTERIA – an anagram (about) of CARE A BIT.
15a Game against stifling odds in Championship (5)
AEGIS – suppress the odd letters of the first two words.
18a Female born by walls of Damascus making demands (5)
NEEDS – an adjective identifying how a woman was born followed by the outer letters of Damascus.
20a Theatrical remake of Oscar hit (8)
ACTORISH – an anagram (remake) of OSCAR HIT.
23a Cash activity? (7)
ORIGAMI – cryptic definition. The cash here is not coins but folding paper.
25a To digress, I’ve backtracked in court (7)
DEVIATE – reverse I’VE inside a verb to court.
26a Unbrewed? Unlaid? Unread? Un objet (6-5,4)
COFFEE-TABLE BOOK – a typical Petitjean ‘mad hat’ clue. For the three words we need one thing that may be brewed, one thing that may be laid and one thing that may be read. The whole is a thing lavishly illustrated and put on display to impress visitors.
27a Rubbish and junk in river (6)
DERIDE – insert a verb to junk into a UK river.
28a Storage unit Logan heartlessly installed in French holiday home (8)
GIGABYTE – the forename of Ms. Logan the sports presenter without its middle letter goes inside a French holiday home.
1d Stein’s first in his field avoiding extremes of epicurean ostentation (6)
KITSCH – this Stein is Rick. Insert the first letter of Stein into the place where he works and remove the outer letters of epicurean.
2d Fancy someone hooked on research eating nothing, getting into Ecstasy pills (9)
ELABORATE – we need a slang and somewhat derogatory term (3,3) for someone hooked on research or a scientist who works long hours (a term which hasn’t yet made it into Chambers). Insert the letter resembling nothing into that and put the whole thing between two occurrences of E(cstasy).
3d Italy taken in by dreadful Cubist, Florentine perhaps (7)
BISCUIT – an anagram (dreadful) of CUBIST contains the IVR code for Italy.
4d A dose of Obama zeal causing surprise (5)
AMAZE – hidden in the clue.
6d Win over hard core — a sight to behold (7)
NIAGARA – reverse a verb to win or captivate and add the core letters of hard and A.
7d Think overlong when torn in two? (5)
OPINE – split overlong into 4,4, then use the abbreviation for the first word and an alternative verb for the second.
8d Alain de Botton, for instance — it sounds like he could be trying (8)
ESSAYIST – this could mean someone who tries or endeavours.
9d Party with new soldier is unhealthy (8)
STAGNANT – start with a type of party or social gathering and add the abbreviation for new and our usual soldier insect.
14d Boxer interrupts breaks, those that are practical (8)
REALISTS – the greatest boxer is inserted into breaks or respites.
16d More than half promoted Suggs, thanks to short track that’s a matter of taste (9)
GUSTATORY – reverse the first three letters of Suggs and add a short word of thanks, TO and the abbreviation for a track.
17d On paper only, submitted bill with new heading? (8)
UNVOICED – start with a verb meaning submitted a bill and change the first letter to a different vowel.
19d Tangle of small spawn noted by Spooner in the Firth? (7)
SEAWEED – I think that the definition here is split at the start and end of the clue. Spooner may have referred to the answer as wee seed.
21d Nice seaside? (7)
RIVIERA – cryptic definition. Nice here needs its capital letter.
22d Outrageous cheek covering up Left speaker’s put-down (6)
HECKLE – an anagram (outrageous) of CHEEK containing the abbreviation for left.
24d Resoundingly how you wouldn’t expect to see PETA supporters gather (5)
INFER – this (2,3) sounds like the last way in which you’d expect to see PETA supporters.
25d Tax haven in which vendor’s suggestion might sound tempting (5)
DUBAI – another homophone, this one sounding like the exhortation of a desperate salesman (2,3).
I don’t usually go for anagrams as top clues but some of them here are very good with excellent surfaces (of which the best, for me, is 5a). Others clues that hit the spot were 28a and 7d but my favourite has to be 26a. Which one(s) had you in stitches?