Toughie No 1793 by Elkamere
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Lovely jubbly! Thanks to Elkamere for an entertaining puzzle that’s not too tough but with some of his cunning misdirections.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Repeat standard drivel (6)
PARROT – charade of words meaning standard and drivel.
5a Headgear almost lost, eh? (5,3)
STRAW HAT – an adjective meaning lost (a domestic animal, say) without its last letter followed by a request for clarification (eh?).
9a Plant pot like this on cooker (10)
AGAPANTHUS – a kitchen pot and an adverb meaning ‘like this’ follow a posh cooker.
10a Craze associated with East 17 (4)
FADE – a craze or temporary fashion and the abbreviation for East.
11a Dance partner — soldier (8)
FLAMENCO – concatenate a lover (often an old one) and a soldier who’s neither a private nor an officer.
12a Pick up purchase, talking through this? (6)
HEREBY – a double homophone (talking) – firstly a verb to pick up or be told and secondly a verb to purchase. How many, as I did, tried initially to make ‘pick up’ the homophone indicator.
13a Gambler’s success with £1000 flutter (4)
WINK – success for a gambler and an informal abbreviation for £1,000.
15a I mean it when I say … (2,2,4)
ON MY WORD – double definition. The second is the preamble to a verbal instruction (e.g. a driving examiner may say “** ** **** ‘brake’, perform an emergency stop”).
18a Weapon carried by very famous scaremonger (8)
ALARMIST – a weapon is contained inside an adjective (1-4) meaning very famous (normally used of top celebrities or those who like to think they’re top celebrities).
19a Look after the dying in Yorkshire? (4)
TEND – this is how a native of Yorkshire may say ‘the dying’ or ‘the demise’.
21a Can supply device to restrain offender (6)
STOCKS – double definition, the first a verb meaning ‘can supply’ or ‘has available for sale’.
23a Love poetry when abroad (8)
OVERSEAS – string together the usual letter meaning love, another word for poetry and a conjunction meaning ‘when’.
25a One bathed in distant light (4)
FAIR – the Roman numeral for one is contained in an adjective meaning distant.
26a MP on trial, so corrupt (10)
LEGISLATOR – another word for ‘on’ in cricket followed by an anagram (corrupt) of TRIAL SO.
27a 4, or 4’s payment to hold party (8)
RESIDENT – what 4d may pay holds a party or faction.
28a Grave site’s empty, see (6)
SEDATE – the outer letters of site followed by a verb to see someone romantically.
2d Change location, finding buried treasure (5)
ANGEL – a well-disguised lurker, indicated by ‘finding buried’.
3d The guy may be my responsibility (4-5)
ROPE-MAKER – cryptic definition. This guy is an inanimate object.
4d Shelter without an occupant (6)
TENANT – a temporary shelter containing AN.
5d Belief in mental faculty? (6,2,7)
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT – definition and cryptic definition, the second possibly being a University faculty.
6d Mother’s gone here, finally? (4,4)
REST HOME – an all-in-one (and rather sad?) clue. It’s an anagram (gone) of MOTHER’S followed by the final letter of ‘here’.
7d Slice chips on this (5)
WAFER – double definition. These chips are not the edible type.
8d Star playing in a real band (9)
ALDEBARAN – an anagram (playing in) of A REAL BAND gives us the brightest star in the constellation Taurus (new to me).
14d On edge, I completely upset kid (3,2,4)
ILL AT EASE – draw together I, the reversal of an adverb meaning completely and a verb to kid.
16d Given support, fight (9)
WITHSTAND – split the answer 4,5 to mean ‘having been given support’.
17d Rising deficit central to club’s collapse (8)
DISSOLVE – reverse a deficit in the middle of a disreputable club.
20d About to leave, ticks off register (6)
CENSUS – start with a verb meaning ticks off or reprimands and take out the two-letter preposition meaning about or concerning.
22d Soldier holding up my dog (5)
CORGI – a US soldier follows an informal (and dated) exclamation meaning “my!”.
24d Behind circling duck, another one in the air (5)
AFOOT – given the checkers I expect I’m not the only one who initially tried to justify ‘aloft’ here. Actually what we need is a sailor’s behind containing the letter resembling zero or duck and another of the same.
It was a close-run thing but, for me, 5d just edged out 12a, 26a and 17d for favouritism. Which one(s) appeared on your betting slip?