Toughie No 1797 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
I feel privileged to be able to blog another great puzzle by the late Petitjean. There are a couple of old chestnuts but lots of his very inventive clueing.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Traditionalist with mobile phone — and gong (8)
NEOPHOBE – an anagram (mobile) of PHONE followed by a gong.
5a Cult member catching cold with a cry of apprehension (6)
GOTCHA – a cult member (one who favours the colour black) contains the abbreviation for cold. Finally append A to get an informal exclamation once notoriously used by The Sun.
10a Lonesome fanfare could be the making of me (1,4,3,7)
A NAME FOR ONESELF – an anagram (could be the making of) of LONESOME FANFARE.
11a Styled in the salon and put away, as we say, in the saloon? (7)
COIFFED – this sounds like a verb meaning put away some drink.
12a One tough heartless rogue keeping busy (2,3,2)
ON THE GO – an anagram (rogue) of ONE and TO[u]GH without its middle letter.
13a Prisoner guarded by more obnoxious member of community (8)
VILLAGER – an informal word for a prisoner is contained inside a comparative meaning more obnoxious.
15a Assume Harpo’s Italian — at least partly (5)
POSIT – our first lurker today.
18a No limits to correct speed (5)
HASTE – remove the outer letters from a verb to correct or discipline.
20a ‘The Go-Between‘: novel to admire or ‘arid tome’? (8)
MEDIATOR – this is reminiscent of our esteemed Sunday setter. It’s an anagram (novel) of both TO ADMIRE and ARID TOME. What a brilliant surface!
23a Attempts resistance in Cornish resort (7)
STRIVES – insert the abbreviation for electrical resistance into the name of a Cornish resort (2,4).
25a Freak out over constant source of rancour for gas worker (7)
FRACKER – make an anagram (out) of FREAK containing the constant used for the speed of light then append the first letter of rancour.
26a Little calumnies can create reasonable doctrine (15)
INTELLECTUALISM – an anagram (can create) of LITTLE CALUMNIES gives us a doctrine based on pure reason.
27a Singsong’s ending slightly bonkers and schmaltzy (6)
GLOOPY – the last letter of singsong precedes an informal adjective meaning slightly bonkers.
28a Most extreme ‘chef art’ Heston’s the source of (8)
FARTHEST – our second lurker.
1d Trace French article about Caen being redeveloped (6)
NUANCE – reverse a French article and add an anagram (being redeveloped) of CAEN.
2d Mafia boss overthrown — it is about revenge ultimately and attempts to hide the truth (9)
OPACITIES – reverse the Italian word for a Mafia boss and add IT IS containing the last letter of revenge.
3d Cautious as necessary, putting out note for husband? (7)
HEEDFUL – start with an adjective meaning necessary and replace the abbreviation for note with that for husband.
4d Minor artery supplying East Anglian waterway (5)
BROAD – insert a space into the answer to get a minor artery (in the UK – in some other countries it is apparently a major artery). A real old chestnut.
6d It’s a measure of Cockney’s clean record (3-4)
ONE-STEP – measure here means dance. Start with an adjective meaning clean or virtuous and drop the first letter in the Cockney way. Finally add the abbreviation for a type of record.
7d Pancake or sole? (5)
CREPE – double definition, the second a type of sole (on footwear).
8d Snubs a loud pair of pants with no opening (8)
AFFRONTS – string together A, the abbreviation for loud and a pair of underpants without the bit at the front.
9d Officer scowled and blushed (8)
COLOURED – join together the abbreviation for an officer in charge and a verb meaning scowled or looked sullen.
14d Small move for Oval’s unloved landmark could be better (8)
GAMESTER – having spent many a happy day watching cricket at the Kennington Oval in the 1960s I was well aware of the landmark which towers over it. Remove the O (unloved) from it and move the abbreviation for small a couple of places to the right to get a better or gambler.
16d Save family mansion (9)
STOCKPILE – charade of a word for family or bloodline and an (often facetious) term for a mansion or imposing building.
17d Hopephully phutile ephphort to phlush out phool? (8)
PHISHING – who but Petitjean could have produced this clue? It’s the practice of angling for confidential information (e.g. bank account details) by sending fraudulent emails. Phantastic!
19d Compass set up North or South against North East (7)
ENVELOP – compass here is a verb meaning to surround. String together what could be North or South geographically and abbreviations for ‘against’ and ‘North East’ then reverse it all.
21d Fabulous rock from former New Romantic star (7)
ADAMANT – this is the name of an imaginary rock with fabulous properties (new for me). Split it 4,3 to get the stage name of Stuart Leslie Goddard, a pop artist of the seventies and eighties.
22d Occasionally perform drill on time (6)
PROMPT – regular letters from ‘perform’ plus the abbreviation for drill.
24d Relationship that’s somewhat aspirational (5)
RATIO – our third and final lurker.
25d No end to ostentatious display of cash that constitutes a threat (5)
FATWA – a large roll of banknotes (3,3) as popularised by Harry Enfield’s character ‘Loadsamoney’ without its last letter.
I really liked the clever 10a and 14a and the superb 20a but my favourite has to be that archetypal Petitjean clue 17d. Which one(s) gave you the most pleasure?