Toughie No 1817 by Micawber
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
I lived in Greater Manchester for many years and know very well the area where the dreadful outrage happened so I was devastated by the events of Monday evening. All my sympathy goes to the friends and relatives of those killed together with wishes for a full recovery for all the injured.
Micawber is on top form today (and it’s a pangram).
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared with the puzzle and what you thought of it.
1a Eat quickly before piano, keeping back straight (4,7)
BOLT UPRIGHT – a verb to eat quickly or gobble precedes a type of piano.
7a In West and East Germany I found religion dry (7)
WIZENED – I is found together with an Eastern religion inside abbreviations for West and East and the IVR code for Germany.
8a Rowers invading Birmingham centre from the east lower tone (7)
COARSEN – another word for rowers goes inside the reversal of a large exhibition centre near Birmingham.
10a Gambolling not at first sight like gambling? (5)
RISKY – start with an adjective meaning gambolling or bouncy and drop its first letter.
11a Cheerful former taxi firm worker (9)
EXUBERANT – join together a prefix meaning former, a controversial taxi company and a worker insect.
12a Near sign in hospital? (7)
TOWARDS – split the answer 2,5 for what could be a direction sign in a hospital.
14a 1000 euros after tax about right for old boat (7)
TRIREME – the Roman numeral for 1,000 and the letter that resembles the euro sign follow a verb to tax or fatigue containing the abbreviation for right.
15a Sick pay’s retained to preserve what one’s invested in for retirement? (7)
PYJAMAS – an anagram (sick) of PAY’S contains a verb meaning ‘to make into a preserve’.
18a Worrying, having lines on neck? (7)
FRETFUL – cryptically this could describe a stringed instrument having multiple lines or ridges on its neck.
20a Start teasing it out (9)
INSTIGATE – an anagram (out) of TEASING IT.
21a Southern man’s offspring (5)
SPAWN – the abbreviation for Southern and a ‘man on board’.
22a Pan debut in Guardian puzzle (7)
GRIDDLE – the first letter of Guardian is followed by a type of puzzle. Pan is actually the pseudonym of a Guardian crossword setter.
23a Chides those creating a buzz around traitor (7)
BERATES – things that buzz contain an informal word for a traitor.
24a Strasbourg parliament’s habitual response after change of course for Brexiteer? (11)
EUROSCEPTIC – Strasbourg is the official home of the European parliament (though in a typical and costly Eurofudge it only convenes there a few times a year and meets more often in Brussels). Put the abbreviation for the parliament and a habitual and involuntary response after an anagram (change) of COURSE.
1d Astronaut informally observed orbiting tool? (4,3)
BUZZ SAW – charade of the nickname of an astronaut who walked on the moon and a verb meaning observed. Presumably the question mark is there because this is a North American term for what we normally call a circular saw.
2d Thin song about leaders of North Korea (5)
LANKY – a word for a song or ballad contains the leading letters of North and Korea.
3d Strip of red sun’s set (7)
UNDRESS – an anagram (set) of RED SUN’S.
4d No end to competition, still I must leave service provider (7)
RACQUET – a competition without its last letter is followed by an adjective meaning still or calm without the letter I.
5d Dementedly raving about games on electronic social network (9)
GRAPEVINE – an anagram (dementedly) of RAVING contains the abbreviation for games or drill. Finish with the letter used as a prefix to mean electronic.
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6d Willing to experiment, tucked in (7)
TESTATE – a verb to experiment or try out followed by another verb meaning ‘tucked in’.
7d Republican mangled tape during erasing of secret recording (11)
WIRETAPPING – put the abbreviation for Republican and an anagram (mangled) of TAPE inside a present participle meaning erasing (data from magnetic media, for example).
9d State to gain control of territory belonging to woman (11)
NETHERLANDS – string together a verb to gain control of or capture and ‘territory belonging to a woman’ (3,5).
13d What’s left beginning to do to interrupt opponent of 24? (9)
REMAINDER – the first letter of ‘do’ goes inside what a person who opposes the views of a 24a is now called.
16d No mixer? That’s right (7)
JUSTICE – as 4,3 this could be your response to someone asking if you want a mixer with your drink.
17d Aquatic mammal with roe — half-hearted adaptation to marine environment (3,4)
SEA LEGS – an aquatic mammal with flippers is followed by another word for roe without one of its middle letters.
18d ‘That’s outrageous,’ (holds drink up), ‘you can’t charge for this!’ (7)
FREEBIE – an old exclamation of outrage or disgust contains the reversal of an alcoholic drink.
19d Crazy French caper (7)
FRANTIC – the abbreviation for French followed by another word for caper or escapade.
21d Waterproof sheets brought up for tiddler (5)
SPRAT – reverse an abbreviation for heavy-duty waterproof sheets.
15a, 18a, 22a, 24a, 13d, 16d and 17d all featured in my ‘likes’ but my favourite has to be 18d. Which ones cheered you up?