Toughie No 1821 by Kcit
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
I couldn’t work up a great deal of enthusiasm for this puzzle – if you could then do please try to convince me that I’m wrong. It does seem to require an awful lot of abbreviations and insertions/deletions of individual letters.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
5a Writer was aware of recommendation (4,3)
FELT TIP – charade of a verb meaning ‘was aware of’ or experienced and a recommendation or hint.
7a Share vote (Labour’s third, out of it) (5)
ALLOT – remove the third letter of ‘Labour’ from a vote or election.
9a Young fellow about to bet and behave badly (4,2)
PLAY UP – a word for a young man (often one who’s conceited or saucy) contains a verb to bet or stake money.
10a Call back about fire in the sky (8)
EMPYREAN – I vaguely knew this adjective meaning ‘relating to the sky or heaven’ but I had to check it out in the BRB. Reverse a verb to call or entitle and insert the fire used in a funeral ceremony.
11a Star portraying FBI agent after introductory episode? (7,3)
LEADING MAN – an informal term for an FBI agent (1-3) follows an introduction or preamble (4-2).
13a Square number unspecified? The writer’s dismissing 1,000 (4)
NINE – the abbreviation used for an unspecified number and a possessive pronoun (the writer’s) without the Roman numeral for 1,000.
14a Break over: judge to imprison male, as long as one remembers? (4,3,2,4)
TIME OUT OF MIND – string together a break (possibly one called for by a coach in some sports in order to discuss tactics), the abbreviation for an over in cricket and a verb to judge or give a verdict containing the abbreviation for male.
16a Ocean current will have staff coming round (4)
MAIN – the symbol for electric current is contained inside a verb to staff.
17a Clownish figure: President when seizing new source of drink (5,5)
COCOA BEANS – start with the name used by a famous Russian-born clown then add the familiar forename of a 19th century US president and a conjunction meaning ‘when’ containing the abbreviation for new.
19a Vandalised grave standing in for one show of uncivilised behaviour (8)
SAVAGERY – an anagram (vandalised) of GRAVE goes inside a word meaning ‘for one’ or ‘for example’. What do you suppose the surface means?
20a Screw, sadly, set back railway (6)
SALARY – this is what screw, as a noun, is a slang term for. Reverse an exclamation meaning sadly or unfortunately and add an abbreviation for railway.
22a Abandon yeast? Not entirely (5)
LEAVE – a word for a substance, usually yeast, which is used to make dough rise without its last letter.
23a Bread identified in brief epistle’s words at the end (7)
EPITAPH – insert a type of flat bread (one requiring very little 22a) into the abbreviation for one of the epistles in the New Testament.
1d Jade company retaining line over year (4)
CLOY – jade here is a verb. The usual abbreviation for company contains the usual abbreviation for line and that’s followed by one of the usual abbreviations for year.
2d Take on horse after endless difficulty (4,4)
STEP INTO – a piebald horse follows a difficulty or tizzy without its final W.
3d Discourage females (6)
DAMPEN – two non-human females joined together, the first an animal and the second a bird.
4d See payment for accommodation accepted by upstanding Italian city-dweller (10)
FLORENTINE – an exclamation meaning see and regular payment for accommodation go inside an adjective meaning upstanding or excellent.
5d I will avoid poor showings by end of game? Not so (5)
FALSE – poor showings or flops without the letter I are followed by the last letter of game.
6d Construction of minute car type requires several examples of this! (9,4)
PNEUMATIC TYRE – an anagram (construction) of MINUTE CAR TYPE.
8d Front of torpedo was wet and pointed (7)
TRAINED – the first letter of torpedo followed by a verb meaning ‘was wet’ give us a verb meaning pointed (a rifle, for example).
12d Evil conflation of love and malice (10)
DEMONIACAL – I’m prepared to bet that many solvers, as I did, tried to make an anagram of ‘love’ and ‘malice’ here. Actually it’s an anagram (conflation) of AND MALICE with the letter that’s used for ‘love’. Although the love/O substitution should be well-known to solvers this does seem to me to be verging on indirect anagram territory – what do you think?
14d Working dog consuming a volume (7)
TRAVAIL – a verb to dog or shadow contains A and an abbreviation for volume.
15d Fellow doesn’t keep up with trendy leading example (8)
FLAGSHIP – concatenate the abbreviation for fellow, a verb meaning doesn’t keep up and an informal adjective meaning trendy.
17d Conservative Party upset expert (6)
CLEVER – an abbreviation for Conservative followed by the reversal of a party.
18d No Hearts limiting openings for regular team card player (5)
NORTH – NO and the abbreviation for the card suit hearts contain the opening letters of ‘regular team’.
21d Elevated energy in quantity of water leads to discharge (4)
LEAK – start with a body of water and move the abbreviation for energy up a couple of places.
The clue I liked best was 3d. Which one(s) made your day?