Toughie No 1865 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
We continue to be entertained by puzzles from the late John Pidgeon over a year after his untimely death. I thought that this was one of his gentler ones but as enjoyable as ever.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Singer whose name is broadly synonymous with ‘Hot Stuff’ (4,6)
RUBY MURRAY – we’re in the realm of Cockney rhyming slang here. The ‘hot stuff’ is what you might go for at an ethnic restaurant.
6a Run out of time in financing old car (4)
HEAP – remove the abbreviation for run from a distinct period of time and insert what’s left in a method of financing something over a period of time rather than all at once.
9a Less than total abstainer tipples still (5)
INERT – hidden in the clue.
10a Licence or otherwise accommodate (9)
RECONCILE – anagram (otherwise) of LICENCE OR.
12a It clawed skirt calamitously prompting unexpected disruption (7,6)
WILDCAT STRIKE – an anagram (calamitously) of IT CLAWED SKIRT.
14a Prune round half of terraced formal garden (8)
PARTERRE – a verb to prune contains half of the word terraced.
15a Look at His Excellency, but not stand (6)
LOATHE – string together an exclamation meaning ‘look!’, AT and the abbreviation for His Excellency.
17a Outdo former journalist describing church (6)
EXCEED – a prefix meaning former and the usual abbreviation for a journalist contain one of the abbreviations for church.
19a Broken axe buried in cartoon villain — one caught with bad blood (8)
TOXAEMIC – an anagram (broken) of AXE goes inside the name of a cartoon villain then we finish with the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for caught.
21a Show in a true light and you almost delight some for a change (13)
DEMYTHOLOGISE – an anagram (for a change) of YO[u] DELIGHT SOME.
24a Writer visiting Georgia linked with fashionable European material (9)
GABARDINE – a literary word for a poet follows the abbreviation for the US State of Georgia. After that we need an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy and an abbreviation for European.
25a Colossus made by Venetian artist ousting second one in Rome (5)
TITAN – start with an old master of the Venetian school and remove the second occurrence of the Roman numeral for one.
26a Fizzy drink leaders in search of diversification are … (4)
SODA – leading letters in four words.
27a … making boozy crouton dip (10)
PRODUCTION – an anagram (boozy) of CROUTON DIP.
1d Person that fabricates mounting for a transport system (4)
RAIL – reverse someone who fabricates or embellishes.
2d Unruly row about last of ale in pub leading to historic set-to (4,3)
BOER WAR – an anagram (unruly) of ROW contains the last letter of ale and all that goes inside another word for pub.
3d Temperature in meter located somehow with this instrument (5,8)
METAL DETECTOR – insert the abbreviation for temperature into an anagram (somehow) of METER LOCATED.
4d Tape beforehand lacking power — go for another take (8)
RERECORD – remove the abbreviation for power from a verb meaning to tape in advance.
5d Like firm going on top of turf here? (5)
ASCOT – hitch together a conjunction meaning like, the abbreviation for a firm and the top letter of turf.
7d Elton not performing accepts it is arrogant (7)
ELITIST – remove the adverb meaning performing from Elton and insert ‘it is’.
8d Transfer in small change — that’s favourite (10)
PREFERENCE – a verb to transfer or pass across goes inside some small change.
11d Antisocial nit abroad, like a Little Englander? (13)
NATIONALISTIC – an anagram (abroad) of ANTISOCIAL NIT.
13d A very soft goal before time over side from Skegness — they’re hanging on (10)
APPENDAGES – knit together five bits as follows: A, the abbreviation for very soft, a goal or target, a word for a period of time and the letter at one side (or the other) of Skegness.
16d Decline cooked duck egg (2,2,4)
GO TO SEED – a verb meaning cooked or prepared, the letter resembling a duck at cricket and another word for an egg or reproductive cell.
18d One-time spin doctor two Labour leaders abandoned departs temporary overnight accommodation (4-3)
CAMP-BED – start with the surname of the most famous Labour spin doctor, drop the leading letter of Labour twice then append the abbreviation for ‘departs’.
20d Graduate tires out-of-sorts Italian masters (7)
MAESTRI – two letters signifying an arts graduate are followed by an anagram (out-of-sorts) of TIRES.
22d Cockney stocking- and basket-maker (5)
OSIER – this is how a maker of stockings would sound in the East End of London.
23d Soon rain-bound now and again (4)
ANON – alternate letters from the second word of the clue.
I liked 1a, 5d, 11d and 22d but my favourite is 6a. Which ones feature on your list?