Toughie No 1897 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
This is the fourth posthumous Petitjean Toughie in a row that’s fallen to me to blog – I don’t want to deny other bloggers the pleasure (I do really!) but long may that trend continue since there’s been no notification that this is the last one.
This one is as enjoyable and quirky as ever (who else but Petitjean could have written the 12d clue?) but there are a couple of clues which I don’t fully understand, so any help you can provide will be most welcome.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Drove through pothole backed into gubbins’s Italian sports car (4,7)
GRAN TURISMO – a verb meaning ‘drove through’ (a red light, perhaps) and the reversal of a pothole or furrow go inside a gubbins or gadget.
9a Northern predator turned and fled (5)
FLOWN – the abbreviation for northern and a four-legged predator all reversed.
10a Say correct weight’s fluid, which is clear (3,6)
EGG WHITES – the abbreviation for ‘say’ followed by an anagram (correct) of WEIGHT’S.
11a No turning over prop approaching land (7)
ONSHORE – reverse ‘no’ and add a prop or buttress.
12a Member with makeshift team protecting new weaponry (8)
ARMAMENT – a bodily member is followed by an anagram (makeshift) of TEAM containing N(ew).
14a Pioneer and popular star pushing boundaries of theatre (8)
INNOVATE – an adjective meaning popular or trendy and a type of celestial star precede (pushing) the outer letters of theatre.
15a Snaffle now and then to render harmless (4)
SAFE – extract alternate letters from ‘snaffle’. I originally underlined just the last word of the clue treating ‘render’ as a link word but the BRB reveals that the answer can be a transitive, though obsolete, verb.
17a Yours truly prattling Information Technology, much computerese (7)
MEGABIT – string together a pronoun meaning ‘yours truly’, a word meaning prattling or idle talk (often used in conjunction with ‘gift’) and the abbreviation for Information Technology. The answer is some computerese used, when quoting broadband speeds for example, to quantify how much data can be transferred in a specified period of time. The definition seems woolly to me, unless I’ve missed something – what do you think?
19a Criticise involving one showing discomfort (4)
PAIN – a verb to criticise containing the Roman numeral for one.
20a Plea for peace and mercy is unusual idea sung (5,3)
AGNUS DEI – an anagram (unusual) of IDEA SUNG.
21a Burns composes end of poem inside (8)
CREMATES – a verb meaning composes or originates has the end letter of poem contained inside it.
23a Given time spuds will be in shreds (7)
TATTERS – introduce an extra T(ime) into another informal word for spuds.
25a Tarzan’s home dismantled to use here? (4,5)
TREE HOUSE – an anagram (dismantled) of TO USE HERE.
26a In-country Subaru rally entertains (5)
RURAL – hidden in the clue.
27a Her neat gin fizzes laced with smallest splash of tonic — ominous! (11)
THREATENING – insert the first letter (smallest splash) of tonic into an anagram (fizzes) of HER NEAT GIN.
2d Received what could be jolly? (5)
ROGER – when qualified by ‘jolly’ the answer is something a ship’s captain doesn’t want to see on the horizon. If you’ve done the back-pager today you’ll have a head start with this one.
3d Kind of Eighties record breaker, latest in (3,4)
NEW WAVE – breaker, here, is something that breaks on the sea shore.
4d All note French wine going up in value (8)
UNIVERSE – a note from tonic sol-fa and the French word for wine are reversed inside a word meaning value (as in “What’s the *** of that?”).
5d The start of something big coming to nothing is tolerable (2-2)
SO-SO – string together the first letter of something, an abbreviation meaning big and the letter that resembles zero.
6d ‘On your way! Scarper!’ Reinforce with sole of boot to get result (8)
OFFSHOOT – join together two verbal instructions to go away and follow up with the bottom letter (sole) of boot.
7d Old record collector’s obsession? (9)
MONOMANIA – cryptic definition of a record collector’s obsession before the availability of stereo.
8d Acrobatic act needs net — there’s previous form (11)
ANTECEDENTS – this is the legal term for an accused person’s previous convictions. It’s an anagram (acrobatic) of ACT NEEDS NET.
12d Unrepresentative movement welcoming miscellaneous drips? (8,3)
ABSTRACT ART – hilarious cryptic definition of a movement in which people and objects are not represented faithfully and in which various types of stuff may be dripped on to a canvas.
13d Backing music in a title sequence for epic film (7)
TITANIC – hidden in reverse.
16d Resistance by Northern Ireland in times to come may be bunk (9)
FURNITURE – insert the abbreviations for electrical resistance and Northern Ireland into ‘times to come’.
17d Kent coastal town shrouded in fog that’s distributed unevenly (8)
MISDEALT – a coastal town in Kent is contained inside a light fog.
18d Off colour and on the decline with no obvious solution (8)
INDECENT – we have to begin with a phrase (2,7) meaning on the decline and remove the S. My problem is that I can’t see how the last bit works. It could be 1) that S is meant to be an abbreviation for solution (but I can’t find that listed anywhere), or 2) that the S is the first letter of solution (but I can’t see how obvious means the first letter), or 3) that the S is the last letter of obvious (but how does solution mean the last letter?). Any thoughts are very welcome.
19d Dish, largely duck, available in company (7)
PLATOON – concatenate a flattish dish without its last letter, the letter that resembles a cricket duck and an adverb meaning available.
22d German city centre without church (5)
ESSEN – there’s only one 5-letter German city known in Crosswordland. Start with a word meaning centre or core and remove a 2-letter abbreviation for church.
24d Instruction for porridge? (4)
STIR – you should do this to your porridge if you don’t like it too lumpy and the answer and porridge are both informal words that have the same meaning.
I’ll propose 23a, 3d, 6d and 16d as top clues but my magnificent favourite is 12d. Which one(s) got you going?