Toughie No 1905 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Osmosis for today’s puzzle which I thought was at the easier end of his toughness spectrum though with plenty of his trademark clues where the answer is built up from lots of little bits. It’s a pangram.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Poet related terrible back pain in Herts town (6,2,2,4)
WALTER DE LA MARE – insert an anagram (terrible) of RELATED and the reversal of a word for pain into the name of a Hertfordshire town famous for its Great Bed.
10a During criminal trial, agree with head of state’s rule (9)
ALGORITHM – put a verb to agree or be compatible inside an anagram (criminal) of TRIAL and finish with the abbreviated title of our monarch.
11a Scarily, T-shirt conceals rejected needles (5)
STYLI – hidden backwards.
12a Platonic kiss beau’s ending in a clinch (7)
ASEXUAL – insert the letter used to mean a kiss and the end letter of beau into A and a verb to clinch or secure.
13a Monstrous woman‘s sea power (6)
MEDUSA – charade of the short name of a specific sea and the abbreviated name of a superpower.
15a Spots Mike conquering Northern peak (4)
ACME – start with some teenage spots and replace the abbreviation for Northern with the letter that Mike stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
17a Persistently harass amateur team lacking depth, win nothing (3,5,2)
LAY SIEGE TO – string together an adjective meaning amateur or non-specialist, a synonym for team without the abbreviation for depth, a verb to win or attain and the letter that resembles zero.
18a On the way towards gold after fourteen rounds (2,5,3)
EN ROUTE FOR – our usual tincture of gold follows an anagram (rounds) of FOURTEEN.
20a Ringing European in China (4)
PEAL – insert the single-letter abbreviation for European into what Cockneys refer to as a china.
22a Wrong sauce grabbed by nobleman cutting joint (6)
UNJUST – put a word for sauce or thin gravy inside the title of a European nobleman without the prefix meaning joint or mutual.
23a Lush beginning to drink in bustling tavern (7)
VERDANT – the first letter of drink goes inside an anagram (bustling) of TAVERN.
26a Abandon common land vehicle on the outskirts (5)
LEAVE – start with a word for common land or open country and append the outer letters of vehicle.
27a Go with Hillary to crack Everest? (4,5)
HOLY GRAIL – an anagram (to crack) of GO and HILLARY. Everest here is a definition by example meaning something most eagerly sought.
28a Nurses can’t cross that lady’s much older partner (6-8)
CRADLE-SNATCHER – assemble a verb meaning nurses or cuddles, an anagram (cross) of CAN’T and a possessive pronoun meaning “that lady’s”.
2d Aquatic life in Portuguese region avoiding river valley primarily (5)
ALGAE – the name of a Portuguese region (the destination of many British package holidaymakers) without the abbreviation for river and the first letter of valley.
3d Audibly speak for force (6)
TORQUE – homophone (for some people) of a verb to speak or chatter. I’ll bite my tongue!
4d Attila, moving into marshy grass, fought back (10)
RETALIATED – put an anagram (moving) of ATTILA into a type of marshy grass.
5d Novel printing unit educated individual (4)
EMMA – a unit of measurement in printing followed by an abbreviation identifying someone with a degree.
6d A custom involving the French wine (7)
AUSLESE – A and a synonym for custom or practice contain one of the French definite articles.
7d Solution, not new, bypasses the solver (electronic). Back to square one (2,3,4)
AS YOU WERE – start with another word for solution or result, remove the N(ew) and insert the pronoun which the setter would use to identify the solver. Finish with the abbreviation for electronic.
8d Fictional Cockney drunk lazed around island — loves a drop in the ocean (5,9)
ELIZA DOOLITTLE – an anagram (drunk) of LAZED containing an abbreviation for island is followed by two occurrences of the letter resembling love or zero and an adjective meaning ‘a drop in the ocean’ or ‘not a lot’.
9d Boycott sporting arena well-known in tropical basket case (6,8)
BANANA REPUBLIC – knit together a verb to boycott, an anagram (sporting) of ARENA and an adjective meaning well-known or prominent.
14d Football team thus put on weight at holiday home? (5,5)
ASTON VILLA – an adverb meaning thus or therefore precedes an imperial weight and what could be a holiday home.
16d Spoil writer John, in Spain, acquiring a pot (9)
MARIJUANA – concatenate a verb to spoil or damage, the pronoun a writer would use for himself, the Spanish forename equivalent to John and A.
19d Rush to get uniform, given additional note, before spring (7)
UPSWELL – this is a fairly rare verb meaning to surge. Join together the letter for which uniform is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, the abbreviation for an additional note at the bottom of a letter and a spring or source of water.
21d Very sad jerk collects scrap (6)
TRAGIC – a jerk or spasmodic movement contains a piece of scrap cloth.
24d Regular sightings of narwhal? Keep vigilant (5)
AWAKE – regular letters from two words in the clue.
25d So ruffian’s showing no finish to fighting (4)
THUS – start with a synonym for ruffian plus the ‘S then take away the last letter of fighting.
Podium makers for me today are 18a, 27a and 16d. Which one(s) appealed to you?