Toughie No 1913 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Just how many posthumous puzzles did Petitjean leave us? Here’s hoping that there are many more to come.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a What joiners do daily and strikers less often (3,3,8)
HIT THE WOODWORK: joiners here are skilled craftsmen and strikers are football forwards who occasionally fail to score a goal by a small margin.
10a Breathe in/out to get you to sleep (9)
HIBERNATE: an anagram (out) of BREATHE IN.
11a Displaying cheek make-up (5)
LIPPY: double definition, the first an informal adjective meaning impertinent.
12a Polish conger perhaps back in stream (3,4)
LEE TIDE: stick together a verb to polish or rephrase and what conger is a type of and reverse it all.
13a After first-half loss in trophy, nothing is twisted but masseur‘s needed (6)
PHYSIO: lose the first half of ‘trophy’ and append the reversal of the letter resembling nothing and IS.
15a Witness dropping a very pained expression (4)
OUCH: drop the A and the V(ery) from an archaic verb meaning to bear witness.
17a Old authority welcoming volunteers and not available on call (10)
OBTAINABLE: put together O(ld) and a book regarded as authoritative and insert (separately) the old abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers and the abbreviation meaning ‘not available’.
18a Sense economic decline with trendy Italy supplanting the French (10)
DEFINITION: start with a noun meaning economic decline or what the BRB calls ‘a decrease in the amount of money available relative to its buying power’ and replace its French definite article with an adjective meaning trendy and the IVR code for Italy.
20a Some wholesome nutrition in list of dishes (4)
MENU: hidden in the clue.
22a Malady in which one might fail to pronounce ‘th’ (6)
ASTHMA: the name of this malady is normally pronounced without the ‘th’. This seems weak – am I missing something?
23a There’s a point to this security for those temporarily under cover (4,3)
TENT PEG: cryptic definition of something with a tapered point so that it can be hammered into the ground.
26a Beginnings of grisly epidemic rats might spread (5)
GERMS: the starting letters of five words in the clue.
27a Surprisingly Romania is elsewhere (4,5)
ASIA MINOR: an anagram (surprisingly) of ROMANIA IS produces a geographic area where Romania isn’t.
28a Esoteric conservationists opening up lands re-enact fighting (14)
TRANSCENDENTAL: the abbreviation for the body set up to conserve buildings and places of historic interest goes inside an anagram (fighting) of LANDS RE-ENACT.
2d It’s steep that Cockney chap getting depressed with loss of pound (5)
IMBUE: steep here is a verb. Stick together a pronoun meaning that chap as a Cockney would say it and an adjective meaning depressed without the abbreviation for a pound sterling.
3d Peak before rising depression renders you sleepy (6)
TORPID: join together a rocky peak and the reversal of a depression or indentation.
4d To make matters worse former champion facing cut missing middle of green (10)
EXACERBATE: concatenate a prefix meaning former, a champion or top player and a cut or discount without the middle letter of green.
5d Microwave demonstrated without preliminary hype (4)
OVEN: start with a past participle meaning demonstrated or established beyond doubt and remove the first two letters which are an abbreviation meaning hype or spin. Since microwave is an example of the answer a ‘perhaps’ or ‘maybe’ would not have gone amiss.
6d Party with measure of acid nothing to be upset about? One jumps in the water laughing (7)
DOLPHIN: start with a festive party and add the abbreviation used in chemistry as a measure of acidity with a word meaning nothing or zero reversed around it.
7d Like Democrats appear to Republicans, as all fingers and thumbs? (9)
OPPOSABLE: an adjective describing how one political party regards a rival one.
8d Remedial treatment for peeping Tom? (7,7)
KEYHOLE SURGERY: a hospital procedure which might be appropriate for a nosey person who uses an available aperture to spy on others. My other thought was that the treatment is being applied to the aperture rather than the peeper, but I don’t like it much in either case.
9d Characteristic of tender superficial sketch? (7,7)
SHALLOW DRAUGHT: charade of an adjective meaning superficial or perfunctory and a preliminary sketch. Tender here is a small craft used to convey people and provisions between ship and shore.
14d Musical interval with topsy-turvy improvisation or tango heard being announced (5,5)
MAJOR THIRD: assemble the reversal of an improvised musical session, OR, the letter that tango is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and a sound-alike of ‘heard’.
16d Buffet — feta and rice — on a self-service counter (9)
CAFETERIA: an anagram (buffet) of FETA and RICE followed by A. This is obviously the word of the day.
19d Female relative as well as males turned up carrying ecstasy, leading to downfall (7)
NEMESIS: a female relative and another word for males all reversed with the abbreviation for ecstasy inserted.
21d Kind of band with nothing new besides mounting reputation (3-3)
ONE-MAN: the letter that resembles zero and N(ew) are followed by the reversal of a word meaning reputation or celebrity.
24d Shot commercial about protected species in black and white (5)
PANDA: a shot from a video or film camera and the reversal of the abbreviation for a commercial.
25d Lassa fever cases out of danger (4)
SAFE: hidden in the clue.
I have placed my ticks adjacent to 12a, 23a, 9d and 24d. Which one(s) fired your imagination?