Toughie No 1917 by Myops
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ***
We haven’t had a Myops puzzle for a very long time – as far as I can see his last was Toughie number 1145 on 28th February 2014 – so welcome back to him. Because of a mix-up at Telegraph Towers I thought I was solving a MynoT puzzle and I kept thinking “MynoT’s upped his game and his difficulty level considerably since his last few puzzles”. I enjoyed the challenge of this one and I’m grateful that Myops has cut out all the Scottish words which caused me so much difficulty in the past.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Axe literally bit by bit setter in opening or completion (11)
ACHIEVEMENT: start with the individual letters of ‘axe’ but with the X changed to its Greek equivalent. Now append an opening containing the objective pronoun which the setter would use to identify himself.
9a That woman taking in shops frequently gets support for lumbar region (5,2,3,4)
SMALL OF THE BACK: a female pronoun (that woman) contains a shopping area and a poetic word for ‘frequently’. Finish with a verb to support or endorse.
11a Chamber discharge is audible (4)
ROOM: this sounds like a discharge from the nasal area.
12a Considered by judges as registered in capital (5)
HEARD: the letter used to signify a registered trademark goes inside the part of the body that capital relates to.
13a Dye best linked with the Netherlands (4)
ANIL: the letters that look like an abbreviation meaning best or first-class are interwoven (like the links in a chain) with the IVR code for the Netherlands.
16a Potential customer‘s view (8)
PROSPECT: double definition, the first being a possible customer who’s not yet signed on the dotted line.
17a Ceiling well formed originally and in good condition (6)
SOFFIT: this ceiling usually means the underside of an arch or balcony. Piece together an adverb meaning well, the original letter of ‘formed’ and an adjective meaning in good physical condition.
19a Bit of a good egg arguably about to be tormented (6)
RAGGED: hidden and reversed in the clue. Those who solved AKMild’s Rookie puzzle this week will have no trouble with this one.
20a Military body rejects refusal to obey superior with taunt (8)
GARRISON: string together a spoken refusal to obey one’s male superior (2,3) and a verb to taunt or tease (the same verb we had in the previous clue). Now reverse the lot.
22a Tale that’s long without slightest hint of ending (4)
YARN: a verb to long or pine without the first letter of ‘ending’.
23a Foundation remains (5)
STAYS: double definition, the first a woman’s supporting garment.
24a Book as far as Maine (4)
TOME: charade of a preposition meaning ‘as far as’ and the standard code for the state of Maine.
27a After for example being CEO space in pit in return is poor bargain (1,4,2,7)
A MESS OF POTTAGE: this is the poor bargain that Esau received from his brother in return for his birthright, according to the Old Testament. Assemble the abbreviation meaning ‘for example’, a phrase (2,3) which could mean ‘being CEO’ and a pit or depression (from the Latin word for ditch) containing a printer’s space. Finally reverse it all.
28a Treating as invalid approve keeping, having unhealthy complexion, at home (11)
DISALLOWING: an informal verb to approve or appreciate contains an adjective meaning having an unhealthy yellowish complexion and an adverb meaning ‘at home’.
2d Routine grounds for waste management contrast (6,2,6)
COMMON OR GARDEN: my reading of this is that it’s contrasting the grounds where waste may be disposed off – a) inconsiderately on public land (fly-tipping, perhaps) and b) responsibly on one’s own land (composting, possibly). Any better ideas?
3d Lying up having day in Bora Bora? (4)
IDLE: Bora Bora is a French island so we want the French word for island containing the abbreviation for day.
4d Nashville’s old name mired in depravity and destructive force (8)
VIOLENCE: Nashville is home to The Grand *** Opry. Put the ‘old’ and N(ame) inside a word for depravity or immorality.
5d Couples in Mary Tudor’s reign formed after adequate deliberation (6)
MATURE: use the first two letters from three contiguous words in the clue.
6d Swede regularly entered Portugal (4)
NEEP: regular letters from ‘entered’ followed by the IVR code for Portugal. The answer is a Scottish word for what I would call a turnip but the difference between a turnip and a swede seems to depend on which part of the UK you’re from.
7d Around noon took leave of warlord carrying Aldershot’s latest weapon (4-3,7)
SAWN-OFF SHOTGUN: when I solved the puzzle the on-line site had the enumeration incorrect (8,7) making it even more tricky. Start with a verbal phrase meaning ‘took leave of’ (3,3) (on a railway platform perhaps) containing the abbreviation for noon. Now add a Japanese warlord containing the last letter of Aldershot.
8d Minimum personnel on shift for instance that can provide maximum access (8,3)
SKELETON KEY: join together a word for the minimum number of employees necessary to do the job and what shift is an example of (on your PC perhaps).
10d Rates for Spooner’s Republican sleuths perhaps? (8,3)
PROPERTY TAX: I got the answer from the definition and then spent ages trying to work out the Spoonerism. It was only when I realised that we have to deal separately with the ‘for’ bit and just Spoonerise the rest that the penny dropped. A Spoonerism normally involves swapping the first sounds of the words but it can, as here, mean the switching of intermediate vowels, so in this case the Reverend gentleman might confuse ‘perty tax‘ with ‘party tecs‘.
14d Is Pele endlessly running round this pitch? (5)
SPIEL: an anagram (running round) of IS PEL[e].
15d Lament passing of month — one with R in (5)
MOURN: start with a 2-letter abbreviation for month then insert R into a dialect word for one.
18d Ingenue twisted body in dance (4,4)
BABY DOLL: an anagram (twisted) of BODY goes inside a formal dance. I didn’t know the answer could mean ingénue but Chambers says it can mean ‘a woman with a childlike appearance and personality’.
21d People employed on a Scottish island (6)
STAFFA: a word for the people involved in an organisation followed by A. I visited the island several years ago to see “Fingal’s Cave” the inspiration for Mendelssohn’s overture.
25d Cover for front of mobiles (but not sides) — i.e. cells (4)
ASCI: a word for the front cover of a mobile phone without its outer letters. Not a word I knew but Chambers tells me it’s the plural of a term meaning ‘an enlarged cell, commonly elongated, in which eight spores are formed’ – that’s clear then!
26d Draw spades to lead in pack (4)
STOW: a verb to draw or pull preceded by the abbreviation for the card suit spades.
My top clues were 4d, 5d and 8d. Which one(s) had you clapping?