Toughie No 1933 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
We have another lovely puzzle from the late Petitjean – what a legacy he left us. Crypticsue tells me that there’s still no indication in the paper that this is the last so we have even more mad-hattedness to look forward to.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a No piano in Sex Pistols’ music and one new chord — or is that harsh? (6)
UNKIND: remove the abbreviation for piano from the type of music favoured by the Sex Pistols and add the Roman numeral for one, N(ew) and a musical chord.
4a Wore drape jacket extremely tight? (6)
WASTED: tight here means drunk. If you split the answer 3,3 you’re identifying a youth of the 1950s who typically wore a drape jacket.
8a Manage visit as well having dropped round (6,2)
ATTEND TO: a verb to visit followed by an adverb meaning ‘as well’ without one round letter.
10a Butcher or Best becoming flash on and off (6)
STROBE: this is nothing to do with football. We need an anagram (butcher) of OR BEST.
11a Missing nothing in what can be boring (4)
AWOL: insert what resembles zero into a boring tool.
12a Drunken Australian orgy (10)
SATURNALIA: an oldie but goodie anagram (drunken) of AUSTRALIAN.
13a Paid arranger perhaps to accept key change to create moving hymn (12)
PROCESSIONAL: start with a paid (non-amateur) person, who could be an arranger, and change the fourth letter from one musical key to another.
16a First vegetables in their field? These 9 5 (5,7)
FRONT RUNNERS: charade of an adjective meaning first or leading and some green vegetables. 9 and 5 refer to 9d and 5d.
20a It’ll be the death of me training mum to get to grips with tango (10)
PESTILENCE: an abbreviation for physical training followed by what mum can mean (not mother in this instance) containing the letter that tango represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
21a Dismiss the odds of cheekier one being likely to succeed (4)
HEIR: take away the odd letters of ‘cheekier’.
22a What should come with ribs — portion of Harvester nachos? (6)
STERNA: hidden in the clue.
23a Sense is a misused facility (8)
EASINESS: an anagram (misused) of SENSE IS A.
24a Loophole may be what let the cat out of the bag so to speak (6)
CLAUSE: this could be a provision, possibly in the small print, of a contract which provides a loophole for one of the parties to escape their obligations. It sounds like what a cat might use to get out of a bag.
25a Charity shelters duck with temperature practically (6)
ALMOST: a type of charity contains what looks like a duck at cricket. Finally append the abbreviation for temperature.
1d Inauspicious start to detente following peacekeepers opposing what Christian soldiers march as (8)
UNTOWARD: the first letter of detente follows the abbreviation for international peacemakers and what they oppose, i.e. what follows “marching as” (2,3) in the lyrics of the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers”.
2d Potentially heavy toll with Left going for European — prepare to pray (5)
KNEEL: start with a word for a heavy toll of a bell and change the first L(eft) to E(uropean).
3d Plainclothes officers infiltrating fanatics whose cover is non-existent? (7)
NUDISTS: insert the abbreviation for senior CID officers into an informal word for fanatics or enthusiasts.
5d No-hoper was a candidate too (4-3)
ALSO-RAN: change the hyphen to a space and it could mean “was a candidate as well”.
6d Art nouveau popular after Klee’s impenetrable canvas (9)
TARPAULIN: string together an anagram (nouveau) of ART, the first name of the German artist Mr Klee and an adjective meaning popular or trendy.
7d Unfinished soft cheese among some French leftovers (6)
DEBRIS: insert a soft French cheese without its last letter into a French word meaning ‘some’.
9d Abroad Germany and Italy’s position is better by far (11)
OUTDISTANCE: knit together an adverb meaning abroad or away from home, the IVR codes for Germany and Italy and a synonym for position or attitude.
14d Lunch counter and ace fare it served up (9)
CAFETERIA: an anagram (served up) of ACE FARE IT.
15d Model railway coach ready to start (5,3)
TRAIN SET: concatenate a verb to coach and an adjective meaning ‘in the ready position to start a race’.
17d Coal bins without lid converted into containers for lubricants (7)
OILCANS: an anagram (converted) of COAL and [b]INS without the top letter.
18d University listen about item in canteen? (7)
UTENSIL: an abbreviation for university followed by an anagram (about) of LISTEN. I didn’t like the grammar in the clue at first but I suppose that university (like government, for example) can be regarded as either singular or plural depending on whether it’s being treated as a single entity or a group of individuals – what do you think?
19d Addled American celebrated by bards of Bow Bells (6)
SEPTIC: those born within the sound of Bow Bells are Cockneys and in their rhyming slang an American is known as a ****** tank (Yank).
21d Spooner’s study doctor used for girls’ night out (3,2)
HEN DO: the confused Reverend Spooner might pronounce this as a study or lair and the name of a time-travelling doctor.
I particularly liked 4a (a typical Petitjean clue), 12a (for the great surface) and 21a (referring to Wills and Harry?) but my favourite is 19d. Which ones had you reaching for your mad hat?