Toughie No 1941 by Elkamere
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ****/*****
Bearing in mind that some solvers may be feeling a bit fragile today Elkamere has given us a fairly gentle puzzle with plenty of ways in. It’s great fun with succinct clues, well-disguised definitions and a barrowload of laughs.
Since this is my last blog of 2017 may I thank Elkamere and all the other setters who’ve entertained us so royally through the year and wish them, BD and all my co-bloggers and all commenters and lurkers a Very Happy New Year.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Arsenal supporter in stand (8,4)
MAGAZINE RACK: this is nothing to do with football. It’s a charade of a store of arms and a supporting framework.
8a Port with a sharper flavour (7)
TANGIER: double definition, the first a North African port.
9a Bugs, mostly unclassified (7)
RANKLES: with an additional S this could mean unclassified or without a grade.
11a Falls over, about to meet soldiers (7)
NIAGARA: reverse an adverb meaning over or ‘once more’ and add the abbreviation for a branch of our army.
12a Removal firm on time (7)
ERASURE: an adjective meaning firm or solid follows an historical period.
13a Johnson play featured in Staffordshire newspaper (5)
IRENE: I didn’t know this play by Samuel Johnson but its title is easy to spot, hidden in the clue.
14a Like a star that was initially faintest? (9)
TWINKLING: the initial letters of ‘that was’ are followed by a word for the slightest knowledge as in the expression “I haven’t the faintest”.
16a Some farmers run while crossing the road (9)
GOATHERDS: start with a verb to run or “tick over” and follow this with a conjunction meaning while which contains THE and the abbreviation for road.
19a Certainly take top off (5)
NATCH: remove the first letter from a verb to take or grab.
21a Short month’s work for army type! (7)
OCTOPUS: string together the short form of the name of a month and the Latin word for an artistic work.
23a Trendy expression to describe current acting (7)
INTERIM: join together an adjective meaning trendy or fashionable and an expression or phrase containing the symbol for electric current.
24a Man possibly taken in by crazy fool (7)
MISLEAD: what Man (with a capital M) is an example of goes inside an adjective meaning crazy.
25a Free new facilities are in use (7)
UNLOOSE: insert the abbreviation for new and an informal word for facilities or ‘a place to go’ into the word USE.
26a No words are sung in this key (12)
INSTRUMENTAL: double definition, the first a piece of music with no vocal accompaniment like this one …
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1d Staff see instruction (7)
MANDATE: bolt together two verbs, the first meaning to staff and the second meaning to see romantically.
2d Pained expression? I’m in favour (7)
GRIMACE: insert I’M into a word for favour or good will (as in the expression ‘to fall from favour’).
3d Prophet put pig under cross (9)
ZOROASTER: put a word for a pig (based on the way it’s to be cooked) under a hybrid animal (a cross between a yak and a cow, and a very useful word in Scrabble).
4d Foster sister (5)
NURSE: double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun.
5d Managed to fire rifle (7)
RANSACK: concatenate a verb meaning managed and a verb to fire or dismiss.
6d Stones in ring, copper one (7)
CALCULI: insert the chemical symbol for copper into a verb to ring or phone. Finally append the Roman numeral for one.
7d No seats here in second coach (8-4)
STANDING-ROOM: bring together a noun meaning second or substitute (5-2) and a verb to coach or prepare.
10d In prison, creep’s hard to beat (12)
SLEDGEHAMMER: a slang word for a prison contains a verb to creep or inch and the letter that means hard in pencil classifications.
15d Where researcher may be found (9)
INSTITUTE: double definition, the second a verb meaning to found or establish.
17d No power to champion worker (7)
ARTISAN: start with a word for a champion or strong supporter and drop the abbreviation for power.
18d Most in joint will get disease (7)
HIPPEST: a bodily joint followed by a disease or plague,
19d Little number, rough total (3,1,3)
NOT A LOT: append an anagram (rough) of TOTAL to an abbreviation for number.
20d Ditch overturned limo after unsettling noise (7)
TURMOIL: reverse a word for a ditch or furrow and add an anagram (after unsettling) of LIMO.
22d Holy man‘s blue hotel uniform (5)
SADHU: assemble an adjective meaning blue or depressed and the letters that hotel and uniform stand for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
There are loads of ticks on my printout – I’ll just mention 14a, 21a, 16d and 19d. Which one(s) gave you a lift?