Toughie No 2006 by Micawber
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
It’s not Groundhog Day – you’re getting a double dose of me this week because Bufo is otherwise engaged. It’s never a chore to blog a Micawber puzzle and this one is very enjoyable but fairly gentle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Arrive to collect missing centrepiece, and something it could go on in snug (11)
COMFORTABLE: a phrasal verb meaning ‘arrive to collect’ loses its central letter and that’s followed by something a centrepiece might be displayed on.
7a Express indifference towards quiet runner? (5)
SHRUG: charade of an order to be quiet and a runner or strip of carpet.
8a Perhaps flat round ordinary rods (9)
DOWELLING: what a flat is an example of contains the abbreviation for ordinary.
10a Knock down property that’s the first in its block in double figures? (7)
FLATTEN: split the answer 4,3 to get the lowest numbered property in a block requiring two digits on its front door. I wonder whether the clue number is just a coincidence?
11a Judge you and me et al in process of declining (7)
REFUSAL: string together an abbreviated judge or match controller, a pronoun meaning you and me and AL.
12a Rule westerly part of Tangiers (5)
REIGN: reversed (westerly) in the clue. The English name for the Moroccan port is spelt Tangier, not Tangiers.
13a Upright piano parts stolen, we suspect (5,4)
NEWEL POST: the musical abbreviation meaning piano goes inside an anagram (suspect) of STOLEN WE.
16a To show respect, head of government cast vote for keeping rejected amusement (9)
GENUFLECT: the first letter of Government and a verb meaning ‘to cast a vote for’ contain the reversal of a synonym of amusement or enjoyment.
18a It’s salty and impertinent, in essence, having a comeback (5)
NITRE: reverse the central letters of impertinent.
19a Corrupted a great society — it’s enough to make you weep (4,3)
TEAR GAS: an anagram (corrupted) of A GREAT followed by the abbreviation for society.
22a Instrument breaking into jaunty air in Italian course (7)
RAVIOLI: an old stringed instrument gets inserted into an anagram (jaunty) of AIR.
23a In irrational optimism, invest billion in plant (9)
EUPHORBIA: insert the abbreviation for billion into a word for a feeling of optimism or happiness. I wasn’t aware that this was irrational but Chambers describes it as ‘especially irrational or groundless’.
24a Bats circling (5)
LOOPY: double definition, the first meaning a bit doolally.
25a League clubs formed of any creed (11)
CONFEDERACY: the abbreviation for the card suit Clubs followed by an anagram (formed) of OF ANY CREED.
1d Country estate perhaps first in bloom (9)
CARNATION: a word for a country or state is preceded by what an estate is an example of.
2d Description exposing fake jewel put up for quite a few pounds (7)
MEGATON: reverse the answer and split it 3,1,3.
3d Big guns embracing introduction of international regulation (9)
ORDINANCE: a word for big guns or artillery contains the first letter of international. Rather an old chestnut.
4d One drawing building (5)
TOWER: double definition, the first being something that draws or pulls (a tugboat, for example).
5d Malignant contents of package? (7)
BALEFUL: cryptically this word could describe all the contents of a package or bundle.
6d Online images perhaps for major stories (5)
EPICS: as 1-4 these could be online images.
7d One fighting for rights — urge staff to revise note (11)
SUFFRAGETTE: an anagram (to revise) of URGE STAFF followed by a note from tonic sol-fa.
9d To perform redundant beauty treatment, I’ll dye light bristles (4,3,4)
GILD THE LILY: an anagram (bristles, in the sense of seethes) of I’LL DYE LIGHT.
15d Accepted view of forerunner of Seventies Music contains the odd loose ends (9)
ORTHODOXY: the abbreviation for ‘of’ is followed by the word that precedes Music in the name of an English rock band of the 1970s. Now insert TH[e] OD[d] without their last letters (having loose ends).
17d Voice of loudmouth warning of nebulous threat (7)
FOGHORN: double definition, the second a warning signal to ships (no longer needed much these days due to modern navigational aids). I do like ‘nebulous threat’.
18d New love blossoming — the French story (7)
NOVELLA: N(ew) followed by an anagram (blossoming) of LOVE and a French definite article.
20d Cleo’s killer caught after I clear stuff pork pies may conceal? (5)
ASPIC: bring together what killed Cleopatra, I and the cricket abbreviation for caught.
21d Colloquially it’s a drag, losing old sword (5)
SABRE: another abbreviation for what is colloquially known as ‘it’ is followed by another word for a drag or tiresome thing without the abbreviation for old.
My podium hosted 10a, 2d and 17d. Which one(s) were you partial to?