Toughie No 2101 by Messinae
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Messinae has given us a fairly gentle but pleasant puzzle today – thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a By Eurythmics originally, inferior song’s covered (6)
BESIDE: we start with a bit of Yoda-speak. The first letter of Eurythmics is contained in a song (1-4) judged to be the less promising one of two packaged together.
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4a Talked about the woman’s teeth (8)
GNASHERS: reverse a verb meaning talked or snitched and append a feminine possessive pronoun.
9a Provides with jokes from the internet? (6)
EQUIPS: as 1-5 the answer could mean online jokes. A well roasted chestnut.
10a Rough servant one charged after row (8)
SCULLION: something with a positive electric charge follows a verb to row.
11a Decorative feature of vehicle I’ve hit! (9)
CARTOUCHE: stitch together a road vehicle and what a fencer says to claim a hit.
13a Official dressing king (5)
MAYOR: the short form of a creamy dressing and the single-letter abbreviation for king.
14a Posh mini crashed in men’s competition (13)
CHAMPIONSHIPS: insert an anagram (crashed) of POSH MINI into an informal word for men.
17a Avant-garde Bohemian taste facing common problem (2,3,4,4)
IN THE SAME BOAT: an anagram (avant-garde?) of BOHEMIAN TASTE.
21a Colour coach-horse regularly displayed (5)
OCHRE: regular letters from coach-horse.
23a Disappointing spectacles opening in Roman days (3-6)
NON-EVENTS: insert an opening or outlet into days from the old Roman calendar (not ‘ides’, the other one).
24a Dull colour’s kept in proportion the last time? (8)
DURATION: the question mark is definitely needed for the definition with ‘the last time’ here meaning the time that something lasts. A dull greyish-brown colour contains a synonym for proportion or relationship.
25a Stew makes British grow (6)
BRAISE: weld together a single-letter abbreviation for British and a verb to grow or rear.
26a Rifles National Security Agency kept in shelves (8)
RANSACKS: the abbreviation for the National Security Agency (one of the many US intelligence services) goes inside another word for shelves.
27a Seed Greek character planted in compost material (6)
PEANUT: insert the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet into a type of compost material found in boggy ground.
1d Turn white left in place where you’d usually do the opposite (6)
BLEACH: insert the abbreviation for left into a place where you might hope to turn brown.
2d Cricket shot from Boycott after cluster of wickets (6,3)
SQUARE CUT: a verb to boycott or snub follows the central area of a cricket ground where the groundsman has prepared a number of wickets.
3d Envoy’s reduced qualification (7)
DIPLOMA: drop the last letter of an envoy or country’s representative abroad.
5d With pound to put in, need coin OK to work jukebox (11)
NICKELODEON: this is an old informal US term for a jukebox based on the value of the coin needed to make it work. Insert the abbreviation for a pound sterling into an anagram (to work) of NEED COIN OK.
6d Ancient battle for sausages (7)
SALAMIS: double definition, the first the name of a battle (new to me) in 480 BC between the Greeks and the Persians.
7d Girl climbing tree by yard (5)
EMILY: reverse a type of citrus fruit tree and append the abbreviation for a yard.
8d Small strip as summer clothing (8)
SUNDRESS: the abbreviation for small in clothing sizes and a verb to strip or disrobe.
12d Pirate not well armed (7,4)
CAPTAIN HOOK: cryptic definition of a fictional pirate deficient in the arm area.
15d Camping on island on purpose (9)
INTENTION: string together a phrase meaning camping (2,4), an abbreviation for island and ON.
16d Son in fashion house upset wine — chaos (8)
DISORDER: insert the abbreviation for son into a French fashion house and add the reversal of a generic type of wine.
18d Choose artist, complex character (7)
ELECTRA: a verb to choose or vote for is followed by our usual abbreviated artist to get the name of a mythological figure from Greek mythology who has given her name to a complex in psychology.
19d Head presents alumnus with some poetry (7)
OBVERSE: stick together the abbreviation for an alumnus or former male student and a passage of poetry.
20d Going up a trail (6)
ASCENT: A followed by another word for a trail or spoor.
22d One brave knight, one in siege (5)
HERON: siege here is a collective noun. Someone very brave is followed by the chess abbreviation for knight.
For me the cream of the crop today were 4a, 2d and 22d. Do let us know which one(s) took your fancy.