Toughie No 2121 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
We have another example of Petitjean’s art to enjoy. I thought that this one was on the gentle side but as enjoyable as ever. In case you missed the comment from the editor on Petitjean’s previous puzzle he has confirmed that there are enough of the great man’s Toughies left to last into next year. Thanks once more to Petitjean’s family for allowing us to enjoy his work.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Expert whose clients are relieved to go under (12)
ANAESTHETIST: cryptic definition of a hospital worker.
9a Retreat of republican French female, facing cunning agent selling out (9)
TRAVELLER: ‘agent selling out’ is not a treacherous spy but a sales agent on the road. Join together the abbreviation for Republican, a French feminine pronoun, the abbreviation for ‘facing’ (in a sporting context) and a synonym of cunning. Now reverse the lot.
10a Animated bubbly Romeo (5)
ASTIR: a sparkling drink followed by what Romeo stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
11a Sting’s roots let out by Geordieland tango (6)
NETTLE: an anagram (out) of LET follows the area of England where Geordies live and the letter that tango is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
12a Splendid chap and archetypal hero (8)
SUPERMAN: split the answer 5,3 to get a splendid chap.
13a Taking two-thirds some agree would be inadequate (6)
MEAGRE: hidden as two-thirds of ‘some agree’.
15a Force for something stronger than a catnap? (8)
BULLDOZE: this is a much stronger animal than a cat and a synonym for nap.
18a Quite regularly checks pay, which is useful (8)
SALUTARY: regular letters from ‘quite’ are inserted into a form of pay.
19a Wholesome? It’s plausible denied calmer exterior (6)
EDIBLE: start with an adjective meaning plausible and remove the exterior letters of calmer.
21a Work for aircrew in chic society? (4,4)
HIGH LIFE: cryptically this could describe the work of an aircrew.
23a Peculiar cyst he cut (6)
SCYTHE: an anagram (peculiar) of CYST HE.
26a Mistake denying bully 90-year-old British fizz (5)
ERROR: a bully (Terrorizer) without the fizzy soft drink made in Scotland. Apparently it was introduced in 1924 (so probably exactly 90 years old when Petitjean compiled this puzzle).
27a Irritation right away brought about by pioneer (9)
INITIATOR: an anagram (brought about) of IR[r]ITATION without one of the abbreviations for right.
28a Classmate that’s in the same swimming group (12)
SCHOOLFELLOW: the first half of the answer is a name for a large group of fish.
1d Talking bird taking no time turning up — or the opposite (7)
ANTONYM: a bird that can ‘talk’ has NO and the abbreviation for time inserted then it all gets reversed.
2d A gin knocked back on one’s own (5)
APART: A and the reversal of what a gin can be.
3d Have misgivings seeing Ella in unusually smart surroundings (5,1,3)
SMELL A RAT: ELLA surrounded by an easy anagram (unusually) of SMART.
4d No end of vacs — third of theirs and mine (4)
HOLE: start with another abbreviation for what vacs means, remove the final letter and append the third letter of ‘theirs’.
5d Involved university in sort-out for transport (8)
TORTUOUS: insert an abbreviation for university into an anagram (for transport) of SORT-OUT.
6d Staff in more ways than one (5)
STAVE: the answer has the same meaning as staff in two ways, the second relating to written music. Additionally the answer is made up of two abbreviations for ‘way’ – thanks halcyon.
7d Weapon at disposal of one mob after another? (4,4)
ATOM BOMB: start with AT and add an anagram (disposal) of MOB twice.
8d Cutting edge arts festival? (6)
FRINGE: double definition, the second being the name given to an annual arts festival in Edinburgh. Here are what are claimed to be the best one-line jokes from the last few years of the festival:
14d Parable of galley rowed unyoked at sea (8)
ALLEGORY: an anagram (at sea) of GALLEY RO[wed] without the word that can (in one sense facetiously) mean yoked or joined.
16d Local Cockney actor poolside (9)
LIDOCAINE: this was my last answer and required a bit of Googling. It’s the US spelling of a local (as opposed to a general which might be administered by a 1a). Stick together an open-air swimming pool and the surname of a Cockney actor (born Maurice Micklewhite – not a lot of people know that!).
17d Grand artist with loud following — one leading to work like Banksy’s? (8)
GRAFFITO: this requires us to bring together six different bits as follows: the abbreviation for a grand ($1,000), our usual artist, abbreviations for loud and following, the Roman numeral for one and TO.
18d Some way to go with two noughts missing from school record (6)
SCHLEP: remove the two letters resembling nought from school and add an old record format.
20d Feature of Cockney intellectual? (7)
EYEBROW: this facial feature sounds like how a Cockney would pronounce a synonym for intellectual.
22d Sir Tim’s creation, part in comfortably rich West End theatre? (5)
LYRIC: hidden in the clue is what Sir Tim Rice produces and it’s also the name of a West End theatre.
24d Complete wreck (5)
TOTAL: double definition, the second being an informal verb to wreck or write off a vehicle.
25d Fancy Women’s Institute over-50s (4)
WILL: the abbreviation for the Women’s Institute followed by a double helping of the Roman numeral for fifty.
The clues which I liked best were 9a, 15a and 7d. Do let us know which one(s) pleased you most.