Toughie No 2125 by Donnybrook
It’s All Greek to Me
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment **/***
We have rather a lot of GK references (mainly relating to classical times) today which reduced the enjoyment somewhat for me and had me upping the difficulty level. Thanks to Donnybrook.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
7a Compensated when vibrator holds charge (8)
REWARDED: not that sort of vibrator (ooh, Missus!), this is one used in wind instruments. It contains a charge or dependant.
9a Threaten mischievous child with death (6)
IMPEND: charade of a mischievous child and a synonym for death.
10a See ecstasy reflected in an American god (6)
AEOLUS: this is the Greek god of the winds (who gave his name to a type of harp). Reverse our usual exclamation for see or behold and the abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy and insert that into an indefinite article and one of the abbreviations for American. Shouldn’t Ecstasy, in the sense used here, be capitalised?
11a He celebrated wine, later drinking port (8)
ANACREON: another old Greek, this one a real person rather than a mythological being. He was a poet who celebrated love and wine. An archaic word for later contains the name of a port in Israel.
12a Hard lines? (8,6)
CONCRETE POETRY: cryptic definition of a type of verse where the meaning is conveyed wholly or partly by visual means. The third clue in a row where I needed assistance from the BRB and Google.
15a Wilder for one catlike mammal losing tail (4)
GENE: remove the final T from a catlike nocturnal mammal.
17a Greek disciple‘s account dismissed by Roman historian (5)
TITUS: this Greek disciple was on the receiving end of one of St. Paul’s epistles. Remove the abbreviation for account from the name of a Roman historian. I remember our Latin master telling us, with some relish I thought, that the historian’s language was too racy for young minds like ours.
19a Road in Bow repaired for good (4)
FROG: this is Cockney rhyming slang for road. It’s an anagram (repaired) of FOR followed by the abbreviation for good.
20a Excited state is not so new in crashing these bars (14)
BREATHLESSNESS: insert a word meaning ‘not so’ or ‘not as much’ and the abbreviation for new into an anagram (crashing) of THESE BARS.
23a Perhaps unencumbered by chain, consider this tenure (8)
FREEHOLD: join together an adjective meaning not in captivity and a verb to consider or maintain.
25a Entering a depression, see what’s coming (6)
ADVENT: insert the single-letter abbreviation for see into A and a depression or hollow.
27a Mark out empty Dundee ground (6)
DEFINE: the outer letters of Dundee and an adjective meaning ground or reduced to small particles.
28a Worker caught by deceit in transport to Hell? (8)
HANDCART: string together a manual worker, the cricket abbreviation for caught and a word for deceit or slyness. The definition is a reference to the saying “going to Hell in a ********” to mean getting worse and worse.
1d Goddess wants case dropped in Boeotian city (4)
HEBE: we’re back in Greece again – Boeotia is a region in Greece. Start with a large city there and remove its outer letters to leave the daughter of Zeus and Hera who was the cup-bearer of the gods.
2d Green part in smoke that rolls over tongue (6)
GAELIC: insert a green area of grass into an informal word for something you smoke then reverse the lot.
3d Books of past and unremembered days (4)
EDDA: the name of two 13th century Icelandic works which are the main sources of Norse mythology is hidden in the clue.
4d Soldier in airborne force upset old barber (6)
FIGARO: this is the name of a fictional barber in a play by Beaumarchais (which we studied for A-level French) and later made more famous in a Mozart opera. Insert the abbreviation for a US ordinary soldier into the abbreviation for old and the UK airborne force then reverse it all.
5d Uncontrollable pirate provided opening shot (8)
APERITIF: stick together an anagram (uncontrollable) of PIRATE and a conjunction meaning ‘provided’.
6d As War and Peace, unsigned, without Tolstoy’s initial (10)
ANTONYMOUS: an adjective meaning unsigned or unattributed containing the initial letter of Tolstoy.
8d Leader of society in moral decline (7)
DESCENT: insert the leading letter of society into an adjective meaning moral or upright.
13d Word put in for us — study to demand too much work (10)
OVERBURDEN: insert a part of speech into a possessive adjective meaning ‘for us’ and finish with a study or cubbyhole. ‘Word’ seems very vague.
14d Acclaim former Time Lord, retired in Doctor’s absence (5)
EXTOL: assemble a prefix meaning former, the abbreviation for time and the reversal of ‘lord’ with the abbreviation for doctor removed.
16d Previous example with points is explanation (8)
EXEGESIS: bring together the prefix for previous (the same as ‘former’ in the preceding clue), an abbreviation meaning example, two cardinal points and IS.
18d Brown all over it’s a knitted bear (7)
SUSTAIN: a verb to brown or tan contains an anagram (knitted) of IT’S A. I’m not keen on the use of ‘over’ as a containment indicator in a down clue.
21d One spreads cloth over recliner’s top (6)
TROWEL: a type of absorbent cloth contains the top letter of recliner. See my comment on the previous clue.
22d What one might aspire to as religious probationer? (6)
NOVICE: this religious probationer might aspire to the answer when it’s split 2,4.
24d Writer shows Bloom discounting void idea (4)
DAHL: start with a flower of the daisy family and remove the outer letters of idea.
26d One obsessed in new way renouncing whiskey (4)
NERD: fuse together NEW and the abbreviation for a type of way or thoroughfare then remove the letter that whiskey is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
I liked 19a and 14d but my favourite clue (for its well-disguised definition) was 5d. Do let us know which one(s) earned your approbation.