Toughie No 2160 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
We are privileged to have another superb puzzle from the late Petitjean. Thanks once more to his family for allowing us to enjoy the large body of work that he left behind.
I had problems with the SW corner because the original 22a (since replaced online) led me to a homophone of a mole – as a result 17d became impossible and I had to check 22a online to work out what was going on.
Those who enjoy anagrams will think that today’s their birthday!
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
7a What Battersea resident may be doing in London suburb … (7)
BARKING: Battersea is famous for its power station and, of more relevance here, its Dogs and Cats Home.
8a … what impatient motorist may be doing in London suburb (7)
TOOTING: the impatient motorist may be noisily venting his (or her) frustration.
10a Err at sea in the wake of vaunted roving explorer (10)
ADVENTURER: an anagram (at sea) of ERR follows another anagram (roving) of VAUNTED.
11a Plump jay regularly overlooked creepy-crawly (4)
PUPA: regular letters are omitted from the first two words.
12a Endorse alternating current — and direct, strangely (8)
ACCREDIT: the abbreviation for alternating current precedes an anagram (strangely) of DIRECT.
14a Independent princess coy about stupidity (6)
IDIOCY: string together an abbreviation for independent, the “People’s Princess” and an anagram (about) of COY.
15a Cook oyster in veg — it rules! (11)
SOVEREIGNTY: an anagram (cook) of OYSTER IN VEG.
19a Scrap subtle plays — bravo going for back of stalls (6)
TUSSLE: start with ‘subtle’ and replace the letter that bravo stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet with the last letter of stalls. Now make an anagram (plays) of what you’ve got.
20a Get a role cast for bosom buddy (5,3)
ALTER EGO: for our fifth anagram in a row we need to cast GET A ROLE.
22a Rumoured spy, or mole (4) (Original, incorrect, clue: Rumoured mole, or spy (4))
PIER: this clue was incorrect in the paper and early on online. In fact the homophone (rumoured) relates to the verb to spy not to the mole. This mole is a solid structure on the seashore.
23a Rails crossing river where pike may count in competition (10)
TRAMPOLINE: the rails used by electrically-powered public transport vehicles contain the name of an Italian river that’s very popular in Crosswordland. Pike here is a jackknife.
25a Yak perhaps with Jack Black about diminutive Hawaiian guitar player once (7)
JUKEBOX: what a yak is a type of follows the abbreviations for Jack (in card games) and black which contain the short form of a small guitar of Hawaiian origin.
26a ‘Soppy Chops’ gets half of kisses planted by Henry (7)
MAWKISH: weld together a word for an animal’s chops or jaws, half of the word kisses and the abbreviation used for henry (the SI unit of inductance).
1d Fish caught on land? (7)
HADDOCK: charade of ‘caught’ (by a confidence trickster perhaps) and a verb to land or moor.
2d Island or Blue Note (4)
SKYE: a clear blue colour and a musical note.
3d One loosely untied (6)
UNITED: an anagram (loosely) of UNTIED.
4d Concerning what dog’s doing with bone? (8)
WORRYING: a dog will tear at a bone with its teeth.
5d Nameless cryptic setter’s spin is relative (10)
STEPSISTER: an anagram (cryptic) of SETTER’S SPI[n] without the abbreviation for name.
6d Test 11 protecting soft core (7)
INSPECT: what 11a is contains the musical abbreviation for soft.
9d Afraid delinquent wants answer to waste (7,4)
FRITTER AWAY: a dialect word (4) for afraid (famously used by Mrs Thatcher of Denis Healey) is followed by another word for a delinquent or hooligan without the single-letter abbreviation for answer.
13d Record noise — not I fancy an obstacle in church (4,6)
ROOD SCREEN: an anagram (fancy) of RECORD NO[i]SE without the I.
16d In small part what Americans did in 1980 (8)
ELECTRON: split the answer 5,3 to get what Americans did in 1980 (and again in 1984).
17d Inquisitive writer quits destitute for Conservative (7)
CURIOUS: replace the writing implement in an adjective meaning destitute or poverty-stricken with the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative.
18d Worry intensely? Not very with gas oven set over one (7)
AGONISE: an anagram (set) of GAS O[v]EN (without the abbreviation for very) containing the Roman numeral for one. I’m not keen on over being used as a containment indicator in a down clue.
21d Theatrical performance in that Astaire musical (3,3)
TOP HAT: insert an abbreviated procedure in a hospital theatre into ‘that’.
24d Superior maybe that’s red in excess? (4)
double triple definition (thanks Rabbit Dave), Superior being one of five great ones in North America. The third definition describes something available in excess such as a European Wine ****.
I have ticks all over the place including 7a, 1d, 9d, 16d and 21d. My favourite clue was 23a. Do let us know which one(s) gave you pleasure.