Toughie No 2204 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment ****
We have another serving of great fun from the late Petitjean today. The extra half-star for difficulty that I’ve awarded it is due to my spending time going down a blind alley on 9/11a (well it seemed a good idea at the time!).
Thanks once more to Petitjean’s family for providing us with so many enjoyable puzzles.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Heartless Blue Peter clip playing on YouTube perhaps (11)
PERCEPTIBLE: an anagram (playing) of B[lu]E PETER CLIP.
9a/11a What many Ecuadorian truckers must do to annoy? (5,7)
DRIVE BANANAS: double definition, the first relating to one of Ecuador’s major exports. I spent quite a long time trying to find out if there is a South American truck called a bonker!
10a Sent back in Marxist Vietnam, second left-of-centre leader (9)
COMMANDER: string together the colour associated with a Marxist, the informal name used in the USA for Vietnam, a second or short period of time and the leftmost letter of ‘centre’. Now reverse it all.
11a See 9a
12a Ample fog to stir up total disaster (8)
MEGAFLOP: an anagram (to stir up) of AMPLE FOG.
14a Impractical person‘s to-do file (8)
IDEALIST: split the answer 4,4 to get a file of ‘possibilities’.
15a How the French describe their own intellect (4)
NOUS: double definition, the first being the word for ‘we’ in French.
17a Vegetable knife cut tell-tale rejected outside leaves (7)
LETTUCE: reverse ‘knife cut tell-tale’ and pare away the outside bits.
19a A wrong meaning (2,2)
AS IN: split the answer 1,3 to get a moral wrong.
20a They’re on track to win (8)
ATHLETES: a rather gentle cryptic definition.
21a With end of Satanism, Lucifer may become forgiving (8)
MERCIFUL: an anagram (may become) of the last letter of [Satanis]M and LUCIFER.
23a Diplomacy is about key game plan (7)
TACTICS: stick together a synonym of diplomacy and IS containing a musical key.
25a Bill that amuses by getting on court (3,6)
OLD BAILEY: the surname of a comedian called Bill follows an adjective meaning ‘getting on’.
26a Butt of cigar ekes out smokes (5)
REEKS: the tail of [ciga]R followed by an anagram (out) of EKES.
27a Love not left in grimly acted out drama (11)
TRAGICOMEDY: start with GRIMLY ACTED, replace the abbreviation for left with what looks like a score of love and make an anagram (out) of what you now have.
2d Writer leaves legendarily faithful wife to do a moonlight flit (5)
ELOPE: remove a writing instrument from the name of the wife of Odysseus who remained faithful to him during his prolonged absence.
3d This may have a bearing on one’s progress (7)
COMPASS: cryptic definition of an instrument used to show you the direction to travel.
4d Disadvantage in a sleep being disrupted (8)
PENALISE: an anagram (being disrupted) of IN A SLEEP. Disadvantage here is a verb.
5d Fish hook (4)
BARB: double definition, the first a small freshwater fish.
6d Online chat about ear, nose and throat, but teeth? None (8)
EDENTATE: what could be an online tête-à-tête (1-4) contains the abbreviation for our usual hospital department. I’m not really convinced that the online assignation that we need here is the same as a chat – what do you think?
7d ‘Buy any?’ posed by odd characters in Arles and, say, Venice and Whitstable festivals (9)
BIENNIALS: a homophone (posed) of ‘buy any’ followed by the odd letters of Arles. The only festival that I knew of in Whitstable is oyster-related but that happens every year so I had to use Google to discover that there’s also an arts festival there that does match the answer.
8d Spectacular opening to album in ‘Rolling Stones in LA’ (11)
SENSATIONAL: insert the opening letter of album into an anagram (rolling) of STONES IN LA.
12d Source of Old Trafford’s talent production line? (11)
MANUFACTORY: Old Trafford is of course most famous for being a test cricket ground in Manchester but it’s also the name of a nearby stadium where a local football team play. Cryptically their on-field talent might come from the answer when split 3,1,7.
13d Hypocrisy and spite I’m battling (7)
PIETISM: an anagram (battling) of SPITE I’M.
16d Flapping about like Rupert’s trousers? The opposite (9)
UNCHECKED: flapping about could mean not restrained or tied down. The answer could also be the opposite of Rupert’s trousers – see below.
17d Most guarded and, so it’s said, most like literary king (8)
LEERIEST: this sounds like a most accurate likeness of a Shakespearean king.
18d Cute revolutionary Cubist swapping sides in Cork (8)
CHERUBIC: fuse together our usual South American revolutionary and the name of a Hungarian ‘cubist’ inventor with a letter in his name being changed from the last letter of Cork to the first.
19d In biryani, mismatched items from nature providing soul food? (7)
ANIMISM: hidden word.
22d Overturn fork out where yew is called for to replace what’s left of spruce (5)
UPEND: start with a verb to fork out and change the leftmost letter of spruce for the letter that yew sounds like.
24d Tizzes over fizz (4)
SODA: reverse another word for tizzes or agitations.
My printout has lots of ticks including 9/11a, 4d, 8d and 12d but my favourite clue was 25a. Do let us know which one(s) earned your seal of approval.