Toughie No 2212 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment **
I found this to be something of a slog requiring lots of checking – Google had to put in an extra shift. Thanks Giovanni but, as I may have mentioned once or twice before, I do prefer Toughies which rely on clever wordplay rather than obscure vocabulary.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
4a Is fellow by end of short story a bringer of luck? (8)
TALISMAN: IS and a male person follow a story without its last letter.
8a Rogue depositing one vehicle in river (6)
PICARO: insert the Roman numeral for one and a road vehicle into our favourite Italian river. The answer is a Spanish word for a rogue or knave and it’s not in Chambers (neither is pivano, my first attempt) though it is there with –on appended to it.
9a Returned as Wimbledon champion, glowing outwardly? (8)
REVERTED: put the surname of an American female Wimbledon champion inside the colour that can mean glowing.
10a Bringing out temptation son should avoid (8)
EDUCTION: start with a word for temptation or enticement and remove the abbreviation for son from its start.
11a Smooth stars appearing outside entrance briefly (6)
LEGATO: a constellation (and sign of the zodiac) contains a hinged entrance without its last letter.
12a Soldier given no identity suffering mental disorder (8)
PARANOID: stick together an airborne soldier, NO and the abbreviation for identity.
13a Action by angler brings fish after very short time (8)
TICKLING: a cod-like fish follows an informal word for a very short time or moment.
16a Those troubled about getting first in English may be what’s found in Oxford? (8)
SHOETREE: assemble an anagram (troubled) of THOSE, a preposition meaning ‘about’ and the first letter of English. Oxford here is something you wear, not somewhere you live.
19a Jumping around, being concerned to make space for exercise (8)
CAPERING: an adjective meaning ‘being concerned or considerate’ contains an abbreviation for exercise or gymnastics.
21a Female is very admirable in party attire? (6)
FROCKS: the abbreviation for female and an informal verb meaning ‘is very admirable or enjoyable’.
23a What Queen embodies is good in truth (8)
REGALITY: insert the abbreviation for good into a synonym of truth or fact.
24a Name of unimportant person in organisation with sexist message? (8)
COGNOMEN: this is a name or nickname (originally one given to an ancient Roman citizen). Concatenate a word for an unimportant person in a large organisation and, for example, a sign that might be displayed at a hen party (2,3).
25a Search taking road back to border (6)
DREDGE: reverse the abbreviation for road and add a border.
26a One with plan to be kind, not out to be first (8)
INTENDER: this is one of those ugly nouns (formed by sticking –er on the end of a verb) which nobody would ever use. An adjective meaning kind or gentle is preceded by the opposite of out.
1d Discarded wit of Spooner, one with lots to say (7)
WINDBAG: Spooner might convert this into discarded or threw away (6) and a wit or joker (3).
2d Female priest can chat and be funny (9)
BACCHANTE: an anagram (funny) of CAN CHAT and BE gives us a priestess of Bacchus in Roman mythology.
3d Magic when vermouth is put in cocktail (6)
MOJITO: insert the abbreviation for Italian vermouth into a word for magic power or influence.
4d Abused page started to recover (6,3,6)
TURNED THE CORNER: this could mean ‘marked how far you’ve got in a book by mistreating the relevant page’ (something that you can’t do with a Kindle!).
5d Poet to be very fond of Anglo-Catholic finery? (8)
LOVELACE: this is Richard, a 17th century English poet. Weld together a verb to be very fond of and what, I presume, Anglo-Catholics like to dress up in. I’m sorry I can’t give chapter and verse for the Anglo-Catholic bit but I was losing the will to live by the time I reached this clue.
6d Child accommodated by school’s programme (5)
7d A top article in ancient language (7)
AVESTAN: stick together A, an upper-body garment and an indefinite article. This is a very old language from Persia.
14d Given honour and praise, it’s right she from France should be embraced (9)
LAURELLED: a verb meaning to praise contains an abbreviation for right and the French word for ‘she’.
15d Expected to be quiet, tot dumped in grass (8)
PRESUMED: start with the musical abbreviation for quiet then insert a verb to tot or add into a type of grass.
17d One’s cast out at sea — gets to talk endlessly about nothing (7)
HARPOON: an informal phrasal verb meaning to talk tediously and at length (4,2) contains the letter that resembles zero.
18d Like some performances for men only — I will stay outside (2-5)
ON-STAGE: an adjective meaning ‘for men only’ with what ‘I’ meant in Roman sums outside it.
20d Each year idol is placed atop a temple (6)
PAGODA: charade of the abbreviation for each year, an idol or something worshipped and A.
22d Story of a former Chelsea manager (5)
CONTE: double definition, the first (which I only knew as a French word) meaning a short story. The second (which I didn’t know at all) is the name of a Chelsea FC manager who only lasted two years in the job – from the look of this picture he isn’t a model of calmness under pressure!
My favourite clue was 17d. Do let us know which one(s) engaged your interest.