Toughie No 2232 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I found this fairly gentle with only two answers that I didn’t know (the African money and the Indian bed) and in both cases the wordplay and the checkers made the solving straightforward with just a resort to Chambers required to confirm that I’d got the answers right. I did notice when writing the hints that there are lots of containment/insertion type clues.
Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Interrupting performance, sailor with drink turned around and ran down (10)
DENIGRATED: stick together an old nickname for a sailor and an alcoholic drink, reverse that and fit it inside a performance or act.
6a A bird like this may be seen in Nile location (4)
SWAN: if you prefix the bird with the A you get the Egyptian city where you’ll find the high dam on the Nile.
9a One north European ‘into’ poet — whose study is superficial? (10)
DILETTANTE: the Roman numeral for one and an old term for Latvian are inserted into the most famous Italian poet.
10a African money is frozen, first to last (4)
CEDI: start with an adjective meaning frozen and move the first letter to the end to get the currency of Ghana.
12a A court involved in measures for sanctions (6)
ENACTS: insert A and the abbreviation for court into measures traditionally used in the printing trade.
13a That was painful, being in exposed carriage (8)
BAROUCHE: an exclamation of pain goes inside an adjective meaning exposed or uncovered.
15a Women excluded in new trade? Further change needed! (12)
READJUSTMENT: insert a phrase meaning women excluded (4,3) into an anagram (new) of TRADE.
18a Real smile as I run around in country air (12)
MARSEILLAISE: an anagram (run around) of REAL SMILE AS I produces a stirring national song. Why can’t the UK have an inspiring song like this instead of our lame effort?
21a Select group in English Literature is embracing someone really good (8)
ELITISTS: start with abbreviations for English and Literature then add IS containing a good and holy person.
22a A knight entertained by clever king (6)
CANUTE: A and the chess abbreviation for knight go inside an adjective meaning clever or astute.
24a Fixed line needed when picking team (4)
AXIS: a synonym for when contains (picking, in the sense of gathering e.g. fruit) the number of players in a cricket or football team.
25a With lot gathered round, bring out toast (10)
FELICITATE: a verb to bring out or evoke has a synonym for lot or destiny placed around it.
26a Country’s name as before, having gained independence (4)
EIRE: a poetic word meaning before contains an abbreviation for independence.
27a Duty to be done — a hint intended to be listened to (10)
ASSIGNMENT: A is followed by homophones of a) a hint or suggestion and b) intended.
1d Hesitate, as one who was tickled to meet the Queen (6)
DODDER: we’re more used to seeing the answer in its adjectival form rather than as a verb. String together the surname of the comedian who was always ‘tickled’ and the Queen’s regnal cipher. The comedian was put on trial for tax evasion (and acquitted) which led him to joke “I told the Inland Revenue I didn’t owe them a penny because I lived near the seaside”.
2d Room with a Parisian sitting up in bed in India (6)
NULLAH: assemble a room (possibly one adjacent to your front door) and a French indefinite article then invert it all. The bed is not one you sleep in but a river bed.
3d He had, having earlier understood scripture, to confront wickedness or become corrupt (2,2,3,5)
GO TO THE DEVIL: the contracted form of ‘he had’ is preceded by a phrase meaning understood or fathomed part of the Bible (3,2) and followed by a synonym of wickedness.
4d A style for home? No (4)
AWAY: A and another word for style or method.
5d Discarded vehicle floating on river outside the building (10)
EXTRAMURAL: what once operated as a passenger vehicle (2,4) precedes the name of a river in Eastern Europe.
7d It’s miserable, being married, having inner strain (8)
WRETCHED: a synonym for married has inside it a verb to strain or heave.
8d Sweet winner — dog that’s lost its tail (8)
NOISETTE: what looks like a winner (2,1) followed by a breed of dog without its last letter.
11d Short story on e.g. Radio 4 generates controversy (12)
CONTESTATION: a word, from French, for a short story and what Radio 4 is an example of.
14d Female associated with false image in party restricted by realists somehow (10)
IDOLATRESS: a festive party is contained inside an anagram (somehow) of REALISTS.
16d Current strength of politician beginning to erupt in a temper (8)
AMPERAGE: our usual elected politician and the first letter of erupt go between A and another word for temper or violent anger.
17d Smarter wooden frame that absorbs water (8)
BRAINIER: a wooden frame used to support a coffin contains water from above.
19d To develop biologically, little animal took food (6)
PUPATE: charade of a young animal and a verb meaning took food.
20d Best achievement follows poor exam grades (6)
DEFEAT: an achievement or accomplishment follows two poor exam grades. Best, here, is a verb.
23d Sound of very important little bird (4)
KIWI: this will surely be the 2K’s favourite clue – stick together homophones of a) very important or vital and b) little.
The clues I liked best were 6a and 15a. Do let us know which one(s) had you tickled.