Toughie No 2248 by Musaeus
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
For the most part getting the answers is pretty straightforward here but in a few cases the synonyms required in the wordplay needed a bit of thought and in two clues (9a and 19d) I can’t come up with examples of how the synonyms work in practice so I’ll be grateful for suggestions. Thanks to Musaeus.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Detective in the presence of monarch put off (5)
DETER: an abbreviation for detective and our monarch’s regnal cipher.
4a Go with a kitty — one of twins on the table? (9)
PEPPERPOT: string together a synonym for go or fizz, another word for ‘a’ as in ‘£2 a kilo’ and a kitty or pool. Chambers has the answer as two words (6,3).
9a Court player provided with rightful gold (9)
SOLICITOR: assemble a short conjunction which can mean provided according to Chambers (although I can’t think of an example of such a usage – can you?), an adjective meaning rightful or lawful and our usual tincture of gold.
10a Charlie fell for the latest thing (5)
CRAZE: the letter that Charlie represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet is followed by a verb to fell or bring down.
11a Stir too fancy a dish (7)
RISOTTO: an anagram (fancy) of STIR TOO.
12a Bread is thrown for gull or some such (7)
SEABIRD: an anagram (thrown) of BREAD IS.
13a Perennial is unknown beforehand (6)
YEARLY: one of the algebraic unknowns precedes an adverb meaning beforehand or ‘in advance’.
15a Move to prompt returning items which support cavalry (8)
STIRRUPS: bring together a verb to move or change position and the reversal of a verb to prompt or urge.
18a Piffle a Conservative is spinning (8)
ROTATORY: another informal word for piffle of nonsense is followed by A and a Conservative. It sounds as though the setter watched the leadership ‘debate’ last night!
20a Brownie, for example, drew near artist (6)
CAMERA: knit together a verb meaning drew near and the usual abbreviation for a recognised artist.
23a Put out description of retired reporter? (7)
EXPRESS: split 2,5 this could describe a retired reporter.
24a Rushing around quietly doing what cartoon angels do (7)
HARPING: a present participle meaning rushing or moving swiftly contains the musical abbreviation for quietly.
26a Go over motor, the focus of auction (5)
AUDIT: a German motor and the central letter of auction.
27a Who would tear into fool and trouble social worker? (9)
ASSAILANT: concatenate another word for fool, a verb to trouble and our usual working insect.
28a I would back English poet, one to give out (9)
DISPENSER: reverse the contracted form of ‘I would’ and append the surname of Edmund, the Tudor poet.
29a Some would say his (or her) term for next successor (5)
THEIR: the last letter (term) of next and a successor.
1d Ravager — I’ll skip shattered desire about old defeated city (9)
DESTROYER: an anagram (shattered) of DES[i]RE without the I contains the name of the historic city which was defeated, so legend has it, with the help of a large horse.
2d Unseating leader stems negotiations (5)
TALKS: remove the first letter from another word for plant stems.
3d Chapter on sex in pukka reading (7)
RECITAL: a single-letter abbreviation for chapter followed by an informal word for sex are contained in an adjective meaning pukka or genuine.
4d Pressure rising in choice brew of Getafix? (6)
POTION: start with a synonym for choice or selection and move the abbreviation for pressure up a bit. I had to Google Getafix who is apparently a Druid known for his medicinal elixirs in the Asterix comics.
5d Mean a lot being one who thrives on (or off) another (8)
PARASITE: weld together a word meaning mean or average, A and a lot (as used for parking or filming).
6d Fancy soaking up last bit of sun? It’s easy to get (2,5)
EN CLAIR: a type of fancy or small cake contains the last letter of sun. ‘Get’ here means to understand.
7d Bromide allowance covered by platoon’s leader (9)
PLATITUDE: a synonym for allowance or indulgence follows the leading letter of platoon.
8d Translator dying to be all over Twitter, Instagram, etc (5)
TREND: solder together the abbreviation for translator and a word meaning dying or curtains.
14d Down under article rewards gripping lyric (9)
ANTIPODES: join one of our indefinite articles and monetary rewards given for good service containing a lyric poem.
16d Son chuckling is best (9)
SLAUGHTER: the abbreviation for son and a synonym for chuckling. Best, here, is a verb.
17d For Parisians very change is a sin in the eyes of the church (8)
TRESPASS: bolt together the French word for very and a verb to change or be transferred.
19d Audience engaged in that place (7)
THEATRE: a semi-all-in-one. Insert a preposition meaning ‘engaged’ (?) into a word meaning ‘that place’. I can’t come up with a sentence where the required preposition is interchangeable with ‘engaged’ – ‘engaged in’ would be no problem but that would mean ‘in’ doing double duty. So, once again, any suggestions would be welcome.
21d What’s on some ‘eads? Stop emergency procedure (7)
AIRLIFT: what’s on some ‘eads in Cockneyland precedes a verb to stop (a prohibition, for example).
22d Hunter clubs bears — hang on a minute! (6)
CHASER: cement together the abbreviation for the card suit clubs, a verb meaning bears (children, for example) and an exclamation used to gain time for you to think of something more meaningful to say.
23d Ecstasy with district’s antelope (5)
ELAND: the abbreviation used for the drug Ecstasy and a synonym for district or area. Here’s one of these antelopes at a zebra crossing:
25d Furious as appropriate page is ripped out (5)
IRATE: remove the abbreviation for page from a verb to appropriate or copy illegally.
My ticks today went to 4a, 24a and 6d. Do let us know which one(s) made you smile.