Toughie No 2264 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ***
I made hard work of this one but I did enjoy the exercise (and only the sheaves of wheat were a totally new word for me). Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
7a Jewish expert and actors enthralling island (8)
CABALIST: this is someone well versed in a mystical Jewish school of thought. Put all the actors in a production around an Indonesian island.
9a Town‘s food beyond sell-by-date? (6)
OLDHAM: when split 3,3 this town in North-West England could be meat past its best.
10a/24a Group of our competitors getting a few minutes of broadcast? (4,4)
TIME SLOT: when split 5,3 this could be a bunch of the Telegraph’s competitors.
11a Almost stop royal mistress entertained by monarch being cooped up like a pet (10)
KENNELLING: a synonym of stop without its last letter and the name of a 17a royal mistress go inside a monarch.
12a Musical giant of the stage, the second one to go (6)
OLIVER: remove the second occurrence of the Roman one from a famous old English actor.
14a What sounds like pleasant shelter for a cuppa (5,3)
ROSIE LEE: join together a homophone of an adjective meaning pleasant or promising and a word meaning shelter.
15a Laugh at some of the dire drivel going round (6)
DERIDE: hidden in reverse.
17a Words of rebuke around about a king — beheaded one, maybe? (6)
STUART: reverse some exclamations of disapproval and insert A and an abbreviation for king.
20a Show great respect, meeting sweetheart — wow! (4,4)
BOWL OVER: wow here is a verb. Knit together a gesture of respect (3) when meeting someone and a sweetheart.
22a Happy exclamation concealing caution for the most part (6)
CHEERY: an exclamation contains a word meaning caution without its final D.
23a Mad manager, terribly muddled (10)
ANAGRAMMED: an anagram (terribly) of MAD MANAGER.
24a See 10a
25a Toast experts having a drink (6)
PROSIT: charade of another word for experts and the abbreviation for a type of vermouth.
26a Writer as one who gives a toss when penning article (8)
SALINGER: someone who tosses or throws contains an indefinite article.
1d Went underground, keeping unwell, and moaned (8)
CAVILLED: a verb meaning went underground (to explore a pothole, perhaps) contains a synonym of unwell.
2d See 24d
3d Bishop not good person, one not giving up quarrel (6)
BICKER: start with the chess abbreviation for bishop and add someone who perseveres or doesn’t give up without the usual abbreviation for a good person.
4d West Country location prepared to collect sheaves of corn (8)
SOMERSET: an adjective meaning prepared or ready contains a word for sheaves of corn used in a Jewish religious ceremony (not a word that I’d ever heard of so it was a case of assuming the answer from the definition and checkers and then looking up the middle bit).
5d Spoil no child — scold, first off (10)
ADULTERATE: weld together the opposite of a child and a verb to scold without its initial B.
6d Fish — Cornish town gets rid of tons somehow (6)
LAUNCE: start with the name of a Cornish town which has the misfortune to lie just the wrong side of the river Tamar and remove the anagram (somehow) of TONS from the end of its name.
8d Brown paintings maybe turning up in religious literature (6)
TANTRA: concatenate a verb, or noun, meaning brown and the reversal of what might be paintings.
13d Disease expert is special visitor keeping record (10)
VIROLOGIST: an anagram (special) of VISITOR contains a chronological record.
16d Unacceptable types, endlessly wicked, among five hundred workers (8)
DEVIANTS: chop the end off an adjective meaning wicked and put what’s left between the Roman numeral for five hundred and some working insects.
18d Apple may make a contribution to this financial statistic (8)
TURNOVER: this could be a small pie containing apple.
19d American mogul’s clubs perhaps (6)
TRUMPS: the name of a mogul in the USA together with the ‘S. Mogul’s one of the more polite names applied to him.
21d They’ve got things woefully wrong, see, ignoring good English (6)
OWNERS: an anagram (woefully) of WRON[g] S[e]E.
22d Cook fish portion, having mislaid egg (6)
CODDLE: bring together the name of a popular food-fish and a word for a small portion without the letter that resembles an egg.
24d/2d Regular undulation in audible signal? Ignore (4,4)
SINE WAVE: homophones of a) a signal or gesture and b) a verb to ignore or disregard.
I liked 10/24a, 17a and 18d but my favourite clue was 20a. Do let us know which one(s) made your list of highlights.