Toughie No 2288 by Petitjean
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ****
We have another lovely example of Petitjean’s humour today – how lucky we are that he left such a golden legacy.
For the most part I found this one reasonably straightforward but I didn’t know the silk or the fragrant resin (though both were gettable from the wordplay) and I also had to have a think about 6d – so I’ve added half a star to the difficulty rating.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a What a lifer does as part of keep fit? (1,4,7)
A LONG STRETCH: double definition, the first an informal term for what someone imprisoned for life has to do ‘inside’.
9a Kid perhaps destined to be conventional (9)
HIDEBOUND: stick together what kid or goatskin is an example of and an adjective meaning destined or headed.
10a Me self-consciously about to get silk? (5)
MOIRÉ: a self-conscious way of saying me, as in “Pretentious? Qui, ***?” followed by a preposition meaning about or concerning.
11a Endlessly vamp chant (6)
MANTRA: in the surface vamp is a verb meaning to repeat but for the wordplay it’s another word for a woman who uses her dastardly wiles to ensnare a poor male without her final P.
12a Maria not one to put on scanty thong in the long run (8)
MARATHON: combine Maria and thong and remove the Roman one from the first and the final letter from the second.
13a Confer with writer about proofing (6)
DUBBIN: a verb to confer (a knighthood, say) and the pointy bit of a writing implement reversed.
15a Shop hand, one working on attachment thanks to farmer’s wife? (8)
RETAILER: cryptically this could be someone repairing the injuries caused by the farmer’s wife in the nursery rhyme. Only Petitjean …
18a Raucous antelopes voiced in trailer? (8)
HORSEBOX: two homophones – the first an adjective meaning raucous or husky and the second some antelopes (and the nickname of the South African rugby team).
19a Habitual pretender: old-maidish and head of school in addition (6)
POSSUM: this is a creature whose main defence when threatened is to feign death. A shortened form of an adjective meaning old-maidish or narrow-minded is followed by an addition or total containing the first letter of school.
21a Lumpy, bumpy bus route (8)
TUBEROUS: an anagram (bumpy) of BUS ROUTE.
23a ‘Be all ears‘ at 10 Down (6)
ATTEND: paste together AT, the number 10 and the abbreviation for down as used in crossword clues.
26a 0-12″ space in numerous cases (5)
OFTEN: collate the letter that resembles zero, the abbreviation for the imperial measurement that is 12 inches in length and a space in printing terminology.
27a Small core affected everyone present (3-6)
ALL-COMERS: an anagram (affected) of SMALL CORE.
28a Minute edited from chirpy daytime broadcast is source of internal discomfort (12)
HYPERACIDITY: an anagram (broadcast) of CHIRPY DAYTI[m]E without the abbreviation for minute.
1d A bogus journalist getting red-faced (7)
ASHAMED: string together A, an adjective meaning bogus and our usual senior journalist.
2d Heading for 50th? Leave it out, that’s ancient! (5)
OLDEN: the ‘it’ to be left out is the aforementioned heading (leading letter) and it’s to be left out of a 50th wedding anniversary.
During their 50th anniversary golf outing, the husband says, “Honey, I love you very much but I have to be honest with you. Early in our marriage I had an affair. It was strictly sexual, and it ended quickly.”
His wife smiles and forgives him, but after a couple holes says, “Since we’re confessing old transgressions, I should tell you that before we were married… I was a man.”
The husband pauses, then becomes furious. He throws his hat to the ground, turns beet red and paces around. Finally he says, “You mean to tell me I’ve let you tee off from the women’s tee all these years for nothing!”.
3d Garbed for a change in Eastern fabric (9)
GABERDINE: an anagram (for a change) of GARBED followed by IN and E(astern).
4d Loss of old husband from depression: remains found in garden receptacle (4)
TRUG: start with another word for the sort of depression that weather forecasters witter on about and remove the abbreviations for old and husband.
5d Page bound not to be read (8)
ENDPAPER: cryptic definition of an empty page found at either end of a book.
6d Butterfly — also a sign one’s turned up in 23 Across (5)
COMMA: my initial thought was there was a mistake here and that the reference should be to 21a but on further reflection I think it’s saying that one of the punctuation marks found in 23a looks like the answer moved up and turned through 180 degrees.
7d Parsons maybe going commando for crying out loud! (8)
NICHOLAS: the forename of Mr Parsons, the radio host still broadcasting without hesitation or repetition at the ripe old age of 95, sounds (to some) as though he’s ‘going commando’.
8d Note romantic name for diamonds (6)
TENNER: an adjective meaning romantic or sentimental with the abbreviation for diamonds changed to the abbreviation for name.
14d Where a sparrow might take a duck (8)
BIRDBATH: cryptic definition of where a sparrow may take a duck or a dip.
16d Western Avenue in the news or half of Great North Road with better reason (1,8)
A FORTIORI: Western Avenue in London is part of the A40 road. A homophone (in the news) of that designation is followed by OR and half of A1 (the Great North Road).
17d Mob‘s coup plea concocted (8)
POPULACE: an anagram (concocted) of COUP PLEA.
18d Superficially tinker inside bonnet of American souped-up car (3,3)
HOT ROD: insert the outer letters of tinker into what Americans call a car bonnet.
20d Is across the Channel in nothing less than moody reserve (7)
MODESTY: put the French word for ‘is’ into the word moody without one of its zero-resembling letters.
22d With long legs raced extremely gracefully (5)
RANGY: a synonym of raced or rushed followed by the outer letters of gracefully.
24d Fragrant resin laurel emits internally (5)
ELEMI: hidden in the clue.
25d Feller occasionally a parasite (4)
FLEA: alternate letters of ‘feller’ followed by A.
The clues I liked a lot included 7d, 14d and 18d but my favourite has to be 15a. Which ones floated your boat?