Toughie No 2316 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment **
We have a very gentle puzzle today, most of which I thought could easily have appeared on the back page. Thanks to Donnybrook.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Commercial rubbish about one being skilled (6)
ADROIT: our usual abbreviated commercial and an informal word for rubbish or nonsense containing the Roman numeral for one.
9a Admiral Horatio in gale at the Cape? (10)
HORNBLOWER: split 4,6 this could be a cryptic description of a strong wind at the southernmost tip of South America.
10a Advice to dilatory chess player? (3,1,4,2)
GET A MOVE ON: a mildly cryptic gee up to a chess player who’s dithering.
11a Single mother becomes learned theologian (4)
IMAM: stick together the letter that looks like one and an informal word for mother. I think ‘learned theologian’ is ascribing too much scholarship to this Muslim cleric who is more or less equivalent to a parish priest.
12a Birds migrating west to find another? (4)
SKUA: reverse (migrating west) some diving seabirds to get another type of seabird.
14a Passage above closed stairs (10)
OVERFLIGHT: charade of an adverb meaning closed or finished and a word for stairs.
17a Sat drunkenly having entered a wine store? Leave booze alone! (7)
ABSTAIN: insert an anagram (drunkenly) of SAT into A and a stand with compartments for storing wine in bottles.
18a Overtly trendy Liberal introduced to sport (7)
PLAINLY: insert an adjective meaning trendy or cool and the abbreviation for Liberal into a synonym for sport or recreation.
20a Former pupil learned to destroy utterly (10)
OBLITERATE: the abbreviation for a former male pupil is followed by an adjective meaning learned or educated.
21a Can’t do without Geordie news boss? (4)
NEED: join together the abbreviation for the area of England that Geordie describes and our usual abbreviated news boss.
22a Smoke to envelop new vampire weapon? (4)
FANG: smoke here is an informal word for the carcinogenic object that some people like to stick in their mouths and set on fire. Find another informal word for the same thing and insert the abbreviation for new.
23a See pottery thrown in standardised form (10)
STEREOTYPE: an anagram (thrown) of SEE POTTERY.
25a Knowledge found in most uncommon jungle (10)
RAINFOREST: insert an informal word for knowledge into a superlative meaning most uncommon.
26a Warm spot, hot planet (6)
HEARTH: the abbreviation for hot and the name of one of the planets in our solar system.
2d Accomplished baker transformed British food (5,5)
DONER KEBAB: start with an adjective meaning accomplished or achieved and add an anagram (transformed) of BAKER and the single-letter abbreviation for British.
3d Whale with teeth decapitated Spanish poet (4)
ORCA: not all whales have teeth (I’ve learnt today) but this killing one does. Remove the initial L from the surname of Spain’s most famous poet (Federico Garcia Lorca).
4d Instrument locating diamonds in the limestone (10)
THEODOLITE: insert the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds into THE and a type of limestone composed of grains like the eggs or roe of a fish (thanks to Chambers).
5d Girl filling crossword diagram was suffering (7)
GRIEVED: insert a 3-letter girl’s name into the word for the pattern of lines into which we write our answers.
6d Old bar — whisky available here? (4)
OBAN: this is a charming port on the west coast of Scotland which contains a distillery where whisky has been produced since the 18th century. String together the abbreviation for old and a verb to bar or prohibit.
7d Might one standing long enough be given seat? (10)
POLITICIAN: gentle cryptic definition of someone standing at an election.
8d On time to assist an erring actor? (6)
PROMPT: double definition, the second a verb to assist an actor who’s dried.
13d Sharp as old wine syndicate’s imported (10)
ASTRINGENT: collate AS and a red wine from Spain (a word I’ve only ever seen in crosswords and which some dictionaries, but not Chambers, describe as obsolete or archaic) then insert a synonym for syndicate or alliance.
15d Reassembled fleet with haste set out at night (5,5)
FALSE TEETH: an anagram (reassembled) of FLEET and HASTE.
Two men were in a bakery watching a pie being made. After the baker rolled out the pastry, lined the pie plate, put in the filling he put on the top layer of pastry and carefully trimmed off the excess pastry. The baker then removed his upper dentures and proceeded to use them to tamp down the pastry around the circumference of the pie plate after which he put his false teeth back in his mouth.
One of the men watching this turned aghast to his companion and said “My god did you see what I just saw that baker do?”
To which the other man replied “That’s nothing. You should be here on Thursdays when he makes the doughnuts.”
16d Cast spell on the water separating lovers (10)
HELLESPONT: this is the stretch of water that, according to Greek mythology, Leander used to swim across nightly to meet and canoodle with his lover. It’s an anagram (cast) of SPELL ON THE.
19d Party worker, Conservative, dined on river (7)
CATERER: knit together an abbreviation for Conservative, a verb meaning dined, a preposition meaning on or concerning and the abbreviation for river.
20d Individual gathering wood for burning (2,4)
ON FIRE: a word for an individual person contains wood from a coniferous tree.
23d Hard ground outside with hooves protected? (4)
SHOD: an abbreviation for hard (in classifications of pencil) has around it a word for a piece of ground or turf.
24d Some unfortunate swimmer (4)
TUNA: as is often the case the last clue of the puzzle hides a lurker.
I liked 9a but my favourite today (for the penny drop moment when the definition became clear) was 15d. Which one(s) appealed to you?