Toughie No 2324 by Messinae
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Messinae for a pleasant and fairly gentle puzzle. I would have given it two stars for difficulty but my struggle with 5d (see below) earned it an extra half star.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Apply restraint after pound is in a poor state (10)
RAMSHACKLE: a verb to apply a restraint or fetter follows a verb to pound or smash.
6a Intermittently visible Neptunian mountain (4)
ETNA: hidden alternate letters.
9a Camp has nothing standard (5)
OFLAG: stick together the zero-resembling letter and another word for a standard or ensign. The answer will be familiar to those who read stories of POW escapes from Germany in WWII – it’s short for Offizierslager (officers’ camp).
10a Skill people used in fitting pad (9)
APARTMENT: synonyms for skill and people go inside an adjective meaning fitting or suitable.
12a Fling tadpoles out, reducing stress (4-9)
SOFT-PEDALLING: an anagram (out) of FLING TADPOLES.
14a Non-experts united in shaking a master (8)
AMATEURS: insert the abbreviation for united into an anagram (shaking) of A MASTER.
15a A cross that’s primarily protection against evil (6)
AMULET: knit together A, a cross or hybrid animal and the primary letter of ‘that’.
17a Support king in northern town (4-2)
BACK-UP: I can imagine the 2Kiwis tearing their hair out at this one. I worked in NW England for a long time so I knew the small Lancashire town (Bacup) – just insert the chess abbreviation for king. The Telegraph is meant to be a UK paper but it tends to forget that there is life beyond Watford – for lots of its potential readers (in Glasgow, for example) the town is definitely not northern so ‘town in northern England’ would be much preferable.
19a Bird has soft gold crest (8)
PORRIDGE: tether together the musical abbreviation for soft, our usual tincture of gold and a crest or hilltop.
21a Misanthrope often portrayed in play but not rep strangely (5,2,6)
TIMON OF ATHENS: this is an all-in-one clue. Remove the shuffled (strangely) letters of REP from an anagram (portrayed in play) of MISANTH[r]O[pe] OFTEN to get a Shakespeare play.
24a Pop fan’s hit from 1970s (5,4)
DADDY COOL: join together another affectionate word for pop or father and a verb to cool to get a Boney M hit from the 1970s which I’d just about succeeded in forgetting.
25a Picture that is providing cover for periodical (5)
IMAGE: the abbreviation meaning ‘that is’ contains a short word for a periodical.
26a Bovine holds source of carbon gas (4)
YACK: a domesticated ox contains the first letter of carbon.
27a Shepherd’s concerned to find this, it’s said, really (8,2)
STRAIGHT UP: this sounds like a lost male sheep (5,3). Hurrah, a homophone that works.
1d Cross over in switch (4)
ROOD: insert the cricket abbreviation for over into another word for a switch or cane.
2d Aimless drifting girl (7)
MELISSA: an anagram (drifting) of AIMLESS.
3d Husband querying chef recklessly cycling a lot (4-9)
HIGH-FREQUENCY: the genealogical abbreviation for husband is followed by an anagram (recklessly) of QUERYING CHEF.
4d Cold picnic item’s accompaniment? (8)
CHAMPERS: the abbreviation for cold followed by what you might carry your picnic in plus the ‘S.
5d Familiar dobbin shedding coat of dapple-grey (5)
LIARD: this was my last answer and even knowing three letters out of five I still spent an age on it, including trying to come up with a pet name for a horse. Finally the penny dropped – it’s a hidden word (d’oh) – all that remained was to check in the BRB that it means dapple-grey.
7d Article leads to check for American cop show (3,4)
THE BILL: charade of a definite article and what we ask for in a restaurant when an American would request a check.
8d Buff leather got buckles (10)
ALTOGETHER: an anagram (buckles) of LEATHER GOT.
11d Turn for instance taking in money making cold calls? (13)
TELEMARKETING: a type of turn performed on skis is followed by the abbreviation of ‘for instance’ containing an informal word for money.
13d Had babysat having arranged time off work (7,3)
SABBATH DAY: an anagram (having arranged) of HAD BABYSAT.
16d Mexican food producing injury, adult taking sick (8)
TORTILLA: injury is being used here in its obsolete sense of an offence. Put together another word for an offence or wrongful act and the abbreviation for adult then insert a synonym for sick. Were this a Rookie Corner puzzle Prolixic would probably advise the setter that ‘definition producing wordplay’ is the wrong way round and it should be ‘wordplay producing definition’.
18d Company doctor is good for a laugh (7)
COMEDIC: weld together the abbreviation for company and an informal word for a doctor.
20d Style of singing succeeded, being brought in by pair on TV (7)
DESCANT: insert the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded into a well-known pair of TV presenters but with their names ordered differently to the way they are normally written.
22d Sort of gaff comprises ordinary item used by fisherman (5)
FLOAT: another word for a type of gaff or a 10a contains the abbreviation for ordinary.
23d Knowing about line in musical film (4)
HELP: a slang term meaning knowing or well-informed contains the abbreviation for line.
My top clues today were 19a and 27a. Which one(s) floated your boat?