Toughie No 2332 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
A very pleasant puzzle which didn’t pose too many difficulties – thanks to Donnybrook.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Coastal road hard to find in mass of snow (8)
CORNICHE: insert the pencil abbreviation for hard into a word that can mean an overhanging crest of snow. I didn’t know the ‘mass of snow’ meaning but the definition was obvious so it was a case of checking out what it had to be.
6a More subtle to invest 1,000 pounds? (6)
NICKER: a comparative meaning more subtle or nuanced contains an abbreviation for 1,000.
9a Caper cut and put on bacon cube (6)
LARDON: fuse together a caper or bit of fun without its last letter and a verb to put on or wear.
10a Concert, absurd performance, extremely great (8)
GIGANTIC: charade of an informal word for a live concert and a Shakespearean word for a grotesque pageant (thanks to Chambers).
11a I concur that woman must catch a bird (4,4)
HEAR HEAR: a female pronoun contains A and a flightless bird.
12a Supporter tense — ambassador to produce champers? (6)
TEETHE: string together a ball supporter, the abbreviation for tense (in grammar) and the abbreviated title used to identify an ambassador.
13a Reformed miser now doctor (12)
MISREPRESENT: an anagram (reformed) of MISER followed by a noun meaning now or the current time.
16a Change bowler is highly successful performer (5-7)
MONEY-SPINNER: stick together a word for change or coins and a type of slow bowler at cricket.
19a Adult thought caused a smile (6)
AMUSED: an abbreviation for adult (as a film classification) followed by a verb meaning thought or pondered.
21a Night-time habit regularly peeping into diary (8)
PEIGNOIR: select regular letters from the last three words of the clue.
23a Messenger over time becomes royal attendant (8)
COURTIER: another word for a messenger or guide contains the abbreviation for time.
24a Spot hook picked up for one to hang outside? (6)
ICICLE: combine homophones of a verb to spot or notice (3) and a hook or curved tool (6).
25a Protective wear brings endless assistance to London force (6)
HELMET: paste together a synonym of assistance without its final letter and the short name of the larger of the main London police forces.
26a Knight takes look through narrow window (8)
LANCELOT: a short exclamation meaning look or behold goes inside a type of narrow pointed window.
2d Persian ass runs on time to come first (6)
ONAGER: the cricket abbreviation for runs is preceded by ON and a significant period of time.
3d Promotion splits Northern Irish, making deep point (5)
NADIR: an abbreviated promotion or puff goes between abbreviations for northern and Ireland.
4d Agreement to involve government statisticians in count (9)
CONSENSUS: insert the abbreviation for the UK government’s statistics organisation (ONS – Office for National Statistics) into a population count. The answer is one of the words that I always struggle to spell.
5d Ready with foil, almost completed wrapping cloth up (2,5)
EN GARDE: a verb meaning completed or finished without its trailing letter contains the reversal of a piece of cloth.
6d Man-at-arms announced time to retire (5)
NIGHT: this sounds like a man-at-arms or mounted soldier.
7d Ordered scones for King Edward? (9)
CONFESSOR: an anagram (ordered) of SCONES FOR gives us the description attributed to the King Edward who was nearly the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
8d What some observed about Estella’s lover is revelation (8)
EPIPHANY: a curt enquiry meaning ‘what?’ and a synonym for some contain the name of Estella‘s lover in Great Expectations.
13d Upheaval as Merlot replaced with Medoc at first (9)
MAELSTROM: an anagram (replaced) of AS MERLOT followed by the first letter of Medoc.
14d Start to read publication that includes new version (9)
RENDITION: the starting letter of read is followed by a publication or issue containing the abbreviation for new.
15d Soldiers needing minute to enter inviolate spacetime shortcut (8)
WORMHOLE: abbreviations for rank-and-file soldiers and minute go inside an adjective meaning inviolate or intact.
17d Sovereign, having dismissed army’s leader, put in danger (7)
IMPERIL: remove the leading letter of army from an adjective meaning sovereign or majestic.
18d Merchant of Venice’s main scene? (6)
RIALTO: cryptic definition of the central area of Venice, the commercial area where merchants work. There’s a pun on ‘main’ (being on an island, i.e. a place in the main).
20d Go with current meaning (5)
DRIFT: double definition, the second a general implication of words used.
22d What one can make with hooter around? (5)
NOISE: the Roman numeral for one with what hooter is an informal word for around it.
The clues which made it through the heats and on to my podium were 11a, 16a and 5d. Which one(s) did it for you?