Toughie No 2483 by Micawber
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ****
Micawber on a Wednesday – wow, it’s just like old times. Today he’s given us a puzzle which is very gentle with a few ‘old friends’ but chock full of beautifully crafted clues – I felt like Oliver Twist when I’d finished solving it.
Many thanks to Micawber for the enjoyment and to our editor for restoring him to his rightful day of the week.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Car‘s purpose — at root to do with self, in the first place (10)
AUTOMOTIVE: a purpose or reason follows a root word or prefix (from Greek) meaning ‘related to self’.
6a Do Burberrys over? (4)
SCAM: reverse the sort of garments that Burberry makes, although I suspect that being a ‘posh’ company they’d prefer to use a more upmarket term.
9a It takes skill to go after king and steal ornament (5-5)
KNICK-KNACK: a synonym for skill or gift follows the chess abbreviation for king and an informal verb to steal.
10a Type of oven that’ll take large pastry dish (4)
FLAN: insert the clothing size abbreviation for large into a type of oven.
12a After setback, I’ll bandage left eye up (4)
OGLE: reverse the Latin word for I and insert the abbreviation for left.
13a Draws must follow panel’s arrangement for how they can be settled (9)
PENALTIES: a method of deciding the result of a football match after extra time if it’s still a draw comes from a synonym of draws following an anagram (arrangement) of PANEL.
15a Broadcast: ‘Beer is man’s best friend‘ (8)
AIREDALE: charade of a verb meaning broadcast or transmitted and a type of beer.
16a You say you are certain inside, his rates are extortionate? (6)
USURER: what sounds like ‘you are’ with an adjective meaning certain inside.
18a Party winning masses over has source of power (6)
DYNAMO: a festive party contains the reversal of a word meaning masses or lots.
20a Free on bail — it means celebratory drink (8)
LIBATION: an anagram (free) of ON BAIL IT.
23a Group of youngsters pester antisocial character (9)
LITTERBUG: combine a group of young animals and an informal verb to pester.
24a Fellow that’s used by smugglers? (4)
COVE: double definition, the first a dated informal word for a man.
26a Does mate with one resist? (4)
BUCK: another double definition – ‘does’ here is a noun not a verb.
27a Royal family’s survival after removal of head of government by Scotsman (10)
HANOVERIAN: remove the first letter of Government from a word meaning survival or relic and follow that with a common name for a Scotsman. We never covered this period at school because our rather eccentric history master strongly maintained that there was no British history after 1714 – everything after that date was current affairs.
28a Slash is central to this band that’s current (kind of) (4)
ACDC: insert a slash or solidus in the centre of the answer to get both an Australian band and a type of current. After listening to said band I’ve decided not to inflict them on you.
29a Put in prison hulk for training (10)
INTERNSHIP: glue together a verb to put in prison and what a hulk is.
1d ‘Thank Heaven!’ (clutches cross) (4)
2d After time, one fitting out ship set off (7)
TRIGGER: a word for someone who fits out ships follows the abbreviation for time.
3d Bring two sides together? To do so will result in happiness for Micawber (4,4,4)
MAKE ENDS MEET: a phrase meaning to have just enough money to live on could literally mean to bring two sides together. The setter is not referring to himself here but to the Dickens character whose happiness came from his outgoings being slightly less than his income.
4d Red European’s top supporter (4-4)
TENT-POLE: weld together a type of sweet red wine and a European national. The BRB has this as 4,4 with no hyphen.
5d Empty container inside another (6)
VACANT: put one sort of metal container inside another.
7d Underground worker runs after dog (7)
COLLIER: the cricket abbreviation for runs goes after a type of dog.
8d Troubled teen — minor’s in the soup (10)
MINESTRONE: an anagram (troubled) of TEEN MINOR’S.
11d You can watch this part of blood test (6,6)
PLASMA SCREEN: link the liquid part of blood and a verb to test or check.
14d Light structure precariously balanced on middle of decoration (10)
CANDELABRA: an anagram (precariously) of BALANCED precedes the central two letters of decoration.
17d Identify mistake in dosage (8)
DIAGNOSE: an anagram (mistake) of IN DOSAGE.
19d Like cake that’s plain, perhaps, or spotted (7)
NOTICED: split the answer 3,4 to get the description of plain cake.
21d Sound of charger perhaps seizing victory after I launch attack (7)
INVEIGH: the sound made by what a charger can be in the animal world contains the abbreviation for victory and that all follows I.
22d Get on a bit, doddery (6)
OBTAIN: an anagram (doddery) of ON A BIT.
25d Break is critical on northward journey (4)
SNAP: reverse a verb meaning ‘is harshly critical’.
As is usual with Micawber my problem is deciding which ones to leave out of my ‘likes’ list. Those surviving the cull today were 12a, 23a, 26a, 22d and 25d. Which one(s) topped your list?