Toughie No 2491 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
Giovanni has cut down on the religious obscurities today and given us an entertaining puzzle with a pair of excellent anagrams, though there were still a couple of unknowns for me. Thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
7a Optimist in trouble, I beam and crow — nothing to lose (8)
MICAWBER: an anagram (in trouble) of I BEAM and CR[o]W without the letter that resembles zero.
9a Bob maybe has house across two roads (6)
HAIRDO: the abbreviation for house contains what looks like a specific UK North-South road and the abbreviation for road.
10a Nasty headache puts Margaret on edge (6)
MEGRIM: what the BRB describes as an obsolete word for a migraine comes from a charade of a diminutive form of Margaret and a synonym of edge.
11a/27a Maybe Mark‘s sorting out secs and typing pool (8,6)
SYNOPTIC GOSPEL: an anagram (sorting out) of SECS TYPING POOL. I had heard of this term without knowing what it meant – the BRB reveals that it identifies one of the three gospels written from ‘a common point of view’.
12a Not the quality of a ‘Dexter-type’ writer! (4-10)
LEFT-HANDEDNESS: dexter is a Latin word meaning ‘right’. The Dexter in the surface reading presumably is Colin, the Morse creator and crossword enthusiast.
15a I really dislike that book — it’s an embarrassment (4)
BOOB: what you might say to show your disapproval or dislike of something is followed by the abbreviation of book. I shall resist the temptation for an illustration.
17a Number deserting beach, coming back for indoor game (5)
DARTS: start with a poetic word for a beach (also the German word for beach), remove the abbreviation for number and reverse what remains.
19a Old-fashioned trust finally went with quarrel (4)
TROW: the final letter of ‘went’ and a synonym of quarrel come together to provide an archaic verb meaning to trust or believe.
20a Is it Bacon’s art form ultimately? It’s somewhat different (14)
ABSTRACTIONISM: an anagram (somewhat different) of IS IT BACON’S ART and the ultimate letter of forM. See here for an expert view of his art form.
23a Material on northern island’s buried (8)
CRETONNE: a Yoda-type clue – ON and the abbreviation for Northern are contained in a Mediterranean island. Not a word I knew but the wordplay is clear.
25a Watch determined person losing head and heart (6)
TICKER: two definitions bracketing some wordplay. Remove the initial S from a determined and persistent person.
27a See 11a
28a It may be mis-served to a diner with love for what’s English (8)
TANDOORI: an anagram (mis-served) of TO A DIN[e>O]R after the abbreviation for English is replaced with the letter resembling love or zero. Clever clue.
1d Report of anything but feebleness in small child (4)
MITE: the answer sounds like the opposite of feebleness.
2d Bird quietly gets something on allotment, nipping head off (6)
PARROT: the musical abbreviation for quietly followed by a vegetable that might be grown on an allotment without its top letter.
3d God of war hurries, leader going out (4)
ARES: remove the leading letter from a verb meaning hurries or runs quickly.
4d Complained, being given drink that’s hard to swallow (6)
WHINED: a past participle meaning ‘given alcoholic drink’ contains the abbreviation for hard.
5d Italian painter is in Paris, being bolder than anyone else (8)
LIPPIEST: stick together the surname of an Italian Renaissance artist and a French verb meaning ‘is’.
6d Notice embassies making entrance charges (10)
ADMISSIONS: paste together an abbreviated notice and another word for embassies.
8d Attack dull lot of people going in the wrong direction (7)
BOMBARD: assemble an adjective meaning dull or dreary and a large group of (possibly disorderly) people then reverse it all.
13d Finally the bully arrives to restrict disorder briefly produced by aggressive Green? (10)
ECOWARRIOR: knit together the final letter of [th]E, a verb to bully or intimidate and the abbreviation (on transport timetables) for ‘arrives’ containing a word meaning disorder or melee without its last letter.
14d Eccentric character turning up to entertain one, a famous physicist (5)
DIRAC: reverse an eccentric character and insert the Roman numeral for one. I’d never heard of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist (having now read a bit about him I probably ought to have).
16d Dances around American street where folk may be waiting (3,5)
BUS STOPS: an informal verb meaning ‘dances to pop music’ contains abbreviations for American and street.
18d Yorkshire town rubbish collector taking a certain weight (7)
SKIPTON: a large container for rubbish and an imperial unit of weight.
21d Boy that’s amiss edges away, bad lad (6)
RONALD: an adjective meaning amiss or not right without its outer letters is followed by an anagram (bad) of LAD.
22d Disciple turned up outside a church offering chips (6)
NACHOS: reverse a word that can mean disciple or follower and insert A and an abbreviation for church.
24d Native of northern land in modest home (4)
ESTH: hidden in the clue is a word for a native of a specific Baltic state.
26d Make something for the traditional tea lady, we hear (4)
EARN: this sounds like something a traditional tea lady would have on her trolley.
My ticks today went to are 12a, 20a and 4d with the gold medal going to 28a. Which one(s) appealed to you?