Toughie No 2515 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
It was all going so well with very little in the way of obscurities until I reached the SE corner where 24d (for the meaning) and 28a (for the parsing) caused a bit of difficulty and made me increase the difficulty rating by half a star.
Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
7a A Roman road beguiles, they say? I’ll take a higher route! (8)
AVIATRIX: string together A, the Latin word for a road and what sounds like a verb meaning beguiles or bamboozles.
9a Support one kind of prisoner — it’s bad being kept in (6)
PILLOW: a wartime prisoner containing a synonym of bad.
10a Give resources to a US lawyer — one needs to keep afloat (6)
ARMADA: charade of a verb to give resources to, A and the abbreviation for a US prosecuting lawyer.
11a Fellow resident concerned with psychological processes (8)
CONATIVE: when given a hyphen (as 2-6) this could possibly mean a fellow resident.
12a Rebuke insane oaf with a leer that’s nasty (1,4,2,4,3)
A FLEA IN ONE’S EAR: an anagram (that’s nasty) of INSANE OAF A LEER produces the sort of rebuke that you might be sent off with. The expression comes from a dog that’s jittery due to having such a problem.
15a Dig rock, needing energy (4)
GIBE: a large rock at the entrance to the Mediterranean and the abbreviation for energy.
17a In report gloss over mutual-aid organisation (5)
GUILD: this sounds like a verb to gloss over or ‘adorn with lustre’ as the BRB describes it.
19a Do without someone to lead the team (4)
SKIP: double definition, the second being the captain of a sports team (especially at bowls or curling).
20a Useless as person volunteering for charity work? (4-3-7)
GOOD-FOR-NOTHING: cryptically this could describe someone who does charitable work without being paid.
23a Greek island dispenses with old Russian people (8)
COSSACKS: stick together a Greek island and a verb meaning dispenses with or gives someone their cards.
25a See in cup knocked over a soft mineral (6)
GYPSUM: insert a verb to see or spot into a type of cup then reverse it all.
27a At home, woman needs match for particular colour (6)
INDIGO: assemble an adverb meaning at home, a short woman’s name (it’s the name that’s short, not the woman) and a verb (usually followed by ‘with’) meaning to match.
28a Asian capital with Sikh symbol and spiritual essence of the French (8)
KATMANDU: I needed a fair bit of help from Messrs Chambers and Google for this one. Start with the single letter used to identify the five things that Sikhs are expected to wear or carry at all times, add a word meaning the essential self in Hinduism (ATMAN) and a French preposition meaning ‘of the’.
1d Port deprived of five hundred and six deliveries? (4)
OVER: an English port without the Roman number for 500.
2d The old man going to the forefront leading English dance (6)
PAVANE: an affectionate term for one’s ‘old man’ and a word meaning forefront precede the single-letter abbreviation for English.
3d Bosses once associated with City of London (4)
EXEC: bolt together a prefix meaning once and the postal area of the City of London to form the abbreviated form of a word for the group of people in charge of a company or organisation.
4d Architect to splash out endlessly on church (6)
SPENCE: a verb to splash out without its last letter precedes one of our usual abbreviations for church. The architect is most famous (in this country at least) for his design of Coventry Cathedral.
5d They have schemes they map out on paper (8)
PLOTTERS: double definitions, the second being machines or computer peripherals which produce drawings.
6d Study AV for example to see what happened to Saul (10)
CONVERSION: knit together a verb to study and what AV is an example of (with its second letter giving the game away). The answer was what happened to Saul on the way to Damascus.
8d It could mean gathering great ‘oard into circle (7)
REAPING: drop the first letter of a large hoard or mass and insert it into a synonym of circle.
13d A fir, we may deduce, in recreational area (10)
FAIRGROUND: split your answer 4,6 and solve the reverse anagram to get ‘a fir’.
14d Tree healthier-looking after being pollarded? (5)
OSIER: start with a comparative meaning healthier-looking or ‘not so pale’ and cut off its top letter.
16d Travel into troubled cities, thinking little of others (8)
EGOISTIC: insert a verb to travel into an anagram (troubled) of CITIES.
18d Shortage of wind — oxygen needed for asthmatic initially (7)
DROUGHT: start with a bit of wind that you might get from a badly-fitting door and change the first letter of asthmatic to the chemical symbol for oxygen.
21d One going into a number as a loud performer (6)
FACTOR: the musical abbreviation for loud and a dramatic performer.
22d Group knowing a bit (6)
HEPTAD: paste together an adjective meaning knowing or well-informed and an informal word for a small amount.
24d What sounds like steep part of old England (4)
SOKE: this (new to me) is a historical word for a minor administrative district. It sounds like a verb to steep or marinate.
26d Language heard from Cockney Liverpudlian Bob? (4)
URDU: a bob (without capitalisation) is an example of what a woman might visit a salon for. Spell it the way a Scouser might pronounce it then drop its first letter like a Cockney. I guess that solvers will either love this one or hate it.
I have 7a, 15a and 20a on my podium. Which clue(s) were best for you?