Toughie No 2535 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment ***
Giovanni has given us what I found to be a fairly tricky puzzle, though that may be because I was up half the night following the US shenanigans – doesn’t the way our elections are run seem a model of efficiency by comparison? He’s included his usual quota of fairly unusual words though for the time being he seems to have given up on religious obscurities.
Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a/24a Report of drunken sailor somewhere on the green (4-4)
JACK-HIGH: this is a term used in bowls meaning that a delivered ball has ended up level with the little white ball. It sounds as though a sailor is drunk.
3a Silver — one’s not first, standing by winner offering lots of fizz (10)
CHAMPAGNES: the chemical symbol for silver and [o]NE’S (without its first letter) follow an informal word for winner.
9a Like many a film showing action, oddly lacking energy (4)
CINE: the word ‘action’ without its odd letters and the abbreviation for energy.
10a Officer left drink and pipe, conking out (10)
COLLAPSING: string together the abbreviations for commanding officer and left and verbs to drink and pipe.
11a See about cold drink that’s imbibed in Somerset (7)
SCRUMPY: a verb to see contains the abbreviation for cold and an alcoholic drink.
13a Number of repeated elements in narrower basis for curriculum (5,2)
THREE RS: what’s the only repeated character in ‘narrower’ and how many of them are there?
14a Someone great with gadgets — tho’ he may be awkward with pencil! (11)
TECHNOPHILE: an anagram (may be awkward) of THO’ HE and PENCIL.
18a Lad who’s this fruit makes drink request (6,5)
EATING APPLE: if you prefix LAD to your answer and then obey what you have as a container-type clue you should end up with verbs to drink (the same one we had in 10a) and request.
21a Gloria, say, as final vocal offering inadequate (7)
SWANSON: a final appearance without its last letter.
22a Girl with monkey spotted in meadow (7)
LETITIA: a small South American monkey (TITI) goes inside our usual meadow.
23a Scientific measurement procedure? Doctor may order it (10)
RADIOMETRY: an anagram (doctor) of MAY ORDER IT.
24 See 1a
25a Manila seen possibly as belonging to a Pacific group (10)
MELANESIAN: an anagram (possibly) of MANILA SEEN.
26a Expanse of water has run dry (4)
SEAR: a large expanse of water and the cricket abbreviation for run.
1d Merriment of little woman meeting seaman in Liverpool, say (8)
JOCOSITY: start with the name of one of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and then insert one of the abbreviations for a seaman into what Liverpool is an example of.
2d Act as land surveyor? It needs to be agreed (8)
CONTRACT: split your answer 3,5 and you have a verb to survey or pore over and a large area of land.
4d Nonsense from ‘darling’ having love for any number (5)
HOOEY: an endearment with the letter resembling the score of love replacing the letter used to mean ‘any number’.
5d Fellow carrying Indian stick, old means for getting rid of pests (9)
MALATHION: a synonym for fellow contains a large Indian stick (LATHI) used as a weapon and the abbreviation for old. I’d never heard of the insecticide although I knew the Indian stick.
6d Belonging in a very quiet old city, one occupying someone else’s property (11)
APPURTENANT: paste together A, the abbreviation for ‘very quiet’, our usual old Biblical city and someone living in a property that they don’t own.
7d Fixed in Aegean location to the north (6)
NAILED: reverse an adjective relating to a small Greek island of historical importance near Mykonos.
8d Most learned maybe with coaches taking time to finish (6)
SAGEST: start with a word for old passenger coaches and move the abbreviation for time to the end. The ‘maybe’ is there because we wouldn’t usually use this form of the superlative for this word.
12d Geneticist’s lad said to be a composer (11)
MENDELSSOHN: this sounds like the offspring of the monk who did pioneering work on genetics by breeding peas.
15d Inventors getting shallow container with flower (9)
PATENTEES: charade of a type of plate and a river in North-East England.
16d Something going up in the air? Suitable feature for church, says Spooner (8)
SPITFIRE: Spooner might turn this into (3,5) ‘suitable’ and a feature of a church building.
17d Came across a figure of speech — this one? (8)
METAPHOR: rivet together a verb meaning ‘came across’, A and what sounds like a single-digit number.
19d A sheep keeping quiet in retreat (6)
ASHRAM: A and a sheep contain the instruction to be quiet.
20d What’s wooden shoe? (6)
SANDAL: double definition, the first a fragrant type of wood.
22d Abandoned, a female in West Country novel (5)
LORNA: an archaic adjective meaning abandoned followed by A give us the heroine of a 19th century novel set in my neck of the woods.
I ticked 13a, 14a, 2d and 17d. Which clue(s) did the business for you?