Toughie No 2559 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Even though Giovanni has given us a couple of terms from his book of obscurities they are very fairly clued and there’s not an Old Testament character in sight. The puzzle provided a few chuckles along the way.
Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
4a Withdrawal of support given to Bangor locality (8)
BACKDOWN: a verb to support then the county where Bangor is to be found (not the one in Wales).
8a First person brought in to promote female author (6)
SEWELL: ‘first person’ grammatically can be singular or (as here) plural – put its subjective form inside a verb to promote or tout to get the author of ‘Black Beauty’.
9a Water creature beginning to plod, getting stuck in ground (8)
TERRAPIN: stick the first letter of plod into some ground.
10a Front of stronghold occupied by soldiers each year (8)
FOREPART: a stronghold or keep contains abbreviations for soldiers and ‘each year’.
11a At end of journey posh fellow escaped (3,3)
GOT OFF: a posh fellow comes after a verb to journey.
12a Old platter of fish King’s tucked into — and Queen (8)
TRENCHER: a freshwater fish has a single-letter abbreviation for king within it. Append our Queen’s regnal cipher.
13a Made fish crumble, being very hungry (8)
FAMISHED: an anagram (crumble) of MADE FISH.
16a Poverty as blemish on Cambridge? (8)
SCARCITY: a blemish or disfigurement and what Cambridge is an example of.
19a Swoon and weep endlessly when meeting sweetheart (4,4)
KEEL OVER: a verb to weep or wail in mourning without its final N is followed by a synonym for sweetheart.
21a In Paris we turned back with two thousand in rally (6)
SUMMON: reverse the French word for ‘we’ and insert the Roman numeral for two thousand.
23a Long-distance travellers in camp seen misbehaving (8)
SPACEMEN: an anagram (misbehaving) of CAMP SEEN.
24a Academic boss, 26 (8)
STUDIOUS: splice together a boss or knob and what 26a can be.
25a What’s evident in fifty bactrian camels and asses (6)
CHUMPS: start with what Bactrian camels have (3,5) then multiply the first word by fifty and convert your answer to a Roman numeral.
26a Guarantees for young lady with inner energy (8)
PROMISES: knit together a preposition meaning ‘for’ and the title of a young lady containing the abbreviation for energy.
1d Group of slaves given heartless greeting before endeavour (7)
HELOTRY: paste together a 5-letter greeting without its middle letter and a synonym for endeavour to get a class of slaves in ancient Sparta.
2d Behaviour of enamoured drunk (9)
DEMEANOUR: an anagram (drunk) of ENAMOURED.
3d Pollutant from blaze enveloping yard (3,3)
FLY ASH: a blaze or burst of light contains the abbreviation for yard.
4d When in trouble, first subtly seek gestures of affection (9,6)
BUTTERFLY KISSES: an anagram (when in trouble) of FIRST SUBTLY SEEK. These gestures of affection involve fluttering one’s eyelashes against a partner’s skin – who knew?
5d Happy families maybe worry about daughter going to school (4,4)
CARD GAME: a synonym for worry or concern contains the abbreviation for daughter and a school of whales.
6d Expression of annoyance with France’s leader spiking plan (5)
DRAFT: a mild expression of annoyance has the leading letter of France impaled in it.
7d Vacillate when having to entertain two females (7)
WHIFFLE: a conjunction meaning ‘when’ contains two occurrences of the abbreviation for female. This sounds like the sort of verb our Prime Minister would use.
14d Pose with mouth snarled in violent movie (5-2-2)
SHOOT-‘EM-UP: an anagram (snarled) of POSE MOUTH.
15d Like some wood or like some rock found at bottom of lake (8)
LIGNEOUS: an adjective describing a type of rock follows the abbreviation for lake.
17d Grumble about horse chasing fox (7)
CHUNTER: a single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately and a horse that carries the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable.
18d Put in a new chair perhaps in auditorium or reception (7)
RECEIPT: this sounds like (in auditorium) a verb to put (someone) in a different chair.
20d Bishop of Exeter not half cunning (6)
EXARCH: string together the first half of a Latin term meaning ‘of Exeter’ and an adjective meaning cunning or sly. The answer is the title of a bishop in a number of Eastern Orthodox churches.
22d Two mothers and demanding girl? (5)
MADAM: stitch together two mothers (the second from the animal world) to get a demanding little girl.
My ticks today were awarded to 25a, 5d and 22d. Which clue(s) did the business for you?