Toughie No 2626 by Django
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
A pleasant puzzle which didn’t put up too much of a fight – thanks to Django.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Strangely warm on a ship (3-1-3)
MAN-O’-WAR: an anagram (strangely) of WARM ON A.
5a Charlie plays moving love song (7)
CALYPSO: assemble the letter that Charlie is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, an anagram (moving) of PLAYS and the letter that resembles love in tennis.
9a Shot animal left for scavenger essentially (5)
BLAST: start with another word for animal and replace the central letter of scavenger with the abbreviation for left.
10a Means to slowly cook 23 bananas with cheese crust (4-5)
BAIN-MARIE: an anagram (bananas) of the 23d answer is enclosed in a type of cheese.
11a Derelict found out about interest rates at the start (7-3)
UNCARED-FOR: an anagram (out) of FOUND contains a synonym of interest or concern. Finally append the starting letter of rates.
12a Union‘s denial broadcast (4)
KNOT: this sounds like a denial or negation.
14a French pig could be the product of this farm practice (4,8)
CROP ROTATION: if you apply the second word of the answer to the first word you’ll end up with one of the French words for pig. It’s interesting that we use words derived from German for live farm animals (e.g. cow, sheep, swine) but change them to words of French origin once they’re on our plates (beef, mutton, ****).
18a 12 put back into race, sure to skirt round northern town (6,6)
MILTON KEYNES: insert the reversal of the 12a answer into a middle-distance race then add an affirmative response (sure) containing the abbreviation for northern.
21a Prat with European holiday home (4)
GITE: another slang term for a prat followed by an abbreviation for European.
22a Bouncer using Circle Line after walk (10)
TRAMPOLINE: the letter resembling a circle and LINE follow a verb to walk heavily. Here’s the best John Lewis Christmas advert:
25a Relate to a pawnshop losing all content — inevitable after uncle’s focus dropped (9)
APPERTAIN: string together A, the outer letters of pawnshop and a synonym of inevitable without the central letter of uncle.
26a See 1d
27a Make subordinate unlimited tea without opening men’s toilet first (7)
ENSLAVE: ‘tea’ without its outer letters follows [m]EN’S without the opening letter and a twee informal word for toilet.
28a Firedog regularly fanned vitriol before end of election (7)
ANDIRON: regular letters from ‘fanned vitriol’ precede the last letter of election.
1d/26a Second one aboard coach journey after son — there seems to be no end to it (6,5)
MÖBIUS STRIP: concatenate a short word for a second or short time, a coach containing the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for son and a journey or excursion.
2d Suggestion from sister without a church (6)
NUANCE: a religious sister contains A. Add one of our usual abbreviations for church.
3d Power of art excited Mackintosh (10)
WATERPROOF: an anagram (excited) of POWER OF ART gives us a falsely-capitalised mackintosh.
4d Fanatical British papers pursuing artist (5)
RABID: abbreviations for British and papers (such as the proposed Covid passport?) follow the abbreviation for a recognised artist.
5d Treatment that can be good for the soul, by the sound of it (9)
CHIROPODY: cryptic definition of treatment for a homophone of soul. Rather corny?
6d Strike a light (4)
LAMP: double definition, the first an informal verb to strike or punch.
7d Highly suspicious soldier starts to notice odd incidents daily (8)
PARANOID: an airborne soldier followed by the starting letters of the last four words of the clue.
8d Association football team dropping lead after Ronaldo’s finish (8)
OVERTONE: a football team in Merseyside has its leading letter dropped to the bottom. Precede all that with the finishing letter of Ronaldo.
13d Looking up helium and oxygen consumption in part of hospital — it’s stored in a repository (10)
WAREHOUSED: the reversal of the chemical symbol for helium, the chemical symbol for oxygen and a synonym of consumption or utilisation all go inside part of a hospital.
15d Novel mostly perfect, okay, except the last bit — it’s hard to read (5,4)
POKER FACE: an anagram (novel) of PERFEC[t] OKA]y].
16d Record label close to folding, consider move abroad (8)
EMIGRATE: sew together a record label, the last letter of folding and a verb to consider or assess.
17d Creature, aptly evolved before Manx cat (8)
PLATYPUS: an anagram (evolved) of APTLY precedes a cat without its tail.
19d I’m returning posh car — or part of car (6)
MIRROR: glue together the reversal of I’M, the abbreviation of a posh car and OR.
20d Some dubbed pandemic ‘potty‘ (6)
BEDPAN: hidden in the clue. This is also the nickname of the Bedford to St Pancras railway line.
23d Student not involved in small cigar craze (5)
MANIA: start with a small cigar named after the capital of a southeast Asia country where it’s made and remove the abbreviation for student.
24d In the outskirts of Andromeda, with reference to space (4)
AREA: place a preposition meaning ‘with reference to’ between the outer letters of Andromeda.
The clues which graced my podium were 14a, 21a and 17d. Which one(s) made your shortlist?