Toughie No 2639 by Firefly
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
For the most part this is pretty straightforward but for me it didn’t have a lot of pizzazz. Thanks to Firefly.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Making a (good?) fist of passing over legal document (11)
HANDWRITING: a present participle meaning passing or transferring contains a legal document.
9a Sons lie about woman of courage (7)
LIONESS: an anagram (about) of SONS LIE.
10a Dim old monarch boarding vacant buggy (6)
BLEARY: an old fictional king goes inside the outer letters of buggy.
12a Dismiss moneyman? (7)
CASHIER: double definition, the first a verb meaning to dismiss from the armed forces.
13a Prepare to fire volunteer one’s seen holding parrot (4,3)
TAKE AIM: the old abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers and the contracted form of ‘one is’ from the setter’s viewpoint contain a parrot from New Zealand. I know the armed forces have suffered cuts but surely our reserve force still has more than a single volunteer?
14a Crazy bandleader joining the forces (5)
BARMY: the leading letter of band and one of the forces.
15a Maybe newspapers will break questionable item without delay (9)
IMMEDIATE: newspapers are an example of a means of mass communication. Insert this into an anagram (questionable) of ITEM.
17a Characters from the east younger, and with no visible means of support (9)
STRAPLESS: reverse a word for characters or roles and add an adjective meaning younger. I had problems trying to find an example of how **** means younger but I think Firefly may be thinking of this apostle.
20a Poles in boxes (5)
SPARS: double definition, the first a noun and the second a verb.
22a Compact shelter placed in midst of scenery (7)
ENTENTE: a temporary shelter goes inside the middle letters of scenery.
24a See Miss Phillips being heavenly? (7)
ELYSIAN: a charade of our usual see in Cambridgeshire and the forename of Miss Phillips the Welsh actress who I remember being brilliant as the scheming matriarch in the TV series I Claudius.
25a Tsar can earn mostly in secret (6)
26a Hazel‘s bet, reduced by uncertainty, withdrawn (7)
FILBERT: hazel here could be either a tree or its nut. Join together a type of bet involving three selections without its last letter and a conjunction indicating uncertainty. Now reverse it all.
27a Lee and Al totter drunkenly — neither being this? (11)
TEETOTALLER: an anagram (drunkenly) of LEE AL TOTTER.
2d Dash into fellowship’s ‘facility‘ (7)
AMENITY: a short dash in printing goes inside a word meaning fellowship or friendly relations.
3d Absent-minded (female) artiste I sacked after first bit of dawdling (9)
DISTRAITE: an anagram (sacked) of ARTISTE I follows the first letter of dawdling.
4d Android ran on batteries of tungsten to begin with (5)
ROBOT: the starting letters of five words.
5d Edward having dicky innards fine-tuned (7)
TWEAKED: one of the common short names for Edward contains an adjective meaning dicky or frail.
6d New Romeo embraced by Trump’s ex is paradise! (7)
NIRVANA: start with the abbreviation for new then insert the letter for which Romeo is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet into the name of Donald’s ex.
7d Smash hit from Hammer? (11)
BLOCKBUSTER: for the surface reading Hammer is a film production company but if you split the answer 5,6 it’s a cryptic description of a (lower-case) hammer.
8d Slacker and no-hoper accepting Oscar (6)
LOOSER: a no-hoper contains the letter that Oscar represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
11d First of engineers in post — airmen free to take off (11)
IMPERSONATE: insert the first letter of engineers into an anagram (free) of POST AIRMEN.
16d Showing authority with worries mounting during strike (9)
MASTERFUL: a verb meaning worries is reversed inside a verb to beat with a wooden club.
18d Pensioner‘s more scary when upset about tobacconist’s closing (7)
RETIREE: reversal of a comparative meaning more scary around the closing letter of tobacconist.
19d Hanging first of paintings, wind up worker (7)
PENDANT: string together the first letter of paintings, a verb to wind up or conclude and our usual insect worker.
20d Coventry striker perhaps in shade? (3-4)
SKY-BLUE: double definition, the first being what a player for Coventry FC might be called based on the club’s nickname.
21d Got up; assembled sarnie (6)
ARISEN: an anagram (assembled) of SARNIE.
23d Spain’s opening game (5)
EVENT: the IVR code for Spain precedes an opening.
The clue I liked best was 8d. Which one(s) got you ticking?