Toughie No 2651 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment **
It always puts a damper on my solving enjoyment if I have to spend more time looking up things than in actually sorting out the wordplay. I’m afraid that the ‘toughness’ here came almost entirely from the obscurity of some of the answers.
Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
5a It’s frightening crossing lake — cover needed (7)
COWLING: frightening or browbeating contains the abbreviation for lake.
7a Nothing right about politician’s blast (5)
TROMP: reverse the letter resembling zero and an abbreviation for right then add our usual elected politician. The answer, the BRB informs me, is ‘an apparatus for producing a blast of air in a furnace by means of falling water’ – this seems to imply that it’s the apparatus rather than the blast itself?
9a Boundary made by iron-clad circle (6)
FRINGE: a circle contained in the chemical symbol for iron.
10a Enjoyed something of historic interest — small building for Caesar originally (8)
RELISHED: start with an object of historical interest and replace the first letter of Caesar with a small building.
11a Son imprisoned in city saying sorry — how to end confinement? (10)
ESCAPOLOGY: the abbreviation for son goes inside the postal area of the City of London. Now add a word meaning ‘saying sorry’.
13a Food that a racehorse needs (4)
TACK: double definition, the second being riding equipment.
14a Drama about charge included in bill presented by any big firm? (6,7)
PARENT COMPANY: a Russian doll type construction – a charge for hiring goes inside an abbreviation for a bill or invoice which then is inserted in a term for drama or ceremony. Finally append ANY.
16a The female’s modelling initially for statue (4)
HERM: stick together a feminine pronoun and the initial letter of modelling.
17a Results in onset of sweat possibly? (10)
SULTRINESS: an all-in-one clue. It’s an anagram (possibly) of RESULTS IN S[weat].
19a Noble fellow hurt and sombre (8)
MARGRAVE: a charade of a verb to hurt or impair and a synonym of sombre produces a European nobleman.
20a Case about to be dismissed in fulfilment of solemn promise (6)
VOTIVE: do you remember the six grammatical cases that we learnt about in Latin? What we need here is the one used in addressing someone as in “O Caesar”. Just remove the 2-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately and we’re left with a word meaning ‘undertaken in fulfilment of a vow’ (thanks once more to the overworked BRB).
22a Yarn about Conservative making comeback brings applause (5)
ECLAT: a yarn or story contains the abbreviation for Conservative. Reverse it all.
23a One helps others learn and be free (7)
ENABLER: an anagram (free) of LEARN BE.
1d Bird bites when upset — not good (4)
SWAN: reverse a verb meaning bites or chomps without the abbreviation for good.
2d Wrap up piece of plumbing emerging from bathroom? (4,4)
PIPE DOWN: this could describe a piece of plumbing leading out from a bathroom.
3d Kipling’s soldier, say, making a speech? (6)
STALKY: start with ‘say’ and replace the ‘a’ with a synonym for speech. You can read about Kipling’s soldier here.
4d Routine has to be organised for discipline in the home (5-5)
HOUSE-TRAIN: an anagram (to be organised) of ROUTINE HAS gives us a verb to teach a young pet where not to go.
5d Gosh — you can hear that army unit! (5)
CORPS: a homophone of an exclamation like gosh or blimey.
6d Naughty girl once got to tour the French educational establishment (6,7)
GIRTON COLLEGE: an anagram (naughty) of GIRL ONCE GOT containing one of the French definite articles.
8d Victim outside a church inclined to be moralistic (7)
PREACHY: a word meaning victim or target contains A and an abbreviation for church.
12d Physical problem? Somehow get calmer with yoga (10)
ACROMEGALY: an anagram (somehow) of CALMER YOGA. This is a medical term for abnormal growth of the hands, feet and facial features (but you knew that didn’t you?).
14d Endless crush preceding time signal (7)
PRESAGE: a verb to crush (grapes, say) precedes a period of time.
15d Protestant version of Bible, one got hold of by converted Roman (8)
MORAVIAN: an abbreviation for the King James version of the Bible and the Roman numeral for one are contained in an anagram (converted) of ROMAN. If you’re interested you can read all about this person’s sect here.
17d Won’t you primarily sing this at sea? (6)
SHANTY: an alternative to “Won’t!” (as a young child might say when refusing an order) and the first letter of ‘you’.
18d Cut flower deprived of root (5)
SEVER: a UK river without its last letter.
21d Ultimately reject bad work (4)
TILL: the ultimate letter of reject and another word for bad or sick.
My favourite clue was 17a. Which one(s) floated your boat?