Toughie No 2667 by Micawber
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
It’s always a great pleasure to get a Micawber puzzle to blog. This one’s a pangram and it didn’t pose too many problems but it was very enjoyable.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Fixes up crack in middle of desk (6)
EQUIPS: insert a crack or gag into the middle letters of desk.
4a Tighten your belt and behind — adults are going to be slender (6)
SVELTE: assemble a verb to tighten your belt or scrimp and an adverb meaning behind or delayed then remove both occurrences of the abbreviation for adult.
8a Stocky peasants taking part in Asian festival (8)
THICKSET: insert peasants or rustics into a Vietnamese festival (a word associated in the West with this offensive).
10a Junket of raspberry with rind of lime (6)
RAZZLE: this raspberry is an expression of derision (based on rhyming slang for a fart). A slang word for that is followed by the outer letters of lime.
11a Midriffs rejected as obscene content (4)
SMUT: reverse a child’s word for midriffs.
12a Working out problem, I had backtracked, lacking certainty (10)
DIAGNOSTIC: reverse the contracted form of ‘I had’ and append an adjective meaning ‘lacking certainty’.
13a Finding fault with service — that’s liable to produce a reaction (8,4)
CRITICAL MASS: string together an adjective meaning ‘finding fault’ and a religious service.
16a Not part of match, cared about having only one goal (6-6)
SINGLE-MINDED: not part of a match or unwed followed by a verb meaning ‘cared about’.
20a Lacking height, failed to prepare wall adequately? (10)
UNDERSIZED: cryptically this could mean ‘used insufficient gluey stuff on a wall prior to decorating’.
21a Defect following piece of legislation (4)
FLAW: the abbreviation for following and a piece of legislation.
22a Judge’s case gets thirty days, showing lack of experience (6)
JEJUNE: the outer letters of judge and what contains thirty days.
23a Freshly cut grass roughly tied (2-6)
RE-EDITED: a type of grass precedes an anagram (roughly) of TIED.
24a Fake keepers at zoo houses (6)
25a Star grabbing drink — this is liable to go downhill! (3,3)
SKI RUN: our very own star contains an alcoholic drink.
1d First in election, Prime Minister assuming he has long time — but such things are transitory! (8)
EPHEMERA: bring together the first letter of election, the abbreviation for Prime Minister containing HE and a long period of time. A bit of political forecasting?
2d Not like sliced bread, this burns crust regularly (5)
UNCUT: regular letters from ‘burns crust’.
3d Job on wharf ultimately insufficient for researcher (7)
POSTDOC: a job or position followed by a synonym for wharf without its final letter.
5d Queen entering royal museum gallery (7)
VERANDA: insert our Queen’s regnal cipher into a London museum with royal connections.
6d Zany lass running round you, talking — one circulates with food (4,5)
LAZY SUSAN: an anagram (running) of ZANY LASS contains what sounds like ‘you’ in speech.
7d Cake from leavened grain with half fat stuffing (6)
ECLAIR: the reversal of a type of grain contains the first half of a sort of fat used in cooking.
9d Influencer to advertise jacket (11)
TRAILBLAZER: split the answer 5,6 and it could mean to advertise a type of jacket.
14d They perform sensationally in oral assessments (5,4)
TASTE BUDS: cryptic definition of the things which allow us to experience one of the senses.
15d Greek islander having no right to catch fabulous sea creature (8)
CETACEAN: drop the R[ight] from a Greek islander and insert an informal adjective meaning fabulous or super.
17d Absence of nap, having start of afternoon off, is most curious (7)
NOSIEST: start with an absence of nap (2,6) and remove the first letter of afternoon.
18d Messi’s header getting kid excited about minute when Champions League opponents meet? (3-4)
MID-WEEK: the first letter of Messi and an anagram (excited) of KID contain an adjective meaning minute. There’s a hint to when Champions League matches are played below.
19d Queen embracing old flame in outbuilding (6)
ANNEXE: a Stuart queen contains our usual short word for an old flame.
21d Rifle shot gets you bit of a promotion (5)
FLIER: an anagram (shot) of RIFLE.
I liked 10a, 13a and 20a but my favourite was 14d. Which clue(s) hit the spot for you?