Toughie No 2675 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
As usual with Giovanni the ‘toughness’ in this pangram comes neither from the wordplay (which is all pretty clear) nor from deceptive definitions but from the obscurities. I’d never heard of the 15a clams, the 29a wax or the 14d fabric – luckily for me the brilliant Mrs Bradford had heard of them all.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a My French wine, cold according to order? (8)
MONASTIC: string together the French word for my, one of our usual sparkling wines and the abbreviation for cold as seen on taps.
5a Recorded as being cut down and processed? (6)
LOGGED: double definition, the second relating to timber.
9a Rushed, being worried — always getting blocked in (8)
CAREERED: a verb meaning worried contains a poetic form of a word meaning always.
10a Conservative is entertained by group of stars showing prejudice (6)
RACISM: an abbreviation for Conservative and IS are contained in one of the zodiacal signs.
12a Gather for voting — with it gaining external victory (4,2)
WHIP IN: a dated informal word meaning ‘with it’ or trendy goes inside a victory. The answer is a phrasal verb, derived from hunting, describing how party enforcers dictate to MPs how to vote.
13a Dessert left out May’s neighbour’s tucked into in naive fashion (8)
JEJUNELY: a type of dessert often served at a children’s party loses one of its abbreviations for left and has what follows May inserted.
15a In the manner in which greedy types will get clams to eat (7)
QUAHOGS: charade of a conjunction, from Latin, meaning ‘in the manner in which’ and some animals who epitomise greed. These are apparently edible clams from the Atlantic coast of North America.
16a List of players joining United (4)
MENU: male sportsmen followed by the abbreviation for united.
20a Philosopher said ‘Shut up!’ (4)
LOCK: a homophone of the surname of this English philosopher.
21a Servant chucked, no good with security device (7)
FLUNKEY: staple together a verb meaning chucked without the abbreviation for good and a security device.
25a Philanthropist seen heading off fiddling with cigar (8)
CARNEGIE: an anagram (fiddling) of [s]EEN and CIGAR produces this philanthropist.
26a Cluster of flowers in spring, ten in Versailles (6)
SPADIX: combine a mineral spring and the French word for ten.
28a March at the match may be this — control, we hear, is needed (6)
BRIDAL: this sounds like equipment used to control a horse.
29a Wax from a can manipulated with a rub (8)
CARNAUBA: this type of wax from a Brazilian palm tree is an anagram (manipulated) of A CAN A RUB.
30a Any promotion reported to be needed for group of nine? (6)
ENNEAD: what sounds like ‘any’ and an abbreviated promotion or plug.
31a Extremely useful source of water, all right? (4,4)
VERY WELL: bring together a synonym for extremely and a useful source of drinking water.
1d Birds in the morning rising with bird noises (6)
MACAWS: reverse ‘in the morning’ and append the sounds made by a crow or rook, say.
2d Geordie Socialist, say, embracing one nymph (6)
NEREID: an informal way of writing Geordie Socialist (2,3) contains the Roman numeral for one.
3d False son cherished — father ultimately coming out (8)
SPECIOUS: the genealogical abbreviation for son and an adjective meaning cherished or valuable without the ultimate letter of father.
4d French island has unknown shrub with prickles (4)
ILEX: the French word for island and one of the algebraic unknowns.
6d Obscure work — a search with street cleared (6)
OPAQUE: knit together an abbreviated artistic work, A and a search or mission without the abbreviation for street.
7d Having a spat? Agreed to differ about the thing looked for (8)
GAITERED: an anagram (to differ) of AGREED contains an informal word for exactly what one is looking for.
8d Spooner’s card game ruined, proving to be a trial (5,3)
DUMMY RUN: Spooner might have turned this into a card game involving the collection of sets or sequences and a past particle (usually followed by ‘for’) meaning ruined.
11d Guarding hard border (7)
HEDGING: the pencil abbreviation for hard and a border.
14d Fabric in room is about to be put on ceiling (7)
CHALLIS: a room (possibly one used for meetings or events) and IS are preceded by the single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately.
17d Mountain climbing on rope that can be eased (8)
PLACABLE: reverse a high mountain and add a type of rope. We’re more used to seeing the answer preceded by im- to mean relentless.
18d Arachnid ruined crop in heavenly place (8)
SCORPION: an anagram (ruined) goes inside a name for Jerusalem.
19d Any power may come from guns etc (8)
WEAPONRY: the answer is an anagram (may come from) of ANY POWER.
22d Buddhist school has an area providing female accommodation (6)
ZENANA: glue together a school of Buddhism (probably the only one most of us have heard of), AN and the abbreviation for area.
23d Cite a Fascist leader stammering (6)
ADDUCE: A followed by the title that Mussolini would have given himself if he’d stammered.
24d Nothing wrong with the last thing that is used for a soup? (6)
OXTAIL: assemble the letter that resembles zero, the letter used by teacher to mark your answer wrong and the last thing or back end.
27d Friend‘s call making further play impossible (4)
MATE: double definition, the second what calls a halt to a board game.
I’ve got 7d, 23d and 24d on my podium. Which clue(s) did the business for you?