Toughie No 2829 by Serpent
Hints and tips by Stephen L
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment****
Hello everyone from a bright South Devon coast.
Today I have the great pleasure of blogging a very fine puzzle from Serpent for the first time.
Maybe a little tough for Tuesday, I only fully appreciated the skill and wit while doing the hints. As usual our setter has included a Nina, which if you look at the four solutions along the top and bottom of the grid you should spot.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Disgrace is able to stop boys regressing (7)
SCANDAL: An auxiliary verb meaning “is able” is inserted into (to stop) a reversal of some informal boys
5a These dealers scan in new order for congressman (7)
MONGERS: This is a compound anagram. You need to remove the letters that spell out the word SCAN from CONGRESSMAN and the solution is an anagram of what’s left.
9a Principal means of connecting old versions of Windows? (7)
LEADING: The Windows here are not on your PC but are made of glass and let light into your room. (old versions?) Double definition
10a Disregard for every command (7)
SKIPPER: A 4-letter synonym of disregard or omit is followed by a preposition meaning “for each”
11a Divorced adult upset date, crossing blurred line (9)
ALIENATED: The abbreviation for Adult plus an anagram (upset) of DATE go around (crossing) an anagram (blurred) of LINE
12a Baffle almost all senior university dons (5)
ELUDE: Start with a synonym of senior. Remove its last letter and the result “dons” the abbreviation for University. Clever clue.
13a Foolishly, withdrawn writer imprisoned in Stephen King novel (5)
INEPT: A reversal (withdrawn) of something we used to write with before texts etc became ubiquitous is placed inside a 1986 Stephen King novel.
15a Realise something that may prove useful (9)
IMPLEMENT: Two meanings, realise here being in the sense of fulfill or accomplish.
17a Something ignored by pirate’s parrot completely (9)
COPYRIGHT: Synonyms of parrot as a verb and completely
19a Support for arm in cast (5)
SLING: Double definition, cast being a verb in the second.
22a Perform steps to primarily adopt new government cuts (5)
TANGO: The first letters (primarily) of the following three words “cuts” TO from the clue.
23a Reporter’s profligacy officially prevented what needs tightening when on a budget (9)
WAISTBAND: Homophones (reporter’s) of synonyms of profligacy and prevented in the sense of blocked.
25a Calypso’s exterior confused with minor character in Homer’s Odyssey (7)
OMICRON: Anagram (confused)of the outer letters of CalypsO and MINOR
26a Perhaps 4 have porridge outside (7)
TEATIME: Porridge here is a prison spell. It goes round a synonym of have in the sense of food. Nice clue and a real smiler.
27a What could be the point of building expensive housing for lease? (7)
STEEPLE: A synonym of expensive and the outer letters (housing) of the world LeasE. Another nice clue.
28a Those pursuing sceptic’s case share spoils (7)
CHASERS: Anagram (spoils) of the outer letters (case) of SceptiC and SHARE.
1d Complaint about colleague raised in student programmes (7)
SYLLABI: The complaint here is a common gut problem and its initials go around a colleague. Reverse (raised) the result. Very clever.
2d Greedy character ordered caviare (7)
AVARICE: Anagram (ordered) of CAVIARE.
3d Pub serving mixers and spirits? (5)
DJINN: I think the mixers here are people who mix music? They are followed by a pub or tavern.
4d Fast and sudden reduction in weight after taking ecstasy (9)
LIGHTNING: The present participle of a verb meaning to reduce weight or make less heavy loses (after taking) the abbreviation for Ecstasy.
5d Thought practice is inspired by doctor (5)
MUSED: A synonym of practice is inserted into (inspired by) one of the usual abbreviations for a doctor. Gives me the opportunity (not that I need any excuses) to play this.
6d Make fewer enquiries about the author being silent? (9)
NOISELESS: A synonym of silent, without sound. If you remove the personal pronoun that represents “the author” and split the solution 4-4 you’ll see how the wordplay works. A real smiler.
7d Enthusiastically embrace Internet bride? (7)
ESPOUSE: Split 1-6 this could describe an internet partner.
8d Present broadcast that has an audible hiss? (7)
SERPENT: Anagram (broadcast) of PRESENT. The setter has modestly given himself a name check!
14d In public, British Rail backed support for type of engine (9)
TURBOPROP: Start with a word meaning public, not hidden. Pace it around the abbreviation for British Rail and reverse (backed) the result. Add a support.
16d Nationalist Party very much in charge following strike (9)
PATRIOTIC: An word which could mean to party very much and the abbreviation for In Charge follow a synonym of strike.
17d Guy is welcoming feasible, positive things (7)
CATIONS: An old fashioned word for a guy, often associated with music is followed by IS from the clue placed around (welcoming) a 2-letter word that could mean feasible
18d Thoughtful and dear partner no longer leaves (7)
PENSIVE: A synonym of dear in the sense of pricey loses the usual prefix for one’s former partner.
20d Believe international publication has censored extreme letters (7)
IMAGINE: The abbreviation for International and a publication which loses (has censored) the two “extreme” letters of the alphabet. Great clue, my favourite.
21d Powerful figure possessed by suppressed dogma following revolution (7)
GODDESS: Hidden and reversed (possessed by) in the clue. Took me a while to spot this.
23d Start to show embarrassment with trendy church (5)
WINCE: The abbreviation for With, a synonym of trendy or fashionable and the abbreviation for Church of England.
24d What may come to a head regularly during trip abroad? (5)
TIARA: Regular letters of TrIp AbRoAd.
Tough but a great puzzle, thank you Serpent.