Toughie No 2835 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Is Giovanni mellowing (or was this puzzle originally intended for the back page)? There are quite a few gimmes here and although he includes his usual ration of religious terms there’s nothing that was new to me – that’s a first for a Giovanni Toughie. Thanks to him for the puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
5a Appearing to have a high temperature with disease building? (7)
FLUSHED: stick together the short name for a winter disease and a small building.
7a Contribution to service? Note donations falling short (5)
PSALM: charade of the abbreviation for a note and charitable donations without their last letter.
9a Port having no time to provide security (6)
ANCHOR: a port in Alaska without its time or historic period.
10a Swimming in Red Sea close to the edge (8)
NEARSIDE: an anagram (swimming) of IN RED SEA.
11a Timely expression of support given with letter read out (5,2,3)
RIGHT ON CUE: an exclamation (5,2) indicating full agreement (mainly North American) followed by what sounds like one of our letters.
13a Like Cinders, initially awkward and reticent? (4)
ASHY: the initial letter of awkward and an adjective meaning reticent.
14a US soldiers invading in a significant way, showing great authority (13)
MAGISTERIALLY: insert the abbreviation for US ordinary soldiers into an adverb meaning ‘in a significant or important way’.
16a Bluff Henry has ring — but surely not this one! (4)
HALO: bluff, in the sense of good-naturedly hearty, was a term applied to this English king. Append the ring-shaped letter to his shortened name to make an attribute which he patently didn’t deserve.
17a Warning that is left before final scene (10)
PORTENDING: what’s left at sea precedes a word for the final scene of a play or film.
19a Squalid place with old heretic making a bit of money (8)
DENARIUS: bring together what can be a squalid place and the founder of a Christian heresy (one that Giovanni is fond of using which is the only reason I’ve heard of it). The answer is what the ‘d’ in l.s.d is derived from.
20a Plant that’s yellow getting pulled up (6)
ORCHID: our usual yellow tincture and a past participle meaning pulled up or rebuked.
22a Feature of vehicle’s alignment that is coming back into fashion (3-2)
TOE-IN: reverse the usual abbreviation for ‘that is’ and insert it into a word, from French, meaning fashion. The answer relates to the convergence of a pair of wheels so that they are closer at the front than at the back.
23a Hard stuff, metal — need somehow to clamp it (7)
DENTINE: a specific metal is clamped inside an anagram (somehow) of NEED.
1d Gospel? It’s unopened book of the Bible (4)
RUTH: what gospel is an informal word for without its initial letter.
2d Egyptians having pronounced beautiful round figures (8)
PHARAOHS: a double homophone of a synonym for beautiful and round figures or letters.
3d Record former requirement prior to a test (1-5)
L-PLATE: knit together a type of record and an adjective meaning former or previous.
4d US general and journalist got together (10)
MARSHALLED: assemble the surname of a WWII US general (who is remembered for his plan to provide post-war aid for European countries) and our usual abbreviated journalist.
5d Kingdom offering enjoyment starts to get irresponsible (5)
FUNGI: a synonym of enjoyment and the starting letters of the last two words of the clue.
6d Curse deadline arranged for being free of dangerous weapons (13)
DENUCLEARISED: an anagram (arranged) of CURSE DEADLINE.
8d Seized advantage when morris dancers function, we hear, with extra aspiration (4,3)
MADE HAY: what sounds like a springtime festival when Morris dancers traditionally strut their stuff has an H inserted.
12d I may adore Mary and hate Gloria perversely (10)
HAGIOLATER: an anagram (perversely) of HATE GLORIA.
14d Fellow entertaining English is French and least likely to be generous (7)
MEANEST: a fellow contains the single-letter abbreviation for English and that’s followed by the French word for ‘is’.
15d I leap around church, stuck in a freezing place (8)
ICEBOUND: I and a leap contain one of the usual abbreviations for church.
17d Amenable and upright character engaged by factory (6)
PLIANT: the perpendicular letter is contained in a factory or workshop.
18d Natural place known for its water springing up (5)
NAIVE: reverse the name of a French place known for its expensive bottled water (although it’s sold mainly in plastic rather than bottles).
21d Pal lacking a prominent feature (4)
CHIN: drop the A from the Cockney rhyming word for pal or mate.
The clues which appealed most to me were 13a, 20a and 8d. Which one(s) reached out to you?