Sunday Toughie No 15 by proXimal (Hints)
Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee
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I was expecting another Zandio today, but we have a proXimal instead. This one pushed me to the very edge of my solving ability, but a couple of nudges from the 5 freebies got me over the line. I have picked out an evenly spread half of the clues and hope that helps you get over the line. Please comment if you want any extra hints and I will try to help within the spirit of the rules. 13 is only a little word but you have to do quite a lot to get there (remove the first word from a “range”) 17d and 24a don’t get hinted at but do get a mention elsewhere. 11a and 21a are “dodgy” homophones that some will baulk at and a lurker 19d
As it is a Prize puzzle I can only hint at a few and hope that will give you the checkers and inspiration to go further.
I’ll be back just after the closing date with the full blog.
Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints! I hope I don’t have to redact any comments but I am new at this and don’t want to rock the boat. If in doubt, I’ll rub it out!
Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.
A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.
Some hints follow:
Remember the site rules and play nicely.
1a Dirty spots in part of plane, craft beset by bacteria (11)
A biblical craft is surrounded by bacteria instead of the flood and preceded by part of an aeroplane.
8a Open shed damaged here from leprechaun’s larking (7)
This is one of those tricky little subtraction anagrams, we have to shed some letters from LEPRECHAUNS. Shed damaged tells us that the letters we need to extract (HERE) are not in order, and larking tells us to reorder what remains for open one’s fist perhaps.
10a Locks might contain these vessels (8)
Locks usually makes me think of hairstyles but not here (the hairdo today is in 17d) The answer we seek is a feature of some locks particularly safes, also a vessel I may drink from.
14a Company partner occupied by deficit hugely (10)
Some Lego here, Two letters suggested by company and a partner surround a large financial deficit.
18a Greek character going back in swimmer’s headwear (4)
Some cycling here, we start with a large freshwater fish and cycle the Greek character from the front to the back for some headwear.
22a Examining an urban settlement in California to the west (8)
proXimal has given us two free letters, start with a general meaning of urban and add a specific Californian large urban settlement around the two letters given to us, then reverse the lot (to the west in an across clue) I am not sure if I have done that quite right, do the two given letters go in the settlement and then reversed or do they start the clue and have appended the reversal?
26a Retired woman tucked into fish and green cheese (11)
More reversals here. A woman goes inside some slippery fish and a synonym of green, all reversed. What comes from that is a delightful cheese much admired by Wallace and Gromit, and coincidentally the only one of the Yorkshire Dales that doesn’t take its name from the river that runs through it. (That river is the one we need for 24a)
1d One unenthralled following about upset celebrity (7)
The person we are looking for is one no longer held in bondage or slavery, a noun for a celebrity is reversed after an abbreviation for following and one of the usual crosswordy abouts. I notice that the answer is also the surname of a celebrity actor whose forename is in 7d. Is proXimal a fan of this hobbit actor?
3d Festival dislikes including Queen covers (10)
These covers keep us warm at night, A Muslim festival, the Queens’ regnal cypher and some dislikes create this feathery comforter.
7d Car a rock clipped with damage on metal (5,6)
A small rock loses its last letter, a synonym of damage and a silvery-white malleable metallic element.
9d Mean sorts keeping silence regularly for entertaining acts (5,6)
An average score at golf, and a synonym of sorts surround the even letters of silence.
15d Roll and roll around beginning to remedy skin inflammation (8)
Two synonyms of roll, to turn and a bakery item, surround the first letter of remedy.
20d Aluminium lid over a source of fibre (6)
How Aluminium appears on the Periodic Table, a reversal of a lid and a from the clue. A fine silky fibre sourced from a member of the Llama family.
23d Chamber orchestra players half-cut (4)
This chamber is half of some members of an orchestra.
Today we have some 23d before they are half-cut.
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