Toughie No 2859 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
An entertaining puzzle from Hudson – thanks to him. There are several of what we call 25s amongst the clues.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
4a Florid upper-class writer of verse, Solomon, undressed to go outside (8)
RUBICUND: the letter meaning upper-class and a writing implement with the inner letters of Solomon the nursery rhyme character’s surname in the verse below around it.
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon ******.
8a Help a solver stuck with part of border that has plenty of crossers (2,4)
EL PASO: our first 25a is concealed (stuck with) in the first three words.
9a “Nautical mile” confusing Emirati (8)
MARITIME: the abbreviation for mile and an anagram (confusing) of EMIRATI.
10a Dodgy Pop Art featuring Joe Stalin’s dirty tricks? (8)
AGITPROP: an anagram (dodgy) of POP ART containing the abbreviated US Soldier commonly known as Joe.
11a Next to Belgium, Europe’s number one team (6)
BESIDE: string together the IVR code for Belgium, the first letter of Europe and a synonym for team.
12a First of novels by Lawrence collected by Nick, a literary figure (8)
STENDHAL: the first letter of novels and the initials of Mr Lawrence (not TE, the other one) go inside a verb to nick to make the pen name of a French novelist.
13a Fire unlimited ammunition, you see — that’ll get ’em jumping! (4,4)
SACK RACE: a verb to fire or dismiss and the inner letters of a type of ammunition that you can see when it’s fired.
16a City where some say the underworld’s very dark? (8)
HELSINKI: homophones of a phrase (4’1,4) which could mean the underworld’s very dark. Top marks from me for the ‘some say’.
19a Make sheets of metal in a cast (8)
LAMINATE: an anagram (cast) of METAL IN A.
21a Bumped into Romeo, in charge of weights and measures (6)
METRIC: assemble a verb meaning bumped into or came across, the letter that Romeo represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.
23a Second U-boat base blown up by her, ultimately (8)
SABOTEUR: start with the abbreviation for second, add an anagram (blown up) of U-BOAT and E (the letter used as the base number in logarithms) then finish with the ultimate letter of heR.
24a Valve from ordinary computer where you would expect to find it if available? (8)
STOPCOCK: abbreviations for ordinary and personal computer placed where you might expect to find something available for sale, i.e. IN *****.
25a Shadowy figure holding stuffing for Xmas bird with both hands (6)
LURKER: the inner letters of a Xmas bird are held by both hands.
26a French leader expressing his refusal to jail an East European (8)
NAPOLEON: how this French leader would have expressed a refusal contains A and an East European.
1d Wound captain The Bounty discharged (7)
BLIGHTY: the name of the captain set adrift from his ship, The Bounty, followed by the outer letters of “The Bounty”. The answer, new to me, was a military slang word in WWI for a wound necessitating a soldier serving abroad’s repatriation to Britain.
2d Spoil mum’s preserve before quarterly feast day (9)
MARTINMAS: a verb to spoil and an affectionate word for mum and her ‘S with a verb to preserve food before her. The answer is a Christian feast day and one of the ‘quarter days’ in Scotland when rents and leases start and end.
3d Forward cried out loud, just failing to get a medal (6)
FOURTH: a homophone of ‘forward’ often preceded by ‘set’ or ‘sally’.
4d Having slept poorly after hard liquor, I left skint, broke; an angry man (15)
RUMPELSTILTSKIN: this is an angry little man from a Grimm fairy tale. Weld together a hard liquor, an anagram (poorly) of SLEPT, I, the abbreviation for left and an anagram (broke) of SKINT.
5d Tossing thick caber, Aberdonian choked without support (8)
BAREBACK: a backward 25a.
6d Hide countries’ odd constituents? (5)
CUTIS: odd letters from countries.
7d Itinerant actor Matt turned up, almost freezing (7)
NOMADIC: reverse the surname of US actor Matt and append an adjective meaning freezing without its last letter.
14d Sudden burst of activity upstairs sending bishop out in bad weather (9)
RAINSTORM: remove the abbreviation for a bishop in chess from a burst of activity in the top bit of the body.
15d Ant and Dec recycled old, boring, ultimately dire yarn (8)
ANECDOTE: an anagram (recycled) of ANT DEC with the abbreviation for old getting inserted. Finish with the ultimate letter of dire.
17d Agamemnon’s girl stirred treacle (7)
ELECTRA: the daughter of Agamemnon in Greek mythology is an anagram (stirred) of TREACLE.
18d Most rude lady gobbling pastry (7)
STRUDEL: another 25a.
20d Active undercover spy recruits British Head of Intelligence (6)
MOBILE: a deeply embedded spy contains an abbreviation for British and the first letter of intelligence.
22d Regularly bin bits of pre-Empire or antique-looking style of furniture (5)
REPRO: ‘pre-Empire or’ with regular letters discarded.
On my podium I have 13a, 24a and 14d. Which one(s) did you select for an honourable mention?