Toughie No 2867 by Artix
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
This is a proper Toughie with some inventive clueing – thanks to Artix. He sometimes provides us with a Nina but I can’t spot anything today.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Undisputed big guns? Not after this story! (3,5,6)
THE GREAT GATSBY: cryptically the title of this American novel could mean that the big guns are in the past (3,5,4,2).
9a For common Latin name, try Naked Azalea (found in New Zealand) (8)
GONZALEZ: a ‘speedy’ solve for me. Start with a try or turn then insert the inner letters of azalea into the IVR code for New Zealand.
10a Description of book written by rock band (5)
BLURB: either the definition here is just the first word (which is rather a stretch) or book is doing double duty. The abbreviation for book follows an English rock band from the 1990s (though, apparently, they are still going).
12a British heading off on hols (4)
OURS: drop the initial T from types of holidays.
13a According to court, missing hip muscle caused back cracking (2,8)
IN ABSENTIA: string together an adjective meaning hip or trendy, a stomach muscle, a verb meaning caused or ’caused to become’ and the reversal of an abbreviation meaning cracking or excellent.
15a Spoiled, with diameter awry? (8)
LOPSIDED: an anagram (awry) of SPOILED and the abbreviation for Diameter.
16a Assistant chasing knighted thespian guide… (6)
SHERPA: an assistant working exclusively for a single individual follows the surname of a knighted actor who died fairly recently.
18a …and what he does close to apoplectic members (6)
CLIMBS: the closing letter of apoplectic and some bodily members.
20a Nightmare as State knocked back help outside year block (8)
DYSTOPIA: reverse a synonym of help around the abbreviation for year and a verb to block or prevent.
23a Instrument from arrangement of baritone music? Not so (10)
TAMBOURINE: delete the Latin word meaning so or thus from BARITONE MUSIC and make an anagram (arrangement) of what remains.
24a Defect reported in nutty ingredient (4)
FLOR: apparently this is a yeasty growth with a nutty taste (new to me). I expect the homophone of a type of defect works for some people.
26a Fly beyond large tree (5)
LARCH: a synonym of fly (as an adjective) follows the clothing abbreviation for large.
27a Class defends sticky tape (8)
CASSETTE: a class in Hindu society includes an adjective meaning sticky or congealed.
28a Did he solo My Sweet Lord or share playing with e.g. Ringo? (6,8)
GEORGE HARRISON: a semi-all-in-one-clue. The answer is an anagram (playing) of OR SHARE EG RINGO.
2d Reason why some dilettante got ripped? (3-4)
EGO-TRIP: hidden in the clue.
3d When using Dictaphone, put up level (4)
RAZE: a homophone (when using Dictaphone) of a verb to put up.
4d What’s needed to screw tout le monde in French scheme (5,3)
ALLEN KEY: concatenate the English word for ‘tout le monde’, a French word for ‘in’ and a scheme or diagram of explanation.
5d Turn up with medal-winner from south Belvedere (6)
GAZEBO: reverse both a sharp change of direction (turn) and someone given an award.
6d Loathe debt, so ordered set menu (5,1’4)
TABLE D’HÔTE: an anagram (so ordered) of LOATHE DEBT.
7d Flatter schoolboy winning pound (7)
BLUNTER: a fictional schoolboy known as the fat owl contains the abbreviation for a pound sterling.
8d Charm rogue taken in by a supporter twice (11)
ABRACADABRA: a rogue or rotter is held between two occurrences of A and a female support garment.
11d Half-blown fuse to ruin basket in living room (4,7)
COAL SCUTTLE: the first half only of a verb to fuse or intermingle is followed by a verb to ruin (ships or chances, say).
14d 20’s ruler getting loads of grief about Queen? (3,7)
BIG BROTHER: a phrase (3,6) meaning loads of grief or great inconvenience contains the Latin abbreviation for queen.
17d Man told Asian with foot stuck above head where stretchers are? (8)
GYMNASIA: what sounds like a 3-letter male name is followed by ASIAN with its last letter promoted to the front.
19d Plunge one metre into river, not touching bottom (7)
IMMERSE: start with the Roman numeral for one then insert the abbreviation for metre into a river in NW England without its bottom letter.
21d Prefect joins Head of School for PE activity (7)
PILATES: this is not a school prefect but the prefect of Judea around 30 AD. Add the first letter of school.
22d Wise words from this student embarking on ordinary career (6)
ORACLE: insert our usual student into the abbreviation for ordinary and a verb to career or speed.
25d Drop by grave … RIP (4)
TEAR: I tried for some time to make this a triple definition but I think it’s just a double, with the first a drop shed at a funeral and the second a (falsely-capitalised) verb to rip.
My ticks today went to 4d, 21d and 22d. Which one(s) did the business for you?