Sunday Toughie No 20 by proXimal
Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee
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After Friday’s relatively easy X less pangram, I was expecting a sterner test today, and boy did I get it. This took at least 3 times longer than Friday’s proXimal most of it spent staring at answers and reverse parsing them. I admit that the first word of 9a remains unparsed. I can explain the head part, but is he a twin or just a bad chef. Over to your good selves to help out. Anyway, this blog isn’t going to write itself so here goes…
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! I think that sentence is a bit redundant. You have all been so helpful in sorting out prior failures of parsing and I am sure I will need similar help again.
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.
7a Write account with one engulfed by many approvals (14)
These approvals are written, starting with the act or creator of writing, a savings account that allows savings to accrue tax-free, and the letter that looks like one, engulfed by a synonym of many.
13a Presenting teacher afraid of forgetting article (10)
I present to you an abbreviated university teacher, and a synonym of afraid that has lost its indefinite article.
17a Vengeance by a revolutionary infiltrating group (7)
Revolve the two little words and infiltrate them into a group of hounds perhaps.
20a This writer had regularly discarded clues not working (4)
How the writer might contract I had, and what is left of clues after regular letters have been discarded.
21a Throb with marks being tender once (5,5)
A throb in the temples when one is struggling to parse something perhaps, and the marks you make on paper to help remind you of things ceased to be legal tender on the 11th March 1988.
25a Saving wine depleted after editor’s abandoned working (10)
A wine of a particular colour and a synonym of depleted abandons its terminal ed and attaches itself to a synonym of working.
28a Repaired a cut lip, covering wound with one of medicinal preparations (14)
Another wound or injury and the one from a deck of cards goes in (covering)an anagram (repaired) of the first injury in the clue.
1d Nettle with grains male put in party dish (7,3,4)
My first thought when I saw this was who would serve this at a party, but I recall that the disgraced author/politician Jeffrey Archer was known for his parties, where Shepherd’s Pie and Krug Champagne were the order of the day. In this clue, party is not part of the definition as we need it to go around the rest of the wordplay. A synonym of nettle, as in to irritate a lot. the grains you may find on a beach and the letter suggested by male, all go in the colloquial party.
3d Half of capital raised for one (4)
My first thought was ‘I am only raising a quarter of this Scandinavian capital’, but as it is a down clue. half raised can also mean reverse the first half, so I did.
5d Straight-faced comic with vanishing act amazingly visionary (3-7)
An extraction anagram, the first two words are anagrammed (comic) after act has vanished. Amazingly could be part of the definition, but I think I need to use it to indicate that act is not extracted whole from the fodder.
8d Under no circumstances con everyone (3,3,3,5)
Con here indicates against as in against the proposal in a debate perhaps, that produces the first two words of the answer. Everyone indicates the entire planetary population. The whole is something that shows there are no circumstances by which you could be persuaded to undertake a task.
14d Fabrication engineers picked up drilled building material (10)
A fabrication or lie, the Royal Engineers and a homonym of a synonym of drilled create a building material.
15d English lark above duck in low flight path (6,4)
Quite a bit of lego is required here. Start with E for English and a synonym for feeling low, insert a lark or spree and the letter that duck represents in cricket. Flight makes me think of an airborne route but it is just a way to flee danger when brakes fail on a steep descent perhaps.
I am due to give another hint to reach the half-hint target I aim for but I will credit you with the ability to mark your own efforts at 27d, you need to recall the number you use to access your cash at an ATM for 22d and the first word of 19d is the definition, while the last is the definition in 26d. Check your spelling competitions for 23a and the “family” man in 24a probably drinks 6d whilst he puts a horse’s head in your bed.
Today’s music is a different interpretation of a Bob Marley Classic.
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