Toughie No 2915 by Artix
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***** – Enjoyment ****
Phew – this is a Toughie and no mistake. Many thanks to Artix for the strenuous and enjoyable workout.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Try pharmacists when suffering hangover inevitably following this? (9,5)
CHRISTMAS PARTY: an anagram (when suffering) of TRY PHARMACISTS. It’s only the first of September – isn’t this a bit early?
9a Subtle letter from Makarios our church also embraces (7)
NUANCED: Archbishop Makarios was a Greek Cypriot – start with one of the letters he’d have used and add the abbreviation for the established church in England embraced by a conjunction meaning also.
10a The worst and best of Heston? (3,4)
PIT STOP: stick together an informal word for the worst (4) and an adjective meaning best to get an informal way of referring to a brief rest on a journey, possibly at a Motorway service station.
11a Weakens lines of defence (4)
SAPS: double definition, the second being trenches on a battlefield.
12a Who’s physical defect, a valet and primarily golden accessory? (10)
SCARAMANGA: the whole clue identifies a Bond villain. Assemble a physical defect, A, another word for a valet and the primary letters of golden accessory.
14a Glow enveloping half of rosy start to day (6)
AURORA: a synonym for a glow contains half of the word ‘rosy’.
15a Second sleeve to protect key plant (8)
SALTBUSH: the abbreviation for second and a sleeve that protects an electric cable containing a key on your keyboard.
17a Is losing head in markets for equity (8)
FAIRNESS: Is here is the plural of a Roman numeral. Drop the first letter and insert what remains inside another word for markets as a noun.
18a Fix code of network — one that’s scalable? (6)
MENDIP: join a verb to fix and a code used to identify computers on a network to get a hill in an English range.
21a Foodies writing programs about non-vintage red that was terrible (3,7)
BON VIVANTS: small autonomous programs contain the abbreviation for non-vintage and the name of a 16th century tsar known as the Terrible. Neither the BRB nor Collins has the required abbreviation and I’m not convinced that ‘red’ can be used for a Russian of pre-Soviet times.
22a Turf accountant’s first drink (4)
SODA: a word for a piece of turf and the first letter of accountant.
24a One hears you hit pauper’s sole possession (3-4)
EWE-LAMB: stick together homophones of ‘you’ and a verb to hit. The definition relates to a New Testament parable.
25a Club on the road returns gear for City (7)
CARDIFF: Reverse a UK motorists’ club and add (I think) an abbreviation for different with one of the informal meanings of gear being ‘up to date’. I’m not convinced I’ve got this last bit right so any help from someone with a better knowledge of modern slang would be welcome. Thanks to halcyon for the information that the last four letters stand for differential (a type of gear).
26a Might this supply “A1 new” fish knife material? (9,5)
STAINLESS STEEL: what remains after you’ve applied letters 1-2 and 6-9 of your answer to your answer is AI, N(ew) and a type of fish.
1d Game tennis star loses 6-7 after speed of light ace (7)
CANASTA: knit together the symbol for the speed of light, the abbreviation for ace in card games and the name of an old tennis player known for his tantrums without characters 6-7 of his name.
2d Ravel opera with prominent tango as result of new arrangement (15)
REAPPORTIONMENT: make an anagram (ravel) of OPERA PROMINENT and finish with the letter that tango represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
3d Rifle bag (4)
SACK: double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun.
4d They were in charge of Florence Nightingale’s case, dropping off supplies to hospital (6)
MEDICI: remove the outer letters of Nightingale from a word for what’s supplied to (and by) hospitals to get the name of a powerful ruling family in Florence.
5d DC’s administrator of justice fixing up America for every individual? (8)
SUPERMAN: the character dishing out justice in DC Comics comes from splicing together the reversal of an abbreviation for America, a preposition meaning ‘for each’ and a male individual.
6d Number one of all books I import is “Discovery” by Dirac (10)
ANTIMATTER: combine the first letter of all, some Biblical books, I and a synonym of import or significance. This was ‘discovered’ by Paul Dirac.
7d Pigment which blends Inuit mat colour, say, on type of leather that’s not hard (8,7)
TITANIUM DIOXIDE: start with an anagram (blends) of INUIT MAT and add what sounds like a verb to colour and a type of leather without the abbreviation for hard.
8d Place in frame a little 22, perhaps (6)
SPLASH: insert the street name abbreviation for Place into a type of frame.
13d Paganini’s intoxicated by French perfume (10)
FRANGIPANI: add an anagram (intoxicated) of PAGANINI to the abbreviation for French.
16d Retrain foremost three quarters of 15 in metropolis (8)
ISTANBUL: an anagram (retrain) of the first 6 letters of 15a and IN.
17d Essentially, oafish cabbie and fierce bouncer (6)
FIBBER: the central letters from three words in the clue. The answer (new for me) is the final meaning of bouncer in the BRB.
19d “Returns Only” … “Must End Shortly” (just kidding) (7)
PLAYFUL: a notice of ‘Returns Only’ outside a theatre indicates **** ****. Drop the last letter (must end shortly).
20d Footsie was a public disgrace! (6)
STOCKS: double definition, Footsie being an informal term for the FTSE Index of shares on the London Stock Market.
23d Matchmaker pairs off older Romeos in the end (4)
EROS: extract pairs of letters from the ends of older Romeos.
Top clues for me were 10a, 12a, 22a and 19d. Which one(s) made the grade for you?