Hi everyone. Today brings us another fun puzzle from Oink with some great surfaces.
I didn’t find it too much of a piglet, but more important is how you found it.
There seems to be rather a lot of funny business going on in the clues. We see a celebrity’s joint in 8a, and the 4d writer’s on heroin (yet the 15d drug dealer is penniless!). Although the stolen goods in 1a were perhaps returned, what with spies, a mafia boss and a traitor present (16a, 19a & 23a) and wickedness overwhelming LA (17d), it’s no wonder the 5d undercover street cop is ill at ease. The litter-dropping in the final clue is very mild by comparison.
There is room too for something saucy (11a) and an affair (6d) – and if you need a drop of the (legal) hard stuff after all that, the Dutch settler has some in his shady garden spot in 18d.
Whew! Thanks Oink!
Definitions are underlined in the clues below. In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics, specified [deletions] are in square brackets, and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER. For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.
As an experiment I’ve used the format I’ve just settled on for some of my other blogs. Let me know what you think, and I will keep, tweak or ditch it accordingly.
1a Maybe saw stolen goods being returned (4)
LOOT (stolen goods) reversed (being returned)
4a Stuff that’s important (8)
8a Celebrity’s joint? It’ll get him high! (8)
STAR’S (celebrity’s) HIP (joint)
9a I’m a leader of Muslims (4)
I‘M A + the first letter of (leader of) Muslims; &lit
10a Daddy having two personal assistants (4)
PA (personal assistant), and then another PA to make two of them
11a Putting on underwear, perhaps — something saucy? (8)
A double definition
12a French article inspiring crew in race (2,4)
LES (French article – a grammatical article) taking in (inspiring) MAN (crew)
14a No room in Parisian street, they say — sorry! (6)
Sounds like (… they say) RUE FULL (no room in Parisian street)
16a Spies act recklessly, ignoring real world (8)
An anagram of (… recklessly) SPIES ACT
18a Henry in cricket club, ready for holiday in Thailand? (4)
H (henry – SI unit of inductance) in BAT (cricket club). Ready = money
19a Mafia boss regularly knocking out champion (4)
Regular letters are removed from (regularly knocking out) ChAmPiOn
20a Trade was moving in direction of China? (8)
TRADE WAS anagrammed (moving)
22a Some blunder towards a dangerous current (8)
Some blUNDER TOWards
23a Pole interrupting traitor in angry speech (4)
N (pole) going inside (interrupting) RAT (traitor)
2d Fury of Republican caught in power failure (7)
R (Republican) caught in OUTAGE (power failure)
3d Immature creature right in middle of molten rock (5)
R (right) in middle of LAVA (molten rock)
4d Who cares if writer’s on heroin? (3)
ME (writer)’s on H (heroin)
5d Undercover street cop ill at ease (3,6)
STREET COP anagrammed (ill at ease)
6d Further publication about affair (7)
RE (about, concerning) + ISSUE (affair)
7d Turkish official elected once more (5)
AGA (Turkish official) + IN (elected)
11d Rebellious daughter insisted on travelling (9)
D (daughter) + INSISTED once anagrammed (on travelling)
13d Seafood sailor has all by himself (7)
AB (sailor) is next to (has) ALONE (all by himself)
15d Introduce penniless drug dealer one November (5,2)
[p]USHER (drug dealer) without P (penniless …) + I (one) + N (November)
17d Killed in wickedness overwhelming Los Angeles (5)
SIN (wickedness) surrounding (overwhelming) LA (Los Angeles)
18d Dutch settler drinking whiskey in shady garden spot (5)
BOER (Dutch settler) taking in (drinking) W (whiskey)
21d Sailor turning on wife who drops litter? (3)
The reversal of (… turning) OS (sailor) on W (wife).
We’ve had to wait for it, but here is the customary porcine reference