OMPETITORS who spent ages getting their VOX POP clue together last month have their work cut out again with BRUHAHA. Happily the grid is a little less challenging than the competition. Not too much needs to be found outside Chambers, but one contemporary politician puts in an appearance, and a memory of an electronics brand from the mid 20th century will help.
13. Musical as of old that’s returned to Broadway location TUNY (ut, rev. + NY) The disguised wordplay here is ‘as of old’ standing for ‘ut2’, and not indicating an obsolete word in the definition.
14. José’s informally clad when in this (prompt, in front of orchestra) CUERPO (cue RPO) Solvers will need to show they’ve fully understood the clue by not entering QUERPO, which is also given in Chambers. The solution is found under ‘en cuerpo’. The anglicised forms ‘in cuerpo’ and ‘in querpo’ are what’s hinted at in the definition, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s abbreviation is given in Chambers.
17. Where stars such as Leo may be seen almost every day DÁIL (dail(y)) Very easy wordplay, but the definition may be a head-scratcher if you haven’t been following the progress of Brexit and other affairs in Dublin under Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
23. Coffee avoided by those trying to give up, frenzied in a way RABIC ((A)rabic(A)) The AA that’s removed is Alcoholics Anonymous. The definition is qualified ‘in a way’ because ‘rabic’ means, of a disease, ‘rabies-like’, and not ‘affected by rabies’, which would be ‘rabid’.
24. Carriage, one protected by soldiers MIEN (I in men) A nice double entendre for ‘carriage’, referring in the definition to one’s bearing.
33. Running leet, sited where it runs and was running BEETLED (anag. in bed) A leet is a millstream or similar channel that runs in its bed, and to beetle also means to run.
2. Fuss BRUHAHA Another challenging comp word to follow January’s VOX POP. It’s not clear where Chambers found this alternative spelling, that isn’t in OED.
4. US party in tart’s place, well away BAKE (Bake(well)) A transatlantic clue combining a US institution with a very British one.
6. Without admission Christian died having gone round in it UNINITIATED (in it in Uniate + d) Solvers may remember Uniate Christians (which Wikipedia notes is considered a pejorative term) from the Christmas comp, where it appeared differently spelt in the solution UNIATS.
21. Firework to get going inside picnic basket? PETARD (tar in ped) Ped1 is a dialect term for a hamper or basket, and tar3, a Shakespearian word meaning to incite. ‘Petard’ is one of those words often used without knowing its meaning, after the line from Hamlet ‘… the enginer / Hoist with his own petard’.
26. The old want former radio company (see name inside) PYNE (n in Pye) Pye radios (though perhaps not their turntables, TVs and record label) can still be found on the shelves as a retro brand.
Across: 1. ABDABS (AB + dabs); 6. UP-TEMPO (anag. + anag.); 11. FREDAINE (anag. in fine); 15. STEINBERGER (e in anag.); 16. RAKU ((bun)raku); 18. MEARD (anag.); 25. HAUL (a in hul(l)); 26. APOCOPATION (poco (It.) + patio, all in an); 30. SYRINX (Syri(a)n + X); 31. LADE (‘laid’); 32. BERLINER (line in berr(y)); 34. DECALS (C in deals).
Down: 1. AFTERGRASS (after grass); 3. ADYTUM ((l)ady tum); 5. SIMIAN (aim, rev., in sin); 7. TRUEMAN (anag. less I); 8. EGER (g in e’er); 9. MARGAY (marg(arine) ay); 10. POPE (2 mngs.); 12. CORDELIERS (lie in C orders); 17. DICONAL (con in dial); 19. ROUNDEL (undé in rol(e)); 20. ABORNE (anag. + E); 22. CHOLIC (H in colic); 28. CIST (anag. less he and on); 29. IDLE ((pa)id le(ss)).