CASSPIR - armoured troop-carrier used in South Africa, capable of resisting attack and landmines. [Anagram of initial clients, South African Police and designers CSIR: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research] First produced in 1980, during the apartheid era, the casspir weighs some 10 tonnes and can carry some 14 passengers.
EIGENGRAU (EYE-gairn-GRAU) - dark light; uniform grey that people report seeing in the absence of light; also called BRAIN GREY. [From German 'own grey'] Genuine blackness is often compensated by the viewer, the brain relaying the 'visual noise' of the lighted world into the void.
Been a while since a Huuh post - as there ten bewildering clues suggest - or at least these clues threw a spanner in my ointment.
All of them hail from the Times, including some historic collections that lack an identifying number. If you can shed any light on these eel-like creations I'd be very grateful.
And feel free, if the muse stirs, to devise your own clues for any of the listed answers. Maybe I'll be able to fathom those! Thanks in advance.
1. Pink belt = KNOCK
2. Leaf disease initially increasing in volume? = FOLIO [Times 11,710]
3. Fighter plane operator repeatedly an associate of thieves = ALI BABA [same puzzle!]
4. Seven-stone pauper? = BEGGARMAN
5. Weight up and down a little bit with fashion = DROP HAMMER
6. Widow, for example, can set tongues wagging = IN VINO VERITAS
7. One has matter in hand? Shilling on tax = ABSCESS [Times 11,630]
8. Prudence given help in training = FORESIGHT
9. Fight round roadblock, initially = SET-TO
10. Made the grade as a priest in ceremony? = COPED
FARDAGE - wooden platform - or absorbent material - placed along a ship's hold in order to keep cargo dry; also DUNNAGE. [Origin unknown] The universal pallet is the contemporary fardage.
BABIRUSA - wild pig of Indonesian forests [From Malay bābī - hog, plus rūsa - deer] With curled turks, the babirusa boars are as hunted for ivory as meat.
OBREPTION - seeking to gain a grant or present by fraudulent means. [From Latin obrepere - to creep up towards] Sadly, in the wake of January fires, some individuals relied on obreption to extort emergency aid.
POOKTRE [PUHK-tree] - the art of tree shaping; arbour sculpture; topiary [The word is blend of Australian artists Peter Cook and Becky Northey] Pooktre germinated in 1987 when gardening pioneer Peter Cook wondered if he could fashion a sapling into a living chair.
OSTRANENIE [aw-STRAH-nuh-nee] - the practice of presenting a common item in a strange way in order to enhance perception of the familiar; defamiliarisation [Coined by Russian literary critic, Viktor Shklovsky, in 1917, after the Russian word for 'strange'] Cryptic clues can heed ostranenie, maing a solver see 'parable' - for example - as something which can be pared.
STRULDBRUG [STRUHLD-bruhg] - a person who can never die but who is destined to be declared dead at the age of 80, and thus persist wretchedly at state expense. [Coined by Jonathan Swift, naming one of a class of inhabitants of the imaginary Luggnagg, in the book Gulliver's Travels (1726)] You can be forgiven for deeming the aged care sector has more than a few struldbrugs in their safekeeping.
UMBRATILE [UM-bruh-tile] - given to staying indoors; keeping in the shade; private, out of the public gaze. [From umbra in Latin - shade or shadow] Given summer's brutal temperatures, is it any wonder most of us turn umbratile?
AKRATIC [ah-KRAT-ic] - Showing weakness of will that leads to acting against your better judgment. [From Greek akretes (powerless), from a- (without) + kratos (power, strength)] As Christmas looms, we can succumb to akratic conduct, from carol-humming to chocolate gluttony.
SK is SLEEK in the extreme, a setter in need of a mainstream place, no question. You can Steve Knight's guile in the weekly WoW threads, as well as his elegrant play-nice puzzles in the Big Issue every third issue.
But until a deserving home can be found, he's always welcome here on DA.com, where this week's crossword puts 2019 in the rearview mirror. I'll be smuggling the challenge in my luggage, taking a break from radio and column duties for a little while. Enjoy the brain-trip.
FOURCHETTE [FOR-chet] - the strip running along glove fingers to connect the front and back panels. [From French: a little fork, from Old French forche , via Latin furca] Owing to its fork root, fourchette can also apply to anatomy, a synonym of wishbone included.
DUNDREARIES - Long sideburns worn with a clean-shaven chin. [Named after character - Lord Dundreary) in the 1858 farce 'Our American Cousin', by UK playwright Tom Taylor.] Male hipsters are as likely to parade dundrearies as sideburns or Ned Kelly beards.
TONGZHI [tong-SHEE] - Chinese word for 'comrade'; a member of any sexual minority group within China. [Literally 'same will' or 'same purpose' in Mandarin.] Since 1990, the LGBTQIA population of Macau has adopted tongzhi from the Communist playbook as their own gesture of solidarity.
CERNUOUS [SUR-nyuh-uhs] - wilting; given to drooping. [From Latin cernuus (bowing)] Dozy TV watchers soon turn cernuous.
BOTHSIDESISM - tendency to treat all policy debates as if opposing sides present equally sound arguments; whataboutism [Neologism generated by Trump's ambivalent response to the violent Unite the Right rally in Virginia, 2017] False balance - ensuring every news story includes a counterview - falls into bothsidesism.
QUAQUAVERSAL [KWAR-ka-VER-suhl] - radiating outwards in all directions from a common centre. [From Latin quāquā in every direction, plus versus towards] Daisy petals - whether 'they love you or not' - are quaquaversal.
FEGHOOT - Humorous story often ending in a pun, or rejigged version of a familiar phrase; a shaggy-dog tale [From sci-fi writer Reginald Bretnor - under his anagram of Grendel Briarton - who developed the format in a series of stories - 'Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot' - from 1956-1973.] Each elaborate tale told by Denis Norden and Frank Muir on 'My Word' was essentially a feghoot.
MALAPHOR - a mangled metaphor, or flawed idiom blend, such as 'spanner in the ointment' or 'that's the way the cookie bounces' [Fusion malapropism + metaphor, attributed to Lawrence Harrison in Washington Post article "Searching for Malaphors" (Aug. 6, 1976).] Finding malaphor examples is not rocket surgery.