Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25860
Today’s hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
It seems you all like Gazza’s hints and tips, so I’ve twisted his arm and he’s agreed to do two days a week, starting today, and then back on Thursday. I’ve added a few new bits and pieces to The Mine – Birthstones, Roman Numerals and Zodiac Signs – with more in the pipeline. BD
Today’s puzzle is quite interesting and certainly a bit harder than yesterday’s. There’s one clue (24 across) where I’m unable to provide a very satisfactory explanation of the wordplay and I’d be grateful for comments [stop press – mystery now solved – see clue below]
1a Animal – hound perhaps? (6)
There’s a double meaning here – BADGER meaning both an animal and to hound or pester.
4a Spread contains Independent column (8 )
Spread is PLASTER which includes (contains) I(ndependent) to form a word meaning a rectangular column.
9a Skipper’s first joining knots for ships (6)
Skipper’s first is the letter S and this is followed by (joining) LOOPS (knots) to form one-masted sailing boats (a famous one being the title of a song by the Beach Boys).
10a Wire cable (8 )
Double meaning – TELEGRAM.
11a Row with the French getting upset (6)
Row is RANK and this (with) LE (the in French) join together to get a verb meaning to upset, annoy or irritate.
12a Rhythm’s about vintage blues (8 )
The rhythm section of a band are DRUMS. Put this around (about) OLD (vintage) to get a word meaning parts of the ocean where there is no wind to fill the sails so that sailors get bored and listless. Hence the word has acquired the meaning low in spirits or the blues.
14a Broadcast had endured idiot (10)
An anagram (broadcast) of HAD ENDURED to form a dated word meaning idiot (this is the second time we have had this word in the past few days – perhaps it is coming back into fashion?).
18a Turning Labour leader in rebellion (10)
One form of rebellion is DEFECTION. Put L (leading character of Labour) inside (in) it to form a word meaning turning aside.
22a Passes on for strikers (8 )
Another double meaning – passes on means FORWARDS; on the football field such players are referred to these days as strikers.
23a Horse, say, in Lego components creates wonder (6)
A horse as it is referred to (say) by children is a GG. Include this in an anagram (components) of LEGO to form a word meaning stare at with wide-open eyes in wonder.
24a Great wrong embracing maiden (8 ) [clue as on Clued Up]
24a Great Tory leader surrounded by blue (8 ) [clue as in the paper!!]
The answer is IMMORTAL which means great, as in Greek/Roman gods or “les immortels” (the members of the French Academy). The problem lies in the wordplay. “Wrong” would seem to be “immoral”, then we have to find some way of making “maiden” equate to T. Both BigDave and libellule have suggested that maiden is a female model which leads to the Model T Ford, but this is extremely tenuous and I’m sure there’s a better solution. I’d be delighted if someone could provide a better answer… The clue in the paper is much better – T (Tory leader) surrounded by IMMORAL (blue).
25a Returns from Spain – comes home (6)
There is a hidden word (from) inside “Spain – comes” meaning what you earn (returns).
26a Risk bitterness following scrap (8 )
Bitterness is ANGER. Put this after (following) END (scrap, i.e. put an end to) to form a verb meaning to put at risk.
27a Claim sounds like a sure thing (6)
ASSERT means claim and also sounds like “a cert” – something which is bound to win (a sure thing) on the racecourse.
1d Get on highest roller coaster? (8 )
The highest roller coaster in a fairground may well be the BEST RIDE – join the two words together to make a word meaning get on, i.e. mount.
2d Having doctor before going under (8 )
Doctor is a very popular word in cryptic clues. Often it is the trigger word for an anagram, but not in this case; at other times it requires an abbreviation, of which there are many to choose from, e.g. DR, MO, MD, PHD. In this case it’s DR. Having is OWNING, which is preceded by the DR (before) to form a word meaning going under.
3d Frame for climbers? (8 )
Climbers here are not mountaineers but trees or shrubs which are being trained to grow (against a wall, for example). The wooden lattice-work (frame) constructed to do this is an ESPALIER.
5d Harsh exile or ban possibly (10)
This is an anagram (possibly) of EXILE OR BAN to form a word meaning unyielding (harsh).
6d They are made to do penance (6)
To do penance is to make AMENDS.
7d Force to confess, say (6)
The answer is a force which tends to cause something to rotate. So we need a word for confess which, when spoken (say), sounds the same or similar. To talk is to confess secret information, under torture for example, and talk sounds like the answer (especially if you say it the way Jonathan Ross would!).
8d Failure on about delinquent (6)
Failure is a MISS and this follows (on) RE (about) to form a word meaning negligent or delinquent.
13d Characters of the Bard are hackneyed (10)
This is an anagram (characters of) THE BARD ARE to form a word meaning hackneyed, trite, overused (or, in the case of a carpet, worn away) – [not an anagram construct that I can remember seeing before, but it works well BD]
15d Rates and bills (8 )
ACCOUNTS – double meaning.
16d Determine change in dosage (8 )
This is a neat clue involving an anagram (change) of IN DOSAGE to generate a verb meaning what the doctor does (determine) once he or she has ascertained the patient’s symptoms.
17d The inner turmoil is deep-rooted (8 )
We have another anagram (turmoil) of THE INNER to form a word meaning deep-rooted, innate, natural.
19d Post’s cancelled preceding frost (6)
When a football game is cancelled it’s OFF and this comes before (preceding) ICE (frost) to form a word meaning post or position.
20d Proper journalist’s loaded (6)
PRIM (proper) and ED(itor) (journalist) joined together to form a word meaning loaded (as a firearm or bomb would be).
21d Empty pub with topless bird (6)
The answer means empty and is made up of BAR (pub) followed by (with) the name of a small bird (or famous architect) with its initial W omitted (topless).
Please let us know what you think, via the comments. We only learn from the feedback what you think, and whether there are any improvements we can make.