Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26412
Hints and tips by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
An excellent Wednesday crossword from Jay today. I enjoyed the solving process and am even more of a fan having written the review. A very nice mix of clues, some nice misleads and some lovely double definitions. I can already see the comments regarding my difficulty rating but that’s how I found it. I just hope you all found it as entertaining as I did. Thanks Jay.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a Device used for inputting ‘B Flat’? (6)
(KEYPAD) – These devices are used on computers, calculators and mobile phones. The B is a hint to the first three letters of the answer and flat to the other three.
4a Can opener call and score? (4,4)
(RING PULL) This type of can opener is found on the top of baked bean cans. A charade of a word meaning to call (on the telephone) and the word a young man might use if he had managed to attract the attentions of a young lady.
9a Unusual thing for artist regularly absorbed by fish (6)
(RARITY) Something valued because it is unusual is made up of the even letters of aRtIsT inside the three-letter name of a type of fish related to a shark.
10a Recruit a master of foxhounds? (8)
(HEADHUNT) People who are recruited in this way are usually those with quite high positions in life. A synonym for master and the term for a group of foxhounds or the chase in which they take part.
12a Experiences a sharp pain in temples, losing heart (8)
(TASTINGS) These sorts of experiences can be of food or even defeat. Take the outside letters of TempleS (losing heart) and insert A and a synonym for a sharp pain, usually experienced with nettles.
13a Sixth sense possessed by Dorothy finds tyrant (6)
(DESPOT) The three letter abbreviation for Extra Sensory Perception inserted into the diminutive form of Dorothy (think Eastenders!)
15a To change once drilled is badly thought out (3-10)
(ILL-CONSIDERED) Today’s first anagram (to change) ONCE DRILLED IS produces a word meaning badly planned or thought out.
18a To make sense, it shuffles and procrastinates (5,4,4)
(TAKES ONE’S TIME) To me the expression in the solution is not quite as strong as procrastination (putting something off) but more not rushing to complete something. An anagram (shuffles) of TO MAKE SENSE IT produces the correct phrase.
22a Make good progress at first, protected by soldiers’ aura (6)
(REPAIR) The good old Royal Engineers are back – take their abbreviation, add a P (progress at first) and then another word for aura to produce a word meaning to mend or make good.
24a A heavy blow for a manufacturer of grass? (8)
(HAYMAKER) A nice double definition – someone who mows grass and then dries it, or a wild swinging boxing punch.
26a Half-decent bars provide lights etc (8)
(ENTRAILS) A charade of the second half of the word decENT and the sort of bars that form a fence – the whole is another word for the internal organs of an animal – lights being the lungs. Sorry vegetarians – but I had to explain the clue.
27a Look back into American Indian form of cooking (6)
(CREOLE) The American Indians are one of the largest Native American populations in the USA, insert OL (look back) into their name – this cooking is famous in the US Gulf States being a mixture of French, West Indian and Latin American foods.
28a Possible requirement for getting into Oxford? (8)
(SHOEHORN) A nice mislead here – spent a while trying to find an eight letter word to do with scholarships. These Oxfords are a type of footwear and if they were hard to get on you might use this tool.
29a Colourful tree needing cunning protection (6)
(FLASHY) – Colourful in the sense of smart and showy – insert a three letter tree into a synonym for cunning.
1d Combat a charge to support king (6)
(KARATE) A type of unarmed combat using blows and kicks – K (king) followed by A and a synonym for a fixed price or charge.
2d Measure of the Met’s credit? (9)
(YARDSTICK) With all this snow, we can be forgiven for first thinking of the Meteorological Office here – what we actually need is the HQ of the London Police Force and the ‘S followed by a colloquial term for credit.
3d Pile of earth left by workers? (3-4)
(ANT-HILL) Crosswordland’s second favourite workers would produce this sort of pile of earth to make their home.
5d What cake could be made cold? (4)
(ICED) Another lovely double definition – particularly for the blogger who had just ‘skated’ her way to work. Cakes can be this and if you put something outside today it would soon become this!
6d His finish is a stroke of luck (7)
(GODSEND) You need to take notice of the capital H here and its religious significance, then add another word for finish. – this stroke of luck is someone or something that is unexpected but very welcome.
7d America ahead — about right to take over (5)
(USURP) the abbreviation for the United States, followed by an adverb meaning at a higher position with R for right inserted (about). This sort of takeover is usually done with force and unjustly.
8d Scope given for student with insolent manner to be heard (8)
(LATITUDE) the abbreviation for a learner followed by a homophone of a synonym for a hostile or resentful manner. Here scope means freedom of action or choice.
11d A place for football on the rocks (7)
(AGROUND) Where football is played or what a ship would be if it was stranded on rocks.
14d Normally a suspect starts to unwind after lunch (2,5)
(AS USUAL) a charade of A plus a shortened version of SUSpect and then the initial letters (starts) of Unwind, After and Lunch – despite the snow, here at this blog business continues ‘normally’.
16d Rates for sailor after organising free links (4,5)
(REEF KNOTS) The links here are used by sailors and others to join ropes. An anagram (organising) of FREE followed by the definition of rates here is the speed of ships (rates for sailors).
17d People looking outside front of kennels wearing nothing (8)
(STARKERS) People who look in what would be considered a rude manner with the first letter of Kennels inserted. A colloquial adjective meaning having no clothes on.
19d Vegetable that’s a bit crisp in a chutney (7)
(SPINACH) My most hated vegetable is hidden inside criSP IN A CHutney.
20d Living forever without source of tension is wrong (7)
(IMMORAL) Remove the first letter of Tension from an adjective meaning to live forever to produce a synonym for bad or evil.
21d Life support vessel (6)
(ARTERY) Without this blood vessel carrying oxygenated blood, your life would not be supported!
23d Finally go, after a tip off from the terrace (5)
(PATIO) This terrace is an open paved area beside a house. An anagram (off) of A TIP and the last letter (finally) of gO.
25d A slight sign of drinking too much? (4)
(SLUR) If you were drunk you might produce your words indistinctly in this manner. The second part of this double definition is a disparaging remark intended to damage a reputation.
I liked lots of these clues today. My particular favourites are 13a, 24a and 2d with my top billing going to 28a. Do let me know if you agree. Back to the day job now for a couple of hours until, hopefully, they send us home because of the bad weather.