Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27616
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where I’m on double time again. Yep, it’s another public holiday in Valencia (Día de la Comunidad Valenciana)!
I thought this a fairly benign puzzle with nothing to really frighten the horses . There are a couple of clues where either I’m missing something or they aren’t quite right. I’ll be interested to see if anyone can explain further.
As usual the ones I liked the most are in blue and the answers are hidden under the ‘click here’ buttons.
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.
2a Explanatory representation of virus a little European contracted (12)
ILLUSTRATIVE: It’s an anagram (representation of) of VIRUS A LITTLE. This is one where I may be missing something. I can’t see what the EUROPEAN CONTRACTED is there for, unless the setter miscounted letters and thought we needed another E in the fodder!
8a Unruffled learner entering river (4)
CALM: Insert L(earner) into a river in East Anglia.
9a Son cutting meals by reforming diet perhaps (8)
ASSEMBLY: An anagram (reforming) of MEALS BY with S(on) inserted (cutting) will give you a diet or parliament.
10a Source of deep delivery? (8)
LIFEBOAT: Delivery as in rescue. What might rescue you if you had an accident at sea.
11a A French expert getting left inside to remove trainer? (6)
UNLACE: The French indefinite article followed by the usual expert with L(eft) inserted (inside) gives something you do to remove your training shoe. Actually I don’t, I just pull ’em off but then I have to do this to get them back on again!
12a Promotion to offer before agitation? (10)
PREFERMENT: A three letter prefix meaning before followed by a word meaning agitation or unrest. This is another where I may be missing something. What’s the TO OFFER all about?
13a Popular colleague one’s given time (6)
INMATE: The usual popular followed by a colleague or friend gives a word for someone serving time in prison.
16a Mischievous damsel finally gets detained (5)
ELFIN: It’s hidden (gets detained) in DAMSEL FINALLY.
17a Shakespearean character‘s staying power (6)
BOTTOM: A word for staying power, which is usually applied to horses, is the Shakespearean character with the donkey’s head.
18a A floating can? (6,4)
PRISON SHIP: A floating version of where the guy in 13a may be serving his time. I spent some time trying to do something with a floating toilet, d’oh!
21a Obstacle about first piece of equipment that’s technologically advanced (2-4)
HI TECH: Take an obstacle or problem and insert (about) an E (first piece of Equipment) and split the result (2-4)
23a Former person in union rung and given praise (8)
EXTOLLED: The usual abbreviation for a former spouse (person in union) followed by a word meaning rung, a bell perhaps.
24a Criminal having anxiety in Germany (8)
GANGSTER: Al Capone was one of these. Insert a word for anxiety or distress into the three letter abbreviation for Germany.
25a Upper-class fool in army group (4)
UNIT: The letter denoting upper class followed by a word for a fool or silly person. No, it’s not ASS for once!
26a I’m opposed to imperial figures? (6,6)
METRIC SYSTEM: Cryptic definition of an alternative to Imperial weights and measures.
1d Artist overlooking seaside feature that’s pointedly offensive (6)
RAPIER: A type of sword is a charade of the usual artist and something you might find in a seaside resort such as Brighton.
2d Tense and suffering blemishes? (9)
IMPERFECT: Double definition. Tense as in past, present, future etc.
3d Work occupying professional, a bourgeois (6)
LABOUR: Hidden in (occupying) PROFESSIONAL A BOURGEOIS.
4d Landmark that’s disturbed by a tourist fleet? (6,2,7)
STATUE OF LIBERTY: Anagram (disturbed) of BY A TOURIST FLEET.
5d Russian mystic artist’s given introduction (8)
RASPUTIN: It’s that artist again (don’t forget the ‘S this time) followed by a phrase (3,2) which could mean given introduction or placed inside. Surprised the setter didn’t make some allusion to the Russian president!
6d Back including ‘monsieur’ in Asian language (5)
TAMIL: A language spoken in parts of India and Sri Lanka is M(onsieur) inserted into (including) a word meaning back or rear.
7d Speed shown briefly by five in Rome? (8)
VELOCITY: This is a term for speed whose single letter abbreviation (shown briefly) the letter for five in Romen numerals. Strictly speaking this isn’t the same as speed. It’s speed in a specified direction but I guess it’s near enough.
14d Gold alone is kept in silence in gloomy place (9)
MAUSOLEUM: Start with a word for silence (3) and insert (kept in) the chemical symbol for gold and a word meaning alone or single.
15d Propose flier in letter (8)
NOMINATE: A talkative bird inserted into a short letter.
16d Time chap’s got upset showing stress? (8)
EMPHATIC: Anagram (upset) of TIME CHAP.
19d Dismissed some tennis in the beginning (6)
OUTSET: A charade of a word for dismissed followed by a part of a tennis match.
20d Peninsula in Russian region lacking sun (6)
IBERIA: Start with a part of northern Russia and remove (lacking) the S(un) from the beginning and you’re left with the European peninsula where I live. Bit of a chestnut methinks!
22d Anxious time in US medical facility (5)
EAGER: A long time inserted into what the Americans call the A & E department of a hospital.
No real stand-outs this week but my favourte is probably 18a.
The Quick Crossword pun: balm+aide=barmaid