Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27771
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where winter seems to have returned. Cold and raining this morning. Perhaps it’s just me but I’m not sure what to make of this one. It was heading for an easy-peasy one star when suddenly it was a bit like finding speed humps on the M6. Really slowed down towards the end.
Like last time I blogged there are a few rather stretched synonyms so perhaps we have the same setter again. I’m pretty sure it isn’t RayT, who seems to have gone AWOL.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.
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8a Return of Bette Midler netting very little money (4)
DIME: An American ten cent coin is hidden in (netting) Bette Midler but be careful, it’s backwards (return of). Oh well, it’s an excuse for a bit of Bette . . .
9a Rage, showing passion — not feminine! (3)
IRE: A synonym for passion without the F(eminine).
10a Spirited revival of musical capturing dramatic ending (6)
ACTIVE: Reverse (revival of) a Lloyd-Webber musical and insert (capturing) a C (dramatiC ending). Not sure about the answer meaning spirited, Spirited, to me, seems to have a fair bit more oomph about it.
11a Imaginative kind of justice? (6)
POETIC: Justice as in just deserts or fitting retribution. I’ve put this as a double definition but it could easily be a cryptic definition. Seems to work either way.
12a Joy‘s rear reflected in mirror (8)
GLADNESS: You need a word for rear as in stern and reverse it (reflected) and then insert into (in) a word for a mirror like the one Alice went through. This word is in the dictionary but I don’t think it’s one I’ve ever used.
13a Security for motorbike and sidecar? (11,4)
COMBINATION LOCK: Cryptic definition of the piece of kit you would use to secure your motorbike and sidecar. It’s years since I saw one of these. Do people still ride them?
17a Trainee model nude in Times, following Sun (7)
STUDENT: It’s an anagram (model) of NUDE placed between two T(imes) and then all placed after S(un).
20a Dressing, holding coat (8,7)
STICKING PLASTER: A dressing for a small cut perhaps. It’s a word which could mean holding followed by a coat as in something you might coat a wall with.
23a Credit restraining order for actor (3,5)
TOM HANKS: To get the name of a famous actor you need to take an acronym for an order, not OBE the other popular one, and insert it into (restraining) a word of appreciation or credit and then split the result (3,5).
25a To spare first learner abandoning crashed Allegro … (6)
GALORE: To spare as in more than enough or lots. It’s an anagram (crashed) of ALLEGRO but without one of the L’s (first L(earner) abandoning). I remember the Austin Allegro, or All Aggro as it was better known. Here’s one going sideways in a race . . .
Or, if you prefer, here’s Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger
26a … Acura trundled, taking in road avoiding traffic (3,3)
RAT RUN: This side road, usually though a housing estate, which people use to get round traffic jams is hidden in (taking in) the first two words of the clue. Whenever I come across a bit of clue that makes absolutely no sense, like ACURA TRUNDLED, I immediately look for an angram or a hidden word.
27a What might come in main talk (3)
GAS: Double definition, the first is a bit cryptic. For once main isn’t the sea but a pipe which delivers stuff to your house.
28a One’s tender in the same place (4)
IBID: A Latin tag. It’s I (one) followed by a tender.
1d Lover go-go dancing around Italy and Luxembourg (6)
GIGOLO: Lover or toy boy is an anagram (dancing) of GO-GO around the IVR codes for Italy and Luxembourg.
2d Very contorted tree getting support that’s essential to staying upright (8)
VERTEBRA: V(ery) followed by an anagram (contorted) of TREE and then a lady’s support garment. I shall behave with decorum for once!
3d Broadcast excusing arresting Italian, one that should improve the atmosphere (3-12)
AIR CONDITIONING: A word for broadcast (3) followed by a word meaning excusing with IT (Italian) and I (one) inserted (arresting).
4d Massive grave (7)
WEIGHTY: Double definition. Massive as in heavy and grave as in of great import.
5d One looking into past pressure over allegations ‘too corrupt’ (15)
PALAEONTOLOGIST: Start with P(ressure) and follow with an anagram (corrupt) od ALLEGATIONS TOO.
6d An alto can be discordant (6)
ATONAL: Anagram (can be) of AN ALTO.
7d Birds, the ones with possessions in the East End (4)
AVES: The class of vertebrates comprising the birds is also how a Cockney would say the word meaning “the ones with possessions”, as opposed to those without.
14d Caught working fiddle (3)
CON: C(aught) followed by a word for working. The fiddle isn’t a violin.
16d Where Yank may park heap (3)
LOT: Heap as in many or 25a. It’s also where an American might park his car.
18d Deny record’s flawed acoustically (8)
DISCLAIM: A record or CD followed by four letters which aren’t a word but if pronounced would sound like a word meaning flawed or unsound. I don’t like sounds like clues where the homophone isn’t a real word.
19d Warming tale? (3,4)
AGA SAGA: Cryptic definition of a tale about the British middle classes. The label is typically interpreted to refer to “a tale of illicit rumpy-pumpy in the countryside” according to a 2007 article in The Observer.
21d Band‘s implement seized, Spooner exclaims (6)
COHORT: This band is a band of Roman soldiers perhaps. If the Rev Spooner was to say it it would sound like one of your garden implements has been seized or trapped.
22d Insect or bug? (6)
EARWIG: Double definition.
24d Stone‘s hip-hop album cut (4)
OPAL: This gemstone is hidden (cut) in HIP-HOP ALBUM.
Some good stuff here but favourite is 13a for reminding me of rides in the sidecar on the side of a friends bike when I was about 17. Used to scare the bejazus out of me as he’d bought the bike in France so the sidecar was on the wrong side!
The Quick Crossword pun: fission+chips=fish’n’chips