Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27928
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Buon giorno da Roma, where we’re spending a very pleasant week in shirtsleeve temperatures. Yesterday we joined what seemed to be half the population of the planet in visiting the Vatican Museum – still well worth it despite the crush. Just by way of a taster, here’s The Creation of the Sun and Moon from the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Is this the origin of the expression ‘mooning’?
Quite a tricky offering from Giovanni this morning, with one word I’d never come across, and some other fairly obscure ones, so definitely *** for difficulty.
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1a Agent, having got round Home Counties, is to be still (6)
REPOSE – Put together a commercial agent, a round letter, and the letters indicating the part of Britain where the Home Counties are.
4a Instrument fixed with insertion of peg (6)
SPINET – Fixed or solidified wrapped around a metal peg, giving an early keyboard instrument.
8a Joining in marriage? Marrying outside church (8)
MATCHING – Another word for marrying or forming a couple, wrapped around an abbreviation for CHurch.
10a Stay in control having brought graduate aboard (6)
REMAIN – Control, as you might a horse, wrapped around the letters after the name of someone with a second Arts degree.
11a Sun is one name for a tabloid (4)
STAR – Double definition: for our overseas readers, the second is the name of a UK tabloid newspaper.
12a Pretty piece of ground? Could be dragons ‘ere (4,6)
ROSE GARDEN – Anagram (could be) of DRAGONS ‘ERE.
13a Cult member to move into area near London maybe (8,4)
COMMUTER BELT – Anagram (move) of CULT MEMBER TO, giving an area around London or any large city where people have to travel into work.
16a After short time get train as an alternative (6,6)
SECOND STRING – A short amount of time, followed by a train, of horses or baggage camels, perhaps.
20a County fellow and charming son no good unfortunately (10)
CORNISHMAN – Anagram (unfortunately) of CHARMIN(g) SON with the Good removed, giving a chap from a county which often regards itself as separated from England by the river Tamar.
21a Sort to do manual work in office? (4)
TYPE – Double definition, the second being what was done on manuals before word processors came along.
22a Father taking part gives word of honour (6)
PAROLE – A short word for father followed by a part on stage.
23a Thought about a boy and what he might be called (8)
REASONED – Put together the Latin word for about or concerning, A (from the clue), a boy child, and a short form of a boy’s name.
24a Material providing end of bed with a covering (6)
DAMASK – The last letter of beD followed by A (from the clue) and a covering for the face.
25a Ridges made of wood seen aboard ship (6)
SPINES – A type of softwood inside the letters denoting the usual crossword ship.
1d Chemist may study this response (8)
REACTION – Double definition: the first is what happens (or not) when two chemicals are brought into contact.
2d Hidden among sheep, a certain sort of horse (5)
PACER – Hidden in the clue.
3d Plant starts to ruin everything in border (7)
SKIRRET – The initial letters of Ruin Everything inside a border or outlying region. This was new word of the week for me, and since I don’t have my BRB with me in Rome I had to bung it in and hope. It’s a sort of root vegetable grown in Tudor times, apparently.
5d Craft of Greek character, unprincipled person (7)
PIROGUE – The Greek letter used in mathematics to denote the relationship of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, followed by an unprincipled person, giving a variety of boat which was originally a dugout canoe.
6d One gets over the line in mathematics (9)
NUMERATOR – Cryptic definition of the top half of a fraction.
7d Bolt secured under top of the stand (6)
TRIVET – The first letter of The followed by a metal fixing which I’m not sure is technically a bolt, but the result is a pot stand.
9d Grand sort of scientist who enjoys visits to restaurants? (11)
GASTRONOMER – An abbreviation for Grand, followed by a scientist who studies heavenly bodies.
14d Male is member of a class that could be fool (9)
MISINFORM – Put together Male, IS (from the clue), and a phrase (2,4) which would indicate that he was a member of a school class.
15d People who photograph fish (8)
SNAPPERS – Double definition: popular name for photographers; and some tropical fish.
17d Money report not initially available — nuts! (7)
CASHEWS – Another word for money followed by the report of an event with its first letter removed.
18d Beaming type in the studio upset students — the French politician (7)
SUNLAMP – Reverse (upset) the initials of the unio0n representing students, then add a form of the definite article in French and the usual crossword politician.
19d Fellow child being looked after is one lacking courage (6)
COWARD – Written (2-4) this could be someone who could be a companion in being looked after by the Court – like Esther, Richard and Ada in Bleak House.
21d Scottish town not accommodating soldiers after upset (5)
TROON – Put the letters denoting soldiers who are not officers inside NOT (from the clue), then reverse the lot.
The Quick Crossword pun BLOOM + HERDER = BLUE MURDER