Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28050
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment **
It’s quite a relief to find the blog up and running this morning – massive thanks to BD for his herculean efforts over the past few days.
I don’t really like giving a puzzle one star for difficulty, because it’s probably a bit dispiriting for anyone who’s struggled with it. However, I don’t feel that I have any alternative today as this is just about the easiest back-pager I can remember. As well as being straightforward I thought that the majority of the puzzle was pretty bland. On the plus side the clues were succinct and most of the surfaces made sense. Do let us know how you fared and what you thought of it.
If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.
1a Sees term out, academic term (8)
SEMESTER – an anagram (out) of SEES TERM.
5a Criminal gang, Italian (6)
BANDIT – a gang or group is followed by the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.
9a Watchful attendant behind old boy (9)
OBSERVANT – an attendant follows the abbreviation for old boy.
11a Slightly reduced, modest object (5)
DEMUR – the definition (object) here is a verb. Remove the final letter (slightly reduced) from an adjective meaning modest or reserved.
12a Page one — vulgar infringement of copyright (6)
PIRACY – string together the abbreviation for page, the Roman numeral for one and an adjective meaning vulgar or titillating. Here’s a clip to revive memories (note that the captain addresses his number two not as Master Bate, but as Master Mate).
13a One feeding ruminants, back together again following separation (8)
REUNITED – a word meaning one or a single thing goes inside (feeding) the reversal of some ruminants.
15a Wild rose experts in train (6,7)
ORIENT EXPRESS – an anagram (wild) of ROSE EXPERTS IN.
18a Accept a less important role and shock bench, perhaps (4,1,4,4)
TAKE A BACK SEAT – reconfigure the answer to get a phrasal verb meaning to shock or surprise (4,5) followed by what a bench is an example of.
22a Choice, but no starter choice (8)
ELECTION – remove the starting letter from a word meaning choice and you have another word meaning choice.
23a Odd story about eastern shellfish (6)
OYSTER – an anagram (odd) of STORY contains the abbreviation for eastern.
26a Male in band gets break (5)
SMASH – insert the abbreviation for male into a band of cloth.
27a Absolve former partner facing single charge (9)
EXONERATE – start with a short word for a former partner and add an adjective meaning single and another word for a charge or price.
28a Latin ruler capturing island brings pleasure (6)
LIKING – the abbreviation for Latin and a male ruler contain the single-letter abbreviation for island.
29a Nurse bringing in coffee for slovenly woman (8)
SLATTERN – insert a type of coffee drink into the abbreviation for a trained nurse. I’m pretty sure that this nursing qualification is no longer used in the UK – where’s Kath when you need an expert?
1d Venomous creature in house? Any number (8)
SCORPION – start with one of the twelve houses in the mumbo-jumbo language of astrology and add the letter used in mathematics to mean any number.
2d Stingy hoarder may cause endless grief (5)
MISER – start with a word for grief or despair and drop its last letter. The clue somehow seems the wrong way round – surely it should be endless grief producing a stingy hoarder?
3d Arab in rush to be admitted to hospital (7)
SARACEN – insert a verb to rush or hurry into the abbreviation for a hospital or convalescent home.
4d Some ordered a mozzarella cheese (4)
EDAM – it’s lurking in the clue.
6d Musical instruction from an eminent Florentine (7)
ANDANTE – AN (from the clue) is followed by the name of Italy’s most eminent poet who was born in Florence.
7d Tea missed abroad? Small cup of coffee provided (9)
DEMITASSE – an anagram (abroad) of TEA MISSED.
8d Verbal onslaught from one stuck in traffic (6)
TIRADE – insert the Roman numeral for one into a verb to traffic or deal.
10d He paints eccentric theatrical type (8)
THESPIAN – an anagram (eccentric) of HE PAINTS.
14d Much less left by Greek character, single (3,5)
LET ALONE – string together the abbreviation for left, the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet and an adjective meaning single or solo.
16d Kind heart unfortunately uninformed (2,3,4)
IN THE DARK – an anagram (unfortunately) of KIND HEART.
17d Ship’s doctor eating last of succulent fish (8)
STURGEON – a ship’s doctor contains the last letter of succulent.
19d Stewed neck, hit in cookhouse (7)
KITCHEN – an anagram (stewed) of NECK HIT.
20d Important bridge player leaving place in Florida (3,4)
KEY WEST – an adjective meaning important or vital is followed by one of the four players sitting round a bridge table.
21d Furtive type in frame after end of review (6)
WEASEL – an artist’s frame follows the end letter of review.
24d Article secured by the old clan chief (5)
THANE – an indefinite article is contained inside THE (from the clue). This is a word known mainly (at least south of the border) from its use in the Scottish play.
25d Bird, female bird of prey (4)
FOWL – the abbreviation for female is followed by a bird of prey.
The clue I liked best was 18a. Which one(s) took the laurels for you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: QUAY + WRING = KEY RING