Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28061
Hints and tips by Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Happy Pi Day!
For our friends across the pond, who write their dates not so much backwards (yy/mm/dd is a perfectly logical and useful format) as inside out, today is 3.14. This is approximately the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter: delicious, irrational, pi (π). Today is a rare Rounded Up Pi Day, since 3.1416 is pi rounded to 4 decimal places. Not to be confused with Pi Approximation Day, 22/7.
Todays blog comes with thanks to Miffypops. I was getting itchy-pawed and in need of something to get my teeth into, so on this very special day he very generously let me have the reins.
Thanks to Rufus, who has given us a puzzle that was not (for me at least) as easy as π. A little more to chew on than average, but it all slipped down in the end and was pretty tasty too.
The definitions are underlined in the clues below. The answers are hidden under the 3.14159 boxes. The exclamation mark is not an imperative – only click if you wish to reveal the answer.
Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought.
1a Skill that was required to bring Egypt’s gift to London? (11)
NEEDLECRAFT: The skill is sewing or embroidery; the supporting cryptic definition could describe the vessel (called the Cleopatra) that was required to transport a massive obelisk from Alexandria to London. It was not a smooth trip
9a Sailor told to go on return watch for missing persons (9)
ABSENTEES: Put together a sailor, a word meaning told to go or posted, and the reversal (on return) of watch or view
10a Quarter past twelve and not a soul to be seen (2,3)
NO ONE: One of the four major divisions of the compass after (past) another way of saying twelve o’clock. (Not midnight – that has too many letters)
11a I shall employ abuse (3-3)
ILL-USE: A contraction of I SHALL (with the apostrophe conveniently dropped as is allowed in crosswordland) followed by a word meaning employ. Three letters of the answer being in the definition slightly marred this for me
12a It’s crazy, using hard and soft drugs together (8)
CRACKPOT: Eccentric, nutty, screwball … Formed of two drugs of different classes (A and B) side by side
13a Going round the world, smashing opportunity for girl to take in (6)
GLOBAL: I like the use of smashing opportunity here. That is a high tennis shot which if not perfectly executed might set up a smash for the opponent. Wrapped around it is a word for girl (for girl to take in)
15a It offers firm support for those who’ve retired (8)
BEDSTEAD: We’re meant to think of a pensioner, but seasoned crossworders will not be fooled: this retiree has simply turned in for the night. We’re looking for a frame supporting a bed
18a They can get hot weather (8)
ELEMENTS: These can be the resistive bits in heaters or kettles that heat up when electric current is passed through. Or the weather or the powers of nature
19a Analyse a sentence with English – one from a Persian religion (6)
PARSEE: A word that gets used a lot on this blog (but don’t get into a discussion on how to pronounce it!) which means to analyse (a sentence, computer code, or a crossword clue). Then add E(nglish) to get a member of a sect of Zoroastrian origin, descended from the Persians and now found in western India
21a Dollars stolen to obtain ammunition (8)
BUCKSHOT: Informal words for dollars and for stolen or illegal placed one after the other
23a Soldier returns to scene of mutiny and neglect (6)
IGNORE: A member of the US military reversed (returns) followed by a sandbank at the mouth of the Thames Estuary, the site of a mutiny in 1797. I don’t know my mutinies and had to look this one up to fully understand my answer
26a Muscles needed to hold mother taking turn for a dance (5)
SAMBA: The short form of some muscles around (holding) a word for mother, all reversed (taking turn)
27a There’s no reason to be so spontaneous (9)
INTUITIVE: Arrived at not by clear reason but more nebulous means. Instinctive
28a Sounds like narrow ocean waters, but don’t be confused (3,8)
SEE STRAIGHT: A clearly stated homophone of a large body of water and a narrow passage. To view clearly
1d Getting closer, wandering in range (7)
NEARING: Our first anagram of the day: it’s of (wandering) IN RANGE
2d It lends support to an artist’s views (5)
EASEL: A gently cryptic definition of an artist’s stand
3d One may paint it, and in a variety of places (9)
LANDSCAPE: A representation of one of these may be created on the above. AND (from the clue) inside (in) an anagram (a variety of) of PLACES. I was slow to notice the anagram and spent a little while trying to justify this as a composite of the first five and last four letters of the answer. D’oh!
4d What you have here, we hear, is for hanging a hammock (4)
CLEW: A word I had to dredge up from somewhere within and then verify in the dictionary. It is one of the chords by which a hammock is suspended, and sounds like one of these: a hint or a tip, a thing that points to the solution
5d Variegated asters do spread (8)
ASSORTED: Anagram (spread) of ASTERS DO. It took a little thought to work out which was the definition and which was the anagram indicator
6d Medicine that may be mixed with gin (5)
TONIC: A medicine that invigorates and strengthens. Or, if gin is your restorative, the aerated quinine water you might take it with
7d Gave patient attention (7)
TREATED: The surface meaning is meant to lead the solver to think of patient as an adjective, but they’re a living being. Attended to medically. I had no idea which of the possible interpretations of the clue was meant to mislead and which was the right one, and this one took me longer than I am prepared to admit
8d Pad or shorten a story? (8)
COMPRESS: A pad to apply pressure to the body or to condense or concentrate (e.g. a story)
14d Finished and arrive exhausted (8)
OVERCOME: Take a word for ceased or at an end and then one that means arrive or reach. The whole means defeated or conquered. The simplest of constructions, but beautifully put together, and it made me smile
16d Girl has an unusual idea of earthly paradise (7-2)
SHANGRI-LA: It’s an anagram (unusual) of GIRL HAS AN
17d I meant to upset? Never! (2,2,4)
AT NO TIME: Another letter scramble (upset) of I MEANT TO
18d Doctor’s poor essay about foreign mission abroad (7)
EMBASSY: Like buses, they come in clusters. A third anagram (poor) of ESSAY surrounds (about) an abbreviation for doctor
20d Always set out for the highest peak (7)
EVEREST: Always or eternally and then an anagram (out) of SET
22d Closes with performing animals (5)
SEALS: Fastens shut or makes tight. The animals are pinnipeds, semi-aquatic marine mammals that have often been made to perform in captivity. I opted for a picture in the wild instead
24d Outstanding old part of building (5)
OWING: The first letter of the answer denotes old; the rest is a part of a building. The whole refers to debt
25d Instruction indicating second thoughts aren’t always best (4)
STET: A written instruction to cancel a correction or deletion on a proof. Indeed, sometimes the original is best
This blog was brought to you by the number π, your Kitty, and the monumental magnanimousness of Miffypops – and all made possible by Big Dave.
My favourite today was 14d. Which one(s) did it for you?
The Quick Crossword pun: INN+OVATIONS=INNOVATIONS
Roger Squires (Rufus) added a comment last Tuesday which some of you may have missed, so I have reproduced it here. BD
I should like to express my belated thanks for all the lovely tweets on my recent 84th birthday – very much appreciated – and, an added delight, a poem by Miffypops! I feel I am very lucky to have my puzzles explained by him with so many interesting photographs etc.
My wife Anna whisked me off for ten days to enjoy the Cotswolds and visits to family in the area,which we thoroughly enjoyed. We were based at a hotel in Stow on the Wold but we covered the whole area – little knowing that Big Dave is based near there. It would have been nice to see him again! I didn’t take my IPad so missed the blogs until we returned home.
So thank you all for making my special day even more special!