Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28095
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on an overcast morning, where we were woken early by the sound of chainsaws and a chipper as one of our neighbours had his cupressus hedge reduced in height.
It’s Friday, so it’s a Giovanni crossword, with his usual trademarks: a bit of church, a bit of classical mythology, and very fair cluing. I found the bottom half easier than the top, and the last few pushed my time up to ***.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Lake in very good Somerset location for fish (8)
PILCHARD – A two-letter word for ‘very good’ or ‘sanctimonious’ and a town in Somerset, placed either side of Lake, giving a sort of fish often found in tins with tomato sauce.
6a Game you set about after drink (6)
HOCKEY – Start with a sort of white wine, then reverse an archaic form of ‘you’.
9a English county accommodating a Scottish football team (6)
HEARTS – A county in the South-East of England wrapped around A (from the clue), giving an Edinburgh football team.
10a One has got on unexpectedly (8)
STOWAWAY – Cryptic definition of an unexpected, and unwanted, passenger on a ship.
11a Provision for the infirm at no cost? That could make one happy-go-lucky (8)
CAREFREE – Split (4,4) we have two words meaning, respectively, ‘provision for the infirm’ and ‘at no cost’.
12a Put down roots in beastly home with the French (6)
SETTLE – The home of Mr Brock the badger followed by a French definite article.
13a Fulfilling certain female role, nice girl had become agitated about boy initially (5-7)
CHILD-BEARING – Anagram (become agitated) of NICE GIRL HAD, wrapped around the first letter of Boy.
16a Man got a lever working, device in physics lab? (12)
GALVANOMETER – Anagram (working) of MAN GOT A LEVER.
19a Like prominent cleric in US university meeting socialist (6)
MITRED – An American university commonly known by its three-letter acronym followed by the colour usually attributed to socialists, giving us a reference to the headgear worn by bishops.
21a Hiding in grass, chief stayed put (8)
REMAINED – A word for chief or principal is inserted into a sort of grass.
23a Rubbery stuff in cake — I only half lick the content (8)
SILICONE – Put I (from the clue) and the first half of LIck into a cake which is traditionally served as part of a cream tea.
24a That is upsetting laymen (6)
NAMELY – Anagram (upsetting) of LAYMEN.
25a Group in the distance at sea (6)
LEAGUE – Double definition: a group of people getting together to push a political view, or to compete in a sporting contest; and a distance of 3 nautical miles
26a Opportunity of seeing around Italy taking time? Don’t think of leaving (3,5)
SIT TIGHT – An abbreviation for Italy and Time placed in side ‘seeing’.
2d Walk about island to the north — mountain top here? (6)
ICECAP – Put together another word for walk, one of the abbreviations for ‘about’ and an abbreviation for Island, then reverse the lot. I wasn’t convinced of the definition here, but it is in Chambers.
3d Sorceress left out of ring (5)
CIRCE – Take the Left out of a ring-shaped geometrical figure, and you get the sorceress who turned Odysseus’ men into swine in the Odyssey.
4d Tries somehow to interrupt a member of the family making pronouncement (9)
ASSERTION – Anagram (somehow) of TRIES, inserted into a phrase (1,3) meaning ‘a member of the family’.
5d Hellish situation — nurse is swell (7)
DISTEND – An alternative name for Pluto, the god of the underworld (and hence a name for the underworld itself), followed by a verb meaning ‘nurse’.
6d Cries when there is fire, first to last (5)
HOOTS – The command given to fire a gun, with the first letter moved to the end.
7d Mad man in church, right type to distract congregation? (9)
CHATTERER – The mad character who had a tea party in Alice, with the abbreviation for the Established Church wrapped around it, followed by Right.
8d See me getting upset, unwell, communicating via computer (8)
EMAILING – Reverse ME (from the clue) and add a word for ‘unwell’.
13d Larking about in underground activity? Nothing right in that (9)
CAVORTING – Put the letter which looks like a zero and a two-letter abbreviation for ‘right’ inside some underground exploration.
14d Unfinished building complex in which to find this person’s café (9)
ESTAMINET – A collection of buildings with its final letter removed is wrapped around ‘this person’s’, giving a French word for a small bar or café (though I suspect it’s not much used in modern French: Jean-Luc may enlighten us).
15d Period after St David’s Day by the sea (8)
MARITIME – One way of writing the date of St David’s Day, followed by a period.
17d Male beast upset at least twenty different animals (7)
MARTENS – Reverse (upset) a male sheep, then add a multiple which must be at least twenty, but could be any number ending in zero.
18d Prosperity that comes with breaking the law (6)
WEALTH – Anagram (breaking) of THE LAW.
20d Party individual — Lorna? (5)
DOONE – The usual crossword party and an individual, put together to form the surname of the eponymous heroine of R D Blackmore’s novel set on Exmoor.
22d William bicycles — feet getting stuck (5)
IAMBI – These metrical feet are hidden (getting stuck) in the clue.
The Quick Crossword pun CARP + ARCS = CAR PARKS