Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28112
Hints and tips by pommers
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather has resumed normal service after a few days of cold and wet, while it’s been hot and sunny in the UK. Pommette picked a very good weekend to visit her mother!
I’m pretty sure this is a RayT if only for the slightly stretched synonyms and some cleverly concealed definitions. I quite like stretching the synonyms as it makes you think a bit laterally but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I thought it was a fair bit trickier than his recent puzzles but perhaps that’s just me. It will be interesting to hear what you all make of it. I also thought the whole thing brilliant and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever gone to five stars for enjoyment!
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. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a Need to conserve money showing frugality (10)
ABSTINENCE: You need another word for need, as in lack of, and insert a word for money (3) that is only used in crosswords as far as I can see.
9a Precipitate invasion seizing power (5)
RAPID: An invasion, or at least an incursion into someone’s territory, has P(ower) inserted (seizing).
10a Primitive arrow found by fire, unfinished (9)
BARBAROUS: An arrow is followed by (found by) a word meaning fire or excite without its last letter (unfinished).
12a Bird‘s back in Sun a lot, routinely (7)
ORTOLAN: This isn’t a page 3 bird but is a bird of the bunting family. It’s found all over Europe but is only an uncommon vagrant in the spring and autumn in the UK. Anyway, enough of the ornithology, this bird is hidden in SUN A LOT ROUTINELY but it’s reversed (back in). It’s considered a delicacy in France and treated in a rather disgusting fashion which, fortunately, is now illegal.
13a Basket for catch caught with tackle (5)
CREEL: This is a basket into which an angler might put his catch. It’s also C(aught) followed by a piece of his fishing tackle.
15a Forcibly gets former partner to right wrongs finally (7)
EXTORTS: The usual former partner followed
a legal term for some wrongs. I’m not sure what ‘to right’ brings to this party but perhaps someone will have an idea. by TO (from the clue), the two letter abbreviation for right and then S (wrongS finally). Thanks to Dutch and Jose for spotting this one.
16a Nearly reach canyon’s limit (7)
COMPASS: This is limit as in range or scope. It’s a word for reach or arrive without it’s last letter (nearly) followed by another word for a canyon or col. I thought canyon was stretching it a bit but it is in my thesaurus as a synonym of the word you need so who am I to argue?
18a Putting stopper in crack (7)
CORKING: Double definition. Crack as in very good and also putting the stopper into a bottle of wine.
20a French love following Germany’s leader’s allure (7)
GLAMOUR: The French word for love, don’t forget the definite article, goes after (following) the first letter of Germany (leader).
21a Animals creep audibly (5)
FAUNA: The generic term for animal life as opposed to vegetable is the answer. It sounds like (audibly) a creep or someone very obsequious.
23a Cracking Queen finale (7)
RENDING: We had crack meaning very good in 18a and the surface here makes you think it’s very good again but this time it’s cracking as in splitting. It’s the one letter abbreviation for Queen followed by a finale.
25a European bank reversed charge, creating stress (9)
REITERATE: You need E(uropean) and a bank, of seats in a theatre perhaps, and reverse it all as it says in the clue. Then you need a word for charge as in a tradesman’s hourly charge.
26a Especially lucky individuals, terribly exclusive at first (5)
ELITE: It’s the first letters (at first) of the other five words in the clue.
27a Embracing sweetheart the man would notice (4)
HEED: Sweetheart here isn’t your girlfriend but is the heart of the word sweet, i.e. the letter E. Around it (embracing) you need a short way of saying ‘the man would’.
28a Light, with hourglass figures, including the French (10)
WEIGHTLESS: This is so light as to not register at all on your kitchen scales. You need the abbreviation for ‘with’ followed by some numbers (figures) which have the shape of an hourglass and then inset the French definite article (but it’s plural).
1d Piece of sacred land? (4)
ACRE: This area of land is hidden in (piece of) the word SACRED.
2d Stand a couple of drinks (9)
SUPPORTER: You need two words for drink. The first is a common crosswordland word meaning ‘to drink’ and the second is a dark sweet ale brewed from black malt
3d Comically entertained? I’m not sure (13)
INDETERMINATE: An anagram (comically) of ENTERTAINED IM.
4d Preserves made by English doctor with charity help (7)
EMBALMS: A word meaning preserves a dead body is a charade of E(nglish), one of the usual two letter doctors and then some charitable donations of money or goods to the poor. I’ll not bother with a picture for this one if you don’t mind!
5d Zero resistance put up in elegant pants (7)
CHRONIC: For once pants isn’t an anagram indicator, it’s the definition, as in very bad or rubbish. You need a two letter word for zero and the letter for electrical resistance and reverse them (put up in a down clue). Around this (in)you need a word, of French origin, meaning elegant or fashionable.
8d Club certain to accommodate large outing (10)
DISCLOSURE: Not outing as in a day trip but as is revealing. It’s a sort of club where you might dance the night away (5) and a word meaning certain (4) into which is inserted (to accommodate) an L(arge).
11d Backing account, criticise one in remark (13)
ACCOMPANIMENT: For once backing isn’t a reversal indicator, it’s the definition! Start with the usual account (2) followed by a remark. Into this you need to insert a word meaning criticise and I (one). Hands up those who, like me, first thought that backing account was meant to clue the letters CA.
14d The French corruptly taking over from now on (10)
HENCEFORTH: Another unusual use of a common crosswordland device. ‘The French’ isn’t LE, LA or LES but it’s anagram fodder! You need the anagram (corruptly) of THE FRENCH and insert (taking) an O(ver).
17d Next to godliness, practically converted by American initially (9)
ALONGSIDE: Take the last letter off (practically) GODLINES(s) and anagram what’s left (converted). Then you need to put the one letter abbreviation for American at the start (initially)
19d Refuse starter with breakfast in service station (7)
GARBAGE: Not saying no but rubbish. Put the first letter (starter) of Breakfast into where you might get your car fixed or fueled.
20d Herbal remedy gives new endless drive in performance (7)
GINSENG: Start with a performance, of a rock band perhaps. Into this you need to insert (in) N(ew) and a word for drive or propel without its last letter (endless).
22d Posh evening reported for couple (5)
UNITE: Couple as a verb, stop sniggering you lot!. The usual letter for posh followed by four letters which aren’t a word but when pronounced sound like (reported) the part of the day which starts with evening and continues until the following morning.
24d Charges iron elements’ external points (4)
FEES: The chemical symbol for iron followed by the first and last letters (external points) of ElementS.
A lot of blue today but favourite for me was 14d with 5d, 11d and 12a fighting for the other steps on the podium.
The Quick Crossword pun: peace+suck+ache=piece of cake