Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28115
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
I don’t attend many football matches, indeed before yesterday you would have to go back to January 1995 (Coventry City 1 – 1 West Bromwich Albion) and before that to 1973 (Coventry City 2 – 1 Everton)to find me watching live football. Yesterday I made the long journey to Manchester to eat fish and chips in the street and watch ten minutes of AFC Bournemouth doing ridiculous warm up exercises involving giant elastic bands, prancing like gazelles and hopping like frogs before being asked to leave my pitch side seat and go home. I did get to return a stray ball to a Bournemouth player. The whole evacuation was done calmly and professionally. All credit to the stadium security and the Manchester Police Force.
Today Rufus has set the bar a little higher than usual. For some reason 7d took me an age to see even with all of its checkers in place. I very nearly reached for a pencil but as usual no artificial aids were required or used. Rufus has also used several stretched double definitions which required the help of checking letters to solve.
The hints and tips below are here to give a nudge if you are having difficulties. Definitions are underlined. If they don’t lead you to the answer then click upon the greyed out box and all will be revealed.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Tie up troops in creating chances of advancement (13)
OPPORTUNITIES: This straightforward anagram is indicated by the word created and the anagram fodder are the words TIE TROOPS UP IN
10a Transport system that’s essential to divers (7)
AIRLINE: This transport system uses aeroplanes. It is also the means of life support for somebody under water
11a This month, everyone is to get ready to work (7)
INSTALL: Use the abbreviation of this month as used in business letters and add a three lettered word meaning everyone
12a A slow mover that may be fired (4)
SLUG: A slang term for a bullet is also a slimy garden creature.
13a They don’t do themselves any good when they come to light (5)
MOTHS: These insects are similar to butterflies and may harm themselves as they fly into the bright lights that they are attracted to.
14a To describe someone thus is hardly fair comment (4)
UGLY: A cryptic definition of somebody who is not pretty.
17a Made provisional arrangements (7)
CATERED: The provisions provisionally provided here are foodstuffs.
18a Work in the dark to get negative results (7)
DEVELOP: What one does in a darkroom to process film. (Not in this digital age we don’t)
19a Moral support (7)
UPRIGHT: A double definition, the second being a vertical support
22a Leave with music playing (7)
ABANDON: Split the answer 1,4,2 to fit the clue
24a Eastern agent gets notice (4)
ESPY: Use the E(astern) and add a secret agent, James Bond maybe.
25a Charming woman but bad speller (5)
WITCH: This member of a coven might use charms and bad spells
26a Capital required, so backed with a pound, nothing more (4)
OSLO: This Scandinavian capital city can be found by reversing (backing) the word SO, adding our usual suspect Latin abbreviation for one pound sterling and then adding the letter that looks like nothing or zero
29a A couple of students entertained by exam topping the rest (7)
TALLEST: Place the letter A from the clue and two of our usual learners inside an exam to find the highest example of something
30a Denied a civil education (3-4)
ILL-BRED: A cryptic definition of somebody badly mannered or rude.
31a Soft-centred? (6-7)
TENDER-HEARTED: Use synonyms of both words in the clue to find a description of somebody having a kind, gentle or sentimental nature.
2d Job seeking (7)
PURSUIT: A double definition
3d Leader of Opposition, jerk, is of concern to the listener (4)
OTIC: Use the first letter (leader) of the word O(pposition) and add a word meaning a jerk or a spasm
4d Tool he’d fashioned, something of use to climbers (7)
TOEHOLD: Anagram (fashioned) of TOOL HE’D
5d Tangled in hedge, sounded like a farm animal (7)
NEIGHED: Anagram (tangled) of IN HEDGE
6d You can catch trout in it, or try (4)
TEST: The name of this trout fishing river is also a type of exam last seen at 29 across
7d Gave Len unusually good news! (7)
EVANGEL: anagram (unusual) of GAVE LEN
8d The full version of Mass (13)
MASSACHUSETTS: The Mass here is the abbreviation of one of the United States
9d Pun, or a charade perhaps (4,4,5)
PLAY UPON WORDS: A double definition of one of the things we find so enjoyable about cryptic crossword puzzles.
15d They’re taken for trips? (5)
DRUGS: Substances taken for their narcotic or stimulant effects, often illegally.
16d Ian follows a number of birds (5)
AVIAN: IAN from the clue is placed after A (also from the clue) and one of the seven Roman Numerals.
20d Rebuff salesman going to one university after another (7)
REPULSE: Our usual suspect for a travelling salesman is followed by the U of U(niversity) and a second university The L(ondon) S(chool) of E(conomics)
21d Pontoon player who cheats? (7)
TWISTER: A double definition the first being one who calls for extra cards whilst playing Pontoon which is also known as twenty ones or Blackjack
22d Assign work to a writer (7)
ASCRIBE: A definition with wordplay. A from the clue and a person who copies out documents, especially one employed to do this before printing was invented.
23d Justify rate (7)
DESERVE: Another clever double definition
27d Quarrel that can be relatively bitter (4)
FEUD: This family quarrel is also known as a vendetta
28d Mumble an insult? (4)
SLUR: and to finish off we have yet another double definition
Overall I found this to contain too many stretched double definitions. Still a pleasant solve though.
The Quick Crossword pun: cop+pea+rite=copyright