Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28175
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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Big Dave’s Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good day to one and all. Today’s puzzle is not too testing but just over half of the answers begin with an unchecked first letter which always raises the difficulty level. There are also eight four letter words which are often trickier to solve than longer words where an abundance of checking letters help the job along. 29ac was a bit of a stickler for me until I remembered the late and great Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and the penny dropped
The hints and tips below are my attempt to guide you through this puzzle and cut through the mystery that surrounds the cluing of cryptic crossword puzzles. Definitions are underlined. If you are still bamboozled after reading the hints and tips then click on the greyed out box to reveal the answer.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Pig had trapped tail (6)
SHADOW: A female pig contains (trapped) the word HAD straight from the clue.
4a Soccer player gets the bird for impudent retorts (8)
BACKCHAT: This football player is a defender. He is followed by a type of bird which Google describes as a European Robin
9a Current binder for correspondence (6)
ACCORD: One of two electrical currents is followed by a thin flexible string or rope.
10a Hard to fathom corruption engulfing good man and king (8)
ABSTRUSE: A word meaning corruption (of power perhaps) is placed around (engulfs) our usual canonised good man who is followed by a single letter for King R(ex).
12a Induce the French to go round ancient city (4)
LURE: Place the French word for THE around the usual suspect for ancient city. If you are new to the blog The Usual Suspects can be found under the heading Cryptic Crosswords on this site’s home page.
13a Clergyman inwardly pious? The reverse — a treacherous type (5)
VIPER: Place the shortened form of pious inside a shortened form of clergyman. Reverse the whole lot to find a spiteful or treacherous person.
14a Party back in power for old Scandinavia (4)
ODIN: Another usual suspect and another reversal. This time a word for party is reversed and followed by a word we use to indicate a party in power. A little like the cricketing terms which differentiate between the side batting and the side not batting. [I think the intended definition may actually be “power for old Scandinavia”. BD]
17a You may be well-advised to act on his spot judgment (5,7)
WATER DIVINER: The well in this clue might be dug out. This person points out where to dig using dowsing rods.
20a Thrice curate in turn, a constructive way to make a living (12)
ARCHITECTURE: Anagram (in turn) of THRICE CURATE
23a A London orchestra as well (4)
ALSO: A from the clue and the initials of The London Symphony Orchestra which gives me another chance to play this wonderful piece of music.
24a Previous head of a religious body (5)
PRIOR: Double definition. The second being the head of a house of Friars
25a Leave out large container (4)
SKIP: Another double definition. The large container is often used for rubbish or builders waste and often worth a root-around in.
28a One-time party animal backing words to music (8)
LIBRETTO: The abbreviation for a minor political party is followed by an aquatic mammal which is reversed (backing)
29a Such a means to an end barely contemplated by Hamlet (6)
BODKIN: The means with which Shakespeare’s Hamlet threatened to take his own life when saddened by the death of his sister Ophelia. After all these years this poorly schooled orphan boy can still recite this word for word.
To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great nature’s second course,
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than fly to others that we know not of.
There’s the respect must give us pause:
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The law’s delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
In customary suits of solemn black,
But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
Breathes forth contagion on the world,
And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i’ the adage,
Is sicklied o’er with care,
And all the clouds that lowered o’er our housetops,
With this regard their currents turn wry,
And lose the name of action.
‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
But get thee to a nunnery — go!
30a PM’s diary set out high points of Egyptian tour (8)
PYRAMIDS: Anagram (set out) of PM’S DIARY
31a Retiring worker’s seen in humble dwelling (6)
SHANTY: place one of our regular workers inside an adjective meaning timid or retiring. After all the reversals already seen I did try to reverse the two regular workers but not necessary in this case.
1d Reluctantly accepts criterion that summer has arrived? (8)
SWALLOWS: To reluctantly accept is to half-heartedly believe an unlikely story of the type your reviewer today might tell such as follows. These birds that herald the beginning of summer were flying over my pub last night catching insects and delighting us with their aerobatical prowess. A group of eight or so were clearly playing tig up there high in the sky. Yes tig, just like our kids do on the ground, these birds were playing tig up in the air. A total delight to watch.
2d Bill supported by clergyman is correct (8)
ACCURATE: An abbreviated bill is followed by a clergyman. Not the one at 13 ac. The one with the egg.
3d They enable backward-looking people to progress (4)
OARS: These backward looking people are messing about on the river and these are their means of propulsion
5d E.g. for example? (12)
ABBREVIATION: An example of what E.G. is. We have used them thus far in several clues today.
6d Toy that needs a wind to get going (4)
KITE: This toy needs a wind. Not a wind as in winding up a clockwork toy. A wind as in a breeze or a gale.
7d Possibly Hudson Bay may have come from one of these (6)
HOUNDS: Anagram (possibly) of HUDSON. The Bay refers to the sound one of these may make.
8d He’d ten unusual words to finish a book (3,3)
THE END: Anagram (unusual) of HE’D TEN
11d Not allowed to succeed? (12)
DISINHERITED: A cryptic definition of what one who has been denied a share in the family fortune has been
15d Cornish city organised tour crossing river (5)
TRURO: Anagram (organised) of TOUR around (crossing) R(iver) (Three sets of brackets in one hint which contains only seven words. That reminds me of Schuua. Remember him)?
16d Holy city came about, within century (5)
MECCA: An anagram (about) of CAME and the Roman numeral for one hundred (century)
18d County relatives will supply leather (8)
BUCKSKIN: This ceremonial county in the south east of England is followed by one’s family and relations
19d Armaments open war clashes before end of July (8)
WEAPONRY: Anagram (clashes) of OPEN WAR followed by the last letter (end of) July
21d Ring to summon for service (4,2)
CALL UP: Double definition the second referring to military service.
22d Boris strangely takes a pressurised line (6)
ISOBAR: Anagram (strangely) of BORIS and A
26d Word or sentence (4)
TERM: A double definition. The second might refer to a prison sentence
27d Collectively neither one thing nor the other (4)
BOTH: The answer is used for emphasis to refer to two people or things, regarded and identified together. Or an adverb used before the first of two alternatives to emphasize that the statement being made applies to each
Reviewed to the sweet tones of Van Morrison’s Orangefield High School concert.
The Quick Crossword pun: dire+tribe=diatribe