Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28254
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
What is the shortest length of time known to man? Some say the Nanosecond. Some say the length of time it takes the chap behind to beep after traffic lights turn green in France (which is lots faster than a nanosecond) I think it might be length of time it took Big Dave to say yes when I asked if he wanted me to take on today’s blogging duties. After yesterday’s problems with this website I cannot blame him. We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude.
I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle twice over. Once during the solve and again writing the review. There are some lovely clues, some wit and something to make me remember the days before I became orphaned
The hints and tips below may or may not help you to solve or understand today’s puzzle. They are the work of an amateur.
The illustrations may or may not have anything at all to do with clue.>
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8a Plain glass in American wagon (7,8)
PRAIRIE SCHOONER: Plain here is what the large expanses of land in America are called. The places where the buffalo roamed. The massive acreage of land given over to wheat farming. The glass might hold sherry. Together they form a covered wagon used by the 19th-century pioneers in crossing the North Americas. Looking at my illustration I can see where the second word came from
9a For every forward, time must run out (3)
PER: Find a synonym for the word forward (attractive lively or cheeky) which is usually used to describe a young woman and remove the letter T as instructed by the words time must run out
10a I am no tall fizzy party drink (11)
AMONTILLADO: Anagram (fizzy) of I AM NO TALL followed by our usual suspect for a party
11a Compass showing north in storm (5)
RANGE: Place the letter N(orth) inside a storm of anger
12a Like small talk, perhaps? Phoney does, truly (9)
DESULTORY: Anagram (phoney) of DOES TRULY
15a Wise crossing America in a banger? (7)
SAUSAGE: Place a word meaning wise around the initial letters of United States of America
17a Dreary broadcast about tail of urban fox (7)
REYNARD: Anagram (broadcast) of DREARY placed around the final (tail) letter of urban
19a A leading lady in the cinema? (9)
USHERETTE: The lady with the torch who leads you to your seat at the cinema.
20a Singer, for example, appearing in Pisa (a cappella) (5)
ISAAC: A lurker. A word hidden in the clue and indicated by the words appearing in. As usual you can ignore all punctuation in the clue. The singer in this clue is not a singer of songs with a fine voice like Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan. It is Isaac Merritt Singer who was an American inventor, actor, and entrepreneur. He made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. You all knew that didn’t you?
21a Weepy guys seen parting in latest shot (11)
SENTIMENTAL: A word for guys, chaps, blokes or males is placed inside (seen parting) an anagram (shot) of IN LATEST
24a Wife English duke married (3)
WED: The initial letters of the first three words. Why? I do not know. It just is.
25a Unsurpassed wit — foster-father cracks up (2,3,5,5)
OF THE FIRST WATER: Anagram (Cracks up) of WIT FOSTER FATHER. A phrase I have been familiar with for ever as it was how my dear Mother described her engagement ring which was bought for £25 during WW2 from a titled lady
1d Plenty required to support carnival? I agree (4,6)
FAIR ENOUGH: This common phrase can be deduced by using a determiner or pronoun meaning as much or as many as required (plenty). This supports (placed afterwards in a down clue) or holds up a word for a carnival with merry-go-rounds and helter-skelters.
If the above doesn’t help this might.
There was a fairy
His name was Nuff
2d Sophisticated city, Estonia’s capital (6)
URBANE: This word meaning in relating to or characteristic of a city appeared at 15d in yesterday’s puzzle. It needs to be followed by the first (capital) letter of Estonia
3d Back to win against silver medallist (6,4)
SECOND BEST: To back, here, is to support as in a vote or as those in a boxers corner. To win is to get the better of or outwit somebody. Together they describe those who didn’t win but didn’t come third either.
4d Improvised singing from jazz enthusiast following Shaw’s intro? (4)
SCAT: An outdated term for a jazz enthusiast follows the initial letter (intro) of Shaw’s
5d Treacherous conduct in revolting dramatic work (4,4)
FOUL PLAY: A word meaning revolting together with a word meaning a dramatic work in the theatre
6d Woman appearing in upcoming article after article (4)
ANNA: This lady’s name can be derived by using the form of the indefinite article when used before a vowel and then using it again but reversed (upcoming
7d Religious building in earlier year (6)
PRIORY: This small monastery or nunnery can be found by placing an adjective meaning coming before in time and then using The abbreviated form of the word year
8d Pays up for recycling, putting in right kind of paper (7)
PAPYRUS: An anagram (for recycling) of PAYS UP also contains the letter R from the word R(ight)
13d Cover tax trial in Hollywood? (6,4)
SCREEN TEST: This cover is a fixed or movable upright partition used to divide a room, give shelter from draughts, heat, or light, or to provide concealment or privacy. The trial is a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use. Together they make a filmed piece to ascertain whether an actor or actress is suitable for a film role. Sometimes that person just does not want to know.
14d Equal to duck and Thai prawn mixture? (2,1,3,4)
ON A PAR WITH: Begin with the duck. It doesn’t float on a pond. It is a cricket score. Use the letter that looks like this number. Now add an anagram (mixture) of THAI PRAWN. I like this clue it calls up an image of a blissful afternoon in the sun watching a village cricket match eating fine food and drinking champagne
16d Rows follow broadcast showing companies with sky-high charges (8)
AIRLINES: The companies with sky high charges are those who schedule aeroplanes to fly about all over the place making a noise and polluting the atmosphere. Use a word meaning to broadcast and a word meaning rows. Not arguing or propelling boats but neatly arranged like schoolchildren after playtime waiting to go back inside.
18d Drink after Edward’s put over point that settles things (7)
DECIDER: reverse the shortened form of Edward (not Ted. Even shorter) and add a drink made from fermented apple juice.
19d Result of increased dose (6)
UPSHOT: Take a two letter word meaning increase and add a word describing a dose of medicine usually administered by injection
20d Relatives legally separated, initially (2-4)
IN-LAWS: Ones husband’s or ones wife’s relatives. Two words that mean legally and the initial letter of the word separated
22d Pay attention to short statement (4)
NOTE: An easy double definition
23d Long story from chimney-sweep I contacted (4)
EPIC: Our second lurker of the day. Playing hide and seek inside the letters of the clue. The word from should prompt a search for a lurker. Seek and ye shall find.
Phew. Some of these clues were far easier to solve than they were to explain.
The Quick Crossword pun: thyme+stable=times table