Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28262
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the Indian summer continues. It was shorts weather yesterday, which is most unusual in November, and it’s looking pretty good for today.
Perhaps it’s just me being on good form today, and I’m sure that there will be some who disagree, but I found this to be the easiest RayT puzzle ever. On first pass I got all but two of the acrosses and then every one of the downs so the whole thing was over in a flash. It did raise a few smiles along the way and I enjoyed it while it lasted so I’ve gone for 4* enjoyment. I’ll be interested to see how you all found it.
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 Break point with return I fancy (12)
INTERRUPTION: Anagram (fancy) of POINT RETURN I. Always nice when 1a goes straight in!
8a Poor American English the French start to speak (7)
USELESS: A charade of the usual two letters for American, E(nglish), the French definite article (but it’s plural) and lastly the first letter (start to) of Speak.
9a Cold look facing certain bankruptcy (7)
CLOSURE: Another charade, this time of C(old), the usual two letter crosswordland word for look and then a word meaning certain. I suspect many will say this has stretched a synonym so far it has snapped.
11a Part of hero is terrific romp (7)
ROISTER: The first lurker of the day is hidden in (part of) hero is terrific.
12a Saw voting system finished British (7)
PROVERB: Abbreviation of a voting system followed by a word meaning finshed or completed and finally B(ritish).
13a Turn over page covered by nude spread (5)
UPEND: P(age) surrounded by (covered) an anagram (spread) of NUDE.
16a … separate detective’s partner talked oddly (9)
DISMANTLE: Separate as in to separate something into its individual components. It’s a phrase which could mean a detective inspector’s partner (3,3) followed by the alternate letters (oddly) of TaLkEd. This is one of the two I missed on first pass but it gives the opportunity for another picture for Kath . . .
19a ‘Mob‘ arousing fear in America initially (5)
MAFIA: First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue. I suppose a purist might say that MOB is doing a bit of double duty as definition and part of the fodder but it works for me.
21a Relatively helpful? (7)
NEPOTIC: A cryptic definition of a word describing someone who favours members of his family above others. This is the other one I missed.
23a Interest in Eastern songs, reworked, Queen covered (7)
ENGROSS: Interest as a verb. It’s an anagram (reworked) of E(astern) and SONGS placed around (covered) an R for Queen. We’ve had covered as a surround indicator already today in 13a – naughty.
24a Quiet before long surrounds northern river (7)
SHANNON: A river in Ireland is a two letter command to “be quiet” followed by a word meaning before long or soon placed around (surrounds) an N(orthern).
25a Speech is over before Budget (7)
ORATION: The cricketing abbreviation of over followed by a word which can mean a budget or allocation.
26a Commanding officer and male crew fix launch (12)
COMMENCEMENT: A charade of the abbreviation of Commanding Officer, M(ale), a word for crew as in some chaps and finally a word meaning to fix in place. Much easier to solve than write a hint for.
1d Quite miserable penning record (7)
ITEMISE: Another lurker, this time hidden in (penning) quite miserable.
2d Managed walk round ends of terrace (7)
TREATED: A word for walk or step around TE (ends of TerracE).
3d Control balance, with drops over time (9)
RESTRAINT: Control here is a noun. It’s a word for the balance as in what’s left followed by some drops of water falling from the sky followed by, over in a down clue, a T(ime).
4d Open a French champagne and party starts (5)
UNCAP: A French indefinite article and then the first letters (starts) of Champagne And Party.
5d Couple with wife very large in volume (7)
TWOSOME: Abbreviation of Wife and two letters for a very large size inserted into a volume or book.
6d Abundant work university provided (7)
OPULENT: The usual crosswordland work followed by U(niversity) and then a word for provided as in loaned or advanced.
7d Badly ruins ground on small habitat (12)
SURROUNDINGS: Anagram (badly) of RUINS GROUND followed by S(mall).
10d Tricky compiler’s given up, except for trapping idiot (12)
EMBARRASSING: How the compiler may refer to himself is reversed (given up in a down clue) followed by a word meaning except for placed around the usual idiot or fool.
15d Worker day after day before in hold (9)
STEVEDORE: This is a worker in who loads and unloads ships. To get him you need to put a D(ay) after a word for the day before and the put that lot inside (in) a word meaning to hold as in to stock.
17d Singer thus performed opera’s intro around piano (7)
SOPRANO: A word for thus (2) followed by a word meaning performed or managed and an O (Opera’s intro) are placed around P(iano).
18d Ally could be one of enemy (7)
ANTONYM: A not very cryptic definition of a word for the relationship between the two words ALLY and ENEMY.
19d Noble fellow pockets silver coin finally (7)
MAGNATE: This word nowadays is usually used for a person of power and rank in industry but historically it meant a great nobleman. Anyway, you need a word for a fellow or friend and insert (pockets) the chemical symbol for silver and an N (coiN finally).
22d Report of gun law (5)
CANON: Church law that sounds like (report of) a large gun.
My favourite was 19a with 20d and 4d on the podium but there’s plenty of good stuff to choose from.
The Quick Crossword pun: eyed+sum+arch=Ides of March