Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28272
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment **
Good morning everyone. I found this crossword hard going at first, to the point where I was starting to wonder whether climbing into the blogging chair was a mistake. Fortunately, the letters gradually started to fall into place and I got there in the end with a couple of trips to the electronic BRB. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t find a lot of smiles in the solve, but that may well be a wavelength thing.
Something that has amused me, however, is considering whether the repetitions of answers (e.g. TUTORIAL) we saw last week could be random. That coincidences are more common than might be expected is shown by the Birthday Paradox: a group need contain only 23 members for the probability of a shared birthday to reach 50%. I’ve been looking at the past 15 years of Telegraph Cryptics so that I can repeat this calculation for crossword answers. Instead of 366 possible birthdays one finds that there are 48,886 possible answers, which turns out to give a 50% chance of a repeat after only 260 clues, or roughly every 9 days. That surprised me. This all assumes that every answer is equally likely, which the data shows is most definitely not the case. I hope to post some of that data later today. In the meantime, I invite you to speculate, if you wish, on the most common answers used in back pagers since 2001.
In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons. If you’re already seeing the answers uncovered, click http://bigdave44.com/2016/11/15/dt-28272/ or type that link into the address box of your browser.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Winning deputy, good and respectable (10)
UPSTANDING: A charade of a short word for winning (e.g. ** 1-0), a deputy or a replacement, and G(ood).
6a Struggle with scene (4)
VIEW: A short word meaning struggle followed by the abbreviation for with.
9a In love, you and me after a second run out (7)
AMOROUS: Another charade: A from the clue, a short time (possibly a second), cricket’s abbreviation for “run out”, and a word for you and me.
10a Judge arrives carrying grip (7)
ARBITER: The timetable abbreviation for arrives encloses a type of grip (perhaps one involving teeth).
12a Hi-tech duo’s ATM fiddling shows a gift for making money (3,5,5)
THE MIDAS TOUCH: Anagram (fiddling) of HI TECH DUOS ATM.
14a Pack in place in Kent (8)
SANDWICH: Double definition. Pack as in squash or squeeze.
15a Create and settle differences (4,2)
MAKE UP: Another double definition.
17a Grounds of Parisian art gallery (6)
ESTATE: Parisian art here indicates a French form of the verb “to be”. Follow it with a well-known London art gallery. Thanks, Big Dave, for the French language section of the Mine.
19a Endless sex entertaining a jolly foreign policeman (8)
GENDARME: A word for one’s sex minus its last letter (endless) encloses (entertaining) A from the clue and a two-letter abbreviation for the soldier known colloquially as a jolly.
21a Pedant tense? No, it’s I, corrected (13)
PERFECTIONIST: A grammatical tense (the really, really, good one) followed by an anagram (corrected) of NO ITS I.
24a Time to walk like a duck? Nonsense (7)
TWADDLE: Follow a one letter abbreviation for time with the gait of a duck.
25a One could upset speaker — he upset clerk (7)
HECKLER: HE from the clue followed by an anagram (upset) of CLERK.
26a Pull domesticated ox round rear of barn (4)
YANK: A three-letter ox surrounding (round) the last letter (rear) of BARN.
27a Opera company’s manager breaking a promise to tour Rhode Island (10)
IMPRESARIO: An anagram (breaking) of A PROMISE contains (to tour) the two-letter abbreviation for Rhode Island.
1d Code name — ‘Omaha’ — Turing covers up (4)
UTAH: Lurking reversed (covers up in a down clue) inside the clue. The answer was a code name for one of the D-Day landing beaches. (Thank you, Mr. Google).
2d Prune others growing wild, indefinite number (7)
SHORTEN: Anagram (growing wild) of OTHERS followed by a letter often used to stand for a mathematical unknown.
3d Desperate to know how to proceed and make amends, put cards in post (2,4,4,3)
AT ONE’S WIT’S END: Start with a five-letter word meaning make amends. Follow it with a verb meaning post (e.g., a letter) that encloses some people who might be described as cards. Divide as shown in the clue enumeration.
4d Plain individual (8)
DISTINCT: Double definition. Plain as in clear or obvious.
5d Antelope present in many a land (5)
NYALA: Hidden inside the clue.
7d Elected head of trustees, impolite to butt in (7)
INTRUDE: Concatenate a short word that could mean elected, the first letter (head) of TRUSTEES, and a synonym for impolite.
8d Almost get the better of more fashionable one seen in church (10)
WORSHIPPER: Drop the last letter (almost) of a five-letter word meaning get the better of, then attach a comparative adjective meaning more fashionable or more trendy.
11d Various small things of interest to a coin collector? (4,3,6)
BITS AND PIECES: Cryptic definition of two types of coin.
13d Form of treatment that may be shown in photo, as yet to be developed (10)
OSTEOPATHY: Anagram (to be developed) of PHOTO AS YET.
16d Pour alcoholic drink, drowning insect (2,6)
BE MOTHER: An alcoholic drink contains (drowning) an insect renowned for being attracted to flames. I would have had no idea how to parse this clue if I hadn’t read Gazza’s recent Toughie blog. Thanks, Gazza.
18d Blunder among reserves in ground (7)
TERRAIN: A short verb meaning blunder inside (among) a military reserve force, followed by the IN from the clue.
20d Unnerve leader of ramble, pointing to snake (7)
RATTLER: Follow a verb meaning unnerve with the first letter (leader) of RAMBLE to get an informal name for a snake found in the Americas.
22d Hard to penetrate word for unit of heat (5)
THERM: The abbreviation for hard (e.g. on a pencil) is put inside (to penetrate) another word for a word.
23d Close to body dropping temperature (2,2)
OR SO: Remove (dropping) the one letter abbreviation for temperature from the central region of the human body.
In the favourite stakes, I have 16d in second place with the title going to 17a (although I do suspect that clue may be a chestnut for the experienced solvers. Time to sift through those 48, 886 answers and check).
Which clue was your favourite?
Quickie pun: BARQUE + SHEER = BERKSHIRE