Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28273
Hints and tips by a verbose Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good Morning from the beating heart of Downtown LI. The poppy capital of leafy Warwickshire. Unspoilt and unchallenged by earthquakes I was able to walk to the village pond this morning in an effort to emulate the normal Wednesday blogging style and discuss the ducks We have plenty of ducks but no ducklings. We also have large Koi Carp, Terrapins and are overrun with bamboo. A naturally English oasis at its best. Then I walked past Holy Trinity Church which is bedecked as pictured. Now I wonder who thought of doing that?
In an effort to improve my blogs I bought a thesaurus from the pound shop. When I got it home every page was blank. There are no words to describe how angry I am.
Today’s puzzle amused me but did not require outside help or pencils.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Concede new hotel worth it having been rebuilt (5,2,3,5)
THROW IN THE TOWEL: Isn’t IT nice when you get a jumpoutatcha anagram at 1ac. It is even nicer when it is 15 letters long and gives a start letter to 8 of the down clues. As I said it is nice but not challenging. The fodder is NEW HOTEL WORTH IT and the anagram indicators are the words having been rebuilt.
9a Hit back and prune plant (7)
PARSNIP: Reverse (back) a three letter verb meaning to hit sharply and add another verb meaning to prune. This meaning is slightly stretched. Pruning one’s hair with scissors perhaps. The two words together will give a decorative herb used daftly for garnishing or wisely in a delicious white sauce to accompany white fish or gammon. Mnnnn nom nom
10a Offer a lot for sale? (7)
AUCTION: A cryptic definition of a sale where lots are sold to the highest bidder. I often say that is how I obtained Saint Sharon. I also often say that I met her on a bouncy castle. The truth is that I won her in a card game.
11a The Italian politician is narrow-minded (9)
ILLIBERAL: Here we need the Italian word for the followed by a member of a particular political party. The translation is easy if you know it. Not like yesterday’s ES.
12a Give way, leaving space demarcated (4)
CEDE: Here we have a lurker. Lurking away within the letters of the clue, peeping out and daring us to find him. The unusual indicator that there is a hidden word is the word leaving. I like this clue although the definition is far too easy.
13a Sort of music book, one of four (6)
GOSPEL: Heigh Ho. A double definition. A type of music much loved by Miffypops and one of the four books of the bible possibly the one written by me. My father read the bible daily and called his eldest child Matthew. I came next and was named Mark. My little brother Luke followed. Dad died during Mums fourth pregnancy. Mum was not religious at all. Mum named the fourth son after her favourite singer. So there you have it. Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bing.
15a Sinks vessels that carry fuel (8)
SCUTTLES: A double definition. The plural of a word meaning to sink a vessel and a container for solid fossil fuels.
18a Food from the sea not rejected by board (8)
PLANKTON: Anagram (rejected) of NOT placed after a long piece of wood
19a One who calls ‘Double’? (6)
RINGER: A cryptic double definition. One who calls ‘double’ is usually the captain of a bell tower. The clue splits to say ‘Double’?’ This is somebody who closely resembles somebody else. In Racing terms it is a horse or greyhound running under an assumed name usually to gain advantage over the bookies.
22a Power cut? That’s a relief (4)
PHEW: Take the abbreviation for P(ower) and add a verb meaning to cut, not snip. This is a word more suited to the pruning at 9ac. The result is an exclamation expressing a strong reaction of relief, or of disgust at a smell
23a Stag maybe cancelled — scurry along (6,3)
BEETLE OFF: The stag here is a very black insect, the largest of its type in the UK. Add a word meaning cancelled to find a phrase meaning scurry along. I often use the phrase scurry along but never the phrase in the solution to this clue.
26a I get angry about working period (4,3)
IRON AGE: Charade or Lego time. I. Straight from the clue. A noun meaning angry. Not just angry but a violent uncontrolled anger. Wrap the anger around our usual crosswordland two lettered word for working and split it all 3,4 to find a period in time long long ago
27a Girl who’s wet behind the ears, but possibly genuine (7)
INGÉNUE: Anagram (possibly) of GENUINE
28a How James Bond may be like Jaws? (5,2,3,5)
ARMED TO THE TEETH: Having never read one of Ian Flemings novels or seen a James Bond film I found this clue puzzling but that is what checking letters are for. I can see that James Bond might be equipped thus but it is not a clue I like. I hope somebody out there can enlighten me.
1d Excellent garnish for food (7)
TOPPING: A double definition as a garnish for food is there any dafter than 9ac
2d Country sport, with Right and Left divided over answer (5)
RURAL: The sport here is the one mentioned at 5d played by teams of fifteen a side with an egg shaped ball administered by moneygrabbers at Twickenham. We need its initial letters. These are followed by the initial letters of R(ight) and L(eft) separated (divided) by the abbreviation for A(nswer)
3d Breezeblock, when split, may give shelter (9)
WINDBREAK: Split the first word in this clue 6,5 to gain a definition of the solution.
4d Unusual pedantry dismissing DT word for linen (6)
NAPERY: Anagram (unusual) of PEDANTRY minus (dismissing) the letters D and T
5d Top player in rugby pack getting a grip (8)
HEADLOCK: Use a word meaning top as in the top master in a school. Add a Rugby player. Usually a bruiser. A second row forward. Together these words form a wrestling hold often used by second row forwards when welcoming their opposition with a thump. Well that was how it was when I played. All gone now sadly thanks to the yellow card system. When was the last time you enjoyed a mass brawl on a rugby pitch?
6d Mark‘s second (4)
TICK: The symbol used by a teacher to denote a correct answer is also a tiny moment in time
7d Sign of giving up after a few light exercises (5,4)
WHITE FLAG: Anagram (exercises) of A FEW LIGHT
8d They tweet of profits attached to most of range (7)
LINNETS: The plural of profits is added to the shortened word for a range of commercial goods to find these birds who are the nickname for Burscough Football Club. Winners of the Football Association Trophy in 2003.
14d Master too excited, getting such accommodation on board (9)
STATEROOM: Don’t we just love an easy anagram (excited) of MASTER TOO.
16d Drunk getting to grips with a problem feature in American car (4-5)
TAIL LIGHT: Take an informal word meaning drunk, tipsy or inebriated and insert (getting to grips with) the A from the clue and a word meaning problem, possibly with one’s health. This feature is not in the American car. It is on the outside.
17d Gloomy weather’s ending — love the hat! (8)
SOMBRERO: Take an adjective meaning dark or dull in colour or tone ad add the final (ending) letter to the word weather and the letter that denotes the love score in tennis
18d Spice of father welcoming pointless risk (7)
PAPRIKA: Take a four letter childish form for Father and insert (welcoming) the word RISK from the clue minus one of the four points of the compass.
20d Runs free in confusion before quiet jog (7)
REFRESH: Start with the cricketing abbreviation for R(uns) add an anagram (in confusion) of FREE and then add an instruction one might give to silence a child
21d Angle to go round beat regularly — it’s an obsession (6)
FETISH: A verb meaning to angle using a rod and line is placed around the second and fourth letters (regularly) of the word BEAT
24d Cat formerly found around west of Ukraine (5)
OUNCE: This regular crosswordland Snow Leopard can be found by placing an adverb meaning formerly or at some time in the past around the letter found on the eastern side of the word Ukraine the letter on the western side would be the letter E but that is not what is asked for.
25d Plain wicked pinching girl’s rear (4)
BALD: Wrap (pinching) a word meaning wicked around the final (rear) letter of the word girl
Blogged to the soothing sounds of Bob Dylan and only Bob Dylan.
The Quick Crossword pun: sure+tans+wheat=short and sweet