Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28278
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment **
Good morning everyone. I am typing this hoping that BD has finally repelled those who would deny us service and feeling very grateful to him for the massive effort he puts into keeping this site running. Today’s crossword is the type that I enjoyed when starting out, offering us straightforward examples of most of the standard clue types. For those who found it insufficiently challenging I have it on very good authority that today’s Toughie is not, so you might consider a visit to the other side. There is one clue today that I can’t fully parse. After looking at it long and hard I believe it’s an error, so either it will have been updated by the time this blog appears or I will be feeling very foolish all day.
Last week I mentioned that the question “Are the repeated answers seen in crosswords separated by a short time just random coincidence” provided the motivation to get 15 years’ worth of back pagers into computer-searchable form. In addition to providing data and statistics about repeated answers, that database also reveals some interesting facts about clues which I may inflict on you in the future. For example, we now know the longest clue used on the back page (and it proves Miffypops right – when it comes to clues, longer does not mean better). Returning to the coincidence question, the short answer is that there are about 20% fewer repeats within a week than would be expected if answer selection was random. Perhaps an indication that editors and/or setters sometimes make adjustments to avoid closely-spaced repetitions? If you want the long answer with details of the analysis and a graph you’ll find it beneath the following spoiler box.
Since topical words (such as STURGEON) have periods of popularity that are clearly not random, only the 1000 most repeated words were considered. They are all common terms which have appeared in a back page puzzle more than 20 times over the past 15 years. For each word the intervals between successive appearances were found. Those 1000 lists of intervals were combined and then plotted as a histogram (the orange bars in the graph below). The same procedure was applied to many groups of 30 clues selected at random from all answers used in the past 15 years. That’s the set of purple bars. While the data from the real crosswords is close to the “data” from of the sets of clues drawn at random, the real crosswords exhibit fewer repeat appearances than the random model for repeat intervals up a few weeks.
In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the Click Here! buttons. If you’re already seeing the answers uncovered, click http://bigdave44.com/2016/11/22/dt-28278/ or type that link into the address box of your browser.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a I am meeting criminal person I’d put behind bars (10)
IMPRISONED: The contracted form of I am followed by an anagram (criminal) of PERSON ID.
6a Female with diary to sell (4)
FLOG: F(emale) with a type of daily record.
9a Holed in one around start of tournament? Player did it (5)
ACTED: A word meaning holed in one on the golf course enclosing (around) the first letter of (start of) Tournament.
10a Fine tonic cured disease (9)
INFECTION: Anagram (cured) of FINE TONIC.
12a Lace — it’s unusually stretchy (7)
ELASTIC: Anagram (unusually) of LACE ITS.
13a Anxious period in American hospital department (5)
EAGER: A three-letter period of time inside the American equivalent of A&E.
15a Snubbed westbound US soldier on retreating, blushing (7)
IGNORED: Combine the reversal (westbound) of a US infantryman, the reversal (retreating) of ON, and the colour associated with blushing.
17a Man determined to secure right type of vehicle (7)
SERVANT: A three-letter word meaning determined contains (to secure) the abbreviation for right and a vehicle that is often seen in white.
19a Poaches fish with leeks, regularly chopped (7)
Revised online version: Poaches fish — add leeks, regularly chopped (7)
CODDLES: Start by following a well-known fish with the odd letters (regularly chopped) of LeEkS. That recipe left me a letter short and wondering if the clue should have read something like “Poaches fish with Dutch leeks, regularly chopped (7)”.
The online version had now been revised to take the even letters (regularly chopped) of aDd LeEkS – BD
21a Storm‘s too darn wild (7)
TORNADO: Anagram (wild) of TOO DARN.
22a Reluctant to forget a short bit of the Bible (5)
VERSE: A word meaning reluctant minus (to forget) the A from the clue.
24a Perhaps lead part (7)
ELEMENT: Double definition. The part is a component or an ingredient.
27a The Queen returns with gift to exhibit (9)
REPRESENT: Reverse (returns) the usual two-letter abbreviation for the Queen and append a gift.
28a Thread in skirt hem entangles (5)
THEME: Hidden in (in) the clue.
29a Herb could make daughter poorly (4)
DILL: Single-letter abbreviation for daughter followed by a word meaning poorly.
30a Kind author that has characters making an impression (10)
TYPEWRITER: Join synonyms for kind and for author to get a device, now old-fashioned, that impresses characters upon the page.
1d Country one governed (4)
IRAN: The first Roman numeral followed by a word for governed or operated.
2d Fancy study being held up after sales spiel (9)
PATTERNED: The story one might hear from a salesperson followed by the reversal (held up in a down clue) of one of the usual three-letter studies.
3d Country tipped to help Northern Ireland (5)
INDIA: Take a short verb meaning to help and the abbreviation for Northern Ireland and then reverse (tipped) the combination.
4d Hand in dictionary — it’s left out (7)
OMITTED: An informal word for hand is placed inside the abbreviation for one of the well-known big dictionaries (not the BRB).
5d Carries out belongings (7)
EFFECTS: Double definition. The belongings are often preceded by “personal”.
7d A romancer specialises in this position in bed? (5)
LYING: Likely behaviour of a cad or a rake trying to get what he wants.
8d Argentine novel about old age (10)
GENERATION: An anagram (novel) of ARGENTINE enclosing the one-letter abbreviation for old.
11d Easier to understand nurse perhaps restricting the French (7)
CLEARER: A person who could be a nurse (or a relative) contains (restricting) a French definite article.
14d Detective’s reported on being found out (10)
DISCOVERED: The usual two letter abbreviation for a detective, S from the clue, and a word meaning reported on (by, e.g., a newspaper).
16d Take away relic, even ignoring conclusions (7)
RELIEVE: Delete the last letters (ignoring conclusions) of RELIc EVEn
18d Digs both ends of allotment, entertaining some chaps (9)
APARTMENT: The first and last letters (both ends) of AllotmenT contain synonyms for some and for men. Digs is being a noun here.
20d It’s what’s behind ham aroma mainly found on Eastern Railway (7)
SCENERY: A word for aroma missing its last letter(mainly) followed by the usual abbreviations for eastern and railway yields the backdrop to an over-actor.
21d Threaten manoeuvres circumventing new base of operations (7)
THEATRE: An anagram (manoeuvres) of THREATEN without (circumventing) N(ew)
23d Taking spin around, quietly drive back (5)
REPEL: A four-letter spin encloses the musical abbreviation for quietly.
25d Engage in new project? Not half! (5)
ENTER: Delete the second half (not half) of a ten-letter new project or venture.
26d Animal‘s adorable, it’s said (4)
DEER: Spoken aloud (it’s said), this animal sounds like a synonym of adorable.
Thanks to today’s mystery setter. While writing the hints I smiled at 24a, 30a, 4d, 20d, and 25d. Which clues appealed to you?
Quickie Pun RUE+PET+BROOK=RUPERT BROOKE