Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28301
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Good morning from Downtown LI. Your poorly schooled orphan boy has reached the dizzy heights of social acceptance within the Crosswordland community and has a Christmas Card to prove it. Thank you to the sender of said card. You are the giant upon who’s shoulders I stand.
Rufus is today’s compiler. As usual the puzzle is at the kinder end of the solving range. Quite fun to solve with smiles and Doh! moments along the way.
Here are some hints and tips to help if you need them. They may contain a mistake or two but they should still point you in the right direction. I do my best as do my fellow bloggers but we are merely human.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Wrestling club that might get you hooked (9,4)
GRAPPLING IRON: Begin with an adjective that is a synonym for wrestling and add a club found in a golfers bag to find a device with iron claws, attached to a rope and used for dragging or grasping last used in Long Itchington to drag the body of Fatal Moore from the canal lock. Did he fall or was he pushed? We will never know.
10a Alfresco dancing in opera (4-3)
OPEN AIR: Anagram (dancing) of IN OPERA
11a Hide at one time found in California (7)
CONCEAL: Place an adverb meaning formerly or at one time inside the common abbreviation for the state of California.
12a Awkward ones making negative votes (4)
NOES: Anagram (awkward) of ONES
13a Evict wild and smelly cat (5)
CIVET: Anagram (wild) of EVICT. If this clue was in Rookie Corner a chorus would begin suggesting the words ‘and smelly’ were superfluous.
14a Game of poker cut swotting (4)
STUD: Swotting here means reading such as one might do to pass an exam or university course When the last letter is taken away (cuts) we are left with a type of poker as in the card game.
17a Trying to get something from the bank? (7)
FISHING: An all in one cryptic definition of what one does with a rod and line from the bank of a river. The River Itchen cuts through my land and NO you cannot fish it. The Chubb, Roach, Dace, Pike and Perch that live within the banks on our stretch of the river are happy fish. Let them stay that way.
18a Highest place in the church (7)
STEEPLE: The tall pointy bit on a church. Sometimes called a spire. Is there a difference? I dislike this type of clue as it is not cryptic enough. Asked as a direct question a poorly schooled eight year old orphan boy would come up with the answer. Is it in the church or outside it. The clue says in. I say out.
19a Beginning again, we learn afresh (7)
RENEWAL: Anagram (afresh) of WE LEARN
22a Wine created by one artist (7)
MADEIRA: Begin with an adjective meaning to have created something. Add the letter that looks like the number one and the usual suspect for an artist or Royal Academician
24a Kind and good man with a heart of gold (4)
SORT: Two usual suspects here. A good man or Saint. The heraldic term for gold. Place the gold inside the good man.
25a School’s head hasn’t the power, being poorly supplied (5)
SCANT: Take the first letter (head) of School and add the shortened form of a contraction of two words meaning unable to do something.
26a Backs plans for junk mail (4)
SPAM: reverse (backs) the type of plans one might see in an atlas.
29a They count for nothing (7)
NOUGHTS: the plural form of a word meaning nothing, nil,zero,zilch, zip and bugger all.
30a Itinerant craftsman and ancient poetic character (7)
MARINER: The craft of this craftsman is a boat. He is the subject of the only poem I know that contains the word eftsoons.
31a Offer hospitality to all, though a cold thing to do in winter (4,4,5)
KEEP OPEN HOUSE: To offer such hospitality would suggest keeping one’s doors ajar and thus letting the cold in during winter time.
2d They’re usually concealed in smoking jackets (7)
REEFERS: The jackets once worn by those who reef sails are also a term for cannabis cigarettes which need to be kept hidden as they are illegal.
3d Quiet place for fun (4)
PLAY: Take our usual musical letter for quiet and add a verb meaning to put something down carefully
4d Sporting poet has a grand finish (7)
LARKING: This most wonderful poet who was the librarian at Hull university needs the letter G(rand) adding to his name. I use the term poorly schooled because despite my obvious love of literature none of my teachers ever thought to suggest that I read this man’s verse, or that of TS Elliot or anything by Dylan Thomas. If you taught me at my senior school I suggest you return your wages and pensions as they have all been drawn fraudulently.
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
5d Metal machine operators in America? (7)
NICKELS: The silvery white metal with the atomic number 28 is the nickname for a five cent coin in America. These are the coins used in Fruit Machines called Nickel Slots. The equivalent of our Penny slots at the seaside.
6d Island providing some inspiration, ascetically (4)
IONA: A word hidden deep inside the clue and indicated by the word some. The answer is an Island to the west of The Ross Of Mull and renowned for its tranquillity and natural beauty.
7d Possibly prove to be superior (7)
OVERTOP: Anagram (possibly) of PROVE TO
8d It’s cheap, and any number can get it apparently (5,3,1,4)
GOING FOR A SONG: A description of something cheap. The number here is a piece of music with words
9d They beat transport strikes (6,7)
SLEDGE HAMMERS: A type of transport used to glide over snow followed by the plural of a verb meaning to strike as one might do to drive a nail into wood
15d The prospects for wayward wives (5)
VIEWS: Anagram (wayward) of WIVES. The words wayward and wives do sit well together.
16d Prepared to study before end of day (5)
READY: Use a word meaning to Study and add the last letter of the word day. The clue appears at 14 across wearing different clothes in an attempt at disguise.
20d Foster child? (7)
NURTURE: To care for and protect something. To help and encourage somebody or something. To cherish.
21d What a policeman does to a criminal is hair-raising! (5,2)
LOCKS UP: A double definition of sorts. The device used to secure the door of a prisoner’s cell is a word for hair
22d A three-legged race? (7)
MANXMEN: The symbol or crest for this island has three legs. What is required is the name of these islanders
23d Threatens to finish in bad spirits (7)
IMPENDS: Place a word meaning the finish inside a group of naughty children or sprites.
27d Composer drops in for a bit of pork (4)
CHOP: Drop the letters IN from the name of a popular Polish composer and virtuoso pianist.
28d River a group of sailors love (4)
ARNO: Lift the letter A from the clue. Add the R(oyal) N(avy) and the letter that looks like 29 across
Solved and blogged in silence for a change.
The Quick Crossword pun: missed+taken=mistaken