Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28302
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *****
Hello everyone. Compared to recent Tuesdays I found today a step up in both difficulty and enjoyment. While solving this crossword I found myself laughing out loud several times, which is a first for me. If I had to guess the setter, I’d say this is Shamus at his best.
Before moving on to the hinty part of the blog, I’d like to briefly address Jose’s recent question about whether there are any clues where “-” in the wordplay is used to clue the letters DASH. As with most questions about cryptic crosswords, the answer is found in the super-helpful Big Dave’s Little Guide to Cryptic Crosswords. BD gives a couple of nice examples there under the entry for Punctuation. In my spare time I’ve been trawling the archives looking for other clues where punctuation is a component of wordplay or definition. Here are a few examples which made me smile nearly as much as some of today’s clues:
– – flies! (6)
Language – around centre of Venice (6)
Smallest break in sentence, in fact? (5)
Miracle taxman OK to fiddle! (11,4)
Now, on to the hints. The definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Take over from journalist one judge initially gets imprisoned (6)
HIJACK: The Roman numeral for one and the first letter (initially) of judge are inserted into (gets imprisoned) an unflattering description of a journalist.
4a Backing students is mistake (4-2)
SLIP-UP: The reversal (backing) of some school-age students.
8a Small pronged thing used in ear-piercing (8)
STRIDENT: The abbreviation for small followed by Neptune’s favourite pronged thing.
10a Pageant in August at Tooting (6)
TATTOO: A spectacular pageant of the type hidden inside the clue does indeed take place in August, just not in Tooting.
11a Annoying child making racket? That’s about right (4)
BRAT: A racket of the sort used in cricket contains (that’s about) the single letter abbreviation for right. The BRB says that the piece of cricketing equipment is also an informal term for the racket used in tennis. That might be what the setter had in mind.
12a Not fit, being ill, i.e. needing exercise (10)
INELIGIBLE: An anagram (needing exercise) of BEING ILL IE.
13a Mushroom cap (6,6)
SCOTCH BONNET: A double definition. The answer is both a type of mushroom and a head covering traditionally named for Tam o’Shanter.
16a I deem cavalry ludicrously reckless (5-3-4)
DEVIL-MAY-CARE: An anagram (ludicrously) of I DEEM CAVALRY.
20a Light user of alcohol, an item associated with Aladdin? (6,4)
SPIRIT LAMP: Two cryptic definitions of an alcohol-fuelled heat source found in chemistry laboratories. I had a hard time deciding where to put the underlining in this clue.
21a Fellow in hospital wearing hat (4)
CHAP: The single letter abbreviation for hospital is contained by (wearing) a type of hat.
22a Alternative route after onset of digging? (6)
DETOUR: A wonderful all-in-one clue. The first letter (onset of) Digging followed by an anagram (alternative) of ROUTE.
23a American word for journey’s end? (8)
TERMINUS: When split (4,2,2), this word for the place where a bus route ends might mean “American word”.
24a Governess of the French princess returned (6)
DUENNA: The French word meaning “of the” followed by the reversal (returned) of, e.g., the Princess Royal. This governess chaperones young ladies, especially in a Spanish family. However, I’ve only ever encountered her in cryptic crosswords.
25a Patient with it seen first, as a precaution (2,4)
IN CASE: A short word meaning “with it” precedes (seen first) a term used by a doctor to describe a patient and their medical issues.
1d Bit of magic involving a bowler? (3,5)
HAT TRICK: The cricketing achievement of dismissing batsmen on three successive balls could literally mean a conjuring act using the headwear of which a bowler is an example.
2d Meet on time in disreputable bar (5)
JOINT: A charade of a synonym for meet and T(ime).
3d Nurse, that woman one’s seen in church (7)
CHERISH: Put a pronoun for “that woman” the Roman numeral for one and the S from ‘S inside (seen in) one of the usual abbreviations for church.
5d European, valiant invalid (7)
LATVIAN: An anagram (invalid) of VALIANT.
6d Flag-waving threesome in pact, I fancy (9)
PATRIOTIC: A four-letter threesome inside an anagram (fancy) of PACT I.
7d Dog lead for Dalmatian got in Dorset resort (6)
POODLE: The first letter (lead for) of Dalmatian is inserted (got in) into a seaport in Dorset to get a dog that comes in sizes of standard, miniature, or toy. These alpacas have copied the hairstyle stereotypically associated with that dog.
9d Collected another belt, boxing (3,5,3)
THE NOBLE ART: An anagram (collected) of ANOTHER BELT results in a somewhat euphemistic description of boxing.
14d English emblem out of order to us abroad (5,4)
TUDOR ROSE: An anagram (abroad) of ORDER TO US is an enduring symbol of England first introduced by Henry VII.
15d Wealth may provide endless delight, of course (8)
TREASURE: This wealth often associated with pirates is a charade of a delight or pleasure missing its last letter (endless), and a four-letter word meaning “of course”.
17d Animal doctor near sick warhorse (7)
VETERAN: Join the abbreviation for an animal doctor and an anagram (sick) of NEAR to get an old warrior.
18d Bad sprain? I could get you this? (7)
ASPIRIN: An anagram (bad) of SPRAIN I gives something one might want after suffering such an injury.
19d Study after odds get bigger (6)
SPREAD: A charade of a two-letter abbreviation for betting odds (derived from Starting Price) and a synonym for study (at a university).
21d Check in with a mate from Bow? (5)
CHINA: A charade of the chess abbreviation for check, IN from the clue, and the A from the clue delivers a Cockney (from Bow) expression for mate or friend.
Thanks to today’s setter for a delightful puzzle. I particularly liked 8a, 11a, 12a, and 22a for their smooth surfaces. My favourite is the previously unseen 23a because that’s the clue where the penny dropped furthest today. Which one was your favourite?
The Quick Crossword pun: QUAY+PER+WHEY=KEEP AWAY