Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28314
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hello everyone, and welcome to 2017. After searching for an adjective to describe today’s puzzle I settled on “solid”. It’s a typical Tuesday crossword, with enough straightforward clues to enable most solvers to get a foothold, along with a few that might require a little head-scratching. No real laugh out loud moments for me, but there were some appreciative smiles for several very smooth charades.
Year-end lists are everywhere at the moment– best albums, worst movies, etc., etc.. There’s even a list of the best lists. They naturally got me thinking about how best to reflect, analytically, on a year of cryptic crosswords. There’s no way to create an objective “100 best clues of 2016” list. But I was able to generate this word cloud containing all answers featured on the back page at least three times last year. The biggest font goes to IOTA (seven appearances). Because our puzzle answers appear to be chosen at random this is in some sense a meaningless picture. But despite that I still like studying it because it serves as a reminder of many enjoyable tussles with the 2016 puzzles. Perhaps it will do the same for you.
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 how you got on and what you thought.
1a Give prisoner commendation (10)
CONTRIBUTE: Join the informal contraction of one convicted of a crime to an act or expression of approval.
6a A revolutionary in pain (4)
ACHE: A from the clue followed by one of crosswordland’s favourite revolutionaries.
9a Dashed artist died, buried in church? On the contrary (5)
RACED: “On the contrary” here inverts the wordplay to become “church buried in artist died”. Accordingly, we must insert the abbreviation for the Church of England between the abbreviations for an artist who is a R(oyal) A(cademician) and for D(ead).
10a Returning to that woman’s sensible — or else! (9)
OTHERWISE: A charade of the reversal (returning) of TO, a pronoun for “that woman”, and a synonym for sensible.
12a Central figure in Parliament, one declares (7)
SPEAKER: A not very cryptic double definition.
13a Careful cleaner? Unknown (5)
CHARY: Follow a cleaning woman with a letter sometimes used to represent a mathematical unknown. According to the BRB this cleaner is always a woman. Is there a word for the male equivalent, I wonder?
15a Given a hospital room with bed? Not at first (7)
AWARDED: A charade of A from the clue, a large hospital room typically containing many beds, and bED without its first letter (not at first).
17a Bear‘s appetite (7)
STOMACH: A double definition. Bear here means tolerate, and appetite means inclination or enthusiasm.
19a Passages from Gove, say, getting circulation (7)
VOYAGES: An anagram (getting circulation) of GOVE SAY.
21a Is able to cheat — sport goes west, and honesty (7)
CANDOUR: A charade of words meaning “is able to” and “cheat”, followed by the reversal (goes west, in an across clue) of the abbreviation for a sport at which the New Zealand team is quite good.
22a Stay in Schatzlod, Germany (5)
LODGE: Hidden inside (in) the clue.
24a Begged deputy to come back, holding influence (7)
PLEADED: The reversal (to come back) of a three-letter abbreviation for deputy, containing (holding) a verb synonym of influence or guide.
27a Casino’s con almost spoiled parties (9)
OCCASIONS: An anagram (spoiled) of CASINOS and COn minus its last letter (almost).
28a Book every 12 months to avoid a void (5)
ANNUL: A book that appears every 12 months, with its A deleted (to avoid A). Void here is a verb.
29a Where one might see pig cross river (4)
STYX: An enclosure for pigs followed by the letter that looks like a cross gives a river that in Greek mythology forms the border between the Earth and the Underworld.
30a Rags badly sewn, and perhaps strangely hard to take off (10)
NEWSPAPERS: Join an anagram (badly) of SEWN to an anagram (strangely) of PERhAPS without its H [H(ard) to take off].
1d Comical or eccentric person? Trump, perhaps (4)
CARD: A double definition. Making each definition into its own sentence creates capitalization intended to mislead the solver into thinking of the US politician.
2d That must be cash for the job? (9)
NECESSARY: Another double definition. The first non-cryptic, the second a slang term for the money needed for some well-defined purpose.
3d Cross when top leaves wrinkle (5)
RIDGE: Delete the first letter (when top leaves, in a down clue) from a verb synonym of cross to obtain a wrinkle, perhaps like those of 21d.
4d Catch editor after book’s checked (7)
BLOCKED: A charade of the single letter abbreviation for B(ook), a catch that might secure a door, and the usual two-letter abbreviation for editor.
5d Garments that sir’s ordered? Article’s missing (1-6)
T-SHIRTS: An anagram (ordered) of THaT SIRS without the A (article’s missing). Until I had a few checkers in place I had no idea how I was going to construct a 7-letter answer from fodder containing a single vowel.
7d Mate at home drinking tea? On the contrary (5)
CHINA: This Cockney term for mate or friend is fast becoming a usual suspect. He’s obtained from the inversion (on the contrary) of “at home drinking tea”, which directs us to a three-letter informal term for tea containing (drinking) our usual short word meaning “at home”.
8d Remarkably, taken in by pair of bridge players present throughout (10)
EVERYWHERE: Start with a well-worn synonym for remarkably placed between (taken in by) a pair of bridge players (or opposing points of the compass). Then attach a word meaning present or in attendance.
11d Regularly bring round cocoa prepared for animal (7)
RACCOON: The alternate (regularly) even letters of bRiNg enclose (round) an anagram (prepared) of COCOA.
14d Great savage mauls lover (10)
MARVELLOUS: An anagram (savage) of MAULS LOVER.
16d Grow furious over restricting good students’ qualifications (7)
DEGREES: The reversal (over) of a (3,3) expression meaning “grow furious” contains (restricting) the abbreviation for G(ood).
18d Five-nil, with one intercepting a ball and sidestepping (9)
AVOIDANCE: The Roman numeral representing five, the letter that looks like the number corresponding to nil, and the Roman numeral for one are placed between (intercepting) the A from the clue and a function where couples move to music. I enjoyed Miffypops’ Elvis Costello video yesterday, so here’s another. It’s a 1978 live performance of a song whose title is appropriate for this clue.
20d Fancy model is after drink (7)
SUPPOSE: A verb synonym for model follows (is after) a verb synonym for drink.
21d Cold water ultimately softens wrinkles (7)
CREASES: A charade of C(old), the last letter of wateR (ultimately) and a verb meaning softens or makes less difficult.
23d Rot from European Community within 24 hours (5)
DECAY: Place the abbreviation for E(uropean) C(ommunity) inside (within) the word describing a 24 hour period.
25d Daughter hit a tense situation (5)
DRAMA: A charade of D(aughter), a verb meaning to strike or dash into violently, and the A from the clue.
26d Swanky husband abandoned? That’s a positive sign (4)
PLUS: Delete H(usband) (abandoned) from an adjective meaning swanky or luxurious. The answer is a symbol used to indicate that a number is greater than zero.
Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable crossword. I liked the smoothly assembled charades 10a, 13a, 15a, 8d, and 18d. 16d got a smile because while the answer was obvious, it resisted parsing for a while. My favourite is 28a for a surface that so cleverly disguised a clue construction last seen on Christmas Eve that I didn’t recognize it at first. Which clues topped your list?
The Quick Crossword pun: BAKER+LIGHT=BAKELITE