Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28320
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hello everyone. One of our team of mystery Tuesday setters has given us another solid puzzle. After twelve full or partial anagrams helped establish a base, I chipped away at the rest of the clues and managed to fill the grid without too much head scratching. I thought that the surface readings this week were, with a few exceptions, all very smooth. While I’m not going to speculate on the setter’s identity, I note that the repetitions of words across clues that we’ve seen on a few recent Tuesdays are conspicuously absent today.
This week’s cruciverbal research plan was going to be answering Rabbit Dave’s recent comment asking for the maximum number of multiple definitions that have been packed into one clue. No problem, I thought. Just download the 2.5 million words in the Moby Thesaurus, use them to find all the synonyms of each answer over the years, and count how many of those words occur in its accompanying clue. That strategy turned out to be one big fail. The computer performing that search thinks that, for example, Knave covering king or queen — or ace, or ten … (4) CARD is a quintuple definition. The best way that I’ve found to answer RD’s question is just to search bigdave44.com for “quintuple definition” occurring in puzzle reviews. Which just goes to show that when it comes to solving crosswords and parsing clues, the human brain is much better than any computer. And a very good thing that is too.
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 Honouring BBC boss receives terrible reaction (10)
DECORATING: An anagram (terrible) of REACTION inside the abbreviation for the head of the BBC.
6a Desire sorceress, not wife (4)
ITCH: A woman who casts spells minus the single-letter abbreviation for W(ife).
9a Ancient tribe a danger for motorists going to North Island (5)
ICENI: A charade of a hazard found on the roads when the temperature plunges, and the abbreviations for N(orth) and I(sland). Queen Boudica famously led this tribe in an uprising against the Romans.
10a Mouth passage from violent cartoon by a liberal (4,5)
ROOT CANAL: Two paths to the part of a tooth involved in a reputedly painful dental procedure. The first is a basic cryptic definition. The second is an anagram (violent) of CARTOON followed by the A from the clue and L(iberal).
12a Clash with minister that’s manipulated restaurant awards (8,5)
MICHELIN STARS: An anagram (that’s manipulated) of CLASH MINISTER. A more reliable predictor of dining enjoyment might be the similar symbols awarded by Google reviewers. Jean-Luc’s restaurant is clearly an excellent place to eat.
14a Senator briefly judges guards (8)
SENTRIES: The first three letters (briefly) of SENator followed by a verb synonym for judges.
15a Vicar standing by before worship (6)
REVERE: Follow an abbreviation for a vicar with a poetic word for before.
17a Catch nurse on break coming back (6)
ENTRAP: The usual abbreviation for a nurse followed by the reversal (coming back) of a word meaning break or separate.
19a Extinguish prisoner’s cigarette when restraining posh females (5,3)
SNUFF OUT: The prison slang for tobacco contains (when restraining) the letter denoting posh or U(pper class) and two F(emale)s.
21a Cop with rifle cases manoeuvring secretive fighters (7,6)
SPECIAL FORCES: An anagram (manoeuvring) of COP RIFLE CASES.
24a Tolerate spoiled anise sauce (9)
BEARNAISE: A verb synonym of tolerate followed by an anagram (spoiled) of ANISE.
25a Occupied? That is, occupied by students (2,3)
IN USE: The two letter abbreviation for “that is” contains (occupied by) the abbreviation for the N(ational) U(nion) of S(tudents).
26a Like two (but not three) in a plane (4)
EVEN: A double definition. The first defines an adjective that describes two but not, for example, three. The second is a property of a flat surface.
27a Money paid for somewhere to live? (10)
SETTLEMENT: Another double definition. The first refers to payment of an amount due.
1d Physician vacated internship — wimp! (4)
DRIP: Link together one of the usual definitions for doctor and the outer letters (vacated) of InternshiP.
2d Sailors love leaving newcomer on the rocks (7)
CREWMEN: An anagram (on the rocks) of NEWCoMER minus the letter that looks like a love score in tennis (love leaving).
3d Being born again, Republican fashioned a nicer country (13)
REINCARNATION: Concatenate* the abbreviation for R(epublican), an anagram (fashioned) of A NICER, and a synonym for country.
*To link together as in a chain; To connect in a series.
4d Understand journalist’s after traitor being held up and shot at (8)
TARGETED: The reversal (being held up, in a down clue) of a three-letter traitor, followed by (is after) a synonym for understand and the usual abbreviation for journalist or editor.
5d I grumble over girl (5)
NAOMI: This girl’s name is the reversal (over, in a down clue) of the I from the clue and a verb meaning grumble or complain.
7d Find fault in character’s weight (7)
TONNAGE: A verb synonym for “find fault” or “annoy continually” inside a noun describing the character or quality of, for example, a sound.
8d Good Lord tells the drunk to support that chap (5,5)
HELL’S TEETH: An anagram (drunk) of TELLS THE underneath (to support, in a down clue) a pronoun for “that chap”.
11d Vet office involved with sect saving money (4-9)
COST-EFFECTIVE: An anagram (involved) of VET OFFICE SECT.
13d Alleged snobs mixed with elite (10)
OSTENSIBLE: An anagram (mixed) of SNOBS ELITE.
16d Perhaps swimming off Isle of Wight is disrespectful (8)
INSOLENT: Split (2,6) the answer could describe your location if you were swimming between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.
18d Adolescent upset agent employing two Europeans (7)
TEENAGE: An anagram (upset) of AGENT containing (employing) two copies of the abbreviation for E(uropean).
20d Cover old bulb at either end with sulphur and salt (7)
OBSCURE: Combine the outer letters (at either end) of Old bulB, the chemical symbol for Sulphur, and a synonym for salt or preserve (meat, for example).
22d One enters into new role as banker (5)
LOIRE: In Crosswordland banker can refer to a wet thing having banks. Insert the Roman numeral for one into an anagram (new) of ROLE to find this well-known French banker.
Thanks to today’s setter for a very smooth and most enjoyable crossword. I put ticks beside 10a, 19a, 25a, 26a, 7d, and 16d. Of those, the original and previously unseen 25a gets my vote as favourite. Which clues did you like best?
The Quick Crossword pun: THREAD+DEMUR+CURIE=FREDDIE MERCURY