Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28323
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs where there’s a dusting of overnight snow, but nothing to cause any great problems.
As usual, Giovanni requires us to have a certain amount of general knowledge to solve today’s puzzle, and there are some less common words. But overall, this didn’t give me any great difficulty. 6d took the longest to parse.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Ill-feeling heard to reach the highest level (4)
PEAK – This sounds like (heard) a five-letter word for ill-feeling, but refers to reaching the highest level of performance or of a mountain.
3a Scamp, I soon reform to engender pity (10)
COMPASSION – Anagram (reform) of SCAMP I SOON.
9a Dad not right in the head (4)
PATE – Start with the Latin word for father, then remove the R (not right).
10a Artist keeping maximum speed comes to land aircraft (10)
MICROLIGHT – A Spanish (Catalan?) artist wrapped around the letter which is used to denote the fastest possible speed, followed by a word for ‘to land’.
11a Sound of American soldier in pub (7)
LOGICAL – The usual American soldier placed inside another word for a pub.
13a What cricket captain may do, say (7)
DECLARE – Double definition, the first being the act of bringing an innings to an early conclusion.
14a Use sedan maybe to convey someone who is in charge of assembly? (11)
CHAIRPERSON – Split (5,6) this would be the act of transporting someone in a sedan or litter.
18a Disaster when jazz fan leads a Greek song (11)
CATASTROPHE – A slang term for a jazz fan – possibly 1950s vintage? – followed by A (from the clue) and part of a Greek chorus.
21a Seller initially taken in by customer, a joker (7)
PUNSTER – A (bookmaker’s) customer wrapped around the first letter of Seller.
22a My friend, former runner? (3,4)
OLD BEAN – A Bertie Woosterish expression meaning ‘my friend’, which could also describe something which was a scarlet runner in the vegetable patch.
23a Electronic device for fortune-teller? (4,6)
CARD READER – Double definition, the second being someone who may use the tarot to tell your fortune.
24a Part of another expensive present (4)
HERE – Hidden in the clue.
25a Girl brought to head after Religious Education for negligence (10)
REMISSNESS – Put together the initials of Religious Education, a term for a young woman, and a geographical headland.
26a Second-rate idiot as a singer (4)
BASS – A second-rate mark, perhaps on a school paper, followed by an idiot.
1d The old man of the upper class to reprimand common people (8)
POPULACE – Put together another informal term like ‘the old man’, the letter denoting upper-class activity, and a word for reprimand or tear into.
2d West Indian not favouring endless natural fertiliser (8)
ANTIGUAN – Start with a word for ‘not favouring’ add the natural fertiliser produced by seabirds, remove its final letter (endless), and you get a compatriot of Sir Vivian Richards.
4d College educator, i.e. lecturer, putting lots off (5)
ORIEL – This Oxford college is hidden in the clue.
5d Mickey-takers offering censure upset poets (9)
PARODISTS – Reverse (upset) a three-letter word for ‘censure’ popular with tabloid headline writers, then add some poets – strictly those writing a particular form of poetry.
6d What you see in Gregory, being inconsiderate of others (4-7)
SELF-CENTRED – This is one of Giovanni’s Dingbat clues, where you have to ‘say what you see’. What do you see in GrEGOry? Where is it in the word?
7d Surrounded by equipment and ready to go? (2,4)
IN GEAR – This describes a car which is ready to move off, or someone among a pile of kit.
8d Catch the female going down under (6)
NETHER – ‘Catch’, as a fisherman might, followed by a pronoun for ‘the female’.
12d Distorted images at circus are funny (11)
CARICATURES – Anagram (funny) of AT CIRCUS ARE.
15d Come on stage — short spot — to bring delight (9)
ENTERTAIN – The stage direction to come on, followed by a spot or mark with a letter removed. There are two words which would fit the bill, one where the first letter needs to go, one where the last is removed. I assume that ‘short’ in the clue means we should be going for the second option, but I think the former is valid.
16d See them heading off in record time — they won’t last long (8)
EPHEMERA – Remove the first letter (heading off) from (t)HEM, and put the result between a type of vinyl recording and a period of time.
17d Way in which you see revolutionary left-winger rambles (8)
MEANDERS – Reverse (revolutionary) the colour word used to describe left-wingers, and put it inside a word for way or method.
19d Astronaut in secure capsule ascending (6)
SPACER – Hidden in reverse (ascending) in the clue.
20d Worker on edge somewhere in NI (6)
ANTRIM – One of the usual worker insects followed by the edge of a cup or pot.
22d ‘angs around for at least a dozen deliveries (5)
OVERS – These deliveries are on the cricket field, and come in batches of six. If there are at least a dozen we know we are looking at a plural word, and it could also means ‘angs around.
The Quick Crossword pun GRATE + KNEES = GREAT NIECE