Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28356
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hello again from Enzed, and welcome to another enjoyable offering from one of our Tuesday setters. I’m back to blogging solo this week, but fans of Kitty should not fret because you will find the other half of the KitKat over on today’s Toughie blog. And speaking of Toughies, please join me in offering hearty congratulations to our Friday Toughie blogger Dutch, whose brilliant debut puzzle in the Independent was just recognized by the Guardian as providing their Clue of The Fortnight.
I know we have a few bird lovers here so I thought I’d also take this opportunity to share three photos I took yesterday at a gannet breeding colony near Auckland. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Click on the image for a larger version.
In the hints below 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 Brawl resulting in no charges (4-3-3)
FREE-FOR-ALL: A literal interpretation of the answer is an activity where anyone can participate without paying admission.
6a On retirement, cry with son and employer (4)
BOSS: The reversal (on retirement) of a word meaning cry, followed by S(on). Today is the sixth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The artist whose nickname is the answer to this clue dedicated his song “My City of Ruins” to the people of Christchurch at this performance in Auckland. He’s returned to NZ and is performing in Christchurch as I write these hints.
10a Dread losing time in blunder (5)
ERROR: A synonym of dread without its T (losing time).
11a One fights boy going to island captured by dangerous American creature (9)
GLADIATOR: A slang name for a swamp-dwelling carnivore contains (captured by) a three-letter synonym of boy and the single-letter abbreviation for island.
12a Normal behaviour at home (7)
HABITAT: A noun describing a “normal behaviour” followed by the AT from the clue. Getting a feeling of déjà vu with this clue.
13a Perhaps soldier adopts terribly nice veteran (7)
ANCIENT: A working creature, of which soldier is one type, contains (adopts) an anagram (terribly) of NICE.
14a Rumble abbot stoned on hard grass? (12)
BLABBERMOUTH: An anagram (stoned) of RUMBLE ABBOT followed by H(ard). The surface and the great anagram indicator reminded me of this strip from a very old New Zealand cartoon called Bogor (he’s the woodsman).
18a Suspect online assent is unimportant (3-9)
NON-ESSENTIAL: An anagram (suspect) of ONLINE ASSENT.
21a Changing to spin restricts amateur’s start on a sticky wicket (2,1,4)
IN A SPOT: An anagram (changing) of TO SPIN contains (restricts) the first letter (start) of Amateur.
23a Opening offer disheartened journalist having to leave building (7)
ORIFICE: Link together the outer letters (disheartened) of OffeR, and a word for an imposing building without the usual two-letter abbreviation for journalist.
24a Exaggerate love with rubbish in poem (9)
OVERSTATE: The letter that looks like the love score in tennis, followed by a synonym of poetry that contains a three-letter word meaning cheap rubbish.
25a Acknowledge passage with marks to be taken in (5)
ADMIT: An entrance passage to a mine contains the single-letter abbreviation for the currency used by Germany before the introduction of the euro. The word for passage was new to me, and it needed post-solve verification in the BRB.
26a Amount of money earned in a certain period (4)
YEAR: Hidden inside (amount of) the clue.
27a Outsmart rep number one (10)
BESTSELLER: A charade of a verb meaning outsmart and the role of one who represents a product or service gives something found at the top of the charts.
1d Plump supernatural creature’s raised feeling timid (6)
FLESHY: Follow the reversal (raised, in a down clue) of a supernatural assistant to Santa with a word meaning “feeling timid”.
2d True-born Englishman turned up carrying dress (6)
ENROBE: The answer is hidden inside the reversal of the first three words of the clue (turned up, in a down clue).
3d Top job that one expects to get next day (5-5,4)
FIRST-CLASS POST: A charade of synonyms for top and job gives a service promising next day delivery.
4d Conservative, clever and open to being corrected (9)
RIGHTABLE: The handedness associated with conservative politics followed by a synonym of clever.
5d Wool supplier a series of shops promoted (5)
LLAMA: The reversal (promoted, in a down clue) of the A from the clue and some shops joined together to provide convenient pedestrian access.
7d Where chickens may lay eggs at large? (2,3,3)
ON THE RUN: The answer could be the status of a fugitive. Read literally it describes where hens might live and lay.
8d Irritable cats cry, running wild around hospital (8)
SCRATCHY: An anagram (running wild) of CATS CRY containing H(ospital).
9d Go round stirring up a civic argument (14)
CIRCUMNAVIGATE: An anagram (stirring up) of A CIVIC ARGUMENT.
15d Outgoing leader leaves message: ‘Resistance is supported by public’ (9)
EXTROVERT: Concatenate a short mobile phone message without its first letter (leader leaves), the one-letter abbreviation for electrical resistance, and a word meaning public or visible.
16d Element against capitalism, not English (8)
ANTIMONY: Take an 4-5 phrase that could mean opposed to capitalism and drop from it (not) the single letter abbreviation for English. The result is an element adjacent to tin in the periodic table.
17d Being filmed ruined a romance (2,6)
ON CAMERA: An anagram (ruined) of A ROMANCE.
19d Ring about manuscript being twisted and miserable (6)
DISMAL: A word describing how one made a call before the days of push-button telephones contains (about) the reversal (being twisted) of the two-letter abbreviation for manuscript.
20d Gambler improved (6)
BETTER: A straightforward double definition.
22d Run rising European business (5)
TRADE: The reversal (rising, in a down clue) of a word meaning to run about, followed by E(uropean).
Thanks to today’s mystery setter for a fun solve. Halfway through the acrosses I started to worry that we were in for a deluge of anagrams, but the puzzle turned out to offer a nice balance of different clue types. I thought that many of the surfaces were exceptionally smooth, and I smiled at 6a, 11a, 1d, 2d, and 16d. Runner up for this week’s honours was 15d, with top spot going to 23a. Which clues did you like best?
The Quick Crossword pun: FREE+PEAS+WHEAT=THREE-PIECE SUITE