Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28368
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hello, everyone. I’m currently working my way through Don “Giovanni” Manley’s Chambers Crossword Manual, hoping to get better acquainted with the laws/rules/conventions of cryptic crosswords. I recently encountered an aside in that book saying that the Swahili word for crossword is “chemshebongo”, meaning “boil brains”. My first thought was that that fact would be an amusing titbit to put in a blog intro. My second thought was that I’d better check it, just to be sure. So, I typed “crossword” into the English side of the Google Translate box and asked for the Swahili translation. Back came “crossword”. Hmmm. Further investigoogling suggested that the origin of this supposed translation was the fine television programme QI, and there the trail stops. Which leads me to ask today if we might have any speakers of Swahili out there who could comment on its accuracy?
While today’s puzzle, unlike last Friday’s, isn’t a brain boiler, solving it certainly warmed my grey matter. It might be that wavelength thing, but I found it more challenging than some recent Tuesday puzzles. Several laugh out loud moments today mean that I have to rate it above average for enjoyment.
1a Without waiters or waitresses? That’s inconsiderate (4-7)
SELF-SERVING: Taken literally the answer implies that you’ll have to get your food yourself.
9a Attorney-General mourns and causes distress (9)
AGGRIEVES: Join together the abbreviation for Attorney-General and a synonym of mourns.
10a Priest welcomed by Roman Catholic, 15 (5)
RELIC: Crosswordland’s usual priest is inserted into (welcomed by) the abbreviation for Roman Catholic. The definition here is the answer to 15a.
11a Most recent battles upset missing leader (6)
LATEST: An anagram (upset) of bATTLES without its first letter (missing leader).
12a Boring book about Kindles missing the beginning (8)
TIRESOME: Start with a verb synonym of kindles. Remove its first letter (missing the beginning), and then place it inside a large, weighty book. The capitalisation of kindle here can be ignored. Cryptic convention allows the setter to add (but not remove) capitalisation to misdirect the solver.
13a Aussie animal‘s wife fights without limits (6)
WOMBAT: W(ife) followed by a synonym of fights that is missing its first and last letters (without limits).
15a Hold on to Oriental drink as memento (8)
KEEPSAKE: A charade of a word meaning “hold on to” and a Japanese drink made by fermenting rice.
18a Induce scuffling in hospital department hearing (8)
AUDIENCE: The two-letter hospital department also known as Casualty contains an anagram (scuffling) of INDUCE.
19a Reportedly break part of gun? (6)
BREECH: This part of a gun is a homophone of a word meaning break (through a fortification perhaps).
21a Go with commanding officer and arrest gutless traitor (8)
TURNCOAT: Concatenate a go in a board game, the abbreviation for Commanding Officer, and the outer letters (gutless) of ArresT.
23a Dress warmly and put to bed (4,2)
WRAP UP: This is a double definition. A third definition could be to prepare a gift, such as a cat, for giving:
26a Regularly regretful over getting knocked back? Strange! (5)
OUTRE: Follow REGRETFUL with the cricketing abbreviation for Over. Then take the even letters (regularly) of the result and reverse it (knocked back). Or, if you prefer, reverse the concatenation first (knocked back) and take the odd letters (regularly).
27a General perhaps left following attack (9)
BROADSIDE: “Perhaps left” indicates a thing of which left is an example (right is another). Put that after (following) a synonym of general as an adjective.
28a Share tweets breaking down Romeo and Juliet, for instance (11)
SWEETHEARTS: An anagram (breaking down) of SHARE TWEETS.
1d Everything in performance is superficial (7)
SHALLOW: A performance at a theatre contains a word meaning everything.
2d Run above board (5)
LEGIT: The answer is a short form of a word meaning “above board”. Split (3,2) the answer means run. That’s close enough to running to justify another instalment of Jackson Browne and David Lindley.
3d Pointed at the front, square at the back? Neat! (9)
SHIPSHAPE: The wordplay is a cryptic definition of the answer. Since the picture for 27a also illustrates this wordplay, I’ll repeat it here.
4d Shout ‘Party!’ (4)
RAVE: A straightforward double definition.
5d Brilliant and trendy, like a church? (8)
INSPIRED: The usual short word for trendy or fashionable, followed by an adjective that could describe the architecture of churches. In Oxford it might be preceded by “dreaming”.
6d Wolf‘s throat (5)
GORGE: Another double definition. The first is a verb meaning “eat greedily”, the second is a noun synonym.
7d Cover up in Home Counties holiday destination (7)
SECRETE: Follow the two letter abbreviation for the geographical region of England comprising the Home Counties with the largest Greek island.
8d Assign contributors to meet a collaborator from the south (8)
ALLOCATE: The answer is hidden inside (contributors to) the reversal (from the south, in a down clue) of the remaining words in the clue.
14d Reduce the level of river in China (8)
MODERATE: China here is indicating a word for friend that rhymes with the last word of “China plate”. To get the answer insert a large Central European river.
16d Flier‘s role — crossing where British will have flown (9)
PARTRIDGE: A role in a play, for example, followed by a river-crossing structure minus the single letter abbreviation for British (where British will have flown). On Christmas Day the flier may be found in a fruit tree.
17d Hustle son on cold walk (8)
SCRAMBLE: Concatenate the single-letter abbreviations for S(on) and for C(old) with a walk in the outdoors.
18d Tour has upset writers (7)
AUTHORS: An anagram (upset) of TOUR HAS.
20d Doctor helps to restrain a second unfortunate (7)
HAPLESS: An anagram (doctor) of HELPS contains (to restrain) the A from the clue and is followed by the single-letter abbreviation for S(econd). Mya the 20d cat was safely rescued from the watering can.
22d Revolutionary seems to lose heart in game (5)
CHESS: Crosswordland’s usual revolutionary followed by the outer letters (to lose heart) of SeemS.
24d Former nosy parker, we hear (5)
PRIOR: Spoken aloud, the answer sounds like somebody who pokes their nose into things private and personal.
25d Low temperature is debatable (4)
MOOT: Low here is clueing the noise that cows make. Add to that the single-letter abbreviation for T(emperature).
Thanks to today’s mystery setter for a most enjoyable solve. My favourite today was the clever 3d. I also ticked 1a, 13a, 26a, 27a, 2d, 7d, 14d, and 25d. Which clues did you like best?
The Quick Crossword pun: HELL+SIN+QUAY=HELSINKI