Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28395
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on a bright, sunny morning.
Plenty of General Knowledge needed this morning, with perhaps an emphasis on matters nautical and ornithological. But the wordplay from Giovanni should enable solvers to reach the right answers.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Very good holes in the ground for birds (6)
PIPITS – A two-letter word found in crosswords meaning ‘very good’ or ‘pious’, followed by some holes in the ground, possibly the sort you get coal out of.
4a Tea is provided by mum — an appealing quality (8)
CHARISMA – Put together an informal word for tea, IS (from the clue), and another informal word for mum or mother.
9a A crowd crossing middle of field by a very small animal (6)
AMOEBA – A (from the clue) followed by a disorderly crowd wrapped around the middle letter of field, followed by the second A (from the clue).
10a Susan’s about to be entertained by European ballerina (8)
DANSEUSE – Reverse (about) a shorter form of ‘Susan’s’, then wrap a Scandinavian national around the result.
11a Bird, one a short time outside church at end of street (9)
STONECHAT – Start with an abbreviation for STreet, then add ONE (from the clue), A (from the clue) and Time, wrapped around an abbreviation for CHurch.
13a Message over the air, star’s last farewell cut short (5)
RADIO – The last letter of staR followed by a Spanish farewell with its last letter missing.
14a Minutes north or south on a sea journey (8,5)
NAUTICAL MILES – Cryptic definition of a measure of distance at sea, historically equal to one minute of latitude north or south of the Equator.
17a Way to go that’s briefly provided by seven experts (4-5-4)
EAST-NORTH-EAST – Another nautical reference, this time a compass bearing, the short form of which is found in sevEN Experts.
21a Attack supported by 13? (5)
ONSET – Split this (2,3) and you get ‘supported by’ and a way of referring to the answer to 13a.
23a Follower of Moses — a sir possibly ‘chosen’? (9)
ISRAELITE – The name given in the Old Testament to the people who followed Moses out of Egypt. An anagram (possibly) of A SIR followed by ‘the chosen’ or ‘the cream’.
24a Capital in trouble is suffering setback after initial support (8)
BRASILIA – Start with a support undergarment word by many women, then reverse (suffering setback) another word for ‘trouble’ and IS (from the clue. The result is a purpose-built capital city in South America.
25a Nothing looked for after initial change of direction (6)
NOUGHT – Start with a word for ‘looked for’, then replace the initial letter with one suggesting a 180 degree change of direction.
26a Without hesitation, put up with anger — it’s sort of right (8)
SUFFRAGE – Remove a word expressing hesitation from one meaning ‘put up with’, then add another word for anger.
27a Season in which lord keeps very quiet (6)
PEPPER – This is not a season of the year but a culinary operation. Put the musical symbol for ‘very quiet’ inside a generic word for a member of the House of Lords.
1d Quietly step up for worship (6)
PRAISE – The musical symbol for ‘quietly’ followed by ‘step up’.
2d Sets forth as defender of imperial units (9)
PROPOUNDS – A three- letter defender, one who is not ‘anti’, followed by some imperial units of weight.
3d Picture of item of furniture with gold (7)
TABLEAU – A common household item of furniture followed by the chemical symbol for gold.
5d A hated No. 2 in school here replaced his/her boss? (4,7)
HEAD TEACHER – This is a sort of all-in-one clue. An anagram (replaced) of A HATED, the second letter of sChool, and HERE.
6d Platform with men turning up to play guitar? (7)
ROSTRUM – Reverse (turning up) the military abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers, then add a technique of guitar playing.
7d Group of soldiers in snake-like formation on square? (5)
SQUAD – The letter which looks vaguely like a snake, followed by the internal square found in, for example, an Oxford college.
8d Pub, a terrible hole to resort to (8)
ALEHOUSE – A (from the clue), followed by an anagram (terrible) of HOLE, followed by ‘resort to’.
12d Scary procedure to create a beehive? (4-7)
HAIR-RAISING – This phrase meaning ‘scary’ is also a literal description of what has to be done to create the 1960s hairstyle of, say, Helen Shapiro.
15d Piglet struggling with nut is slackening (7,2)
LETTING UP – Anagram (struggling) of PIGLET and NUT.
16d Beset by awful brutes, act to construct defences (8)
REDOUBTS – Anagram (awful) of BRUTES wrapped around a verb for ‘act’.
18d Smarter gossip that takes one in (7)
NATTIER – The Roman numeral for one inserted into another word for a gossip or chat.
19d Chemical one found outside school (7)
ACETONE – The sort of ‘one’ found in a pack of cards wrapped around a famous public school. The second Friday in a row to feature this chemical.
20d Writer of detective stories? Right! (6)
DEXTER – Double definition: the Latin word for ‘right’ is also the surname of a recently-deceased writer of detective stories and prominent cruciverbalist.
22d Stick people in a firm? (5)
STAFF – Double definition: a walking-stick; or the people employed by a firm.
The Quick Crossword pun FAUX + GNOME = PHONE HOME