Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28406
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Hola from the Vega Baja on a bright sunny morning. I’ll stake my non-existent reputation as a setter spotter on this puzzle having nothing at all to do with RayT, even though it is his turn this week. Some parts of the puzzle are quite good but for me it’s slightly spoiled by too many uses of very similar or even identical elements of wordplay, on two occasions in consecutive clues. I’ll interested to hear your opinions.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
6a Vehicle returned at eleven (4)
TAXI: TA (returned AT) followed by the Roman numeral for eleven.
9a Felicity’s mouth organ is roughly pitched? (5)
FLUNG: F (Felicity’s mouth) followed by an organ used for breathing.
10a Came first or came after? (9)
SUCCEEDED: Double definition.
13a Floods in Somerset I’d escaped (5)
TIDES: The floods are lurking (in) in Somerset I’d escaped.
15a Offers from artist to leave extra borders (7)
EXTENDS: Remove (to leave) the usual artist from extra and follow what’s left with some borders as in extremities.
17a More corrupt detective runs bank (7)
DIRTIER: A charade of Detective Inspector, R(uns) and a bank, of seats in a theatre perhaps.
19a Recipe class given by university west of Los Angeles (7)
FORMULA: Another word for a class in school and U(niversity) are placed before (west of in an across clue) the usual two letters for the city of angels.
21a When lids should be closed? (7)
BEDTIME: Cryptic definition of when your eyelids should be closed.
24a A crime engineered by a country (7)
AMERICA: Anagram (engineered) of A CRIME followed by A (from the clue). A bit sloppy methinks to have essentially the same construction in consecutive clues. Anyway, here’s a choice of musical illustration . . .
27a Former prison abutting part of hospital in capital (9)
EXCELLENT: Capital as is very good. It’s the usual two letters for former, a prison or at least part of one and the initials of the hospital department dealing with bits of your head.
28a Former lover I left, meeting European in bar (5)
EXILE: We get the same two letters for former as in the last clue, but this time it’s a former lover, followed by I (from the clue), L(eft) and E(uropean). Sloppy again!.
29a Irritating proverb we’re told (4)
SORE: Something irritating sounds like (we’re told) another word for a proverb.
30a Pastures made from marijuana plants (10)
GRASSLANDS: A slang word for marijuana followed by a word which can mean plants as in places. The word for marijuana’s fine but I’m not sure about the second half.
1d ‘Mellow Yellow‘? (4)
SOFT: Double definition. Not sure about yellow really being this.
2d Kid‘s toy gun’s broken with little hesitation (9)
YOUNGSTER: Anagram (broken) of TOY GUNS followed by one of the usual two letter hesitations.
3d Locked up composer with daughter (5)
CAGED: An American composer followed by D(aughter). This is the guy who wrote 4’33’’. A piece of “music” where the musicians just sit there for four minutes and thirty three seconds and do absolutely nothing, enjoy . . .
4d Returns what you’re looking for? (7)
ANSWERS: Returns as in replies is also what you, as a solver, are looking for.
5d Fifty per cent of ex-cons applied to be let off (7)
EXCUSED: Half of EX-CONS (50% of) followed by a word which might mean applied.
8d Ancient civilisation taxes businesses (10)
INDUSTRIES: Ancient civilisation, or at least a river around which there was an ancient civilisation, followed by a word for taxes as is stretches.
11d Went in hospital department with foot in bandage and inflamed (7)
ENTERED: We’ve got that hospital department again! After it you need an E (foot in bandagE) and then the colour of something inflamed.
14d Actors for each previous scene, initially (10)
PERFORMERS: Three letters meaning ‘for each’ followed by a word meaning previous and an S (Scene initially).
16d Indifferent ale — turn groggy (7)
NEUTRAL: Anagram (groggy) of ALE TURN.
18d Disadvantage to lose top copy (9)
IMITATION: Think of a word for a disadvantage or weakness and remove its first letter (to lose top).
20d Ham and game served up — a friend looks down on that (7)
AMATEUR: Ham here is a non-professional radio operator and not a lousy actor. Reverse the initials of the game played by gentlemen with odd shaped balls and before that (looks down on in a down clue) put A (from the clue) and a friend.
21d Exchanged the bras for pants (7)
BREATHS: Anagram (exchanged) of THE BRAS.
23d Medic purchasing green colour scheme (5)
DECOR: Take one of the several two letter doctors and insert (purchasing) a word for green as in environmentally friendly.
25d I hand out cards best (5)
IDEAL: I (from the clue) followed by a word for handing round playing cards.
26d Where men might eat dog’s dinner (4)
MESS: A place where soldiers (men) might get their dinner is also a dog’s dinner, or breakfast if you prefer.
A few good ones but my favourite was 22a with 17a and 13a on the podium. Which one’s floated your boat?
The Quick Crossword pun: bar+lea+whine=barley wine