Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28412
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating — Difficulty ***/**** — Enjoyment ***
Hello everyone. We’re now only four days away from May 1st which is celebrated in Oxford by the Magdalen College choir singing from the top of the tower at 6.00am followed by the bells ringing out over the city. There is then general revelry, all the pubs, bars and restaurants are open and those of a loopy disposition jump from the bridge into the River Cherwell. At the moment it’s 1C here and I’m jolly glad of my thick woollies and a big fire.
I found today’s crossword quite difficult. I don’t know who set it but I don’t think it’s a Ray T. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought and how you got on.
In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the things that say ANSWER so only do that if you need to see them.
8a Put forward comment about ministry, centre of affairs (8)
NOMINATE — A comment or mention contains the abbreviation for ministry and the middle letter (centre of) affAirs.
9a Belligerent female extended flower (6)
AMAZON — A double definition – a stroppy woman and the second longest river in the world.
10a Some antisocial characters heading west somewhere in Greece (3)
COS — Our first lurker or hidden answer – a Greek island is hidden (some) and reversed (heading west) in the second word of the clue.
11a Work a lot in being trained? It’s not mandatory (8)
OPTIONAL — The usual two letter abbreviation for a musical work is followed by an anagram (being trained) of A LOT IN.
12a One puncturing plumbing, maybe delivering angry speech (6)
TIRADE — The letter that looks like a one goes inside (puncturing) something of which plumbing is an example – it could just as well be carpentry or painting and decorating.
13a Derogatory lie countryman concocted about politician (15)
UNCOMPLIMENTARY — An anagram (concocted) of LIE COUNRTRYMAN contains (about) the two letters for a member of parliament (politician).
15a Obstructs rowers’ benches (7)
THWARTS — The second double definition – I didn’t know the second one.
18a Excellent ship backed by energy and skill (7)
FINESSE — Begin with a synonym for excellent or very good, follow that with our usual crosswordland two letter abbreviation for a S(team) S(hip) and finish it all off with the abbreviation for E(nergy).
21a Following a correct course like a disciplined athlete? (2,3,5,5)
ON THE RIGHT TRACK — I think this is another double definition but if I’m wrong I’m pretty sure someone will tell me.
24a Outstanding Eastern European housing at college (6)
SUPERB — An Eastern European contains (housing) a little short word meaning ‘at college’ or university.
25a Rash ambassador meeting journalist not so often (8)
HEEDLESS — The two letter abbreviation for a title given to an ambassador, another two letter abbreviation for a journalist or head of a newspaper and then a word that means not so often or not as much as.
26a River is immacutely clean, ignoring the source (3)
URE — A word that means immaculately clean or uncontaminated without its first letter (ignoring the source).
27a More advanced figure rose in ground (6)
SENIOR — An anagram (ground) of ROSE IN.
28a Pursuit of an ace? (8)
AVIATION — Pursuit here means an occupation or speciality rather than a chase – the ace is an expert and was originally an informal term for an airman.
1d Publishers engaged in fraud making slip (6)
COUPON — One of the usual little words for a fraud or swindle contains (engaged in) the three letter abbreviation for one of the major publishing companies.
2d I book to get into pool, showing natural desire (6)
LIBIDO — The ‘I’ from the clue and the one letter abbreviation for book are contained in (to get into) a pool or beach.
3d Christian basilica put up food in historic city (5,10)
SAINT PETERSBURG — A basilica in the Vatican City is followed by a reversal (put up) of an informal word that means food. This one took me ages.
4d Speak aggressively in French of allegation (7)
DECLAIM — The French word for ‘of’ is followed by an allegation or assertion.
5d Intricate hassle having to alter unrealistic plans (7,2,3,3)
CASTLES IN THE AIR — An anagram (having to alter) of INTRICATE HASSLE.
6d Artist making final move on board grabbing bottle (8)
MAGRITTE — The final move in a game of chess (move on board) contains (grabbing) a slang word for bottle or courage. Once I realised that the ‘final move’ wasn’t ‘check’ this was much easier.
7d Sour hand misbehaving in country (8)
HONDURAS — An anagram (misbehaving) of SOUR HAND.
14d Subdue animal (3)
COW — A double definition.
16d Queen, say, starts off every duty held in admiration (8)
HONOURED — The ‘Queen’ isn’t the usual ER and it’s not the group – it’s one of the four best trumps in a game of whist or bridge and it’s followed by the first letters (starts off) of E(very) D(uty). Another one that took me ages to understand.
17d Like runners and jumpers, half of them allowed in capital clubs (8)
ATHLETIC — The usual two letters that mean capital or excellent contain (in) the first two letters (half of) TH(em) and a little word that means allowed or permitted – finish that lot off with the one letter abbreviation for C(lubs).
19d Deep regard, it’s said (3)
SEA — Deep is a poetic word for an ocean and the answer is a homophone (it’s said) of a verb to regard or look at.
20d Bookworm, for instance, supported by good authoritative teacher (7)
EGGHEAD — Start off with the two letter abbreviation of the Latin that means for instance or for example, then the one letter for G(ood) and, finally, an authoritative teacher or ‘boss’ in a school.
22d Tell where a warring couple might go? (6)
RELATE — A double definition.
23d Copper most unpredictable, one’s regularly observed (6)
CUSTOM —The chemical symbol for copper is followed by an anagram (unpredictable) of MOST.
Having finished this crossword and done the hints I can’t quite see why I found it tricky. I haven’t changed my rating for difficulty as that is how it felt while I was actually doing it.
I liked 9 and 28a and 14 and 19d.
The Quickie Pun:- DEACON + JEST = DECONGESTANT