Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28424
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja on a cloudy but warm morning. This one doesn’t feel to me like a RayT production but all bar one of the clues fit his word count limit, Her Majesty makes an appearance and there’s a reversed lurker so you never know. Whoever the setter is he or she has given us an enjoyable puzzle which won’t frighten too many of the horses and will raise a smile or two. If you like double definitions you’ll be happy because there’s five by my count.
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. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a Ground amid spring, moisture inside (6,4)
RISING DAMP: An anagram (ground) of AMID SPRING. A good excuse for an episode of one of my favourite sitcoms . . .
6a Ultimately, self-righteous face shown to be this? (4)
SMUG: Start with the last letter (ultimately) of self-righteouS and follow with a slang term for your face and you get a word describing the expression on the face of someone who is self righteous.
10a Characteristic of a city viewed from either direction (5)
CIVIC: This word describing characteristics of a city is a palindrome so can be viewed from either direction.
11a Massive binding material (9)
STRAPPING: Double definition. A word describing a large, muscular young man is also the bandage you might use to support a sprained wrist for example. I’m not convinced that this is exactly massive but I guess it’s near enough for a crossword.
13a Standard scheme ending in betrayal (5)
IDEAL: A scheme or thought with L (ending in betrayaL).
15a Coming down hard, leaderless regiment gets beaten (7)
TEEMING: A word to describe very hard rain. It’s an anagram (gets beaten) of EGIMENT (leaderless regiment).
17a Stupid, as I figure (7)
ASININE: AS and I (from the clue) and then a number between one and ten.
19a Get loan out to acquire fruit (7)
TANGELO: Anagram (out) of GET LOAN gives a fruit that’s a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit.
22a Pensioner keeps books handy (2,3)
ON TAP: Put three letters for a pensioner around (keeps) the abbreviation of part of the bible (books) and split the result (2,3).
24a Possible description of sudoku, kind of finished (8)
FIENDISH: A possible description of an extremely hard sudoku puzzle is an anagram (kind of) of FINISHED.
27a Vegetable that’s popular restricted by hotel (9)
AUBERGINE: Start with the usual two letters for popular or fashionable and around them (restricted by) put a sort of small hotel or inn.
28a Message of some vitriol I am expecting back (5)
EMAIL: A lurker (some) but it’s reversed (back) in vitriol I am expecting.
29a Measure enclosed area (4)
YARD: Double definition.
30a Short distance putting fourth dimension in focus (10)
CENTIMETRE: A short distance (there’s 2.54 of them to an inch) is formed by putting the fourth dimension (4) into a word for the focus or middle of something.
1d People hurry (4)
RACE: Double definition.
2d Number observed hosting sporting competition, perhaps (9)
SEVENTEEN: Start with a word for observed or spotted (4) and insert a word for a sporting competition, equestrians have just been doing a three day one at Badminton.
3d Mother-of-pearl in new area of land (5)
NACRE: N(ew) followed by a unit of land area.
4d Stylish sprinting (7)
DASHING: Double definition.
5d Bar with style of Italian drink (7)
MARSALA: This bar is a chocolate bar and it’s followed by a French term (1,2) meaning “in the style of”. It seems a long time since I’ve seen the chocolate meaning of bar.
7d Chief over European state (5)
MAINE: Chief as in principal followed by E(uropean) gives a state of the USA.
8d Staring wildly given crack, goods you popped in Leeds when not all there (6-4)
GOGGLE EYED: Start with a word for a crack, as in have a crack at something, and follow with GG (Goods – plural). Then take an archaic word for you (2) and insert (popped in) into LEED (Leeds when not all there). As if all that wasn’t enough you have to split the result (6,4) to get a description of someone who is staring wildly. Phew!
14d Still writing stuff for the radio? (10)
STATIONARY: This word for still, as in not moving, sounds like (for the radio) some stuff used for writing.
16d Get in old forward, appearing as amateurish (8)
INEXPERT: Start with IN (from the clue), then two letters for old, usually used to indicate an old spouse, and finally a word for forward as in cheeky or saucy.
18d Unfortunate instances, uninterrupted (9)
INCESSANT: An anagram (unfortunate) of INSTANCES.
20d Rotten team illegally positioned (7)
OFFSIDE: A word for rotten as in mouldy followed by the usual team, not eleven but the other one.
21d Something to open here (7)
PRESENT: Double definition.
23d King Edward, perhaps, taking bath with the Queen (5)
TUBER: A King Edward potato is an example (perhaps) of one of these. It’s a slang term for a bath followed by the usual two letters for the Queen. This conjured up a rather bizarre mental image!
25d Fantasy — in short, ecstasy (5)
DREAM: This is a bit Yoda-speak but you need to insert E(cstacy) into some whisky (short).
26d Dirty colour (4)
BLUE: The colour used to descried something dirty as in pornographic.
Quite a few good ones here but my favourite was 23d with 9d and 14d on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: KERMIT + ANNA + FENS = COMMIT AN OFFENCE