Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28428
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
BD Rating - Difficulty **/*** - Enjoyment ***
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday back page blog. My first pass through the acrosses this morning yielded only a couple of answers and a growing feeling of panic. Fortunately the downs were more friendly, and they provided a foundation on which to fill the grid from the bottom up. I did find a few clues quite tricky to parse, which bumped up both my difficulty and enjoyment ratings. The smooth surfaces, avoidance of obscure general knowledge, and use of a few complex clue constructions have me thinking that today’s setter might be Mister Ron?
In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will usually enlarge it. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.
1a Famous explorer, by Jove! (5,5)
GREAT SCOTT: Link together a synonym of famous and an Antarctic explorer to get an exclamation of surprise.
6a Celebrity of American shows (4)
FAME: Hidden (shows) inside the clue.
9a He or she maybe died after Church passed judgment? (10)
PRONOUNCED: Combine a thing of which he and she are examples (maybe), the abbreviation for the Church of England, and D(ied).
10a Space mission finally leaves ground (4)
AREA: A large sports ground with the final letter (ultimately) of missioN deleted (leaves).
12a Singer keen on retirement (4)
DIVA: The reversal (on retirement) of a word meaning keen or enthusiastic. I don’t remember everything about the 1981 French film named 12a, but this amazing performance from the opening scenes is unforgettable (the video window is intentionally squashed to avoid revealing the answer).
13a Question again regarding African dictator found in river (2-7)
RE-EXAMINE: Insert a Ugandan dictator into Devon’s main river, and then place that after a usual short word meaning regarding or about.
15a 9 gifts for company (8)
PRESENCE: A homophone (9a) of a synonym of gifts.
16a Associate's not entirely sweet -- hard to get backing (6)
HOBNOB: Chain together all but the last letter of a confection or sweet (not entirely sweet) and the abbreviation for hard used on pencils. Then reverse the lot (to get backing). Look here if the connection of the picture to the answer is unclear.
18a Ultimately abandon one fool for another (6)
NITWIT: Join together the last letter (ultimately) of abandoN, the Roman numeral for one, and a fool.
20a TV bulletin, perhaps, wants majority of sect shot (8)
NEWSCAST: An anagram (shot) of WANTS and all but the last letter (majority) of SECt.
23a Fashionable area enveloped by evil -- to criminal that's pure (9)
INVIOLATE: Crosswordland’s usual word for fashionable, followed by an anagram (criminal) of A(rea) inside (enveloped by) EVIL TO.
24a Part of church fails when not taking sides (4)
APSE: The inside letters (when not taking sides) of a six-letter synonym of fails (LAPSES).
26a Terrible anger shown by daughter (4)
DIRE: The abbreviation for daughter followed by a synonym of anger.
27a Crowd, late in the evening, have a ball (10)
ATTENDANCE: A (2,3) phrase specifying a time late in the evening, followed by what one does at a ball. Since Brian is off somewhere playing some game perhaps I can get away with another cat video. This Superbowl ad shows how to handle a crowd of felines. Evidently herding cats is not that difficult.
28a Record some police about to arrest son (4)
DISC: A usual abbreviation for a police organization, reversed (about) and containing (to arrest) the abbreviation for son.
29a Overwrought doctor eats richly (10)
HYSTERICAL: An anagram (doctor) of EATS RICHLY
1d Look amazed and go crazy without love (4)
GAPE: A (2,3) expression meaning “go crazy”, minus the usual letter associated with love.
2d Book promoted by the setter's controversial (7)
EMOTIVE: The reversal (promoted, in a down clue) of a weighty book, followed by how the setter might write “the setter’s”.
3d Inventor's mistaken: atoms do shine (6,6)
THOMAS EDISON: An anagram (mistaken) of ATOMS DO SHINE.
4d Catch Bond? (8)
CONTRACT: A double definition. Catch a disease, perhaps. Bond is capitalised to misdirect the solver.
5d Weary, saving energy in rows (6)
TIERED: An adjective meaning weary containing (saving) the physics abbreviation for energy.
7d Prosecute a rule in hearing (7)
ARRAIGN: The A from the clue and a homophone (in hearing) of rule (as a monarch, say).
8d Aggravate former partner over account and berate in error (10)
EXACERBATE: Put together our usual former partner, the abbreviation for account, and an anagram (in error) of BERATE.
14d Liberal old writer cared (4-6)
OPEN-MINDED: Fuse together the abbreviation for old, something that writes, and a synonym of cared.
17d Backtrack about bridge opponents showing respect (8)
REVERENT: A synonym of backtrack containing (about) a pair of compass points that label opposing bridge players. Not this kind of bridge.
19d Stave off entertaining sailors in bars (7)
TAVERNS: An anagram (off) of STAVE containing a usual abbreviation for sailors.
21d Poison's drunk in scare (7)
ARSENIC: An anagram (drunk) of IN SCARE.
22d Poor attempt to support friend (6)
PALTRY: A synonym of attempt following (to support, in a down clue) an informal word for friend.
25d Concrete coin once used in Madrid (4)
REAL: A double definition. The answer is also the prefix of a Madrid football team that’s quite good.
Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve. Lots of ticks today, with the biggest smiles for the clues that took the longest to parse: 10a, 12a, 16a, and 7d. Which clues did you like best?
The Quick Crossword pun: GHOST+ EDDY=GO STEADY