Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28434
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment ****
Hello, everyone. I solved today’s crossword right after it came out (midnight in the UK, 5 pm here), and then checked the news and saw what was happening in Manchester. I feel for everyone affected by that terrible event. Not surprisingly, today’s hints were written in a sombre mood. No cat videos this week.
This week, I believe, sees the return of the Mr Ron who is fond of testing (or, in my case, expanding) our general knowledge. Since the answers in that category were gettable from the checkers and the wordplay, I have no complaints this time. There were a few clues with complex wordplay that I enjoyed unravelling, which bumped up my enjoyment rating, while a healthy sprinkling of anagrams pushed the difficulty rating down.
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 enlarge it. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.
1a Hunted animal in deep pit (6)
QUARRY: A straightforward double definition.
4a Signal to go south for vegetables (6)
GREENS: The signal that tells a driver to go, followed by the single-letter abbreviation for south.
8a Incendiary device and axe British gang brought over (8)
FIREBOMB: Follow a synonym of axe or dismiss with the reversal (brought over) of B(ritish) and another word for gang.
10a Play part in saving Oscar's operation (6)
ACTION: A verb meaning “play part”, followed by IN from the clue containing (saving) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Oscar.
11a Army entertainer (4)
HOST: Another double definition.
12a Innovative Reagan TV ad broadcast (5-5)
AVANT-GARDE: An anagram (broadcast) of REAGAN TV AD.
13a Text boss if he fails to give punishment (3,2,3,4)
SIX OF THE BEST: An anagram (fails) of TEXT BOSS IF HE.
16a Young man in job, scared on moving staircase? (6,6)
JACOB’S LADDER: A young man inserted into (in) an anagram (on moving) of JOB SCARED. As I explained when it appeared last week, the answer is a stairway to Heaven dreamt up in the first book of the Bible.
20a Standard Shakespearean jester (10)
TOUCHSTONE: A double definition. If, like me, you need a list of Shakespeare’s fools, you’ll find one here.
21a Understand wife interrupting children's game (4)
TWIG: W(ife) inserted into (interrupting) a children’s game of pursuit. I wasn’t familiar with this spelling of the game. Nor did I know that it has been banned in some schools.
22a Circular diagram, old, found in Cadiz, specially designed (6)
ZODIAC: The abbreviation for old inserted into (found in) an anagram (specially designed) of CADIZ.
23a Traveller's bag ultimately stuck down by fire (8)
KNAPSACK: A charade of the last letter (ultimately) of stucK, a noun synonym of down (as in a soft covering), and a word meaning fire or dismiss.
24a Fame in future? Now none (6)
RENOWN: Lurking inside (in) the remaining words of the clue. First 16a, and now this. Today’s setter obviously read last week’s blog and saw Jane’s request. So, for the first, and probably last, time in a blog of mine, here is Irene Cara:
25a A daughter at this point gives stick (6)
ADHERE: A charade of the A from the clue, the abbreviation for daughter, and a word meaning “at this point”.
1d Unrealistic cox quit, I suspect (8)
QUIXOTIC: An anagram (suspect) of COX QUIT I.
2d Fend off a check pinning rook (5)
AVERT: The A from the clue, followed by a verb synonym of check or examine containing (pinning) the chess abbreviation for a rook.
3d See 5
RIOT ACT: See 5d.
5d and 3: Give a severe warning that something has to stop a dictator there abroad (4,3,4,3)
READ THE: An anagram (abroad) of A DICTATOR THERE.
7d Inferior rum imbibed by cast (6)
SHODDY: An adjective synonym of rum inserted into (imbibed by) a verb meaning cast or toss.
9d Work hard on bird book beforehand for famous publisher (11)
BEAVERBROOK: A charade of an animal associated with hard work, the single letter abbreviation for book, and a bird similar to a raven. If, like me, you hadn’t heard of this publisher who was famous in the first half of the 20th century, his Wikipedia entry is here.
14d Item number one raised protest (9)
OBJECTION: An item or thing followed by the reversal (raised, in a down clue) of a (2,1) expression representing “number one”.
15d Ordinary wine I must get imported, mostly red (8)
MEDIOCRE: A wine from a region near Bordeaux, with the I from the clue inserted (must get imported), and followed by all but the last letter (mostly) of REd.
17d Money-spinner? Caught a cold when invested in gig (4,3)
CASH COW: The cricket abbreviation for caught and the A from the clue, followed by a synonym of gig containing (when invested in) C(old).
18d Attract fish over to the sheltered side (7)
LEEWARD: Link together a synonym of attract and a fish that is sometimes jellied. Then reverse the lot (over).
19d Paint company on left of us (6)
COLOUR: A charade of the abbreviation for company, the abbreviation for left, and a pronoun meaning “of us”.
21d Sample some ragout, a stew (5)
TASTE: Hidden inside (some) the last three words of the clue.
Thanks to today’s setter for a most enjoyable solve. I liked the misdirection in 6d, where I at first I thought removed was a deletion indicator, and I smiled at the smooth surfaces of 7d and 18d. My favourite this week is 15d. Which clues did you like best?
The Quick Crossword pun: SHOE+TOUT=SHOOT-OUT