Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28437
Hints and tips by Tilsit
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment *****
Good morning from Warrington with the sun beating down and almost tropical weather! While our Friday blogger is on a break, I’m covering today. Today’s backpager is a very enjoyable and accessible piece of work from Giovanni with precise clues and a couple to make you scratch your head.
Favourite clues were in abundance today. 8 across, 1 down and 21 across all stand out.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
8a None blathers yet? This could change that! (3,7,5)
THE BLARNEY STONE: We start with a nice all –in-one clue. Part of it is an anagram of the answer and because of the nature of the clue the second half is a sort of indicator that it is one. In other words, you are looking for something that would help a situation where no one is talking. The answer is a famous location where kissing it gives you the gift of the gab, and it’s an anagram of NONE BLATHERS YET. As you can see below, it’s not an easy job to do that!
9a Unconscious lager hooligan? Not the first (3)
OUT: A word meaning unconscious is found by taking a word which forms a phrase with ‘lager’ to make a type of drunken bad boy. Remove the first letter and you have the answer needed.
10a Father full of energy meets a miserable old party totally lifeless (4,2,1,4)
DEAD AS A DODO: An expression that means completely lifeless is found by placing the abbreviation for energy and putting it inside a word for Father. The rest is a word sum A + something meaning miserable + an abbreviation for old + a short word for a party.
11a Vehicle getting near – see it on ceremonial occasions? (5)
BUSBY: The name for a type of hat often seen at Royal occasions such as Trooping the Colour. A simple word sum of the name of a method of transport plus a shorter word meaning near or at hand.
12a Sardonic aristocrats said to be ones no longer fit for purpose (5-4)
WRITE-OFFS: A phrase that means things (especially cars) that are no longer usable is revealed by taking what sounds like (said) a word that means sardonic or using dry humour and a slang word for those in the upper class.
15a Piece of hair girl managed with net (7)
RINGLET: A word for a piece of curly hair is revealed by making an anagram (managed with) of GIRL and NET. Unusual to see the anagram indicator in the middle of the words to be unscrambled, but as usual it’s completely fair.
17a Leaves behind places of solitude (7)
DESERTS: Double definition here. A word meaning leaves behind can also mean places where you see no-one or nothing.
19a Team is on fire — they are hairy (9)
SIDEBURNS: A type of hair found on the face is made up of something that means a sporting team, plus a word that means is on fire
20a Composer the French hear, but not English (5)
LEHAR: The name of a famous Austro-Hungarian composer is revealed by taking the word for the definite article in French and adding the word hear, minus the abbreviation for English. Time for some music and instead of the usual pop or rock anthem, let’s have one of this composer’s most famous works, an aria sung by La Divina.
21a Sessions of deep thought meant idiots would be transformed (11)
MEDITATIONS: The name for those occasions when calm reflection occurs is found by unscrambling the anagram (transformed) of MEANT IDIOTS.
24a Independent politician seen as troublemaker (3)
IMP: The name given to someone (usually a child) who is naughty is found by taking an abbreviation for Independent and adding one for a political representative.
25a Helpful female? One could possibly see ogre outsmart her (9,6)
SURROGATE MOTHER: The question mark here means our definition is slightly cryptic. The name for a woman whose role is to help others is found by unscrambling (possibly) OGRE OUTSMART HER.
1d Ditched plane has done its flying (10)
JETTISONED: This was one of my last two in. Afterwards, I wondered why. Take the name for a type of plane and add an anagram (flying) of DONE ITS to give you a word meaning ditched or thrown off.
2d Good woman accommodating learner happily (6)
GLADLY: Something that means happily is revealed by taking the abbreviation for good and adding a word for a woman. Put inside this the standard abbreviation for a learner.
3d A feature of a seaside holiday with rain? (10)
BREAKWATER: Something found on a beach is made up of a word meaning a holiday and add to it what rain is.
4d A jewel has turned up — it’s huge (4)
MEGA: A word meaning huge is found by taking A plus something that is a synonym for jewel and reverse it (turned up).
5d Analysers of metals, like author Dorothy? (8)
ASSAYERS: The name for people who test the quality of metals is found by taking a short word meaning like and adding the surname of the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey.
6d Charm shown by two little women (4)
MOJO: This was my last one in and again held me up longer than it should have done. A word that means a charm or magic talisman (I didn’t realise this!). it’s made up of two shortened girls’ names, although I took it as looking for characters in the book Little Women; in fact, one of them is.
7d The fellow with a great deal gets serfs (6)
HELOTS: The name for ancient Greek slaves is made up of a pronoun that means the man and add to it something that means a great deal or abundant.
8d Artist and bishop with money set up computer facility (7)
TOOLBAR: The name for something found on a computer that provides help (especially in browsers, etc.) is found by taking the standard abbreviation for an artist, adding the chess notation for a bishop and a word meaning money. Then reverse the lot!
13d At home daughter is model daughter too unwell to help? (10)
INDISPOSED: If someone is too ill to attend or help, they are often said to be this. Another wordsum: something that means at home + an abbreviation for a daughter + is + something that a model does + the daughter abbreviation again.
14d Blunt form of defence, hard, on one side (10)
FORTHRIGHT: And another word sum. A type of building that’s a defence + the abbreviation for hard + one of two sides.
16d Drink in one club, being entertained by hero (8)
LIBATION: A word not frequently used, but one I recall from learning Latin at school under the benevolent Mr Burrows, who also taught me to do cryptics. It’s a word for a drink offered to the gods. The abbreviation for one and a synonym of club or sporting equipment. Place a word for someone brave around this and you have the name of the drink.
18d Abrasive type that joins fight with little hesitation (7)
SCRAPER: The name for a tool that works as an abrasive is made up of something that means a fight and added to it is a little word that represents hesitation in speech.
19d Prophet in Christian army provides a bit of food (6)
SAMOSA: The name for a small item of (Indian) food is found by taking the name for a biblical prophet and placing it inside the abbreviation for the organisation that has members known as soldiers of God.
20d Opening of Louvre is good for the French capital (6)
LISBON: the name for another European capital is found by taking L, the first letter of Louvre and adding IS and a French word meaning good.
22d Prepare small room and big room for sleeping in? (4)
DORM: A word meaning prepare goes before an abbreviation for room to give a place of sleeping.
23d Meal with king in the wood (4)
TEAK: A type of wood is found by taking the name for a meal and adding K (king)
Thanks to Giovanni for a lovely pleasant solve.
I’m off to go and face a tribunal later today. As some of you know I’m not the most mobile and rely on my Motability vehicle as I find it tough using public transport. I had a medical last year which decided I had no disabilities and the car went back. I appealed and now have to go in front of a judge and a couple of medical professionals to prove I need the higher allowance which in turn allows me to rejoin the Motability scheme. So fingers crossed, please!