Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28440
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment **/***
Hello, everyone. For me, learning new words is one of the pleasures of solving cryptics. Over the weekend I learned a new word, but in a different way, namely through meeting this impressive creature while hiking [Click for a bigger version]:
She’s an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Curiously, many of them had arranged themselves in clusters on an area of moist sand, like this:
After a little research I learned that this butterfly behaviour has a name – it’s called mud-puddling, an amusing word that I had never heard before. Sadly, it’s not in Chambers, so I expect that we won’t be seeing it on the back page anytime soon.
Today’s crossword contains nothing that obscure, or indeed even a little obscure. I felt like I was on wavelength today because it all came together with without any serious hold-ups. No big penny drop moments this week, but by the end I did have a long list of clues with ticks beside them.
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 Dales town planned to evict a local community (10)
SETTLEMENT: A market town in the Yorkshire Dales, followed by a synonym of planned with its A deleted (to evict a). You’ll find a list of towns in the Yorkshire Dales here, and more about the town in question here.
6a Kiddie chortles holding parrot (4)
ECHO: The first two words in the clue are hiding (holding) the answer.
9a Cleaner married for attractiveness (5)
CHARM: A charade of a female cleaner and the single-letter abbreviation for married.
10a Amazing bird caught in time? Just the opposite (9)
STARTLING: “Just the opposite” here instructs us to invert the wordplay. So, we are to insert the abbreviation for time into a common UK bird.
12a Radical former lover, male, housed by elder perhaps (7)
EXTREME: Crosswordland’s usual former lover, followed by M(ale) inserted into (housed by) a thing of which elder is an example (oak is another).
13a After start of romance, current writer's become tender (5)
RIPEN: Link together the first letter (start of) of Romance, the physics symbol for electric current, and a thing that writes.
15a Leave Billie? (7)
HOLIDAY: A double definition. The question mark is indicating that here Billie is being a definition by example.
17a Tees -- gear not allowed on the golf course? (1-6)
T-SHIRTS: The wordplay is a cryptic definition of the answer, because to maintain decorum most golf courses apparently have a dress code and it usually forbids these items of clothing. Here are some examples of dressing for the golf course with decorum.
19a Biggest girl eats bananas, dropping one (7)
LARGEST: An anagram (bananas) of G
iRL EATS minus (dropping) the Roman numeral for one.
21a Putin perhaps seeing his end after US airs broadcast (7)
RUSSIAN: An anagram (broadcast) of US AIRS, followed by the last letter of (seeing his end after) PutiN. The picture on the easel refers to this meeting.
22a Arrest spies, we're told (5)
SEIZE: A word that sounds like (we’re told) a synonym of spies (in the sense of observe).
24a Suggested maid avoids feuds on a regular basis (7)
ADVISED: The even letters (on a regular basis) of mAiD aVoIdS fEuDs.
27a Great spinning, fill up net (9)
PLENTIFUL: An anagram (spinning) of FILL UP NET.
28a A flower came up (5)
AROSE: Sometimes in crosswordland a flower is just a flower. That’s the case here, where the A from the clue is followed by a flower that’s a symbol of England.
29a Squawk from chicken but no indication of pain (4)
YELL: A colour associated with chicken used as an adjective, after deleting (but no) a two-letter exclamation indicating pain.
30a Biologists, say, analysed insect's bits, taking out book (10)
SCIENTISTS: An anagram (analysed) of INSECT’S
bITS minus (taking out) the abbreviation for book.
1d Not eager to put out large fire (4)
SACK: A word meaning not eager or lazy, after deleting (to put out) the abbreviation for large.
2d Bank worker eating most of party fare? (9)
TRAVELLER: A word for one who works behind the counter in a bank, containing (eating) all but the last letter (most of) a type of dance party.
3d Rim -- leg perhaps cut on it (5)
LIMIT: A thing of which leg is an example (perhaps), minus its last letter (cut), and followed by IT from the clue.
4d Closed book -- whodunnit (7)
MYSTERY: A straightforward double definition.
5d Closest sticks are in hideaway? (7)
NEAREST: ARE from the clue inserted into (sticks …. in) a cosy hideaway.
7d Biting piece of fried food (5)
CRISP: Double definition. The food that’s fried is potato sliced thin. This young lady claims to be addicted to them.
8d Assembling musical instrument before I perform? (10)
ORGANISING: Concatenate a large musical instrument, the I from the clue, and a verb meaning perform music without an instrument.
11d Kindles modified her cost (7)
TORCHES: An anagram (modified) of HER COST.
14d Thinking of Socrates? (10)
PHILOSOPHY: A cryptic definition of the discipline associated with Socrates.
16d Scottish, Welsh, English or Irish flower blight -- which is most intense? (7)
DEEPEST: Here flower is, as usual in crosswordland, indicating something that flows, i.e. a river. So, take the name given to several rivers that flow in Scotland, Wales, England, and Ireland, and append a blight that might affect gardeners (and afflict their flowers).
18d River rapids on rocks -- they could get you wet (9)
RAINDROPS: The cartographic abbreviation for river, followed by an anagram (rocks) of RAPIDS ON.
20d Buy and sell vehicles (7)
TRAFFIC: A double definition. This buying and selling is often illegal.
21d Turn very regretful at heart after sweetheart's upset (7)
REVOLVE: Place V(ery) and the central letter (at heart) of regrEtful after the reversal (upset, in a down clue) of another word for sweetheart. This video explains how a free-falling cat with nothing to push against can turn itself to land on its feet. It’s all physics.
23d Island somewhere in Kent is perfect (5)
IDEAL: The cartographic abbreviation for island, followed by a town in Kent situated on the English Channel.
25d Strip to run round north slope (5)
SLANT: A strip of wood containing (to run round) the single-letter abbreviation for north.
26d Great waves from 22, we hear (4)
SEAS: A homophone (we hear) of the answer to 22a.
Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable solve. I had ticks next to 12a, 15a, 21a, 30a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 16d, and 21d. Which clues did you like best?