Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28446
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday blog. Today we have a puzzle packed full of clues with smooth surface readings and free of anything that required a visit to the interwebs for clarification. I found it a steady solve producing plenty of smiles. I have my suspicions about the setter’s identity, and I have illustrated accordingly, but I’m keeping my guess to myself because in hindsight I think I might have misattributed the pangram we saw a fortnight ago. But please feel free to speculate, and perhaps we’ll be rewarded with a visit from the setter if you’re right (or even if you’re wrong).
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 Colour of biscuit about to be left out (6)
MAROON: Take the name of a small circular cake, often made with coconut, and delete (to be left out) a two-letter abbreviation for about.
5a The capacity to move in high society? Problem, ultimately, for knight (8)
MOBILITY: In a word describing titled high society replace the chess abbreviation for knight by the last letter (ultimately) of probleM.
9a Tremendously fast percussion playing (10)
SUPERSONIC: An anagram (playing) of PERCUSSION.
10a Fish pasty filled with tail of haddock (4)
PIKE: A type of pasty containing (filled with) the last letter of (tail of) haddocK.
11a Annual sporting event in English city, always after first of December (5,3)
DERBY DAY: The (5) is a city in the east Midlands. Follow that with the first letter of December and an adverb meaning always or ever. According to Chambers, the adverb is Scot and N Eng dialect.
12a Woollen coat to take to the cleaners (6)
FLEECE: A straightforward double definition. The picture is a before image of Shrek the sheep. Click on it for the after image.
13a A great deal of land in Kansas I auctioned (4)
ASIA: The answer is hidden inside (in) the remaining words of the clue.
15a Is about during a bachelor party, being coarse (8)
ABRASIVE: Join together the A from the clue, the single letter abbreviation for bachelor (in a degree name), and crosswordland’s favourite four-letter party. Inside that (during) put the reversal (about) of IS from the clue.
18a Bureaucrat challenging short chap at the front (8)
MANDARIN: A synonym of challenging, minus its last letter (short), preceded by (at the front) a synonym of chap.
19a Master the choice between pounds and pence once (4)
LORD: Take a two-letter word that separates two choices, and place it between the abbreviation for pounds (sterling) and the abbreviation for pence used before decimalisation (once).
21a Mother accepting employment in V&A? (6)
MUSEUM: An informal (3) term for mother contains (accepting) a synonym of employment (of a strategy, perhaps). The question mark here is indicating that V&A is being a definition by example.
23a Agent, young woman, employed during difficult year (8)
EMISSARY: A (4) word for a young woman is inserted into (employed during) an anagram (difficult) of YEAR.
25a What seaquake projects, at heart? (4)
AQUA: The answer is hidden inside the clue (at heart).
26a Bush region portrayed differently in soap (10)
NEIGHBOURS: An anagram (portrayed differently) of BUSH REGION. This soap is found on the TV.
27a March from base, mostly slow going at first (8)
FOOTSLOG: Chain together a base or bottom part, all but the last letter (mostly) of SLOw, and the initial letter (at first) of Going.
28a Shake toy (6)
RATTLE: Another straightforward double definition.
2d A clipped English accent (5)
ACUTE: Concatenate A from the clue, a word meaning clipped, and E(nglish).
3d Like company chairman in need of a lifeline? (9)
OVERBOARD: Split (4,5) the answer could describe where a chairman sits in the management hierarchy.
4d End of game inventor set up (2-4)
NO-SIDE: The reversal (set up, in a down clue) of the American inventor who seems to have become a crosswordland staple. The answer is an expression for the end of a rugby match.
5d Crime in Ireland — young men involved (5,10)
MONEY LAUNDERING: An anagram (involved) of IRELAND YOUNG MEN.
6d Shoot after defender’s rebound (8)
BACKFIRE: A synonym of shoot (a gun) after another word for a football defender.
7d Decline drinks, say (5)
LAPSE: This decline sounds like (say) how a cat, for example, drinks. It also sounds like an opportunity for some more cat physics.
8d Hide in Cuba’s capital during coup (4,5)
TAKE COVER: The capital letter in Cuba inserted into (during) a (4,4) coup.
14d Existing situation in America? Question coming in to us at broadcast (6,3)
STATUS QUO: Place abbreviations for the United States of America and question inside (coming in) an anagram (broadcast) of TO US AT.
16d Underestimate singular redesign of the Rolls (4,5)
SELL SHORT: S(ingular), followed by an anagram (redesign of) THE ROLLS.
17d Offender in crashed minicar, learner driver (8)
CRIMINAL: An anagram (crashed) of MINICAR, followed by the letter that indicates a learner driver.
20d Spot leading player dropping old instrument? (6)
ZITHER: An unwanted spot on a teenage face, followed by a word for the leading player in an account of strength or bravery, minus (dropping) O(ld). The video to accompany this one was a toss-up between this cover version of “Rolling in the Deep” played on the instrument in question, or this song about those leading players.
22d Court under fire over being correct (5)
EXACT: The two-letter abbreviation for court after (under, in a down clue) the reversal (over) of a word meaning fire or terminate.
24d In the countryside, artist breaking law no end (5)
RURAL: Our usual artist placed inside (breaking) a synonym of law without its last letter (no end).
Thanks to today’s setter for a most enjoyable solve. I liked the 9a anagram, 19a, 25a, 2d, 14d, and the topical (over here, at least) 22d. My favourite today was 7d. Which clues made you smile?
The Quick Crossword pun: DULL+SIMMER=DULCIMER