Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28454
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from a warm and sunny Los Alcazáres and welcome to what I’m pretty sure is a RayThursday. All the signs are there, short clues, initial letters clue, a lurker, a reversed lurker, stretched synonyms and Her Majesty making an appearance but somehow it seemed to lack the usual sparkle so perhaps it’s merely an imitation. I thought it was a little on the tricky side but that might just be me suffering from last night’s curry and red wine.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Detective’s set to pen ‘Queen’ monograph (12)
DISSERTATION: Start with the usual two letter detective, the S from the clue and follow with a word which can mean set as in place or put into position. Into that lot insert (to pen) the usual two letters for the Queen. Here’s a detective just for Kath . . .
8a Mature of French against passion being rejected (7)
EVOLVED: Take the French word for OF followed by a single letter meaning against and some passion and reverse it all (being rejected).
9a Mistake from English sailor capsized in drink (7)
ERRATUM: Start with E(nglish). After that you need one of the usual sailors reversed (capsized) and inserted into (in) a drink said to be popular with said sailor.
11a More vacuous European politician leading bank (7)
EMPTIER: A charade of E(uropean), two letters for a politician and then a bank, of seats in a theatre perhaps. A vacuous European politician? Perish the thought!
12a Artful dodgy videos, done inside (7)
DEVIOUS: “Done” in this clue has the meaning of socially acceptable or proper – the done thing. You need the single letter meaning the same and insert it into (inside) an anagram (dodgy) of VIDEOS. The answer is a good description of the clue. The anagram and answer were pretty clear but it took me a while to figure out where the extra letter came from.
14a Proposed and celebrated embracing bird (9)
NOMINATED: You need a word for celebrated or famous and insert (embracing) one of the several spellings of a talkative bird.
16a Small argument facing head’s inflexibility (9)
STIFFNESS: A charade of S(mall). an argument and a head or cape.
19a A little cayenne pepper over pasta (5)
PENNE: A lurker hiding (a little) in cayenne pepper but it’s reversed (over). Spooky! We’re having a pasta dish flavoured with cayenne pepper for dinner tonight.
21a Due to receive manuscript leaks (7)
INFORMS: A phrase (2,3) meaning you’re due something followed by the abbreviation of manuscript.
23a Woolly from one adjacent catching a cold (7)
INEXACT: Woolly as in not quite right. It’s the letter that looks like a number one followed by a word meaning adjacent with A (from the clue) and C(old) inserted (catching).
24a Rolled back estimate for recount (7)
NARRATE: Recount a story not the votes in an election. Take a word which might mean rolled and reverse it (back) and then a word meaning estimate or judge.
25a A partner with uglier exterior in buff (7)
AMATEUR: A (from the clue) followed by a sexual partner and then UR (UglieR exterior). I’m not sure that buff and the answer are strictly synonyms. Surely a buff is an enthusiast or expert but isn’t necessarily the answer.
26a Care of Bond’s boss, hands Bond opening (12)
COMMENCEMENT: This is another charade. Start with the abbreviation of Care Of, then James Bond’s boss, then some hands or workers and finally a word meaning bond as in glue or stick together.
1d Pipette seen in operation for each succeeding doctor (7)
DROPPER: Start with one of the two letter doctors and follow (succeeding) with the usual operation and a word meaning for each. Back in the day I used to sell the ones in this picture!
2d More cunning hoarder keeping vice half hidden (7)
SAVVIER: Think of a word for a hoarder as in someone who doesn’t throw anything away and insert (keeping) two of the letters from VICE (half hidden).
3d Nude dancing career involves new stamina (9)
ENDURANCE: Anagram (dancing) of NUDE followed by a word for career as in move fast with N(ew) inserted (involves).
5d Tory leader, over hard split, prospered (7)
THRIVEN: Start with a T (Tory leader) then H(ard) followed by an archaic word for split or torn and you’ll get another archaic word for prospered. The current Tory leader has done anything but prosper recently!
6d To stop shaking takes second in nudist colony (7)
OUTPOST: Take an anagram (shaking) of TO STOP and insert (takes) a U (second in nUdist).
7d Altering course, sniper produces echo (12)
REPERCUSSION: Anagram (altering) of COURSE SNIPER.
10d Calamity Jane finally after varmints due to blow (12)
MISADVENTURE: Anagram (to blow) of VARMINTS DUE with an E (JanE finally) on the end (after). There you go Jane, your favourite setter has put you in a clue.
15d Team acts badly protecting single champ (9)
MASTICATE: Nothing to do with those such as Rafa Nadal but champ as in chew. It’s an anagram (badly) of TEAM ACTS with I (single) inserted (protecting).
17d Flames gather over my dead body (7)
INFERNO: A word meaning gather or understand followed by the actual meaning of the phrase “over my dead body”. Perhaps a last minute edit was in order after yesterday’s tragic event but unfortunately it might have required a major re-write as the answer seems to be the only word that fits the checkers.
19d Member of clergy putting counselling service under pressure (7)
PRELATE: P(ressure) followed (under in a down clue) by the marriage counselling service.
20d Most local cuisine a restaurant protects (7)
NEAREST: A lurker. It’s hidden in (protects) cuisine a restaurant.
22d Back authoritarian (5)
STERN: Double definition.
Not so much blue this week. My favourite was 19a with the dancing nude and Bond’s boss on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: HYMN + URGENCY = EMERGENCY