Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28458
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday blog. I enjoyed this puzzle. Initially it made me worried because no answers leapt out at me in the first few rows, but that concern was soon relieved by the healthy dose of anagrams encountered in the middle sector, and then it was banished by meeting several usual suspects in the nether regions. There’s something of a right vs wrong theme going on in the NE, and there’s also reading material scattered throughout the puzzle. Two plants as well. One of our regular setters has been known to use themes in his back-page puzzles. I wonder if this is one of his?
The setter’s use of publications whose heyday was long ago got me thinking about the demographics of cruciverbalists, and whether setters are creating puzzles thinking that they have an older audience. Many of our hinters and regular commenters have said that they started solving some time ago at a rather young age. I’m hoping that’s still happening, so if you’re a youngish solver reading this, please post a comment to tell us how and when you got started solving cryptics (and also what you made of 1a and 11d). Commenting is easy – just write it in the box at the bottom of the blog, put a pseudonym and an email address in the relevant boxes, and press submit.
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 Magazine features extraordinary pair's wedding (5,5)
PARIS MATCH: An anagram (extraordinary) of PAIR’S followed by a synonym of wedding or pairing.
6a Telephone put back (4)
DIAL: The reversal (back) of a word meaning put or placed.
9a Food flavouring for fans, fishy (7)
SAFFRON: Ignore the admirable alliteration. What you’re seeking here is actually an anagram (fishy) of FOR FANS.
10a This may reduce sound of organ stop (7)
EARPLUG: Chain together the listening organ and a synonym of stop (a leak, perhaps).
12a Turning one's back on crime -- working, even (5,8)
GOING STRAIGHT: A charade of synonyms of working or operating, and of even or flat.
14a Arranged to repeat work by Offenbach, perhaps (8)
OPERETTA: An anagram (arranged) of TO REPEAT.
15a Criminal blamed for pandemonium (6)
BEDLAM: An anagram (criminal) of BLAMED.
17a Shock fine just? (6)
FRIGHT: The single letter indicating fine on a pencil, followed by just or fair or appropriate.
19a Snark and its peculiar language (8)
SANSKRIT: An anagram (peculiar) of SNARK ITS.
21a Getting agreement (13)
UNDERSTANDING: A double definition. One which will make sense once you get it.
24a Melting ice does in parts around cathedral (7)
DIOCESE: An anagram (melting) of ICE DOES.
25a Rest unhappy following cock-and-bull story (3,4)
LIE DOWN: A (3) word for “cock-and-bull story”, followed by a synonym of unhappy.
26a Splash of colour in heart of cedar wood (4)
DASH: Link together the middle letter (in heart) of ceDar and a type of wood used to make axe handles and the like. Chambers also lists just “splash” as a definition of the answer.
27a Covert charge in bargain basement's ending with husband on duty (7,3)
STEALTH TAX: It’s time to concatenate . Assemble a shopping bargain, the last letter (‘s ending) of basemenT, H(usband), and a duty or levy.
1d Stake large sum of money, holding Spades (4)
POST: A large sum of money, possibly found in the centre of a card table, containing (holding) the playing card abbreviation for spades.
2d United following umpire -- gosh, he's fleeing (7)
REFUGEE: An informal (3) term for an umpire, followed by U(nited) and an interjection quite similar to gosh.
3d A restaurant may make this accusation after function (7,6)
SERVICE CHARGE: Join a function or ceremony to an accusation levelled in a court of law.
4d Deny oneself information offered up during decline (8)
ABNEGATE: The reversal (offered up in a down clue) of a short informal word for information, placed inside (during) a synonym of decline or subside.
5d Talk about energy fraud (5)
CHEAT: A informal talk containing (about) the physics abbreviation for energy.
7d Against the rules, off-colour English girl used (7)
ILLEGAL: Link together another word for off-colour, E(nglish), and an informal term for girl.
8d Authorised to run away with current partner (10)
LEGITIMATE: Assemble a (3,2) phrase meaning “to run away”, the physics abbreviation for electric current, and a partner or friend.
11d Family magazine disagreed, for a change, with others around (7,6)
READER’S DIGEST: An anagram (for a change) of DISAGREED contained in (with… around) a synonym of others. The magazine’s internet address( http://www.rd.com/) really should belong to Rabbit Dave.
13d Bewildered prisoner set up (10)
CONFOUNDED: One of crosswordland’s usual prisioners followed by a word meaning set up or established.
16d Periodical trouble working over in plant (8)
MAGNOLIA: Start by joining a synonym of trouble and a usual word for working. Reverse that combination (over) and put it after an informal contraction of a type of periodical.
18d Fashionable small cross -- upset it's under cover? (7)
INDOORS: Start by joining the clothing abbreviation for small and a type of religious cross. Reverse that combination (upset in a down clue) and put it after a usual word for fashionable.
20d I'm toxic to livestock, and grow wild in desert (7)
RAGWORT: An anagram (wild) of GROW placed inside (in) a verb synonym of desert or, as Chambers puts it, “change sides for unworthy motives”. In the US, this plant is also known as Stinking Willie.
22d Inside centre, a trained nurse (5)
TREAT: And here is this week’s lurker. The answer is hidden inside the remaining words in the clue.
23d Soundly criticises Scottish reformer (4)
KNOX: Spoken aloud (soundly), this Scottish reformer sounds like a word meaning criticises. The name was familiar because for several years I passed this church on the way to school.
Thanks to today’s mystery setter for a very fun solve. I ticked several clues during the solving and the hinting, but today I’m going with the quickie pun as my favourite. Which clues did you like best?
P.S. If you’ve made it this far, you may be ready for another crossword. I’m told that today’s Toughie is special: it’s one more delight from the collection that Petitjean left behind, scheduled to coincide with a memorial event for him. I hear that it is fairly gentle and lots of fun. So, if that appeals, don your mad hat and head on over to the other side where, after 2pm, you’ll find Kitty lurking with hints and entertainment.
The Quick Crossword pun: WRING+OWES+TAR=RINGO STARR