Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28478
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Morning all and welcome to another RayThursday. It was a game of two halves for me. I went through the across clues and only got four of them so I thought I might be in for a fair old struggle. Then I went through the downs and got all but three so with all those checkers in place the puzzle just sort of rolled over and wanted its tummy tickled. It was a bit of fun while it lasted but I’m sure some of you will have had a different experience.
It’s a typical RayT in many ways, a couple of lurkers, an initial letters clue, some Sun models, an excited girlie and Her Majesty showing up but it’s got more than the usual number of anagrams. I make it six clues involving an anagram in one way or another which I know will please some of you.
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.
7a A penetrating despair about the next world? (8)
PARADISE: Insert (penetrating) the A from the clue into an anagram (about) of DESPAIR. This was one of the four that I got on first pass.
9a Independent contract with Sun models (6)
IDEALS: Nothing to do with topless girls (shame) but models as in things to look up to or follow. Start with I(ndependant) then a contract and finally S(un).
10a Hard going by single file (4)
HONE: H(ard) followed by single as in less than two.
11a Refraining from need to carry can (10)
ABSTINENCE: A need or lack with a can inserted (to carry).
12a Seed finally winning serves taking new balls (6)
DANCES: Start with a D (seeD finally) followed by some winning serves in tennis and insert (taking) an N(ew). Nicely topical in view of what’s going on in SW19.
14a About time to reverse having runs on banks (8)
TERRACES: Start with one of the usual two letters for about and a T(ime). Reverse these as instructed by the clue and follow with a word for runs or running competitions.
15a Amercian wrench never releases odd items (6)
YANKEE: The first word should, of course, be AMERICAN. Start with a wrench or pull and follow with the even letters (releases odd items) from nEvEr and you’ll get your Amercian who might be a New York baseball player.
20a Telling lie going back into clink (8)
RELATING: A word for a lie, not fib but the other one (4), is reversed and inserted (going back into) a word for a clink as in a sound.
22a Country is able to plug middle of dam (6)
CANADA: The country that had its 150th birthday at the start of this month is a word for “is able”, followed by a plug or some publicity and then an A (middle of dAm).
23a Scream after voice gets altered (10)
VOCIFERATE: Anagram (gets altered) of AFTER VOICE.
24a Very last offer for sale (4)
VEND: V(ery) followed by the last of something.
25a A taste one’s acquired for rodent (6)
AGOUTI: A (from the clue) then a French word for taste and lastly an I (one’s acquired).
26a Mad Hatter, heartless even, shows menace (8)
THREATEN: Anagram (mad) of HATTER followed by the first and last letters (heartless) of EveN.
1d Wood a swine’s cut into heaps (8)
MAHOGANY: Start with a word for heaps, as in a lot, and insert (cut into) A (from the clue) and a swine or pig.
2d Naughty sweetheart proposed? (4)
BADE: Naughty followed by the middle letter (heart) of swEet.
3d Very important things, aiding life support initially (6)
VITALS: The first letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.
5d Mission leading to manoeuvres round end of battle (10)
DELEGATION: Anagram (manoeuvres) of LEADING TO around an E (end of battlE).
8d Some otters at zoo may be artificial (6)
ERSATZ: A lurker. It’s lurking in (some) otters at zoo.
13d Catching criminal before mark promises to pay (10)
CONTAGIOUS: Catching as a disease might be catching. Start with one of the usual criminals, then a word for mark or highlight and finally the letters for some promises to pay. Crossword setters would have a much harder time without these promissory notes!
16d Rampant great penning dime novel (8)
EPIDEMIC: Take a word for great, often applied to films starring Charlton Heston, ad insert (penning) and anagram (novel) of DIME.
18d Hazard sitting butt on needle (8)
ENDANGER: Start with a word for needle, as in annoy, and before it (sitting . . . on in a down clue) a word for butt as in the finish of something.
19d Shocked seeing bag has tea inside (6)
AGHAST: The second lurker is hidden (inside) in bag has tea.
21d Ample individual getting comeuppance? Pooh! (6)
ENOUGH: A word for an individual is reversed (getting comeuppance in a down clue) and followed by an exclamation of disgust. Never seen this as a reversal indicator before but I guess it works.
22d Endless game to capture Queen for so long (6)
CHEERS: Take crosswordland’s favourite board game and remove the last letter (endless. The insert (to capture) the usual two letters for Her Majestry.
24d Reportedly horrible medicine container (4)
VIAL: This container sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning horrible.
A lot of good stuff but 24a was favourite for its elegant simplicity and I’ve got 6d and 12a joining it on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: HYMN + URGENCY = EMERGENCY