Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28488
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating - Difficulty **/*** - Enjoyment ****
Hello everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday back-pager. Today’s puzzle has no real obscurities (at least for those old enough to know Gone with the Wind) and no tricky clue constructions. Curiously, during the solve it felt a tad more difficult than usual, but after writing the hints I’m finding it hard to see why. Must be that wavelength thing. It was still a very enjoyable solve and that, after all, is what really matters.
Kitty, who keeps track of such things, told me earlier that Monday of this week is National Tequila Day. Today I am blogging from the nation in question, and the time difference means that it is in fact still Monday as I formulate these Tuesday hints and tips. So, I naturally had to observe the special day by writing the blog with a moderately*-sized Margarita at my side. I’m not sure if that had any effect on the hints. I had planned today to revisit the issue of repeated answers after Kitty told me that it came up at the recent Macclesfield Sloggers and Betters event but, having already filled a paragraph of intro and being unsure that math(s) and tequila are compatible, I think I’ll just save that topic for next week.
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 and 6: 'Play late,' he's written in error (3,7,4)
THE WINTER’S [TALE]: Anagram (in error) of LATE HE’S WRITTEN. The answer is one of many plays created by Shakespeare. Here is a list of those plays.
6a See 1 Across
TALE: See hint for 1a
10a Enough drink imbibed by politician? Quite the opposite! (5)
AMPLE: Following the clue’s direction to invert the word play (quite the opposite), the usual abbreviation for a Member of Parliament (politician) is inserted into (imbibed by) an alcoholic drink
11a Reported cut head in Kent town (9)
SHEERNESS: Join a homophone (reported) of cut and a synonym of head(land) to get a town in Kent. Here is Wikipedia’s list of Kentish towns. The answer is also a fabric property.
12a Dull and terribly annoyed (7)
ANODYNE: An anagram (terribly) of ANNOYED
13a Soft game with unknown (7)
SQUASHY: A racquet game followed by one of the usual letters used in mathematics to stand for an unknown variable.
14a 101 left in outstanding debts, being arrogant (12)
SUPERCILIOUS: This one is a charade. We need to assemble an adjective meaning outstanding, 101 in Roman numerals, L(eft), and some informal documents acknowledging debts
18a A woolly state ... or an embarrassed one? (12)
SHEEPISHNESS: Interpreted cryptically the answer describes a property possessed by one type of woolly creature.
23a A region troubled in time long ago (4,3)
IRON AGE: An anagram (troubled) of A REGION
24a Finally felt upset about obituary for old fossil (9)
TRILOBITE: The last letter (finally) of felT followed by a verb synonym of upset that contains (about) a four-letter abbreviation for obituary. If the fossil isn’t familiar, you’ll find some details here
25a Possibly perfect form of language (5)
TENSE: Non-perfect examples of this form of verbs include past, present, and future
26a Give a narrative (4)
SAGA: A synonym of give or droop, followed by A from the clue.
27a Pay British bank for pedestrian crossing (10)
FOOTBRIDGE: Concatenate a word meaning pay (the bill), B(ritish), and a synonym of bank or mound
1d Scarlett's place is housing this person's crowns (6)
TIARAS: Scarlett here is Ms O’Hara of 1939 movie Gone with the Wind, and her place is the plantation where she lives at the start of the film. The answer is a contraction of “Scarlett’s place is” containing (housing) the single letter pronoun that the setter would use for themselves (this person).
2d Use 75 per cent of polymers wrongly (6)
EMPLOY: An anagram (wrongly) of the first 6/8 of (75 percent of) the letters in POLYME
3d Sorry round with bogey pair unravelled (1,3,4,6)
I BEG YOUR PARDON: An anagram (unravelled) of ROUND BOGEY PAIR
4d 12 and offensive (9)
TASTELESS: A nice double definition, the first being the bland answer to 12a
5d Wind section's leader dances (5)
REELS: A verb meaning wind or turn round, followed by the first letter (…’s leader) of Section
7d Dislike a particular edition (8)
AVERSION: A from the clue and a word meaning “particular edition”
8d Writer tries to encapsulate current time (8)
ESSAYIST: We’re looking here for a type of writer, not a specific person. To find it, start with old synonym of tries containing (to encapsulate) the usual physics symbol for electric current. Then append the physics symbol for time.
9d Meandering hotel tour bores Mr Fixit? (14)
TROUBLESHOOTER: An anagram (meandering) of HOTEL TOUR BORES
15d Sure about working if turning up with depression? (9)
CONFIDENT: Chain together the usual single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, a usual word for working or running, the reversal (turning up in a down clue) of IF from the clue, and a depression (in a sheet of metal, perhaps)
16d Fool embracing famous footballer -- love is dangerous stuff (8)
ASBESTOS: A usual fool containing (embracing) both a Northern Irish footballer who found fame and celebrity playing for Manchester United in the 1960s & 70s and the usual letter representing love in tennis. Here are a few quotes from the famous footballer:
17d Office worker can start to get seductive (8)
TEMPTING: Assemble a non-permanent office worker, a synonym of can (of food), and the first letter of (start to) Get
19d Brown little bear eats girl (6)
TANNED: The first three letters (little) of a common name applied to toy bears contain (eats) a girl’s name
20d Always in London area? Harsh! (6)
SEVERE: Place a synonym of always inside (in) the two-letter compass direction that locates the London area within the UK
22d One might charge money (5)
RHINO: A double definition. The money synonym is one I’ve encountered only in cryptic crosswords. Big Dave has accurately labelled it and its ilk Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve. Running through the acrosses, I liked the single word anagram in 12a, 13a and 18a both raised a smile, and I was impressed by the efficiency of 26a. On the downs, I enjoyed unpicking 1d, laughed at 12d, admired how 15d mixed four ingredients to get a smooth surface, enjoyed seeing the answer to 16d emerge from the word play (now, what footballer can go in here to make a real word…?), and was pleasantly surprised by both 19d and 20d. I was not wild about 22d because you either know it (most likely from a previous crossword) or you don’t. Which clues topped your list?
The Quick Crossword pun: MILL+KEY+WAY=MILKY WAY