Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28500
Hints and tips by Mr Kitty
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BD Rating - Difficulty *** - Enjoyment ****
Hello, everyone. I thought today's puzzle was just excellent. I found the bottom somewhat easier than the top, where some serious thinking was required in a few places. The enjoyment level was way above average, with a few laugh out loud moments. The puzzle has smooth surface readings, nothing too ancient or too obscure in the answers, and a few echoes scattered about. Sounds like it could be the work of one of our regular Tuesday setters.
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 Source of fine piece in standard bill (7,6)
PARKING TICKET: Place the most important piece on a chess board between a three-letter word for standard or normal and a synonym of bill. On my first pass through the puzzle I fell for the setter's misdirection and wrote F (source of fine) in the NW corner.
9a Frenchman pair backed in Lincolnshire town is braggart (9)
LOUDMOUTH: Join a French Mr and a pair (of musicians, perhaps). Then insert the reversal (backed in) of that four-letter combination into a town in Lincolnshire. (Here is a handy list of Lincolnshire towns)
10a High ball one enjoys getting down in sport (5)
SKIER: A double definition. The first comes from the game illustrated below, where it describes a ball hit high in the air. The second, pronounced differently, is a participant in a sport where getting down is the good part.
11a Sluggish trainer tires somewhat (5)
INERT: The answer is hidden inside (somewhat) the other words in the clue
12a Period of service in sunless French city (4)
TOUR: Delete the single-letter abbreviation for sun (sunless) from a city located on the Loire, to get a period of service (in the military perhaps)
13a Musicians not allowed to be heard (4)
BAND: A homophone (to be heard) of a word meaning "not allowed". Here are The 13a with The Staples
15a High-flier from Russia or Georgia with mobile I rang (7)
GAGARIN: The abbreviation for the US State of Georgia, followed by an anagram (mobile) of I RANG. The answer is the surname of the Russian cosmonaut who was the first human to travel to outer space.
17a Journalist provided with diamonds in town hall perhaps (7)
EDIFICE: Concatenate the usual journalists, a synonym of provided or assuming, and a slang term for diamonds
18a Support horse close to race, not yet fully formed? (7)
TEENAGE: Link together a support for a golf ball, a not so great horse, and the last letter (close to) of racE
21a Very small element with unknown character (4)
TINY: A metallic chemical element, followed by one of the usual letters used in mathematics to represent an unknown variable
22a Daily attraction falling short (4)
CHAR: A five-letter word for attraction, minus its last letter (falling short).
23a Unspoken work of diplomat touring India (5)
TACIT: An essential skill for a diplomat, containing (touring) the letter represented by India in the NATO phonetic alphabet
26a Award mostly established with a pot? (5)
OBESE: A usual honour or award, followed by a three-letter synonym of established minus its last letter (mostly)
27a Bird, fish and insect (9)
COCKROACH: Link together a male fowl and a small freshwater fish to get an extremely hardy insect usually regarded as a pest
28a Fear about lard in a cooking method to achieve a solution (5,3,5)
TRIAL AND ERROR: A synonym of fear containing (about) an anagram (cooking) of LARD IN A
1d Place where everyone turns out for a party? (7,7)
POLLING STATION: A cryptic definition of the place where one casts a vote
2d Origin, it's said, in regular journey (5)
ROUTE: A homophone (it's said) of a noun meaning origin or beginning
3d I should appear before time alarm goes off? It's unimportant (10)
IMMATERIAL: The I from the clue preceding (should appear before) an anagram (goes off) of TIME ALARM.
4d One putting away a large amount? (7)
GLUTTON: A barely cryptic definition of a person with a very large appetite
5d Popular hotel on river within a company (2-5)
IN HOUSE: Stick together the usual word for popular, the letter represented by hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet, and a river in Sussex (or Yorkshire)
6d Neck in stork is stretched (4)
KISS: Hidden inside (in) the remaining words of the clue
7d Bishop in mistrial stirred primitive allegiance? (9)
TRIBALISM: Insert the chess abbreviation for bishop into (in) an anagram (stirred) of MISTRIAL
8d Catch slanderer that's upset older lover (6-8)
CRADLE-SNATCHER: An anagram (that's upset) of CATCH SLANDERER
14d Frenchman embracing girlfriend's home from home? (4-1-5)
PIED-A-TERRE: A common French name (not Rene, for a change), containing (embracing) a word that could describe a girlfriend out with her boyfriend
16d Place for putting punch -- vulnerable area that needs protection (5,4)
GREEN BELT: Link together a place for putting (shown below) and a punch or a hit.
19d Chalet rebuilt with correct source of investment? (7)
ETHICAL: An anagram (rebuilt) of CHALET and the first letter of (source of) Investment. I'm not sure about the role of correct here. Suggestions welcome.
EDIT 14:40: The printed crossword used this revised clue. It now appears in the online version as well:
19d At work, I teach learner what's right? (7)
ETHICAL: An anagram (at work) of I TEACH, followed by L(earner)
20d A devotee eating mostly staple food from Kenya? (7)
AFRICAN: A from the clue, followed by a three-letter devotee or admirer containing (eating) all but the last letter (mostly) of a grain staple.
24d Something to sit on right after tea (5)
CHAIR: The Indian name for tea (or the Starbucks name for an Indian-spiced tea beverage) followed by R(ight)
25d Distribution halved in food outlet (4)
DELI: The first half of a synonym of distribution or supply DELIVERY is the short name for a shop selling exotic foreign food. Like this, perhaps…
Thanks to Mr Ron for a fun solve. I ticked 9a, 10a, 15a, 26a, 5d, 14d, and 16d, and I liked the 4d/26a connection. I have 26a in the runner-up spot today, with 16d on the top step. Which clues did you like best?
The Quick Crossword pun: CANNES+BOROUGH=CANBERRA