Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28556
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating — Difficulty ** — Enjoyment ***
Hello everyone. I don’t know who set today’s crossword. I enjoyed it and didn’t find it too tricky but, as I’ve said before, I find it difficult to judge difficulty and enjoyment when I know I’m doing the hints.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.
In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.
1a Money in US county (5)
BUCKS — To start us off we have fairly straightforward double definition – a slang term for American money and an abbreviation of an English county.
4a Publication to catch is mesmerising at first — that’s attractive (9)
MAGNETISM — Begin with an abbreviation for a publication or journal, follow that with a verb to catch or trap, the IS from the clue and, finally, the first letter (at first) of M(esmerising).
9a A comedian’s funny state (9)
MACEDONIA — An anagram (funny) of A COMEDIAN.
10a Wear only down back? (3,2)
PUT ON — A reversal (back) of how you could say ‘down’. Oh dear – difficult to give a hint for this without giving the game away completely.
11a Expression of disgust, ghastly one (7)
GRIMACE — This is a facial expression – a word meaning ghastly or hideous is followed by a one in a pack of cards.
12a Bird dog (7)
HARRIER — A double definition – a kind of hawk and a hunting dog which I’d never heard of.
13a Devious game in mystery (6)
ENIGMA — An anagram (devious) of GAME IN.
15a Bird looking to circle lake (8)
STARLING — A word meaning looking very intensly contains (to circle) the one letter abbreviation for L(ake).
18a Leaders, band members hitting the high notes? (3,5)
TOP BRASS — A section of an orchestra which includes trumpets and trombones which, for the sake of the clue, are playing the high notes rather than the lower ones.
20a Good variety for farm (6)
GRANGE — The one letter abbreviation for G(ood) is followed by a variety or medley.
23a Extraordinary thing to achieve fifty in speeding down the motorway? (7)
MIRACLE — The major motorway going from London to the north is followed by a contest to see how fast you can go (speeding) which contains (to achieve) the Roman numeral for fifty.
24a Curious girl, ten, curl in hair (7)
RINGLET — An anagram (curious) of GIRL TEN.
26a Tot has a play (5)
DRAMA — A tot or a small drink is followed by the A from the clue.
27a Italian girl dancing on air after clue (9)
SIGNORINA — A clue or indication is followed by (after) an anagram (dancing) of ON AIR.
28a Vessel touring a river, large boat (9)
CATAMARAN — A kind of vessel or a tin contains (touring) the A from the clue and a river in the south west of England and Tasmania.
29a Scoundrel in heavy footwear, heading off (5)
ROGUE — A hefty kind of shoe which usually has a decorative pattern of holes without its first letter (heading off).
1d Stay with me, and do as you please (2,2,5)
BE MY GUEST — A double definition and another one that’s tricky to give a decent hint for – an informal expression used to indicate willingness and approval for a proposed action.
2d They’re prickly characters initially before start of play? (5)
CACTI — The first letter of characters (initially) is followed by the beginning of a play (split 3,1).
3d Pistol, say, raised in action, beginning to misfire (7)
SIDEARM — An anagram (in action) of RAISED followed by the first letter (beginning to) of M(isfire).
4d Style in private house discussed? (6)
MANNER — A homophone (discussed) – a style or appearance sounds like a large house – well, it does to some of us although I’m sure others will disagree.
5d Success in Merlot, perhaps, offers lead for writer? (8)
GRAPHITE — A success or something that has become popular goes inside (in) something of which Merlot is an example.
6d More in play that’s absorbing for each in Julius Caesar, say? (7)
EMPEROR — An anagram (in play) of MORE contains (that’s absorbing) a way of saying how much something costs for each person.
7d Perception of truth in instruction (9)
INTUITION — The IN from the clue is followed by instruction or teaching.
8d Subordinate underground worker, we hear? (5)
MINOR — A homophone (we hear) – an underground worker sounds like subordinate or junior.
14d This person’s left with soldier leading (9)
IMPORTANT — How the setter might refer to him (or her) self is followed by the nautical word for left and then an insect of which soldier is an example.
16d Dog in Hamlet? (5,4)
GREAT DANE — A large dog could also be a way of describing Hamlet.
17d One who judges fools, so right (8)
ASSESSOR — Some fools or idiots are followed by the SO from the clue and the abbreviation for R(ight).
19d Again, take 23 Across badly (7)
RECLAIM — An anagram (badly) of the answer to 23a.
21d Bitterness flowed with boldness, age forgotten (7)
RANCOUR — Flowed, as a river might, is followed by a seven letter word meaning boldness or bravery without its final three letters (age forgotten).
22d Continue to trail monster (6)
DRAGON — If split 4,2, the monster could mean continue to trail – and another one that’s really difficult to hint.
23d GP entering home, dictator! (5)
MEDIC — Our one and only lurker or hidden answer for today – its hiding in the last two words of the clue and that’s indicated by ‘entering’.
25d Telling stories in bed, perhaps? (5)
LYING — A double definition.
I liked 12 and 23a and 22d. My favourite was 1d (and the Quickie pun!)
The Quickie pun:- WOOD + GERBIL + EVE + FEAT = WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?