Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28567
Hints and tips by Digby
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BD Rating – Difficulty **– Enjoyment **
Hello from Heavenly Henfield on the Sussex Downs.
Recent joiners to Big Dave won’t have met me, as my last blog was over a year ago, but the 2Kiwi’s adventures on the sub-continent have dragged me out of semi-retirement.
It is to be hoped that they are having a marvellous time, and meanwhile my pre-dawn brain-engagement was a relatively straightforward experience, fortified by several brews of India’s finest.
I am not equipped to identify individual setters, but assume this to be a Jay production, which I found to be fair, well-clued, but perhaps lacking in any stand-out or penny-drop moments.
However, I am always delighted to be challenged by differing views or tastes.
Please let me know how you got on.
1a Shifty last retailer picked up tableware item (4,6) .
SALT CELLAR Anagram (shifty) of LAST followed by a homophone (picked up) for a retailer.
6a Pity, for the most part, is pretence (4)
SHAM A synonym for pity with its last letter removed (for the most part)
9a Flier confined by ambassador to land (7)
ORTOLAN A flier that is new to me is hidden (confined) in the last 3 words of the clue.
10a Adopt mainly dull and nice changes (7)
INCLUDE Anagram of DUL(L) (mainly) and NICE
12a Traditionalists sign after performance by soldiers (13)
REACTIONARIES Start with the well-used abbreviation for soldiers, then a synonym for a performance or deed, and finally the oft-seen Sign of the Zodiac. These traditionalists are typically politicians opposed to change.
14a Observer in privy meeting with broker, half cut (8)
ONLOOKER Split 2/3, think of a description for being in the privy. Follow this (meeting) with the last half (cut) of broker.
15a Remain absorbed by tatty rug that’s not as attractive (6)
UGLIER Take a word meaning remain and place inside (absorb) an anagram of RUG
17a Shape a student in accordance with convention (6)
FORMAL A synonym for shape followed by A (from the clue) and our usual notation for student, or learner
19a Independent female protected by friendly source of power (4,4)
WIND FARM Insert (protect) the 3-letter abbreviation for independent and F(emale) into a synonym for a friendly feeling.
21a Head of government permits spirits, showing such wit (7,6)
GALLOWS HUMOUR Build this answer from G (head of government) and synonyms for permits (as a verb) and spirits (not the alcoholic variety)
24a Calls and records a sale (5,2)
RINGS UP Double definition, the second possibly a shop-keeper using their till. Like Arkwright!
25a Wrong in law to accept soldiers suffering (7)
TORMENT The legal word for wrong with a group of soldiers inside (accept)
26a Crush fly (4)
DASH Another double definition – the first word relating to hope or enthusiasm
27a Count Basie perhaps vetoed broadcast, needing editor’s opinion (10)
BANDLEADER The Count was one of these (perhaps) in the 1950s. Take a homophone of vetoed and add the editor’s column in a newspaper.
1d Weep, hugging Liberal — a slovenly type (4)
SLOB Another word for to cry containing (hugging) L(iberal)
2d Former king with a line on the side (7)
LATERAL Former, as in passed-on; the Latin abbreviation for King,; A from the clue; and L(ine)
3d Speakers supporting company dance set up as partners in crime (13)
COLLABORATORS Think of Guy Fawkes and his mates for this answer. Start with the usual short form of company; the reversal (set up in a Down clue) of a word for a dance; and end with (supporting) usually famous speakers.
4d Extend stage to include end of apron afterwards (8)
LENGTHEN Insert (include) the end of apro(N) in a synonym for stage (as in a part of) and then (!) a word meaning afterwards.
5d Friend from Spain making a motorway turn (5)
AMIGO A frequent visitor to Crosswordland is here again! Need I go on?
7d Entertainer who was bound to show unconfined relief (7)
HOUDINI Cryptic description of a famous escapologist (who died 91 years ago)
8d Mass with moral sets off destructive situations (10)
MAELSTROMS An anagram (off) using the fodder M(ass) and the 3rd / 4th words of the clue.
11d Put on new clothes with fashionable source and did a turn? (7,6)
CHANGED COURSE A gentle piece of mis-direction here – the turn is something a boat might do. After the past tense of getting dressed add an anagram (fashionable) of SOURCE
13d Set up as prisoner and judged (10)
CONFIGURED One of our stock words for prisoner followed by (a US?) term for judged, as in “thought so”.
16d Located audit set for revision (8)
SITUATED An anagram (revision) of words 2 and 3 from the clue.
18d Softens, finding the French trapped in leases (7)
RELENTS Take a synonym for leases and insert (trapped) the male French definite article
20d Draught beer’s top for this idiot (7)
AIRHEAD Split 3/4 – what causes a draught and what you should find on top of a well-pulled pint.
22d One cuts copies up in colour (5)
SEPIA Reverse (up in a down clue) a word meaning copies and insert (cuts) a letter meaning one.
23d Prison involved in raising of merit systems (4)
STIR We finish with another chestnut. A reverse lurker (involved in raising) from the last 2 words of the clue.
My favourite clue today, for its touch of lavatory humour, is 14a. Which is yours?
Quickie pun Thumb + Hind + Sigh = The Mind’s Eye