Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28617
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from foggy South Staffs. Today is the calm before the storm: almost all the Christmas supplies have been brought in, and the first of our guests fly in from Belgium tonight, the first instalment of the eleven (plus a baby) people who will be with us for the festival. Happy Christmas to everybody, and I hope to be back next week.
There is a seasonal flavour to Giovanni’s puzzle today, and it didn’t take me very long to solve (unlike the Quickie, which I found a bit of a beast, though I wasn’t helped by misspelling the first part of the pun). Thanks to Giovanni for another year of quality puzzles.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Material left by a church (4)
LACE – Put together Left, A (from the clue), and the letters signifying the Church of England.
3a Seasonal food that comes with a sign of emotional stress? (10)
GOOSEFLESH – Double definition, the first being one of the traditional roast meats for Christmas (what the Cratchit family were going to have before Scrooge sent round the big turkey).
9a Paintings in works defaced (4)
OILS – Remove the first letter (defaced) from a word meaning ‘works hard’.
10a Traitor involved with men becomes killer (10)
TERMINATOR – Anagram (involved) of TRAITOR and MEN.
11a Boy overwhelmed by a noise in pantomime (7)
ALADDIN – A (from the clue) and a loud noise, placed either side of another word for boy.
13a Girl attending university having endless 6 — like a bit of a target? (7)
ANNULAR – Put together a girl’s name, University, and a synonym of the answer to 6d with its last letter removed.
14a Infernal place, Herts town, in which to perform — it’s off-putting (11)
DISTRACTING – Start with an alternative name for Pluto, the Greek god of the Underworld, hence by extension the Underworld itself. Then insert ‘to perform’ into the name of a town in Hertfordshire 30 miles north-west of London, and add the result to the first part of your answer.
18a Celebrating the season? Starchy miss is otherwise (11)
CHRISTMASSY – Anagram (otherwise) of STARCHY MISS.
21a Once again embrace silly pater outside party (7)
READOPT – Anagram (silly) of PATER wrapped around one of the usual crossword parties.
22a Make painful sound about donkey in carol-singing (7)
WASSAIL – A cry of pain wrapped around another word for donkey, This sort of carol-singing is not what goes on in church: it’s rather boozier than that.
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23a Bouncer at annual event in London SW? (6,4)
TENNIS BALL – Cryptic definition of a piece of sports equipment used in large numbers during the fortnight in summer when Centre Court becomes a focus of attention.
24a The damsel supplies this cheese (4)
EDAM – Hidden in the clue.
25a Eldest maid travelling round Egypt etc (6,4)
MIDDLE EAST – Anagram (travelling) of ELDEST MAID.
26a Loveless grumble coming from senior family member (4)
GRAN – Remove the letter which looks like a love score at the event in 23a from a word meaning ‘grumble’.
1d Man sits on magical phone box, one coming out in panto gear? (8)
LEOTARDS – A man’s name (or his star sign?) followed by the iconic police box from Doctor Who with its I removed (one coming out). The answer is some kit worn by dancers in panto or other forms of entertainment.
2d To south of Scottish island see part of church crumble (8)
COLLAPSE – An island in the Inner Hebrides followed by a part of a church building which appears regularly in crosswords – the last time was in yesterday’s back page.
4d Once a tempestuous expanse of water (5)
OCEAN – Anagram (tempestuous) of ONCE A.
5d Brief statements from married stars putting tot to the fore (9)
SUMMARIES – Start (to the fore) with a word for ‘tot (up)’, then add Married, and a star sign attributed to people born in March and April.
6d Manage funds reallocated for recreational activities (3,3,5)
FUN AND GAMES – Anagram (reallocated) of MANAGE FUNDS.
7d Praises partner of yesteryear, sadly lost (6)
EXTOLS – The usual former partner, followed by an anagram (sadly) of LOST.
8d Hurry to entertain artist turning up in African city (6)
HARARE – The usual crossword artist is reversed (turning up) and placed inside ‘hurry’ (like a fast, furry animal). The answer is to be found in Zimbabwe.
12d Face tackling minister, beginning to irritate in the role of boss (11)
DIRECTORIAL – Another word for ‘face’ (of a clock, perhaps) wrapped around a minister of religion and the first letter of Irritate.
15d What supplies support for bridge? (4-5)
CARD-TABLE – Cryptic definition of what may be found underneath a game of bridge, or whist, or cribbage…
16d Man’s man? (8)
ISLANDER – Cryptic definition of someone who lives on a place called Man.
17d Plant fellows found submerged under cold nasty clay (8)
CYCLAMEN – Put together Cold, an anagram (nasty) of CLAY, and some chaps.
19d For now, Prime Minister must swallow rubbish meeting European (3,3)
PRO TEM – The answer is a Latin abbreviation. Some rubbish and European are put together and placed inside Prime Minister.
20d Group in the auditorium stopped from playing? (6)
BANNED – A homophone (in the auditorium) of a musical group.
22d Home Counties rule set up for whole country (5)
WALES – Put together a geographical indication of where the Home Counties are to be found and another word for a statutory rule, then reverse the lot.
The Quick Crossword pun DEKKER + ASIANS = DECORATIONS