Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28622
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from a soggy South Staffs. All the Christmas visitors departed yesterday, and suddenly the house seems very quiet.
Giovanni will test your knowledge of elderly comics and Victorian horse-drawn transport today, but as usual the wordplay will enable you to find the answer. This is the last Giovanni of 2017. A Happy New Year to all our readers, and see you next year.
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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5a Bikes in next to no time sped furiously (6)
MOPEDS – A brief period (next to no time), followed by an anagram (furiously) of SPED.
8a Secret English drunkard, top woman in charge (8)
ESOTERIC – Put together English, a drunkard, the initials attached to the most important woman in Britain, and an abbreviation for In Charge.
9a Old TV comic Phil gets more than one second prize (7)
SILVERS – The surname of the actor who played Sgt Bilko could also be what someone who finished second in more than one Olympic competition received.
10a Stay for a while in porter’s house? (5)
LODGE – Double definition, the first a verb, the second a noun.
11a Old boy in state that’s unstable and unlikely to change (9)
OBSTINATE – The abbreviation for a school’s old boy followed by an anagram (unstable) of IN STATE.
13a Star writer with story about origin of cricket (8)
PENTACLE – Something to write with followed by a story wrapped around the first letter (origin) of Cricket.
14a Animal that surprises me has rushed around (6)
RACOON – An expression of surprise with a synonym of ‘rushed’ wrapped around it.
17a Method of payment on doorstep for fish (3)
COD – Split this (1,1,1) and you get some trading terms where delivered goods are handed over in return for cash paid at the point of delivery. Otherwise it’s a fish often eaten with chips.
19a Information supplied by agent (3)
GEN – Hidden in the last word of the clue.
20a Fairy in a Shakespeare play, fine material (6)
COBWEB – Double definition, the first being one of Titania’s attendants in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
23a Like many a Catholic priest in church, albeit naughty (8)
CELIBATE – Anagram (naughty) of ALBEIT with the initials of the Church of England wrapped around it.
26a One has unexpected closeness, no win ultimately, having two sides equal (9)
ISOSCELES – The Roman numeral for one followed by an anagram (unexpected) of CLOSE(n)ESS with the last letter of wiN removed.
28a Problem for film director (5)
HITCH – Double definition, the second being a familiar shortening of the name of the director of Psycho.
29a Female dumping male by street, I have to be merry (7)
FESTIVE – Remove the MALE from FE(male) and add the abbreviation for street and the contracted form of ‘I have’.
30a Vehicle taking Laurel and Bob maybe (8)
STANHOPE – Put together the first name of Mr Laurel and the surname of American comedian Bob, to get a sort of horse-drawn vehicle.
31a Type of moneylender certain to be found in old city (6)
USURER – Another word for ‘certain’ with the usual ancient Chaldean city wrapped around it.
1d Winning easily, start to grow more intense (4,2)
WELL UP – Double definition, the second describing a build-up of emotion leading to tears.
2d In France good noise comes with good rapport (7)
BONDING Put together the French word for ‘good’, a loud noise or racket, and Good.
3d Loss of employment is hard — party must be held (9)
SEVERANCE – Another word for hard or harsh, wrapped around the initials of the political party of which Nelson Mandela was a leading light.
4d Greek character has briefly purloined weapon (6)
PISTOL – A Greek letter followed by another word for ‘purloined’ with its last letter removed (briefly).
5d Dampness damaged tourism — last thing Margate needs (8)
MOISTURE – Anagram (damaged) of TOURISM, followed by the last letter of MargatE.
6d Dance has the old man taking front position (5)
PAVAN – A two-letter familiar term for ‘father’ or ‘the old man’, followed by the lead position in an approaching army.
7d I do a turn, being funny for a time (8)
DURATION – Anagram (being funny) of I DO A TURN.
12d Bill’s little companion in Scottish mountain (3)
BEN – Double definition: the other Flowerpot Man; or the first word of the name of many Scottish mountains.
15d Opposing inauthentic sort of singing in church (9)
ANTIPHONY – A prefix meaning ‘opposing’ followed by ‘inauthentic’ or ‘sham’. This is the sort of singing where one half of a choir sings in response to the other.
16d Vessels — they glide along? (8)
COASTERS – Cryptic definition of some ships – perhaps dirty British ones with salt-caked smokestacks – which could, in another context, be vehicles coming downhill with no tractive effort being applied.
18d Spectator as a weekly publication (8)
OBSERVER – Another word for a spectator, perhaps one paying close attention, which is also the name of a Sunday newspaper (the home of the Azed crossword).
21d One watches, missing odd bits (3)
ACE – The even-numbered (missing odd bits) letters of wAtChEs.
22d Loud goings-on in party (7)
FACTION – The musical symbol for ‘loud’ followed by some goings-on or activity.
24d Everything one has in car (6)
ESTATE – Double definition, the first being a legal term for all the real and personal property in your possession, especially at the time of death.
25d Making appearance outside house, city journalist returned (6)
ECHOED – The letters representing the postal district of the City of London, and the usual crossword journalist, placed either side (making appearance outside) an abbreviation for HOuse.
27d Mythical being, after last day of week, starts to yawn and relax (5)
SATYR – The abbreviation for the last day of the week (the proper one, where Sunday is the first), followed by the initial letters (starts) of Yawn and Relax.
I am indebted to Miffypops for drawing my attention to this letter in today’s paper, referring to the retirement of Rufus:
SIR – You reported (December 17) that Roger Squires is retiring from a career of setting crosswords for The Daily Telegraph and other publications.
The Quick Crossword pun CARET + CHOOSE = CARROT JUICE