Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28657
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja. I’m pretty sure this is a RayT production but it’s very much at the benign end of his spectrum. It would have been only * difficulty had I not seemed to run into some speed humps in the SE corner. Still, it fell nicely after a brief struggle so ** it is. There again, perhaps I was just on the wavelength this morning and it really is a tricky little rascal. I’ll interested to see what you all made of it.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Manservant nevertheless left Queen (6)
BUTLER: A word for nevertheless is followed by L(eft) and the usual two letters representing Her Majesty. Here’s a famous bit from Rhett of that ilk . . .
4a Throttle and start to reverse in street corner (8)
STRANGLE: Nothing to do with a car’s accelerator. Start with the usual street and then a corner, of a triangle perhaps, and insert an R (start to Reverse). The reversing in the street corner did get me thinking about cars at first.
9a Perhaps copper should arrest useless relative (6)
COUSIN: What a copper might be an example of has the usual two letters for useless inserted (should arrest). Another nice bit of misdirection methinks having copper and arrest together.
10a Stop killjoy touring European capital after vacation (8)
PRECLUDE: Vacation here means emptying out so do that to the word CapitaL and you’re left with CL. Put this next to E(uropean) and around it all (touring) put a killjoy
13a Wife awfully riled getting more livid (6)
WILDER: W(ife) followed by an anagram (awfully) of RILED.
15a Natter with eminent characters broadcast in show (13)
ENTERTAINMENT: Anagram (broadcast) NATTER with EMINENT.
18a Location sent out about large group of stars (13)
CONSTELLATION: Anagram (out) of LOCATION SENT placed around (about) an L(arge).
22a Drive inspiring sex over reason (6)
MOTIVE: The usual euphemism for sex is reversed (over) and inserted (inspiring) into a word for drive or shift.
24a Plain china, black with white exterior (8)
PALPABLE: Plain as in obvious. One of the usual chinas, not mate but the other common one, is followed by B(lack) with a word meaning white, or at least lacking in colour, placed around it.
26a Private and fancy aren’t in line (8)
INTERNAL: Anagram (fancy) of ARENT IN followed by L(ine).
27a Drunkenly put, it’s free swill! (6)
SLUICE: Not easy to explain. It’s swill as in to clean the floor by pouring large amounts of water over it. To get it you need a synonym of free and then think of how a drunk might say it’s ??? You probably heard me bashing my head with a tea tray when the penny dropped on this one!
8a Fairly religious assuming sanctuary (8)
HONESTLY: Take a word for religious (4) and insert (assuming) a sanctuary or home for a bird.
29a ‘Times’ taken past American customs (6)
USAGES: A word for a period of time, don’t forget the S, is placed after (taken past) the usual two letters for American.
1d Developed into flying insect around river (6)
BECAME: A flying insect around the river which flows through Cambridge.
2d Staff organise church in tense period (9)
TRUNCHEON: Staff as in a stick or baton. A word meaning to organise or manage and one of the usual abbreviation for church go inside (in) a T(ense) followed by a long period of time.
3d Partly genteel, it is terribly snobbish (7)
ELITIST: The first lurker. The answer is lurking in (partly) the next four words of the clue.
7d Eating our dinner, eating fruit (5)
GOURD: Another lurker. It’s hidden in (eating) “eating our dinner”.
8d Damn! Previous programme’s ending on box (8)
EXECRATE: The usual two letters for previous or old followed by E (programme’s ending) and then a box, usually a wooden one.
12d Spirits man swallows alternatively (6)
MORALE: Spirits as in confidence. A word for a man goes around (swallows) a two letter word meaning alternatively.
14d Mother unfortunately overturned spice mix (6)
MASALA: The usual mother followed by a reversal (overturned) of a word for unfortunately.
16d Elevating one rising accepting new finery (9)
ENNOBLING: ONE (from the clue) is reversed (rising in a down clue) and has N(ew) inserted (accepting). That lot is followed by some finery as in flashy jewellery.
19d Servant working for hostelries (7)
TAVERNS: Anagram (working) of SERVANT. I’m surprised I’ve never come across this anagram before but if I have I’ve clean forgotten about it.
20d Sticks and stones finally after demon drink (7)
IMPALES: A demon or naughty child followed by a common crosswordland drink and then an S (stoneS finally).
21d Nonconformists having dances, including bishop (6)
REBELS: Insert a B (for Bishop in chess notation) into some country dances.
23d Giant bird sitting on a nest’s top (5)
TITAN: To get this giant you need not a giant bird but a very small one followed by (sitting on in a down clue) the A from the clue and an N (Nest’s top).
25d Surround women with everything (4)
WALL: W(omen) followed by a word for everything.
Mr T seems to have put his innuendo hat on today which was a bit of fun. Lots of fine clues here but my podium is the rather splendid 27a with 11a and 9a.
Quick crossword pun: SPAN + HULK + AWED = SPINAL CORD