Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28678
Hints and tips by a xenophilial Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Good morning from the heart of Downtown L I. Today’s superb puzzle is from our Daily Telegraph puzzles editor Chris Lancaster. Given the recent weather conditions I have another puzzle for you. Can you name the two worst winters we have ever experienced in the British Isles? The answer is greyed out at the end of the hints just before the Quickie Pun.
Your hints and tips have been written today by Miffypops. They are here to help you solve clues you cannot solve or to explain how a clue works when you just cannot see it for yourself. The explanations of the clues will always be done accurately to the best of my ability. The comments afterwards will reflect my light-hearted nature and may or may not amuse. After all, it is only a crossword puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Stopped reading mystery (6,4)
CLOSED BOOK: A double definition. The second, a mystery is a subject or person about which one knows nothing. The first is a term describing what one might do when finishing reading a volume or tome. I find it easier to tear out the pages one has read and throw them away. The volume or tome gets lighter and easier to read as you progress towards the end. Once finished there is nothing left to clutter up your house.
6a Vow to meet large star (4)
IDOL: This vow 1,2 is the one best uttered with crossed fingers at a wedding and said by both the bride and the groom. It is followed by the abbreviation for large
10a Do detective’s business (5)
DISCO: This do is a party with awful music and a cheesy light show. Begin with a senior ranking policeman. Add the possessive S from the clue and the abbreviation a business might be known by
11a Rude about Verrocchio’s first bust (9)
INSOLVENT: Place an adjective meaning impertinent, ill mannered, impudent, or impolite around the letter V. The first letter of the word Verrocchio. An artist and sculptor known for his sculpture of David. Verrocchio has a double letter R as well as a double letter C which nearly put me off finding out more. Who said Cryptic Crossword solving was educational?
12a Genuine backing over offer to sell plant (8)
LAVENDER: Reverse (backing) a word meaning genuine and wrap it around (over) a verb meaning to sell.
13a Coffee ultimately follows wrong dessert (5)
TORTE: The final letter (ultimately) of coffee follows a legal term for a wrong or to put it precisely a wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to legal liability. The answer is one of those desserts I dislike seeing on a menu as I have no idea what it is. I came from Stoke Heath in Coventry where bananas and custard or rice pudding were the norm. We called it pudding not dessert. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the French are to blame as they introduced the word dessert into English usage after the Norman Conquest. The OED also has this ‘In the United States often used to include pies, puddings, and other sweet dishes’ (Cent. Dict.). Now also in British usage. If you have not fallen asleep already may I just say that the above mutterings are those of a person who enjoys the English language in all of its varieties. Not the mutterings of a xenophobe.
15a When students can be seen rattling tins, making music (7)
RAGTIME: The rattling of tins suggests charitable fund raising. Traditionally University students have set aside a particular week for charitable fund raising. The answer describes what this may be known as. It is probably easier to concentrate on the musical element of the clue. A type of piano music evolved by black musicians in the 1890s
17a Rubbish close to house, ‘Two Trees’ (7)
EYEWASH: A welcomed return of a favourite clue. Begin with the last letter (close to) of the word house. Add two trees. One a churchyard favourite from Gray’s Elegy and the other a weed favoured by Goldie in the poem of the same name written by Leo Larry Amadore
19a Ivan set out to find locals (7)
NATIVES: Anagram (out) of IVAN SET
21a Quiet auntie fabricated what’s seen in bed? (7)
PETUNIA: Start with the letter than signifies quiet in musical notation. Add an anagram (fabricated) of AUNTIE to find something that might be found in a bed in your garden
22a Country reportedly took action on article (5)
SUDAN: Begin with a homophone for a word meaning took action in a court of law. Add an article. The one I have just used will do.
24a Such as John Lennon display fit of temper in review (8)
AIRPORTS: Begin with a three-lettered synonym for display. Add the reverse (in review) of a fit of temper. Itself an abbreviation of an abbreviation of the adjective obstreperous with an altered stem vowel.
27a One defends Murray’s penultimate game point (9)
APOLOGIST: A three-part charade. 1. Begin with the penultimate letter from the word Murray. 2.Add a game that may be played in water or on horseback. 3. Add a synonym of the word point. One that means the substance or general meaning of a speech or text.
28a Night out perhaps with daughter, 25 (5)
DATED: Begin with a word meaning what a night out with a girlfriend or boyfriend might be known as. Add the abbreviation for the word Daughter. If this is not enough we can refer to the answer to 25 down for a definition
29a Run section of haberdashery (4)
DASH: The answer is hidden within one of the words of the clue and indicated thus by the words section of
30a Modern Christmas? (7-3)
PRESENT-DAY: We need a synonym for modern. Without the hyphen these words then become a cryptic definition of Christmas based upon what we give and receive on that day
1d Final passage from programmer, reportedly (4)
CODA: The closing passage of a piece of music is a homophone for a programmer, one such as Alan Turing perhaps
2d Offensive lout hangs about (9)
ONSLAUGHT: Anagram (about) of LOUT HANGS
3d Bring to mind agreement accepted by the First Lady (5)
EVOKE: Place a two-lettered word for agreement inside the bible’s first woman
4d Spotted hack, maybe, playing blinder (7)
BRINDLE: Anagram (playing) of BLINDER
5d Watch old boy produce an ace? (7)
OBSERVE: Begin with the common abbreviation for Old Boy. An example of what an ace is in tennis
7d Dull terror with Republican replacing last Democrat (5)
DREAR: Begin with a word meaning dull terror. This can be an adjective noun or verb. Replace it final letter which just happens to be the abbreviation for the American Democratic party with the abbreviation for the American Republican Party.
8d Landlord with brain printed paper (10)
LETTERHEAD: Begin with a six-letter word that describes what a landlord is and add a synonym for the brain.
9d Abuse something that cheers patient? (3-5)
ILL-TREAT: To act cruelly towards a person or animal can also be an example of giving something of pleasure to a poorly patient
14d Place for spectators to show off (10)
GRANDSTAND: A double definition, the second being to seek to attract applause or favourable attention from spectators or the media
16d Creative person reduced stock (8)
INVENTOR: A creative person such as Thomas Alva Edison is also a list of stock minus its last letter (reduced)
18d A news journalist under contract regularly added text (9)
ANNOTATED: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for news which sneakily is NN. Add every other letter of the word CONTRACT. Add our favourite journalist.
20d One’s more uncertain on this ground (7)
SHAKIER: One who is uncertain (or likely to fail) is said to be on a certain type of ground. Those more uncertain would need a comparable adjective for this type of ground.
21d Very good prices for those from Penzance? (7)
PIRATES: Use a two-lettered term for very good as in saintly. Add a word meaning prices to find Gilbert and Sullivan’s chaps from Penzance
23d Lawrence has nameless ships (5)
DHOWS: Use the initials of the novelist Lawrence and add a word meaning has or possesses but minus the letter N as suggesting by the word nameless in the clue.
25d Look up and study antique (5)
OLDEN: Begin with the reversal (up) of a two-lettered word meaning look. Add a study regularly found in crosswordland
26d Nervous on the border? (4)
EDGY: A double definition
A great fun puzzle which was very entertaining.
The two worst winters ever experienced in The British Isles were Mike and Bernie.
Quickie Pun. Singer+Poor=Singapore