Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28681
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where the rain has just stopped and the sun’s trying to appear. Looks as though Spring might have sprung around here as we’re forecast 22°C this afternoon. I’m not sure about the setter of this one. It has some of the hallmarks of a RayT but it didn’t really feel like one of his so I’ll leave it up to you to make up your own minds. It was quite a pleasant solve while it lasted but that wasn’t for long and it would have been a clear * difficulty if it hadn’t been for 3d where the word meaning “taken for granted” stubbornly refused to reveal himself.
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 Swears at cricket matches (7)
ATTESTS: AT (from the clue) followed by some international cricket matches.
9a Ray seen in river? On the contrary, another fish (5)
BREAM: “On the contrary” means it’s not “ray seen in river” but “river seen in ray”. Therefore put R(iver) into a ray (of light). Here’s a bit of Julian of that ilk . . .
10a Back exercises before I rehabilitate an individual fond of food and wine (9)
EPICUREAN: Reverse one of the usual exercises and follow with I (from the clue), a word which can just about mean rehabilitate or more likely restore to health and finally AN (from the clue). I’m not convinced that rehabilitate quite works here.
11a Local community land chaps hated at heart (10)
SETTLEMENT: Land as a bird or flying insect might followed by some chaps and finally a T ( haTed at heart)
12a Christmas sometimes involves a church service (4)
MASS: A lurker. It’s hidden (involves) in Christmas sometimes.
14a Party supporter? Now and then (12)
OCCASIONALLY: A word for a party or special event (8) followed by a supporter (4).
18a Disturbance after prisoners start to trash building (12)
CONSTRUCTION: Some of the usual prisoners (don’t forget it’s plural) followed by a T (start to Trash) and then an old-fashioned word for a disturbance usually seen in the plural. Haven’t heard this word for disturbance for ages.
21a Abandon work after dark on a regular basis (4)
DROP: Start with the alternate letters (on a regular basis) from DaRk and follow with the usual two letter work.
22a Poor trip abroad, on balance (10)
PROPORTION: Anagram (abroad) of POOR TRIP followed by ON (from the clue).
25a A revolting slum? He’s encapsulated old, poor residence (9)
ALMSHOUSE: Start with A (from the clue) and follow with an anagram (revolting) of SLUM HES and insert (encapsulated) an O(ld). I always thought this was hyphenated but apparently its preferred spelling is as a single word.
26a Information about style (5)
GENRE: Style as in class. It’s the usual information followed by two letters for about.
27a Common sense keeps the Queen very worried (7)
NERVOUS: Start with a word for common sense and insert the two letters for Her Majesty and a V(ery).
28a Motorcycle passenger gets in this drink (7)
SIDECAR: If he doesn’t want to ride pillion a motorcycle passenger will have to sit in one of these. It’s also a cocktail made from brandy, Cointreau and lemon juice in equal parts.
1d Mother upset by American president’s surprise attack (6)
AMBUSH: Reverse mother and follow with the name of a US president. There have been two of this name during my lifetime.
2d Have a meal in attempt to get agreement (6)
TREATY: A word for to have a meal or consume inserted (in) into a word for attempt or have a go.
3d Unpretentiousness taken for granted in outskirts of Salisbury (10)
SIMPLICITY: Take a word for taken for granted or implied and insert it into SY (outskirts of SalisburY).
4d Small Earl Grey? Maiden put on kettle to make this (5)
STEAM: A charade of S(mall), what Earl Grey is an example of and an M(aiden).
5d Hawking, perhaps, is nicest organised before ornithologist’s back (9)
SCIENTIST: Nothing to do with falconry, clearing the throat or offering goods for sale. This is what Professor Stephen Hawking is an example of. Disguising the necessary capitalisation by putting the name at the start of the clue – a common trick but sneaky!
6d Dan ignoring an alcoholic drink — beat that! (4)
DRUM: Dan ignoring an leaves you with a D. Follow that with a drink beloved of sailors and pommette. I have a nephew called Dan and you don’t often see him ignoring an alcoholic drink!
7d Easily persuaded, this writer is captivated by an expert (8)
AMENABLE: Start with how the setter might refer to himself and insert it into (captivated by) the AN from the clue. Follow with a word meaning expert or at least capable.
8d May denies reforms — article’s dismissed, displaying imagination (5,3)
MINDS EYE: Anagram (reforms) of MAY DENIES but without the A (article’s dismissed).
13d Doctor argued once fired up (10)
ENCOURAGED: Anagram (doctor) of ARGUED ONCE.
16d Harmful drops from out of the blue? (4,4)
ACID RAIN: Cryptic definition of polluted water falling from the sky. Difficult to hint without using the second word of the answer.
17d Fashionable old spy (8)
INFORMER: Two letters for fashionable followed by a word meaning old or earlier.
20d Make more attractive organ with object on top (6)
ENDEAR: Start with an organ, you have one each side of your head, and before it put an object or aim.
23d Diarist, we hear, giving looks slyly (5)
PEEPS: Sounds like (we hear) the famous diarist Samuel.
24d Expression of triumphant surprise going round one American state (4)
OHIO: An expression of surprise around I (one) gives one of the three four letter US states, the others being Iowa and Utah.
An all-round pleasant puzzle with no real stand out clues for me. Perhaps 3d is my favourite simply because it put up something of a fight.
Quick crossword pun: COUNSEL + TACKS = COUNCIL TAX