Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28684
Hints and tips by a Washed-Out Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Today’s setter is Dada. He has clearly understood the editorial brief which asks for an amusing gentle puzzle to start the week. My first thought upon seeing the grid was that there were too many black squares. This gives us less clues to solve. Only twenty six today. Therefore regular solvers should have slightly more time on their hands than usual. Use this time wisely. Lost time is not found again.
Today’s hints and tips are provided by Miffypops, a willing lad with no training, struggling to do his best. They are here to help you solve the clues you cannot solve and to explain the why and the wherefore of those you know are right but are not quite sure why. Definitions are underlined and the solutions can be revealed by clicking on the click here boxes
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5a State north Australia backs in song (7)
ARIZONA: Place the reversed (backs) abbreviations for both North and Australia (possibly slang) inside a song from an opera. Any song from any opera. A long accompanied song for a solo voice
7a Old Testament priest, by Old Testament author (5)
ELIOT: Begin with our regular Old Testament priest. (He was blind until he read the Holy Scripture and regained his sight) Add the abbreviation for Old Testament. At first I thought of TS who is a poet and essayist not an author. I know better than to contradict a setter so I had a rethink and remembered that bloke George [aka Mary Anne Evans] who went to school in Coventry and whose books are all named after wards in the Nuneaton hospital which he/she too was named after.
9a Religious service provided that range (6)
MASSIF: Begin with the religious service we all attend on Sundays. Add a conditional conjunction meaning possibly.
10a Improvisation of claviers, instinctive (8)
VISCERAL: Anagram (Improvisation of) CLAVIERS
11a Confused story put out, vexing you initially (5-5)
TOPSY-TURVY: Begin with an anagram (confused) of STORY PUT. Add the initial (initially) letters of the words Vexing You from the clue
13a Youngster — figure inspiring exasperation primarily (4)
TEEN: This figure is a three-lettered number. We need to place inside this number (inspired) the first letter (primarily) of the word exasperation
14a Author discussed predator from Richmond? (8,5)
VIRGINIA WOOLF: This Richmond is in The United States of America. Find a homophone of a four legged predator that might prowl this state.
16a Opponent in giant, indomitable (4)
ANTI: A lurker. The answer is hidden within the words of the clue and cleverly indicated as so by the word in.
17a Talk — as might Jack Sprat’s wife? (4,3,3)
CHEW THE FAT: A phrase meaning to talk in a leisurely and prolonged way can be found by considering what and how Mrs Sprat might eat according to this very old rhyme
Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between the two of them,
They licked the platter clean.
19a Money only for wool (8)
CASHMERE: Two synonyms are needed here. An easy one for ready money and a rather vague one for only
20a Sexy ruby stolen (3-3)
RED HOT: Again two synonyms are needed. The colour of a ruby and a description of stolen property
22a Chance to delete first of numbers (5)
EVENS: This betting chance comes by removing the first letter (delete first of) of a pluralised number. You won’t have to count far to get this number. However should you miss it and keep on counting you will not use the letter M until you reach one million
23a Communist runs Kentucky (7)
TROTSKY: The first five letters of the answer relate to the word runs (As horses might). The final two letters are the regular abbreviation for the state of Kentucky. The answer is our third author of the day
1d Avoid girl (4)
MISS: A double definition, the second being an unmarried lass.
2d A handful at the wedding? (8)
CONFETTI: This handful of coloured litter is what is traditionally thrown over newlyweds as they leave the church after their wedding.
3d Top island (6)
JERSEY: The top is a knitted garment with long sleeves, worn over the upper body. The Island is one of a group including Herm and Sark
4d Waste of tenner, miso soup (10)
MINESTRONE: Anagram (waste) of MISO TENNER
5d In general, a mournful site of battle (5)
ALAMO: Another lurker where the answer lies hidden within the words of the clue
6d Commercial break aired, TV set getting people hooked (13)
ADVERTISEMENT: Anagram (break) of (AIRED TV SET) which wraps itself around the word MEN from the clue and thus hooking or catching them
8d Terrible fate drinking beer — bit gone to pot? (3,4)
TEA LEAF: Anagram (terrible) of FATE which is placed around (drinking) another word for beer.
12d Neatly arrange shattering fragments (10)
STRAIGHTEN: Anagram (fragments) of SHATTERING
14d Very popular children’s game, English classic (7)
VINTAGE: A four-part charade. 1. Begin with the abbreviation for very. 2. Add a word meaning popular or trendy. 3. Add a children’s playground game. (Middle letter A. Where I grew up it was middle letter I) 4. Use the abbreviation for English
15d Battle station? (8)
WATERLOO: This battle is also the name of a railway station, a tube station, a bus station and a sunset
17d In bad taste — like fondue? (6)
CHEESY: What a fondue can be described as relating to taste. Fondue sets. How many of you have an unused one given as a present by somebody who should have known better?
18d Suffering in the past ends in plain misery (5)
AGONY: Begin with an adverb meaning before the present time. Add the final letters (ends in) of plain and misery
21d One’s gorgeous plate of food (4)
DISH: A double definition. The first being a sexually attractive person
That’s all folks.
Quickie Pun Wife+Runts=Y-Fronts