Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28705
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Hola from a sunny Vega Baja where spring appears to have sprung, although the forecast for the next week is a bit of a curate’s egg. A bit like this puzzle really. It’s not particularly difficult and there’s some good stuff but also a lot of repetition of bits of wordplay. For example, there are three clues where you’re given some anagram fodder but you have to remove a single letter from it and I’ve typed “from the clue” seven times in this review, twice in one clue! Overall it was beginning to irritate me by the time I’d finished it.
I’ll be interested to hear what you 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 A dull Common Market leader in Rome — one with superficial understanding (7)
AMATEUR: A charade of A (from the clue), a word for dull as in not shiny, the two letters that stand for what the Common Market has developed into and finally an R (leader in Rome). Is it fair to use “Common Market” to clue these two letters? Surely when it was the Common Market it was the EEC – European Economic Community. It’s something completely different nowadays.
5a Attacked at home — very cheesed off, scratching head (7)
INVADED: The usual word for at home followed by V(ery) and a word meaning cheesed off or tired without its first letter (scratching head).
11a They watch top actress working (10)
SPECTATORS: Anagram (working) of TOP ACTRESS.
12a Heated conflict with male (4)
WARM: An armed conflict followed by M(ale).
14a Making prisoners upset in court? About time (12)
CONSTRUCTION: Start with a common crosswordland word for prisoners and then an anagram (upset) of IN COURT placed around a T (about T(ime)).
18a Problems beginning to double — if female is embracing religious sect, that is (12)
DIFFICULTIES: Listen very carefully – this is complicated! Start with a D (beginning to Double) and after it put IF (from the clue) and F(emale). With me so far? Good, then I’ll continue. Next you need IS (from the clue again) and place it around (embracing) another word for a religious sect and the two letters for “that is”. Put those two bits together and you’ll get the answer. Phew!
21a Greedy, temperamental woman coming over (4)
AVID: A reversal (coming over) of a word for a female opera singer (temperamental woman?).
22a Actor is open about losing 100 jobs in the theatre? (10)
OPERATIONS: Anagram(about) of ACTOR IS OPEN but without the C (losing the Roman symbol for 100). These jobs in the theatre are ones done by a surgeon, not a stagehand. Here’s some surgeons . . .
25a Term for minors? (9)
CHILDHOOD: A cryptic definition of the period of your life when you are a minor.
26a Set up game of snooker? (5)
FRAME: Double definition. Here’s Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 5 minute 20 second 147 break.
27a Diana perhaps hugging everyone in return for money (7)
DOLLARS: For once Diana is nothing to do with a deceased princess. It’s the stage name of an English actress born as Diana Mary Fluck and known as “The Blonde Bombshell” placed around (hugging) the reversal (in return) of a word for everyone or everything. I’m not surprised she changed her surname, especially as she was well known for sex comedies!
28a In Germany, I, among others, should be most wealthy (7)
RICHEST: The first person singular in German is inserted (among) into a word for others.
1d Great — it lasts for 31 days (6)
AUGUST: A word meaning great or dignified is also a month with 31 days.
2d It’s said Victoria wasn’t so considered to support Albert at first (6)
AMUSED: A word meaning considered or pondered is placed after (to support in a down clue) an A (Albert at first).
3d Digital TV one cleric ordered, but no volume (10)
ELECTRONIC: Anagram (ordered) of TV ONE CLERIC but without the V (no V(olume)). Similar construction to 22a.
5d Bury hamster, maybe keeping right shed light on (9)
INTERPRET: Take crosswordland’s favourite word for bury and follow with what a hamster is an example of (cat or dog would have done just as well) and insert (keeping) an R(ight).
6d Cover your sandwiches thoroughly (4)
VERY: A lurker. It’s hidden in (sandwiches) the first two words of the clue.
7d Doctor on violin about to be sensational (8)
DRAMATIC: One of the many two letter doctors followed by an Italian violin and the single letter for about. Hands up those who though doctor was an anagram indicator and the answer would be an anagram of ON VIOLIN. This violin maker is worth remembering as he turns up from time to time.
8d Imagining what those who have retired might be doing (8)
DREAMING: What people might be doing after they’ve retired to bed. Not that, you smutty lot, they’ve gone to sleep!
13d Insect flutters if one gets caught how biologist’s described? (10)
SCIENTIFIC: Anagram (flutters) of INSECT followed by IF (from the clue), the letter that looks like a one and finally a C(aught).
15d Corset plus buckles — everything initially removed for artists (9)
SCULPTORS: Anagram (buckles) of CORSET PLUS but without the E (Everything initially removed). Another similar construction to 22a and 3d. Three of these in one puzzle seems a bit OTT to me.
16d State-of-the-art vehicle — church splitting total (8)
ADVANCED: A vehicle, often white and overtaking you on the motorway no matter how fast you’re going, and the two letters for the Anglican Church are placed inside (splitting) a word meaning to total or to sum.
17d Authorised chemical company once to get in waste material (8)
OFFICIAL: The initials of a now defunct (once) chemical company are inserted into (to get in) some waste animal material.
19d Find old animal let outside with no tail (6)
LOCATE: Take O(ld) and an animal beloved of pommette and Kitty and around them (outside) put LET (from the clue) but without the T (with no tail).
20d Expect half to leave after snake’s appearance (6)
ASPECT: Remove the first tree letters from expect (half to leave) and put what’s left after a venomous snake, the one said to have caused the death of Cleopatra.
23d It’s used to spy planes going up and down (5)
RADAR: Going up and down in a down clue indicates a palindrome. This one is used to spy or spot aircraft. I’m not sure that this really is an all-in-one but I’ve given the setter the benefit of the doubt.
24d Fancy a fish for starters? (4)
IDEA: Take A (from the clue) and before it (for starters) put another name for the fish more commonly known as the silver orfe.
As I said in the intro there’s some good stuff and some irritation. My favorite is 18a for its splendid complexity. Also on the podium are 20d and the slightly smutty (if you have a dirty mind like me) 8d.
Quick crossword pun: BANNED + SORES = BANDSAWS