Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28712
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on yet another filthy wet day.
This puzzle took me a little longer than usual, principally because there are some clues which appear to me to be inaccurate – which is most unlike our usual Friday setter. The overall style still feels to me like a Giovanni, but I do wonder whether this was indeed by him. (The error at 20d has been fixed in the puzzles site version).
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Being in last stage at home secured by lock (10)
TRENDINESS – A lock of hair wrapped around ‘last stage’ and ‘at home’.
6a Son and daughter outside house wearing trainers, say? (4)
SHOD – The abbreviations for Son and Daughter placed either side of an abbreviation for HOuse.
9a Drunk aims a clout, bringing dire results (10)
CALAMITOUS – Anagram (drunk) of AIMS A CLOUT.
10a What is said to be sort of average appearance (4)
MIEN – another word for ‘appearance’ or ‘bearing’ which sounds like one of the types of average (not the median or the mode, another one).
12a Bad treatment is accepted by one providing inspiration (6)
MISUSE – One of the nine Greek goddesses who inspired artistic endeavour wrapped around IS (from the clue).
13a What sounds like something for cleaning old carriage (8)
BROUGHAM – A one-horse closed carriage named for an 18th– century peer, which sounds like something for sweeping up with.
15a Certain traders misconstrued as harsh breed (12)
HABERDASHERS – Anagram (misconstrued) of AS HARSH BREED.
18a People close to the monarch — a couple of PMs? (12)
CHAMBERLAINS – Double definition: some senior royal servants; or a plural of the UK Prime Minister before Churchill.
21a Carp after agent is seen as disgrace (8)
REPROACH – A short form of a commercial agent or traveller, followed by a fresh water fish which is a member of the carp family.
22a Sympathetic article penned by cardinal once (6)
HUMANE – The surname of a former cardinal archbishop of Westminster (died 1999) wrapped around one of the forms of the indefinite article.
24a Greeting or shower of abuse? (4)
HAIL – Double definition, the second being a metaphorical use of a shower of ice crystals.
25a Messenger facing difficult situation — will letters arrive here? (10)
PIGEONHOLE – A bird used as a messenger followed by a difficult position (as in ‘I’m in a —-‘), giving a place where mail may be found in an office or college common room.
26a Wise man from the east, an astronomer? (4)
REES – Reverse (from the east) a wise man or prophet, and you get the surname of the Astronomer Royal.
27a Chain store is awful for those seeking solitude (10)
ANCHORITES – Anagram (awful) of CHAIN STORE.
1d Volunteers taking care of mother in US city (6)
TACOMA – Put together the initials of the former volunteer reserve force of the UK, an abbreviation for ‘care of’, and a short word for ‘mother’, and you get a US city near Seattle, best known elsewhere for having had a bridge which blew down in spectacular fashion in 1940
2d Recruit with English name is grabbed by army officer (6)
ENLIST – Put together English, Name, and an abbreviation for a military rank wrapped around IS (from the clue).
3d Somebody OK’d a new survey of our land (8,4)
DOMESDAY BOOK – Anagram (new) of SOMEBODY OK’D A – a tax survey ordered by William the Conqueror.
4d Some secret, one turning up in short letter? (4)
NOTE – Hidden in reverse (some … turning up) in the clue.
5d Not an all-round bargain? (6,4)
SQUARE DEAL – Cryptic definition – a fair trade which is not ‘all-round’ because the adjective used definitely has four corners!
7d Raise an even number, protected as chicks? (8)
HEIGHTEN – An even single-digit number protected, as chicks are, by having the chicks’ mother wrapped around it.
8d Andrew spinning something a bit foggy as a sort of philosopher (8)
DYNAMIST – This seems to be an anagram (spinning) of a short form of ‘Andrew’, followed by a light fog. The trouble with that is that it looks to me suspiciously like an indirect anagram, which is generally frowned upon. If ‘spinning’ indicated a straightforward reversal of the short form, it would probably be OK, but that would give YDNA as the first part of the answer.
11d Something to get a science student fired up? (6,6)
BUNSEN BURNER – Cryptic definition of the usual source of heat used in a science lab.
14d Criticism means upset editor must get a grip (10)
DETRACTION – Reverse (upset) the abbreviation for EDitor, then add the sort of grip required to pull a trailer.
16d It’s almost 20, dear, in Paris — not a day for an overcoat! (8)
SCORCHER – Another way of expressing ‘twenty’ with its final letter removed, followed by the French for ‘dear’.
17d Holiday location has aspect I’m fussed about (8)
CAMPSITE – Anagram (fussed about) of ASPECT I’M.
19d Food with bit of cloth not to be considered (6)
RAGOUT – A scrap of cloth followed by ‘not to be considered’, as in ‘That’s (ruled) —‘.
20d Paper (and early online) version: Goddess beginning to cavort before American (6)
CEREUS – Put together the first letter of Cavort, a poetic word for ‘before’ and an abbreviation for ‘American’. This is intended to give us the name of a Roman goddess, the equivalent of the Greek Demeter, but what we actually get is a type of cactus.
Revised online version: Cactus goddess planted outside university (6)
CEREUS – The Roman goddess of fertility and crops wrapped around University
23d Little woman often seen following Eliza (4)
BETH – One of the protagonists in Louisa May Alcott’s novel, the second half of a name of which ‘Eliza’ might be the first.
The Quick Crossword pun SPECK + TACKLE = SPECTACLE