Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28718
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs, where we have a misty start to the day.
I shall start with a moan about the incompetence of those who ‘maintain’ the Telegraph Puzzles site. The 2Kiwis reported earlier this week their discovery that the latest round of maintenance had left the site clock operating on GMT rather than BST, so it was a further hour before that could get to the puzzle. Well, I logged on at midnight as usual and found that the front page of the site was showing today’s puzzles. Good, I thought, they’ve fixed it. So I solved the Cryptic, then went to the ‘Print’ button, to generate the copy of the clues to paste into this blog, only to receive a message saying that ‘This puzzle has not yet been published’! I also discovered that the ‘Play Puzzles’ tab of the site was still showing Thursday’s puzzles. Any hope of making a start on writing the hints thereupon vanished, leaving no option except to retire to bed and get up earlier this morning. I’m not a morning person, and the resulting grumpiness may be apparent in this blog.
Anyway, turning to today’s Giovanni, we have the usual bits of classical mythology and General Knowledge to cope with, but nothing that can’t be teased out from the clues. Thanks to our Friday setter for an enjoyable but not too testing workout.
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.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a More than one girl gathered round old piano dances (6)
GALOPS – The plural of an informal or dialect word for ‘girl’ wrapped around Old and Piano.
4a Passage that accommodates retreating soldiers (6)
THROAT – Reverse (retreating) the usual abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers and insert the result into THAT (from the clue).
8a Seafood that could make you collapse (8)
ESCALLOP – Anagram (could make you) of COLLAPSE, giving us an alternative spelling of some seafood.
10a Watery holiday area planned round a particular idea (6)
THEMED – If you split the answer (3,3) you get a popular holiday seaside area – where Jean-Luc lives, perhaps.
11a Engineer in factory wasting time (4)
PLAN – The answer is a verb. Remove (wasting) Time from another word for a factory.
12a Was boss having to shout? That fellow’s manner! (3,3,4)
RAN THE SHOW – Put together ‘shout’ (4), ‘that fellow’ plus the ‘S from the clue (3), and the manner in which something is done (3).
13a Insignificance of man with no picture being shot (12)
UNIMPORTANCE – Anagram (being shot) of MAN and NO PICTURE.
16a You must be Eve! (6,6)
SECOND PERSON – Double definition: the grammatical case to which ‘you’ applies; or where Eve appears in the human race, according to the Bible story of Creation.
20a Adult getting cross with member of family around? Chilling out needed (10)
RELAXATION – A member of one’s family wrapped around Adult and a cross-shaped letter.
21a Scarcely any can be heard — gosh! (4)
PHEW – A homophone (can be heard) of a word for ‘scarcely any’ or ‘not many’.
22a Notes in small-sized manuscript (6)
MINIMS – These are musical notes. A common prefix indicating small size, followed by the abbreviation for ManuScript.
23a Fate of revolutionary captured by the French intelligence service (8)
LACHESIS – This lady, with her sisters Atropos and Clotho, is one of the three Fates in Greek mythology. A French definite article and the initials of one of the intelligence services are placed either side of crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary.
24a Silver hair ultimately concealed by a chap (6)
ARGENT – The heraldic term for ‘silver’ (or ‘white’) is made up of A (from the clue) and ‘chap’ placed either side of the last letter (ultimately) of haiR.
25a Appearing in biography, a desperate group of stars (6)
HYADES – Hidden in the clue.
1d Source of energy is sun, acquired in short supply outside (8)
GASOLINE – Remove the last letter (in short supply) from ‘acquired’ or ‘increased’, and wrap the result around the Latin word for the sun, to get a source of energy familiar to our Transatlantic cousins. Note to those who complain about ‘nasty Americanisms’: English is a language which is constantly evolving (the mark of a live language), and its vocabulary contains many words from many different languages and dialects. All are fair game for the crossword setter, provided that they are clued fairly.
2d Find out about knight following king (5)
LEARN – A Shakespearean king followed by the chess notation for a knight.
3d Chum has hesitation, wanting little time in Italian city (7)
PALERMO – Put together a chum or friend, a word showing hesitation, and an informal word for a brief period of time, to get the capital of Sicily.
5d Technical problem maybe in English town (7)
HITCHIN – Another word for a technical problem or hold-up, followed by IN (from the clue), yielding a town in Hertfordshire.
6d Turn too sharply, it being tricky to reverse (9)
OVERSTEER – Anagram (it being tricky) of TO REVERSE.
7d Organised crime of those people undermined by old boy (3,3)
THE MOB – A pronoun for ‘those people’ followed by the usual abbreviation for an old boy of a school.
9d Showing remorse in Lent, i.e. apt to reform (11)
PENITENTIAL – Anagram (to reform) of IN LENT APT TO.
14d After muddle is getting on sending texts? (9)
MESSAGING – Another word for a muddle followed by ‘getting on’ or ‘getting older’.
15d Exclusive groups that could be esoteric (8)
COTERIES – Anagram (could be) of ESOTERIC.
17d Song from a new boy joining church (7)
CHANSON – Put together an abbreviation for CHurch, A (from the clue), New, and a boy child, to get a French song.
18d Frightened old man cut off, beginning to yell (7)
PANICKY – Put together a two-letter informal word for ‘the old man’, ‘cut off’ (more often seen in a slang term for ‘cut off from its rightful owner’), and the first letter (beginning) of Yell.
19d Big noise after this person comes to a holy city (6)
MEDINA – Put together a pronoun for ‘this person’, a loud noise, and A (from the clue) to get a Muslim holy place.
21d Quietly be out in front making petition (5)
PLEAD – The musical symbol for ‘quietly’ followed by ‘be out in front (of a race)’.
The Quick Crossword pun WHIRR + MOLES = WORMHOLES