Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28741
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja and welcome to a RayThursday. This puzzle will probably cause the usual split in opinions as it’s a classic RayT. It has all the usual idiosyncracies and it’s full of stretched synonyms and off-the-wall definitions. I enjoyed it a lot but thought it a bit of a tricky little rascal. I only got four of the acrosses and six of the downs on first pass and it took me longer to finish than I’ve spent on a DT back pager for ages. I’ll be interested to see if that’s just me having an off morning or whether it really is a misplaced Beam Toughie.
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 Clash in nightclub hop involving rockers’ leader (11)
DISCORDANCE: Start with a night club followed by a hop, as in what you might do in said night club, and insert (involving) an R (Rocker’s leader)
10a Head of state’s miserable track record (5)
SPOOR: S (head of State) followed by a word for miserable or not very good will give you a record of the track taken by someone over a piece of ground. I like the definition here.
11a Banker perhaps more extravagant keeping home (9)
FINANCIER: Take a word for more extravagant or more ornate and insert (keeping) the usual two letters for home.
12a Try to catch seafood with small shell-shaped instruments (9)
CASTANETS: These are instruments used by Spanish dancers. You’ll need a phrase (4,1,3) which describes what you might do in order to catch some fish and follow it with an S(mall).
13a Teeming part of sea was hostile (5)
AWASH: A lurker lurking in (part of) the last three words.
16a Fancies changes pocketing a grand (8)
VAGARIES: A word meaning changes or alters with A (from the clue) and G(rand) inserted (pocketing).
18a Steer vehicle over Interstate opening (8)
NAVIGATE: Start with a delivery vehicle and reverse it (over). Follow with an American abbreviation of Interstate and then an opening, into your garden perhaps. I’ve never come across this abbreviation before but it’s pretty obvious and it’s in the book.
20a Brilliant time with Queen’s family (6)
LITTER: Brilliant as in has light shining on it followed by T(ime) and the usual two letters for the Queen. This was my last in and it took ages before the penny finally dropped. You probably heard me bashing my head with the tea tray.
23a Initially little animal resting, virtually adult (5)
LARVA: First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue. I’m not sure that this really works.
24a Former cab company worker getting rich (9)
EXUBERANT: Nothing to do with loads-a-money. It’s rich as in lavish or effusive. Two letters for former followed by a cab company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber) and then the usual insect worker.
26a Feeling excited, blokes consumed by computing? (9)
SENTIMENT: A rather old-fashioned word for excited followed by some blokes inserted (consumed by) into two letters for computing or Information Technology.
27a Middle of state hit by old battle (5)
ALAMO: A (middle of stAte) followed by a crosswordland word for hit which never gets used in real life and finally O(ld) gives you the battle where Davy Crocket got killed.
28a Flooding a lot? These could be useful (11)
WELLINGTONS: A word for flooding often applied to tears followed by a word meaning a lot or loads gives you something useful in a flood. At first I thought this was just a rather iffy cryptic definition but then I suddenly spotted how the wordplay works and did some more damage to the tea tray.
2d Stars, single, sold out (5)
IDOLS: The letters that looks like number one (single) followed by an anagram (out) of sold.
3d Pirate‘s reportedly bawdy song (7)
CORSAIR: This pirate sounds like (reportedly) a bawdy song. Seasoned solvers will think this is a bit of a chestnut but it’s still a good clue.
4d Angry about female being sacked (6)
RIFLED: Take a word meaning angry and and put it around (about) an F(emale).
5d CIA names suspect one might forget (8)
AMNESIAC: Anagram (suspect) of CIA NAMES.
6d Stop farewell musical performance (7)
CANTATA: A slightly American word which can mean to stop followed by an informal way of saying goodbye.
7d Chap only stays bonkers seeing shrink (13)
PSYCHOANALYST: Anagram (bonkers) of CHAP ONLY STAYS.
8d Man with double trouble? (8)
BIGAMIST: To solve this you need to know what “trouble” is in rhyming slang – (trouble and strife = wife). This guy has two of them. More tea tray damage!
9d Arrangement of gold part encircling box (13)
ORCHESTRATION: Heraldic gold and a word for part or allowance around (encircling) a large box.
15d Chap with band playing different version (8)
COVERING: A Bertie Woosterish word for a chap and a band on your finger gives a word for playing your own version of somebody else’s song.
17d Ballet here almost describes ‘heavenly‘ (8)
ETHEREAL: Another lurker. It’s in ballet here almost.
19d Rock old lady over sex with sweetheart (7)
GRANITE: This time the old lady isn’t your mother, she’s a bit older. Follow her with a euphemism for sex and an E (swEet heart).
21d One, after catching a cold, is woolly (7)
INEXACT: Start with I (one) and follow with a word meaning after in a sequence and insert (catching) the A from the clue and C(old). I spent ages thinking this was something to do with sheep. Yet more tea tray abuse.
25d Cooking range popular once more (5)
AGAIN: A cooking range followed by the usual two letters for popular or fashionable.
Quite a lot of blue today but my clear favourite was 28a with 8d and 12a up there on the podium. I think I’ve ruined pommette’s best tea tray.
Quick crossword pun: TIN + CUB + HELL = TINKERBELL