Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28771
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment **
Hola from the Vega Baja on a pleasantly warm morning. I don’t know who today’s setter is but I suspect it’s the same one as on Thursday two weeks ago. Again, it’s not my favourite puzzle but you will probably disagree. There are ten clues requiring the insertion of something into something else and eight clues involving anagrams which are my two least liked clue constructions. It’s a bit tricky in places and I nearly went for **** difficulty but after looking at the clock decided to leave it as ***. I wonder what you all thought 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 Learned person, one in form? (7)
SCHOLAR: “One in form” is alluding to the fact that this word for a learned person can also mean a school pupil.
9a Cloak is article that’s stamped reduced (7)
ENVELOP: Cloak as a verb. Something on to which you might stick a postage stamp but without its last letter (reduced).
10a Writer is one infiltrating Triads in disguise (7)
DIARIST: Anagram (in disguise) of TRIADS with an I (one) inserted (infiltrating). Samuel Pepys was one of these writers.
11a Tell raver to be composed, one on a trip (9)
TRAVELLER: Anagram (to be composed) of TELL RAVER. This answer also turns up as 25a in today’s Grauniad – how weird is that?
13a Reportedly feel sorry for yours truly being sizable (5)
ROOMY: Sounds like (reportedly) a word for feel sorry or regret followed by yours truly.
15a Businesses from East developed polymers (9)
EMPLOYERS: E(ast) followed by an anagram (developed) of POLYMERS.
17a A-lister informs Republican American to retire (9)
SUPERSTAR: Start with a word for informs or shops, then an abbreviation of republican and finally the usual two letters for American and then reverse the lot (to retire).
19a Times for one set of exam questions? (5)
PAPER: The Times or Daily Telegraph are examples of these, which could also be a set of exam questions.
22a Has food from India included in mail coming west (5)
DINES: A word for to mail or to post backwards (coming west) with an I (India?) inserted (included in). Neither the BRB or Collins have I as anything to do with India. It’s the IVR code for Italy so perhaps this is a mistake.
23a Running away from asylum, a king of France (6,3)
MAKING OFF: A lurker lurking in (from) the last five words of the clue.
25a Physical feat to split slab (7)
TACTILE: A feat or deed inserted into (to split) the sort of slab which might be on your kitchen or bathroom wall. Another answer that appears in today’s Grauniad, this time as 12a – very spooky!.
26a Inspire knight to get involved in the tricky exploit (7)
ENTHUSE: The letter for knight in chess notation is inserted (to get involved in) into an anagram (tricky) of THE and followed by a word meaning to exploit or employ.
27a Craft starts to speed leaving unknown headland (7)
SLYNESS: Craft as in crafty or artful. It’s the first letters (starts to) of Speed Leaving followed by an algebraic unknown and then crosswordland’s favourite headland.
28a Ship infiltrated by hidden evil-doers (7)
SINNERS: Take the usual two letters for a steam ship and insert (infiltrated) a word meaning hidden. This is a bit too similar to the insertion indicator used in 10a.
1d Army officer in fine house (7)
SHELTER: Abbreviation for a not very senior army or navy officer inserted into (in) a word which can mean fine, as in stockings perhaps.
2d Criticise attempt (4,1,2)
HAVE A GO: Double definition.
3d City poorly covered in French article (5)
LILLE: A city in northern France is a word meaning poorly as in not well inserted into (covered in) a French definite article.
4d Shocking representation of Penn and Teller making Nag’s Head disappear (9)
REPELLENT: Anagram (representation of) PENN TELLER but without one of the N’s (making Nag’s head disappear). As there are two N’s in the anagram fodder shouldn’t there be an indication that only one of them is to disappear?
5d IT worker set up green screens over days (5)
CODER: An abbreviation of a green as in a recreation ground is reversed (set up in a down clue) and placed around (screens) an O(ver) and D(ays)
6d Finally happy, getting in terribly popular preschool club (9)
PLAYGROUP: The last letters (finally) of happY and gettinG inserted (in) into an anagram (terribly) of POPULAR.
7d Friendly question from self-doubter? (7)
AMIABLE: Split the answer (2,1,4) and you might get a question asked by someone who doubts their own abilities.
8d Stops supporting unlimited texts as offers (7)
EXTENDS: A word for stops or finishes is after (supporting in a down clue) the word texts but without its first and last letters (unlimited).
14d Part of the country where there’s more than one riding (9)
YORKSHIRE: A not very cryptic definition of the county which used to be split into North, East and West ridings.
17d Repositioned as steed relaxes (7)
SEDATES: Anagram (repositioned) of AS STEED.
18d Police station in settlement makes you anxious (7)
PANICKY: A slang term for a police station is inserted (in) a word for settlement as in settling a bill.
20d Obtain advantage over scoundrel with ecstasy (7)
PROCURE: A word for advantage (?) placed before (over in a down clue) a scoundrel, not a cad but the other one, and finally an E(cstacy). Not sure about the first three letters being an advantage.
23d Events being those vegetarians eschew vocally (5)
MEETS: These events might have been fox hunts back in the day and they sound like (vocally) things that vegetarians don’t eat.
24d Half-hearted idea is unacceptable (3,2)
NOT ON: You need another word for an idea (6), remove one of the centre letters and then split what’s left (3,2). I’ve always thought “half-hearted” means remove one of a double letter from the middle of a word, not just take out any old letter as used here.
Not too much blue today but my favourite was the clever lurker in 23a with 2d and 7d on the podium.
How strange to have two of the answers in this also appearing in the Grauniad.
Quick crossword pun: APPALS + CRUMB + PURSE = APPLE SCRUMPERS