Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28796
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from Budleigh Salterton in South Devon, where I’m attempting to play some croquet this week. I’m rather short of time, so no pictures or music this week.
A certain amount of General and Scriptural knowledge makes today’s Giovanni easier to solve. But the wordplay is there to lead you to the answer.
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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7a Initially joyless, viewer’s good-humoured (7)
JOCULAR – The first letter of Joyless, followed by an adjective relating to the part of the body which may be called a viewer.
8a Drink of disgusting cola provided by dad (7)
ALCOPOP – Anagram (disgusting) of COLA, followed by another informal word for Dad.
10a One may get stuck into a literary work (9)
BOOKPLATE – Cryptic definition of something added to a printed volume, usually to assert ownership.
11a Friend taking Ecstasy in passage (5)
ALLEY – A (political) friend with Ecstasy inserted.
12a Knowing secret place, Rex escapes (5)
CANNY – A secret place (like a nook), with the R removed (Rex escapes)
13a A game, a dance and a wee dram? (9)
HOPSCOTCH – An informal word for an organised dance, followed by the liquor contained in a wee dram.
15a Goodness me, a new blemish in the country! (7)
MYANMAR – Put together an exclamation like ‘Goodness me!’, A (from the clue), an abbreviation for New, and a verb meaning to blemish or spoil, and you get a country in the Far East.
17a PM facing test in respect of Boris Johnson at one time? (7)
MAYORAL – Put together the surname of the Prime Minister and a type of examination, to get an adjective relating to the position once held by Boris.
18a Message to decomputerise? Jolly well tell me! (3,4,2)
OUT WITH IT – This could be construed as an instruction to remove everything to do with the abbreviation for computer technology.
20a Smart police operation (5)
STING – Double definition, the second being an undercover operation to trap criminals.
21a Thus rodent goes around edible plants (5)
TAROS – Put together another word for ‘thus’ and a rodent, then reverse the lot to get these tropical plants.
23a Maybe they are no longer funny trees (9)
CHESTNUTS – Some deciduous trees which may also be old and familiar jokes (or crossword clues).
24a Children’s author didn’t manage the whole lot (7)
RANSOME – … because (3,4) he managed only part?
25a Articles exposing the top people (7)
LEADERS – Double definition, the first being examples of a type of newspaper article.
1d Noble worker kept under by a cold bean-counter? (10)
ACCOUNTANT – Put together A (from the clue), Cold, a member of the nobility (probably foreign), and one of the usual worker insects.
2d Secretive about work and quiet — or careless? (6)
SLOPPY – Put together the Latin abbreviation for a musical work and the musical symbol for quiet, then wrap a word meaning ‘secretive’ around the result.
3d Person in pulpit shows power, one getting somewhere (8)
PREACHER – An abbreviation for Power, followed by a word for someone attaining a target.
4d From which we may deduce Eva’s to keep some money by (4,2)
SAVE UP – This is a sort of reverse clue. The wordplay points us to a cryptic crossword way of producing the answer ‘Eva’s’ – bearig in mind that this is a Down clue.
5d Reticent about Conservative traitor, about to become irritable (8)
SCRATCHY – Put together an abbreviation for Conservative, a traitor or renegade, and the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, then wrap a word for ‘reticent’ around the result.
6d Stone circle with china buried under it (4)
OPAL – A circular letter, followed by another word for the Cockney china.
7d Escort from abroad undermining task is unhelpful ally (4,9)
JOB’S COMFORTER – Start with a task and the contracted form of ‘is’, then add an anagram (abroad) of ESCORT FROM, to get one of the friends of the Old Testament figure who was tested by God with all sorts of afflictions. These friends didn’t make life ay easier for him.
9d Scientists working in school’s pigsty (13)
PSYCHOLOGISTS – Anagram (working) of SCHOOL’S PIGSTY.
14d Time at home, takes advantage of Victoria and others (10)
TERMINUSES – Put together a period of time, a word for ‘at home’, and a verb meaning ‘takes advantage of’ or ‘exploits’, to get Victoria or King’s Cross or …
16d Report of man wounded in something through the letter box? (8)
MAILSHOT – Homophone (report of) another word for ‘man’, followed by one way in which he might have been wounded.
17d Like sort of woman providing test — the female’s lovely but totally heartless! (8)
MOTHERLY – Put together a test of a vehicle’s roadworthiness, a pronoun for ‘the female’s’, and the first and last letters of LovelY.
19d Journalist and boss gained unauthorised access online (6)
HACKED – Another word for a journalist, followed by an abbreviation for his or her boss.
20d Day with vehicle going wrong way — should have used this? (6)
SATNAV – The short form of one of the days of the week, followed by the reverse (going the wrong way) of a type of vehicle.
22d Unpleasant row (4)
RANK – Double definition, the second being perhaps a row of soldiers.
The Quick Crossword pun FERRY + KNOTTY = VERY NAUGHTY