Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28868
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on a blustery autumn day.
Plenty of General Knowledge in today’s Giovanni, with mathematicians, philosophers, biblical figures and astrological signs, but the wordplay will enable solvers to reach the answers. I didn’t much like the clue for 14a, which seems to be incomplete in some respect.
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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5a Possibly Greek girl hugged by top officer (7)
CLASSIC – The abbreviation for a commander in chief wrapped around another word for a girl.
7a Individual backing church, a biblical figure (5)
ENOCH – Reverse (backing) a number which means ‘individual’, then add an abbreviation for church, to get an Old Testament figure, father of Methuselah and great-grandfather of Noah.
9a Sly monarch giving a sign (6)
ARCHER – Another word for ‘sly’ or ‘knowing’ followed by the regnal cipher of our Queen, giving the English version of a sign of the Zodiac more usually known by its Latin form.
10a Unidentified rogue salesmen (8)
NAMELESS – anagram (rogue) of SALESMEN.
11a Unhappy knight taking shelter after party (10)
DISCONTENT Put together a party involving recorded music, the chess notation for a knight, and a form of shelter used by campers.
13a Performer looking shamefaced about hiding love (4)
DOER – Reverse (about) the colour you go if you’re shamefaced, then insert the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.
14a They’ll keep getting into jams (13)
PRESERVATIVES – Cryptic definition (?) of substances used to make foodstuffs last. But, as Mrs DT assures me, these are not used in proper jams because the level of sugar is high enough to remove the need for them, so we shouldn’t read the whole clue as being the definition. There’s another word for jams around the outside of the answer, but no indication of how to get to the other letters.
16a Strike that involves a lot of tricks (4)
SLAM – A word for ‘strike’ or ‘hit’ which also refers to making 12 or 13 tricks at bridge or whist.
17a Top men in power meeting a horrible rich star (10)
PATRIARCHS – An abbreviation for Power followed by A (from the clue) and an anagram (horrible) of RICH STAR.
19a Awful snag with evil character seeking control (8)
SVENGALI – Anagram (awful) of SNAG and EVIL. The chap who controlled Trilby in George du Maurier’s novel.
20a Accusation of assault (6)
CHARGE – Double definition: a formal accusation; or a military assault leading to close combat.
22a Engineers getting TV tuned in afresh? (5)
RESET – The initials of the usual engineer regiment followed by a word which often follows ‘TV’ to describe the item of equipment used to show TV programmes.
23a Enduring scene’s central feature — bird by a lake (7)
ETERNAL – Put together the middle letter (central feature) of scEne, a seabird which often appears in crosswords, A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for Lake.
1d Hospital bill rising in city (4)
BATH – Put together the road sign abbreviation for a Hospital and the sort of bill you might run up during an evening in a bar or restaurant, then reverse the lot to get a city in the West of England.
2d Gents are abandoned, cut off (8)
ESTRANGE – Anagram (abandoned) of GENTS ARE.
3d Mathematician‘s achievement displayed outside empty room (6)
FERMAT – Remove the middle letters from R(oo)M, then wrap the result in an achievement or exploit. The answer is a 17th century mathematician whose Last Theorem, that no positive integers a, b and c exist such that an + bn = cn for any value of n greater than 2, was only recently proved.
4d Surrendered or carried on for an extended period? (6,4)
ROLLED OVER – Double definition, the second being what happens when a fixed-term loan or deposit is replaced by another similar term.
5d Soldier sat on by my dog (5)
CORGI – An exclamation like ‘My!’ followed by an American soldier.
6d Music establishment showing overreactions when reformed (13)
CONSERVATOIRE – Anagram (when reformed) of OVERREACTIONS.
8d Lady issuing invitations — thus husband is upset about groups turning up (7)
HOSTESS – Start with ‘thus’ and an abbreviation for Husband. Reverse (upset) the result and wrap it around the reverse (turning up) of some groups or collections.
12d Quality of thick liquid in a pit absorbed by plant (10)
CREAMINESS – Put together A (from the clue) and the sort of pit from which coal might be extracted, then wrap the result in aplant which goes well with egg in sandwiches.
14d Empty talk from friend having claim (7)
PALAVER – Another word for ‘friend’ followed by a verb meaning ‘claim’ or ‘assert’.
15d Nervous type who is outdoors with binoculars? (8)
TWITCHER – This literally describes someone with a nervous tic, but is used figuratively to describe the behaviour of some obsessive birdwatchers, hence the birdwatcher in person.
17d Factories producing line in underwear (6)
PLANTS – Insert an abbreviation for Line into some underwear (or for our North American readers, the outerwear that we call ‘trousers’).
18d There’s little good in cad posing as philosopher (5)
HEGEL – An abbreviation for Good inserted into a cad or dishonourable person, producing a 19th-century German philosopher.
21d Social worker interrupted by superior female (4)
AUNT – The letter indicating ‘superior’ or ‘upper-class’ is inserted into one of the usual social insects, to get a female relative.
The Quick Crossword pun FLIGHT + HIPPER = FLY-TIPPER