Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28904
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on yet another damp, misty morning.
I found today’s Giovanni to be quite challenging, with some of the bits of GK outside my comfort zone – the horse at 18d and the composer at 26a were both new to me.
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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1a County team’s disadvantage (8)
DOWNSIDE – A county in Northern Ireland followed by another word for a team.
5a Catholic services getting lots (6)
MASSES – Double definition: Catholic celebrations of the Eucharist; and another word for ‘lots’.
9a Favourite child in difficult situation in African country (8)
BENJAMIN – A West African country wrapped around another word for a difficult situation, giving us the name of the beloved youngest son of Jacob in the Old Testament.
10a Arrive at total (4,2)
COME TO – A pretty straightforward double definition: both parts are verbs.
12a Various bits of velour in art gallery (6)
LOUVRE – Anagram (various bits) of VELOUR.
13a Those who criticise devices to attract attention of residents (8)
KNOCKERS – Another double definition: a figurative term for people who criticise negatively; or a device on your front door used by callers.
15a Shook as one shown the way ahead (7)
QUAILED – Put together the Latin for ‘as’ or ‘in the capacity of’, The Roman numeral for one, and another word for ‘shown the way ahead’.
16a North African place of desolation? (4)
MOOR – A generic term for those of North African origin – like Othello – is also a piece of desolate upland.
20a Contemptible person? Just a bit, hiding love (4)
TOAD – Another word for a little bit wrapped around the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.
21a The curt drunk in foreign city (7)
UTRECHT – Anagram (drunk) of THE CURT. Some may remember that Dr Strabismus (whom God preserve) came from there.
25a Fish and chips mostly cooked with lard (8)
PILCHARD – Anagram (cooked) of CHIP (chips mostly) and LARD.
26a Composer to give a verse new setting (6)
VARESE – Anagram (give … new setting) of A VERSE. The answer is a French-born American composer who died in 1965. Here’s one of his pieces: I don’t think I’ll be looking for others.
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28a Pull number back getting ahead (6)
ONWARD – Put together another word for ‘pull’ and an abbreviation for ‘number’, then reverse the lot.
29a Assign numbers to a drink to be stored by head (8)
PAGINATE – A (from the clue) and some strong drink, with another word for ‘head’ wrapped around the result.
30a ‘Essential to get eastern money back’ (economist) (6)
KEYNES – Another word for ‘essential’ followed by the reverse (back) of some Asian currency.
31a Reportedly hung around to be given a handicap (8)
WEIGHTED – A homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning ‘hung around’.
1d Tool in stream of liquid not beginning to rust (6)
DIBBLE – Remove the first letter of Rust from a thin stream of liquid to get a garden tool. I’m more familiar with the alternative spelling of this, which ends ‘-ER’.
2d Worried person is said to have this finish (4,2)
WIND UP – This expression for bringing a speech or the affairs of a company to a close can also, with a different pronunciation, be part of a figurative description of someone who’s uneasy or frightened.
3d Fish are stout swimming around (3,5)
SEA TROUT – Anagram (swimming around) of ARE STOUT.
4d Welshman’s platform (4)
DAIS – A speaker’s platform which could also be a common Welsh name plus the ‘S from the clue.
6d Affirm, using Bible with an expression suggesting pain (6)
AVOUCH – The two-letter acronym for the King James Bible, followed by an exclamation of pain, giving us a word for ‘affirm’ which the BRB classifies as ‘archaic’.
7d Description of key scheme reduced to essentials (8)
SKELETON – Double definition: the sort of key which used to open inconvenient locks in old detective stories; or the bare bones of a plan.
8d Supporters making tracks with eleven players finally inside (8)
SPONSORS – Take the last letters (finally) of eleveN playerS and put them inside some tracks left by wildlife.
11d Woman, no longer one looking after paper that’s taken over (7)
ANNEXED – Put together a woman’s name, the prefix meaning ‘once’ or ‘former’, and an abbreviation for the person in charge of a newspaper.
14d Imagine member of ancient tribe on Yorkshire river (7)
PICTURE – The ‘painted people’ who lived in pre-Roman Scotland, followed by the river which flows through Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire.
17d Valve head of plumbing company installed in store (8)
STOPCOCK – Put together the first letter (head) of Plumbing and an abbreviation for COmpany, then insert the result into the store of goods held by a trader.
18d Horse with energy carrying everyone over street? (8)
GALLOWAY – Another word for ‘energy’ or ‘drive’ wrapped around ‘everyone’ followed by another word for street or road. The answer is a type of horse named for the district of Scotland where it originated.
19d Beginning to stand trial for activity on farm (8)
SHEARING – The first letter of Stand followed by another word for a trial in court.
22d Cleaner gets only half what customer pays (6)
CHARGE – A domestic cleaning person followed by the first half of GEts.
23d Occupant dealt with by letter (6)
TENANT – The letter here is the landlord.
24d Have another look at what could turn out to be dearer (6)
REREAD – Here we have a reverse anagram, where the answer could form the fodder for an anagram (could turn out to be) which produces ‘dearer’.
27d Upset produced by iron-bound extremist characters (4)
FAZE – The chemical symbol for iron wrapped around the first and last letters of the alphabet.
The Quick Crossword pun POLE + TACKS = POLL TAX