Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28928
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs. Only four more sleeps till the big day, so Happy Christmas to one and all.
A mixture from Giovanni this morning, with some seasonal treats, but some rather more obscure answers, one of which (22d) was new to me, though the wordplay was clear.
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 Big noise at university, Oxford’s No. 5 rower (6)
UPROAR – Put together ‘at university’, the fifth letter of OxfoRd, and a rower or the implement he uses.
5a Report from shed outside Cheltenham? (8)
DISPATCH – ‘Shed’ or ‘get rid of’ wrapped around the sort of resort of which Cheltenham may be an example.
9a Practise act prior to lucky-dip grab (3,4,4,2)
GET ONE’S HAND IN – A figurative expression for ‘practise’ or literally what you before taking something from a lucky dip.
10a Church occasion? A bishop and I may be entertained by ancient priest (8)
MARRIAGE – Put together A (from the clue), the letters denoting the honorific applied to a bishop, and I (from the clue), then wrap an ancient priest, perhaps one of the Three Wise Men, around the result. The answer is one of three occasions in life when an occasional Christian may end up in church.
11a City house with French art showing parrots (6)
ECHOES – Put together the postcode for the City of London, an abbreviation for HOuse, and the French word for the sort of ‘art’ which has ‘thou’ in front of it.
12a Tricky situation — my tie’s getting loosened (6)
STYMIE – Anagram (getting loosened) of MY TIE’S.
14a Most flavoursome champagne substitute revealed in experiment (8)
TASTIEST – An experiment or trial wrapped around crosswordland’s favourite fizzy wine.
16a Reserve card for a group of readers (4,4)
BOOK CLUB – Another verb meaning ‘reserve’ followed by a card of one of the four suits.
19a Sheets for egg producers (6)
LAYERS – Double definition, the second being some chickens.
21a Grand guide, one exuding enthusiasm (6)
GUSHER – An abbreviation for Grand followed by the guide who may show you to your seat in the theatre.
23a & 7d Holy Land hit they’ve arranged for something festive to sing (3,5,3,3,3)
THE HOLLY AND THE IVY – Anagram (arranged) of HOLY LAND HIT THEY’VE.
25a Process when spirit is released? I’d bet demonism is involved (13)
DISEMBODIMENT – Anagram (is involved) of I’D BET DEMONISM.
26a Appreciate loch in depiction (8)
LIKENESS – To show one’s appreciation (on Facebook, perhaps?) followed by a well-known Scottish loch.
27a In harmony, lacking a yen to be avaricious (6)
GREEDY – Remove the A from ‘in harmony’ (lacking a), then add the symbol for Yen.
2d Dramatic performance making one gasp in time? The opposite! (7)
PAGEANT – We are told to look for the opposite to ‘one gasp in time’, so we want a word for a (long) period of time to go inside another word for ‘gasp’.
3d Animal fashioned by clay-worker without head (5)
OTTER – Remove the initial letter (without head) from someone who makes things with clay.
4d Contribute to ding-dong and stir the memory (4,1,4)
RING A BELL – Literally, what you do to make a ding-dong.
5d Christmas pudding maybe with hair turning up (7)
DESSERT – Reverse (turning up, in a Down clue) an expression meaning ‘with hair’.
6d Card that has a cutting edge (5)
SPADE – One of the four suits of playing cards is also an edged tool.
7d See 23 Across
8d Discern unhappy girl kept at home (7)
CINDERS – Anagram (unhappy) of DISCERN, giving us the unhappy girl left at home while her ugly sisters went to the ball.
13d ‘Cook me a steak’, husband interjected. ‘Hurry up!’ (4,5)
MAKE HASTE – Anagram (cook) of ME A STEAK, with Husband inserted.
15d Joining senior in chorus (9)
SOLDERING – A verb for ‘to chorus’ wrapped around another word for senior. A method of joining plumbing or electrical connections.
17d Group of believers manifesting Oedipus complex (4,3)
OPUS DEI – Anagram (complex) of OEDIPUS, giving us a Latin phrase meaning ‘the work of God’, the name of an organisation within the Catholic Church which got rather a bad write-up in The Da Vinci Code.
18d Container inverted over many a pantomime character (7)
BUTTONS – Reverse (inverted) a container, then add an informal word for ‘many’, and you get a pantomime character who is a friend of 8d.
20d Like family members, very happy after end of supper (7)
RELATED – The last letter of suppeR followed by ‘very happy’.
22d Plant that is trodden on by sheep (5)
RAMIE – A male sheep followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’. This was a new word for me – a member of the nettle family, apparently.
24d Having excessive girth, concealed by robe seemingly (5)
OBESE – Hidden in the clue.
Have a great feast day, but don’t get too 27a, or you’ll be 24d!
The Quick Crossword pun GRAVE + E-BOAT = GRAVY BOAT