Toughie No 2168 by Jed
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ****
When (to universal sorrow) Virgilius announced that he was giving up the Sunday Prize slot he said that he would continue to contribute to the Telegraph on an ad hoc basis. This is the first of those contributions and very enjoyable it is. It’s pretty gentle (with just a couple of clues where a bit of thought is required to get the full explanation) and it should certainly appeal to all those who enjoyed his Sunday treats (that’s pretty much everyone).
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
8a Test cricket, for instance, accommodating minimal change (7)
INSPECT: what a cricket is an example of contains our least valuable bit of small change.
10a Quantify average cut with certainty (7)
MEASURE: stick together a truncated synonym of average and an adjective meaning ‘with certainty’.
11a A head we encountered in pub in holiday gear (9)
BEACHWEAR: insert ‘a head’ and WE into another word for a pub.
12a Unfashionably old saw (5)
DATED: double definition, the second a verb meaning saw romantically.
13a When provoked, one may charge cash (5)
RHINO: another double definition – the first what seems to be the creature of the month for crossword setters and the second an old slang term for money.
14a Textual error in a line at end of American volume (7)
LITERAL: append A and the abbreviation for line to the American spelling of a unit of volume.
17a Scrambled jet, tho’ under fire, in sci-fi movie (6,2,3,4)
RETURN OF THE JEDI: an anagram (scrambled) of JET THO UNDER FIRE.
19a With maximum possible speed, move fast to discipline (7)
CHASTEN: bring together the symbol for the speed of light (maximum possible speed) and a verb to move fast.
21a Counter in bank holding page (5)
REPLY: a verb to bank or depend contains the abbreviation for page.
24a Unfriendly second row (5)
STIFF: the abbreviation for second and a minor row or spat. Lovely surface evoking visions of a hulking great rugby forward.
26a Prohibits discussion about European epitome of rapid growth (9)
BEANSTALK: something that proverbially grows fast comes from a verb meaning prohibits and a synonym for discussion with the single-letter abbreviation for European inserted.
27a Fighting about hard time getting across (7)
ATHWART: a phrase (2,3) meaning engaged in fighting contains the abbreviation for hard. We finish with the abbreviation for time.
28a People improperly taken into state (7)
MENTION: fuse together a word for people in general and an anagram (improperly taken) of INTO.
1d Able to move supply and perhaps arm monarch (6)
LIMBER: run together what an arm is an example of and our monarch’s regnal cipher.
2d Writer contributing to stories, say, I study (8)
ESSAYIST: today’s lurker.
3d Tailored trenchcoat for scientific expert (10)
TECHNOCRAT: an anagram (tailored) of TRENCHCOAT.
4d Position that’s not ethical in test breaking up friendship (9)
AMORALITY: insert a type of test or examination into a synonym for friendship.
5d Something players try to avoid in club, for example (4)
CARD: double definition. The first, which might be yellow or red, is what sports players are keen to avoid.
6d Parking, say, in golf club (6)
PUTTER: the abbreviation for parking followed by a verb to say.
7d Lied when corruptly generating capital (3,5)
NEW DELHI: an anagram (corruptly) of LIED WHEN.
9d Removal of this large plant makes street shorter (4)
TREE: remove this large plant from street and you get a shorter version of the same thing.
15d In speculative activity, one is right, possibly (10)
THEORISING: an anagram (possibly) of ONE IS RIGHT.
16d Short excerpt from substantial amount of information heard (5,4)
cryptic definition of this is a short pithy section that those making a speech (especially politicians) include in the hope that it will make the 6 o’clock news. A synonym of substantial or sturdy is followed by what sounds like a small unit of computer storage. (thanks stanXYZ).
17d Two-wheeled vehicle putting strain on writer (8)
RICKSHAW: concatenate a verb to strain and an Irish dramatist. The dramatist and Winston Churchill were not best friends and there is a (probably apocryphal) story that he sent a note to Churchill saying “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend—if you have one.” Churchill replied “Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second—if there is one.”
18d Badly misshape? It’s stress (8)
EMPHASIS: an anagram (badly) of MISSHAPE.
20d Get out or in (6)
ALIGHT: double definition, the second describing a fire (method of heating) that has been set going.
22d Joining army, finally agreeing (6)
YOKING: the last letter of army and a (rather ugly) verb form meaning agreeing or approving.
23d Learner in academic stream still (4)
CALM: insert the abbreviation for learner into a river that flows through one of our oldest university cities (so, cryptically, it’s an academic stream).
25d Fiercely criticise fallacy, oddly enough (4)
FLAY: the odd letters of fallacy are sufficient for the answer.
I liked 8a, 14a and 24a but my favourite today was 9d. Do let us know which one(s) made your day.