Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28962
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja on a pleasantly warm (for late January) RayThursday. At least I’m pretty sure it is he as all the usual signs are here, short clues, Her Majesty on parade and a bit of innuendo by way of a love affair, a misbehaving husband and Rose gripping a large chopper. I thought it was going to be a tad tricky as I only got four of the acrosses on first pass but then eleven of the downs came to the rescue so it turned out to be OK. As usual with a RayT puzzle I enjoyed the challenge and I’ll be interested to see what you all thought of it.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Mates with checkmate finally for match (6)
OPPOSE: A slang term for mates or colleagues followed by an E (checkmatE finally). This word gets used to mean mates but actually it means your counterpart in another organisation. Mine in our French company was a guy called Hervé Lacombe and he was the sort of chap who could follow you into a revolving door but come out first.
4a Expert struggled taking day in the event (8)
PROVIDED: Take an expert, not an ace but the other one, and a word meaning struggled and insert (taking) a D(ay).
9a Guard of iron runs around edge (6)
FENDER: This guard is the one around a fireplace. Put the chemical symbol for iron and an R(uns) around a word for edge or finish. This clip isn’t completely irrelevant – David Gilmour’s guitar is a Fender Stratocaster . . .
10a Contrived incentive facing debts (8)
SPURIOUS: An incentive or urge followed by the usual debts.
12a Criminal given punishment is put inside (8)
CONFINED: One of the usual criminals followed by a word meaning given punishment of a financial nature. I spent far too long trying to get a criminal by inserting (put inside) IS into the given punishment, d’oh!
13a Recording one assuming affair (6)
FILING: Start with the letter that looks like ONE and around it (assuming) put a slang term for a brief love affair.
15a Striking and elegant but for pants (13)
UNFORGETTABLE: Anagram (pants) of ELEGANT BUT FOR.
18a Man in command at Waterloo? (13)
STATIONMASTER: This man in command at Waterloo isn’t the Duke of Wellington or Napoleon at the battle but the boss man at the place where the trains go. I’ve spared you the ABBA song.
22a Lacking a preference, purchases Sun at first (6)
ABSENT: A (from the clue) followed by a preference or propensity with S (Sun at first) inserted (purchases).
24a Tract contains essence of belief giving faith (8)
RELIGION: Start with a tract or area of land and insert (contains) the middle two letters (essence of) belief.
26a Enduring this compiler’s lesson? About time! (8)
IMMORTAL: How the compiler might say “he is” followed by a lesson, from a story perhaps, with T(ime) inserted (about).
28a Judge again almost calm imprisoning idiots (8)
REASSESS: Take a word for calm without its last letter (almost) and insert (imprisoning) crosswordland’s favourite idiots.
29a Queen possibly concerned with prince? (6)
REGENT: Two letters for about followed by a prince or a toff. Not sure I’ve got this one right but I can’t see anything else. anyone got any better ideas?
1d Rough diamonds in workplace (6)
OFFICE: A word for rough or rotten followed by a slang term for diamonds.
2d Weaving linen up as cape (9)
PENINSULA: Anagram (weaving) of LINEN UP AS.
3d Lawman, quiet and strong, accepts rising heat (7)
SHERIFF: Take two letters for “be quiet” and the letter for strong or loud in musical notation and insert (accepts) a reversal (rising in a down clue) of a word meaning heat.
5d Spellbound, inclined to support Republican (4)
RAPT: Inclined as in inclined to do something follows (to support in a down clue) an R(epublican).
6d Cover dictation covering sentence (7)
VERDICT: A lurker hidden in (covering) COVER DICTATION. I don’t think this clue is right. The answer isn’t the sentence but the judgement of guilt. The sentence comes after said judgement is handed down.
7d Inside found hot, in loincloth (5)
DHOTI: Another lurker this time lurking (inside) in FOUND HOT IN. Seems a bit strange to have two consectutive lurkers.
8d Producer of French chanteuse, good for promotion (8)
DESIGNER: The French word for OF followed by what a chanteuse is but with the G moved up one place (Good for promotion). I didn’t read this clue carefully enough and for a while I thought it was something to do with that disgusting green liqueur.
14d Rested and rose gripping large chopper (7)
RELAXED: Rose as a colour around (gripping) an L(arge) and a chopper.
16d Roadblock perhaps about to block pub outing (9)
BARRICADE: Take a pub and a word for an outing, on a horse perhaps, and insert (to block) two letters for about, you’ve had RE in 29a so this time it’s the other one.
19d Passes over wild regions (7)
IGNORES: Anagram (wild) of REGIONS.
20d Honour of clan protecting outskirts of Uist (7)
TRIBUTE: Another word for a clan around (protecting) the end letters (outskirts) of UisT.
21d Keen to be under canvas? (6)
INTENT: Split (2,4) the answer could describe the position of someone under canvas as in camping.
23d Old lady’s up with bachelor for dance (5)
SAMBA: The old lady is your mother so reverse her (up in a down clue) not forgetting the ‘S and follow with a bachelor of arts. And here’s the dance which got a 10 from Craig Revel Horwood . . .
25d Excludes heartily upset supporters (4)
BARS: Supporters of a lady’s chest with the middle two letters reversed (heartily upset).
Quite a lot to like here but my favourite was the rather splendid all-in-one at 17d with 25d and 18a up there on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: LAIR + MONK + HERD = LEMON CURD