Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28980
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja on a bright and sunny morning. It’s a bit chilly at the silly o’clock time I’m writing this but the forecast for today and the next week is pretty good. If you’re interested then have a look here: https://www.eltiempo.es/almoradi.html .
I don’t know who today’s setter is but whoever it is has set a bit of a tricky rascal again so I have my suspicions. On first pass I only got five of the acrosses and then eight of the downs so that makes it a bit tricky in my book but it could just be due to the early hour and too much vino collapso last night. However, tricky or not there’s five longish anagrams to give a lot of checkers so it shouldn’t frighten the horses too much. I’ll be interested to see how you all got on with 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 Probing viral disease, doctor with a carrier (6)
BUMBAG: Start with an informal word for flu or a cold and insert (probing) one of the two letter doctors and the A from the clue. You’ll get the sort of carrier that has a long strap and is designed to be worn around the waist.
5a Work with a venture that’s most shady (8)
OPAQUEST: A charade of the usual work, the A from the clue and a venture or search.
9a Beast Adam learns about (10)
SALAMANDER: Anagram (about) of ADAM LEARNS. I’m not a huge fan of anagrams but I like this one – short and to the point.
10a Graduate close to pet project (4)
BABY: This graduate is a Bachelor of Arts. Follow him with a word meaning close to or next to. I spent too long thinking “close to pet” was going to be a T, d’oh!
11a Asian animal‘s sweep blocking comeback of viper (3,5)
RED PANDA: Take the other name for a viper and reverse it (comeback of). Into this you need to insert a word which can mean sweep when applied to a camera sweeping from side to side. This clue might have been a lot harder if I hadn’t seen one of these on “The Secret Life of the Zoo” a couple of days ago.
12a 60s mum keeps home (6)
MINUTE: You need to remember what an S usually refers to in crosswords then you need a word for mum, as in not talking, and insert the usual two letters for home to get what 60s is.
15a Learner involved in giving treatment (8)
HANDLING: Insert (involved in) an L(earner) into a word meaning giving or passing to someone.
18a Surmise about South American city being poor (8)
INFERIOR: Nothing to do with lacking money, poor here as in not very good. It’s a word for surmise (5) placed around (about) a large South American city which sometimes is clued as a port.
19a Miss, born first of December (4)
NEED: This miss isn’t an unmarried woman but to lack or to require. It’s a word for born, used to show a woman’s maiden name, with a D on the end (first of December).
21a With wings withdrawn, falcon over compartment (6)
ALCOVE: “With wings withdrawn” means to remove the first and last letters so do that to the words FALCON OVER and bolt together what’s left.
23a Not all who use site take care of property (5-3)
HOUSE SIT: A lurker. It’s hidden in (not all) the next here words. I like this clue as the eight letter answer is hidden in just ten letters of fodder.
25a Heckle, dismissing one European king as fool (4)
JERK: Take a word meaning heckle which has a double E in the middle and remove just one of them (dismissing one European). Follow that with a king from chess notation.
26a Rival clubs locking small Parisian in changing room (10)
COMPETITOR: Start with C(lubs) and follow with an anagram (changing) of ROOM. Into this insert (locking . . . in) the French (Parisian) word meaning small.
27a Knight crazy about English rose regularly ignored beauties (8)
STUNNERS: Take a Knight from chess notation and an informal word for crazy and reverse them (about). Follow with E(nglish) and the alternate letters (regularly ignored) from RoSe.
28a Harry Styles, most roguish (6)
SLYEST: Anagram (harry) of STYLES. I’m slightly surprised that I haven’t come across this wordplay before. I’ve managed to resist a One Direction clip but here’s a photo of him for those who like that sort of thing.
2d Custom from America, say, taken up (5)
USAGE: The usual three letters for America followed by two letters for say, but they are reversed (taken up in a down clue).
3d Swear sheep is dancing with lamb (9)
BLASPHEME: Anagram (. . . is dancing with . . .) of SHEEP LAMB.
4d Coarse Yankee supporting Republican in win (6)
GRAINY: Take a word for win or profit and insert (in) an R(epublican) and follow with what Yankee is in the phonetic alphabet.
5d Personification of London banker? (3,6,6)
OLD FATHER THAMES: The banker here isn’t one of those on Threadneedle Street but is a river. This is a cryptic definition of how London’s major river is sometimes referred to. Actually it’s the river God and here’s Gracie singing about him.
6d Bitterness from a baseless misdemeanour over New Year (8)
ACRIMONY: Star with the A from the clue. Then it’s a misdemeanour or felony without its last letter (baseless) and finally an N(ew) and a Y(ear).
7d University with refurbished bar north of city (5)
URBAN: U(niversity) followed by an anagram (refurbished) of BAR and finally N(orth).
8d Reserve opinion for matter (9)
SUBSTANCE: A short word for a reserve or a player “on the bench” in a football team followed by your opinion or view.
14d Lament nun’s straying and dissolution (9)
ANNULMENT: Anagram (straying) of LAMENT NUN.
16d Cuckoo covetingly wanting condor’s top endurance (9)
LONGEVITY: Take the C off the word COVETINGLY (wanting Condor’s top) and make an anagram (cuckoo) of what’s left.
17d Smart Aleck‘s main column’s beginning in Telegraph (8)
WISEACRE: Start with what the main, especially a Spanish one, is an example of and follow with a C (Column’s beginning). Insert that lot into another word for Telegraph or cable.
20d Hardship you reported squeezed into formal wear (6)
DURESS: The letter that sounds like (reported) the word YOU inserted (squeezed) into some formal wear.
22d Timber article put in fine space (5)
OAKEN: Timber as an adjective meaning made of wood, a timber cottage for example. To get a word meaning made of a particular type of wood you need two letters for fine or alright with a printer’s space and insert an indefinite article. Took a while for me to spot that timber can be used as an adjective but that was just me being a bit thick.
24d English player‘s sporting equipment (5)
IRONS: This English player is an English actor who’s first major film role was in “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. His name is also some sporting equipment used in golf. Here’s a bit of him in “Die Hard with a Vengeance” . . .
A lot of blue here but my favourite was 10a with 13a and 28a on the podium.
Quickie pun had me beat today so thanks to Kitty for the hint. Should have got it myself ‘cos I’m a sailor for God’s sake.
Quick crossword pun : FOREIGN + DAFT = FORE AND AFT