Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29004
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where spring must have sprung because the swallows have returned from their winter vacation. Hopefully they will have brought some good weather with them.
I’m not sure what to make of this puzzle. I started off in fine style with eight of the acrosses and then ten of the downs so was thinking it was going to be a breeze but after that it was a bit like running into a brick wall. Still, I got there in the end with a few penny drops and a bit more damage to the tea tray. I’ll be interested to hear what you 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 Bully‘s identification concealed by pal (10)
INTIMIDATE: Two letters for identification or your “papers” inside (concealed by) a pal or someone close to you. I’m always happy when 1a goes straight in.
6a Behold king on the throne (4)
LOOK: King in chess notation placed next to (on) another informal word for the throne as in the porcelain in the smallest room. Spent too long thinking king would be an R, d’oh!
9a Become red-faced running after felons (7)
CRIMSON: A two letter word meaning running or working after a slang term for felons. I don’t think I’ve ever come across this word for felons but it’s in the dictionary and it was fairly obvious once the checkers were in. Anyone else remember this album cover?
10a Undoing curse, monarch’s saviour (7)
RESCUER: Anagram (undoing) of CURSE followed by the usual two letters for Her Majesty.
12a German man, a gem, enthusiastically covering staff organisation (3-10)
MAN MANAGEMENT: The best lurker for quite some time. It’s hidden in (covering) the first five words of the clue.
14a Mother of that woman pens line for composer (6)
MAHLER: Take the usual mother followed by a word for “of that woman” and insert (pens) an L(ine)
15a In freezing cold, the Parisian is graceful (8)
BALLETIC: Start with a slang term for freezing cold and insert (in) a French (Parisian) definite article.
17a Wish rack to be adapted for passenger vehicle (8)
RICKSHAW: Anagram (to be adapted) of WISH RACK.
19a Husband feeding dog endless grot, deep-fried food (6)
CHURRO: Insert (feeding) an H(usband) into a word for a dog and follow with the centre letters (endless) of gROt. This is a Spanish deep fried snack and it’s very nice either sprinkled with sugar or dipped in chocolate sauce or even both! My favourite on a Saturday morning at Almoradi market.
22a Immediate tension as aunt cooks (13)
INSTANTANEOUS: Anagram (cooks) of TENSION AS AUNT.
24a Wary guys edge, both half-cut, to cross a road (7)
GUARDED: Take the first two letters (both half cut) from GUys and EDge and place them around (to cross) the A from the clue and an abbreviation of road.
25a Inn‘s ingredient used for moussaka not popular (7)
AUBERGE: This is a French inn and it’s the main ingredient of mousska without the usual two letter word meaning popular. I’ve a feeling we’ve had this clip before but I like it so here it is again.
26a Reduced rustic wooden frame (4)
YOKE: A word for a rustic or country bumpkin without its last letter (reduced).
1d Burn Dorothy’s nemesis, abandoning the West? (4)
ITCH: This is burn as in have a desire for something. It’s the nemesis of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz without the W(est).
3d Wrongly hear, and drum is sent — it’s rum! (13)
MISUNDERSTAND: Anagram (it’s rum) of AND DRUM IS SENT.
4d Hiding upset at home, share out rejection (6)
DENIAL: The usual two letter word for “at home” is reversed (upset in a down clue) and inserted into (hiding) a word for share out, a pack of cards perhaps.
5d Go on a path leading to decline (4,4)
TURN AWAY: Another word for a go placed before (on in a down clue) the A from the clue and a word for a path or direction.
7d Sumptuous duck starters in pub until time of fasting (7)
OPULENT: The letter representing a duck in cricket followed by the first letters (starters) of Pub and Until and then the time of fasting that we’re in at the moment.
8d A top hacker organised strike from Japan (6,4)
KARATE CHOP: Anagram (organised) of A TOP HACKER.
11d Appropriate investing fortune in the right military aircraft (7,6)
STEALTH BOMBER: Listen very carefully I shall say this only once . . . You need to start with a word meaning to appropriate or nick. After that you need the THE from the clue and an R(ight). Put that lot together and insert (investing . . . in) a word meaning a fortune as in “it cost a fortune” and once you’ve got all that together you need to split it (7,6) to get the military aircraft.
13d In smug-faced fashion, lips upturned on royal (10)
SMIRKINGLY: Some lips or edges are reversed (upturned in a down clue) and placed on a word meaning royal or like a royal person.
16d Routine of dad playing with toy over a year (3-2-3)
DAY TO DAY: Anagram (playing) of DAD with TOY placed around (over) the A from the clue and the abbreviation of year.
20d Save and put ball back into play (7)
RESERVE: Split (2,5) this would be a phrase which might mean to put the tennis ball back into play.
21d Youngster actually gets name for capital of Chad (6)
INFANT: Take a phrase (2,4) meaning actually or really and change the C (capital of Chad) into an N (gets N(ame) for) and then put it together as one word. For one horrible moment I thought I was supposed to know what is the capital of Chad but then the penny dropped. For those interested it’s called N’Djamena and here’s a piccy of its Avenue Charles de Gaulle . . .
23d Stupid to cut short studies (4)
DENS: A word meaning stupid or thick without its last letter (cut short).
Some nice stuff here but my favourite has to be the topical 27a with 21d and 11d on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: HIKE + WALLET + TEA = HIGH QUALITY