Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29046
Hints and tips by pommers
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where summer has arrived for a few days at least. Nearly 30°C yesterday and going to be hotter today apparently. For mid-May that’ a big “phew”.
Anyway, to the puzzle. This one has to be a RayT as all the signs are there, including some stretched synonyms that are just about this side of breaking point. Overall I thought it was a tricky little rascal and nearly went for **** difficulty but there are a few gimmes and two long anagrams to give plenty of checkers so it worked out OK in the end. I quite enjoyed the tussle though and I’ll be interested to see what you all reckon to 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 Justify former suggestion to pen Sun’s leader … (6)
EXCUSE: The usual two letters for former, usually former spouse, are followed by a three letter suggestion or tip with S(un) inserted (to pen).
4a … Sun accepts also end of naked model (8)
STANDARD: Start with what the Sun is an example of and insert (accepts) a word meaning also and then finish with a D (end of nakeD). I think I’d better refrain from illustrating the naked model.
9a Small, dark and bright (6)
SUNLIT: S(mall) followed by a word meaning dark or without light.
10a Seams seen in short stockings? Goodness! (8)
HOLINESS: A word which can mean seams is inserted into (seen in) a generic term for stockings but without its last letter (short). Now you didn’t think I’d pass this one up did you?
13a Deliveries, reportedly, for docks (6)
BERTHS: This word meaning docks in a harbour sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning deliveries of babies.
15a Abrupt decline, possibly becoming erratic (13)
UNPREDICTABLE: Anagram (possibly) of ABRUPT DECLINE.
18a Worried, I got nervier at questioning (13)
INTERROGATIVE: Anagram (worried) of I GOT NERVIER AT.
22a Related a passage including start of novel (6)
AGNATE: Related by descent from a common male ancestor. It’s A (from the clue followed by a passage or entrance with N (start of Novel) inserted (including).
24a Conservative facing constituent crony rejected nonsense (8)
CLAPTRAP: Start with a word for a constituent, as in component rather than a voter, and a crony or mate and reverse them (rejected). At the front of that lot (facing) put a C(onservative)
26a Magnificent until group covers Queen (8)
TOWERING: A word for until and a group, as in a section of a political party perhaps, are placed around the usual two letters representing the great grandmother of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. What a splendid name! Presumably after Archie Gemmill and Harrison Ford..
27a Company, commonly the man’s company, right? (6)
ESCORT: Commonly here means drop an H so you need a word for “the man is”and drop the H then follow with the usual company and a two letter abbreviation of right.
28a Name of church started around mid-century (8)
CHRISTEN: This is to name, probably in a church, and it’s an abbreviation of churchfollowed by a word meaning started around a T (mid cenTury).
29a Tough as iron facing one’s gutless temerity (6)
FEISTY: The chemical symbol for iron followed by the letter that looks like 1 and the ‘s and lastly TY (gutless T(emerit)Y).
1d Yale is broken with little effort (6)
EASILY: Anagram (broken) of YALE IS.
2d Make do on street without sharp turning (9)
CONSTRUCT: A three letter word for do, as in cheat, followed by the usual two letters for street. Put that around (without) a word meaning sharp or terse but it’s reversed (turning). Took me ages to twig the definition here.
3d Support for rider’s foot wearing spur? (7)
STIRRUP: This support is indeed a support for a rider’s foot. However the rider’s foot is actually its last letter (R) and around it (wearing) is a phrase (4,2) meaning to spur or agitate.
5d Inordinately large instrument (4)
TOOL: A word for inordinately or very followed by L(arge). I spent far too long looking for a musical instrument, d’oh!
6d Most open new undergarment clothes top (7)
NAIVEST: N(ew) and an undergarment around (clothes) two letters for top as in very good.
7d Prevent state terrorism’s source (5)
AVERT: The usual crosswordland word for state, which is never used in everyday conversation, followed by a T (Terrorism’s source).
8d Blow from behind is astern (8)
DISASTER: A lurker. It’s hidden in (from) the last three words.
11d Speech elongated keeping level (7)
ECHELON: Another lurker lurking in (keeping) the first two words. Seems to me a bit odd to have lurkers in consecutive clues.
14d Practically excellent friend for ever (7)
FINALLY: A word for excellent without its last letter (practically) followed by one of the usual four letter friends, not mate this time but the other one.
17d Great acting performed about return of Private Ryan? (8)
GIGANTIC: Great as in very large. It’s an anagram (performed) of ACTING around (about) what Private Ryan was an example of but he’s backwards (return of).
19d End dimensions’ limits admitting time slows down (7)
RETARDS: Another word for end or stern and the outer letters (limits) from DimensionS with a T(ime) inserted (admitting).
20d This compiler’s exercise catching innocent in deadlock (7)
IMPASSE: How the compiler might say he is followed by one of the two letter exercises with and innocent (?) inserted (catching). Not sure about the innocent bit so perhaps someone will enlighten me as to how it works.
21d A year taking course leads to indifference (6)
APATHY: A (from the clue) and an abbreviation of Year around (taking) a course or track.
23d More current needs electricity with extra resistance initially (5)
NEWER: First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.
25d Single, going round clubs in the past (4)
ONCE: A word for single around a C(lubs). This is also the Spanish for eleven and is the name of a popular lottery here.
A lot of blue today but favourite for me was 2d, for its very well concealed definition, with the short and sweet 9a and 10a on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: INNS + SITE = INSIGHT