Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29125
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from a wet South Staffs.
A tricky puzzle from Giovanni today, with 27a my last one in. It took so long for the penny to drop that I went well into *** time – though, as usual, once the parsing was clear, it was difficult to see why there had been a problem. I was a bit surprised to find the Don using the same anagram indicator in two consecutive clues (11a and 13a): perhaps a late editorial change?
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Country ousting English, having love for dictator (6)
FRANCO – Remove the English from the name of the country just across the Channel, and replace it with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, to get the name of a former dictator of another European country.
4a Workers leaving factory maybe requiring no intervention (5-3)
HANDS-OFF – Another word for factory workers, followed by a word for not being at work.
9a Coaches make exceptional effort, first to last (6)
TRAINS – Start with a word for ‘make exceptional effort’, then move its first letter to the end.
10a A beating is embarrassing (8)
ABASHING – A (from the clue) followed by a beating or thrashing.
11a Nasty grub eats last of the root crop (5,4)
SUGAR BEET – Anagram (nasty) of GRUB EATS and the final letter of (th)E.
13a Etonian nasty, but not to woman (5)
ANNIE – Anagram (nasty) of E(to)NIAN, removing the TO (not to, from the clue), giving us a woman’s name.
14a Troublemaker in South Africa given lowly accommodation, eating humble pie (4-9)
SELF-ABASEMENT – Wrap the initials of South Africa around a supernatural troublemaker, then add some low-level (below ground-floor) accommodation.
17a Trick admitted by home team deem to be ‘thoughtless’ (13)
INCONSIDERATE – Another word for ‘(at) home’ and another word for a team, placed either side of a word for ‘trick’. Then add another word for ‘deem’ or ‘judge’.
21a Apple had to be consumed by First Lady? (5)
EATER – The regnal cipher of our Queen (first lady), wrapped around ‘had (food)’, giving a generic term for apples which don’t need to be cooked or made into cider.
23a Acrobat sounding a bit like a level-headed chap? (9)
AERIALIST – The answer is the sort of acrobat who performs on the high wire or trapeze. The level-headed chap is someone not given to flights of fancy. A (from the clue) and the level-headed chap give us a sort of homophone of the answer.
24a Put ban on drinking place, one cold and vile (8)
BARBARIC – Put together ‘ban’, a drinking place, the Roman numeral for one, and Cold.
25a Like an ancestor occupying hovel in Ealing (6)
LINEAL – Hidden in the clue.
26a Doctor, say, admitting second offence — something saucy (8)
DRESSING – Start with an abbreviation for ‘doctor’, then add the two-letter Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’. Then put together Second and a moral offence, and insert the result into the ‘say’ bit of the first construction.
27a Bad guy, Greek character held to be a pest (6)
CAPSID – A badly-behaved or immoral man wrapped around a three-letter Greek letter, giving us a garden bug which eats your plants.
1d Naughty thief’s obsession (6)
FETISH – Anagram (naughty) of THIEF’S.
2d A gin Alec’s drunk as a painkiller (9)
ANALGESIC – Anagram (drunk) of A GIN ALEC’S.
3d Authority is unenthusiastic about odd features of nature (7)
CONTROL – Another word for ‘unenthusiastic’ or ‘not warm’ wrapped around the odd-numbered letters of NaTuRe.
5d Trader offers designer’s latest little piece with passion in a very old city (11)
ARBITRAGEUR – Put together the last letter (latest) of designeR, a little piece, and another word for passion. Then place the result between A (from the clue) and an old Biblical city in Chaldaea. The whole is a financial trader who exploits differences between markets, looking to buy cheaply in one and sell for a higher price in another.
6d Bad condition of seaside deplorable (7)
DISEASE – Anagram (deplorable) of SEASIDE.
7d Stars in prayer when actress finally goes astray (5)
ORION – Remove the final letter of actresS from an old word for a prayer, and we get the name of a constellation visible throughout the world.
8d Fanciful ideas getting agents into outbursts (8)
FIGMENTS – The agents (1-3) are those working for the US Government, specifically for the FBI. Wrap some outbursts of temper around them.
12d Scrutiny of old French friend leading state (11)
EXAMINATION – Put together the usual prefix for ‘old’ or ‘former’, the French word for ‘friend’, and a state or country.
15d Decorative features I said should be put on ships (9)
EYELINERS – A homophone (said) of I, followed by some large passenger ships.
16d Don’s wet bottom? (5,3)
RIVER BED – The Don here is not our esteemed setter, but a watercourse.
18d Wisdom’s maybe evident in invaders crossing the Channel (7)
NORMANS – The first word of the clue can be taken as relating to the surname of the late comic actor. Replace it with a similar construction using his first name to get the people who came over with William the Conqueror in 1066.
19d A bishop, one about to be entertained by a distinguished artist providing coffee (7)
ARABICA – Put together A (from the clue), the chess notation for a bishop, the Roman numeral for one, and the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. Then put together A (from the clue) and the letters indicating a distinguished artist who is a member of the Royal Academy and wrap this second result around the first one, to get a variety of coffee bean.
20d Dirty home was first given a makeover maybe (6)
STYLED – The dirty home traditionally occupied by a pig, followed by ‘was first (during a race)’.
22d Short section within winter session (5)
TERSE – Hidden in the clue.
The Quick Crossword pun PORE + SLAIN = PORCELAIN