Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29140
Hints and tips by Mr K
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BD Rating - Difficulty **** - Enjoyment ***
Hello everyone. I found today's puzzle tricky, in part because it required some general knowledge that I didn't have stored away. If you're looking for another crosswording challenge, there's always this week's Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle. The setter (me) would appreciate feedback on it. Comments so far suggest it's probably a 4* puzzle, but there's a nice review by Prolixic to provide hints if you get stuck.
Thanks to everyone who filled out my survey on last week's puzzle. The results and a selection of the comments are available after the hints.
In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the boo! buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.
1a Honest claim about bandit? (4,7)
SLOT MACHINE: An anagram (about) of HONEST CLAIM gives a 'bandit' who's found in all the major dictionaries as part of a phrase beginning 'one-armed'
9a Leaderless miners confused with pros and cons (9)
PRISONERS: An anagram (confused) of [m]INERS PROS, with leaderless indicating deletion of the first letter of miners
10a A grand on European match (5)
AGREE: Concatenate A from the clue, the single letter for grand, the usual short word for on or concerning, and the single letter for European
11a At home, doctor gets drink (6)
INGEST: The usual short word for at home with an anagram (doctor …) of GETS
12a Scorsese perhaps joining Spielberg film, 'The Disciplinarian' (8)
MARTINET: Scorsese perhaps defines by example the first name of Scorsese the filmmaker. He's joined by a Spielberg film that often supplies the alien whenever a clue requires one
13a Some visit Argentina, returning for free (6)
GRATIS: The answer is found hiding as some of the reversal (returning) of the remainder of the clue
15a Seventies pop duo avoiding sand in northern town (8)
PETERLEE: A clue to sort the foreigners from the locals. Deleting SAND (… avoiding sand) from the name of a seventies pop duo that I'd never heard of gives the name of a town in Co Durham that I'd never heard of
18a Service stations might be here, incidentally (2,3,3)
BY THE WAY: Taken literally, the answer could describe where service stations might be found
19a One in five love a superfood (6)
QUINOA: Put together an informal word for one item from a set of five (babies, perhaps), the letter that looks like a love score in tennis, and A from the clue. Are there any superfoods that actually taste good?
21a Famous swimmer crosses river going to 'The Queen' for drink (8)
SPRITZER: An American swimmer famous for winning seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics containing (crossing) the map abbreviation for river is followed by the usual Latin abbreviation for the Queen
23a Traitorous person with support for the arts? (6)
WEASEL: Stick together the single letter abbreviation for 'with' and a support used by an artist
26a Chew piece of meat outside entrance to McDonald's (5)
CHOMP: A piece of meat with a rib in it containing (outside) the first letter of (entrance to) McDonald's
27a On hand (9)
OPERATIVE: A double definition. On or running, and a hand or worker with special skills
28a Part agreement to accommodate return of Italian trade union (11)
CONSTITUENT: Agreement or permission containing (to accommodate) both the reversal of (return of) the abbreviation for Italian and the obvious abbreviation for trade union
1d Little box? (7)
SAPLING: A cryptic definition. Box here refers not to a container but to a type of tree
2d Topless broadcasting is due (5)
OWING: A synonym of broadcasting (seeds, perhaps) minus its first letter (topless)
3d Still produce nonsense (9)
MOONSHINE: A double definition. The liquid produced by a still is also another word for nonsense
4d Cook revolutionary food for starter (4)
CHEF: The usual Argentinian revolutionary with the first letter of (… for starter) of Food
5d Extremely cool suit (2,6)
IN SPADES: A usual word for cool or fashionable with a playing card suit
6d Pass a law bringing woman to court (5)
ENACT: A woman's name currently popular in crosswordland is followed by the two-letter abbreviation for court
7d Struggle to get a grip? (7)
WRESTLE: A cryptic definition. The struggle involves getting a grip on an opponent. It takes place on a mat.
8d Force detailed bugging US statesman (8)
FRANKLIN: The physics symbol for force with all but the last letter (de-tailed …) of bugging or irritating
14d Article involved rioter at the front (8)
ANTERIOR: Cement together a grammatical article and an anagram (involved) of RIOTER
16d Former drivers meeting worker could be lively (9)
EXUBERANT: Stitch together the usual short word for former, a company that connects freelance drivers with passengers, and the usual worker insect
17d Country's former leader wearing nothing? On the contrary! (8)
CAMEROON: On the contrary instructs us to reverse the wordplay, so we want the letter that looks like zero or nothing contained in (wearing) a former leader of the UK who famously once forgot his daughter when leaving a pub
18d Splits reported according to religious groups (7)
BISECTS: A homophone (reported) of a short word meaning 'according to' and some religious groups
20d Email mentioned housing complaint (7)
AILMENT: The first two words of the clue are hiding (housing) the answer
22d Head in charge of subject (5)
TOPIC: Follow head or summit with the abbreviation for 'in charge'
24d Nick cleans top to bottom? The opposite (5)
SWIPE: The opposite tells that a synonym of cleans has its last (bottom) letter moved to the start (top)
25d Encounter with side heard to be on the way up (4)
MEET: The reversal (… to be on the way up) of a homophone (… heard) of a side or collection of participants
Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue was 3d. Which clues did you like best?
Click on the expandable spoiler boxes to see the results of each question in the survey. The questions refer to last Tuesday's puzzle DT 29134, which I rated as less difficult than the Tuesday average. Clicking on a graph will enlarge it.
Most of the responses were provided by lurkers, with only 19% of responses coming from readers who comment at least once a week.
I read and appreciated all of the comments. Most of them fell into two categories:
1. Reactions to the way in which the puzzles are described by some commenters (who I am sure do not intend to cause these responses in their fellow solvers):
- 'I think some comments are quite boastful but when someone says they are struggling then many are very supportive...'
- 'All the euphemisms for solving time - canters, gallops, cups of coffee, pints of beer etc etc - are silly and boring'
- 'Reduce the bragging....it is creeping in again and is very discouraging to not so good solvers. The comments like "we're not allowed to say this" meaning using phrases like "walk in the park" or "read and write" are also irritating as it is perfectly obvious what is meant.'
- 'I don't like the clever clogs constantly posting comments about how easy a puzzle is…'
- 'When people indicate that the puzzle was too easy, it makes those still solving feel rather stupid. I don’t worry about that, and will readily admit to being beaten, as I feel it helps those also struggling but who would be reluctant to say so'
- 'I’m sometimes made to feel lacking in knowledge which discourages me.'
- 'Not sure how you would do this but I feel there should be more encouragement for those new to crossword land. Many of your commenters seem to be seasoned crossworders.'
- 'Perhaps less of the apparent smugness of some commentators such as **** …'
- 'Could you politely convey to certain people that saying "that thing we are not supposed to say" is still saying that thing?!!'
2. Appreciation for the site:
- 'I think it’s all brilliant, I enjoy the discussions and banter that break out'
- 'Blogs are great, and I enjoy reading the comments, just that by the time I usually get around to solving everyone else had commented long ago!'
- 'I am a lurker but love the blog and read daily most if not all the comments. It is most informative in providing advice on how to solve and also the nature of those others who participate in solving.'
- 'Thank you to Big Dave and chums'
- 'Love this site'
- 'I just love reading the blog. I have learnt so much. And of course still learning. So grateful to all the bloggers and for all the hints and tips'
- 'Thank you for being here. Last resort at the end of the day but you enable me to sleep at night'
- 'I love Big Dave!'
- 'Great Blog, reading it forms part of my day.'
- 'Keep up the good work…'
Thanks again to everyone who responded to the survey. I hope that you find the results interesting.
The Quick Crossword pun: WARREN + PIECE = WAR AND PEACE