Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29143
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs. A fine day in prospect, ahead of what may be a wet weekend.
One or two tricky clues from Giovanni this morning, pushing my time into my *** bracket. I spent far too long thinking that 20a began with a C, and 25a took some time to crack.
Picking up on the discussions earlier this week about difficulty ratings, mine are based mainly on how long the puzzle takes to solve – something I only have a note of when I’m solving online for blogging purposes, since normally I use the newspaper version.
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 Bird breathin’ in short gasps (6)
PUFFIN – A synonym of ‘breathin’ in short gasps’ (note the elided ‘g’) is also the name of a seabird.
4a Part of a circle social worker joined at end of month (6)
OCTANT – The short form of one of the months of the year, followed by a social insect.
8a Herb is eccentric character, a bit mad at first (8)
CARDAMOM – Put together another word for an eccentric person, A (from the clue), ‘a bit (of time)’, and the first letter of Mad.
10a Precious stones, as seen framing entrance (6)
AGATES – AS (from the clue) wrapped around another word for an entrance.
11a Get away from sound of insect (4)
FLEE – The answer is a homophone (sound of) a blood-sucking insect.
12a Scot-free? (3-7)
NON-TAXABLE – Cryptic definition of something not liable to a scot or levy.
13a See smartness coming out in second examination? (12)
REASSESSMENT – Anagram (coming out) of SEE SMARTNESS.
16a A present for fantastic teacher, primarily one looking after child (6-6)
FOSTER-PARENT – Anagram (fantastic) of A PRESENT FOR, followed by the first letter (primarily) of Teacher.
20a Conservative initially hesitates to change a set of principles (10)
AESTHETICS – Anagram (to change) of HESITATES and the first letter (initially) of Conservative.
21a Scottish island participating in tributes (4)
BUTE – Hidden in the clue.
22a Cite a theologian confronting head of Unitarian church (6)
ADDUCE – Put together A (from the clue), the letters after the name of an academic theologian, the first letter (head) of Unitarian, and the abbreviation for the Church of England.
23a Getting money after end of school education? (8)
LEARNING – The last letter (end) of schooL followed by ‘getting money’.
24a Modified version has her confused (6)
REHASH – Anagram (confused) of HAS HER.
25a Interpret Advent or Christmas poem? (6)
DECODE – Split the answer (3,3) and you have the short form of the month containing Advent and Christmas, followed by another word for a poem.
1d More than one costermonger works, receiving attention (8)
PEARLIES – ‘More than one’ tells us that the answer is a plural. To get to these traditional London costermomgers, named for the elaborate decoration of their clothes, we have ‘works’ (as in ‘—– one’s trade’) wrapped around a metaphor for ‘attention’.
2d Sweet nonsense (5)
FUDGE – Double definition, both words being nouns.
3d Huge Madame occupying home — Kent region? (7)
IMMENSE – Another word for ‘(at) home’ wrapped around the short form of ‘Madame’, followed by the geographical location of the Kent region of England.
5d Revolutionary hugging a radical in an absurd act (7)
CHARADE – The usual crossword revolutionary wrapped around A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for ‘RADical’.
6d White material broken up in blast area (9)
ALABASTER – Anagram (broken up) of BLAST AREA.
7d Young singer that may be nine in indoor game? (6)
TREBLE – The indoor game involves throwing pointed missiles at a segmented board. There are two ways of scoring nine with a single throw: single 9 or —— 3.
9d Government department’s small and it’s real crazy! (11)
MINISTERIAL – A prefix often used to show that something is small, followed by an anagram (crazy) of IT’S REAL.
14d What sledgehammer doesn’t offer? One can be easily fooled (4,5)
SOFT TOUCH – Someone who can be easily led to provide (financial) assistance can be described as this, whereas hitting something with a sledgehammer certainly doesn’t fit the description.
15d Example of an insect changing form (8)
INSTANCE – Anagram (changing form) of AN INSECT.
17d Electrical units should make sense — I’m confused (7)
SIEMENS – Anagram (confused) of SENSE I’M. The answer is a derived SI unit of conductance, defined as the reciprocal of an ohm.
18d Way to get exam success over time (7)
PASSAGE – What you do if you succeed in an exam, followed by a long period of time.
19d Boss as one making earnest appeal, but not quietly (6)
LEADER – Remove the musical symbol for ‘quietly’ from the beginning of a word for someone making an earnest appeal, and you get a boss (or what you hope a boss will be).
21d Music-maker‘s message of hostility to little woman? (5)
BANJO – Split the answer (3,2) and you get what could be an order to exclude one of the Little Women.
The Quick Crossword pun BRAKING + GNUS = BREAKING NEWS