Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29148
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where summer is continuing, although the forecast for the next few days looks a bit iffy. Still it’s pretty hot and sunny and the moment so I’m not complaining. I’m not sure what to make of this puzzle. I got eight of the acrosses and ten of the downs on first pass but of those eighteen answers fifteen of them went in the right hand side, which was completely full, but the left hand side was nearly empty. The remaining answers put up something of a fight before revealing themselves so it’s ** for the right and **** for the left so *** on average. I don’t know who the setter is but whoever it is has a liking for charades and thinking up original anagram indicators. I enjoyed the tussle and had a few good penny drop moments.
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 Fabulous son in south-east of country (11)
SENSATIONAL: Start with two letters for South East and then a word meaning of a country, a native of it perhaps, and insert an S(on).
7a Company behind brief for surface protector (7)
COASTER: The usual company followed by a nautical term for behind but without its last letter (brief) gives the posh word for a beer mat. A sneaky one. I spent far too long trying to put the company behind a word for brief, d’oh!
8a Studied South American country’s education (7)
PERUSED: A South American country (don’t forget the ‘S) followed by an abbreviation of education.
10a Feverish strain, jammed in shopping centre (8)
MALARIAL: Start with a shopping centre and insert (jammed in) an operatic strain or song.
11a Garment when reversed, reportedly not right (6)
SARONG: A two letter word which can mean when is reversed and followed by four letters which aren’t a real word but if pronounced would sound like (reportedly) a word meaning not right.
13a Rank rodent close to hole (4)
RATE: Rank as a verb. It’s a rodent followed by an E (close to holE).
14a Boastfully misrepresented my old times (10)
IMMODESTLY: Anagram (misrepresented) of MY OLD TIMES.
16a Wide part of foot caught by light immobilising device (5,5)
WHEEL CLAMP: A charade of W(ide), a part of the foot, C(aught) and a word for a light as in source of illumination.
21a Mass celebration around a Mediterranean resort (6)
MALAGA: Start with M(ass) then a celebration or party but it’s reversed (around) and finally the A from the clue to get a city and resort on Spain’s Costa del Sol. This is another sneaky one where I spent quite a while trying to put a celebration around the A from the clue, d’oh again!
22a US agent carrying large relative showed off (8)
FLAUNTED: Take a slang term for an FBI agent and insert (carrying) an L(arge) and a female relative.
24a Ravenous itinerant dropping skinned rat in a stew (7)
NERVOUS: Anagram (itinerant) of RAVENOUS but without the A (dropping skinned r(A)t). Don’t think I’ve ever seen itinerant used as an anagram indicator.
25a Illegally bring in small vessel, finally evading all police (7)
SMUGGLE: A charade of S(mall), a vessel that you might drink coffee from and then the last letters (finally) of evadinG alL policE.
26a Occasionally sitting in the veranda nonchalantly (4,3,4)
EVER AND ANON: This one’s a lurker hiding in (sitting in) the last three words.
1d Ruined castle inhabited by king’s shade (7)
SCARLET: Anagram (ruined) of CASTLE with an R (king) inserted (inhabited by).
2d Turned up brown uniform on character (6)
NATURE: A common crosswordland word for brown is reversed (turned up in a down clue) followed by the letter represented by the word uniform in the phonetic alphabet and then two letters for on or about.
3d Diarist of Roman emperor leaving out head spy (6,4)
ADRIAN MOLE: This is the diarist created by the author Sue Townsend. He’s the Roman emperor who built a wall to keep the Scot’s out of England but without his first letter (leaving out head) and then a spy. I was a bit stuck here because Samuel Pepys didn’t fit.
4d Rascals regularly hid my post (4)
IMPS: Alternate letters (regularly) from the last three words of the clue.
5d Told elevated cleric about time with a bishop (8)
NARRATED: Told as in told a story. Take a man of the cloth and reverse him (elevated in a down clue) and put him around T(ime), the A from the clue and a two letter abbreviation of a bishop.
6d Cry after the Parisian’s attack without restraint (4,3)
LASH OUT: Put a word for to cry or yell after the feminine French definite article and split (4,3).
7d Female shooters arrived with harsh warning (11)
CAMERAWOMEN: These female shooters are shooting pictures. A charade of a word meaning arrived, followed by a word meaning harsh or uncooked and finally a warning. It was the penny finally dropping on this one that opened up the left hand side for me.
12d Made regular deals with minor criminal (10)
NORMALISED: Anagram (criminal) of DEALS with MINOR.
17d Blow up general in conflict (7)
ENLARGE: Nothing to do with dynamite or inflating but blow up a photograph perhaps. It’s an anagram (in conflict) of GENERAL.
19d Figure running to span court with ace shot (7)
OCTAGON: A word meaning running, as your washing machine may be running, around (to span) the abbreviation of court, A(ce) and a word for a shot or attempt.
20d Toast with superior gold colour (6)
AUBURN: Start with a word meaning toast or singe and before it (“with superior” in a down clue) put the chemical symbol for gold.
23d Like Ibiza on vacation, or far bigger place? (4)
ASIA: The word you had meaning when in 11a this time has its other meaning of like. Start with that and follow with IA (IbizA on vacation).
Quite a bit of blue but my favourite was 24a, for the mental image it created, with 7d and 15d on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: PRY + FAT + CHOKE = PRIVATE JOKE