Daily Telegraph Cryptic 29196
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from a mostly dried out Vega Baja. If you’re wondering where I´ve been for the last few weeks I refer you to my last blog on 5th September where I said that the weather forecast for the next few days was looking a bit dodgy. Well, dodgy didn’t begin to cover it! On 12-13th September the Vega Baja and many other parts of the Communitat Valenciana experienced what turned out to be, and by quite some margin, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded. On the Vega Baja most of the irrigation canals overflowed, the Rio Segura broke its banks big time in Orihuela and at Algorfa the river´s retaining wall simply collapsed under the unprecedented weight of water, sending a sort of tidal wave into Almoradí. Widespread flooding was the result with the damage estimated in the billions of Euros. In El Saladar the water in the street rose to a depth of 1.2m and inside our house it was 73cm deep. As it´s a bungalow that means everywhere was flooded including the bedrooms. I missed it all as I was in the UK visiting the aged parent but I got back to Spain on the evening of 16th September to find that the village had been evacuated on the morning of the 13th and pommette was dossing at a friend´s apartment in a dry bit of Almoradì, with the three cats banged up in another friend’s conservatory. At least she´d got our new car and the cats out in time and a very helpful Guardia Civil chap had lifted her brand new mobility scooter onto a kitchen worktop so that it survived as well! It was Weds 18th before the water had receded enough to get back into the village and the contents of our house are pretty much a write-off. We spent the next three weeks staying in a borrowed holiday apartment while we started the drying out and clean-up operations. We’re back home now but I reckon it will be Xmas before we’re anything like straight. If you like horror movies look here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PT_8f3hjjo or key “floods Spain 2019” into YouTube.
Anyway, enough of my woes and on to today´s puzzle. I´m not sure of the setter but it´s not RayT as he’s in the Toughie slot today. I thought it a fairly benign but quite enjoyable puzzle, just right for my return to blogging duties.
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 Puzzles about what might move the public (7)
REBUSES: Start with two letters for about and follow with some public transport.
5a Held cap with sled out of control (7)
CLASPED: Anagram (out of control) of CAP with SLED.
9a Scene five is at back (5)
VISTA: Start with a roman five, then the IS from the clue and finally the AT from the clue but it´s reversed (back).
10a Unopened package carried by toff around a Spanish city (9)
BARCELONA: Take another word for a package and remove its first letter (unopened). Around this (carried by) put a reversal (around) of a word for a toff and finally the A from the clue to get Spain´s second city and the capital of Catalunya.
11a Welcoming North; unfortunately South rude and noisy (10)
THUNDEROUS: Anagram (unfortunately) of SOUTH RUDE with N(orth) inserted (welcoming).
12a Couple jogging no good at all (4)
JOIN: Couple as a verb. Take the word JOGGING from the clue and remove all the G’s (no Good at all.)
14a Running business is becoming worry (5,7)
GOING CONCERN: A word that can mean becoming, as in becoming red if you’re blushing, followed by a worry.
21a Relieved exclamation not many heard (4)
PHEW: An exclamation of relief sounds like (many heard) a word meaning not many.
22a Ignore American wearing his beard stupidly (5,5)
BRUSH ASIDE: Anagram (stupidly) of HIS BEARD placed around (wearing) and two letters for American.
25a Rudeness in church eating fish head in nave (9)
INSOLENCE: Take IN from the clue and an abbreviation of the Church of England and insert (eating) a flat fish and an N (head in Nave).
26a Called retired mother in home (5)
NAMED: Take a home or hideaway and insert two letters for your mother and then reverse the lot (retired).
27a Rabbits two times caught in activated snare (7)
NATTERS: Don’t worry Rabbit Dave these bunnies haven’t been caught in a snare as it´s rabbits as in talks a lot. Insert (caught in) two T(imes) in an anagram (activated) of SNARE.
28a Way, way, way at the back showing shyness (7)
MODESTY: Start with a word for a way as in a method or style, follow with a way as in a road and finally a Y (way at the back).
1d Centre in Zurich checks fastenings (6)
RIVETS: The middle two letters (centre in) from zuRIch followed by a word meaning checks as in examines.
2d Some part of crab is questionable for soup (6)
BISQUE: A lurker hiding in (some part of) crab is questionable.
3d View pint, not sad to get tipsy (10)
STANDPOINT: Anagram (to get tipsy) of PINT NOT SAD.
4d Not drunk provided beer, half-empty (5)
SOBER: A word for provided or thus followed by the BEER from the clue but without one of the E’s (half empty).
5d Cruel cops sabotaged cell (9)
CORPUSCLE: Not a prison or a terrorist cell but a blood cell. It’s an anagram (sabotaged) of CRUEL COPS.
6d Excuse me, answer what upset Mike (4)
AHEM: A(nswer) followed by a reversal (upset) of a word for what? as in “I didn’t hear you” and finally the letter represented by Mike in the phonetic alphabet.
7d Harassed professional, very fine editor (8)
PROVOKED: The usual professional followed by V(ery), two letters for fine or adequate and finally the usual editor.
8d Wearisome taking food around soldiers (8)
DRAINING: A word for taking food, in the evening perhaps put around some soldiers, this time the Royal Artillery.
13d Amateur boxing second is natural (10)
UNSTRAINED: A word which could mean amateur or uneducated around (boxing) an S(econd).
15d Without restrictions of time, lad from south calls (2,7)
NO STRINGS: T and your lad reversed (from the south in a down clue) followed by a word for calls, by telephone perhaps.
16d African gent I pay is dodgy (8)
EGYPTIAN: Anagram (is dodgy) of GENT I PAY.
17d County club needing several runs to lead (8)
SOMERSET: Start with a three letter word for a club or group of people and before it (to lead) put a word for several and an R(uns).
19d Oddly glitzy male with very big gadgets (6)
GIZMOS: Alternate letters (oddly) from glitzy followed by M(ale) and the tywo letters for very big in clothing.
20d Daughter wearing odd welly in improper way (6)
LEWDLY: Insert D(aughter) into (wearing) and anagram (odd) of WELLY.
23d Cook‘s note to replace second bit of Spam (5)
STEAM: A way to cook is a note from the Sol-Fa replacing the second letter of spam.
24d Chimney went skyward, we’re told (4)
FLUE: This chimney sounds like (we’re told) a word meaning went skyward, in an aeroplane perhaps.
A lot of great clues here but my favourite has to be 18a for its rather splendid definition – “layers beneath kippers” indeed! Up on the podium are the rabbits at 27a and the rather topical welly at 20d.
Quick crossword pun: BRAY + QUARTER = BREAKWATER