Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29214
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***– Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where life is slowly getting back to normal after the flood. We have a plasterer coming today to repair the walls now they’ve dried out and then we can start to install the new furniture. Kitchen was ripped out yesterday but won’t be replaced until next week so I think quite a lot of meals in the local bar over the next few days.
As to the crossword I’m pretty sure it’s a RayT production as all the signs are there. It was a lot of fun but gets the third difficulty star because of the NE corner which caused me a bit of trouble for some reason. I think it was the flash car that threw me for a while. I’ll be interested to see what you guys made of it.
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.
7a Castle I’d destroyed and fortresses (8)
CITADELS: Anagram (destroyed) of CASTLE ID. Nice easy one to get you started.
10a Return of Queen with nearly perfect material (4)
REAL: The usual Queen reversed (return of) and then a word for perfect, as in complete, but without its last letter (nearly).
11a Help when yours truly goes after second position (10)
ASSISTANCE: Start with a two letter word meaning when and then an S(econd). Follow this (goes after) with the perpendicular pronoun (yours truly) and finally a position or attitude.
12a My group showing bodice (6)
CORSET: Here MY is an exclamation of surprise. Take another one and follow with a group of people. You really didn’t expect me to pass up this photo opportunity did you?
14a Flash car saving energy as well (8)
MOREOVER: Two letters for a flash or short period of time followed by a make of car that was once made in the UK with an E inserted (saving Energy).
15a Merkel, perhaps not entirely relevant (6)
GERMAN: Angela Merkel works in this clue but it could equally have been Sebastian Vettel or Boris Becker. You need a word for relevant and remove the last letter (not entirely).
17a Appetite about left one’s husband (6)
RELISH: Two letters for about followed by L(eft), the letter that looks like a number one, the ‘s from the clue and finally H(usband). I like clues like this where you simply build the answer as you go through the clue.
20a ‘Abdabs’, in theory, partly due to this? (8)
ABSINTHE: It’s a sort of all-in-one lurker. The strong drink that is reputed to cause mental problems (abdabs) is hiding in (partly) the first three words of the clue.
22a By the sound of it pinches nerves (6)
STEELS: Nerves as a verb as in prepares oneself for something dangerous. It sounds like (by the sound of it) a word meaning pinches or thieves.
23a Possibly need a term embracing new love? (10)
ENDEARMENT: Anagram (possibly) of NEED A TERM placed around (embracing) an N(ew).
24a Jeer Republican philistine (4)
BOOR: A word meaning a jeer or to show disapproval followed by R(epublican). I have to wonder if this clue is a reference to the current occupant of the White House. After all he is a republican philistine.
25a Confusion finding gold in abundance (6)
MORASS: A word for an abundance with heraldic gold inserted.
26a Lunatic charged head of Government in fact (8)
DERANGED: A word meaning charged or moved quickly and a G (head of Government) inserted into a word which can just about be taken to mean fact. Not sure about this so any thoughts from you guys would be welcome.
1d Persistent criminal caught by lying occasionally (8)
LIFELONG: A word for a criminal inserted into (caught by) the alternate letters (occasionally) from LyInG.
2d Contact accessing land line initially (4)
CALL: First letters (initially) of the first four words. I suppose a Ximenean purist would say that the word CALL is doing double duty but it works for me.
3d Temporary housing housing a northern resident (6)
TENANT: Take a piece of temporary accommodation and insert (housing) A (from the clue) and N(orthern).
4d Does honestly understand (8)
CONSTRUE: A word meaning does, as in swindles, followed by a word meaning honestly or correct.
5d Crazily go insane at seeing needle (10)
ANTAGONISE: Anagram (crazily) of GO INSANE AT.
8d Seed oddly identical to another seed (6)
SESAME: Alternate letters (oddly) from SeEd followed by a word meaning identical.
13d Chaplain, perhaps one in Army? (10)
SERVICEMAN: This is a word for someone in the army or other of the armed forces and it could also be a cryptic definition of a clergyman.
18d Holy opening to Heaven admitted (8)
HALLOWED: H (opening to Heaven) followed by a word meaning admitted or even permitted.
19d Count of French prison beginning to despair (6)
DEPEND: Not a noble or even a tally but count as in rely. The >French word for of followed by an American slang word for prison and finally a D (beginning to Depend)
21d Report on soldiers in Welsh city (6)
BANGOR: The report of a gun followed by two letters for enlisted men gives the city that’s on the other side of the Menai Strait from where Jane lives.
22d Instruments from India employed by idols (6)
SITARS: Take the letter represented by India in the phonetic alphabet and insert it into (employed by) a word for idols, in films perhaps, and you’ll get some instruments that do indeed come from India.
24d Strip is reportedly censored (4)
BAND: This strip sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning censored or vetoed.
There’s a lot of great clues here and there could have been even more blue than there is but my personal favourite was 20a with 22d and 13d up there on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: NOTE + RUMPS = NO TRUMPS