Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29239
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on yet another damp, grey day. This will be my last posting before Christmas, so the compliments of the season to you all.
We have a pangram with a seasonal theme from Giovanni this morning – nothing too obscure, though the devout atheists among us may wish to differ. The Quick crossword was another matter – teasing out the right-hand side took me longer than solving the Cryptic.
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.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Christmas spruce hiding one little girl (six) (8)
NATIVITY – Another word for ‘spruce’ or ‘smart’ wrapped round the Roman numeral for one and a short form of a girl’s name which is also the Roman numeral for six, giving us the name of the religious feast celebrated at Christmas.
5a Animals in police cars (6)
PANDAS – Double definition, the second being the name familiarly given to small police cars with blue bodywork and white doors some 50 years ago.
9a No more beer provided by business person (8)
EXPORTER – The prefix for ‘former’ or ‘no more’, followed by a dark ale.
10a Fruit one of five children brought to church (6)
QUINCE – The name for a child born as one of five at the same time, followed by the initials of the Church of England.
12a Dreadful woe — I’ll hide away (3,3)
LIE LOW – Anagram (dreadful) of WOE I’LL.
13a Maybe watch moth consuming material? (8)
REPEATER – This is the name of a type of mechanical watch, which sounds the hour at the press of a button. Split (3,5) it could describe a moth dining on the corded cloth seen more often in crosswords than in the real world.
15a Man remembered on Boxing Day taking walk with female (7)
STEPHEN – Another word for ‘walk’ followed by a female bird, giving us the name of the saint whose feast is celebrated on Boxing Day (think of Good King Wenceslas looking out).
16a Almost 12? Sleep (4)
DOZE – Remove the final letter (almost) from another way of saying 12.
20a Girl to wed, having given heart away (4)
MARY – Remove the middle letter from another word for ‘wed’, and you get another 1a theme name.
21a Decorator with fluid in recreation facility (3,4)
ICE RINK – Split this (4,3) and you have a (cake) decorator and a writing fluid.
25a Getting better sports ground finished before end of January (8)
RECOVERY – Put together a short name for a sports ground, another word for ‘finished’, and the last letter of JanuarY.
26a Gangster, old-fashioned fellow in hidden part of room? (6)
ALCOVE – The first name of an old Chicago gangster followed by an old-fashioned word for a fellow or chap.
28a Encourages good health! (6)
CHEERS – Double definition: a verb for ‘encourages’ or ‘heartens’; and a toast.
29a Server tries to move round — was seen going outside (8)
WAITRESS – WAS (from the clue) wrapped around an anagram (to move round) of TRIES.
30a Cupid’s companion, one in a hurry (6)
DASHER – Cupid here is one of Santa’s reindeer in The Night before Christmas. The answer is another, and could also be someone in a hurry.
31a Explored something growing maybe, having crossed bridge (8)
SEARCHED – A piece of a plant which has the potential to grow, wrapped around a feature of a bridge or viaduct
1d Requirement with second half of tale — one mustn’t lose the thread (6)
NEEDLE – A requirement or necessity followed by the last two letters (second half) of taLE.
2d Person dumping waste who may help 29 (6)
TIPPER – This word for someone disposing of waste (legally or illegally) could also be someone providing one of the sources of income for the woman in 29a.
3d Extremely short opening for drink (8)
VERMOUTH – Remove the final letter (short) from a synonym of ‘extremely’, then add an opening (in the face, perhaps) to get this aperitif.
4d Part of forest re-examined — something growing therein? (4)
TREE – Hidden in the clue.
6d What’s entertained us — dame cavorting (6)
AMUSED – Anagram (cavorting) of US DAME.
7d Party people in charitable activity (8)
DONATION – One of the usual crossword parties followed by a people or state.
8d Sirs here supply preprandial tipples? (8)
SHERRIES – Anagram (supply) of SIRS HERE.
11d Cleric has played lyre in merry-making (7)
REVELRY – The short form of the title given to s member of the clergy, followed by an anagram (played) of LYRE.
14d Peter’s quaking outside front of castle — there’s something spooky (7)
SPECTRE – Anagram (quaking) of PETER’S wrapped around the first letter of Castle.
17d English doctor hurried to be given a welcome (8)
EMBRACED – Put together English, one of the sets of letters which may be found after the name of a doctor, and another word for ‘hurried’.
18d Biscuits? They’re exceptionally good (8)
CRACKERS – Another word for biscuits, especially the hard dry ones for eating with cheese, or American ones. Metaphorically applied to something very good, especially a joke (think of the late Frank Carson).
19d Home dull, nothing right? I may help blow up balloons (8)
INFLATOR – Put together a word for ‘at home’, another word for ‘dull’ or ‘not lively’, the letter which looks like a zero or nothing, and Right.
22d A bit of carol making one hostile (6)
AVERSE – A (from the clue) followed by one of the subdivisions of a carol or song.
23d Man to joke, having held record (6)
JOSEPH – ‘To joke’ or ‘engage in banter’ wrapped around the letters denoting a gramophone record intermediate in length between a single and an LP. This gives us another 1a theme name, the husband of 20a.
24d Being terribly sedate, gets leg pulled (6)
TEASED – Anagram (terribly) of SEDATE.
27d Wise man maybe in picture I brought out (4)
MAGE – Remove the I from the front of another word for a picture, to get the singular form of the alternative name given to the Three Wise Men who turned up after the 1a with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The Quick Crossword pun BURNER + DEBT = BERNADETTE