Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29273
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where we’re having an unseasonably warm spell of weather. It got up to 21°C yesterday and it’s forecast for 23°C over the weekend. Not usually this warm in January so I guess we’ll have to pay for it next month.
I may be wrong but I get the feeling that we might have a new setter today as the style of this puzzle didn’t ring any bells with me at all. Maybe I just wasn’t on the wavelength but I found it a tricky little rascal. There’s a few gimmes and a few anagrams to get a start but then there’s other clues made of sterner stuff. It will be interesting to hear your take on 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.
1a Bill is welcome? Do this to show it! (4,2,3,3)
PICK UP THE TAB: I think this is trying to be a cryptic definition of what you do when you’re quite prepared to pay the bill. It doesn’t quite work for me so if anyone has a better explanation please come forward.
9a Work at back of company in small enclosure (4)
COOP: The usual work after (at back of) the usual company. This is one of the gimmes I mentioned.
12a Like some verse coming from this writer’s biro? (6)
IAMBIC: How the writer might say he is followed by a make of ballpoint pen. Apparently the 100 billionth of this brand of ballpoint was sold in 2006. I wonder how many they’re up to now!
15a ‘Common‘ Arabs maybe seen wandering about (5,5)
HORSE SENSE: “Common” is an abbreviation of a term meaning good judgement or level headedness. The answer is another term meaning the same and it’s what Arabs are an example of (maybe) followed by an anagram (wandering about) of SEEN.
16a Issue of the day, say, being gone over (4)
EMIT: What a day is a unit of, hour or minute would have done just as well, reversed (being gone over). This was my LOI as I had children in mind for the issue.
18a State of irritation? Blow! (4)
HUFF: If you’re in one of these you’re irritated and it also means to blow or puff.
20a Celebrity’s vehicle makes one deeply impressed (4-6)
STAR STRUCK: Split the answer (5,5) and you’ll get a lorry owned by a celebrity. Very similar wordplay to that in 10a.
23a A ranter’s ridiculous reports (8)
NARRATES: Anagram (ridiculous) of A RANTERS.
24a Hostile African country with guns regularly seen (6)
MALIGN: An African country followed by the alternate letters from GuNs. I took longer than I should on this because I assumed that it would be the US from guns that would be required. Well, it seemed more likely than the GN, d’oh!
26a What comes out from English master meeting people (9)
EMANATION: E(nglish) followed by a Masters degree followed by (meeting) some people, not race but the other one.
27a Someone leaving is energetic type (4)
GOER: Double definition.
28a Helpful folk reforming parish system (12)
SYMPATHISERS: Anagram (reforming) of PARISH SYSTEM.
2d One fairly quietly spoken may be spoilt (8)
IMPAIRED: The letter that looks like a number one followed by the musical notation for fairly quietly and finally a word meaning spoken or broadcast.
4d Chaps surer to go wrong as those looking for a deal maybe (10)
PURCHASERS: Anagram (to go wrong) of CHAPS SURER.
5d Soldier is impetuous, turning up to entertain us (6)
HUSSAR: Take a word for impetuous and reverse it (turning up in a down clue) and then insert (to entertain) the US from the clue.
6d Excessively keen initially, excellent leader of men prepared to shoot (4,3)
TOOK AIM: A word meaning excessively followed by a K (Keen initially), then the usual two letters for excellent and finally an M (leader of Men).
7d Amazing function of device used by suspicious police (12)
BREATHTAKING: A cryptic definition of the function of the machine you have to blow into when the coppers think you may have been drinking and driving.
8d Yesteryear‘s class meeting important lady (6)
FORMER: Another word for a school class followed by the usual two letters for the Queen (important lady).
11d Pianists ignoring the bass clef? (5-7)
RIGHT HANDERS: A sort of cryptic definition of pianist who are ignoring the bass notes played by the left hand. This is another one that doesn’t really work for me, unless I’m missing something.
14d Ungodly and faint-hearted person is buried in barren land (10)
HEATHENISH: A word for a faint-hearted person or wimp and the IS from the clue are inserted into (buried in) some moorland or scrub. I’ve not come across this term for a faint-hearted person before.
17d More peculiar person children are taught to avoid? (8)
STRANGER: A word meaning more peculiar or odder is also the person children are told not to take sweets from.
19d Anger in agricultural business — one gets fired (7)
FIREARM: Another word for anger is inserted into an agricultural operation.
21d One person supervising journalists in team? (6)
UNITED: A word for one as in a single bit followed by the guy who supervises the journalists or runs the newspaper.
22d Expression of surprise about a vehicle seen in the capital (6)
HAVANA: Take the A from the clue and a vehicle and around them put an exclamation of surprise to get a capital city.
25d Aims to finish before start of supper (4)
ENDS: A word for the finish followed by (before) an S (start of Supper).
My favourite out of this lot was 10a, closely followed by 20a and 24a.
Quick crossword pun: DUCKED + AISLE = DUCTILE