Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29348
Hints and tips by pommers
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where spring has sprung but the lockdown continues until May 9. Temperatures forecast to be in the mid to high twenties for the next week with plenty of sunshine so if I have to be stuck in the house and garden at least it will be comfortable.
Like the last puzzle I blogged I found this one about average for both difficulty and fun factor so ***/*** seems about right again. There’s a couple of bits of GK required and not many anagrams, but there’s a few gimmes to get you going so I think most of you will get on with it OK. I’ll be interested to see what you all 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.
5a Very wise to cover one’s face (6)
VISAGE: V(ery) and a word meaning wise are placed around (to cover) the letter that looks like number one. Seems a bit topical at the moment!
10a Writer about to move house (5)
BINGO: The end of a fountain pen (writer) is reversed (about) and followed by a word meaning to move or leave to give the more common name for the game house.
11a As good as gold? Us almost (7-2)
RUNNERS UP: A not very good cryptic definition of those that come second. Had to get confirmation of this from Gazza so thanks to him.
13a Trio, initially, or duet, badly taught (7)
TUTORED: T (Trio initially) followed by an anagram (badly) of OR DUET.
14a Scold manager when beaten in TT (9)
TERMAGANT: Anagram (beaten) of MANAGER placed between (in) the two T’s from the clue.
18a Splendid beer knocked back (5)
REGAL: A beer favoured by louts in Benidorm is reversed (knocked back).
19a Can the German, leading strike in explosive situation? (9)
TINDERBOX: Another word for the can that the previous clue’s beer might come in followed by the German definite article and finally a word meaning to strike or spar.
21a Talk about a name for a dog (7)
SPANIEL: The talk you might get from a salesman placed around (about) the A from the clue and N(ame).
23a Father carrying in rope (7)
PAINTER: The Latin word for father placed around (carrying) the IN from the clue gives the name for a rope used to tow or moor a small dinghy.
25a Late news: ‘Jam following work on street’ (4,5)
STOP PRESS: The first word is the usual work next to the usual two letters for street. The second (following) word also means jam as in a crowd of people.
26a Pick English literature course, ultimately (5)
ELITE: Pick as in the crème de la crème. It’s E(nglish) followed by an abbreviation of literature and finally an E (coursE ultimately).
27a Answer involving a repeat fixture (6)
REPLAY: Take a word for to answer or respond and insert (involving) the A from the clue.
28a Somewhat sooner (6)
RATHER: Double definition.
2d Intense anger surrounding new series (5)
RANGE: A word for intense anger around (surrounding) an N(ew).
3d Sharp drop in deficit (9)
SHORTFALL: Sharp as in terse followed by a word for a drop or to drop.
4d Mistake admitted by juror, really upset (5)
ERROR: A lurker (admitted by) in JUROR REALLY but it’s reversed )upset).
5d Vetting, at sea, a French pontoon (5-2-2)
VINGT ET UN: Anagram (at sea) of VETTING AT followed by the French indefinite article gives the French name for the card game pontoon.
6d The man wearing usual coat (5)
SHEET: A word for the man (2) in (wearing) a word which can mean usual or established.
7d Place to eat grub, so apt abroad (9)
GASTROPUB: Anagram (abroad) of GRUB SO APT.
8d A bishop posted elsewhere (6)
ABSENT: A from the clue followed by the letter for bishop in chess notation and then a word meaning posted.
9d Fictional detective Sam, seen originally in a suit (6)
SPADES: The surname of the detective Sam in Dashiell Hammet’s novel “The Maltese Falcon” followed by an S (Seen originally) gives on of the suits in a pack of cards.
15d Doctor and academic having part in complex procedure (9)
RIGMAROLE: Doctor as in doctor the books followed by an academic qualification and fonally a part in a play or film. With both DOCTOR and COMPLEX in the clue I bet many of you were looking for an anagram. I know I was, d’oh!
16d Major road blocked by hostile heavy guns (9)
ARTILLERY: A word for a major road placed around (blocked by) a word which can mean hostile as in hostile intent.
17d Quiet, living in a place such as Lincoln? (9)
PRESIDENT: The usual letter for quiet followed by a word meaning you are living in a place gives what Lincoln was an example of (such as) in the 1860’s. He’s supposed to have said “I’m not two-faced. If I were do you think I’d be using this one?”.
18d Oppose all others across South Island (6)
RESIST: A word for the others placed around (across) an S(outh) and an I(sland).
20d Persian ruler, former king, turned up trumps, ultimately (6)
XERXES: The usual two letters for former, usually a former wife, and the Latin word for king are reversed and followed by an S (trumpS ultimately)
22d Rogue on the Spanish force (5)
IMPEL: This rogue is more commonly clued as a mischievous child and it’s placed before (on in a down clue) the Spanish definite article.
23d Difficult question for model (5)
POSER: Double definition.
24d Fine base — yours years ago (5)
THINE: A word meaning fine as in not thick followed by the base of natural logarithms
Favourite today was 5a for its topicality but I also liked 10a and 17d.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: GREENE + PIECE = GREENPEACE
Botton line: WRITE + SARONG = RIGHTS A WRONG