Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29360
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the lockdown is being eased a little from today. I’m in no rush to go anywhere though as it doesn’t mean the virus is any less dangerous, it just means they have room for me in the Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital Vega Baja. I’ve been there before with lung problems, as some of you may remember, and I do not want a repeat experience.
Today’s crossword is pretty straightforward. I got eleven of the acrosses on first pass and all but two of the downs. There’s enough anagrams for those that like them and two are fourteen letters each so if you crack them there’s plenty of checkers available.
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 Ride taken round Honshu principally, by inscrutable person (6)
SPHINX: A ride in a car put around H (Honshu principally) followed by the single letter meaning BY, as in a piece of wood being 2 by 4.
4a Bad fire in branch (8)
OFFSHOOT: A word meaning bad or rotting followed by fire, as in fire a gun.
10a A dry, mostly freezing, upper room (5)
ATTIC: Take the A from the clue followed by the usual two letters for dry, as in being a non-drinker. After this you need a word for very cold without its last letter (mostly).
11a Significant worker, one having special skills (9)
OPERATIVE: Double definition. The last four words of this clue aren’t really necessary.
12a Prune others spreading, indefinite number (7)
SHORTEN: Anagram (spreading) of OTHERS followed by the single letter for any number.
13a Uncomplaining, study portable shelter (7)
CONTENT: One of the usual words for study, not den but the other one, followed by a portable canvas shelter.
14a Fight adversary misguidedly creating work throughout the night (9,5)
GRAVEYARD SHIFT: Anagram (misguidedly) of FIGHT ADVERSARY.
17a Held one’s gran if upset, conciliatory words being required (2,4,8)
NO HARD FEELINGS: Anagram (upset) of HELD ONES GRAN IF.
21a News coming back about old soldier (7)
TROOPER: A word for a piece of news is reversed (coming back) around (about) an O(ld).
24a Love a speech introducing Democrat (9)
ADORATION: A from the clue followed by another word for a speech with a D(emocrat) inserted (introducing).
25a Percentage of quota cut (5)
RATIO: A quota or allowance without its last letter (cut).
26a Legacy of millions missing from retreat (8)
HERITAGE: Take a word for a retreat where a recluse or eremite might live and remove the M (millions missing from).
27a Cool customer, initially wearing tartan (6)
PLACID: Take a C (Customer initially) and around it (wearing) put another word for tartan cloth.
1d Celebrity on mixed gins — Leo, perhaps (4,4)
STAR SIGN: Another word for a celebrity followed by an anagram (mixed) of GINS.
2d Stew at ball? A delicate matter (3,6)
HOT POTATO: Take a stew from Lancashire, follow it with the AT from the clue and the letter that looks like a ball and split it all (3,6).
5d Language used before preparing something for the salad? (6,8)
FRENCH DRESSING: A European language followed by a word for preparing or arranging. How strange, we had this answer in yesterday’s puzzle.
6d Constant check (7)
STAUNCH: Double definition. Constant as in reliable.
7d In abeyance round Mediterranean resort (2,3)
ON ICE: The round letter followed by a resort in the south of France all split (2,3).
8d Deal with Yankee, making pact (6)
TREATY: The word for deal which is only ever used in crosswords followed by the letter represented by the word Yankee in the phonetic alphabet.
9d A lot of possibly unproductive activity travelling between places? (5,3,6)
TOING AND FROING: Double definition. At first I put in GOING AND COMING, which didn’t really sound right as it’s usually the other way round, and it rather made a mess of 21a, d’oh!
15d Extraordinary worker having sparkling wine in football club (9)
FANTASTIC: One of the usual workers and the usual Italian fizzy wine are placed inside (in) the abbreviation of Football Club.
16d Heavenly body of a bodybuilder? (8)
ASTEROID: The A from the clue followed by a drug that builds muscle mass gives you a heavenly body. There’s belt of them between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
18d Stop after snake makes for pitch (7)
ASPHALT: A word for stop after the snake that did for Cleopatra gives the sort of pitch found on a road surface. She was only a road mender’s daughter but she sure liked her asphalt!
19d Misprint in literature on period of history ending in turmoil (7)
LITERAL: Abbreviation of literature followed by a period of history or a long time and finally an L (ending in turmoiL).
20d Join a church following a tense time (6)
ATTACH: A (from the clue) and one of the two letter churches are placed after (following) the other A from the clue and T(ense) and T(ime).
22d Love dreary perfume (5)
ODOUR: The letter for love in tennis followed by a word meaning dreary.
I think favourite was 18d as it raised a smile when I remembered the old joke.
Quick crossword pun: SHRILL + ANCHOR = SRI LANKA
The two bottom line answers are ORDEAL and MEAGRE but if they make a pun I can’t see it.