Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29377
The Saturday Crossword Club by Tilsit
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
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Until the Telegraph resumes the award of prizes for the Saturday puzzles, this post, and tomorrow’s, will be just like the Monday to Friday posts, with hints for every clue and revealable answers. BD
Good morning everyone from a self-isolating blogger in Warrington. I have been feeling a bit grotty with coughing spells since Wednesday and have lost my sense of smell and taste. I went for a swab test yesterday and am awaiting the results, but now plan to completely self-isolate, although, in truth, I have largely been doing that since day one. The only time I went out this week was to visit my district nurse and to do some shopping at Tesco. Given the behaviour of some of the people there, I’m guessing that’s where I picked it up.
On to the puzzle. This was an enjoyable romp, probably either by our longtime Mysteron setter or the new kid on the block. I found it delivered what I expect from a good Saturday puzzle, a mix of the usual write-in chestnuts, plus a few to make you think.
Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.
The hints follow.
1a Bad mistake: error ousting old Labour leader (4,7)
KEIR STARMER: We start with a clever and amusing clue that wouldn’t be allowed in the Times Crossword. The convention for the Times is that only people who are no longer with us can be used in the puzzle, excepting the Queen. The name of one of our current political leaders is an anagram (bad) of MISTAKE ERROR, minus O (OLD)
9a Distinguished singer keen to make comeback (4)
DIVA: This is one of those clues that is often seen by those who do lots of puzzles. A word for a distinguished female singer is something meaning keen or eager reversed.
10a Lawless Moab — one country that’s evil (11)
ABOMINATION: A word meaning something evil is revealed by taking an anagram (lawless) of MOAB and adding the abbreviation for one and a general word for a country.
11a Latest from all four corners? (4)
NEWS: If something is described as being from all four corners of the place, then it could be in all directions, so take each of the four cardinal points to give you a word meaning the latest (info). The question mark in a clue is there to make you realise you may need to think a little outside the box.
14a Host politician, English, in centre (7)
COMPERE: The name for the host of an event is found by putting the abbreviations for a general politician plus coming from England, inside a word meaning centre.
16a Superhero grabs wheel in transporter (7)
BOATMAN: Someone who ‘drives’ a type of transport is revealed by taking the name of my favourite superhero and inserting the letter that is shaped like a wheel.
17a What fills this after downpour’s onset? (5)
DRAIN: One of those clues where the component parts describes the whole thing. The first letter (onset) of DOWNPOUR plus something that could cause the answer to be full.
18a Former Italian banker seen in trade fair (4)
EXPO: One of those words that has come into use in the back half of the 20th century, but is actually an abbreviation of an old word for a large event or commemoration, usually a giant trade fair. Two short words, one meaning former and the other the name of a river (crosswordese – banker something having banks) make up this word. The first I remember was on in Montreal, I think in 1967.
19a Giant blunder on pitch disheartened Royle (4)
OGRE: The name for a fictional giant is revealed by taking an abbreviation for something that is deemed to be a gaffe by a footballer plus the first and last letters (disheartened) of ROYLE.
20a Adult Glaswegian perhaps in racing venue (5)
ASCOT: The home of racing’s Gold Cup is found by taking the abbreviation for adult and adding that nationality of a Glaswegian.
22a One able to fill some of the time at work (7)
DENTIST: A cryptic definition for someone who spends his time doing a bit of filling as part of their daily routine..
23a American doctor in excursion to find instrument (7)
TAMBOUR: The name for a type of percussion instrument (one practised by our setter as part of his other job?)
24a Uncertain moment with Juliet disappearing (4)
IFFY: Something meaning uncertain or dodgy is found by taking a word for a very short period of time and removing its first letter, represented by Juliet in the NATO alphabet.
28a City vehicle carrying European lad around river (6,5)
BUENOS AIRES: The name for a capital city is revealed by taking the name for a form of public transport and inserting E (European), the word for a lad reversed (around) and the name of a Yorkshire river.
29a Some near loathsome British peer (4)
EARL: A hidden answer. Concealed inside NEAR LOATHSOME is a member of the aristocracy. I think I’ll just leave that there.
30a Order airborne — dare pilot to break record held (11)
LEPIDOPTERA: The name for a biological order of winged creatures is an anagram of DARE PILOT with the abbreviation for a record inside.
2d: Eels bred in odd places in river (4)
ELBE: The odd letters of EELS BRED give the name of a German river.
3d Play concert with introduction deferred (4)
ROMP: Something meaning to play is the name of a concert, one of a series held annually in the summer, with its first letter shunted further down the word; to the end in this case.
4d Cheers — drank liquid from this! (7)
TANKARD: The name of a drinking vessel is revealed by taking a short word meaning ‘cheers’ in an appreciative manner, and then adding an anagram (liquid) of DRANK.
5d Religious words just audible (4)
RITE: The name for a religious ceremony using words or actions is a homophone of something meaning just or fair.
6d Energy movement generates strong feeling (7)
EMOTION: The abbreviation for energy goes before something meaning movement to give
7d Female takes long time in cooking steak (5,6)
FILET MIGNON: The name for a way of preparing steak is found by taking the abbreviation for Female and adding an anagram of LONG TIME IN. Yummy!
8d Justification for being in Paris? (6,5)
RAISON D’ÊTRE: A French phrase that refers to one justifying an action.
12d Money earned by cabbie? That should turn some heads! (11)
SCREWDRIVER: A slang word for money, plus one that means a person who operates a taxi gives you a tool that turns heads when it is used in assembling.
13d Musical work having name for ship at sea (3,8)
HMS PINAFORE: An anagram of NAME FOR SHIP give the name of a G&S oeuvre.
15d Surrealist in modern studio (5)
ERNST: The name for an artist whose works probably define surrealism is found inside MODERN STUDIO. Very much an acquired taste, I’m afraid. Not mine.
16d Chauvinist’s piece about good love (5)
BIGOT: The word for someone who holds strong opinions is made up of something meaning piece with the abbreviations for good and love (in tennis) inside.
20d Normally Laura’s out with sweetheart (2,1,4)
AS A RULE: An anagram of LAURAS plus E (the heart of sweet) gives a phrase meaning normally.
21d Pancake containing a lot of fish sauce (7)
TABASCO: Most of a word for a fish (three quarters of it) goes inside a savoury pancake found in the US and Mexico to give the name of a hot and spicy sauce.
25d Books in excellent opponent (4)
ANTI: The name for an opponent is made up of the initials for some (Biblical) books
26d Fast food one regularly consumes (4)
DIET: A cryptic definition for a method of eating food that is almost fasting.
27d Troubled king coherent, though losing head (4)
LEAR: A Shakespearean king’s name which is found by taking a word meaning coherent or lucid and removing the first letter.
Thanks to our setter and see you next week.
Today’s music is something I discovered last year and now it’s firmly in my list of favourites. Enjoy
The Saturday Crossword Club is now open.
The Quick Crossword pun: pen+tau+sweet=penthouse suite