Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29450
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where summer is continuing big time. Very hot and sticky and I only bother to put my T-shirt on if I’m going out, and that’s not often in view of the increasing incidence of Covid-19. Fortunately Alicante province seems to be relatively safe but I’m not risking any more than I have to.
Today’s crossword is pretty straightforward. Maybe I’m just being a bit slow this morning but I only got five of the acrosses on first pass but the downs came to the rescue and it all fitted together nicely in the end.. There’s a few anagrams for those that like them and one of them is the best &lit I’ve seen for quite a while. That’s the clue that got the fourth enjoyment star.
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 Expect head to back social worker here in Paris (10)
ANTICIPATE: A word for the top of your head placed after (to back) crosswordland’s usual social worker and the French word for here (here in Paris).
6a One maintaining discipline in women’s joint (4)
WHIP: He who maintains discipline in a political party is the abbreviation of women followed by the joint at the top of your leg.
9a A woman may wear this headgear round Ireland, almost new (7)
HAIRNET: Something worn on the head is found by placing something else worn on the head around two letters for Ireland and NE (almost NEw). I don’t think it’s only women who wear these. In certain jobs men have to wear them too.
10a Dish returned books to male teacher (7)
RISOTTO: Take two letters for some books of the bible, the TO from the clue and the usual form of address to a male teacher and then reverse the lot (returned) to get an Italian rice dish.
12a Having rung from bar, behave improperly (4,3,2,4)
STEP OUT OF LINE: Another word for the rung of a ladder followed by two words meaning from and finally a bar.
14a Accomplished players seen as dull (8)
OVERCAST: A word for accomplished as in finished followed by the players in a play or film.
15a Highlight mental pressure (6)
STRESS: Double definition.
17a Italian knocked back sensible herbal drink (6)
TISANE: Reverse (knocked back) the abbreviation of Italian and follow with a word meaning sensible or not mad.
19a Mad joke, finest around (8)
CRACKPOT: Start with a word for a joke or quip and follow with a reversal (around) of a word meaning best or highest.
21a Dire prospects affected morale (6,2,5)
ESPRIT DE CORPS: Anagram (affected) of DIRE PROSPECTS.
24a Black Sea country in a state (7)
GEORGIA: Double definition.
25a Don’t disturb English bishop during holiday (5,2)
LEAVE BE: E(nglish) and B(ishop) inserted into a holiday, from the army perhaps, and then split (5,2). Strange that the holiday that you need to insert the E and the B into turns up as the first word of the answer.
26a Speed of old car heading off (4)
RATE: A word for an old car or aeroplane without its first letter (heading off).
27a Watch out for developments as we detain criminal (4,3,3)
WAIT AND SEE: Anagram (criminal) of AS WE DETAIN.
1d One ringing hospital in pain (4)
ACHE: The playing card with a number one placed around (ringing) an H(ospital).
3d Supercilious cheat going down (13)
CONDESCENDING: A word meaning to cheat or swindle followed by a word meaning going down.
4d Meat dish in earthenware vessel on top of range, by oven (3,5)
POT ROAST: An earthenware vessel followed by R (top of Range) and an oven used to dry hops. Split that lot (3,5) and you get a meat dish. We had some pork cooked this way for dinner yesterday, yummy!
7d Special phone service arranged in hotel (7)
HOTLINE: Anagram (arranged) of IN HOTEL.
8d Inclination to show compassion about poorly person (10)
PROPENSITY: A word for compassion placed around (about) an anagram (poorly) of PERSON.
11d A nasty fire cut off — by this at the Old Vic? (6,7)
SAFETY CURTAIN: A very neat all-in-one. It’s an anagram (off) of A NASTY FIRE CUT.
13d Kick on, ahead of German runner (10)
BOOTLEGGER: This runner is a smuggler. He’s a word for kick followed by the on side of a cricket pitch and then the three letter abbreviation of German.
16d Had a wager about people initially liking band (8)
BRACELET: Another word for “had a wager” or just a wager placed around (about) a word for people or nation and an L (initially Liking) to get a band worn around the wrist.
18d Drink wine in comfort (7)
SUPPORT: A word for to drink followed by some fortified wine from northern Portugal.
20d Have groups of searchers succeeded? (7)
POSSESS: Some groups of searchers often seen in Western films followed by S(ucceeded).
22d Wee drink before start of adapted play (5)
DRAMA: A wee drink of Scotch followed by an A (start of Adapted).
23d Heard offspring give up (4)
CEDE: This word meaning to give up sounds like (heard) a biblical word for offspring
There’s some really good stuff in this puzzle but my stand-out favourite has to be the rather splendid 11d. On the podium with it are 25a and 1a.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: CULL + HERB + LINED = COLOUR BLIND
Bottom line: DEARS + TALK + CURS = DEERSTALKERS