Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29461 (Hints)
The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit
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A very good Saturday morning from Warrington.
I’m doing something today I haven’t done for over a month and that’s to actually go out and do something. Normally my trips out have been just to my community nurse for the usual health checks and leg dressings, but even those were put on hold. However, I’m organising a fully-distanced and safe face-to-face quiz. It’s the British Grand Prix of Quizzing today, one of the big dates on the calendar. We are holding a local heat for just ten people (normally we have 50-100 at my venue). Question papers have been quarantined for 72 hours, the contestants will be around 4m apart (the room is huge) and we won’t be socialising as much as we normally do. I’ll let you try some of the questions later. There are about 20 small venues around the country and a large Zoom proctored event as well.
Most of this week has been taken up trying to persuade my temporary guest to become sociable. Sadly, she has chosen to do a Marlene Dietrich by wanting to be alone in her carrier, with occasional trips out for food and litter tray use. Yes, I’m cat-sitting for a relative and Siena (for that is her name) is a real grumpyboots. Watch this space.
Now to the crossword, and to be fair, that’s a bit of a grumpyboots as well. I don’t say it often, but I couldn’t warm too much to this. It felt as though the setter was saying ‘Aren’t I being clever’? While I can sometimes appreciate it, it just didn’t feel like it today. Quite tricky in parts, and I have to say our Mysteron setter today (although I have my ideas) has produced something that would look at home in a Wednesday Toughie.
I won’t be able to offer hints for all the clues that are troublesome, but I’ll try to ensure it gives you a good entry into the grid, so you can use the additional letters to help you. The pictures are there to signpost as well. If it’s a long answer and I have avoided an explanation it is almost certainly an anagram of two or more of the words (15 across, for example).
Let me know what you thought. Please remember the rules and play nicely. The naughty step has a barbed-wire cushion on it today!
As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.
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.
A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.
Some hints follow.
1a Rehearse murder with sword (3,7)
Two definitions to start. To rehearse something like a play, and if there was a duel, how you’d literally win it.
9a Experiencing charm of spring after short time (10)
An odd definition, but it is what it is. After something meaning a short period of time, add a word meaning to spring or jump.
12a Circling a lake with my waterproof footwear (6)
A word that means ‘My!’ goes around A and L (lake) to give the name of an old fashioned piece of waterproof footwear.
18a Unruly children trade in fear (6-6)
The name for unruly children (7 letters) goes with something meaning to trade. Re-split the letters as 6-6 and you get a phrase.
21a Garden feature takes time, it’s supposed to be difficult (8)
I sort of feel this clue asks you to make a little extra leap. Inside a word for a garden feature goes T (time). This gives the name of something said to be difficult, in an expression you would say it’s not this (two words) in comparison and this is a synonym for that.
25a Starter motor finally found in quarry, apparently (10)
Something you’d have as a starter in some types of restaurant. The last letter of motor goes inside a two-word way to quarry, or what you’d do in a quarry. Another clue, I think that asks you to make a bit of a leap to find the answer.
26a Sharp intake of breath from rabbit punch initially (4)
Another slang word meaning to rabbit and the first letter of punch.
27a A time to give such as Rudolph ‘orse food (3,4,3)
One of the days of every other year where you stump up cash for a good cause. One of the famous reindeer’s attributes (3-5) plus something a Cockney horse would eat (i.e. without the initial ‘h’).
1d Abdicate, installing son in rule as monarch (6)
The abbreviation for son goes inside the job of a monarch.
3d Control such as Nelson far too much (4,4,4)
What Nelson(s) are to a sportsman who is not a cricketer plus a phrase meaning far too much. Split the letters you have into three four letter words to get the phrase.
4d Old tenor’s music producer (4)
The abbreviation for old and the surname of a famous tenor (more later).
7d BBC chief detained by adult working for club (8)
The abbreviation for a big boss at the BBC goes inside a word meaning adult (as in porn) and add a short word that means working,
11d Stipulate car’s given out form of pollution (12)
Anagram of two words to give you a specific scientific word for little bits of stuff in the air.
14d China has big problem with crime (3,7)
A word for a problem (like this puzzle!) and a type of crime that has its own division in the police force.
17d Nuts — something we associate with Christmas (8)
A word meaning nuts or bonkers is also something that you buy at Christmas.
19d One who’s taken silver back (6)
This held me up a lot longer than it should and is simply two definitions. An athlete who gets silver is this, and to back someone at a meeting.
23d Plant that’s right in marshy ground (4)
Inside marshy ground (think East Anglia) goes the abbreviation for right.
So, there you are. Let us know what you think. We’ll be interested to know. Remember to play nicely.
The Crossword Club is now open.
See you next Saturday and I’ll leave you with some utterly wonderful singing. Get your hankies ready!
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The Quick Crossword pun: foal+tit+ours=Fawlty Towers