Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29498
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja on a cool but sunny morning.
I didn’t find today’s puzzle too tricky but that might be because the four 15 letter answers all fell fairly quickly to give lots of checkers. I think if you don’t get them early on then the puzzle may turn out to be made of sterner stuff. There seems to be a larger than usual helping of anagrams which will please many of you. I found it quite enjoyable so I’ll be interested to see if you agree.
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 Couple of pages penned by marvellous American film director (7)
COPPOLA: A couple of P’s for pages placed inside (penned by) a slang term for marvellous and followed by A(merican).
9a Is this what produces the nation’s heavyweights? (3,3,2,3,4)
THE FAT OF THE LAND: A cryptic definition of what might produce some overweight people.
10a Disadvantaged, English journalist in New York (5)
NEEDY: E(nglish) and the usual two letter journalist placed inside New York.
11a Spend money freely in spot abroad (6,3)
SPLASH OUT: This is a spot as in a spot of water or other liquid. Follow it with a word meaning abroad or not in. Took a while before I connected the answer with spot, d’oh!
12a Church altar misused by an impostor (9)
CHARLATAN: The abbreviation of church followed by an anagram (misused) of ALTAR and finally the AN from the clue.
14a Court official, that woman, is behind us (5)
USHER: This court official isn’t a tennis umpire but an official in a court of law. Start with the US from the clue and behind it put a word meaning that woman.
15a False stories in case later circulated (5)
TALES: This is a lurker hiding in (in) CASE LATER but it’s backwards (circulated).
16a Evergreen song about a posh vehicle (9)
ARAUCARIA: Start with the A from the clue. Add to this the single letter for posh and a vehicle and around that lot put an operatic song and you’ll get a monkey puzzle tree. It’s also the pseudonym of one of my favourite crossword setters, the late, great John Graham.
18a Trained osteopaths losing face immediately (9)
POSTEHASTE: Anagram (trained) of STEOPATHS (osteopaths losing face). I always thought this was hyphenated.
21a Apportion a return of tax (5)
ALLOT: A from the clue followed by a reversal of (return of) a sort of tax. There’s one of these taxes on the Tamar bridge at Plymouth. You can go into Cornwall for free but you have to pay to get out. I wonder if there’s a point being made?
22a At home, everyone’s against school discipline, to be fair (2,3,10)
IN ALL CONSCIENCE: The usual words for at home and everyone give you the first two words of the answer. The last word is a charade of a word meaning against or anti and a subject studied at school.
23a Gold for one member (7)
ELEMENT: Something that gold is an example of could just about be a member.
24a Barge carrying less weight (7)
LIGHTER: Double definition.
1d Enormous, person of great importance in charge (7)
TITANIC: A giant or person of great importance followed by the usual two letters for in charge.
2d Welsh are agreed, unusually, welcoming English film (5,6,4)
WHERE EAGLES DARE: Anagram (unusually) of WELSH ARE AGREED with an E inserted (welcoming E(nglish)). I wonder if this film will be on the telly again at Christmas.
3d A foolish strike arising in plant (9)
AMARYLLIS: Start with the A from the clue. After this you need a reversal (arising in a down clue) of a word meaning foolish and a word for strike or run into.
4d Rings hotel over my mistake (5)
HOOPS: H(otel) followed by what you might say when you make a mistake.
5d Left wearing a coat in a rocky region of Spain (9)
CATALONIA: L(eft) placed inside (wearing) an anagram (rocky) of A COAT IN A. This took a tad longer than it should because I would naturally use the Spanish spelling and it don’t fit!
6d Iron clasp (5)
PRESS: Double definition.
7d Flying separately, heading for Tinseltown, not in touch with reality? (2,7,6)
ON ANOTHER PLANET: A phrase meaning flying separately followed by T (heading for Tinseltown).
8d Amazingly adroit employing university examiner (7)
AUDITOR: Anagram (amazingly) of ADROIT with a U(niversity) inserted (employing).
13d Before game, troop’s leader organised wheels? (9)
TRANSPORT: Take another word for a game and before it put a T (Troop’s leader) and the usual word for organised or managed.
14d Endless nuisance playing golf (9)
UNCEASING: Anagram (playing) of NUISANCE followed by the letter represented by the word golf in the phonetic alphabet.
17d A new snag involving black burrowing animal (7)
ANTBEAR: Take the A and N(ew) from the clue followed by a word meaning to snag or to rip with a B(lack) inserted (involving) and you’ll get another name for an aardvark.
19d Own around fifty split down the middle (5)
HALVE: A word meaning to own or be in possession of placed around the Roman numeral for fifty.
20d Stand when cutting fish (5)
EASEL: An artist’s stand is another word for when placed inside (cutting) a long thin fish.
As usual on a Monday there’s some good stuff here but my favourite is 2d for it’s surface. Also on the podium are 7d and 9a.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: WEAR + DOUGH = WEIRDO
Bottom line: STRAY + TOFF = STRAIGHT OFF