Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29514
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs where the early morning sun has burnt off the overnight mist in Stalag Boris.
I found today’s puzzle reasonably straightforward, with no obscure vocabulary and some inventive cluing.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Thespian having Scotch maybe, and a second unfinished (8)
DRAMATIC – The definition here is an adjective. Put together a word for a tot of whisky or other spirit, A (from the clue), and another word for a second or short period of time without its final letter (unfinished).
5a Hike or stroll beside river (6)
RAMBLE – River followed by another word for ‘stroll’.
8a Queen, the fourth seen around capital (6)
VIENNA – Put together a Stuart queen and the Roman numeral for ‘fourth’, then reverse the result to get a European capital city. One that’s in the news for the wrong reason at the moment.
9a If one has trouble crawling, one gets thrown out (8)
LIFEBELT – Cryptic definition of something used to help a swimmer in difficulties (‘crawling’ being using a particular swimming stroke).
10a His raft’s ruffled sea creature (8)
STARFISH – Anagram (ruffled) of HIS RAFT’S.
11a Measure my hat, my shirt — occasionally back-to-front (6)
RHYTHM – Alternate letters of My HaT mY sHiRt, reading from right to left.
12a Plant crushing diamonds is horribly audible (8)
BUDDLEIA – Anagram (horribly) of AUDIBLE wrapped round the abbreviation for Diamonds.
13a Trust former spouse to go to court about gym … (6)
EXPECT – The usual former spouse and an abbreviation for ‘court’, placed either side of the school lesson known as ‘gym’.
15a … wife appearing in film for defence? (6)
LAWYER – A thin film or stratum with Wife inserted, giving someone who may appear for the defence in court (the ellipsis … showing a reference back to the court mentioned in the previous clue).
18a Wrongly enter a quantity in litres: PA’s slip-up (8)
TRESPASS – Hidden in the clue.
20a Time gone by end of sentence (6)
PERIOD – Double definition, the second being a punctuation mark.
21a Separate from delta, is island in the Med? (8)
DISCRETE – Put together the letter represented by Delta in the NATO alphabet, IS (from the clue), and a Mediterranean island, legendary home of the Minotaur.
23a Still showing this writer’s instant irritability (8)
IMMOBILE – Put together another way of saying ‘this writer is’, an informal word for an instant, and another word for irritability derived from a bodily secretion.
24a Old, in a bedsit perhaps, keeping one’s head above water (6)
AFLOAT – A (from the clue) and something of which a bedsit may be an example, with Old inserted.
25a Jumble, half of it dumped by viewpoint (6)
TANGLE – Remove half of IT (from the clue) and add a viewpoint or opinion.
26a Drop-in centre for woolly-headed types to get clean (5-3)
SHEEP-DIP – Cryptic definition of something used to protect sheep from pests.
1d Seedy venues using fliers that will get one in for nothing (5)
DIVES – Start with some birds (fliers) often used as a symbol of peace, then replace the letter which looks like a zero or nothing with the Roman numeral for one.
2d Islander giving way to woman on Saturday? (3,6)
MAN FRIDAY – This islander was a companion to Robinson Crusoe.
3d Gathering at resort I meet about four or five? (7)
TEATIME – Anagram (resort) of I MEET, wrapped round AT (from the clue).
4d Cruelty of century-old queen wrapped in fiery cape (4-11)
COLD-HEARTEDNESS – Put together an abbreviation for ‘century’, OLD (from the clue), another word for ‘fiery’ wrapped round the Latin abbreviation for ‘queen’, and a cape or headland.
5d Let go again, possibly, boxing European guy in the ring? (7)
REFEREE – A possible word (2-4) for ‘let go again’, with European inserted, giving us the third person in a boxing match.
6d Bather, swimming, needs energy to do this? (7)
BREATHE – Anagram (swimming) of BATHER followed by Energy.
7d I’m visiting large country houses, making valuations (9)
ESTIMATES – Some large country houses (and their surrounding land), with I’M (from the clue) inserted.
12d Writer of dance score (9)
BALLPOINT – A formal dance meeting, followed by another word for the score in certain card games, or a unit of the score in other games.
14d Daily trim that keeps things tidy (5,4)
PAPER CLIP – Another word for a ‘daily’ news organ, and a verb for ‘trim’ (a hedge, perhaps).
16d For instance, queen with two kings in hand (7)
WORKMAN – Something or which ‘queen’ (or ‘mother’) is an example, with the Latin and chess abbreviations for ‘king’ inserted, to produce a factory hand.
17d Diner we befuddled — with this? (3,4)
RED WINE – Anagram (befuddled) of DINER WE.
19d Make a serf of medieval sneak-thief that’s lifting hides (7)
ENSLAVE – Hidden in reverse (lifting) in the clue.
22d Opium trade regularly brought over gorge (3,2)
EAT UP – Alternate letters (regularly) of the first two words of the clue, read from right to left (brought over).
The Quick Crossword pun CHAR + LEAD + RAKE = CHARLIE DRAKE
A somewhat dated reference: