Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29526
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on a grey November morning.
Today’s puzzle was the toughest for me for quite some time. I was held up by three interlocking clues in the SE quadrant – though, once the penny had dropped it was difficult to see why they had caused such difficulty.
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 Where many academics go and yak, maybe getting cross (8)
OXBRIDGE – A two-letter animal of which a yak is an example, followed by a verb meaning ‘cross (a river, perhaps)’.
5a Flash employer that clears out pests (6)
MOUSER – A ‘flash’ or ‘instant’ followed by another word for someone employing something.
9a One carries out sting, sending top officer into prison in disguise (8)
SCORPION – Anagram (in disguise) of PRISON wrapped round the acronym for the officer at the top of a military unit.
10a Take first drive to see what’s before you, as we say, on holiday (3,3)
TEE OFF – Spell out the letter which comes before the one which sounds like (as we say) ‘you’, then add ‘on holiday’ or ‘not at work’.
11a Get support from bottom place? Sad! (3,4)
SIT DOWN – The first word is a verb which can mean ‘place’ or ‘position’, the second another word for ‘sad’.
12a Deputy whip interrupts small row (5-2)
STAND-IN – Small and a row or loud noise, placed either side of another verb for ‘whip’ or ‘beat’.
13a We must join in rioting for leftie that’s big in Paris (6,5)
EIFFEL TOWER – Anagram (rioting) of FOR LEFTIE, with WE (from the clue) added in.
16a Where problems for examination are solved by specialist on paper (5,6)
AGONY COLUMN – Cryptic definition of the place in a newspaper or magazine where readers’ personal problems are addressed.
21a One goes across, apparently, and one can turn either way (7)
SPANNER – This tool for tightening or loosening nuts could also be interpreted as something which bridges a gap.
22a Characters axed by EastEnders (7)
AITCHES – These are the letters traditionally dropped in the East End or Cockney dialect.
23a Novelty tat, e.g. dagger cases from the East (6)
GADGET – Hidden in reverse (from the East) in the clue.
24a Favoured offspring reportedly given sack — that is fired (3,5)
AIR RIFLE – The first word sounds like (reportedly) the person who stands to inherit an estate. The second is another word for ‘sack’ or ‘loot’.
25a As a result, remainder will be most upset (6)
SOREST – A two-letter word for ‘as a result’ followed by another word for ‘remainder’.
26a Who’s relatively representative of an entire nation? (5,3)
UNCLE SAM – Cryptic definition of the embodiment as a male relative of some of our Transatlantic cousins.
1d Haunt of bosses for recreation (6)
OBSESS – Anagram (for recreation) of BOSSES.
2d Name of writer of novels and Three Sisters (6)
BRONTE – Mildly cryptic definition of the family name of the author of Wuthering Heights and her sisters. No, I’m not putting up that dreadful noise by Kate Bush!
3d Pick up stray following mischief-maker (7)
IMPROVE – A mischievous supernatural being, followed by a verb for ‘stray’ or ‘wander’.
4d No flight needed to visit here (6,5)
GROUND FLOOR – Cryptic definition of the part of a building which does not need a flight of stairs to reach it.
6d In retirement care, volunteers turning up lay it on thick (7)
OVERACT – Hidden in reverse (turning up) in the clue.
7d Son will get dope and slump (8)
SLOWDOWN – The usual abbreviation for Son followed by another word for ’dope’ or ‘inside information’.
8d Where things get strained, learning religion with glitzy trappings (8)
REFINERY – One of the acronyms for religious teaching in school, followed by a generic word for all the ornamentation in someone’s dress.
12d Inoculate for treatment? Odds on that would be guessing (11)
SPECULATION – The two-letter abbreviation for a bookmaker’s odds at the beginning of a race, followed by an anagram (for treatment) of INOCULATE.
14d Something enjoyed in Germany, South Africa and America: dates (8)
SAUSAGES – Put together abbreviations for South, Africa and the United States, then add a verb for ‘dates’ or ‘gets old’.
15d My bags laden in the wrong order — it’s a riddle (8)
COLANDER – Anagram (in the wrong order) of LADEN, with an exclamation like ‘My!’ wrapped round it.
17d They come from across the Atlantic in tugs to go round eastern Spain (7)
YANKEES – Another word for ‘tugs’ or ‘pulls’, with Eastern and the IVR code for Spain inserted.
18d Occasionally appearing old, a group trains over common (7)
NATURAL – Alternate letters (occasionally appearing) in reverse (over) of the third to the sixth words of the clue.
19d Ray’s arrows (6)
SHAFTS – Double definition, the first being a description of rays of sunshine penetrating a building.
20d Revere joins up to undermine English (6)
ESTEEM – English followed by the reverse (up) of another word for ‘joins (a person)’.
The Quick Crossword pun BARS + CELL + OWNER = BARCELONA