Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29546
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where the summer still continues to hang around. We had 25°C last Friday which is very unusual for December but it’s a bit chilly this morning. Overcast as well but the forecast is for improvement as the morning goes on.
I found today’s puzzle at the easier end of the Monday spectrum and nearly gave it a star less for difficulty. There are a few chestnuty bits and gimmes as well as five anagrams so I don’t think many of you will have had any trouble getting a foothold. There’s a couple of more complicated clues so ** is probably about right. As usual I’ll be interested to hear what you all though of it.
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 Unfit bent and twisted? (3,2,5)
OUT OF SHAPE: This is a phrase meaning unfit which could also mean bent and twisted.
6a Employed American press chief (4)
USED: The usual two letters for American followed by the usual boss of a newspaper.
10a The French female writer heading west for Asian republic (5)
NEPAL: The French definite article, but the female version, followed by a thing used for writing and then the whole lot is reversed (heading west).
11a Heed military order (9)
ATTENTION: Double definition.
13a Gangster in house, different mould (7)
HOODLUM: The usual two letter abbreviation of house followed by an anagram (different) of MOULD.
14a Candid talk in centre — listen with child outside (5-2-5)
HEART TO HEART: Start with a word meaning centre or core and follow with a word for a young child with a word meaning listen inserted (with child outside). Split the result (5,2,5).
18a Memorable song from Sam, yet Bogie’s furious (2,4,4,2)
AS TIME GOES BY: Anagram (furious) of SAM YET BOGIES.
21a Broken spades on ground (7)
SMASHED: S(pades) followed by a word meaning ground which is usually applied to ground potato.
23a Use one, about to dish up outside (7)
SERVICE: Take the letter that looks like a number one and the single letter for about or approximately and around them (outside) put a word meaning to dish up or wait on.
24a Aim always, it’s said, to make an industrious effort (9)
ENDEAVOUR: The usual three letter word meaning aim followed some letters which aren’t a word but if pronounced would sound like (it’s said) a word meaning always. Here’s one for Kath . . .
25a Entertain a goddess, one of nine (5)
AMUSE: The A from the clue followed by a Greek goddess, one of nine sisters. Daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the nine are Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania
26a Over-sentimental message abridged (4)
TWEE: A message sent on social media without its last letter (abridged).
27a Scathing, series probing a hospital department (10)
ASTRINGENT: Take the A from the clue and three letters for a hospital department and insert a word for a series, of racehorses perhaps.
1d Highly decorated knight coming in to make a speech (6)
ORNATE: The letter for knight in chess notation inserted into (coming in) a word meaning to make a speech.
3d Second eleven winning after comprehensive instruction given by captain? (4,5,5)
FULL STEAM AHEAD: This is an instruction which might be given by the captain of a ship. Start with a word for comprehensive or complete and after it put an S(econd), then another word for an eleven or side and finally a word which can mean winning or up.
4d Pick up basket lying across hotel mat (6,3)
HEARTH RUG: A word meaning to pick up as in listen followed by an obscure word for a gardener’s basket with an H(otel) inserted (lying across). I’d not come across this basket before.
5d Tar, substance sealing top of carriageway (5)
PITCH: Take a word for substance or gist and insert (sealing) a C (top of Carriageway).
7d Quantity carried aboard a Polish destroyer, primarily at sea (8)
SHIPLOAD: Anagram (at sea) of A POLISH with a D (Destroyer primarily).
9d Also fascinated by article on pub acquisition (4,3,7)
INTO THE BARGAIN: Listen very carefully . . . Start with a word meaning fascinated by or keen on. After that you need a definite article followed by another word for a pub and finally an acquisition. Once you have that lot together split it (4,3,7) to get a phrase meaning also or as well.
15d Value placed on right club official (9)
TREASURER: A word meaning to value highly placed on an R(ight).
16d Spare the criminal, producing a list of his crimes? (3,5)
RAP SHEET: Anagram (criminal) of SPARE THE.
17d Sit astride rider’s seat holding both ends of tether (8)
STRADDLE: Take the seat used by a horse rider and insert (holding) a T and an R (both ends of TetheR).
19d Quiet nursing home, very small (6)
MINUTE: A word for quiet or unable to speak placed around (nursing) the usual word meaning home or at home.
20d Agent put away copy (6)
REPEAT: The usual agent or salesman followed by a word for put away as in consume.
22d Waste beginning to deter Arctic explorer (5)
DROSS: D (beginning to Deter) followed by an Arctic explorer. He located the north magnetic pole in 1831 and has a sea in the Antarctic ocean named after him.
Favourite for me was 18a with 3d and 9d on the podium.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: ANNE + TEETERS = ANTEATERS
Bottom line: CONSENT + RICK = CONCENTRIC