Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3087 (Hints)
Hints and tips by Senf
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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where after a very chilly start to the week on Monday we settled down to slightly above seasonal average temperatures for the rest of the week.
Keep staying safe everyone and a Happy Christmas or whatever you celebrate at this time of year.
I took a little while to get going but, on balance, I consider that Dada is benevolent today with a couple of ‘seasonal’ clues which are probably more by accident than design. I counted seven anagrams (four partials), two lurkers (one reversed), no homophones, and some Cockney rhyming slang – all in an asymmetric 28 clues, with 16 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.
Candidates for favourite – 17a, 26a, 3d, and 19d.
As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.
Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in red at the bottom of the hints!
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 Greek character wanting snatch of Messiah played backwards (5)
We start with the reverse lurker (wanting snatch of . . . backwards) found in two words in the clue.
10a House coming up on end of road (8)
A single word for coming up placed after (on) the last letter (end) of roaD.
11a A Norwegian’s principal spruce in NI county (6)
A from the clue, the first letter (principal) of Norwegian, and a verbal synonym of spruce.
14a Band welcomed by little cheer (7)
A type of (metal or wooden) band inserted into (welcomed by) a Northern (very North of Watford Gap) synonym of little.
17a One’s interstellar flight (6)
The single letter for one is inserted into (inter) a synonym of stellar.
21a Looming, like a helicopter perhaps? (2,3,3)
How a helicopter in flight might be described (like a . . . perhaps).
23a Condition in full finally accepted by PM (6)
The last letter (finally) of fulL inserted into (accepted by) the PM who could perhaps be blamed for Brexit
24a Designs with gentle touch added to fliers (8)
A single word for a gentle touch followed by (added to) more than one of the illustrated flier.
28a Crooked, like gardens (5)
A two letter adverbial synonym of like and the famous (Royal) Gardens.
2d Argument after smashing of bowl easy to understand (7)
A three letter argument placed after an anagram (smashing) of BOWL.
3d Hepburn character put tree on skip? (5,9)
A type of tree, often linked with ivy, placed before (put . . . on) a synonym(?) of skip.
7d Present somewhat uninspiring, I verified (4)
The lurker (somewhat) found in three words in the clue.
8d Hit riding waves, those going in while others out? (14)
A synonym of hit placed before (riding) types of waves.
15d Tricky chip is to a green (9)
An anagram (tricky) of CHIP IS TO A.
20d African capital exciting you, and capital in Europe (7)
An anagram (exciting) of YOU, AND and the first letter (capital in) Europe – gives the capital of Cameroon, but you all know that don’t you.
22d See fruit (4)
A double definition to finish – the second is illustrated below.
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Something a little whimsical this week, extracts from 57 classical compositions by 33 composers, represented by their mugshots, in just over 6 minutes. Hmm, I wonder if I could sometimes describe Dada as whimsical: