Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29557
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja. I hope you all had as good a Christmas as possible under the current circumstances. Pommette and I had a quiet time at home having cancelled our usual trip to Benidorm, although we did have a rather enjoyable pizza party with a few friends on boxing day via Skype.
I thought today’s puzzle was fairly benign but still enjoyable. There’s a couple of veiled allusions Peter Sellers films and one clue that’s spookily similar to one that was in yesterday’s puzzle. All-in-all I thought it was pretty good.
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 Strongly criticise a course of action taken by team’s leader (6)
ATTACK: Start with the A from the clue and a T (Team’s leader). After those (taken by) you need a word for a course of action or the course of a sailboat.
4a Rogue‘s unlimited guarantee — be taken in (8)
ABERRANT: Take another word for a guarantee and remove its first and last letters (unlimited). Into what’s left insert (taken in) the BE from the clue.
10a Clean axe (5)
SCRUB: Double definition.
11a Sluggish? Teach girl exercises (9)
LETHARGIC: Anagram (exercises) of TEACH GIRL.
13a As one new service in heart of Greece (25)
EN MASSE: Take an N(ew) and a church service and insert into (in) the middle two letters (heart of) of GrEEce.
14a What may be said of chess film? (4,3,3,4)
ONLY TWO CAN PLAY: This is a 1962 film which stars Peter Sellers. It’s also something which can be said of the game of chess. I don’t remember this film but according to Wiki it was the UK’s fourth best box office after The Guns of Navarone, Dr No and Summer Holiday.
17a Fat: felt anxious, terribly uncertain as to what should be done (2,1,5,2,4)
IN A STATE OF FLUX: Anagram (terribly) of FAT FELT ANXIOUS.
21a Certainly relieved, ultimately, after home covered (7)
INSURED: Start with the usual two letters for home or at home and after them put a word meaning certain and a D (relieveD ultimately).
23a Once viewed old things in another way (2,5)
ON SIGHT: Start with O(ld) and follow with an anagram (in another way) of THINGS.
24a Aim to include Italian individual in act, without the help of others (2,2,5)
GO IT ALONE: Take a word for an aim or target and insert the abbreviation of Italian vermouth. After this you need a word for individual or sole.
25a Keen on catching start of record, the first few bars (5)
INTRO: Take a slang word meaning keen on something and insert an R (start of Record to get the first few bars of a piece of music.
26a Lead’s initial approach, first time away in play (8)
LATITUDE: This is play as in tolerance. It’s an L (Lead’s initial) followed by a word meaning approach or stance but with the first T removed (first T(ime) away).
27a Fuel supplied by dear character endlessly (6)
PETROL: A word for dear or favourite followed by a character or part in a play without its last letter (endlessly)
1d One who judges fools accordingly, right? (8)
ASSESSOR: The common crosswordland fools followed by a word meaning accordingly or thus and an R(ight).
2d Boy following sailor wearing waterproof stuff (9)
TARPAULIN: Start with a sailor and after it (following) you need a boy’s name and a two letter word which might mean wearing. Strange that we had a very similar clue in yesterday’s puzzle. Yesterday’s was a little easier as it gave a hint that the boy is one of the apostles.
3d Floor show act dancing round naked (7)
CABARET: Anagram (dancing) of ACT place around a word meaning naked. Here’s a clip from the answer . . .
5d Similarly, purchase an identical disc on the phone (2,3,4,5)
BY THE SAME TOKEN: This phrase meaning similarly sounds like (on the phone) it might mean to purchase an identical disc.
7d Protection regularly taken by American soldiers (5)
AEGIS: Alternate letters (regularly) from TAKEN followed by some US soldiers. This was the shield of Zeus in Greek mythology.
8d Difficult problem? Student’s lost heart (6)
TICKER: This slang term for your heart is a word for a difficult problem or poser with the L removed (student’s lost).
9d Pipe to be attached to both taps? Can’t decide (4,3,3,4)
BLOW HOT AND COLD: A word which can mean to pipe followed by (attached to) the two taps on your kitchen sink.
15d Reptile having a breather after climbing a rocky peak (9)
ALLIGATOR: The first A from the clue followed by a fish’s breather reversed (after climbing) then the other A from the clue and finally a rocky peak
16d Exploit unusually large survey of voters (4,4)
EXIT POLL: Anagram (unusually) of EXPLOIT followed by L(arge).
18d Cato, say, first to recognise advantage being in group (7)
SERVANT: This Cato is nothing to do with ancient Rome but is Inspector Clouseau’s valet in the film The Pink Panther. He’s an R (first to Recognise) and the abbreviation of advantage in tennis inserted into a group.
19d Joyful number hugging remainder heading off (7)
FESTIVE: Take a number between one and nine and insert (hugging) a word meaning remainder but without its first letter (heading off).
20d Roman poet‘s verse, one girl translated (6)
VIRGIL: This Roman poet is V(erse) followed by the letter which looks like one and then an anagram (translated) of GIRL.
Not easy to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 18d with 3d and 1a on the podium.
Quick crossword pun: INKHORN + CLUE + SIEVE = INCONCLUSIVE
If there’s one on the bottom line then I can’t see it.