Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29593
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where everywhere is covered in a fine film of red dust blown over from the Sahara desert. Usually we get it with rain (dirty rain) but this time it blew over as a dust storm last Friday night.
Before I get to the crossword may I first of all offer my apologies if this blog turns out to be a bit sub-standard. It’s now 0230CET and I’m sat in our kitchen watching Superbowl LV and trying to solve the crossword and write the hints between the plays. Not easy believe me.
The crossword hasn’t put up much resistance so I’ve gone for ** difficulty but I’ve left the enjoyment at a neutral *** as I wasn’t really concentrating on the puzzle.
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.
8a Very little indeed of what some returning astronauts anticipated? (1,4,2,3,5)
A DROP IN THE OCEAN: A phrase meaning very little could also describe what American astronauts, who landed in the sea, could expect on their return.
9a Odd coming from instruments, trumpets and drums (3)
RUM: A word meaning odd is hidden in all three of instruments, trumpets and drums. We don’t often get a triple lurker.
10a Conciliatory gesture made by Oscar, as it happens, with backing of department (5,6)
OLIVE BRANCH: O(scar) followed by as word meaning as it happens and then a department or at least a sub-office.
11a Feeling of resentment as card game curtailed (5)
PIQUE: It’s a card game that pommette and I used to play when we were first married but without its last letter (curtailed). This three time F1 champion has the same surname as the card game.
12a Border: safe crossing eastern edge (9)
PERIMETER: A slang term for a safe placed around (crossing) E(astern) and a three letter word for an edge.
19a Candidate, sensitive after hoax (9)
CONTENDER: A word for sensitive or sore after and hoax or fraud.
20a Daughter impressed by ‘Ring cycle‘? (5)
PEDAL: A ring of bells with D(aughter) inserted (impressed by). Here’s a bit of Wagner’s Ring Cycle . . .
21a Undergo live broadcast, then eat and drink too much (11)
OVERINDULGE: Anagram (broadcast) of UNDERGO LIVE: This appears to be a description of watching the Superbowl!
25a Equal score and make the grade (4,2,2,7)
COME UP TO SCRATCH: A phrase (4,2,2) which might mean to equal followed by a word meaning to score or etch.
1d Play group prima donna? (5,5)
DRAMA QUEEN: Cryptic definition of who might be the top actress in a cast of players.
2d Disapprove of operation on model (6)
OPPOSE: Abbreviation of operation followed by (on in a down clue) a word meaning to model or sit for an artist.
3d Unwilling, being sick (10)
INDISPOSED: Double definition.
4d The woman fixing old brogue, perhaps (4)
SHOE: A word for “the woman”, not her but the other one, around (fixing) an O(ld).
5d M. Proust novel must go after new bid (2-6)
NO TRUMPS: Start with an N for new and after it put an anagram (novel) of M PROUST and split the result (2,6).
6d Soldiers surrounding a base (4)
MEAN: Base as in poor is a word for some soldiers, think Duke of York’s 10,000, placed around (surrounding) the A from the clue.
7d An unpleasant task, mostly, for one of the relay runners (6)
ANCHOR: This is the guy who runs the last leg of a relay race. He’s the AN from the clue followed by an unpleasant task but without its last letter (mostly).
8d A move not entirely appropriate (7)
APROPOS: The A from the clue followed by a word meaning to move, in a debate perhaps, without its last letter (not entirely).
13d Look at fewer, even so (10)
REGARDLESS: A word meaning to look at followed by a word meaning fewer.
14d In Whitehall the SNP number around 500, on average (5,5)
THIRD PARTY: How the SNP might be described in Parliament. It’s a number, not the number of SNP MPs, placed around the Roman numeral for 500 and a word for average or normal.
16d Prior sanctimonious about reverend (8)
PREVIOUS: A word meaning sanctimonious around (about) an abbreviation of reverend. Nice to see the whole word for sanctimonious being used. We usually just get its abbreviation.
18d Swine holding queue up is a giant of a man (7)
GOLIATH: Take another word for a pig and insert (holding) a queue, of hair, and reverse the lot (up in down clue).
19d Plum variety (6)
CHOICE: Double definition.
20d Verse type, or otherwise (6)
POETRY: Anagram (otherwise) of TYPE OR.
22d Extract from revolutionary Hammett novel (4)
EMMA: If you reverse the word Hammett (revolutionary) you will be able to extract from it a Jane Austin novel.
The usual Monday elegance but I think top of the heap has to be 24a with 1a and 6d sharing the limelight..
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: WROTE + UNDER = ROTUNDA
Bottom line: SERVE + AISLE = SERVILE