Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29605
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the Covid restrictions continue. Bars and restaurants remain closed and we can’t travel outside the Communitat Valenciana. It’s likely to stay this way until March 1st or later. At least infection rates are coming down and the vaccination programme has started so there’s light at the end of the tunnel – I just hope it isn’t the headlight of an oncoming train!
Maybe it’s just me having an off day but I found today’s puzzle a fair bit trickier than the last few Monday puzzles have been. It was also very entertaining as some of the pennies dropped so all in all one of the better Monday offerings for some time. I’ll be interested to find out if you guys agree.
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 Contacted by phone caught express (3,7)
GOT THROUGH: A word which can mean caught, as in caught a disease, followed by a word to describe an express train or one that goes all the way to its destination without intermediate stops,
9a American, after drink, quietly fell over in children’s play area? (6,4)
RUMPUS ROOM: Start with a drink beloved by sailors and pommette and after it you need the letter for quietly in musical notation, two letters for American and finally a fell or hill reversed (over). Not a phrase I’d come across before but at least it could be worked out once the checkers were in place.
10a Some crocodiles around open-air pool (4)
LIDO: This pool is hiding in (some) the word crocodiles but it’s reversed (around).
12a Come to watch (4)
WAKE: Double definition. The watch is one held over a dead body before burial.
15a Often visit common (8)
FREQUENT: We don’t often see these but it’s a triple definition.
16a Recalled a better article about large animal (6)
ALPACA: Take the A from the clue, a word meaning to better or outdo and an indefinite article. Place that lot around (about) an L(arge) and then reverse it all (recalled).
18a Basin and toilet with a nasty smell (6)
LAVABO: A slang term for a toilet followed by the A from the clue and then a nasty body odour.
20a Article about family’s philosophy (8)
THINKING: Another word for an article or item placed around the usual family.
23a Study a French instrument in puzzle (9)
CONUNDRUM: A word meaning to study followed by the French indefinite article and finally a musical instrument as played here by the great Ginger Baker . . .
24a Free duck and swan (4)
OPEN: The letter representing a duck in cricket followed by a female swan.
26a I try to describe a villainous Shakespearean character (4)
IAGO: The I from the clue followed by a word for a try or attempt placed around (to describe) the A from the clue.
27a Sensitive police officer unlikely to claim after pressure applied (10)
DIPLOMATIC: Two letters for a police officer in the CID followed by an anagram (unlikely) of TO CLAIM after a P for pressure.
28a Boring student starts to name each ruddy dog! (4)
NERD: First letters (starts to) of the last four words of the clue.
29a Protested heatedly, as Adam and Eve did? (6,4)
RAISED CAIN: A phrase meaning protested heatedly could also describe what Adam and Eve did with their eldest son.
1d Hollywood star discarding old clothes (4)
GARB: A Swedish film star without the O (discarding O(ld)).
3d Stay-at-home dad has unused hob worked out? (5,7)
HOUSE HUSBAND: Anagram (worked out) of HAS UNUSED HOB.
4d Performing with US rock group, also inside awaiting a hearing (2,6)
ON REMAND: Start with a word meaning performing or working and follow with a three letter American rock band that’s very useful to crossword setters. After that put a word meaning also and split the result (2,6).
5d Grand circular stadium (6)
GROUND: G(rand) followed by a word meaning circular.
7d Idle fancy about that man, English artist (7)
CHIMERA: A single letter for about followed by a word meaning “that man“ the an E(nglish) and finally the usual artist.
8d Like some weapons Grant repositioned in land bordering the sea (5-5)
SHORT RANGE: An anagram (repositioned) of GRANT placed inside (in) a word for the land next to the sea,
11d In the loop, newly employed fellow minder (4-8)
WELL INFORMED: Anagram (newly employed) of FELLOW MINDER.
14d Suffering in Florida during a romance (10)
AFFLICTION: Take the A from the clue and a word for a romance or story and insert the abbreviation of Florida.
19d Condiment given a shaking, right? (7)
VINEGAR: Anagram (shaking) of GIVEN A followed by R(ight).
21d Ship heading off with Spanish aunt showing a tendency to do nothing (7)
INERTIA: A large passenger ship without its first letter (heading off) followed by the Spanish word for aunt. The name of this drink means Aunt Mary . . .
22d Pottery in horse-drawn Russian carriage (6)
TROIKA: The name of a pottery that was based in St Ives in Cornwall in the 1960’s and 70’s is also a Russian carriage or sled drawn by three horses in line abreast.
25d Examine small tin (4)
SCAN: S(mall) followed by another word for a tin.
I think 18a has to be favourite closely followed by 15a and 9a.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: JIGGER + LOWS = GIGOLOS
Bottom line: ANNA + KISSED = ANARCHIST