Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29641
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where I know that Spring has sprung because the swallows are back form their travels. Unfortunately the weather forecasters don’t agree and say it’s going to go cold and wet for a few days from Wednesday before normal service is resumed next week. Oh well, they aren’t always right.
Today we have a pretty normal Monday puzzle. I thought it was going to be a bit tricky when I only got six of the acrosses on first pass but then the downs came to the rescue in a big way, yielding ten out of the fourteen clues. The missing answers just filled themselves in after that leaving me wondering why I missed them the first time. Just being a bit slow I guess.
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.
5a Sharp expert playing crib (7)
ACERBIC: The usual expert followed by an anagram (playing) of CRIB.
7a Daughter, with bad back, in decline (5)
DROOP: D(aughter) followed by a reversal (back) of a word meaning bad or low grade.
9a Sound level for listeners (6)
STRAIT: The sort of sound that’s between the island of Anglesey and North Wales sounds like (for listeners) a word meaning level or aligned. Any excuse for a bit of Dire Straits . . .
10a Course holding permit for gambling game (8)
ROULETTE: A word meaning to permit is inserted into (holding) a word for a course.
11a Wimbledon feature — inform tribunal (5,5)
GRASS COURT: The first word is a slang term meaning to inform, the police perhaps, and the second word is a tribunal or place where trials take place. I got the second word straight away but for some reason the penny took ages to drop on the first.
13a Stay for start of party (4)
PROP: A word meaning for followed by a P (start of Party).
14a One wielding power behind the scenes, unpredictable in emergencies (8,5)
EMINENCE GRISE: Anagram (unpredictable) of IN EMERGENCIES. I think this is one of those terms that only ever get used in crosswords.
16a Primarily, come here in Cannes, the height of fashion (4)
CHIC: First letters (primarily) of the next four words of the clue.
17a Advocates having protective rails across street (10)
BARRISTERS: Some protective rails are placed around (across) the usual two letters for street.
20a Popular pointer receiving attention (2,4)
IN HAND: The usual word for popular or at home followed by a pointer on a clock perhaps.
22a Old character in two minds about hospital (5)
THORN: Put a word meaning in two minds, as in undecided, around an H(ospital) to get an old character and you get a character of runic origin used in Old and Middle English.
23a In consequence, departed after island cut off (7)
ISOLATE: Start with I for Island and after it you need a word meaning in consequence (2) and then a word describing someone who has departed as in died.
1d Huge Greek character blowing top (4)
MEGA: A Greek letter without its first letter (blowing top).
2d Old boy’s story about opening of cell block (8)
OBSTACLE: The usual abbreviation of Old Boy, don’t forget the S, followed by another word for a story placed around (about) a C (opening of Cell).
3d Modify top of dress during a fitting (6)
ADJUST: D (top of Dress) placed inside (during) the A from the clue and a word meaning fitting or fair.
4d Fielder putting cap on head (5,5)
COVER POINT: A fielding position on a cricket pitch is a word for a cap or lid and a word for head or sharp end.
6d Police officer collecting King, US novelist heard in college (6,7)
CORPUS CHRISTI: Start with a slang word for a police officer and insert R (collecting king). Then you need the US from the clue and finally some letters which aren’t an English word but if pronounced would sound like (heard) the novelist who wrote about Hercule Poirot.
8d Road hazard — this is removed in Dorset resort (7)
POTHOLE: The letters IS are removed from the word THIS to leave the TH. This is then inserted into (in) a resort in Dorset. The answer was pretty clear but it took me a while to spot how it works, d’oh!
12d Lit with it (8,2)
SWITCHED ON: Double definition.
14d Drain pipe fitted to vehicle (7)
EXHAUST: Double definition.
15d Network press pitch for Americans (8)
GRIDIRON: A word for a network followed by a word meaning to press one’s clothes.
17d Extremely cold, some climb it in Garmisch (6)
BITING: A lurker hiding in (some) the last four words.
21d Pick up article brought in by that woman (4)
HEAR: An indefinite article inserted into (brought in by) a word meaning that woman.
Quite a lot of blue today but favourite was 3d with 14d and 9a on the podium.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: IN TURN + MEANT = INTERNMENT
Bottom line: STARE + WELLES = STAIRWELLS