Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29653
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where our lockdown continues. It’s not too bad really as bars are open until 1800 and shops can open up to 2000 so it doesn’t really affect pommette and I as we rarely go out in the evening. I’m more for a good lunch followed by a siesta and then a veg-out in front of the telly. The main problem for us is that the borders of Communitat Valenciana remain closed so we haven’t been able to visit our apartment since last October as it’s in the neighbouring community of Murcia. Still, the measures have had some good effect and Valenciana has the lowest infection rate in Spain, some say the lowest rate in Europe.
Not much to say about the puzzle that I haven’t before. It’s another example of what has become our normal Monday fare. However, there’s a couple of clues with slightly complicated wordplay and more than the average number of clues involving anagrams. I thought it more enjoyable than usual so it’ll be interesting to see if any of you 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 Wood sounds good to me (4)
DEAL: Double definition. It’s a kind of wood and also a word you might say to indicate someone’s offer is acceptable. It took longer than it should for the penny to drop on this one.
3a The old lady mugs up on remarkable person’s greatest work (6,4)
MAGNUM OPUS: The usual two letters for your old lady, as in mother, followed by an anagram (remarkable) of MUGS UP ON.
10a Crossing ford, big toe gets broken (10)
FOOTBRIDGE: Anagram (gets broken) of FORD BIG TOE.
13a Preposterous yarn inspired by red fox (7)
REYNARD: Anagram (preposterous) of YARN inserted into (inspired by) the RED from the clue.
14a What can be won at rugby? Nonsense written about Lomu’s first cap (6,5)
TRIPLE CROWN: This can be won by one of the Home Nations in the Six Nations rugby tournament. You need a word for nonsense around (about) an L (Lomu’s first) followed by a word meaning to cap or put the finishing touch to a series of events.
18a Outfit for a woman? Sure, tourist abroad (7,4)
TROUSER SUIT: Anagram (abroad) of SURE TOURIST.
21a Port auction: no bottles right? (7)
SALERNO: This port’s in Italy. Start with another word for an auction and the NO from the clue and then put that lot around (bottles) an R(ight).
22a Taking the most pessimistic view, a team’s leader before defeat (2,5)
AT WORST: A from the clue and a T (Team’s leader) followed by a word meaning to defeat.
23a Fan in seat, wriggling about so (10)
ENTHUSIAST: Start with a word meaning so, as in “like that”, and around it (about) put an anagram (wriggling) of IN SEAT.
24a Hope portion of stew is hot (4)
WISH: A lurker hiding in (portion of) the last three words.
25a Mean person in nick, fenced-in area, extremely nasty (10)
PINCHPENNY: A word meaning to nick or steal followed by a fenced-in area where animals are kept and finally NY (extremely NastY). I don’t think I’ve come across this term before but it was fairly obvious from the checkers and wordplay.
26a South, down in card game (4)
SNAP: S(outh) followed by the sort of down you would find on the cloth of a snooker table.
1d Emissary from East, on stage during meeting (8)
DELEGATE: E(ast) and another word for a stage, of a journey perhaps, inserted into (during) the sort of meeting you might have with your girlfriend or boyfriend.
2d Pollutant from a sewer enveloping capital of Caribbean island (4,4)
ACID RAIN: A (from the clue) and a word for a sewer or waste pipe placed around (enveloping) a C (capital of Caribbean) and an I(sland).
5d No nonsense shown over one old American film (9)
NOTORIOUS: Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once . . . You need the NO, from the clue, followed by a reversal (shown over) of a word meaning nonsense, the letter that looks like a number one, O(ld) and finally the usual two letters for American. If you can stitch that lot together you’ll get the title of a Hitchcock film.
6d Slightly drunk warden, silly clown (5-6)
MERRY ANDREW: A word meaning slightly drunk or tipsy followed by an anagram (silly) of WARDEN. The second one that I’d not come across before.
7d Hawker, one using a bike, we hear (6)
PEDLAR: This word for a hawker sounds like (we hear) someone riding a bicycle.
8d Consistent stable (6)
STEADY: Double definition.
12d Fine everyone over collapse (4,7)
FALL THROUGH: F(ine) and the usual word for everyone gives you the first word. The second word is an American term meaning over or finished.
16d Newspaper piece about support artist raised (8)
GUARDIAN: One of the DT’s rival newspapers is what the word piece can mean in American slang placed around (about) a reversal (raised in a down clue) of a word meaning to support or help and the usual two letter artist. Slightly surprised that the DT allows it’s rivals to appear in the crossword.
17d Falsely incriminate diminutive figure during drink (6,2)
STITCH UP: Start with a word meaning to drink and insert (during) a word for a diminutive figure or small person.
19d Pleased, mostly, breaking out (6)
ASLEEP: Out as in unconscious. It’s an anagram (breaking) PLEASED but without the final D (mostly).
20d Author, British, tense visiting French city (6)
BLYTON: This author of children’s books is B(ritish) followed by T(ense) inserted into (visiting) a French city located on the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône. I only put the accents on as I can do it very easily with my Spanish keyboard.
22d Crime of penniless member of the clergy? (5)
ARSON: The crime of setting fire to things is a clergyman without his initial P (penniless).
Today I think 3a was probably favourite with 5d and 16d up on the podium.
Quick crossword pun (top line): WRIST + REIGNED = RESTRAINED
Quick crossword pun (bottom line): TOTALLY + CLIPS = TOTAL ECLIPSE