Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29663
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs as April departs with a mix of sun and cloud, but not much in the way of April showers.
One or two unusual words in today’s puzzle, but fairly clued so that they can be worked out from the wordplay, and I had no particular difficulty in completing the grid.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Sky feature, series inspiring a popular book (7)
RAINBOW – Put together A (from the clue), another word for ‘popular’, and an abbreviation for Book, then wrap a series or line around the result.
5a Husband Bill feeds pigs and dogs (7)
SHADOWS – Some female pigs wrapped round Husband and a two-letter publicity bill, giving us a verb which can mean ‘dogs’.
9a Duke describes worker as a Walter Mitty character (9)
FANTASIST – Put together one of the usual insect workers and AS (from the clue), then wrap the part of the body sometimes known informally as a duke around the result.
10a Civilian militia, unfit for training, it’s initially … (5)
MUFTI – Initials letters of words 2 to 6 in the clue.
11a … helping what current soldiers are doing? (7)
SERVING – Double definition, the first being a helping of food.
12a I hurried around in pursuit of small cocktail (7)
SIDECAR – I (from the clue) followed by the reverse (around) of another word for ‘hurried’.
13a In tears, lady badly corrupted (3,6)
LED ASTRAY – Anagram (badly) of TEARS LADY.
16a Smallest born escapes from animal by lake (5)
LEAST – Lake, followed by another word for an animal, minus the abbreviation for Born.
17a Walls of emerald upset my colour scheme (5)
DÉCOR – Reverse (upset) the outside letters of EmeralD, then add an exclamation like ‘My!’.
18a Former college welcomes politician, old American, in grand manner (9)
POMPOUSLY – Put together the usual crossword politician, Old, and an abbreviation for American, then wrap the short form of a college of tertiary education (now called a university) around the result.
21a Craft in stone Madonna holding child (7)
MASONRY – The name of the biblical Madonna, wrapped round a male child.
22a Burden on farmers originally facing bad weather (7)
REFRAIN – Put together a Latin word for ‘on (the subject of)’, the first letter (originally) of Farmers, and some weather which is bad if you want to play cricket, but good if you want to grow crops. The definition is another word for a line repeated at the end of every stanza of a poem.
25a Assess fruit across Ukraine’s capital (5)
GAUGE – An old or dialect word for a plum wrapped round the first letter of Ukraine.
26a Different hybrid of white rose (9)
OTHERWISE – Anagram (hybrid of) WHITE ROSE.
27a A little surprised at Edith being given tranquillisers (7)
SEDATED – Hidden in the clue.
28a Claiming soldiers last played sad musical pieces (7)
LAMENTS – Anagram (played) of LAST wrapped round another word for soldiers.
1d No, not something a showjumper wants? (7)
REFUSAL – A showjumper gets four penalty points for this when their horse won’t attempt a fence.
2d Middle son keeps away from wrongdoer (5)
INNER – Remove the abbreviation for Son from someone who commits a moral wrong.
3d Reportedly canal boat pilot is making spicy snack (5)
BHAJI – This spicy Indian starter sounds like (reportedly) a common but incorrect term for someone in charge of a canal boat.
4d One complaining of coach ultimately punching footballer (7)
WHINGER – The last letter of coacH inserted into a footballer who plays out wide rather than in the centre of the field.
5d Is fairly discontented after school test answer (7)
SATISFY – Start with the acronym of some attainment tests which are held at various stages of a school career, then add IS (from the clue) and the outside letters (dis-contented) of FairlY. The definition is ‘answer’ as in ‘meet a requirement’.
6d Marian periodically raised fuss about sick creature (9)
ARMADILLO – Alternate letters (periodically) of MaRiAn, read from right to left (raised, in a Down clue), followed by another word for ‘fuss’ wrapped round another word for ‘sick’.
7d Bad international spies, extremely lawless government agents, say (9)
OFFICIALS – Put together another word for ‘bad’ often applied to food, International, some American spies, and the outside letters (extremely) of LawlesS.
8d Mistake over blocking comedy sketch displaying root vegetable (7)
SKIRRET – Reverse (over) a word for ‘(make a) mistake’, and insert the result into another word for a comedy sketch, to get a root vegetable also known as a water parsnip.
14d Daughter supports sad hunch about small dog (9)
DACHSHUND – Anagram (about) of SAD HUNCH, followed by Daughter.
15d File on hospital department is rigorous (9)
STRINGENT – Another word for a file or line of men or horses, followed by the usual centre of otorhinolaryngological excellence.
17d Mother declines sum awarded by court (7)
DAMAGES – A mother animal, followed by ‘declines’ or ‘gets old’.
18d Pale yew, so good now and again as boarding material (7)
PLYWOOD – Alternate letters (now and again) of the first four words of the clue.
19d US police officer alarms suspect outside hotel (7)
MARSHAL – Anagram (suspect) of ALARMS, wrapped round the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet.
20d Keen, say, to vary bets (7)
YANKEES – Anagram (to vary) of KEEN SAY, giving us some bets which , according to the BRB, are multiple bets on four horses in four races, consisting of six doubles, four trebles and an accumulator.
23d Meeting in favour of you finally having minutes (5)
FORUM – Another word for ‘in favour of’, followed by the last letter (finally) of yoU and an abbreviation for Minutes.
24d Strange story in article (5)
ALIEN – A (false) story inserted into an indefinite article.
The Quick Crossword pun JOB + HAYDN = JOE BIDEN