Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29677
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather has been a bit crazy. Unseasonably hot and yesterday the temperature rose to 36°C. Ridiculous for mid-May. Fortunately today’s forecast is for a more usual 24°C. On the Covid front both pommette and I have had our first jabs of the Pfizer stuff and are due our second dose soon, me next week and pommette the week after. The state of alarm in Spain ended last weekend so a lot of the restrictions have been lifted and we’ve been able to visit our apartment in Murcia. I just hope it isn’t too much too soon. The week before last there were zero Covid related admissions to the Vega Baja hospital and Communitat Valenciana has the lowest infection rate is Spain. It would be a shame to ruin all that progress by being too precipitate.
As to the crossword, well what can I say. It was the usual Monday elegance but I did something I’ve not managed to do for quite some time – I simply solved every clue in order, starting at 1a and ending at 22d. Having done that how can I give more than one star for difficulty?
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 Mutual respect shown in big town keeping order (6)
COMITY: Two letters for the Order of Merit inserted into (in) another word for a big town such as London or Manchester.
4a A bodybuilder’s heavenly body? (8)
ASTEROID: A from the clue followed by a type of drug used to build muscle. A bit of a chestnut but I like it!
10a Auction last of them in state capital (5)
SALEM: An auction followed by M (last of theM) will give you the state capital of Oregon-
11a Leader of team assigned to study factory’s monotonous routine (9)
TREADMILL: T (leader of Team) followed by (assigned to) a word meaning to study, at university perhaps, and then a dark, satanic factory.
12a Manure one spread in pen? (7)
DUNGEON: This pen is a penitentiary and it’s some manure or droppings followed by an anagram (spread) of ONE.
13a Most magnanimous popular gestures at heart (7)
LARGEST: A lurker hiding in (at heart) the third and fourth words of the clue. This clue is squeaky clean as the answer is the central seven letters of the two words.
14a Cartoon crew was playing a piece for piano and orchestra (6,8)
WARSAW CONCERTO: Anagram (playing) of CARTOON CREW WAS.
21a Indicate fast train (7)
EXPRESS: Double definition.
23a Record losses exceeded that in this big enterprise, initially (3,2,2)
LET IT BE: This record is by The Beatles and it’s the first letters (initially) of the other words of the clue.
24a Quiet by area, so the Spanish bloke returned for a dance (4,5)
PASO DOBLE: The first word is the letter meaning quiet in musical notation followed by A(rea) and the SO from the clue. The second word is a reversal (returned) of the Spanish definite article and another word for a bloke.
25a Beautiful girl in British lifestyle magazine (5)
BELLE: B(ritish) followed by a lifestyle or fashion magazine.
26a Model, celebrity, going around with daughter (8)
STANDARD: Start with another word for with and going around it put a celebrity or lead player in a film and then put a D(aughter) on the end.
1d All the players losing could get one depressed (4,4)
CAST DOWN: All the actors in a play followed by a word meaning losing, in a football match perhaps.
2d Hospital employee‘s unusual surname the Parisian adopted (4,5)
MALE NURSE: Anagram (unusual) of SURNAME with the definite article used in Paris inserted (adopted).
3d Humour shown over Arp’s first method of painting (7)
TEMPERA: Another word for humour or mood followed by (shown over in a down clue) an A (Arp’s first).
5d This may tarnish top-notch household cutlery (8,6)
STERLING SILVER: Another word for top-notch or reliable and a term for cutlery.
6d Advocate has foremost of degrees in English Language? (7)
ENDORSE: Take a D (foremost of Degrees) and insert it into (in) an E(nglish) followed by an old Scandinavian language.
7d Kept in readiness in old Mediterranean resort (2,3)
ON ICE: O(ld) followed by a resort city on the south coast of France.
8d The Italian employed in time to prepare pupils for examination? (6)
DILATE: These pupils are the ones in you eyes. Insert to Italian definite article into a word for time.
9d Pip, unfriendly and staid, fully alert? (5-4,5)
STONE COLD SOBER: A pip out of a piece of fruit, a word meaning unfriendly and finally a word meaning staid or not drunk.
15d Worry about half of them covering athletics event (9)
TRIATHLON: A worry or ordeal around (about) TH (half of THem) and finally a word which could mean covering or over. I don’t think I’d have spotted this one without all the checkers in place but with them it was fairly obvious.
16d Strong former US soldier taking on tough guys (8)
VEHEMENT: An American term for an ex-soldier is placed around (takin on) some tough guys or macho types. I nearly gave up on this one but having got this far I was determined to get the clean sweep!
18d Young dog with no lead, stopped, then flipped over (7)
UPENDED: A word for a young dog without its first letter (with no lead) followed by a word meaning stopped or finished.
19d Without competence, in particular (7)
NOTABLY: If you split the answer (3,4) you have a phrase meaning without competence.
20d Attracts short-term office workers? About time! (6)
TEMPTS: Some short term office staff placed around (about) a T(ime).
I think 16d rates as favourite today with 4a and 12a on the podium.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: DELI + GAY + SHUN = DELEGATION
Bottom line: CREW + SIR + WAIT = CRUISERWEIGHT