Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29725
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where we have a rather horrifying weather forecast! The prediction is for the temperature to reach a record breaking 45°C in the Vega Baja this afternoon. Apparently there’s a huge mass of very hot air edging north from Africa. It’s also predicted that Spain’s official record high of 46.9°C, recorded at Cordoba airport in July 2017, will be broken somewhere today.
As for the crossword it’s the expected Monday good stuff but with a couple of unusual definitions and a couple of bits of GK required but otherwise it shouldn’t frighten the horses too much. 17d seems a bit topical in view of the weather here.
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.
4a Eavesdrop I wager, craftily (6)
EARWIG: Anagram (craftily) of I WAGER.
8a Tight young lady narrowly avoided collision (4,4)
NEAR MISS: The first word is one that can mean tight, as in miserly and the second is a young girl. Actually it’s not a young lady but an unmarried one. She might be 90 years old!
11a Gem in ring presented to friend (4)
OPAL: The letter that looks like a ring next to a friend.
12a Fight dishonest sailor in South American port (4,6)
FRAY BENTOS: This is a port in Uruguay that the brand of corned beef is named after. The first word is a word for a fight or brawl. The second is a word meaning dishonest followed by the abbreviation of an ordinary seaman.
13a Section of society running study group (7,5)
WORKING CLASS: A word meaning running or functioning followed by a study group in a school perhaps.
16a Ventilation aid in vehicle kept by former supporter (9,3)
EXTRACTOR FAN: Start with a farm vehicle and insert it into (kept by) two letters for former, usually a former partner, and a supporter or afficionado.
20a There’s much talk from me about fight involving milliner (10)
CHATTERBOX: Take a single letter for about and a word meaning to fight, in a square ring with gloves, and insert another word for a milliner.
21a Shrewd signal saving time (4)
CUTE: Insert (saving) a T(ime) into a signal or tip.
22a Leader of delegation is member to win over (6)
DISARM: D (leader of Delegation), the IS from the clue and a member as in a limb.
23a Plumper son’s game (8)
ROUNDERS: I’m always wary of three word clues. This could be either a word for plumper followed by S(on) to mean game or S(on) followed by a word for game to mean plumper. This time it’s the former.
24a Expected Dutch portrait painter to accommodate current king (6)
LIKELY: You need to know the Dutch portrait painter, who spent most of his life in England, and if you do you must insert the letter for electric current in physics notation and the letter for king in chess notation. Expected like the result of last night’s penalty shoot-out? Fortunately I remembered the painter, presumably from previous crosswords.
25a Attacked outside by church worker (6)
SEXTON: You need a phrase (3,2) meaning attacked and place it around (outside) a letter that can mean by, as in two by four.
1d So hedge built to keep in initially pugnacious farm animal (8)
SHEEPDOG: This is an animal that works on a farm. It’s an anagram (built) of SO HEDGE placed around (to keep in) a P (initially Pugnacious).
2d Starts to rig up ropes at location in the countryside (5)
RURAL: First letters (starts to) of the next five words.
3d Female cutting inch of woven material (7)
CHIFFON: F(emale) inserted into (cutting) an anagram (woven) of INCH OF.
5d Lab gear reassembled for school subject (7)
ALGEBRA: Anagram (reassembled) of LAB GEAR.
6d Philanderer, better advised around sultanate (9)
WOMANISER: A word meaning better advised or sager around a sultanate from the Middle East.
9d Old English court in leading dictionary (abridged version) (4,7)
STAR CHAMBER: A word meaning leading followed by our favourite dictionary but without its last letter (abridged version).
14d Follow part of castle path (4,5)
KEEP TRACK: The central part of a castle followed by a word for a path or road.
15d Very strong, all the players with club (4-4)
CAST IRON: The players in a theatre production followed by a golf club.
17d Another malt, partly responsible for getting you warm (7)
THERMAL: A lurker. Its hiding in (partly) the first two words.
18d Message about welcoming uniform consistency (7)
TEXTURE: Consistency as in feel. It’s a message you might send from your mobile phone and two letters for about with a U(niform) inserted (welcoming).
19d Excitement caused by the short stream (6)
THRILL: Take the THE from the clue and remove the last letter (short). After that you need a stream or rivulet.
21d Trainee forced to spend minutes in court (5)
CADET: Start with a word which can mean forced, as in you were forced to do something, and remove (to spend) the M(inutes) from the beginning. Insert what’s left into (in) the usual abbreviation of court.
My favourite out of this lot was 25a with 23a and 12a on the podium.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: HOAR + KNIT = HORNET
Bottom line: MULL + BRIE = MULLBERRY