Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3120 (Hints)
Hints and tips by Senf
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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where a weather summary for July was provided during the week – July was the 21st consecutive month of below average precipitation and the ‘dryest’ and the second ‘hottest’ month of that ilk in the 148 years since record keeping began, which has all lead to a plague of grasshoppers for the farmers to contend with..
Keep staying safe everyone.
For me, Dada is slightly quirky this week if only because of the somewhat strange grid. I counted two anagrams (one partial), one lurker, and one homophone – all in a very asymmetric 31 clues; with 16 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.
Candidates for favourite – 12a, 23a, 4d, and 22d.
As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.
Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!
Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.
A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.
Some hints follow:
7a After little time ship set off (7)
A term, which the BRB describes as a combining form, for a type of ship placed after the single letter for (little) Time.
10a Towelling fabric cut, one row (7)
A type of towelling fabric, which is also a diminutive form of a man’s name, with the last letter removed (cut) and a synonym of one (as in a playing card?).
13a Visual science test follows work on book (9)
A three letter synonym of test follows all of the two letter abbreviation for a (musical) work and a four letter type of book.
16a Clean up throne seen in a mess during banquet (7,4,4)
An anagram (in a mess) of THRONE SEEN inserted into (during) a synonym of banquet.
21a Proper to defend a king of myth (5)
A synonym of proper, which is often ‘coupled’ with proper in a phrase, containing (to defend) A from the clue.
26a Officer: bit of a nut, by the sound of it? (7)
The homophone (by the sound of it) of a single word for a bit of a nut.
28a Still bald, scratching head (7)
A synonym of bald with the first letter removed (scratching head).
1d Rugby player in deadlock situation? (5-3)
A double definition – the first is an alternative name for one of the half backs.
3d Corporation screened by agent in squat (6)
A three letter abbreviation of an informal synonym of corporation (as in body) contained (screened) by a type of (secret) agent.
4d My bits (6)
A double definition – the first is an interjection.
6d Some tables, seriously lower (6)
The lurker (some) found in two words in the clue.
9d Chunk saved by crone served up for tramp (7)
A synonym of chunk contained (saved) by a three letter synonym of crone reversed (served up).
17d Friendly message preceded by reflective query? (8)
A type of message, which is probably not used any more, placed after (preceded by) a (2,1) query (about oneself?).
19d Colonist, one footing the bill? (7)
A double definition – the second could refer to someone paying a bill.
22d Woman earned about a million (6)
A synonym of earned containing (about) all of A from the clue and the single letter for Million.
25d Overcook fish (4)
And, after all that, we have a straightforward double definition to finish which we have probably seen before, I know I have used this illustration before.
Quick Crossword pun:
METRO + GNOME = METRONOME
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I doubt that Alexander Borodin (1833 – 1887), Russian Chemist by day and Composer by night, would have ever imagined that some of his music would ‘feature’ in a 20th century musical. But that is what happened; several of his compositions were adapted, I supposed that sounds better than plagiarised or appropriated, for the 1953 musical Kismet. This is the Second Movement Scherzo: Allegro from Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 in D Major played by the Kontras Quartet. The melody of the song from Kismet should be fairly obvious; if it isn’t, it’s Baubles, Bangles, and Beads: