Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29761
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from a sunny Los Alacázares where we’ve been trying to evade the crazy heat of this August. Still, it got up to 38°C last Sunday so it’s not been much of a relief. However, we did get to see “La Vuelta a España” flash by last Saturday as they came through LA on stage 8. It doesn’t last very long but with all the cars, motor bikes and two helicopters for the TV coverage not to mention the riders themselves it’s a great spectacle, and the speed of the guys is impressive.
The crossword today is the usual Monday fare but perhaps leaning towards more cryptic definitions the usual. There’s a few anagrams and a couple of gimmes so I don’t think many of you will have to resort to these hints. Anyway they’re here if you do need some help.
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 Theft of tin at church (6)
SNATCH: The chemical symbol for tin, the AT from the clue and an abbreviation of church, not CE but the other one.
11a Romantic film — overtly so fanciful (4,5)
LOVE STORY: Anagram (fanciful) of OVERTLY SO.
12a Direction-finder‘s range (7)
COMPASS: Double definition.
13a Overwhelming disaster as taxi reversed left into river (7)
DEBACLE: Reverse another word for a taxi, add an L(eft) and insert it all into (into) the river which enters the sea at Chester. There’s also two of these in Scotland and, I think, one in Ireland.
14a Female employee must be expecting to get this (9,5)
MATERNITY LEAVE: Cryptic definition. Change the word expecting to read “pregnant” and the answer becomes obvious.
17a How chess players play each other at every level? (6-3-5)
ACROSS THE BOARD: The relative seating positions of two chess opponents is also a phrase meaning at every level. I suppose this could be viewed as a double definition.
21a Table includes league side initially made up of celebrities (3-4)
ALL STAR: Take the table at the front of a church and insert (includes) an L and an S (League Side initially).
23a College dance, one round end of April (7)
BALLIOL: Start with a dance and follow with the letter that looks like one, the round letter and an L (end of ApriL).
24a Nothing written about leg cut, second-to-none (9)
NONPAREIL: A word for nothing or zero is placed around (written about) the other name for the leg side in cricket and a word meaning cut or shave.
25a Flash Gordon’s original material (5)
GLINT: G (Gordon’s original) followed by some material often used for dressing cuts. You didn’t think I could resist this did you . . .
26a Series of notes calling for an answer (8)
RINGTONE: Cryptic definition of one of the noises made by your mobile phone. This clue wouldn’t have been possible back in the days before smartphone when phones just used to bleep.
27a Brief film, western, shown inside (6)
LAWYER: “Brief” is a slang term for this chap. Start with a film, of moisture perhaps, and insert (shown inside) a W(estern).
1d Succeeded having deployed her mace? I have no idea (6,2)
SEARCH ME: S(ucceeded) followed by an anagram (deployed) of HER MACE.
2d A copper climbing around top of tower to aim loaded weapon (9)
AUTOMATIC: Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once . . . A (from the clue) and a reversal (climbing in a down clue) of the chemical symbol for copper are placed around (around) an anagram (loaded, as in drunk) of a T (top of Tower) with the TO AIM from the clue.
3d Pirate‘s reportedly crude manner (7)
CORSAIR: The first syllable sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning crude and the second is a word for a manner. Bit of a chestnut but I still like it.
5d Rescued, thanks to caller? (5,2,3,4)
SAVED BY THE BELL: Cryptic definition.
6d Causing laughter, stripper at last able to be seen topless (7)
RISIBLE: R (strippeR at last) followed by a word meaning able to be seen or in sight without its first letter (topless).
7d Endless criticism involving old philosopher (5)
STOIC: Remove the last letter from a slang term for criticism and insert (involving) an O(ld) to get a member of the ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by a chap called Zeno of Citium.
8d Element of cunning required with female lacking information (6)
OXYGEN: A word for cunning with the F(emale) removed (lacking) and then one of the usual words for information.
9d Under pressure, a girl cuts nose badly — one may be required to operate (7,7)
PLASTIC SURGEON: This chap may indeed be required to operate if the girl’s nose is cut badly enough. He’s an anagram (badly) of A GIRL CUTS NOSE placed after (under in a down clue) a P(ressure).
15d Likelihood of six having talent? (9)
VIABILITY: The Roman numeral for six followed by a word for talent.
16d Devotee I party with afterwards (8)
IDOLATER: I (from the clue) followed by the usual party and then a word meaning afterwards.
18d Refugee found in exposed shed (7)
OUTCAST: A word for exposed followed by a word for shed or discard.
20d Queen and king under British flag (6)
BANNER: The Stuart queen and the letter for king placed after (under in a down clue) a B(ritish).
22d Stroke new material (5)
LINEN: A pen stroke followed by N(ew).
Favourite today was 14a with 9d and 6d on the podium.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: CAINE + TOWED = CANE TOAD
Bottom line: DINER + SOARS = DINOSAURS