Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29771
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs, where heavy cloud cover continues to make things gloomy.
The presence of four Xs in today’s crossword suggests that the setter is ProXimal, who has given us a puzzle which I found quite accessible this morning.
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 Copper and cleric’s fight for prime arena location (9,3)
DIRECTORS’ BOX – Put together the abbreviation for a senior detective, a beneficed clergy person (with the ‘S from the clue) and a verb for the sort of fight that happens with gloves on in a ring.
8a Representative for unknown figures (5)
PROXY – The Latin word for ‘for’ followed by two algebraic unknowns.
9a Strains on exterior of cherry trees (9)
CYPRESSES – The outside letters (exterior) of C(herr)Y, followed by another word for ‘strains’ (think of olive oil or wine).
11a Is plum off? I have rash (9)
IMPULSIVE – Anagram (off) of IS PLUM, followed by the short form of ‘I have’.
12a Measure space rock that’s out of the ordinary (5)
METER – Remove the abbreviation for Ordinary from a space rock.
13a ‘They’re divine’ — some obsessed dog-lovers reflected (9)
GODDESSES – Hidden in reverse (reflected) in the clue.
16a African native bringing foreign money into centre of Chad (5)
HYENA – The central letters of (c)HA(d) are wrapped round some currency from the Far East.
18a Confessed wearing dress to need front scrubbed (5)
OWNED – Start with a word for ‘wearing dress’, then remove the first letter (front scrubbed) to get a word for ‘confessed’ (especially when followed by ‘up’).
19a Maybe the French Open and US are to be rearranged (9)
EUROPEANS – Anagram (to be rearranged) of OPEN and US ARE.
20a Part of helicopter shelled from hill (5)
ROTOR – Remove the outer letters (shelled) of (f)RO(m), then add a Devon hill.
22a We with a self-confidence gaining new convert for hostile use (9)
WEAPONISE – Put together WE and A (from the clue), and a word for self-confidence wrapped round an abbreviation for New.
25a Withdrawing from holy place after sacrificing the last monarch (9)
SHRINKING – Remove the last letter from a word for a holy place, than add a (male) monarch.
26a It holds writer back being useless (5)
INEPT – IT (from the clue) is wrapped round the reverse (back) of a word for something you write with.
27a Home designer revamped housing by following pointers (5,7)
INDEX FINGERS – Start with a two-letter word for (at) home, then add an anagram (revamped) of DESIGNER wrapped round the symbol for ‘(multiplied) by’ and an abbreviation for ‘following’.
1d Came by doctor and Pope upset with row (7,2)
DROPPED IN – Put together an abbreviation for doctor, an anagram (upset) of POPE, and a row or loud noise.
2d Regularly ignored droopy tail of Rex? (5)
ROYAL – Alternate letters (regularly ignored) of dRoOpY tAiL.
3d Feat cutting 101 plants (5)
CACTI – A feat or deed inserted into the middle of the Roman numeral for 101.
4d Teacher dismissing of supporting work one dictates (9)
OPPRESSOR – An abbreviation for the Latin word for ‘work’, followed by a university teacher with OF (from the clue) removed.
5d Second mate’s at sea in boat (9)
STEAMSHIP – Put together an abbreviation for Second, an anagram (at sea) of MATE’S, and a word for ‘in’ or ‘trendy’.
6d Attack is concerning group (5)
ONSET – Another word for ‘concerning’ or ‘about’, followed by another word for ‘group’.
7d Spa gets in poolside bouncers (12)
SPRINGBOARDS – Another word for ‘spa’ followed by ‘gets in (a car, perhaps)’, giving us some things to bounce on at the edge of a swimming pool.
10d We might reckon on these picnic blankets (12)
SPREADSHEETS – A picnic or feast, followed by something that goes with blankets, giving us a computer tool for reckoning up lists of numbers – something you may Excel at!
14d Doctor Anne cured patient suffering (9)
ENDURANCE – Anagram (doctor) of ANNE CURED.
15d Crooked, extremely slick partners above suspicion (4-5)
SKEW-WHIFF – Put together the outside letters (extremely) of S(lic)K, a pair of bridge partners, and a suspicion or odour of something.
17d Testers set up cutting tool with pit workers (9)
EXAMINERS – Reverse (set up, in a Down clue) a tool for cutting or chopping, then add some people who work in a pit.
21d Wind engulfs island city abroad (5)
TURIN – A verb for ‘wind’ is wrapped round an abbreviated Island to get the English name for this Italian city.
23d High Street store contracted Northern Gas (5)
ARGON – Remove the final letter from (contracted) this High Street catalogue store, than add Northern to get an inert gas.
24d Venture from old wood (5)
OPINE – An abbreviation for Old followed by a softwood. The definition is a verb for ‘put forward (a view or suggestion)’.
The Quick Crossword pun REIGN + BOAT + ROUT = RAINBOW TROUT