Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29801
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on a grey October day.
I found most of today’s puzzle straightforward, but was held up by an inability to see two crossing answers in the NE corner, and that pushed me well into *** time.
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 Loose favourite — French one comes first (6)
UNPICK – The French for ‘one’ followed by another word for ‘favourite’ or ‘choice’.
4a Publicises cruise, possibly landing here? (8)
AIRSTRIP – A four-letter word for ‘publicises’ or ‘broadcasts’, followed by a word for something of which a cruise is an example.
9a Distance made by set of clubs? (6)
LEAGUE – Double definition: an old measure of distance, equivalent to three miles; or a set of sports clubs joined in competition.
10a May 1, lucky to be unoccupied? Very! (8)
MIGHTILY – Put together the past tense of ‘may’, the Roman numeral for 1, and the outside letters (to be unoccupied) of L(uck)Y.
12a Son using which method to lead trial presentation? (8)
SHOWCASE – Put together an abbreviation for Son, a way of asking ‘Which method?’, and a legal trial or suit.
13a Thrown back from seashore, lobsters dance (6)
BOLERO – Hidden in reverse (thrown back from) in the clue.
15a Expert handling turnover in the cinema? (13)
PROJECTIONIST – Cryptic definition of the person who, among other duties, changes the reels of film in a cinema.
18a Thickset like a St Bernard rescue dog? (6-7)
BARREL-CHESTED – A reference to what a St Bernard rescue dog in the Alps traditionally carried.
20a Bear caught in Welsh river flood (6)
DELUGE – A Welsh (or Scottish) river, wrapped round another word for ‘bear’ or ‘carry’.
22a Terrible event, perhaps — in fact good, strangely (3,2,3)
ACT OF GOD – anagram (strangely) of FACT GOOD.
24a Taking a sample round, traffic it at Scene, feeling high (8)
ECSTATIC – Hidden in reverse (taking a sample round) in the clue.
25a Lizard King mural — neat, but odd bits missing (6)
IGUANA – Alternate letters (odd bits missing) of the second, third and fourth words of the clue.
26a Refuse to reduce volume (4,4)
TURN DOWN – Double definition, the first being to refuse an offer.
27a Standing figures with no energy (6)
STATUS – Remove the abbreviation for Energy from some carved figures.
1d Except when cloudy, going topless (6)
UNLESS – If it’s cloudy, there’s something which can’t be seen in the sky. Start with a word which describes that situation, then remove the first letter.
2d One’s not at all clear or sure — a pope should clarify (3-6)
PEA-SOUPER – Anagram (should clarify) of SURE A POPE.
Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ‘prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon and hanging in the misty clouds.
Dickens: Bleak House
3d Lord’s house briefly seen as nicest in the middle (6,2,7)
CHURCH OF ENGLAND – The middle letters of nicest are an abbreviation for this organisation, which could also be described as the Lord’s house.
5d Eye part of Dublin, maybe avoiding hotel (4)
IRIS – Remove the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet from a word that describes a native of Dublin.
6d Perhaps Plato’s classes shared opinions (6,2,7)
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT – This phrase for a set of people with similar opinions could also be a description of what Plato’s Academy taught.
7d Articulated beams put up (5)
RAISE – A homophone (articulated) of another word for ‘beams’.
8d Drama opening, bypassing a southern city (8)
PLYMOUTH – Put together another word for a drama in the theatre, and the opening you put food in, then remove the A (from the clue), to get a city in SW England.
11d Eastern sierra — wild scene for nature (7)
ESSENCE – Put together Eastern, the letter represented by Sierra in the NATO alphabet, and an anagram (wild) of SCENE.
14d Expand chest, prepared to limit time on run (7)
STRETCH – Anagram (prepared) of CHEST, wrapped round abbreviations for Time and Run.
16d Disgruntled six-footer follows quarry entering pub (9)
INDIGNANT – What you do in a quarry is inserted into another word for a pub, then an insect (six-footer) is added on the end.
17d Bottom in Eton, I prepared to be disciplined (8)
OBEDIENT – The bottom of a river or the sea is inserted into an anagram (prepared) of ETON I.
19d More than one standard is about trade (6)
IDEALS – IS (from the clue) wrapped round another word for ‘trade’ or ‘bargain’.
21d Runner-up? Nearer being a non-starter (5)
LOSER – Remove the initial letter (non-starter) from another word for ‘nearer’.
23d Compete with conviction (4)
VIEW – Another word for ‘compete’ or ‘struggle’ followed by an abbreviation for With.
The Quick Crossword pun DINER + MIGHT = DYNAMITE