Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29863
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where I’m doing this blog in the middle of the night due to a bout of insomnia, probably brought on by too much after dinner coffee! Anyway, may I send you all my best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Christmas.
As to the crossword it’s the usual Monday. Elegant clues, not too hard but a couple to cause the head scratching. I enjoyed it a lot and hope you did too.
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 Drink less wine the two resolved (3,4,7)
WET ONES WHISTLE: A phrase meaning to take a drink is an anagram (resolved) of LESS WINE THE TWO. Not heard this for years but my Grandad used to use it when asking if I would like a beer or two.
9a I intend returning article on a blood condition (7)
ANAEMIA: The I from the clue, a word meaning intend and then an indefinite article are reversed and then followed by (on) the A from the clue.
11a Small Italian model (3)
SIT: S(mall) followed by the abbreviation for the Italian stuff you might put in your gin.
12a Underling dished out brandies (11)
SUBORDINATE: Anagram (dished) of OUT BRANDIES. My underlings at work never dished out brandy!
14a Basil, for one, is in other balcony (6)
HERBAL: A lurker hidden in the last two words of the clue (is in). Here’s a bit of Basil . . .
15a Meeting about one acquiring Greek steamship (8)
CONGRESS: A single letter for about is followed by the ONE from the clue. Into that you have to insert an abbreviation of Greek and follow all that with the usual two letters for a steamship.
17a Spent day flying to ridge (3-5)
DOG TIRED: D(ay) followed by an anagram (flying) of TO RIDGE. Spent as in knackered.
19a Left one by a wealthy heiress (6)
PORTIA: The nautical word for left followed by the letter that looks like the number one and then the A from the clue.
23a Enjoy trick right away (3)
USE: A trick with its letter R removed (Right away)
26a Communion cup in church placed next to girl (7)
CHALICE: Start with an abbreviation of church and follow with a girl last seen in Wonderland.
27a Utterly despicable in past, trick prior to draw (6,8)
BEYOND CONTEMPT: A word meaning past or after is the first word of the answer. The second is a trick followed by a word for to draw or lure.
1d How much do I owe you from lost games that we had? (5,3,6)
WHATS THE DAMAGE: Anagram (lost) of GAMES THAT WE HAD.
2d Farm vehicle and buggy overturned on hill (7)
TRACTOR: You need to reverse (overturned in a down clue) a buggy or wagon and follow with a rocky hill.
3d Collector of bits and pieces? (11)
NUMISMATIST: This is a cryptic definition of someone who collects coins. Who’s old enough to remember the threepenny bit and the two shilling piece?
4d Embarrassed about a B&B being dingy (6)
SHABBY: Take a word for embarrassed or modest and put it around (about) the A from the clue and the two B’s also from the clue.
6d Son, notice, is unhappy (3)
SAD: S(on) followed by an abbreviation of advert (notice).
7d Tell untruths about honey drink and cordial (7)
LIMEADE: A word meaning to tell untruths is placed around (about) a honey based drink.
8d Below formal declaration, a comment, somewhat restrained? (14)
UNDERSTATEMENT: A word meaning below followed by a word for a formal declaration.
13d Fashionable well-respected centre is cheery (2,4,5)
IN GOOD HEART: The usual two letters for fashionable followed by a word for well-respected and then the centre of something.
16d Ruled around end of thirties, then abdicated (8)
RESIGNED: Ruled as a Queen might around an S (end of thirtieS). Reference to Edward VIII perhaps?
18d Chap eating prime piece of rump before cheese (7)
GRUYERE: A word for a chap around (eating) an R (prime bit of Rump) and then a poetic word for before. I had a bit of rump and some cheese last night so it’s quite apposite.
20d In French city, I originally maligned travel industry (7)
TOURISM: Take the I from the clue and an M (originally Maligned) and put them in a French city.
21d Mostly awkward, old cowboy (6)
GAUCHO: A word for awkward without its last letter (mostly) followed by O(ld) gives a South American cowboy.
25d The Parisian round house (3)
LEO: A French word for the followed by an O (round) gives a house of the zodiac.
Not sure about a favourite but 18d amused. 16d and 4d were pretty good too.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: HOARSE + CHOUX = HORSESHOE
Bottom line: POLLY + TITIAN = POLITICIAN