Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29866
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Good morning from a wet but mild South Devon. Firstly, it’s my final blog before Christmas so I’d like to take this opportunity to send season’s greetings to all who contribute to this site, I hope each and every one of you has a lot of fun.
As for the puzzle I found our esteemed setter in mostly benevolent mood but one or two did need teasing out. For me though a superb puzzle, with a cringe worthy Quickie Pun to top it off.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
7a One rants madly, booming (8)
RESONANT: Anagram (madly) of the preceding two words
9a Gold pieces forming circles (6)
ORBITS: The heraldic symbol of gold and some (small) pieces
10a Before end of game, bolt naked (4)
BARE: The bolt here is a noun and it’s followed (before end of) by the final letter of the word game.
11a Do go on about Queen favourite (10)
PERPETRATE: A verb meaning to talk at length (go on) is placed around (about) our usual two letter Queen and a cute synonym of favourite.
12a Almost finish in Sin City (6)
VENICE: A synonym of finish without its last letter (almost) goes inside a sin. The capitalisation is there to mislead you.
14a Praise a piano break including Liszt’s first (8)
APPLAUSE: Start with A from the clue, add the abbreviation for Piano and a short break into which is inserted the first letter of Liszt.
15a Person recounting at the bank? (6)
TELLER: A cryptic definition of a bank employee, the recounting being narrating or describing perhaps.
17a Drain’s ideally trapping contents (6)
INSIDE: Hidden in the clue (trapping)
20a External protection for animals’ young? (8)
MARSUPIA: Another (mildly) cryptic definition of the devices animals such as kangaroos have to protect their young.
22a Pine perhaps missing one award (6)
CONFER: The pine here is not verb but a tree. Remove the letter that looks like the number one to give a synonym of award as a verb.
23a Brutality of pose with prison shot (10)
OPPRESSION: Anagram (shot) of POSE and PRISON.
24a For section ofChurch sin doesn’t begin (4)
APSE: A sin or temporary fall from grace without its first letter (doesn’t begin)
25a Last coffee before mid-afternoon (6)
LATTER: A milky (some would say insipid) coffee goes before the middle letter of afteRnoon.
26a Fantastic plane, the jumbo! (8)
ELEPHANT: Anagram (fantastic) of the following two letters
1d Degenerate is modest about these days? (8)
DECADENT: An adjective meaning modest or fair goes around (about) a two letter Latin abbreviation which could mean these days.
2d Advance care of yours truly (4)
COME: An abbreviated form of “care of” followed by a first person pronoun (yours truly)
3d Front of Sun with busty model (6)
SAMPLE: S (front of Sun) followed by a synonym of busty or plenty.
4d Posh menu unusually plain (8)
HOMESPUN: Anagram (unusually) of the preceding two words, gives a lovely word meaning plain or unsophisticated.
5d Obtain rare elements finding anomaly (10)
ABERRATION: An anagram (finding in the elements of) of OBTAIN and RARE
6d Start to seriously rubbish American prestige (6)
STATUS:. The first letter (start to) of Seriously followed by some rubbish and a two-letter abbreviation of United States
8d Two seafarers producing battle-axe (6)
TARTAR: An old-fashioned nickname for a member of the Royal or Merchant Navy is repeated (two) to give a grumpy female. I’d never come across the solution in this context.
13d Mad about opening of live sensuality show (10)
ILLUSTRATE: An adjective meaning mad or annoyed goes around (about) the first letter (opening) of Live and a synonym of sensuality.
16d Former partner virtuous accepting huge revelation (8)
EXPOSURE: The usual two letter former partner is followed by a synonym of virtuous or untainted into which an abbreviation for huge is inserted.
18d Service all the same with vacuous nag (8)
EVENSONG: Start with a two word phrase meaning still, or all the same and append the outside (vacuous or empty) letters of NaG.
19d Practically insane sweetheart making pass (6)
RAVINE: Remove the final letter (practically) of a word meaning mad or crazy and add this setter’s usual swEetheart. A laugh out loud moment for me.
21d Take part of a spy, reportedly (6)
APPEAR: A from the clue and a homophone of spy as a verb.
22d Prominent criminal is over trouble (6)
CONVEX: The usual three letter convict is followed by a verb meaning to trouble or annoy.
24d Pain from ailment could hurt, even initially (4)
ACHE: A nice easy first letters (initially) clue to finish with.
In a very strong field my top spot goes to 13d.
A big thanks to MrT for all his puzzles and very best wishes to Kath.
The Quick Pun: Know + Wide + Ear = No idea.