Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29868
Hints and tips by pommers
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather forecast is for a temperature of 24°C this afternoon! If it happens it would be some sort of record for Christmas week. Hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and here’s hoping that 2022 turns out to be an improvement on 2021 – a Happy New Year to you all.
As for the crossword I’ll just repeat what I wrote last week – elegant clues, not too hard but a couple to cause some 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.
7a Love to tell improbable lies (7)
ROMANCE: Double definition. As a noun this word is a love affair and as a verb it means to tell improbable lies. Hands up those who thought there might be an anagram (improbable) of LIES involved.
10a Remove second slip (5)
STRIP: S(econd) followed by a word for a slip or fall.
11a See 14 Down (9)
12a Fungal problem — mate is scheduled for treatment (5,3,7)
DUTCH ELM DISEASE: Anagram (for treatment) of MATE IS SCHEDULED.
13a Article condemned poetry reading (7)
RECITAL: Anagram (condemned) of ARTICLE.
16a Put right about ceremonial clothing (7)
REDRESS: Two letters for about followed by some clothing. Not sure what the word ceremonial brings to this clue. It would work perfectly well without it.
19a Written down at home by opponents playing chess? (2,5,3,5)
IN BLACK AND WHITE: The usual two letters for “at home” followed by the opponents in a game of chess.
23a Agent recalled bygone artiste (9)
PERFORMER: An agent or salesman is reversed (recalled) and followed by a word meaning bygone or ex-.
24a Idea that initially works (5)
PLANT: This is works as in a factory. It’s an idea or scheme followed by a T (That initially).
25a Race official saw red, mad about leader in Toyota (7)
STEWARD: Anagram (mad) of SAW RED placed around (about) a T (leader in Toyota).
26a A dabbler, friend invested in gold and silver, ultimately (7)
AMATEUR: Start with the chemical symbol for gold and insert (invested in) a word for a friend. Follow that with an R (silveR ultimately).
2d Crack marksman still? (8)
SNAPSHOT: A word for to crack or break followed by a marksman gives a still photograph.
4d Disagrees with V-sign being used? (6)
VARIES: Take the V from the clue and follow with a sign of the Zodiac.
5d Overwhelm one sister on court (8)
INUNDATE: The letter that looks like one followed by a sister and then a word for to court or woo.
8d What movement of timer could be worth (5)
MERIT: Anagram (what movement of . . . could be) of TIMER
9d Loud noise made by half of them below (7)
THUNDER: TH (half of THem) followed by a word meaning below.
14d & 11 Across A red wine in tavern and cousin began raving (8)
CABERNET SAUVIGNON: Anagram (raving) of TAVERN COUSIN BEGAN.
15d With great enthusiasm, similar to mother and daughter (4,3)
LIKE MAD: A word meaning similar to followed by the usual two letter mother and a D(aughter).
17d Make little of sad theatrical production (8)
DOWNPLAY: A word meaning sad or low followed by a theatrical production.
19d Charge made by international male model (6)
IMPOSE: I(nternational) followed by M(ale) and the a word for to model or sit for an artist.
20d Artist wearing an acceptable type of jacket (6)
ANORAK: The usual artist is inserted into (wearing) the AN from the clue and two letter for acceptable or not bad.
21d Typical Bellini opera student (6)
NORMAL: The title of a Bellini opera followed by an L for student.
22d Marauder blowing top, up in arms (5)
IRATE: A type of marauder found at sea without his first letter (blowing top)
There’s plenty of good stuff to choose from but my favourite is 7a with 10a and 2d on the podium.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: SIGHED + RHODES = SIDE ROADS
Bottom line: FOUGHT + KNOCKS = FORT KNOX