Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29872
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from South Staffs on the last day of 2021. Some Scots colleagues I worked with were always insistent that one should not wish anyone a Happy New Year until the clock had struck midnight, so I’ll save my greeting until next week.
1a took me longest to solve in today’s crossword, taking me into a typical Friday solving 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 Elf’s conceivably sober (4-11)
SELF-DISCIPLINED – We start with a reverse anagram. The first word of the answer is the anagram fodder, the second is the indicator, and ELF’S in the clue is what you could get from following through.
9a Commission supporting church services working group (4,5)
TASK FORCE – Split the answer (4,3,2) and you have a commission or chore, a word for ‘supporting’ or ‘in favour’, and the initials of the Church of England.
10a Nothing the same — it must be spring (5)
OASIS – The letter which looks like zero or ‘nothing’, followed by a phrase (2,2) which means ‘the same’ or ‘unchanged’.
11a Wreck of canoe found in this? (5)
OCEAN – Anagram (wreck) of CANOE, giving us the place where we might find such a wreck.
12a One’s distinctly square and ready to snap (3,6)
BOX CAMERA – Cryptic definition of a simple photographic device.
13a You’re welcome … never! (3,2,3)
NOT AT ALL – Double definition, the first metaphorical, the second literal.
14a Exec on newspaper in flux, heading to the left or to the right (6)
EDITOR – A flux or flow of water is reversed (heading to the left) and followed by OR (from the clue) the right way round (heading to the right).
16a Delicacy of candelabra I vacuumed round (6)
CAVIAR – Hidden in reverse in the clue.
18a Resort had ample illumination (8)
HEADLAMP – Anagram (re-sort) of HAD AMPLE.
22a Conductor making return went by bus? (9)
ELECTRODE – This conductor conducts electricity. A word for ‘return (to office)’ is followed by ‘went by bus’.
23a Essential oil container, perhaps holding essence of mustard (5)
VITAL – The middle letter (essence) of musTard is inserted into a small container which may hold oil.
24a Thorn witch cut occasionally as stimulant (5)
TONIC – Alternate letters (cut occasionally) of the first two words of the clue.
25a Unqualified batsman’s fate in both innings? (3-3-3)
OUT-AND-OUT – If a batsman has been dismissed in both innings of a Test match, he could be described as this.
26a Red Cross? (6,3,6)
HAMMER AND SICKLE – Cryptic definition of the crossed implements found on the Soviet flag.
1d Group with sad record (3,4)
SET DOWN – A group or collection followed by another word for ‘sad’.
2d Sleuth’s confused, being most dense (7)
LUSHEST – anagram (confused) of SLEUTH’S.
3d The sure thing? (8,7)
DEFINITE ARTICLE – Another word for ‘sure’ or ‘fixed’, followed by another word for ‘thing’ or ‘object.
4d Suspect BBC’s real game (8)
SCRABBLE – Anagram (suspect) of BBC’S REAL.
5d One gets stuck in, reaching a peak (3,3)
ICE AXE – Cryptic definition of a piece of mountaineering equipment.
6d Artist making idol in advance or newly modelled? (8,2,5)
LEONARDO DA VINCI – Anagram (newly modelled) of IDOL IN ADVANCE OR.
7d Young knight with a bouquet (7)
NASCENT – Put together the chess notation for a knight, A (from the clue), and another word for ‘bouquet’ (not one of flowers).
8d Melancholy broadcast praised (7)
DESPAIR – Anagram (broadcast) of PRAISED.
15d Abandoned action to limit very French uprising (8)
DESERTED – Reverse (uprising, in a Down clue) the French word for ‘very’, then wrap another word for an action or exploit around the result.
16d Cook’s endless hostility over one’s fast (7)
CHEETAH – The chief cook in a restaurant, minus the last letter (endless), followed by the reversal (over) of a word for ‘hostility’, giving us a rapid animal.
17d Country doctor that’s injected one guy from the south (7)
VIETNAM – The Roman numeral for one is inserted into a type of doctor, followed by the reverse (from the south) of a word for a ‘guy’.
19d Aboard boat, couple run to see landscape? (7)
ARTWORK – Put together another word for a couple and the cricket abbreviation for Run, then insert the result into the sort of boat that Noah built, to get something which may be a landscape.
20d Don’t cover up a letter that was held by 6 Down? (7)
PALETTE – Hidden in the clue is something that the answer to 6d may have used.
21d Somewhere in South America, got eaten by snake (6)
BOGOTA – GOT (from the clue) with a type of snake wrapped round it.
The Quick Crossword pun KNOW + BELLE + PRIES = NOBEL PRIZE