Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29928
Hints and tips by pommers
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where winter has finally arrived!!!! After a really benign January and February it’s become March and gone cold. Also we’ve had fairly consistent drizzle since Friday evening and it’s forecast to go on until Tuesday lunchtime. At least it’s not like the storms the UK has had. Normal service is promised for Wednesday but I will believe it when I see it.
This crossword was a bit tricky for me. Maybe it’s because I’m doing it at night after a wine or three but there seemed to be a bit of a stretch in some clues. Still, the same elegance in the surfaces as we’ve come to expect on a Monday and nothing to cause total brain fade.
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.
5a In with a group in possession of Ecstasy (7)
WEARING: This is in as you might be in your trousers or any other bit of clothing. It’s W(ith) followed by the A from the clue and then another word for a group or cartel. But into that lot you need to insert (in possession of) an E(cstacy). Nicely concealed definition here. It rather set the tone for the rest of this puzzle..
9a Blackbeard for example, power mad (6)
PIRATE: P(ower) followed by another word for mad or very annoyed.
10a Uninformed, go in unwisely before storm (8)
IGNORANT: Anagram (unwisely) of GO IN followed by a storm as in a tirade.
11a Scary ride travelling straight on (5,5)
GHOST TRAIN: Anagram (travelling) of STRAIGHT ON.
13a Wild West dish? (4)
STEW: Anagram (wild) of WEST. We’re having a chicken one of these for dinner tonight.
14a Order wine with enthusiasm for soulmate (7,6)
KINDRED SPIRIT: A word for order as in genus followed by a colour of wine and then a word for enthusiasm or elan.
16a Genuine old Spanish coin (4)
REAL: Double definition. It might be an old Spanish coin but it was also a Portugese one and is now the currency of Brazil.
17a Scan skip, riveted (10)
SPELLBOUND: Someone will have to tell me why scan equates to the first part of this answer ‘cos I can’t see it. The second part is a skip as in a jump.
19a Bishops perhaps curse dinner jackets and bow ties, say (8)
MENSWEAR: Bishops are chess pieces and they are also termed as what? After that word you need another word for curse or blaspheme.
20a Note about thin rope (6)
RECORD: Two letters for about followed by a thin bit of rope or string. Here’s one of my favourite records of the sixties . . .
22a Warm temperature kiln required (5)
TOAST: T(emperature) followed by a kiln used to dry hops.
23a What a monk may have on, certainly after end of Lent (7)
TONSURE: This is a monk’s haircut. It’s the ON from the clue followed by a word meaning certainly placed after a T (end of lenT).
1d Long story of French novelist, unfinished (4)
SAGA: A French novelist without her last letter (unfinished).
2d Dreadful player scratching a manager (8)
DIRECTOR: You need a word for dreadful followed by a player on stage and the remove the A (scratching a).
4d Showman from Paris? Rome, I suspect (10)
IMPRESARIO: Anagram (suspect) of PARIS ROME I. I always thought there was a double S in this word. One lives and learns.
5d Consider method announced (5)
WEIGH: A word meaning to consider sounds like (announced) a word meaning a method.
6d Keep a stiff upper lip in Britain with danger being involved! (4,3,4,2)
GRIN AND BEAR IT: Anagram (being involved) of BRITAIN with DANGER. This could also be viewed as an all in one and is a very elegant clue. Has to be the clue of the year so far.
8d Flog squire for touching (7)
TANGENT: Flog as in beat followed by a squire or toff give you a line which touches a circle.
12d Pick-up joint? A blessing in disguise close to pier (7,3)
SINGLES BAR: Anagram (in disguise) of A BLESSING followed by R (close to pieR).
14d Most devoted in what sounds like important home (7)
KEENEST: This sounds like the most important bird’s home. The swallows have returned here and are rebuilding their homes.
15d Exert one’s authority in row after row (4,4)
PULL RANK: It’s a word for a row as in a boat followed by a word for a row of soldiers (row after row).
17d Film bloodhound (6)
SLEUTH: Double definition. Bloodhound as in detective. I’m not familiar with this film but it seems it features Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine so it’s probably worth a watch.
18d Square up holding bottom of beer bottle (5)
NERVE: Square as in quits reversed (up in a down clue) around (holding) an R (bottom of beeR).
21d Cheeky youngster pinching pounds in disco? (4)
CLUB: A cheeky youngster placed around (pinching) the symbol for pounds sterling.
Just the three blues again with 6d on the top step. I will try to find a way to get to see the film in 17d as it has a couple of my all time favourite actors, it might be in our internet TV box.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: YEW + KNIGHTED = UNITED
Bottom line: BRIGHTEN + ROC = BRIGHTON ROCK