Daily Telegraph Cryptic 29940
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the chilly and wet weather is continuing. We have a forecast of light rain for the whole week which will please a lot of people as there is an official drought in Spain due to the unusually dry winter we’ve had. Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week.
I thought today’s crossie was up to the usual standard we’ve come to expect on a Monday but was at the rather easy end of the spectrum. I got ten of the acrosses and all but two of the downs on first pass so * seems about right for the difficulty level. There are six full anagrams and two other clues that involve an anagram so there’s plenty of ways into the puzzle. I don’t think many of you will need any hints today.
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 Slightly scary counterpart back in Cyprus (6)
CREEPY: Your counterpart or equal is reversed (back) and inserted into (in) the IVR code for Cyprus.
4a Choose randomly from all the players, a great many (4,4)
CAST LOTS: The first word means all the players in a play and the second word means a great many.
9a Expedition party turned back making stand (6)
TRIPOD: Another word for an expedition or voyage followed by the usual party but it’s reversed (turned back). I think we’ve had this picture before. Anyone else remember the TV series?
10a Nice at Naples, at sea (8)
PLEASANT: Anagram (at sea) of AT NAPLES.
11a Has rector upset band? (9)
ORCHESTRA: Anagram (upset) of HAS RECTOR.
13a Bishop not participating in very tight game (5)
LOTTO: Start with another word for very tight, as in bladdered or drunk as a skunk, and remove (not participating) the B(ishop).
14a Government employee cut verbal spin when broadcast (6,7)
PUBLIC SERVANT: Anagram (when broadcast) of CUT VERBAL SPIN.
17a Slide headlong (6-7)
HELTER SKELTER: Double definition. The slide is one found in a fairground.
21a Small baked items for operatives (5)
SPIES: S(mall) followed by some baked items of food.
23a Unprepared, I’m put out about concert (9)
IMPROMPTU: The IM from the clue and an anagram (out) of PUT placed around (about) a concert.
24a Hold on tightly crossing short incline that’s frightening (8)
CHILLING: A word meaning to hold on tightly placed around (crossing) an incline or rise without its last letter (short).
25a American referendum over space programme (6)
APOLLO: A(merican) followed by a word for a referendum or vote and then an O(ver). I usually have trouble remembering whether it’s two Ps or two Ls in this word. Here, fortunately, the wordplay answers that question.
26a French daily taking in a fizzy drink (8)
LEMONADE: Start with the title of a French daily newspaper and insert (taking in) the A from the clue.
27a Happy days for model? (6)
PROSIT: Three letters meaning for or in favour of and the a word for to model or pose for an artist.
1d Champion golfer’s yarn (6)
COTTON: A three time winner of the Open Golf in the nineteen thirties and forties is also a thread. I’m sure he was a very nice chap but isn’t he a tad obscure nowadays?
2d Special changes encompassing work of bishops (9)
EPISCOPAL: Anagram (changes) of SPECIAL placed around (encompassing) the usual two letters for work.
3d Saw senior scout in lead (7)
PROVERB: A senior scout is inserted into (in) the chemical symbol for lead.
5d Can we please fans winning everything? (1,5,5)
A CLEAN SWEEP: Anagram (fans) of CAN WE PLEASE.
7d Style of painting round Split? (2,3)
OP ART: Take the round letter and a word for to split or separate and split (2,3).
8d Leave with group on Scottish river (3,5)
SET FORTH: A word for a group of people followed by the river that flows past Edinburgh.
12d Consider taking in second pub with editor quick to take offence (4-7)
THIN SKINNED: Start with a word meaning to consider and insert (taking in) an S(econd). After that you need another word for a pub and then the usual editor.
15d A storage tower erected to store produce in citadel (9)
ACROPOLIS: Take the A from the clue and a reversal (erected in a down clue) of a storage tower for grain and insert (to store) a word for the grain or produce that is harvested.
16d Medical material (8)
PHYSICAL: Double definition. Material as in corporeal.
18d Slip one prepared for Greek character (7)
EPSILON: Anagram (prepared) of SLIP ONE.
19d Information sent over about old soldier (7)
TROOPER: Some information or a document containing information is reversed (sent over) and is placed around (about) an O(ld). Yes, I know the spelling isn’t the same but any excuse . . .
20d Found shelter (6)
DUGOUT: Double definition. The shelter might be for the soldier in the previous clue!
22d Turn of phrase in papers I’m carrying round (5)
IDIOM: Two letters for your identity papers and the IM from the clue are placed around (carrying) the round letter.
My top three on the podium today are 1a, 15d and 20d with 15d on the top step.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: GREENE + GAUGE = GREENGAGE
Bottom line: TRICE + SICKLE = TRICYCLE
The grid looks to have lots of potential for a third pun but if it’s there I can’t see it.