DT 29993 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29993

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29993

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 21st May 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Once again, a friendly and straightforward Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and significant feedback.

‘Nickel’ as the answer to the clue of 18a made me inquisitive about the actual content of the metal in the coin. From the net, I gathered that in the United States, the term ‘nick’ or ‘nickel originally applied to the copper-nickel ‘Flying Eagle cent’, which replaced copper with 12% nickel in 1858, then the ‘Indian Head cent’ of the same alloy from 1859 to 1864. Still later, in 1865, the term designated the ‘three-cent nickel’, with nickel increased to 25%. In 1866, the ‘five-cent shield nickel’ with 25% nickel and 75% copper appropriated the designation; its diameter being 21.21 mm and thickness 1.95 mm. The US nickel coin contains 0.04 ounces of nickel, which at the April 2007 price was worth 6.5 cents, along with 3.75 grams of copper worth about 3 cents, with a total metal value of more than 9 cents. Since the face value of a nickel is 5 cents, this made it an attractive target for melting by people wanting to sell the metals at a profit. However, the United States Mint, in anticipation of this practice, implemented new interim rules on December 14, 2006, subject to public comment for 30 days, which criminalised the melting and export of cents and nickels. Violators could be punished with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for a maximum of five years. As of September 19, 2013, the melt value of a US nickel (copper and nickel included) was $0.045, which was 90% of the face value.

I further gathered from the net that the word ‘globule’, the answer to the clue of 2d, first appeared in the English language during the 17thcentury. It particularly referred to a tiny round thing, a little globe or sphere. Its roots go back to the Latin globus, meaning round mass or ball. Nowadays, it’s perfectly okay to have a discussion on a globule of anything that’s dripping or forming a small, blobby mass, like the globules of oatmeal in the hair of an enthusiastic baby at breakfast.

India rubber, the answer to the clue of 8d, was first brought to the West by 18th century explorers of the Indies, who loaned the word ‘India’ to the gummy substance, which was eventually dubbed ‘rubber’ because of its ability to rub out pencil marks on paper. ‘Caoutchouc’ was the original name given to India rubber when not vulcanised. India rubber is also known by the names ‘natural rubber’ or ‘gum rubber’.

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1a    Rate at which storm arrives? (9,5)
LIGHTNING SPEED: A cryptic way of arriving at the definition of an idiom meaning extremely or incredibly quickly from the description of a SPEED (rate) or the speed at which something happens or changes in a particular period that is LIGHTNING (at which storm arrives) or fast and sudden as with flashes of light produced in sky during storm and caused by discharges of electricity or, precisely, LIGHTNING SPEED

9a    Prepare to fire at ducks or another bird (8)
COCKATOO: COCK (prepare to fire) as to raise the cock of a gun in order to make it ready for firing, AT from the clue and O and O (ducks) as a score of nought of each of two batsmen take to the definition of a large parrot with an erectile crest, found in Australia, eastern Indonesia and neighbouring islands

10a    Right across island, rest until late? (3,2)
LIE IN: LIEN (right) as a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged being around (across) I (island) as the abbreviation for island, fetching the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to remain in bed after the normal time for getting up

12a    Water? A quart? Not right! (4)
AQUA: A QUA[RT] having not (not) RT (right) as the abbreviation for right as in Rt Rev or Right Reverend, taking to the definition of the Latin word for water, especially in pharmaceutical and commercial use

13a    Thirsty, swallow single drink (3,7)
DRY MARTINI: A charade of DRY (thirsty) as thirsty or thirst-making, MARTIN (swallow) as a swift-flying insectivorous songbird of the swallow family, typically having a short forked tail and I (single) as the Roman numeral for one takes to the definition of a cocktail of between four and ten parts gin to one part dry vermouth

15a    Continue to look after a bird (4,2,2)
KEEP AT IT: KEEP (to look after) as to guard, protect or take care of, A from the clue and TIT (bird) as a small songbird that searches acrobatically for insects among foliage and branches lead to the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to persist with something

16a    One walker or another failing to start (6)
AMBLER: The definition of a person who walks at a leisurely pace is arrived at from [R]AMBLER (another) hinting at another walker or the one who walks in the countryside for recreation or pleasure and devoid of its starting letter (failing to start)

18a    Steal and occasionally deal in coin (6)
NICKEL: NICK (steal) as an informal verb meaning to steal something and the occasional or alternate letters (occasionally) of dEaL take to the definition of a five-cent coin in the United States and Canada

20a    Grab Nick, staggering to get nipper (4,4)
KING CRAB: An anagram (staggering) of GRAB NICK guides to the definition of an edible crab that resembles a spider crab and belongs to a superfamily of decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold northern Pacific waters especially along the coasts of Alaska and Japan

23a    Encourage rascal to get rid of posh Republican flag (5,5)
JOLLY ROGER: JOLLY (encourage) as an informal verb meaning to encourage someone in a friendly way, ROG[U]E (rascal) as a person whose behaviour one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likeable or attractive that has to abandon (get rid of) U (posh) as a colloquial adjective meaning as used by or found among the upper social classes and R (Republican) as an abbreviation for Republican as in the States, taking to the definition of a pirate’s flag with a white skull and crossbones on a black background

24a    Feature of, perhaps, each church (4)
APSE: The definition of a large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof and typically at the eastern end of a church, serving as one of its features is hidden inside as part (feature) of perhAPS Each

26a    Uncovered gravlax stirred to provide grub (5)
LARVA: An anagram (stirred) of [G]RAVLA[X] is exposed (uncovered) by having its outermost letters removed, taking to the definition of the active immature form of an insect, especially one that differs greatly from the adult and takes up the stage between egg and pupa

27a    Ascertain amount of cooked veal before you, we hear, prepared tea (8)
EVALUATE: An anagram (cooked) of VEAL is placed in front of (before) U (you) as ‘you’ heard as a homophone by the audience (we hear) and followed by another anagram (prepared) of TEA, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to determine or estimate the amount or value of something

28a    What to do with glove in cold weather to retain skill (4,4,4,2)
KEEP ONE’S HAND IN: The phrasal definition meaning to maintain a level of skill or ability in something by practising or engaging in that activity is arrived at from the obvious answer to part of the clue asking as to what one should do with glove in cold water


2d    Drop round (7)
GLOBULE: Double definition; the first being a small spherical mass, especially a drop or blob of a thick liquid, such as blood, lymph and pus corpuscle, minute fungus, spore etc and the second also a noun referring to a little globe or round particle

3d    Grotty kennel housing dog (4)
TYKE: Part of or hidden inside (housing) grotTY KEnnel guides to the definition of a cur or mongrel, chiefly in Scotland and Northern England

4d    Get together during ninth period? (8)
INTERMIX: The definition of a verb meaning to intermingle or to mix or get together comes from treating the entire clue as a wordplay whereby to be together or come closer without leaving any space between the words (get together) happens with the phrase IN TERM IX (during ninth period) as another way of telling in or during period nine or ninth period

5d    Dark blue (6)
GLOOMY: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning of a place dark or poorly lit, especially so as to appear depressing or frightening that leads to the second also an adjective meaning of a person low in spirits, melancholy, sad or depressed

6d    Journey‘s formidable, stopping heartless plunder (10)
PILGRIMAGE: GRIM (formidable) as harshly uninviting or formidable in manner or appearance interrupting or barging in (stopping) PIL[L]AGE (plunder) as the action of stealing a place or property, especially in war that is devoid of its heart or the innermost letter (heartless), arriving at the definition of a journey of a pilgrim or pilgrims, especially to a shrine or a sacred place as an act of religious devotion

7d    Prophet finding canal after second half of freeze (7)
EZEKIEL: KIEL (canal) as a freshwater canal in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein that connects the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau placed after or following the latter part (second half) of [FRE]EZE, guiding to the definition of a Hebrew prophet acknowledged in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

8d    A certain solver will not use it (5,6)
INDIA RUBBER: The definition of a piece of an elastic gummy substance, especially one used for rubbing out pencil marks is arrived at from the clue not by overtly stating that a certain solver of this puzzle will not use it, but by covertly hinting at the solver to be the one who has made no mistake while filling the grid

11d    Pair well-directed in rhyme (4,3,4)
JACK AND JILL: A cryptic way of arriving at the title of the celebrated nursery rhyme that speaks of a boy and girl being directed to a well at the top of a hill in order to fetch a pail of water

14d    Light bothered playmates, including female (6,4)
SAFETY LAMP: An anagram (bothered) of PLAYMATES having inside (including) F (female) as the abbreviation for female lead to the definition of a miner’s portable lamp with a flame protected, typically by wire gauze, to reduce the risk of explosion from ignited methane

17d    Team’s method included to left or right (8)
SIDEWAYS: SIDE’S (teams) as of or belonging to a sports team having WAY (method) as a manner or style of doing something placed inside (included) to arrive at the definition meaning in a direction to the left or right, not forward or backward

19d    Unit of heat, one of many counted by weight-watcher (7)
CALORIE: The definition of a unit of energy or heat that comes from, inter alia, all types of food is cryptically arrived at from one of the many such units that is counted with concern by a weight-watcher or a person, typically a female, who attempts to reduce weight by careful dieting, especially one who attends meetings of an association of people similarly engaged

21d    Supposed to have place in plant (7)
REPUTED: PUT (place) as to move to or place in a particular position is placed inside (in) REED (plant) as a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family, which grows in water or on marshy ground, taking to the definition of a prenominal adjective meaning generally reckoned, considered, supposed or alleged

22d    Direct control (6)
GOVERN: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to regulate, direct or to exercise a directing influence over and the second also a verb meaning to hold in check or restrain or to influence the actions and conduct of

25d    Beast turned up with mother (4)
PUMA: UP set upside down (turned) as a reversal in the down clue followed by MA (mother) as a childish contraction for mamma or mother take to the definition of the cougar or a large reddish-brown American wild cat, also called mountain lion

There were many clues that I liked in this pangrammatic puzzle such as 1a, 4a, 9a,13a, 15a, 23a, 28a, 4d, 6d, 11d and 17d; 4d being the top of the lot. Thanks to Cephas for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would be delighted to be here again. Have a pleasant day.


4 comments on “DT 29993
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    1. Thank you so much, katy, for terming my review high class as usual. I am sure my future reviews will continue to merit your kind perusal.

    1. Thank you so much, Arthur Sharp, for finding my review an excellent piece and hope that you will continue to read my write-ups in the time ahead.

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