Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30004
Hints and tips by Stephen L
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Good morning everyone from a sunny South Devon.
My turn to stand in for Deep Threat today. I was feeling a little hungover after the jubilee celebrations 🇬🇧 but a sea swim has cleared it and the setter (Zandio?) has given us a very fine puzzle, no obscurities just clever wordplay, I enjoyed it a lot.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Gay marriage maybe for bureaucrats (5,7)
CIVIL SERVICE: Double definition, the bureaucrats being employees of the crown.
9a Too organised for failure (4-3)
ALSO RAN: We need synonyms of both too and organised or managed to give this loser. So many illustrations I could use here!
10a Fearless in duty, keeping revolutionary secure (7)
VALIANT: Insert a reversal of a synonym of secure as a verb into an abbreviation of a ubiquitous duty or tax.
11a Book about swine running over couple (7)
TWOSOME: A large book is placed around (about) a reversal (running over) of a swine in the animal sense
12a Barker‘s role in a psychodrama partly cut back (7)
SPANIEL; Hidden and reversed (partly cut back) in the clue
13a Oxygen a half-cut relative needed in watering-hole (5)
OASIS: The chemical symbol of Oxygen, A from the clue and fifty percent of a relative. Incidentally the solution is also the name of a pop group involving two dysfunctional relatives of a different gender. I’ll spare you a clip
14a Bitter client spilled — guys mopped up (9)
INCLEMENT: Anagram (spilled) of CLIENT placed around (mopped up) some guys
16a Having the vision to make pointed observations? (5-4)
SHARP EYED: Cryptic definition, think what something pointed is.
19a Hound, quite old for a dog — antique! (5)
CURIO: A 3-letter synonym of a hound or mongrel and two letters that look like a number which is quite old in dog years
21a Demanded to get fifty rather than 100 grand (7)
EXALTED: Replace the Roman numeral for 100 with that for 50 in a synonym of demanded.
23a Round one, Walker flexing, ready for a dust-up (7)
WARLIKE: Anagram (flexing)WALKER placed around the letter that represents one
24a Writes colourfully of some light-entertaining rip-offs (7)
CRAYONS: Colourfully here is in the literal rather than metaphorical sense. A beam of light is inserted into an informal word for some rip offs.
25a No fur seal should be disturbed (7)
REFUSAL: Anagram (should be disturbed) of the preceding two words
26a Miss speaking French? (12)
MADEMOISELLE: Miss here is not as the setter would like you to think a verb, but a title, a French one.
1d Drug users may get trapped by these habits (7)
CUSTOMS: Double definition both nouns, one concrete, one abstract
2d Many needing saviour’s conversion (7)
VARIOUS: Anagram (conversion) of SAVIOUR
3d Fun to carry on with golf in old age (9)
LONGEVITY: The clue is telling us to place a (lovely) synonym of fun around (to carry) ON from the clue and the abbreviation for Golf
4d Magical folk singer taking in Spain instead of Italy (5)
ELVES: Take a singer, a very famous one, and replace the IVR code for Italy that lies within his name with that of Spain
5d Hamlet exhibits delay in rotten setting (7)
VILLAGE: Insert a (time) delay into a synonym of rotten or nasty
6d Something infiltrating democracy, an ideology that’s poisonous (7)
CYANIDE: Hidden (something infiltrating) in the clue
7d Start, lecture, end — are they nouns or verbs? (5,2,6)
PARTS OF SPEECH: Difficult to hint without giving it away. The first three words of the clue could be three stages of something of which verbs and nouns (or adjectives and adverbs etc for that matter) are
8d Steps with hot steel moulded into these? (8,5)
STILETTO HEELS: Insert an anagram (moulded) of HOT and STEEL into some steps you may see in a field
15d Agents’ keys to private entries? (9)
CODEWORDS: An agent perhaps would need these to gain access to or identify something that is classified or secret
17d State four areas in which large black mass must be broken up (7)
ALABAMA: Four Abbreviations for Area have inserted abbreviations for Large, Black and Mass alternately
18d Drug den creating depression in the street (7)
POTHOLE: An informal word for a drug that’s smoked (I think!) plus another for a den gives us the bane of road users everywhere
19d Guarded vehicle with spilt fuel (7)
CAREFUL: A vehicle plus an anagram (spilt) of FUEL
20d United entering series, surprisingly put out again (7)
REISSUE: Insert the abbreviation for United into an anagram (surprisingly) of SERIES.
22d One’s loved by dancers, admits actor — nothing odd about that (5)
DISCO: The even (nothing odd about it) letters of aDmItS aCtOr
Quickie Pun Crow + Asian + Whine = Croatian Wine
Great stuff setter, I think my winners are 19a plus 1, 3 & 4d.