Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30018
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment *****
Hola from the Vega Baja where the heatwave may be coming to an end at last! Forecast is for only (only!) 33°C today and similar for the rest of the week. That’s still hotter than usual for mid-June but a relief after the last week or so of crazy temperatures. Suffice it to say that I was in Granada last week and the temperature was 42°C for three days running. That’s unheard of in mid-June and even unusual for late July or early August!
Anyway, on to the puzzle. It is what, for me, has become a classic Monday. It’s elegantly clued and not too hard but with a couple of tricky ones in the mix to keep us all on our toes. It was a great welcome back to crosswordland after ten days away on hols. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
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 List by counter where shoes may be repaired (7)
HEELBAR: A word for list, as a boat may list, followed by a counter, in the pub perhaps. I always thought this was two words, d’oh!
7a Search round area in resort (5)
HAUNT: A word meaning to search placed around (round) an A(rea). Spent too long thinking this was a seaside resort!
9a Really popular female performance (2,4)
IN FACT: The usual word for popular followed by an F(emale) and then a performance.
10a Gossip involving old maiden? It’s not important (2,6)
NO MATTER: Put another word meaning to gossip around (involving) an O(ld) and an M(aiden) and split the result (2,6).
11a Book country hostelry (7,3)
JAMAICA INN: A country in the West Indies followed by a hostelry will give you the country hostelry located in the middle of Cornwall which is the setting and title of a famous book by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve had a few pints here over the years when my mum lived in Cornwall.
13a Lose one’s temper in card game (4)
SNAP: Double definition.
16a Staple food that may give South American energy (4)
SAGO: Abbreviation of South American followed by a word for energy or vitality. Not sure this stuff classes as food, staple or otherwise, yuk!
17a University head‘s in luck getting tube back (10)
CHANCELLOR: A word for luck followed by a reversal (back) of a tube.
19a Heats pan prepared for game bird (8)
PHEASANT: Anagram (prepared) of HEATS PAN.
20a About to melt scrap (6)
REFUSE: The usual two letters for about followed by a word meaning to melt.
23a Remove further carat (7)
EXTRACT: A word meaning further or more followed by the abbreviation of carat.
2d Electrifying cables to fence? (8)
OBSTACLE: Anagram (electrifying) of CABLES TO. Took a while for the penny to drop that electrifying might be an anagram indicator.
3d Put on article for quack (6)
SHAMAN: A word meaning put on or fake followed by an indefinite article.
4d Lucky it being nothing more than a grand (4,2,4)
JUST AS WELL: If you split this answer (4,1,5) you’ll get a phrase meaning only one grand.
5d Dye head of horse princess raised (5)
HENNA: H (head of Horse) followed by a reversal (raised in a down clue) of the princess who is the Queen’s only daughter will give you the sort of dye used for making temporary tattoos.
6d Ongoing conflict between managers? (7,6)
RUNNING BATTLE: Cryptic definition of an ongoing fight between people who manage.
8d Male in working party gets treatment (7)
THERAPY: HE (male) inserted into (in) an anagram (working) of PARTY. So the male wasn’t an M after all, d’oh!
12d Old English instrument to feature in a long jazzy number coming up (5-5)
ANGLO SAXON: Start with an anagram (jazzy) of A LONG followed by a reversal (coming up in a down clue) of the abbreviation of number. Then insert (to feature in) a jazz instrument, or at least the common name for one. Split that lot (5,5) to get another name for the language Old English.
14d A swine behind the wheel? (4,3)
ROAD HOG: Cryptic definition of an inconsiderate driver.
15d Fabric from Chantilly? Price cut (8)
LACERATE: A fabric made in Chantilly followed by a word for a price.
18d Start working with group (5)
ON SET: A word for working, as in not switched off, and a word for a group.
21d Message about large plant (4)
FLAX: An old type of message around (about) an L(arge). Do people still use this method of communication?
Just about any one of these clues is worthy of the blue treatment but I like a succinct clue with no wasted words so for my favs today I’ve gone for the short stuff. My podium is 9a, 11a and 22a, with a dead heat between the three.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: BERTH + WAIT = BIRTH WEIGHT
Bottom line: MEET + BAWLS = MEATBALLS