Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30174
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja. Christmas will be over by the next Monday puzzle so may I wish all our readers a very merry one and best wishes for the new year too. We’re off to Benidorm again this year after staying home for a couple of years due to Covid restrictions.
Our Monday Maestro is on good form today with an enjoyable puzzle at the benign end of his difficulty range. A couple of bits of GK required in 8a and 16d but if you know it the puzzle is really only * difficulty. If you don’t know it you’ll need a bit of investigoogling but it shouldn’t be too hard to get to the answers. There are eight clues involving anagrams so you should be able to get off to a good start.
As usual my podium three 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 Cynthia terribly good sport (8)
YACHTING: Anagram (terribly) of CYNTHIA followed by a G(ood).
8a Region of Asia Minor, north of some Greek islands (6)
IONIAN: An old region of Asia Minor followed by N(orth). These islands are one of my favourite places to do 5a – a lot warmer than the Irish Sea!
10a Plane perhaps crossing a large Irish town (6)
TRALEE: The sort of plant that a plane is an example of is placed around (crossing) the A from the clue and an L(arge).
11a An easy goal? Check, if need be (2,1,5)
AT A PINCH: Start with a phrase (1,3,2) describing an easy goal or even a very short putt in golf and follow with the two letter abbreviation of check. Split the result (2,1,5) to get the answer.
12a Confront unpleasantness, as conductors do? (4,3,5)
FACE THE MUSIC: This phrase meaning to confront unpleasantness is an allusion to where the conductor of an orchestra stands and what’s in front of him.
15a Unemployed, fish round lake (4)
IDLE: A type of fish, also known as an orfe, is placed around (round) an L(ake).
17a Had on about South being not as good (5)
WORSE: A word meaning had on, clothing perhaps, around (about) an S(outh).
18a Level in competition? Almost (4)
EVEN: A word for a sporting competition without its last letter (almost).
19a What film-makers do as a form of protest? (6,6)
DIRECT ACTION: A form of protest is also what the likes of Steven Spielberg do when on the set of a movie.
22a Bright red old bird (8)
FLAMINGO: A word for bright red followed by O(ld). I seem to remember that the Beeb banned this record because, they said, it was about a prostitute . . .
24a Uniform in attire in force (6)
DURESS: The letter represented by uniform in the phonetic alphabet is placed inside (in) another word for attire or clothing.
25a Entirely lacking in depth, video nasty (6)
DEVOID: D(epth) followed by an anagram (nasty) of VIDEO.
26a Not working on stories, so rests (4,4)
LIES DOWN: Start with some stories or fibs and follow with a word for not working or broken, often applied to broken computers.
1d Put aside novel about the Spanish leader in Valencia (6)
SHELVE: Crosswordland’s favourite novel by Rider Haggard is placed around the Spanish definite article and a V (leader in Valencia).
2d Where noise disturbed US president (10)
EISENHOWER: Anagram (disturbed) of WHERE NOISE.
3d Permit is required to get into Virginia (4)
VISA: Take the IS from the clue and insert into (required to get into) the abbreviation of Virginia.
4d Ring English knight and odd cleric (8)
ENCIRCLE: E(nglish) and the letter for a knight in chess notation are followed by an anagram (odd) of CLERIC. For a while I thought the definition here was cleric, d’oh!
6d Helps to engage Irish artist to depict attacks from above (3-5)
AIR RAIDS: A word meaning helps is placed around (to engage) two letters for Irish and the usual artist and the result then split (3,5).
7d Educational establishment with charm, grooms a poor student (7,6)
GRAMMAR SCHOOL: Anagram (poor) of CHARM GROOMS A followed by the usual letter for a student.
9d Cunning male dropping out of parade (4)
ARCH: A word for a parade or demo without its M (M(ale) dropping out of).
13d Left quickly, confused after desk rearranged (10)
SKEDADDLED: Start with an anagram (rearranged) of DESK and follow with a word meaning confused.
16d Clumsily done, in my long poem (8)
ENDYMION: Anagram (clumsily) of DONE IN MY gives you a narrative poem by John Keats. I wasn’t familiar with this poem but once the checkers were in it couldn’t really be anything else.
20d Tongue-lashing from one stuck in traffic (6)
TIRADE: The letter which looks like number one inserted into (stuck in) a word for traffic as in sell.
21d Sad Conservative? (4)
BLUE: Double definition.
23d Nothing in van, a Datsun (4)
NADA: A lurker hiding in (in) the last three words. Showing my age now by admitting I used to have a Datsun120Y!
A lot of good stuff here but my top three are 3d, 19a and 12a in that order.
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: WRAPS + OWE + DEE = RHAPSODY
Bottom line: PER + PAL + HARTS = PURPLE HEARTS
Centre (13a,14a +15a) GUARD + DUNCE + ENTER = GARDEN CENTRE