Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30204
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja on the coldest morning of the year to date. It was a shivering 3°C at 0800 this morning! Hopefully it will warm up a bit after 0930 when the suns gets over our rear wall.
“Today’s puzzle is a typical Monday offering in that it’s very enjoyable and mostly quite benign, but it has a couple of stings in the tail and a bit of GK needed”. That’s what I wrote in the preamble to my last blog and it’s equally relevant today so it may as well stay. I really enjoyed the tussle with this one and look forward to hearing how you got on with it.
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 Advice from conservationist perhaps to no avail (7)
USELESS: If the answer were split (3,4) it could well be advice from a conservationist about your consumption of resources.
7a Pawn nobleman’s gemstone (5)
PEARL: The letter for pawn in chess notation followed by the title of a nobleman.
9a Move text about in second list of people’s names (6)
SCROLL: The answer means move text on a computer screen and it’s an S(econd) and a list of peoples names, as in a roster, with a C for about inserted (in). Took me an age for this one as I’d got the word “about” as part of the definition and so couldn’t see where the C in the answer was coming from, D’OH!!!
10a Owner of trunk in the plane that’s flying (8)
ELEPHANT: Anagram (flying) of THE PLANE.
11a Remember Paddington? Popular personality (4,2,4)
BEAR IN MIND: The first word of the answer is what Paddington is an example of, hence the ?. The next word is the usual two letters for popular and finally a word which could refer to one’s personality or character. Couldn’t resist this . . .
13a German song told a tale (4)
LIED: Double definition.
14a Performer, in revolt, quits unexpectedly (13)
VENTRILOQUIST: Anagram (unexpectedly) of IN REVOLT QUITS.
16a Stake needed, unlimited (4)
ANTE: Take a word meaning needed or desired and remove the first and last letters (unlimited).
17a Crazy poet, penning piece with mother (7,3)
BARKING MAD: Start with another word for a poet, often applied to Shakespeare, and insert a chess piece and the usual two letters for mother. Split that lot (7,3) and you’ll get a phrase meaning crazy.
19a Country house retreat, colonial administrator’s first (8)
CLIVEDEN: Start with the usual three letter retreat and before it (first) put a famous colonial administrator of India to get a country house which, among others, was once the home of Nancy Astor. Apparently the Beatles also filmed part of the movie Help! here so it would be rude not to . . .
20a Sign missive (6)
LETTER: Double definition.
22a Entertain American goddess (5)
AMUSE: A(merican) followed by a goddess.
23a Answer’s in perplexing political publication (7)
HANSARD: The abbreviation of answer is inserted into (in) a word meaning perplexing or difficult.
1d Champion‘s round, giving support to that woman (4)
HERO: The round letter placed after (supporting in a down clue) a word for “that woman”.
2d Sort of easy chair in open area for games on ship (8)
RECLINER: The abbreviation of an open area of ground used for games followed by (on in a down clue) another word for a passenger ship. I spent too long thinking decks and deck chairs which I’m sure is just what the compiler intended! If the compiler sets a trap you can be sure I’ll fall into it.
3d Lay out large meal (6)
SPREAD: Double definition.
4d Film vehicle, English, abroad (3,7)
VAN HELSING: Start with a vehicle often used for deliveries and follow with an anagram (abroad) of ENGLISH. Surprised I’ve not seen this anagram before but I don’t remember it!
5d Relative‘s grubby leaving sauna on a regular basis (5)
UNCLE: Take a word for grubby or dirty and remove (leaving) the alternate letters (on a regular basis) from sAuNa.
6d Bishop arrested by new Lancashire PC in force (7,6)
SPECIAL BRANCH: Anagram (new) of LANCASHIRE PC with a B(ishop) inserted (arrested by).
8d Tolerant to allow nine to get changed inside (7)
LENIENT: Take a word meaning allowed and insert (inside) an anagram (to get changed) of NINE.
12d Criminal nervous about unknown journalist turning up for meeting (10)
RENDEZVOUS: Anagram (criminal) of NERVOUS placed around (about) a letter representing an unknown in algebra and the usual journalist, but they’re reversed (turning up in a down clue).
14d Ordinary article kept in large house (7)
VANILLA: An indefinite article inserted into (kept in) a large house.
15d Traitor I cast, after queen (8)
QUISLING: This Norwegian traitor is the I from the clue and a word meaning cast or throw placed after the two letters for queen in chess notation. Hands up those who tried to start the answer with ER for queen.
17d Change one’s mind over government’s last spending plan (6)
BUDGET: A word which can mean change one’s mind or shift a little bit followed by (over in a down clue) a T (governenT’s last).
18d Leading male in a commercial (5)
AHEAD: A two letter word representing a male inserted into (in) the A from the clue and the usual commercial.
21d Catch some rising (4)
TRAP: A word meaning some reversed (rising in a down clue).
I think 5a is favourite today with 17a and 12d on the podium but it’s a close run race! For reasons unknown it took me ages to twig the bottom row pun, d’oh!
Quick crossword puns:
Top line: WHEN + SLID + AIL = WENSEYDALE
Bottom line: ROW + DIAL + HAND = RHODE ISLAND