Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29964
Hints and tips by Pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where spring seems to have sprung at last! We’re due more rain on Wednesday but the temperature is forecast to top 20°C every day this week.
Thankfully, today’s crossie seems to be back to the Monday norm, not too hard and with elegant clueing. I really enjoyed it and hope you all did too. There’s only two complete anagrams and three clues involving an anagram so I know some of you will be a bit unhappy
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.
1a Speaks about a son and daughter’s carefree youth (54)
SALAD DAYS: A word meaning speaks placed around (about) the A from the clue, another word for son and a D)aughter). I’ve never really understood where this phrase comes from When I was a youth I wasn’t all that keen on salads!
6a Stage favourites returned (4)
STEP: The usual teacher’s favourites backwards (returned).
11a Replace marvellous watch set with diamonds (9)
SUPERSEDE: Take a word meaning marvellous and a word meaning watch or look at and insert (set with) a D(iamonds). I always want to spell this word with a C in the middle.
12a Large fortune? There’s no hope of that! (3,6)
FAT CHANCE: A word for large or overweight and a word for fortune as in luck.
15a Win ‘EV’ appearing in April (tricky) (7)
PREVAIL: Start with an anagram (tricky) of APRIL and insert (appearing in) the EV from the clue.
16a Late extra expected (7)
OVERDUE: A word for extra or remainder followed by a word for expected.
18a Top shop gutted close to the centre (7)
SPINNER: Remove the centre letters (gutted) from shop to leave the SP and follow with a word meaning close to the centre. I thought “close to the” would be an E which rather threw me for a moment!
20a Question a ruler abroad causing controversy (7)
QUARREL: Q(uestion) followed by an anagram (abroad) of A RULER.
21a Try leader of team, in essence (5)
HEART: A word for try, in a court of law perhaps, and then a T (leader of Team).
23a Balding, with obsession mostly about cap (4,2,3)
THIN ON TOP: A slang term for an obsession without its last letter (mostly) and then a word for about and finally a word meaning to cap or to better.
25a Old friend gets draw (9)
STALEMATE: A draw in a game of chess is a word for old or gone off and a friend.
26a In which one will find this mountain range? (5)
ATLAS: Cryptic definition of a book where you would find mountain ranges depicted among other geographical features.
28a Big occasion, not finished yet (4)
EVEN: A big occasion without its last letter (not finished) leaves a word which can mean yet.
29a Forced to wear set in sports car, perhaps (3-6)
TWO SEATER: Anagram (forced) of TO WEAR SET.
1d Strong second row (5)
STIFF: S(econd) followed by a row or altercation.
2d Record in online diary, not book (3)
LOG: Remove the B (not Book) from an online diary.
3d Wife and powerful businessman disposing of old farm building (5,4)
DUTCH BARN: Slang term for wife followed by a powerful businessman with the O removed (disposing of Old).
4d Son entering stadium with large magazine (7)
ARSENAL: Take another word for a stadium and insert (entering) an S(on) and follow with L(arge).
5d Drink, more bubbly, for boss (7)
SUPREMO: A word for to drink followed by an anagram (bubbly) of MORE.
7d & 13 Down Verger — traumatic death he suffers — a case for Miss Marple (3,6,2,3,8)
THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE: Anagram (suffers) of VERGER TRAUMATIC DEATH HE. Here’s the theme tune of my favourite Miss Marple . . .
8d Gradually, bishop, for one, imposed on me, a student (9)
PIECEMEAL: What a bishop on a chess board is an example of (for one) followed by the ME from the clue, the A from the clue and finally an L for student.
9d Piece of music filed away by librarian (4)
ARIA: A lurker hiding (filed away by) in the last word.
13d See 7 Down
15d Quickly sat with those working under pressure (9)
POSTHASTE: Anagram (working) of SAT with THOSE all placed after (under in a down clue) a P(ower).
17d Last of those (Labour) to make a speech in complex (9)
ELABORATE: An E (last of thosE) followed by an abbreviation of the Labour Party and then the usual word for to make a speech.
19d Take back tense former US president from the south (7)
RETRACT: T(ense) and then the 39th US president all reversed (from the south in a down clue).
20d I agree to leave ahead of English, therefore (5,2)
QUITE SO: A word meaning to leave or resign followed by E(nglish) and then a word meaning therefore or thus.
22d Row in match on river (4)
TIER: A football match perhaps, especially one in a cup competition, followed by R(iver).
24d Baffling question for model (5)
POSER: This baffling question could also be a cryptic reference to a model or someone who sits for an artist.
27d Permit carried by couple touring (3)
LET: A lurker hiding in (carried by) the last two words.
There’s a lot of good stuff here but my podium is 12a, 1d and 9d with 9d on the top step.
Quick crossword puns:
Top Line: BARBER + QUEUED + STAKE = BAR-B-CUED STEAK
Bottom line: SIGHED + RHODES = SIDE ROADS