Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29985
Hints and tips by StephenL
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Good morning everyone from a pleasantly warm South Devon. Our esteemed setter has given us another not too difficult fun puzzle that all went in smoothly for me with just a couple of parsings requiring some extra thought.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.
1a Bug rogue planted in American agency (6)
CICADA: Place an unscrupulous person, a rogue or bounder inside (planted in) a US intelligence agency
4a Curious cat with smile seeing plant (8)
CLEMATIS: Anagram (curious) of CAT and SMILE
9a Mock one the French Queen rejected (6)
UNREAL: Mock here is an adjective. A 2-letter informal word or dialect term for one (thanks Gazza) is followed by a reversal of a French definite article and the queen’s regnal cipher.
10a Hilarity after catching disgusted expression (8)
LAUGHTER: Place a synonym of after around a 3-letter informal expression of disgust or horror
11a Move to cut cost for routine (8)
PRACTICE: A 3-letter synonym of move in the sense of take action is inserted into (to cut) a synonym of cost
13a Discounts, perhaps without a squabble (6)
HASSLE: Discounts here is a verb. Split the solution 3-3 and you’ll see we are missing the letter A (without a) in the second “word”
15a Moral rot in republic corrupted … (13)
INCORRUPTIBLE: Anagram (corrupted) of the previous three words. The anagrind and solution seem very close
18a … issue against party helping (13)
CONSIDERATION: You can ignore the ellipses, they’re only there to help the surface read. A three part charade of an abbreviation for against, a party or a team and a helping or portion
22a By inches, pose oddly, showing muscles (6)
BICEPS: Alternate letters (oddly) of the first three words
24a Line found in funny gag (8)
STRANGLE: Insert the abbreviation for Line into a synonym of funny or queer
26a Person acting so dubiously? (8)
AGNOSTIC: I think this is a very clever &lit where the whole clue serves as wordplay and definition. Anagram (dubiously) of the preceding two words
27a Mechanic is possibly hunkier (6)
FITTER: Two meanings, one a noun the other an (informal) comparative adjective.
28a Size slimmer, taking a medium (8)
DIAMETER: Slimmer here is a noun, someone on a reduced food intake. Insert (taking) A from the clue and the abbreviation for Medium
29a Assistants covering small digressions (6)
ASIDES: Some assistants or helpers go around (covering) the abbreviation for Small
1d Idiots and cronies seizing power (6)
CHUMPS: Some cronies or pals go around (seizing) the abbreviation for Power.
2d Briefly worry people in the pink? (9)
CARNATION: A synonym of worry loses its last letter (briefly) and is followed by a synonym of people or country
3d Doctor since second cut getting violent (7)
DRASTIC: Start with an abbreviation for a doctor. Add a synonym of since as a conjunction. Append a synonym of second in the sense of time without its last letter (cut)
5d First guitarist in heavy metal? (4)
LEAD: Double definition. Different pronunciation. Here’s one of the best, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser of the mighty Blue Oyster Cult.
6d Traveller could give harangue following plane (7)
MIGRANT: Append a synonym of harangue to an old Russian fighter plane. Strange surface read
7d Carries babies, consuming energy (5)
TOTES: Some babies or small children go around (consuming) the abbreviation for Energy
8d Angrier about Church initially roasting witch (8)
SORCERER: A synonym of angrier or more miffed goes around the abbreviation for the Church of England and the initial letter of roasting
12d Turn over motor, even losing velocity (6)
CAREEN: Motor here is a noun. Follow it with the word EvEN once the abbreviation for Velocity has been removed (losing velocity). A new word for me but easily obtainable from checkers and wordplay.
14d Kingdom, United Kingdom, overturned Remain (6)
KUWAIT: Reverse (overturned) the abbreviation for the United Kingdom and follow it with a synonym of remain. Ignore the false capitalisation, it’s there to mislead you into thinking about the referendum.
16d Get behind spanked being ignorant (9)
BENIGHTED: Anagram (spanked) of the preceding two words
17d Shakespeare supports rogue dagger holder (8)
SCABBARD: A 4-letter title often given to Shakespeare goes below (supports in a down clue) a synonym of rougue in the sense of a strike breaker
19d Independent politician innocent with European deadlock (7)
IMPASSE: Start with the abbreviation for Independent. Add the usual abbreviated politician. Follow that with a synonym of innocent as a noun in the sense of green or not wise and the abbreviation for European
20d Characters here inclining towards the right? (7)
ITALICS: The characters here are letters. Need I say more
21d Tries pinching end of wet suit (6)
HEARTS: A synonym of tries in a legal sense pinches or goes around the final letter of weT
23d Chase one’s neighbour, grabbing anything originally! (5)
CONGA: An acrostic (originally) clue. For newer solvers this setter invariably includes one
25d Endure sweetheart holding up proposal (4)
BIDE: We have to wait until the final clue for an appearance of this setter’s swEeetheart. It goes under (holding up) a straightforward synonym of an offer or proposal.
Quickie Pun: Standard + Tease = Stand at ease
13 & 26a were my winners today, along with a great pun. Which ones made your podium?