Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29988
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja where summer seems to have arrived at last. After the wettest March on record and a pretty chilly April the sun has recently come out and temperatures are up in the high twenties every afternoon. I’ve mothballed my long trousers and socks and got out the shorts and sandals.
I’m wondering if today’s puzzle is from a different setter from our usual maestro. Somehow it felt a bit different and I can’t see a second pun in the Quickie, but someone will probably put me right on that. Anyway it was enjoyable enough and with six anagrams it’s fairly easy to get a toehold. I’ll be interested to see if anyone else feels the same as me about the setter.
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 Old-fashioned social worker and I extremely talkative in courtyard (10)
ANTIQUATED: Start with the usual social worker and the I from the clue. Then you need an abbreviated word for a courtyard, in a school perhaps, with TE (extremely TalkativE) inserted (in). Whenever there’s a J, Q, X or Z in 1a I’m on the lookout for a pangram but it was not to be today.
6a Finish second best (4)
STOP: S(econd) followed by a word meaning best.
10a Bottle that’s never drunk (5)
NERVE: Bottle, as in courage, is an anagram (drunk) of NEVER.
11a English boffin’s place old consider complex (9)
ELABORATE: A charade of E(nglish), a place where a boffin or scientist might work, O(ld) and a word meaning to consider or appraise.
12a Admits being confused by a Spielberg film (7)
AMISTAD: Anagram (being confused) of ADMITS next to (by) the A from the clue. Not his most famous film methinks. BTW, the word is Spanish for friendship.
13a Paddy, dry, downing an alcoholic drink (7)
TANTRUM: Take the two letters for dry, as in not drinking alcohol, and insert (downing) the AN from the clue, Follow this with pommette’s favourite alcoholic drink to get a paddy or fit of temper.
14a Ferociously sound horn to pass before corner (5,3,4)
TOOTH AND NAIL: You need a word meaning to sound the horn in a car, a word meaning to pass or give and a word meaning corner as in trap or catch. Put them together and then split (5,3,4) to get a phrase meaning ferociously.
18a Expert did (12)
ACCOMPLISHED: Double definition.
21a Sopranos foolishly dropping a financial backer (7)
SPONSOR: Anagram (foolishly) of SOPRANOS but without the A (dropping a).
23a Hold back about female artist elected (7)
REFRAIN: A charade of the usual two letters for about, F(emale), the usual artist and finally a word for elected.
24a Greek hero soon saving brave maiden (9)
AGAMEMNON: Start with a word meaning soon and insert (saving) a word meaning brave or willing and an M(aiden).
25a Saw a series of letters from Baghdad agent (5)
ADAGE: A lurker hiding in (a series of letters from) the last two words of the clue.
26a Left in charge, head for the hills (4)
FLEE: Take a word for a financial charge and insert (in) an L(eft). I spent too long thinking IC for in charge and a T for head for The, d’oh!
27a Darling wife cracking open fizz with skill (10)
SWEETHEART: Take a word for fizz, as in be furious, and insert (cracking open) a W(ife) and follow with a word for skill or craftsmanship.
1d University breaking record for a regular publication (6)
ANNUAL: A word for a record or archive with a U(niversity) inserted (breaking).
2d Vegetable container found in dump (6)
TURNIP: A container, for tea perhaps, inserted into (found in) another word for a rubbish dump.
3d Uncertainty over original quiz show host? (8,6)
QUESTION MASTER: A word meaning an uncertainty followed by a word for an original. Of a key perhaps.
4d Frightful tale on a CD, based on hearsay (9)
ANECDOTAL: Anagram (frightful) of TALE ON A CD.
5d Former statute’s spot on (5)
EXACT: The usual two letters for former, spouse usually, followed by a statute of parliament.
7d Baker ate crackers in refreshment period (3,5)
TEA BREAK: Anagram (crackers) of BAKER ATE.
8d Introduction has page with note on leisurely walk (8)
PREAMBLE: P(age) followed by a note from the sol-fa scale and the a leisurely walk or stroll.
9d Cold beforehand, she prepared a hot dish (6,4,4)
CORNED BEEF HASH: Anagram (prepared) of C(old) with BEFOREHAND SHE. Had some of this for dinner one day last week. Yummy with pickled red cabbage.
15d Confidence in guarantee (9)
ASSURANCE: Double definition.
16d Following a large man in Verdi opera (8)
FALSTAFF: F(ollowing) followed by the A from the clue, L(arge) and the a word meaning to man.
17d Commanding Officer, young man, in marvellous tribute (8)
ACCOLADE: CO (commanding officer) and another word for young man or boy are inserted into (in) a slang term for marvellous.
19d Fruit and nuts, mostly (6)
BANANA: Remove the S from the end of (mostly) a slang term for nuts or crazy.
20d Purpose of being under canvas? (6)
INTENT: Split the answer (2,4) and you get a phrase meaning under canvas or camping.
22d Frenchman and wife begin again (5)
RENEW: The Frenchman from ‘Allo ‘Allo followed by W(ife).
My top three today are 14a, 25a and 19d with 19d on the top step of the podium.
1st Quick crossword pun: TALE + BEAUNE = TAIL BONE
2nd Quick Crossword Pun (Thanks to Terence)
17d CROCK + 18d OWED + 20d AISLE = CROCODILE