Explanations: No. 14637 – Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tue, Nov 29, 2011, 23:59


We’ve talked about deletion clues in an earlier post. We get to the answer in such clues usually by subtracting some letters from a word given in the clue itself. We have a special example today, in which we are told to subtract two letters, one at each end of the word in question.

23D: Wanted unlimited payment before giving a hand (4)

On the face of it, it looks like we’re dealing with someone pretty mercenary, who wants any amount of money before helping out. The important word here is “unlimited”. This is an old chestnut in cryptic clues, and it tells us to “take off the limits” from some word, subtract the letters at either end. In this case we’re told to take off the limits of the word “wanted”. We lop off the W and D from “w-ANTE-d” and are left with ANTE, a payment that is made, in a game of poker say, before the dealer will give a player a hand.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you have a question about today’s puzzle I am sure that I, or a fellow solver, can answer it for you.


8 He and the doctor are into historic building (3,3)
In-to (T-O) are “he” and “the doctor” (HE-GP) = THE GPO: historic building.
9 A year’s rent for the home of Scotland’s favourite son (8)
A (A) year’s (YR’S) rent (HIRE) for = AYRSHIRE: the home of Robbie Burns (“Scotland’s Favourite Son”).
10 Obligation around North America (4)
A-round (O) North (N) America (US) = ONUS: obligation.
11 It’s not true … you said 20-across, officer (10)
It’s not true (LIE) “you” said (U) 20-across (TENANT) = LIEUTENANT: officer.
12 Agree to a hundred on a worthless mutt (6)
To “a hundred” (C) on (ON) a worthless mutt (CUR) = CONCUR: agree.
14 Following the Dublin road north 50km, to help the farm worker (8)
Following “the Dublin road north” (MI) 50-km (L-KM) to help (AID) = MILKMAID: the farm worker.
15 After the conflict, a thousand listen to Edward at the loch showing such geniality (15)
After “the conflict” (WAR) a thousand (M) listen to (HEAR) Edward (TED) at “the loch” (NESS) showing = WARMHEARTEDNESS: such geniality.
18 One authorised the hard water the Poles found in a river down south (8)
In “a river down south” (L-EE) “the hard water” “the poles” (ICE-NS) = LICENSEE: one authorised.
20 An intent for the occupant (6)
In-tent (TEN-T) an (AN) for = TENANT: the occupant.
22 Side of an expert that’s directly opposed (4-2-4)
Side (FACET) of (OF) an expert (ACE) that’s = FACE-TO-FACE: directly opposed.
24 It’s after the 23-down or this is something very trying (4)
Or (OR) this, it’s after the ANTE (DEAL) is = ORDEAL: something very trying.
25 Tutor is Latin for big box (3,5)
Tutor (TEACH) “is” Latin (EST) for = TEA CHEST: big box.
26 The personnel department separates, till there’s something exciting (6)
Till (T-ILL) separated by “the personnel department” (HR) there’s = THRILL: something exciting.
1 Tsho tradition in Japan (6)
“T-sh-o” is “SH” in “TO” (SH IN TO) = SHINTO: tradition in Japan.
2 Gets older iron, and space-ice perhaps? (4)
Iron (Age) and Space (Age) Ice (Age) perhaps = AGES: gets older.
3 It’s no cost, not like a ring road? (4-4)
It’s no cost (TOLL-FREE) not like a “ring” road (“TOLL” FREE)
4 To a degree, it’s about being unadorned (4)
To “a degree” (BA) it’s “about” (RE) being = BARE: unadorned.
5 Describing some champagne, Capone was really cruel (6)
Describing some champagne (BRUT) Capone (AL) was = BRUTAL: really cruel.
6 Heard a peahen sign, on something extraordinary (10)
Heard a “pea” (P) hen (HEN) sign (OMEN) on (ON) = PHENOMENON: something extraordinary.
7 Openings for hoists around Northern Ireland (8)
Hoists (CRAN-ES) around “Northern Ireland” (NI) for = CRANNIES: openings.
13 The ability to contend with North Clare (10)
To contend (COMPETE) with North (N) Clare (CE) = COMPETENCE: the ability.
14 It’s me taking in a little work to become one (5)
It’s “me” (M-E) taking in “a little work” (ERG) = MERGE: to become one.
16 Lively friend from Ulster, in a commercial (8)
In “a commercial” (A-D) friend from Ulster (NI MATE) = ANIMATED: lively.
17 Appeal from the East to the North, before the agreement (8)
The East (E) to “the North” (N) before “the agreement” (TREATY) from = ENTREATY: appeal.
19 Quiet … there’s someone behind the exhibitor (6)
Quiet (SH) there’s “someone behind” (OWER) = SHOWER: the exhibitor.
21 Almost linearly, with 51 taken off the top (6)
Linearly (LI-NEARLY) with “51” taken off the top (-LI) = NEARLY: almost.
23 Wanted unlimited payment before giving a hand (4)
Wanted (w-ANTE-d) unlimited, with the ends, the limits, removed (-W, D) = ANTE: payment before giving a hand (at poker, say).
24 Brought up a little traditional move, quickly (4)
A little “traditional” (TRAD) brought up = DART: move quickly.