Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27002
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***
I had my suspicions that this was a Cephas puzzle, albeit a slightly trickier one than usual, when I solved it and this was confirmed by the setter himself when we met at the Convention on Saturday afternoon.
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1 Head of department drops alternative claim (7)
PROFESS – Although, in my considerable experience, not all professors are heads of department, if you remove OR (drop alternative) from one of them you are left with a verb meaning to claim.
5 Bags to carry new light bites (6)
SNACKS – Insert a N (carry New) into SACKS (bags).
9 Amphibian, male, Rex found in the gloom (8)
BULLFROG – BULL (a male of various species) plus FOG (gloom) into which has been inserted R (Rex).
11 Ethical drug gives confidence (6)
MORALE – MORAL (ethical) plus E (representing the drug Ecstasy).
12 Rejection for ex-GI band (4)
VETO – The Americans shorten VETERAN, the term they use for old GIs (old soldiers), to VET. This should be followed with an O which represents a band or circle.
13 The abstract art I state to be spectacular (10)
THEATRICAL – THE (from the clue) an anagram (abstract) of ART, I (from the clue) and CAL (the abbreviation for the State of California).
14 Agents’ damage mended and dramatically arranged (5-7)
STAGE-MANAGED – An anagram (mended) of AGENTS DAMAGED.
17 Hardy product maybe that could be shelved (8,4)
LITERARY WORK – the clue that made the grumpies grump! A nice cryptic definition of a ‘product’ of the writer Thomas Hardy, which would be shelved in a library.
21 Gloomy writer to make cuts (4-6)
BLUE-PENCIL – To correct, edit or censor (presumably originally done with a BLUE PENCIL). BLUE (gloomy) plus PENCIL (writer).
22 Bridge partners holding ace and five, producing movement by Queen, perhaps? (4)
WAVE – Her Majesty certainly did a lot of waving in this Jubilee year! W and E (the partnerships in a bridge game are known by the compass points, but here we want W(est) and E(ast) into which should be insert A (ace) and V (the Roman numeral for five).
23 A pungent bulb, left out, can generate fungus (6)
AGARIC – A (from the clue) and GAR[L]IC (pungent bulb with L for Left omitted) produce a type of fungus.
24 Solitary slapdash cavalier (8)
ROYALIST – Another nice anagram indicator – slapdash – tells you to rearrange SOLITARY.
25 Farm machine mysteriously departed after father retired (6)
TEDDER – A machine that spreads new mown grass for drying. An anagram (mysteriously) of DE[PA]RTED, once you have removed the PA (father retired).
26 Wandering tale of donkey’s years being unconventional with Karen dropping out (7)
ODYSSEY – This wandering tale did indeed take donkey’s years! Here we have a compound anagram where you have to remove the letters KAREN (dropping Karen – the anagram indicator ‘out’ is there because the letters of her name are not in that order in the anagram fodder) from DONKEYS YEARS and then rearrange (being unconventional) the remaining letters.
2 Course taken about permit needed for gambling game (8)
ROULETTE – Insert LET (permit, allow) into ROUTE (course taken).
3 Sheet of oil shimmering (5)
FOLIO – A sheet of paper folded once is obtained from an anagram (shimmering) of OF OIL.
4 Rock band (7)
STRATUM – A layer of rock or just a band or layer.
6 Means of identification guard turned up (4,3)
NAME TAG – Reverse a GATEMAN (guard) and split the result 4, 3 .
7 A crowd meandering about gain access to a moving view (3,6)
CAR WINDOW – Insert WIN (about gain) into an anagram (meandering) of A CROWD.
8 Ottoman leader will get no end of fruit (6)
SULTAN – Simply remove the last letter (no end) of a SULTANA.
10 Environmentally friendly shopkeeper? (11)
GREENGROCER – A lovely cryptic definition.
15 Odder, long hybrid plant (9)
GOLDENROD – An anagram (hybrid) of ODDER LONG makes a plant with rod-like stems and golden yellow flower heads along its branches.
16 High level ground rent (8)
CREVASSE – Another nice cryptic definition, this time of a rent or split in the rock (ground) of a mountain (high level).
18 Unfinished tea includes clear liquid syrup (7)
TREACLE – An anagram (liquid) of CLEAR inserted between the first two lettersn (unfinished) of TEa.
19 Newsman following race broadcast (7)
RELAYED – RELAY (race) plus ED (editor, newsman).
20 Escape journey made by air (6)
FLIGHT – A fairly obvious double definition.
22 Cut up about the European country (5)
WALES – Insert the Spanish (European) word for the – EL – into a reversal of a verb meaning cut – SAW.
As I said to Cephas , what I like about his anagrams is that the indicators are always so original – none of this ‘jumble’ or ‘rearrange’ stuff that you can get in a cryptic crossword. Thanks to him for both this nice Saturday puzzle and his company on Saturday afternoon.