Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27056
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty *– Enjoyment **
Cast your minds back to last year and the time just before the Christmas Festivities started and you might just remember that the Weekend Mysteron provided us with this very average and straightforward puzzle on the Saturday before Christmas. Perhaps he thought we needed extra time to fight our way round the supermarkets and wouldn’t have much time to ponder over crossword clues.
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1 Waste energy to operate fiddle (6)
SCRAPE – SCRAP (waste) plus E (energy) – I personally would have put the word ‘badly’ after fiddle but apparently according to the BRB, scrape does indeed mean to play the fiddle.
4 Posh car following street buggy (8)
STROLLER – ST (the abbreviation for street) followed by ROLLER (an informal way of referring to that posh car, the Rolls Royce) go together to make a North American word for a pushchair or buggy.
10 Outlaw posed scruffily keeping challenge to return (9)
DESPERADO – As well as defining this word as an outlaw, Chambers also has the simply splendid ‘a desperate person, reckless of danger’! An anagram (scruffily) of POSED into which is inserted a reversal (to return) of DARE (challenge).
11 Having celebrity, this person is caught in passing craze (5)
FAMED – Insert ME (this person) into a FAD or passing craze.
12 Right-wing American somehow reckoned to ditch Obama at first (7)
REDNECK – An anagram (somehow) of RECKONED once you have removed the first letter of Obama produces an American who is poorly educated with right wing and reactionary opinions.
13 Cajun stew — one left pain in the mouth (7)
GUMBOIL – Follow the Cajun stew GUMBO with I (one) and L (left). We must live in healthier times – I haven’t heard of anyone suffering one of these for years.
14 A section downsized with skill (5)
ADEPT – Follow A from the clue with a downsized or abbreviated form of section – DEPT (department).
15 Fine work of art is attractive (8)
FETCHING – F (fine) plus ETCHING (work of art).
18 Protective footwear for work in garden after excesses (8)
OVERSHOE – OVERS (excesses) plus HOE.
20 Pick from selection a choice snack (5)
NACHO – A tortilla chip is hidden in selectioN A CHOice.
23 Means to dispose of dead mostly surrounded by massive monument (7)
PYRAMID – Almost all (mostly) of an Indian funeral PYR[E] followed by AMID (surrounded by).
25 Singing style let flow over listeners finally (7)
DESCANT – Insert S (the final letter of listeners) into DECANT (a verb meaning to pour off or let flow).
26 Central heating ailing — one may get this (5)
CHILL – CH (the abbreviation for central heating) and ILL (ailing) – lack of it might indeed cause you to get a CHILL.
27 Cause damage to London museum’s Elizabeth the First of England (9)
VANDALIZE – V AND A (the way we refer, especially in crossword solutions, to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London) LIZ (Elizabeth) and E (the first letter of England).
28 Snare fish after net damaged (8)
ENTANGLE – An anagram (damaged) of NET followed by ANGLE (fish).
29 Checked out old soldier’s unruly youth (6)
VETTED – Follow an old soldier or VET with a TED (an unruly youth in the 1950s).
1 Pretentious air actually existing among stars (8)
SIDEREAL – A pretentious air or SIDE followed by REAL (actually existing) make an adjective meaning of, like or relating to the stars.
2 The rest live around university (7)
RESIDUE – Insert U for university into RESIDE (live).
3 Feel anger towards being taken in by a frontman (9)
PRESENTER – Insert RESENT (feel anger towards) into PER.
5 Admitting taking steps, knowing what one has in mind (7-7)
THOUGHT-READING – THOUGH (admitting in the sense of allowing that something might have an alternative) and TREADING (taking steps).
6 Charity needs steer over footballers with money (5)
OXFAM – OX (steer) FA (Footballers’ Association) and M (money).
7 A politician in mostly crazy satire (7)
LAMPOON – Insert an MP into almost all of LOON[Y].
8 Anger about theologian’s tricky question (6)
RIDDLE – RILE (make angry) with DD (Doctor of Divinity) inserted.
9 Mention Nick … here he comes! (4,2,3,5)
TALK OF THE DEVIL – TALK OF (mention) and NICK (the devil).
16 Passes fish agreement (9)
HANDSHAKE – HANDS (passes to) and HAKE (fish).
17 Protector of flock to collect old money keeping nothing (8)
GOATHERD – Insert O (keeping nothing) into GATHER and D (the abbreviation used to denote an old non-metric penny). Incidentally, it is sheep that come in flocks, goats come in herds!!
19 Composer anticipates court decision (7)
VERDICT – The Italian composer who is so useful for crossword setters appears again – VERDI plus CT (the abbreviation for court).
21 Talk going round Brazilian city in vehicle (7)
CHARIOT – Insert RIO (another useful city for the crossword setter) into CHAT (talk).
22 A cheap reconditioned helicopter (6)
APACHE – A type of helicopter is a reconditioned anagram of A CHEAP.
24 Gibson perhaps willing to get fruit (5)
MELON – The Christian name of, perhaps, Mr Gibson the actor – MEL followed by ON (willing to).
The mysteries of the Christmas/New Year closing dates for prize puzzles, having delayed my review, mean that you shouldn’t have long to wait for Gnomey’s review of last Saturday’s puzzle, DT 27061.