Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27574
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Good morning all. It’s a chilly and autumnal morning in Oxford – still August but feeling more like September. Oh well, the grass is cut and our newly painted sitting room is almost put back together so now I can concentrate on writing some hints. I have no doubt that this is a Ray T crossword even though the Queen seems to have gone AWOL. I thought it was fairly gentle for one of his but I’m more than ready for some of you to disagree with me.
1a Clinical test I panic about (10)
ANTISEPTIC: — An anagram (about) of TEST I PANIC. A nice long anagram is always such a good start!
6a Genuine regret following Tory leader (4)
TRUE: — Start with the first letter (leader) of T(ory) and follow that with a word meaning regret or feel sorry about.
9a Not a fairy-tale maiden in kingdom (5)
REALM: — If something is not a fairy-tale then it’s true, or another word meaning the same, and then the one letter cricketing abbreviation for M(aiden). Even I can manage that much cricket terminology.
10a Shocking former sweetheart, guy embraces redhead (9)
EXECRABLE: — Begin with the usual two letters for former, follow them with the middle letter of ‘sweet’ (heart) and then a word for a guy – not a man but a rope or cord – containing (embraces) the first letter (head) of R(ed).
12a Good man with a bird showing vigour (7)
STAMINA: — Crosswordland’s favourite ‘good man’ is followed by the A from the clue and one of the spellings of an Asiatic bird that can be taught to talk.
13a Thick fog around daybreak (5)
MIDST: — Thick here doesn’t mean anything to do with the consistency of gravy or custard and neither does it mean slow witted – it means in the centre of something. Another word for a fog or haze contains the first letter of D(ay) (break).
15a Degradation of Herod in Galilee (7)
ERODING: — This took me a while but I got there in the end – there it is lurking right in the middle of the clue.
17a Ancient capital of Greece? (7)
DRACHMA: — The capital is money and it’s what the Greeks used before they had euros.
19a Sea creature over sea expressed fantastic spout (7)
OCTOPUS: — The one letter cricketing abbreviation for O(over), the letter that sounds like (expressed) sea and an anagram (fantastic) of SPOUT produces a sea creature which has eight arms.
21a Lover allegedly gripping in altogether (7)
OVERALL: — Hmmmmm – another one a bit like 15a!
22a Starts to serve and lob volley or volley (5)
SALVO: — A Ray T special – the first letters (starts to) of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh letters of the clue.
24a Remove additional ends of corset (7)
EXTRACT: — A word meaning additional or more than is usual or necessary is followed by the first and last letters (ends of) corset.
27a Remedy sipped, say, for indigestion (9)
DYSPEPSIA: — An anagram (remedy) of SIPPED SAY.
28a Quick beer before restaurant emptied (5)
ALERT: — A word meaning quick, or wide awake and watchful is made up from a beer followed by the first and last letters of R(estauran)T (emptied).
29a Soundly construct beams (4)
RAYS: — A homophone (soundly) of a word meaning to construct or build.
30a Concerned current setter’s upset by editor (10)
INTERESTED: — Two letters meaning current or fashionable followed by an anagram (upset) of SETTER and then the usual two letter abbreviation of editor.
1d Ethereal nymph is topless (4)
AIRY: — Another word for a nymph or an imaginary being without its first letter (topless).
2d Tar initially operated small harbour ship perhaps (9)
TRANSPORT: — Ship is an example of the answer indicated by ‘perhaps’. Begin with the first letter (initially) of T(ar), follow it with a three letter word meaning operated or managed, the usual one letter abbreviation for S(mall) and finish off with a harbour or haven.
3d Muscles to hold old lady up for dance (5)
SAMBA: — This is a Brazilian dance. Think of a three letter abbreviation for your abdominal muscles containing (hold) an affectionate term for your Mum, or old lady and then reverse (up) the whole thing.
4d Skinning gutted plaice, English fish (7)
PEELING: — Nothing to do with skinning gutted fish – that’s a red herring! The skinning is what you would, hopefully, do to an orange before eating it. Begin with the first and last letters of P(laic)E (gutted i.e. with no innards) follow with E(nglish) and then crosswordland’s fairly common fish.
5d Country could be fine country without leader (7)
ICELAND: — A four letter word meaning fine or pleasant followed by another word for a country or state and then take off the first letter of the first bit (without leader).
7d Dressed in right old sack (5)
ROBED: — The sack isn’t a bag – think of the expression to “hit the sack”. R(ight) O(ld) comes before it. Oh dear – that’s not put very well – must try harder!
8d United in level score in the end (10)
EVENTUALLY: — Begin with a word meaning level or flat and follow it with a score or account containing (in) the one letter abbreviation for U(nited).
11d Sort of music generation holding mass rave (7)
RAMPAGE: — A sort of music (?) which is a rhythmic monologue over a musical background and a word for a generation or era contains (holding) the abbreviation for M(ass).
14d Think twice about criminal ringleader outside bank (10)
RECONSIDER: — The normal two letters for about – not on but the other ones – the usual criminal and then the first letter of R(ing) (leader) containing (outside) a word meaning bank or edge
16d Correct the compiler’s ramble around page (7)
IMPROVE: — How the setter would refer to himself followed by a ramble or wander containing (around) P(age).
18d Uneven breath each time produces throb (9)
HEARTBEAT: — An anagram (uneven) of BREATH followed by the two letter abbreviation of EA(ch) and T(ime)
20d Puts foot down about relative (7)
STEPSON: — Split 5, 2 – a word for puts your foot down or treads and a short word meaning about or concerning.
21d Power cut without resistance giving shock (7)
OUTRAGE: — A word for when your electricity goes off (usually with no warning and at the most inconvenient time) contains (without) R(esistance).
23d Tough lout sat by, oddly (5)
LUSTY: — Another Ray T special. Take the odd letters (oddly) of the second and third words of the clue.
25d Native American cutting top of head quickly (5)
APACE: — This six letter Native American is one from a group of tribes in Arizona and New Mexico. He has an H in the middle (top of Head) which you need to take out (cutting).
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26d Office doesn’t end for boss (4)
STUD: —The boss is not someone who tells you what to do – it’s a projecting knob or pin. A five letter word for an office or den without its final letter (doesn’t end)
I liked 10 and 27a and 3 and 7d. My favourite was 18d. What did you think?
And just as a quick afterthought – if you have been reading the hints and comments for ages but haven’t yet dared to write a comment what about “popping in” today and saying hello.
The Quick Crossword pun: hum+blub+owed=humble abode