Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27578
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Most of this one went in fairly quickly but I was held up by 9d and 15a (which I’d never heard of) so I’ve upped the difficulty level to three stars. Do you think that’s about right or am I way off track? Do let us know how you got on and what you thought.
If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so try not to do it by accident.
1 A tendency at sea (6)
ADRIFT – A and a tendency or trend.
4a Paper associated with a union? (8)
CONFETTI – cryptic definition. This paper is brightly coloured and is difficult to clear up.
10a Bird causing one to talk on street (9)
STONECHAT – ONE (from the clue) and a verb to talk casually follow (on, in an across clue) the abbreviation for street.
11a Some buying (or selling) an evergreen shrub (5)
GORSE – hidden.
12a Vocalist going about with regular partygoer? (7)
SWINGER – a vocalist containing W(ith).
13a Letters to a celeb, cool and masculine, it’s said (3,4)
FAN MAIL – a charade of a verb to cool and what sounds like masculine.
14a Bar of gold I obtained around noon originally (5)
INGOT – I and a verb meaning obtained containing the original letter of noon.
15a A Jamaican port, or I choose slightly reduced rum (4,4)
OCHO RIOS – this is a port on the northern side of the island where cruise ships often dock. It’s an anagram (rum) of OR I and CHOOS(e) (slightly reduced). Even having worked out the fodder I needed the checking letters before it clicked that the name is the Spanish for eight rivers.
18a Ambassador meeting newly-weds in British isles (8)
HEBRIDES – the abbreviation of an ambassador’s title followed by newly-weds.
20a Operatic heroine common? Not quite (5)
NORMA – the heroine of Bellini’s opera is an adjective meaning common or usual without the final L (not quite).
25a Casual worker, not switched on at first (7)
OFFHAND – a manual worker preceded (at first) by the state a device is in if it’s not switched on.
26a District housing new stadium (5)
ARENA – a district or locality containing (housing) N(ew).
27a Duke, duke wife’s divorced (9)
ELLINGTON – start with the title of the Iron Duke and drop the W (wife’s divorced).
28a Fail to keep backing during meeting, being without friends? (8)
DESOLATE – reverse a verb meaning to fail to keep and put it inside a meeting, often one of a romantic nature.
29a Unreal shot of the nervous system (6)
NEURAL – an anagram (shot) of UNREAL.
1d Hit man when given cheek at home (8)
ASSASSIN – a charade of a conjunction meaning when, an informal (mainly North American) word for cheek or impudence and an adverb meaning at home.
2d Boarding train, first to leave in middle of night (7)
ROOMING – start with a verb to train or prepare someone and drop its initial letter (first to leave). Then add IN (from the clue) and the middle letter of night.
3d Warplane circling about does for cargo ship (9)
FREIGHTER – a warplane (such as an F-15) contains a preposition meaning about or concerning. ‘Does for’ is just a linking mechanism meaning ‘is sufficient to make’.
5d Stars are so excellent (3,2,4,5)
OUT OF THIS WORLD – double definition.
6d Cigarette lit for gang leader (5)
FAGIN – an informal word for a cigarette followed by an adverb (applied to a wood fire, for example) meaning ignited.
7d Whirlwind ripped a door half off (7)
TORNADO – bring together a past participle meaning ripped, A (from the clue) and half of the word door.
8d Designs must include large examples (6)
IDEALS – designs or proposals including L(arge).
9d Novelist heading off for estuary cut off in a place full of trees (8,6)
SHERWOOD FOREST – my first thought here was that the definition was novelist – wrong! The novelist (minus his first letter, heading off) is the first word, then we need FOR (from the clue) and the abbreviation (cut off) of estuary. The decapitated novelist wrote a series of books about Berlin which became the inspiration for the musical Cabaret.
16d Protect telephone receiver (4-5)
RING-FENCE – charade of a verb to telephone and a receiver of stolen goods.
17d Principal character in a line (8)
CARDINAL – a dated word for a comical or eccentric character is followed by IN A (from the clue) and L(ine).
19d Speak fast (7)
EXPRESS – double definition.
21d Race around on hill — that generates energy (7)
REACTOR – an anagram (around) of RACE is followed (on, in a down clue) by a rocky hill.
22d Genius is reportedly in charge (6)
WIZARD – what sounds (reportedly) like ‘is’ goes inside a charge or dependent minor.
24d Southern shopping centre, limited in size (5)
SMALL – S(outhern) followed by a shopping centre.
I liked 1d and 22d best. Let us know what you liked.
Today’s Quickie Pun: SIMPER + THIGHS = SYMPATHISE