Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27603
Hints and tips by 2Kiwis
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Today I am pleased to welcome the latest recruits to our blogging team, a delightful couple from New Zealand who call themselves the Two Kiwis. As they need no further introduction, I’ll hand over to them. BD
Kia ora. Kiwis are normally shy creatures who spend most of the day asleep and come out only at night, but we have emerged, blinking into the light to bring you our very first review of a Wednesday puzzle. It has taken much beak scratching.
We have been solving and enjoying Jay’s puzzles for several years now and regard them as a consistent yardstick for Telegraph Cryptic Crosswords. Jay, we feel honoured to be blogging your puzzles.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a The hitch-hiker’s guide? (4,2,5)
RULE OF THUMB : How a hitch-hiker attracts attention.
9a Nothing to drink after writer talks without inhibitions (5,2)
OPENS UP : The usual ‘nothing’, the usual writer (not a person) and a verb meaning to drink.
10a Violet makes attempt to pursue popular detective (6)
INDIGO : word for popular, two letter abbreviation for detective plus a try.
12a Eccentric comedian with no energy is wandering (7)
NOMADIC : Anagram (eccentric) of COMEDIAN without E for energy.
13a Mature king to confess (5-2)
GROWN UP : Our previous monarch, then a 3,2 combination to confess.
14a Cards given out in deal with workers (5)
HANDS : Double definition.
15a Decide a broken rib needs time to categorise (9)
ARBITRATE : ‘a’ from the clue, anagram (broken) of RIB, ‘t’ for time then a synonym for categorise.
17a Combined musical performance ends oddly (9)
CONCERTED : Last Night of the Proms perhaps and then odd letters of ends.
20a Ancient Greek land mostly gone from ocean (5)
ATTIC : An ocean much nearer to most of you than to us with almost all the letters of land removed.
22a Tense, but happy to get drunk (7)
UPTIGHT : Two letter word for happy then drunk.
24a Meanwhile, after Bury the motorway is backed up (7)
INTERIM : Don’t be fooled by the capital on Bury, then a motorway reversed.
25a Potential case of neglect follows behind schedule (6)
LATENT : First and last letters (case) of neglect following a word for behind schedule.
26a City bank welcoming a new head of governance (7)
TANGIER : North African city. A row of seats perhaps with ‘a’ from the clue, ‘n’ for new and first letter of governance.
27a Initiate and master churned up current in vessels (11)
BLOODSTREAM : A word for initiate followed by an anagram (churned up) of MASTER.
2d Positive attributes of promoted teams (7)
UPSIDES : Two letter word for promoted and a synonym for teams.
3d Suppose worker is pregnant (9)
EXPECTANT : One of our regular six-legged workers follows a word for suppose.
4d A hammer-thrower’s affair? (5)
FLING : Verb showing what a hammer-thrower does.
5d Pelt unprotected louts and retreat (7)
HIDEOUT : Synonym for pelt or skin followed by middle letters (unprotected) of louts.
6d Colour magazine with neat layout (7)
MAGENTA : Abbreviation for magazine and anagram (layout) of NEAT.
7d Welcome to the antenatal clinic (4,3,4)
JOIN THE CLUB : A wry invitation to become 3d.
8d Marine trapped in vessel finds cockroaches, for example (6)
VERMIN : Two letter abbreviation for Royal Marine inside (trapped) in vessel related to 27a.
11d What might capture escaped mare panicking? (5,6)
SPEED CAMERA : Anagram (panicking) of ESCAPED MARE.
16d Daughter is set up in improved accommodation (9)
BEDSITTER : D for daughter and ‘is’ reversed inside a word for improved.
18d Before the dance, catch the game (7)
NETBALL : Word for catch then a formal dance to give one of NZ’s national games.
19d Painter and composer missing key company (2,5)
EL GRECO :
A composer (or perhaps crossword setter) missing a musical key and abbreviation for company. Big Dave has pointed out that we are missing an E in our explanation. Perhaps the clue should read. “Painter and composer missing a key company” for which the explanation would be “A composer (or perhaps crossword setter) missing the A from the clue, followed by a musical key and the abbreviation for CO(mpany)”.
20d An amount of money, reportedly for a dish (7)
ANTENNA : ‘An’ from the clue and then what sounds like a sum of money. We spent some time working out what sort of dish it might be.
21d With temperature, drop off around one, being very sluggish (6)
TORPID : ‘T’ for temperature then anagram (off) of DROP around one ‘I’.
23d Bears feeding close to trekkers climbing (5)
TOTES : Nothing grizzly about this one. It is one of those fiendish hiding backwards inside the clue answers.
All our favourites were in the bottom half of the grid. We liked 27a, 19d and 20d but rather than upset a fellow blogger, we will opt for 20d.
The Quick Crossword pun: dawn+hobs=door knobs