Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27607
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I have left last week’s grumpy chair and am pleased to say that I have enjoyed this puzzle which mostly fell in quite easily with a small hiccup in the south west corner. Do you remember Mental Arithmetic (now known as mental maths)? Well today is National Mental Anagram Solver Day. There are seven to mentally solve today. Have a go and let me know how you got on.
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 Entitled to be a church member (8)
BAPTISED: To have undergone the first of the seven sacraments which is also your naming ceremony.
6a It takes the strain out of brewing (3,3)
TEA BAG: In the olden days we had loose leaf tea which we had to strain when pouring from the teapot into the teacup which sat upon a saucer on a table with a table cloth. Those who did not use a tea strainer allowed batty old biddies to read their futures in the patterns of tea leaves left behind after the tea had been drunk. Every home had a tea caddy, and a teapot. Nowadays we bung one of these into a mug on the kitchen work surface. It is called progress. My apologies for the outpourings of nostalgia.
9a Pursue syllabus (6)
COURSE: A double definition with the first being rather obscure. Gipsy types do it around here illegally chasing Hares with Lurchers.
10a Drawer of Cupid’s bow? (8)
LIPSTICK: A cosmetic applied to the lips
11a Tell a student to be relaxed (8)
INFORMAL: Take a verb meaning to give out facts, add A from the clue and our usual suspect for a student
12a Evasive secret agent seen around border (6)
SLIPPY: Place a three letter word for a secret agent around another three letter word meaning border or edge. Like on a cup perhaps
13a Happy to give duo more dough (4-8)
GOOD HUMOURED: Our first anagram of the day. The word Happy gives us the definition. The words DUO MORE DOUGH provide the fodder to work with (put that pencil down) and the word to give would appear to be the indicator
16a Shakespeare’s playhouse in the round? (5,7)
GLOBE THEATRE: The first playhouse to show Shakespeare’s plays was built in 1559 and destroyed by fire in 1613. A modern reconstruction was opened to the public in 1997 and has not yet burnt down.
19a Why brides may conceal having mixed parentage (6)
HYBRID: The answer is lurking away, hidden amongst the words of the clue staring out at you like a naughty child.
21a Sycophant‘s aspirate misplaced (8)
PARASITE: Anagram (misplaced) of ASPIRATE
23a They may be happy playing cards (8)
FAMILIES: Who remembers Mr Bun The Baker. He may hold the recipe that solves this clue.
24a Naturally cold state, but sweet when baking hot outside (6)
ALASKA: America’s most northerly state and the name of a dessert. Apparently in this state men outnumber the women by three to one. Take care though ladies, although the odds are good, the goods are very odd.
25a In cold weather they go downhill fast (6)
SKIERS: Winter sportsmen or women
26a Items of furniture which are employed off stage (8)
DRESSERS: These items of furniture often have the word Welsh in front of them.
2d A cycle is available (6)
AROUND: A from the clue followed by a word for cycle. This word might be used to describe a type of singing where each person sings the same theme but starts at different times. The whole is an adverb meaning located or situated on every side.
3d Trunk with tangled roots (5)
TORSO: Anagram (tangled) of ROOTS
4d Vessel requiring a mast to be re-rigged (9)
STEAMBOAT: And another anagram. The first word is the definition. The fodder follows shortly afterwards and the anagram indicator make a cheeky appearance right at the end of the clue.
5d She persuaded her admirer to take a short cut (7)
DELILAH: This is the name of a biblical character in the book of Judges.
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6d Upset about work, drinks (5)
TOPES: This is a nice succinct clue which can be solved by doing exactly what the clue says. Invert the word set (UPSET) and place it around our usual suspect for work inside to find the plural of a verb meaning to drink alcohol to excess.
7d Here’s quality, but in unusual attire (9)
ATTRIBUTE: The quality can be found by placing the word BUT inside an anagram (unusual) of ATTIRE
8d Didn’t refuse — that’s normal (8)
ACCEPTED: A fine double definition helped along nicely by the checking letters
13d Fabric, being dear, replaced (9)
GABERDINE: Another pesky anagram (replaced) of BEING DEAR
14d Car demo to be organised — for a president? (9)
MOTORCADE: And again but it is the last example. Anagram (organised) of CAR DEMO TO. I have seen a couple of examples of these and have always found it amusing that the group Led Zeppelin travelled around America in this way thanks to their manager Peter Grant’s ability to manipulate American police forces.
15d Review TV show and quietly relax (4,4)
PLAY BACK: Take our usual letter denoted by the word quietly and add a term split 3,4 meaning to recline or relax
17d Former spouse sat in the open (7)
EXPOSED: Former here is an old favourite which refers to an old flame one has kicked into touch. The word Sat means to have modelled for an artist. The whole means out in the open
18d Fireman who doesn’t put fires out (6)
STOKER: This fireman tends the fire in a steam engine. He always wears a boiler suit with a red neckerchief and is known to cook bacon and eggs on the back of his shovel.
20d Spots the sign of a faulty washer (5)
DRIPS: I have seen this clue before in a Daily Telegraph crossword but I am sure it was in the singular. It took a while to solve then and it has taken a while to solve today. The answer is what you would get from a tap with a faulty washer.
22d Supports fights, but not seriously (5)
SPARS: This is a double definition. The second being tiffs or minor quarrels. You may like to know that I put Spats in here which works with fights but not supports. Thanks to Big Dave for the correct answer
No pens or pencils were harmed in the writing of this review which was written whilst listening to Leonard Cohen’s latest album.
The Quick Crossword pun: brig+add+here=brigadier