Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27614
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
As so often on Tuesdays this is all pretty straightforward with not a lot to make your brain hurt. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.
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.
1a Romances a female, beautiful and small (7)
AFFAIRS – join together A (from the clue), F(emale), an adjective meaning beautiful and S(mall).
5a One caught in the grasp of tender policeman (7)
OFFICER – insert the Roman numeral for one and the cricketing abbreviation for caught in a tender or bid.
9a Football kit? Take it off! (5)
STRIP – double definition.
10a Episodes in police department? Gent’s lost his head (9)
INCIDENTS – a charade of IN (from the clue), the usual police department and [g]ENT’S without its head.
11a Crack bone with feather duster? (3-7)
RIB-TICKLER – a bone in the chest followed by what a feather duster is an example of, especially in Mr Dodd’s act.
12a Car valuation oddly ignored (4)
AUTO – just ignore the odd letters in valuation.
14a Commanding Officer with Marlboro initially asks for matches (12)
COMPETITIONS – a charade of the abbreviation for commanding officer, the initial letter of Marlboro and a verb meaning asks for or makes an organised appeal to the authorities.
18a Study coin and diamonds, gathering value is reduced (12)
CONCENTRATED – string together a verb to study attentively, a small coin and the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds, then insert (gathering) a verb to value or assess.
21a Vile, corrupt and immoral (4)
EVIL – this is a very simple anagram (corrupt) of VILE.
22a For each infection, dropping in is ideal (10)
PERFECTION – start with a preposition meaning ‘for each’ and add what’s left of infection after you’ve dropped the IN.
25a Stamp individual card (9)
CHARACTER – triple definition, the third being a card or eccentric person.
26a Trespasser heading off — it’s private (5)
INNER – a trespasser (in the Biblical sense) loses the first letter (heading off).
27a Screen rambling unknown’s views (7)
SCENERY – an anagram (rambling) of SCREEN followed by one of the mathematical unknowns.
28a With passion at the start, hugging Agnes regularly (7)
EAGERLY – an adverb meaning at the start or near the beginning contains (hugging) the even (regularly) letters of Agnes.
1d Daft seaman knocked over American on road (6)
ABSURD – this is made up of three two-letter abbreviations with the second one (American) reversed (knocked over, in a down clue).
2d A record, by George! (6)
FORMBY – start with a slang term, in police jargon, for a criminal record and add the BY from the clue.
3d Little devil on wild ride — relative intervening is shut up (10)
IMPRISONED – a mischievous little devil is followed (on, in a down clue) by an anagram (wild) of RIDE with a male relative contained inside (intervening).
4d Smile unpleasantly, lifting Malay dagger — male is trapped (5)
SMIRK – If you don’t know this word for a Malay dagger it’s worth remembering because it crops up on a fairly regular basis. Here it has to be reversed (lifting, in a down clue) with M(ale) trapped inside it.
5d Horse and cart crashed — it could be in the pit (9)
ORCHESTRA – a very slight variation on the usual carthorse as the anagram fodder – here we have to make an anagram (crashed) of HORSE and CART.
6d In golf, a deviating shot? (4)
FADE – a nice semi-all-in-one with the answer hidden (in).
7d One might use sleight of hand to trick one involved in a trial (8)
CONJUROR – a verb to trick or hoax followed by one of the panel who have to reach a verdict in a criminal trial.
8d Reaction on press broadcast? Ecstasy! (8)
RESPONSE – an anagram (broadcast) of ON PRESS followed by the abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy.
13d Reaching out to engrave in chain (10)
STRETCHING – insert a verb to engrave inside a chain or sequence.
15d In a calm way, obviously restraining the ego (9)
PATIENTLY – an adverb meaning obviously or evidently contains (restraining) the single-letter ego or self.
16d Nice chess moves — not hard things to learn in school? (8)
SCIENCES – an anagram (moves) of NICE C[h]ESS without the abbreviation for hard.
17d Driver should do this in time to get over ‘I start to corner’ (8)
INDICATE – this is what a driver should do (but often doesn’t these days) in good time to convey (get over) an intention to make a turn. Put together IN (from the clue) and a time and insert (get over) I (from the clue) and the starting letter of C(orner). In a down clue ‘over’ is normally used to mean precedes rather than as a containment indicator.
19d Italian makes gesture on the other hand (6)
SIGNOR – this clue follows on so well from the previous one (implying that Italian drivers may signal in non-standard ways) that I am surprised at the absence of ellipses. A gesture or signal is followed by the conjunction that introduces an alternative (on the other hand).
20d Force green reforms on party, finally (6)
ENERGY – an anagram (reforms) of GREEN followed by (on, in a down clue) the final letter of party.
23d Power beneficial to Church (5)
FORCE – this seems a bit like a ‘Two Ronnies” sketch with the answer being the definition from the previous clue. A preposition meaning beneficial to or ‘in favour of’ is followed by the abbreviation for the established church in England.
24d Poet dismissing learner as cook (4)
BAKE – Start with William the English poet (“And did those feet in ancient time”) and dismiss the abbreviation for learner driver.
The clue I liked best was the simple but elegant 6d. Which one(s) did you like?
Today’s Quickie Pun: MILLER + BANNED = MILIBAND