Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27644
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from a rain-sodden North Devon. I thought that this puzzle was pretty enjoyable – 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 only do that as a last resort.
1a Nice gaff — wants one, having no accommodation? (3,3)
DES RES – a gaff is a slang term for a place to live so this is a sought-after home as portrayed in estate agents’ jargon. It’s a verb meaning wants or craves with the Roman numeral for one evicted (one having no accommodation).
5a Emperor‘s East European origins initially concealed by grandma (8)
NAPOLEON – a native of an East European country and the initial letter of O(rigins) go inside an affectionate term for grandma.
9a Female executive — I should be employed by daily (10)
CHAIRWOMAN – insert the Roman numeral for one into a daily (a lady who ‘does’).
10a Clever suggestion saving time (4)
CUTE – a suggestion or hint contains (saving) T(ime).
11a Course for important horse races (8)
CLASSICS – two definitions – a course involving the study of Latin and Greek and the collective term for five important flat races in England, including the Derby.
12a Dressed trees round area for festival (6)
EASTER – an anagram (dressed) of TREES contains A(rea).
13a Circles round small lake in capital (4)
OSLO – two circular letters contain (round, in consecutive clues) the abbreviations for small and lake.
15a Advanced through jostling into flight (8)
AVIATION – string together the abbreviation for advanced, a preposition (from Latin) meaning through or by way of and an anagram (jostling) of INTO.
18a Aquatic bird, brilliantly red duck (8)
FLAMINGO – an adjective meaning brilliantly red is followed by the letter resembling zero (a duck in cricket).
19a See this conifer in film studio, not wood (4)
PINE – start with the name of the film studios west of London, where the James Bond films are shot, and take away the ‘wood’.
21a Declare invalid must check blood group yearly (6)
ANNUAL – a verb to declare invalid or rescind contains (must check) a blood group.
23a According to plan, got rent reviewed around middle of May (2,6)
ON TARGET – an anagram (reviewed) of GOT RENT goes around the middle letter of May.
25a Male cat, black, in vault (4)
TOMB – a male domestic cat followed by the abbreviation for black.
26a Cricketer, lbw, is prone to come a cropper (4,6)
SPIN BOWLER – an anagram (to come a cropper) of LBW IS PRONE.
27a Male in carriage is forward (8)
TRANSMIT – insert M(ale) in a word meaning carriage or shipment. This was my last answer as I was looking for forward to be either a noun or an adjective, whereas it’s actually a verb.
28a Rotten type, in time, will cause mistakes in print (6)
ERRATA – insert a rotten type or despicable person into a distinct period of time.
2d Girl in farce, ‘The Ladykillers’ (5)
ETHEL – this girl is hidden in the clue.
3d Momentary mental aberration, losing head in squall (9)
RAINSTORM – start with a short-lived mental disturbance and drop the initial letter (losing head).
4d Saying by Fahrenheit Italian deemed appropriate (3,3)
SAW FIT – start with a word for a saying or proverb (if you didn’t know it commit it to memory because it crops up on a regular basis) and add F(ahrenheit) and the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.
5d Criminal misusing ATM loot as collector of bits and pieces? (15)
NUMISMATOLOGIST – bits and pieces can both mean coins. This collector is an anagram (criminal) of MISUSING ATM LOOT.
6d Contagious fear across Mediterranean over swine flu, for example (8)
PANDEMIC – a word for contagious fear or hysteria contains the reversal (over) of the abbreviation of the Mediterranean Sea.
7d Spikes — they may be used in running shoes (5)
LACES – double definition – spikes here means contaminates (by the addition of alcohol or drugs) someone’s food or drink, normally without that person’s knowledge.
8d Film paid for by municipality? (2,3,4)
ON THE TOWN – this is a 1949 film starring Gene Kelly. Cryptically it could mean that the municipality is footing the bill.
14d Silly old prunes getting something special (9)
SPLENDOUR – an anagram (silly) of OLD PRUNES.
16d Pull in heavy drinker of the highest social standing (3-6)
TOP-DRAWER – a verb to pull or haul goes inside an habitual heavy drinker.
17d Relatives, American, in the US government (5,3)
UNCLE SAM – a personification of the US government comes from male relatives followed by a 2-letter abbreviation for American.
20d Firmly established dock for the bay? (6)
STABLE – double definition, the second being the place where a bay (or chestnut, for example) is docked or tied up.
22d Situated in a city, elegant for the most part (5)
URBAN – an adjective meaning elegant or suave without its final letter (for the most part).
24d Set up vote for Right to oust Left (5)
ERECT – start with a verb to vote for someone, then replace the L(eft) with R(ight).
I liked 1a, 27a and 7d best today. Which one(s) made you sit up?
Today’s Quickie Pun: BAY + BIN + ALMS = BABE IN ARMS