Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27646
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating — Difficulty ** — Enjoyment ****
Good morning everyone. It’s a real November morning in Oxford – mild, misty and damp but a Ray T crossword will soon cheer things up and I have almost no doubt that this is one of his. I thought it was very much on the gentle side for him but I’m sure that some of you will disagree. He seems to have lost his naughty hat as there’s not much innuendo this time.
If you want to see an answer please click on the bit that says “click here” but try not to do it by mistake.
Please leave a comment especially if you’re one who has been reading the hints for a while but never before dared to write anything.
1a Realistic ends for partner — to play single guy (11)
PRACTICABLE: — Realistic here means feasible rather than true-to-life. Begin with the first and last letters (ends) of partner, then a verb meaning play or perform. Follow that with the letter that looks like a Roman numeral for one (single) and then the kind of guy that could stop your tent from blowing over in the middle of the night. I thought this answer was a bit like playing with Lego – lots of little bits all put together.
9a From rear, the nude’s made of clay (7)
EARTHEN: — If it had had teeth it would probably have bitten me but I still missed this hidden answer on my first read through.
10a Doctors left other cases using medical skills initially (6)
LOCUMS: — Take the first letters (initially) of the middle six words of the clue. Doctors could be a red herring – they could also be members of the clergy.
12a When parking, stop to find cover on street (7)
ASPHALT: — Start with the two letters meaning when, follow them with the abbreviation for P(arking) and then a word meaning stop or check.
13a Hit rock bottom and aspired to change (7)
DESPAIR: — An anagram (to change) of ASPIRED
14a Types one letter for ‘Saint’ or two reversed? (5)
SORTS: — There are two recognised abbreviations for ‘Saint’. The first is one letter and the second two. Begin with the one letter one, then the ‘or’ from the clue and follow those with a reversal (reversed) of the two letter one. As clear as mud!
15a Devious, doing time, endless debts to pay (9)
INSIDIOUS: — A word for doing time or in prison without its last letter (endless) is followed by the usual crosswordland debts.
17a Airborne soldier in suitable American machine (9)
APPARATUS: — This machine or equipment is made up from a short word meaning suitable or appropriate containing (in) an informal short form of troops carried by air and then one of the two-letter abbreviations meaning American.
20a Described by ‘Assassin in Japan’? (5)
NINJA: — It’s another hidden answer. I found this one quite easily.
22a Cold young woman, almost glacial model (7)
CLASSIC: — This model is an adjective meaning traditional or timeless. Begin with C(old), follow that with a young woman or girl and then the first two letters of a three letter word meaning glacial or freezing.
24a Wicked compiler’s said to embrace maiden (7)
IMMORAL: — Two letters for how the setter may refer to himself and a word meaning said or verbal containing (to embrace) the one letter cricket abbreviation for M(aiden).
25a A pastry’s rolled in layers (6)
STRATA: — A from the clue, and a word meaning a pastry or open topped pie, with the ‘S, all reversed (rolled) gives you these layers or categories.
26a Drills hip and cuts back (7)
INSTILS: — Drills here means teaches. Begin with two letters meaning hip or fashionable and follow them with a verb meaning cuts or slices and then reverse it (back).
27a Star of ‘Argo’ isn’t top unfortunately (11)
PROTAGONIST: — An anagram (unfortunately) of ‘ARGO’ ISN’T TOP. I spent far too long trying to make the star one of the little lights in the sky – it isn’t.
2d Practise without ultimate sweetheart then tries again (7)
REHEARS: – A word for practise, for a play maybe, without its second E (without ultimate sweetheart – i.e. the middle letter of sweet) gives another word meaning tries again, probably in a courtroom. Oh dear – that’s not so good – I do hope you all understand it.
3d Pinch criminals before the audience’s swindled (9)
CONSTRICT: — A verb meaning to pinch or tighten. Begin with the usual criminals and follow them with a homonym (the audience’s) of a word meaning swindled or deceived.
4d Oddly indulged by day and did nothing (5)
IDLED: — Just take the odd letters (oddly) of the second word in the clue and add D(ay)
5d Copper’s caught by top defender’s first defendant (7)
ACCUSED: — The two-letter chemical symbol for copper, with its ‘S, is contained in (caught by) a word meaning top or first-class and followed by the first letter of defender (defender’s first).
6d Left posh medic with earlier complaint (7)
LUMBAGO: — This complaint of the lower back is made up from L(eft), one letter meaning posh, the two-letter Latin abbreviation of a medical degree and followed by a short word for earlier or in the past.
7d Doctor in Caesareans sidestepping an advanced new birth (11)
RENAISSANCE: — An anagram (doctor) of IN CAESAREANS without one of the A’s (sidestepping an abbreviation for A(dvanced).
8d It’s right for page to lead Queen (6)
PROPER: — An adjective meaning right or fitting. Another word for ‘for’ or in favour of is followed by the abbreviation for P(age) and the usual two letters for our Queen.
11d Shout over delay over one’s point for set (11)
CRYSTALLISE: — A verb meaning set or clarify. Begin with a short word for shout or yell, follow that (over) with a delay or a play for time, then the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one, with its ‘S, and then one of the points of the compass. More Lego building!
16d Coin is up in the air after small doubt (9)
SUSPICION: — An anagram (in the air) of COIN IS UP after S(mall).
If you thought this was an Elvis original, your are wrong! Here’s Terry Stafford from 1964. BD
18d Top of pie put on last dish (7)
PLATTER: — This is a serving dish rather than something you’d eat. The first letter (top) of pie is followed by a word meaning last or concluding.
19d Set off again in leisure craft (7)
RESTART: — A word meaning leisure or relaxation comes before a craft or expertise.
20d Sense I’m out to get vengeance (7)
NEMESIS: — An anagram (out) of SENSE I’M.
21d Scandinavian Odin with calmer exterior, curiously (6)
NORDIC: — Another anagram (curiously) of ODIN and the first and last letters (exterior) of C(alme)R.
23d ‘Clash‘ group’s approaching start of gig (5)
CLANG: —A noun or a verb meaning clash or jangle. A group or tribe followed by G (start of gig).
I liked 1 and 26a and 11d. My favourite was 7d. What did you think?
The Quick Crossword pun: soldier+neat+scene=Solzhenitsyn