Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27685
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
I didn’t enjoy this one a great deal – quite a few of the surfaces seemed clunky and didn’t make much sense and some of the definitions seemed a bit off. So, there’s plenty of room for discussion here – let’s hear what you thought. If you’re a lurker why not make a New Year’s resolution to introduce yourself and join in the banter?
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 Gin and whisky, they’re divine (7)
SPIRITS – double definition. Although the answer was pretty obvious from the start I delayed writing it in because I can’t see why these disembodied beings are divine.
5a Almost flog Ray? That’s inconsiderate (7)
SELFISH – a verb to flog or hawk without its last letter is followed by what a ray (the sort found in water) is an example of.
9a Out of bed and prepared for trouble (5)
UPSET – charade of an adverb meaning out of bed and an adjective meaning prepared.
10a Doris ran off, grabbing last bit of soap — the sign of a shower (9)
RAINDROPS – an anagram (off) of DORIS RAN contains (grabbing) the last letter of (soa)P.
11a Recoiling from French writing and illustrating (10)
DESCRIBING – recoiling is normally a reversal indicator but there’s no reversal here so I think it’s being used to mean bringing together (as one might an untidy rope). What’s being brought together are the French word meaning ‘of’ and a present participle meaning writing.
12a ‘Dessert’ or ‘desert’ — it will come back with time (4)
TART – what you may have for dessert is a verb to desert or betray reversed (it will come back) followed by T(ime).
14a Mean host isn’t prepared for shock (12)
ASTONISHMENT – an anagram (prepared) of MEAN HOST ISN’T.
18a Turning to grab at gossip (12)
CONVERSATION – a turning or transformation (especially in a religious or political sense) contains (to grab, as used in 10a) AT.
21a Dirty, therefore I left (4)
SOIL – the definition, dirty, is a verb here. String together an adverb meaning therefore, I and L(eft).
22a Deciphering unfinished Alan Turing rule initially concerning the numbers 0, 1, 3, 6, 10… (10)
TRIANGULAR – an anagram (unfinished) of ALA(n) TURING followed by the initial letter of R(ule) gives a word for a series of numbers defining the balls or dots which can be used to make an equilateral triangle. I can see how this works for the numbers from 1 onwards but I can’t see how a triangle can be made from zero balls – I’m sure that someone with a more mathematical bent will explain it!
25a What surgeon might be doing — lecturing about physical exercise (9)
OPERATING – a word for lecturing or public speaking contains the abbreviation for physical exercise.
26a In a strange manner, as Moet might get me? (5)
ODDLY – if you apply the answer to the word Moet you end up with ME.
27a Ordering track to go round ends of border nearest Delhi (7)
SORTING – a track (one on a cd for example) contains the end letters of the last three words.
28a Correspondent: ‘er editor’s sandwiches put down on paper (7)
ENTERED – the clue conceals (sandwiches) the answer. What do you suppose the surface means?
1d Cram maintaining run is strong (6)
STURDY – Cram is not the runner Steve but a verb meaning to mug up, possibly for an exam. Insert (maintaining) the cricket abbreviation for run.
2d Demand in relation to 50% off (6)
INSIST – string together IN (from the clue), the abbreviated term for a female relative and just half of the word TO.
3d Engrossed in heartless article, then relaxed (10)
INTERESTED – a similar clue to the previous one. Again we start with IN, then we add a definite article without its middle and a verb meaning relaxed.
4d Polish scratch (5)
SCRUB – double definition, scratch in the sense of cancel or abandon. This activity seems to me to require a bit more elbow grease than ‘to polish’.
5d Dissecting insects — it could be one’s job (9)
SCIENTIST – an anagram (dissecting) of INSECTS IT.
6d When they’re closed you can’t see in or out (4)
LIDS – a (not very) cryptic definition of what covers the eyes.
7d Recognised lonely individual (8)
ISOLATED – triple definition.
8d Delay His Excellency — one in government (8)
HESITATE – the abbreviation for His Excellency is followed by another word for government with the Roman numeral for one inserted.
13d Completely tough Roth novel about university (10)
THROUGHOUT – an anagram (novel) of TOUGH ROTH contains U(niversity).
15d Watching old boy getting plateful (9)
OBSERVING – the abbreviation for old boy followed by a plateful or portion.
16d Hold hairdresser’s equipment (8)
SCISSORS – double definition, the hold being one used in wrestling.
17d Train the Queen to manoeuvre (8)
ENGINEER – a train (or really, what pulls a train – we’ve had discussions about the difference previously) is followed by the regnal cipher of our Queen.
19d Good ride up in the air — learner driver is in this? (6)
GLIDER – G(ood) and an anagram (up in the air) of RIDE with the letter displayed by a learner driver between them.
20d Hoped bit of light could be captured by page editor (6)
PRAYED – a bit or beam of light is inserted (captured) between the abbreviations for page and editor.
23d Quarrel with a head of government in Parisian street (5)
ARGUE – A (from the clue) followed by the French word for street with the first letter of G(overnment) inserted.
24d Returning at times to get one form of transport (4)
TAXI – reverse (returning) AT and follow this with the mathematical sign meaning times and the Roman numeral for one.
Today’s Quickie Pun: MISSED + ARIGHT = MR RIGHT