Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27687
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating — Difficulty ***/**** — Enjoyment ****
Good morning everyone and a very Happy New Year to you all. Here we have the first Ray T crossword of 2015. I thought it was quite difficult and I’m not hung over! I suspect there could be a few woolly heads out there today so any of you who are suffering should perhaps consider another cup of coffee before tackling this one. I don’t know if the first two across answers count as a Nina – I think they probably do but I’m pretty sure someone will tell me.
The answers are hidden under the things that say “click here” so try not to do that by mistake.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.
1a Number worked during today, emptily … (6)
TWENTY — A word meaning worked, or in the case of a car, did what it was supposed to do, are contained (during) the first and last letters of T(oda)Y (emptily). Given the date today anyone with their wits about them will begin to smell a rat here because it takes you into the next answer . . .
4a … number getting fit, that’ll keep following, even briefly (7)
FIFTEEN — Fit, from the clue, containing (that’ll keep) the one letter abbreviation for F(ollowing) and then a poetic word for even.
9a Pet with sexier snaps showing professionalism (9)
EXPERTISE — An anagram (snaps) of PET with SEXIER.
10a Small hospital behind mine (5)
SHAFT — The one letter abbreviations for S(mall) and H(ospital) are followed by a nautical term for the behind or rear of a boat.
11a Most incredible river circles a large lake (7)
TALLEST — A river in southern England goes around (circles) the A from the clue and L(arge) and L(ake) giving you the answer which means most incredible or least likely to be believable.
12a Problem is hard, producing bad mark? (7)
BLEMISH — Just occasionally I think I’m getting better at ‘spotting’ these hidden answers – I’m not so, for the first time today, oh dear!
13a Game bird’s role, grand being in control (9)
PARTRIDGE — A word meaning role or playing someone in a drama is followed by another word for control or oppress which contains (being in) G(rand).
16a Chap’s going round English capital (5)
MEANS — This capital is neither a city nor an upper case letter – it’s money or the werewithal – a chap or bloke, with the apostrophe S, goes round E(nglish).
17a Typical appetisers prepared around Spain initially (5)
TAPAS — Take the first letters (initially) of the first five words of the clue.
18a Subject of French writer approaching depression (9)
DEPENDENT — Begin with the French word for ‘of’, follow that with a writer, a biro perhaps, and finish off with a depression or hollow.
21a Pains I described holding stomach (7)
INSIDES — And another hidden answer – and I missed it – oh dear, again!
22a No stir’s endless imprisoned by concrete (7)
REFUSAL — A four letter word meaning stir or todo without its final letter (endless) is contained in (imprisoned by) another word for concrete or genuine.
25a End of spring, facing meagre harvest (5)
GLEAN — The last letter (end of) spring is followed by (facing) a word for meagre or thin and lacking substance.
26a Rash is more manageable, back covered in antiseptic (9)
PREMATURE — This rash doesn’t mean spots – it means ill advised or unconsidered. A reversal (back) of a word meaning more manageable or gentler is contained (covered in) another word for antiseptic or uncontaminated. I’m not very happy about this other word being a synonym for antiseptic – what does anyone else think?
27a Pick out record by Queen — Queen’s last (7)
DISCERN — Begin with a record that you could play on a stereo system, follow that with the two letters for our Queen and follow that lot with the last letter (last) of (Quee)N.
28a Caught, the woman’s embracing sweetheart, bottoms up (6)
CHEERS — The one letter cricketing abbreviation for C(aught) and the middle letter of swEet (sweetheart) go around (embracing) a word meaning belonging to the woman.
1d Laurel crown? (7)
TREETOP — A cryptic definition which took me far too long and I’m struggling to give a hint without including the first part of the answer in my hint. Sorry!
2d Ban of the French kiss in exercise overturned (5)
EXPEL — The two letter French definite article, a two letter abbreviation for physical exercise containing the one letter that denotes a kiss and then reverse the whole lot (overturned).
3d Short half of bitter, then two quarters (5)
TERSE — The last three letters (half of) bitter are followed by two points of the compass (quarters).
4d Present single drink raised in festive surroundings (7)
FREEBIE — The letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one or single and a drink that comes in pints or halves are reversed (raised) and contained in the first and last letters (surroundings) of F(estiv)e.
5d ‘Geezer’ playing bass perhaps (9)
FISHERMAN — This bass is not a guitar – it’s a cold blooded vertebrate that lives in water.
6d Remove energy beam, catching cold (9)
ERADICATE — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for E(nergy) and follow that with a word meaning beam or emit rays (very appropriate) which contains another one letter abbreviation for C(old).
7d Nicks the cons getting banged up (7)
NOTCHES — An anagram (banged up) of THE CONS.
8d Historic building could be leant over (6)
LISTED — If you live in an old house you really don’t want it to be this as the powers that be come along and tell you what you can and can’t do to it.
14d Get back, concerned with crew on ship (9)
REPOSSESS — The two letter abbreviation meaning concerned with or on the subject of are followed by a crew or group of men usually seen with a sheriff in a Western film and then the usual two letters for a steamship.
15d Home team inside centre playing without team leader (9)
RESIDENCE — A word meaning a team or group of people playing sport is contained in an anagram (playing) of CENTRE without the T (without team leader).
17d Got time over having fake locks (7)
TWIGGED — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for T(ime) and follow that with a word meaning wearing a false hairpiece.
18d Shovel and stand up awkwardly (7)
DUSTPAN — This kind of shovel isn’t anything like a spade – you’d use it with a brush and it’s an anagram (awkwardly) of STAND UP.
19d After parking, drives and clears out (6)
PURGES — The one letter abbreviation for P(arking) is followed by another word for drives or encourages.
20d Bank employees who are recounting (7)
TELLERS — A double definition.
23d Brandish loud whip (5)
FLASH — Begin with the one letter musical abbreviation for loud and follow that with another word for a whip or rope. I decided against trying to find a picture for this one!
24d Plunge beginning to swim on river (5)
SOUSE —The first letter (beginning) of S(wim) is followed by a river that eventually comes out in the Wash.
I’ve just realised how few anagrams there are today – that’ll do as my excuse for finding it tricky. I liked 17a and 1 and 4d. My favourite was 17d.
Quickie pun: Wrestle + Loos + Shuns = Resolutions