Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27691
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
There is a literary flavour to today’s puzzle with two novelists and a novel featuring in the answers. I started off at a rate of knots but slowed down in the SE corner and needed all the checkers for what I thought was the trickiest clue, 21d. On the whole it seemed pretty straightforward with nothing to set the world alight. Do let us know how you got on and what you thought of it.
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 Messy, agent eating chop (6)
SLOPPY – a secret agent contains a verb to chop or prune.
10a View exotic lap dances (9)
LANDSCAPE – an anagram (exotic) of LAP DANCES.
11a Food ready to eat after end of fast (5)
TRIPE – an adjective meaning ready to eat follows the last letter of fast.
12a Entrance by duke that is doggedly determined (2-2-3)
DO-OR-DIE – string together an entrance, D(uke) and the abbreviation for ‘that is’.
13a Looks steaming, having done this on the golf course? (3,4)
AIR SHOT – a charade of looks or appearances and an adjective meaning steaming or seething produces an unsuccessful and embarrassing attempt to hit a golf ball.
14a Improvised, most of excuse involving daughter (2-3)
AD-LIB – an excuse without its last letter contains the abbreviation for daughter.
15a Novel confusing to morons (8)
NOSTROMO – an anagram (confusing) of TO MORONS gives us the title of a Joseph Conrad novel.
18a Moral tale about Ecstasy is wholly distasteful (8)
ALLEGORY – the abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy goes between an adverb meaning wholly or totally and an adjective meaning distasteful or gruesome.
20a Overactive aboard dinghy, perhaps (5)
HYPER – hidden (aboard) in the clue.
23a Boast endlessly about firm, the place for fruit (7)
ORCHARD – a verb to boast without its final letter is reversed (about) and that’s followed by an adjective meaning firm or solid.
25a Uncertain what to do, with income less than outlay? (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS – double definition, the first meaning baffled or uncomprehending.
26a Conclude not one has escaped from hell (5)
INFER – a word meaning ‘not one’ as in ‘not one objection was heard’ is dropped from a word for hell (as described by Dante).
27a Saw maiden boiling water (5,4)
ADAM’S WINE – an anagram (boiling) of SAW MAIDEN.
28a Novelist in Maine tried changing ending of ‘Middlemarch’ (8)
MEREDITH – I can’t say that this Victorian novelist was familiar to me but the word play is very clear. The standard two-letter abbreviation for the state of Maine is followed by an anagram (changing) of TRIED and the end letter of Middlemarch.
29a Attentive pocketing key and watch chain (6)
ALBERT – this watch chain was named after the Prince Regent (and is not to be confused with the bodily piercing also named after him). An adjective meaning attentive or vigilant contains (pocketing) a musical key.
1d A youth’s after seconds, going to pub food counter (5,3)
SALAD BAR – A (from the clue) and a young man follow S(econds) and that all precedes another word for pub.
2d Personal objective in move that backfired? (3,4)
OWN GOAL – charade of an adjective meaning personal or private and an objective or target.
3d Dance well with person brought up in post (4,5)
PASO DOBLE – an intensifier meaning well or very (as in ‘well pleased’) and the reversal (brought up, in a down clue) of an informal term for a person go inside a wooden post or stake.
5d A fantastic thing seen in article, jazz fan’s night attire? (3,4,7)
THE CAT’S PYJAMAS – this informal phrase for something excellent dates from the 1920s (it’s very similar in meaning to ‘the bee’s knees’). Start with a definite article, add an informal word for a jazz fan plus the ‘S and finish with a type of night attire.
6d Change flag, heading off (5)
ALTER – flag here is not a noun but a verb meaning grow weak. Remove its first letter.
7d Thriller writer‘s forbidding abridged copy (7)
GRISHAM – put together an adjective meaning forbidding or dour without its last letter (abridged) and a copy or counterfeit.
8d Deal with party, ultimately making pact (6)
TREATY – a verb to deal with (a sick person, say) is followed by the ultimate letter of party.
9d Respond amiably to fool over satisfying role (4,2,4,4)
TAKE IN GOOD PART – a phrasal verb meaning to fool or hoax (4,2) is followed by (over, in a down clue) a satisfying role.
16d Learns in the course of proper practice session (9)
REHEARSAL – a verb meaning learns or gets to know goes inside (in the course of) an adjective meaning proper or genuine.
17d Split screen in court showing Turkish emblem (8)
CRESCENT – an anagram (split) of SCREEN is contained inside the abbreviation for court.
19d A match for the devil (7)
LUCIFER – two meanings, the first an old type of match or lighting device.
21d Papers supporting wizard’s image (7)
PROFILE – a collection of information (papers) follows (supporting, in a down clue) an informal word for a wizard or expert.
22d Element of hatred under Stalin’s lead (6)
SODIUM – a word for hatred or disgust follows (under, in a down clue) the leading letter of Stalin.
24d Biting cold in desert (5)
ACRID – insert C(old) in an adjective meaning desert or dried up.
My top clue was 9d. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: PLANES + PEKING = PLAIN SPEAKING