Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27708
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Coventry RFU won their sixteenth game on the trot as they whupped Cinderford on Saturday. That is all I have to say about this fine puzzle. Hopefully they will make it seventeen on Saturday at Richmond after which I might just meander over to The Bridge House to say hello to those of you who make it to the Cruciverbalists’ Convention.
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1a Go from bad to worse? (7)
RELAPSE: A deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement.
5a One who volunteers to fight, but he’s not a boxer (7)
TERRIER: This small dog is not a boxer dog. This member of the Territorial Army may or may not box. Who knows?
9a Sucker for the bottle (5)
STRAW: A cryptic definition of something used to suck a drink from a bottle
10a Cite other changes being purely speculative (9)
THEORETIC: DING DONG ANAGRAM ALERT. PENCILS DOWN. Indicator – Changes. Fodder CITE OTHER. Definition – purely speculative. (actually this is a very nice anagram, very nicely clued)
11a Almost the end of the match? (6,4)
DECREE NISI: An order by a court of law stating the date on which a marriage will end unless a good reason not to grant a divorce is produced. From what I have observed I make this comment. If the couples involved put as much energy into making their marriages work as they do into destroying them, those marriages would be perfect. I know that is a generalisation and not all cases are the same
12a Experienced hat-maker (4)
FELT: To have experienced an emotion or sensation is also a kind of cloth used by hatmakers who occasionally turn up in crosswords as Milliners
14a Presumably one’s bent on breaking the law (4-8)
ARCH-CRIMINAL: An all in one clue for which the checking letters will help. In the first part we have BENT which leads us to a curved structure. In the second part we have a simple definition for one who breaks the law. Together they make a definition for one who masterminds the breaking of the law. Like I have said above. I hope that helps
18a Eton prepared to change rule (12)
PREPONDERATE: Our second anagram using the word change as an indicator. The fodder is ETON PREPARED and the answer is a verb meaning to influence or rule.
21a Not a fair copy (4)
CRIB: A double definition. One being to plagiarise and one being to copy. The unfair bit fits with plagiarise. A third definition is a card game that I play. Here is one of my best hands. Does anybody know how to score it?
22a Bore, a title problematic to get rid of (10)
OBLITERATE: Here we go again. Anagram (problematic) of BORE A TITLE
25a Coming to river — that may be exciting (9)
ADVENTURE: The arrival of a notable person or thing or the four Sundays leading up to Christmas followed by one of our three lettered rivers, not the Add, Aln, Awe, Axe, Ayr, Box, Cam, Cur, Dee, Don, Esk, Ewe, Exe, Eye, Fal, Hiz, Irt, Lea, Lee, Lud, Lyn, Moy, Nar, Ray Rib, Roe, Row, Sow, Taf, Tor, Tay, Uck, Usk, Wen, Wey, Wye, Yar or Yeo but the other one.
26a Rodent that is about to become irritated (5)
IRATE: Place a large rodent inside (about) the Latin abbreviation for Id Est
27a Given a permanent income but was in debt by the finish (7)
ENDOWED: Split 3,4 we have a word for finish followed by a word meaning to have been in debt
28a Catty female (7)
TIGRESS: A large female member of the cat family. Her husband came to tea in the lovely book by Judith Kerr
1d Settle concerning interest (6)
RESIDE: Altogether to live somewhere. Take our usual crosswordland two letter word meaning concerning or about and add a well-known word with the unusual meaning affectation
2d Cyril’s playing with words in numbers (6)
LYRICS: Anagram (playing) of CYRIL’S. The numbers here are songs.
3d Magazine that’s designed for women? (6,4)
POWDER ROOM: This wins my awkward clue of the day award. The answer is described as a “noun euphemistic” in my online dictionary and the definition is given as a women’s toilet in a public building. The magazine part of the clue takes us back to the days of muskets and ramrods. Very doable with the checkers but I am not sure where the second word is clued. I suppose the foreign contingent who comment will let me know. Perhaps this is just too clever for me.
4d It’s taken in college at 18 in oral English (5)
EATEN: A homophone or sound alike clue. The college, mentioned in the clue for 18 Across, is just outside Windsor and it sounds like you have just dined.
5d Official makes rate reform more certain (9)
TREASURER; Back on solid ground with this one. There is a partial anagram (reform) of RATE followed by a word meaning more certain. Together they make a word meaning a person appointed to administer or manage the financial assets and liabilities of a society, company, local authority, or other body (oh the joys of copy and paste, you don’t really think I am this clever do you?)
6d Special artist the Queen’s elevated (4)
RARE Two chestnuts here. Our usual artist or Royal Academician is followed by our monarch who just happens to be standing on her head as indicated by the word elevated
7d Mean to arrest that man eventually (2,3,3)
IN THE END: Place a word for “that man” inside another word that means to plan to do something will give a series of letters that when split 2,3,3 will give the answer
8d Articles about concerts (8)
RECITALS: Those of you who like anagrams and see them as a way into crosswords because they give checkers must be little balls of euphoria today. Here is an anagram (about) of ARTICLES
13d Material in carol needs a bit of learning (10)
SMATTERING; Place a verb meaning to carol around a noun meaning physical substance.
15d Restricted like cattle (9)
HIDEBOUND: A devious and amusing double definition. The first being unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention. The second being what a cow is naturally wrapped up in. I have no third definition.
16d Wise step to enter modern era (5,3)
SPACE AGE: Place a word meaning a step or stride inside another word meaning profoundly wise to gain a term for the world we live in now. Remember the word for profoundly wise because it is making another appearance soon albeit having metamorphosed into a plant
17d Sort of feeling one gets as siege is broken? (8)
RELIEVED: This word refers to the ending of a siege such as Mafeking.
19d Wild herb found around Virginia (6)
SAVAGE: This herb which makes a lovely stuffing when mixed with onion is also the profoundly wise person at 16d. Place it around the abbreviation for the state of Virginia to find a word meaning wild.
20d Holiday nook? (6)
RECESS: A double definition of the easiest kind
23d Nitre treated like nitrogen (5)
INERT: Our final anagram (treated) of NITRE
24d Point at present that may come at Christmas (4)
SNOW: A compass point and a word meaning the present time will give the stuff we expect to fall at Christmas
A 13d of Dylan helped me through this review.
The Quick Crossword pun: silly+aisles=Scilly Isles