Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27711
Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning everyone, it’s the cockroach and the alley cat again – I told you we’d be back! Mehitabel has failed to land an Aristocat as her 18d and I’m still bashing my head on the keyboard so no change there. Our first blog was in birthday week last year so we thought it would be cool to get back together and do another.
It’s a pretty good puzzle with some clever stuff, a few “penny drops” and a few grins. We’ve agreed on **/*** but 5d is nearly worth a fourth enjoyment on its own. I’m sure many of you will disagree so it will be interesting to see your comments.
Definitions are underlined in the clues and the ones we like most are in blue. Answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click unless you want to reveal them.
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1a Manservant’s short speech expressing farewell (11)
VALEDICTION: a five letter word for a manservant without its final letter (short) is followed by another word for speech or a manner of speaking.
9a Cockeyed with draught — most of kebab is left (4-5)
SKEW WHIFF: Begin with a draught or a faint or brief smell. Now think of a six letter word for a kebab (or certainly what pieces of meat are cooked on anyway) and remove the last two letters (most of kebab) then put this word in front of i.e. to the left of your first one. Am I making myself clear here?
10a Griped about piano missing in requiem (5)
DIRGE: An anagram (about) of GRIPED without the one letter abbreviation for piano (piano missing).
11a Work on engine‘s air increase (4-2)
TUNE UP: An air or melody followed by a rise or an increase of something.
12a Dicky is mature but with energy for a retired professor (8)
EMERITUS: An anagram (dicky) of IS MATURE but replacing the A with and E (with energy for a).
13a Putting last of effluvium in piping is the answer (6)
REMEDY: A word meaning piping or thin and high pitched containing the last letter of effluvium.
15a Indonesian opossum a tranquilliser’s restraining (8)
SUMATRAN: There always has to be one of these – luckily for me I caught him hiding in the middle of the clue before he had a chance to catch me out.
18a Right checking fruit — and very English! — that grows in swamps (8)
MANGROVE: Start off with a tropical fruit then put in the abbreviation for right (right checking fruit) and follow all that with the abbreviations for V(ery) and E(nglish).
19a Brand’s very loud exit (3,3)
LOG OFF: A brand or mark that an organisation is recognised by is followed by the musical instruction to play something very loudly.
21a Green shoots could be a sign of this core getting recycled? Really? (8)
RECOVERY: An anagram (getting recycled) of CORE is followed by another word meaning really or extremely.
23a At first lost without key in narrow passage (6)
STRAIT: An anagram (lost) of AT FIRST missing (without) a musical key. The photo’s for Jane.
26a Criticised in turn by article in Times (3,2)
GOT AT: A short word for a turn or chance to do something is followed by the indefinite article contained in two letters that are the abbreviation for time – the same ones!
27a Leader? Real idiot, unfortunately (9)
EDITORIAL: An anagram (unfortunately) of REAL IDIOT.
28a Swim in calm is happy coincidence (11)
SERENDIPITY: A short word for a brief swim or going for a bit of a splash around in the sea or pool is contained in (in) another word for calm or peacefulness. Deja vu anyone . . . ?
2d Make a late start with invention at home (3,2)
LIE IN: An invention or falsehood followed by the usual two letters meaning “at home”. One thing I can’t do on blogging days, although I suppose I could take the netbook to bed.
3d Crashed, falling short of the Antipodes (4,5)
DOWN UNDER: Another word used to describe a crashed computer system followed by a word for falling short or not enough. I bet this one is the 2Kiwi’s favourite.
4d Money for stamp (4)
COIN: Double definition.
5d Popular female a victim of farmer’s wife? That’s shocking (8)
INFAMOUS: Start with the usual popular followed by F(emale), the A from the clue and then one of the farmer’s wife’s victims, but she cut off their tails so leave off the last letter. This one raised a smile when the penny dropped on why the last letter was missing. Of course mehitabel wouldn’t need the carving knife – she’s a cat, but catching mice is probably beneath her since she’s a reincarnation of Cleopatra!
6d Low point, coming from Barcelona direction (5)
NADIR: Hidden in (coming from) the last two words of the clue.
7d Relative with crushes (4-3)
STEP SON: It’s a relative you might get by marriage. Split the answer (5,2) and you get a phrase meaning crushes.
8d Story set to music or a three-part composition about love (8)
ORATORIO: Start with OR (from the clue), then A (from the clue) and follow with a piece of music written for three players with O (love) inserted (about).
14d Islanders with little or nothing to look back on? (4,4)
MANX CATS: These islanders are animals that come from an island in the Irish Sea and they have nothing at the rear end to look back on. Perhaps it all started with the Farmer’s Wife not restricting herself to rodents – I’ll get me coat!
16d 8 failing to start if translated from Latin for even more convincing reasons (1,8)
A FORTIORI: To solve this you really need to have the answer to 8d. Take that answer without its first letter (failing to start) and IF (from the clue) and make an anagram (translated).
17d Bug one could pick up where I am (8)
OVERHEAR: Bug as in listen in. It sounds like (pick up) how you might tell someone where you are.
18d Ideal man using power to protect king and queen (2,5)
MR RIGHT: A word meaning power or strength is placed around (to protect) the abbreviations for Rex and Regina and then it’s all split (2,5). When this guy gets married his wife becomes MRS ALWAYS *****!
20d Lay flat out with no hope of revival (7)
FATALLY: Anagram (out) of LAY FLAT.
22d Five broken toes — these should get cast (5)
VOTES: Roman numeral for five followedby an anagram (broken) of TOES.
24d Story is impromptu one with no depth (5)
ALIBI: Take a phrase for an impromptu or unrehearsed performance followed by I (one) and remove the D (with no D(epth)).
25d 1000-1’s long odds for Potter’s Friend (4)
KILN: Abbreviation for 1000, I (1) followed by the odd letters from LoNg gives something a Potter uses. Naughty false capitalisation had me thinking of Harry for a while. Not sure the definition really works, friend?
archy and mehitabel are in agreement that 5d is clear favourite but what do you think?
The Quick Crossword pun: budge+eyrie+gar=budgerigar