Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27727
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Tuesdays seem to be the poor relations in the Telegraph crossword week. Rufus has a host of followers on Mondays, discriminating solvers swear by Jay on Wednesdays, Ray T arouses strong feelings (mostly favourable) on Thursdays and Giovanni has his dedicated band of aficionados on Fridays. However, we rarely see comments along the lines of ‘Hurrah, it’s Tuesday tomorrow – we’ll be in for another crossword treat’. I suspect that part of the reason for this is that we don’t have names for the Tuesday setters. So here’s a plea to today’s setter – Let us know who you are by dropping in on the blog, then we can identify with you and start to make Tuesdays a bit more exciting.
Three quarters of this one posed minimal problems but then I was held up a bit in the final (NW) quadrant. It was all quite enjoyable with a number of smiles. 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.
5a Straighten out Charlie, humorist at university (5,2)
CLEAR UP – string together the letter that Charlie is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, the humorist and writer of 14a and an adverb meaning at university.
7a Article about bishop assigned to a Scottish island (5)
ARRAN – one of our indefinite articles contains the abbreviation for the title afforded a bishop and A (from the clue).
9a Lets off steam following English results (6)
EVENTS – a verb meaning discharges steam (in an old locomotive, for example) follows E(nglish). ‘Results’ is not the first word that springs to mind for the answer but it is the second definition in the BRB.
10a Heading for blue reptile heard in snowstorm (8)
BLIZZARD – the first letter (heading) of blue is followed by what sounds like a type of reptile. The surface doesn’t mean a lot.
11a Houses decent couples (10)
PROPERTIES – charade of an adjective meaning decent or respectable and a verb meaning couples or links.
13a Pressure in eliminating round (4)
HEAT – double definition, the second a preliminary round in a sporting event.
14a There may be rhyme but no reason in it (8,5)
NONSENSE VERSE – cryptic definition of a sort of absurd poetry. Perhaps the best-known writer of this was the humorist from 5a:
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find him pleasant enough.
His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.
16a Board express crossing heart of Austria (4)
STAY – a verb to express or state contains (crossing) the middle letter of Austria.
17a Bad luck in firm going to Cheshire? (4,6)
HARD CHEESE – an adjective meaning firm or rigid is followed by what Cheshire is a variety of in the food department.
19a So long, some essay on a rainforest (8)
SAYONARA – hidden (some) in the clue.
20a Bloody stupid former pupil (3,3)
OLD BOY – an anagram (stupid) of BLOODY.
22a Diet round fifth of September, then wine and dine (5)
FEAST – a strict diet or period of abstinence contains the fifth letter of September.
23a Hat ripped to show most of costly lining (7)
TRICORN – an adjective meaning ripped has inside it (to show … lining) all except the final letter of an adjective meaning costly or lavish.
1d Bird‘s tail, not small (4)
TERN – start with the tail of a ship, say, and remove the S(mall).
2d Keep drop of plonk on ice (8)
PRESERVE – the first letter (drop) of plonk is followed (on, in a down clue) by ice or aloofness.
3d Tooth decay in canine, showing the first sign (6)
CARIES – start with the abbreviation for canine (in dentistry, not Crufts) then ram in the first sign of the zodiac.
4d Chief unbalanced atop mount? (5,5)
CRAZY HORSE – this is the Native American chief who took part in the battle of the Little Bighorn where General Custer was killed. An adjective meaning unbalanced or deranged is followed (atop, in a down clue) by a mount or steed.
5d Fielder caught six balls, one after the other (5)
COVER – this clue is all about cricket so will please some and dismay others. The answer is a fielder or fielding position on the offside of the wicket. Start with the abbreviation for caught and add what six consecutive balls from same bowler is called.
6d VIP can bluster, maddening government employee (6,7)
PUBLIC SERVANT – our second and final anagram is indicated by maddening and the fodder is VIP CAN BLUSTER.
8d Raced over to judge to tell a story (7)
NARRATE – reverse (over) a verb meaning raced or sped and add a verb to judge or assess.
12d Mint coin — sovereign, perhaps (10)
PENNYROYAL – this is a plant of the mint family, used in herbal medicine. It’s a charade of a small coin and an adjective meaning belonging to a reigning family.
14d Rather less than fifty per cent (3,4)
NOT HALF – the answer is a slang response meaning “Rather!” or “Very much so!”.
15d Winner rejected first-class carriage (8)
VICTORIA – another word for winner followed by the reversal (rejected) of what looks like the abbreviation (originally used in Lloyd’s Register of Shipping for a top-rated vessel) meaning first-class.
17d Try on extremely tasteless suit (6)
HEARTS – a verb to try, as a judge in court, followed by the outer (extremely) letters of tasteless.
18d Demonstrated how to fill tin (5)
SHOWN – HOW goes inside the chemical symbol for tin.
21d Crucifix put up in entrance (4)
DOOR – reverse (put up, in a down clue) a crucifix (one often positioned on a beam at the entrance to the chancel in church).
The top clues for me today were 20a, 14d and 17d. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: KNOW + EYE + DEER = NO IDEA