Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27751
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment **
On the plus side most of the clues here are concise with smooth surface readings, but it doesn’t really put up much of a challenge. I know that the puzzles are meant to get harder as the week progresses so we can’t complain too much about the Tuesday one being pretty easy, but even so I finished this with a vague sense of being short-changed. Do let us know your thoughts.
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 First chess player attending match in formal evening dress (5,3)
WHITE TIE – the player making the first move in a game of chess followed by a match in a knockout competition.
8a Ape straddling an awning (6)
CANOPY – a verb to ape or imitate goes round AN (from the clue).
10a Soldier who carries the Colours in — gen’s misleading (6)
ENSIGN – an anagram (misleading) of IN GEN’S.
11a Liking page with charm (8)
PENCHANT – the abbreviation for page and a verb to charm or bewitch.
12a Fail to win card game — become exasperated (4,8)
LOSE PATIENCE – charade of a verb meaning fail to win and a single-player card game.
15a Bridge player held in low esteem (4)
WEST – hidden (held) in the clue.
17a Element causing trouble amongst our sailors (5)
RADON – the usual word for trouble or fuss goes inside the abbreviation for our senior service.
18a Stage one in unhappy retirement (4)
DAIS – the Roman numeral for one is inserted in the reversal of an adjective meaning unhappy.
19a Frail head going round food shop (12)
DELICATESSEN – start with an adjective meaning frail or fragile then reverse (going round) a head or promontory.
22a Colour of object surrounded by seaweed (8)
LAVENDER – an object or target is surrounded by a type of seaweed popular as a food in Wales.
24a Novel from library, or borrowed? On the contrary (3,3)
ROB ROY – the title of Sir Walter Scott’s novel is hidden (from) and reversed (on the contrary) in the clue.
25a Policeman determined to avoid responsibility (3,3)
COP OUT – charade of an informal word for a police officer and an adverb meaning determined or very keen (as in ‘She was *** to capture her man’).
26a Sample mushrooms brought back by me after breaking in (8)
SPECIMEN – reverse (brought back) types of edible mushrooms then insert (after breaking) ME into IN.
1d Punch clock (6)
STRIKE – this is a double definition though, as far as I can see, the two definitions are almost identical with the verb to clock meaning to hit someone (especially on the head). I spent some time unsuccessfully trying to find a way in which clock can be a verb meaning to sound the hour, but if it can mean that the BRB doesn’t mention it.
2d A tall nurse treated film comedian (4,6)
STAN LAUREL – anagram (treated) of A TALL NURSE.
3d Picture of forged coin (4)
ICON – an anagram (forged) of COIN.
4d On reflection, partaking in absinthe endures (2,3,3)
IN THE END – hidden (partaking) in the clue.
6d Deliver diamonds in German city (4,4)
HAND OVER – insert the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds into the city in Germany from which our King George I and his successors came.
7d Coppers stride off in a display of team spirit (6,2,5)
ESPRIT DE CORPS – an anagram (off) of COPPERS STRIDE.
9d Stake boat (4)
PUNT – double definition, the first a verb or noun meaning gamble or bet.
13d Scratched one? (3-7)
NON-STARTER – a (not very) cryptic definition of a competitor withdrawn from the list of runners before the race gets going.
14d Trying more ties out (8)
TIRESOME – an anagram (out) of MORE TIES.
16d Changing of editor, highly desirable (2,3,3)
TO DIE FOR – perhaps the setter has had a disagreement with the Puzzles Editor? This is an anagram (changing) of OF EDITOR.
20d Tender doctor returned wearing costume (6)
SUBMIT – one of the abbreviations for a medical doctor is reversed (returned) inside (wearing) a costume or formal attire.
23d Tax office (4)
DUTY – double definition, the first the sort of tax that the Chancellor may well be reducing slightly on alcohol tomorrow in an attempt at a pre-election bribe.
My pick of the clues today was 25a. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: HAIFA + LOOTING = HIGHFALUTING