Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27756
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Apart from hidden words all of our needs are satisfied by todays puzzle. We have food and drink to keep us going, garments to keep us warm, somewhere to live, games to play a country to visit and a military leader should we choose to invade it. Get the Lego out for the charades. Find those Scrabble tiles or pencils for the anagrams, (to be used as a last resort only). Have your ears syringed to listen out for the homophone. Keep your BRB or Google definitions handy for the obscure 18th meaning of a doubly defined word. There is fun to be had putting things inside other things as well. Do not mention Rugby Football, Cricket or England and all will be fine.
There are no hidden word clues today but there are hints and tips lurking on today’s blog from Itchy or Scratchy who has made a guest appearance. The Sinner Boy has found an apprentice.
The hints and tips below are here to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.
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1a Drunken flirting in game? (11)
TIDDLYWINKS: Take an adjective meaning slightly drunk and add what one does when flirting to find a children’s parlour game. Before Grand Theft Auto. Before Sonic The Hedgehog. Before Lego. Before Ludo. We had an innocent game with counters and a pot. The terminology of this game in Wikipedia is worth a read
9a One can’t be trusted after a deal is made (4-5)
CARD SHARP: The deal here is not one of trade or business. This person who cannot be trusted is one who cheats at games such as Cribbage in order to win money. I didn’t cheat but had this hand recently.
10a Pot plant (5)
GRASS: A double definition of something that will need cutting regularly from now until October
11a Make a mistake and throw out the drink (6)
SHERRY: To throw at a coconut perhaps, around our usual crosswordland suspect verb meaning to make a mistake will give you this drink which might go nicely with 7d
12a Hamper holding spare garments (8)
CLOTHING: A word meaning to hamper as in impede or obstruct is holding a word meaning spare or lean.
13a Fine quality diamonds worn with a shirt in New York (6)
NICETY: Start with a three-letter slang term for diamonds (while we’re looking at slang definitions, it is also a form of methamphetamine or a verb meaning to kill). This, together with a one-letter type of shirt, is (worn) inside the abbreviation for a US state. The whole can be defined as the quality of being agreeable.
15a Mad party guest going to pot used room to spruce up (8)
DORMOUSE: This guest at The Mad Hatters Tea party ended up in the first of 10 across’s two definitions. He can be found as an anagram (to spruce up) of USED ROOM. This clue gives me an opportunity to illustrate it with one of my favourite clips. Please watch and enjoy
18a It’s an indication for drivers, by the way (4,4)
ROAD SIGN: I suppose this just about falls into crypticity. The way is what we drive on. The indication is what informs us as we do so.
19a Could be a good laugh or cry (6)
SCREAM: A double definition. A third dated definition (which would be of no help to me) might be to turn informer
21a Believe gold might satisfy him? (8)
CREDITOR: To give credence to followed by our usual two letter long suspect for gold will give a person to whom money is owed.
23a Models must be fashionable ladies (6)
IDEALS: Anagram (fashionably) of LADIES
26a Call up a woman, a case for approval (5)
EVOKE: The first woman on earth has a verb meaning to give the thumbs up to something inserted inside her as indicated by the words (a case of)
27a Cat seen in various residences (9)
TENANCIES: Anagram (various) of CAT SEEN IN. I like anagrams in which the following applies. They are three words long. The middle word is the indicator. The first and third words are both the same length. It is possible for either the first word or the third word to be either fodder or wordplay.
28a Confidential sign which executives employ (11)
SECRETARIES: Take a noun meaning something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others and add a sign of the zodiac
1d Friar’s at home and eats heartily (5,2)
TUCKS IN: The Friar is a Merry Man and he is not out.
2d An air of sadness (5)
DIRGE: A musical air which might be heard at a funeral
3d Cobbler’s farewell ceremony? (4,5)
LAST RITES: This ceremony, one of the seven sacraments, is performed at the bedside of those not expected to live. I cannot square the clue to the answer. A cobbler would use the first word of the answer (there is a saying that he should stick to it) Maybe it is an all in one. What do you think?
4d Northern river sport (4)
WEAR: Not The Tyne. The other one. Not sport as in Rugby or Cricket which we are not mentioning today. Sport as in display upon one’s body.
5d French leader turned an East European on (8)
NAPOLEON: A nice little “Do as you are told clue” Turn the AN around. Add an eastern European and the word ON from the clue to find this French midget who liked his women dirty . “I will be home in three days. Don’t wash”
6d Location in sound and vision (5)
SIGHT: A homophone based upon our vision and a location or an area of ground on which a town, building, or monument is constructed.
7d Turn gas up in a way, making pasta (7)
LASAGNE: Reverse (turn up)the word GAS and place it inside a way that may be very pretty and found in the countryside. Once the answer is found you can eat it and wash it down with a little glass of 11ac. I have a favourite pasta recipe which involves boiling it for as long as necessary, throwing it the bin and going to the Fish and chip shop.
8d Treatment that is always on hand (8)
MANICURE: if this treatment was on your foot it would be a pedicure. It isn’t on your foot though. It is on your hand. It is a cosmetic treatment of the hands involving shaping and often painting of the nails, removal of the cuticles, and softening of the skin. Need I say more?
14d Female guard of honour (8)
CHAPERON: an older woman responsible for the decorous behaviour of a young unmarried girl at social occasions. Usually spelled with an E at the end. If only Saint Sharon had been accompanied by one of these all those years ago.
16d Staff professor, first class, brought up in old country (9)
MACEDONIA: A staff of office and a university professor. Two letters meaning first class are then reversed (brought up) to reveal a country in southeast Europe.
17d One doesn’t believe in coasting freely (8)
AGNOSTIC: One doesn’t believe, nor does (s)he disbelieve. Keeping an open mind is good – as long as it is not so open your brain falls out. As a dedicated fence-sitter, maybe that’s what happened to mine. Oh yes – freely is an anagram indicator, sitting there next to its fodder.
18d Frauds seen in court or in the press (7)
RACKETS: These frauds are also pieces of sporting equipment seen in the non-legal type of courts and kept in a press when not in use. I have never used such a press, nor have I seen one for about forty years
20d Broods about one’s exploits (7)
MISUSES: Not broods as in children which was my first thought, but reflects or ponders. This is around (about) the Roman numeral one and the ‘S from the clue.
22d Articles in the Telegraph or Times possibly (5)
ITEMS: Anagram (possibly) of TIMES
24d Excuse for being absent (5)
ALIBI: A straightforward definition of an excuse for being absent usually used in a court of law
25d Payment before ascent of mountain (4)
ANTE: This advance payment is also a stake in poker. In reverse (ascent in a down clue) it is an active Sicilian volcano.
Can you recognise Itchy or Scratchy hints?
The Quick Crossword pun: differ+cult=difficult