Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27757
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment **
We crossword solvers are a demanding lot – we want a puzzle that puts up a bit of a fight, ideally gives us a couple of laughs but finally submits so that we get a sense of achievement. No single puzzle can possibly fulfil that remit for the range of solvers out there, so for every person who thought that this one was pitched at the right level and enjoyed it there’ll be someone else who thought it was too easy. I thought it was pretty straightforward with a liberal sprinkling of old chestnuts and not a lot of sparkle but if you enjoyed it then it’s done what was asked of it. 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.
1a Be little affected by island in break (6)
RESIST – insert the 2-character abbreviation for island into a break or breather.
4a Time left in decrepit flat despite everything (5,3)
AFTER ALL – a distinct period of time and L(eft) go inside an anagram (decrepit) of FLAT.
10a Spell over probing unusually rude conduct (9)
DEMEANOUR – a verb meaning to spell (as in ‘floods could spell disaster’) and the cricketing abbreviation for over are inserted in (probing) an anagram (unusually) of RUDE.
11a Precise legislation from the past? (5)
EXACT – split the answer 2,3 for legislation from the past.
12a Sprawling tree blocking vehicle for food source (7)
CATERER – an anagram (sprawling) of TREE goes inside (blocking) a vehicle.
13a Old retired volunteers with tea, say, being pale brown (7)
OATMEAL – string together O(ld), the reversal (retired) of the old abbreviation for our part-time soldiers and what tea can be an example of.
14a Abandon period off duty (5)
LEAVE – double definition.
15a Shot behind river showing shipbuilding, perhaps (8)
INDUSTRY – a shot or attempt follows a long Asian river.
18a Introduction first character’s forgotten in role group played (8)
PROLOGUE – an anagram (played) of (r)OLE without its first letter and GROUP.
20a Place of relief offering nothing in current state (5)
OASIS – start with the letter that resembles zero and add a phrase (2,2) meaning in current state or unaltered.
23a A lot among police turning forceful? (7)
DYNAMIC – insert a word meaning a great number into one of the branches of a police force and reverse the lot (turning). I’m not sure why there’s a question mark.
25a Timeless part soon devised for singer (7)
SOPRANO – an anagram (devised) of PAR(t) SOON without the abbreviation for time.
26a Go along the edge of feminine garment (5)
SKIRT – two definitions.
27a Cruciverbalists love ruses in cryptic form (9)
OURSELVES – an anagram (in cryptic form) of LOVE RUSES. This was my last answer as I was trying hard to fit ‘solver’ in there somewhere.
28a Complaint about teachers’ union? It’s hard to crack (8)
NUTSHELL – split the answer 3’1,4 and you have a statement disparaging a teachers’ union.
29a Old-fashioned fellow orchestrating a duel (6)
FEUDAL – the abbreviation for a fellow (of a society, say) is followed by an anagram (orchestrating) of A DUEL.
1d Dictator once caught breaking law getting derision (8)
RIDICULE – the forename of the old Ugandan dictator and the cricketing abbreviation for caught go inside (breaking) another word for law.
2d Trauma’s convulsed Asian island (7)
SUMATRA – an anagram (convulsed) of TRAUMA’S.
3d Look hard, we’re told, and skilfully for flight location (9)
STAIRWELL – what sounds like a verb to look hard or eyeball is followed by an adverb meaning skilfully or competently.
5d Sentimentality in car, touching hand, say, as an extra element? (3,4,7)
FOR GOOD MEASURE – insert a word for excessive sentimentality into a make of car then add (touching) what a hand is an example of (when you want to find out the height of a horse).
6d First woman not lacking heart in race, say (5)
EVENT – bring together the first woman in the Bible and ‘not’ without its middle letter.
7d A way to finish game, game taken up without expertise? (7)
AMATEUR – string together A (from the clue), a way of finishing a game of chess and the reversal (taken up, in a down clue) of the abbreviation of a fifteen-a-side game (of which we had a feast last Saturday – well done, Ireland!).
8d Young female violinist (6)
LITTLE – double definition, the second the surname of Tasmin, the classical violinist.
9d Getting on train in Harrow, for instance (8,6)
BOARDING SCHOOL – charade of a present participle meaning getting on a vehicle and a verb to train or educate.
16d Prove knight maybe is a fine specimen (9)
SHOWPIECE – put together a verb to prove or demonstrate and what a knight is an example of in a board game.
17d Support Poles organised around America (8)
ESPOUSAL – an anagram (organised) of POLES goes around the abbreviation for the bit of North America between Canada and Mexico.
19d Act wildly with stunted creature touring carnival venue (3,4)
RUN RIOT – a stunted creature (the smallest in a litter) contains (touring) the usual carnival city.
21d Desperately lacking in cheer? (7)
STARVED – gentle cryptic definition. Cheer, here, means food.
22d Peculiar family member more than likely (4,2)
ODDS ON – split the answer 3,3 and you have a peculiar relative.
24d Equal striker in game (5)
MATCH – triple definition, the first a verb to equal or be on a par with.
My pick of the clues today was 9d. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: MAINE + COARSE = MAIN COURSE