Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27777
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating — Difficulty ** — Enjoyment ****
Good morning and welcome to a lovely sunny Ray T crossword Thursday morning. We’ve had to wait several weeks for one of his – four I think, unless I can’t count any more – but I think it was well worth the wait. I thought it was fairly straightforward so I’ve only given 2* for difficulty but, as usual, I’m more than happy for anyone to disagree with me.
In the hints below the definitions are underlined. If you click on anything that says “Click here” you’ll see the answer so only do that as a last resort.
1a Remarkably gruff about pressure mounting (12)
SURPRISINGLY — A word meaning gruff or tetchy contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for P(ressure) and a word meaning mounting or becoming higher.
8a Record one hit? Hard to produce commemoration (7)
EPITAPH — Begin with an old kind of record or disc that was played at 45 rpm and usually had two tracks on each side, follow that with the Roman numeral for one that looks like an ‘I’, then another word for hit or knock gently and then the abbreviation for H(ard).
9a Plug fitter for electrical accessory (7)
ADAPTER — An abbreviation for a plug or a piece of favourable publicity is followed by a word meaning fitter or more appropriate.
11a Song embodying unending territory somewhere in the USA (7)
ARIZONA — An operatic song containing (embodying) a territory or area without its last letter (unending).
12a Showing off curves, former wife caught in liaison (7)
FLEXING — The usual two letters for a previous wife (or husband, just to keep you chaps on your toes) is contained in (caught) another word for a liaison or illicit affair.
13a Caught then time’s in pens (5)
CAGES — The one letter cricketing abbreviation for C(aught) is followed by (then) a word for time or era – don’t forget the ‘S from the clue.
14a Well satisfied by the compiler’s empty excuses occasionally (9)
SOMETIMES — Lego time now – two letters meaning well or very, another word meaning satisfied or fulfilled a requirement, another two letters for how the compiler may refer to himself and, finally the first and last letters (empty) of E(xcuse)S. I have to confess that this one took me ages to work out.
16a Ravel’s including unlimited brio for instruments (9)
TRIANGLES — Ravel here is not the composer – it’s a verb meaning to interweave or entwine and again don’t forget the ‘S from the clue. It contains (including) the middle two letters (unlimited) of b(RI)o.
19a One attempts to rake in extra readies initially (5)
TRIER — The answer comes from the first letters (initially) of five words in the clue.
21a Adult support facing very big fitting (7)
APROPOS — The one letter abbreviation for A(dult), a support or strut and another abbreviaton this time for very big or exceptionally large.
23a Mine’s topical preparation (7)
COALPIT — An anagram (preparation) of TOPICAL.
24a Clue’s ‘Single by Queen, rockier‘ (7)
TIPSIER — Another word for a clue, or hint, with the ‘S, the Roman numeral one and the two letters meaning our Queen.
25a On fire after explosion, consuming new fire (7)
INFERNO — An anagram (after explosion) of ON FIRE containing (consuming) the one letter abbreviation for N(ew).
26a Stellar tail arcs incredibly around spinning moon (12)
ASTRONOMICAL — An anagram (incredibly) of TAIL ARCS containing (around) another anagram (spinning) of MOON. Phew . . .
1d Unwell below decks, finally at sea (7)
SAILING — The last letter (finally) of (deck)S is followed by (below) a word meaning unwell or poorly.
2d Concerned with a relative’s motives (7)
REASONS — The usual two letters meaning concerned with or about, the A from the clue and a male offspring, with his ‘S.
3d Drill catches in concrete (9)
REHEARSAL — A word meaning concrete or tangible containing (in) another way of saying catches or takes in audibly.
4d Personnel removed from post affected (5)
STAFF — This is a ‘lurker’ – he’s hiding in the middle of the clue (removed from). I found him and spent ages hunting for the other one – there isn’t another one today!
5d Scoff inside shelter for most organised (7)
NEATEST — A word meaning scoff or consume is contained in (inside) the kind of shelter that a bird might make.
6d Element illuminated with buzz holding current (7)
LITHIUM — A word meaning illuminated or brightened up is followed by a buzz of the kind a bee or a particular sort of bird might make containing (holding) the letter that means electric current in physics.
7d Defiant bluster undermining cleric at broadcast (12)
RECALCITRANT — Begin with an anagram (broadcast) of CLERIC AT and follow that with another word for bluster or harangue.
10d Enrolment of American soldier in support, helping (12)
REGISTRATION — A support or stand (a different one from the one in 21a) contains (in) the usual abbreviation for an American soldier and that’s followed by a helping or portion.
15d Mother love in separation producing pleasure from pain (9)
MASOCHISM — Begin with an affectionate term for Mother and follow that with a separation or discord containing (in) the letter that looks like a zero or a love score in a game of tennis. I almost didn’t dare to look for a picture for this one . .
17d Breaks in rugby strip which is damaged outside (7)
IRRUPTS — The usual two letters for the game that’s played by a load of men kicking a funny shaped ball around in some mud are contained in (outside) an anagram (damaged) of STRIP.
18d Tack over on jetty getting more nimble (7)
NIPPIER — A reversal (over) of a verb meaning tack or secure is followed by a jetty or quay.
19d Providing force in truck lifting vehicles (7)
TRAFFIC — A truck or wagon contains a short conjunction meaning provided or in the event of and the one letter abbreviation for F(orce). Then reverse (lifting) the whole lot.
20d Noble, not having a chance (7)
IMPERIL — A word meaning noble or majestic without the A (not having A).
22d Father seen with woman, ultimately she’s seductive (5)
SIREN —A noun or verb meaning father or to father often used in horse breeding is followed by the last letter (ultimately) of (woma)N.
I liked 12 and 14a and 1d. My favourite was 15d. What did you think?
The Quicke pun – (Mate)+(Ricks)=(Matrix)