Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27789
Hints and tips by Kath
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BD Rating — Difficulty *** — Enjoyment ****
Good morning everyone. It’s another beautiful morning in Oxford and it’s a Ray T Thursday – what more could we ask for? This crossword has almost all of his trademarks apart from the Queen who seems to be otherwise occupied today. I had a few little spots of bother and thought it was quite tricky in places. I almost gave it another star for difficulty. Please leave us a comment and tell us what you thought.
The answers are hidden under the things that say “Click here” so only do that if you need to see them.
1a Close after mixing in crew’s quarters (10)
FORECASTLE — An anagram (mixing) of CLOSE AFTER. I know I’ve said it before but a nice long anagram right across the top is such a good start and does wonders for the morale and confidence.
6a Back plans for junk mail (4)
SPAM — A reversal (back) of some plans or designs.
9a Active serviceman dropped into drink … (5)
AGILE — An abbreviation for an American soldier (serviceman) is contained in (dropped into) a drink of the beery kind.
10a … left crew circling English Channel (9)
REMAINING — A crew or gang of workers goes around (circling) the abbreviation for E(nglish) and another word for a channel or sea.
12a Film director took a trip in Italy (7)
FELLINI — Another way of saying took a trip or tumbled over, the ‘in’ from the clue and then the IVR code for I(taly).
13a Tones down fashion before case of excess (5)
FADES — A fashion or a brief craze is followed by the first and last letters (case) of E(xces)S.
15a Stranded guard on manoeuvres (7)
AGROUND — An anagram (manoeuvres) of GUARD ON.
17a Attraction of girl ends with love in France (7)
GLAMOUR — The first and last letters (ends) of G(ir)L are followed by the French word for love.
19a Newspaper customarily contains brief glimpses (7)
APERCUS — This is one of those ‘lurkers’. The answer is hidden in (contains) the first two words of the clue – and it’s not even a very common word either!
21a Excuse is almost fair embracing former wife (7)
PRETEXT — A word meaning fair or attractive without its last letter (almost) contains (embracing) the two letters for a former wife (or husband).
22a Mountain top found following fault (5)
SINAI — Two letters meaning top or first class come after (following) a fault or transgression.
24a Spreads about over first slice of sandwich (7)
REPASTS — One of the two letter abbreviations for about or concerning, a word meaning over or done with and the first letter (first slice) of S(andwich).
27a Sneakily steals in after sweetheart’s key (9)
ESSENTIAL — Begin with the middle letter, or heart of swEet and follow that (after) with an anagram (sneakily) of STEALS IN.
28a First for Sabbath, performing in charge of sound (5)
SONIC — The first letter of S(abbath) (first for), a short word meaning performing or showing and the abbreviation for in charge.
29a Trains of young sprogs initially? (4)
TOYS — The first letters (initially) of the other four words in the clue
30a Some wreathe art in essential quality of sincerity (10)
HEARTINESS — Another hidden answer (some) – it’s in the middle of the second, third, fourth and fifth words of the clue. And jolly well hidden it was too – so well hidden that it almost stayed that way for me.
1d Agitation from female sitting on knees (4)
FLAP — The abbreviation for F(emale) is followed by (sitting on) another way of saying your knees, or thighs when sitting down.
2d Strengthen control caught in front (9)
REINFORCE — A control used when riding a horse is followed by another word for front or first part of something – maybe a boat or ship – which contains (in) the one letter cricketing abbreviation for C(aught).
3d Can opener with winder for fish container (5)
CREEL — The first letter (opener) of C(an) is followed by a means of winding something in.
4d Close second slipped catching first person (7)
SERRIED — The one letter abbreviation for S(econd) and then a word meaning slipped or made a mistake which contains (catching) the first personal pronoun.
5d Rodent male, minute, occupying branch (7)
LEMMING — A branch or limb contains (occupying) the one letter abbreviation for M(ale) and another abbreviation for a minute of time. Explaining this was one of my spots of bother.
7d Dug ‘Satisfaction’ reportedly (5)
PRIED — This kind of ‘dug’ is nothing to do with gardening or understanding – it’s more like being nosy and it’s a homonym (reportedly) of a word meaning satisfaction or sense of achievement.
8d Judge moving targets and aim (10)
MAGISTRATE — An anagram (moving) of TARGETS and AIM.
11d Provoke fashionable celebrity about launch opening (7)
INFLAME — The usual two letters meaning fashionable or popular are followed by a noun meaning celebrity or stardom which contain (about) the first letter (opening) of L(aunch).
14d Trouble from injury containing clot on hospital department (10)
HARASSMENT — Time to get the lego out and start building – begin with a noun meaning injury or damage – that word contains (containing) a clot – not a blood clot which is implied in the wording of the clue but a twit or fool – then follow that lot with the usual hospital department.
16d Job taking top off ointment (7)
UNCTION — A job or role without its first letter (taking top off).
18d Respect order by one’s master, welcoming direction (9)
OBEISANCE — A three letter abbreviation for a specific order or award is followed by the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one, with the ‘S, and then another word for a master or expert containing (welcoming) one of the four directions of the compass.
20d Below stairs, oddly, eat fish (7)
SARDINE — Begin with the odd letters (oddly) of StAiRs and follow that (below) with a word meaning eat or feed. This one almost made me cry – the answer was obvious but it took me ages to see why.
21d In tree collecting nut kernel (7)
POPULAR — The tree is a rapidly growing one of the willow family and it contains (collecting) the middle letter (kernel) of nut.
23d Good man in denial, being horrid (5)
NASTY — An archaic word for a denial or a way of saying no contains (in) the usual crosswordland good man.
25d Gives us hiccups consuming Japanese dish (5)
SUSHI — And here is our final lurker of the day. It’s hidden in (consuming) the first three words of the clue.
26d Plays in a court having small support (4)
ACTS — The A from the clue, a two letter abbreviation for ‘court’ and another abbreviation for S(mall).
I liked 9 and 10a, particularly because of the way they go together, and 1 and 7d. Much as I usually hate the hidden answers – they so often catch me out – my favourite today was 25a – it made me laugh!
Quickie pun (Mince)+(Horse)=(Mint sauce)