Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27825
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where it’s just stopped raining! Not 100% certain about the setter of this one. Somehow it didn’t feel like a RayT to me but it’s his turn, all the clues are less than eight words, there are two hidden answers, a “first letters of” clue and three all-in-ones so perhaps it is one of his. Maybe he’ll call in and let us know. Anyway, I found it a tad tricky but very enjoyable.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.
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9a Old bishop accompanying minister to see (7)
OBSERVE: A charade of O(ld), B(ishop) and a word meaning to minister as in attend to the needs of. I like this one for its excellent misdirection.
12a Waspish matron bustling about end of ward (7)
MORDANT: Anagram (bustling) of MATRON around D (end of warD). I’m more familiar with this word being something used to fix dyes.
13a Endless lure shown by strange modesty (7)
DECORUM: A lure or attraction without its last letter (endless) followed by one of the usual words for strange (not odd, the other one).
15a Church and State split by new problem (9)
CHALLENGE: An abbreviation for church followed by a word meaning state or assert with N(ew) inserted (split by). The naughty false capitalisation of State had me thinking of US states for a while which was no doubt the setter’s intention.
17a Begrudge suppressing endless desire rising again (9)
RESURGENT: Take a word meaning begrudge and insert a desire without its last letter (endless). Tut, tut! We’ve already had this indicator for removing final letter in 13a.
20a Heads of titled old families for starters (5)
TOFFS: The first all in one. Heads of titled old families might be referred to as these and they are the first letters (heads of) of the other words in the clue.
22a Muscles shake ends of pectorals (7)
TRICEPS: A word for a shake as in short period of time followed by PS (ends of PectoralS).
24a Strange France initially overturned monarchy (7)
FOREIGN: A charade of the IVR code for France, O (initially Overturned) and a monarchy, or the period during which a monarch in on the throne.
25a Victoria, perhaps, in Australia? (6)
SHEILA: Another all-in-one. Any woman’s name would do in this clue but Victoria was chosen presumably because it can be an Australian state, a Queen, a plum, a carriage, a station, a waterfall and probably loads of other things and so it confuses the issue. The answer is simply Aussie slang for a girl.
26a Cold? The man with spray is needed! (7)
CHEMIST: The third all-in-one. Start with C(old), then “the man” (2) and a spray, such as produced by an aerosol, and you’ll get the chap you may need to visit if you have a cold.
27a Forward motion seeing prisoners go free (11)
PROGRESSION: Anagram (free) of PRISONERS GO.
2d Sailor on leave engaging adult to get acquainted (7)
ABREAST: Start with one of the usual sailors followed by a word for leave or holiday and insert an A (engaging A(dult)). For the sake of 13a I’ll resist the photo opportunity provided by this one! Late edit – changed my mind . . .
3d Show‘s act peels, dancing around clubs (9)
SPECTACLE: Anagram (dancing) of ACT PEELS with C(lubs) inserted.
4d Marks by the compiler’s editor made a charade (5)
MIMED: Abbreviation for Marks followed by how the compiler might say he is and then the abbreviation for editor.
5d Reasonable, getting grip oddly in pub (7)
LOGICAL: Your nearest pub with the alternate letters (oddly) of GrIp inserted (getting ___ in). Getting the GI like this makes a nice change from the usual American soldier.
6d Stormed taking part in undercover ransom (7)
OVERRAN: It’s hidden (taking part in) in UNDERCOVER RANSOM.
7d Sympathise with company partner employing tight person (11)
COMMISERATE: Start with the usual company and a word for your partner or spouse and insert (employing) a tight person, no, not a drunk but a Scrooge.
8d Seeing that rehearsal missing one of the stars (6)
ASTRAL: A two letter word which can mean “seeing that” or because followed by a rehearsal with an I removed (missing one). The answer was fairly obvious but it took a while for the penny to drop on how this works.
11d Wasting spare time on ape (11)
IMPERSONATE: Anagram (wasting) of SPARE TIME ON.
16d Best cafe trattoria boxing up handmade products (9)
ARTEFACTS: Another lurker (boxing) but this time it’s reversed (up, in a down cue).
18d Small, more sinuous snake (7)
SLITHER: Snake here is a verb. S(mall) followed by the comparative of a word meaning sinuous.
19d Swimming round catching fish (7)
REELING: Something round with a long thin fish inserted (catching).
21d Frozen fingertip’s stiff (6)
FRIGID: The tip of Finger is an F. Follow this with a word meaning stiff or unbending.
23d Tones rising maybe, caught in traffic (5)
SCALE: These are musical tones which are usually rising when played in order. They’re C(aught) inserted (in) into a word for traffic or trade.
Some good stuff here but my favourite was 21d for its simplicity and surface.
The Quick Crossword pun: ray+dull+hurt=red alert