Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27841
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Good morning from a sunny North Devon. I wasn’t overly impressed with this puzzle – there were a few good clues but much of it seemed somewhat mechanical with a number of chestnuts which are way past their sell-by date (e.g. 26a, 20d and 23d). Do let us know how you got on and give us your verdict.
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 Love dispute about method of transport (7)
WORSHIP – reverse (about) a dispute or argument and add a method of transport.
5a Chickenfeed with vegetable? Crazy! (7)
PEANUTS – charade of a vegetable and an informal adjective meaning crazy.
9a It could turn into toad and leap, skipping area (7)
TADPOLE – a semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (could turn into) of TOAD and LE(a)P with the A(rea) being omitted.
10a Agreeing to hire (7)
LETTING – double definition, the second being a gerund meaning hire or rental.
11a Essex vice? Possibly getting high (9)
EXCESSIVE – an anagram (possibly) of ESSEX VICE.
12a Love’s put on dreary perfume (5)
ODOUR – the letter that resembles zero or love in tennis scoring followed by an adjective meaning dreary or forbidding. I doubt that any perfume manufacturers would describe what they sell as this.
13a Small fish’s edges (5)
SIDES – string together S(mall), a silvery freshwater fish and the ‘S from the clue.
15a Former lover put in a demand and shouted (9)
EXCLAIMED – the short word used for a former partner followed by a verb meaning put in a demand.
17a One fish caught by this Parisian — it’s likely to be smoked (9)
CIGARETTE – the Roman numeral for one and a pike-like fish go inside (caught by) the French (Parisian) word for this.
19a Head of Intelligence taken in by the female burglar (5)
THIEF – the first letter (head) of I(ntelligence) is contained inside THE (from the clue) then we finish with F(emale). A burglar is just one example of the answer so I’d have expected a question mark or similar.
22a Startle a learner driver with injury leaving hospital (5)
ALARM – string together A (from the clue), the letter displayed by a learner driver and a word for injury or hurt without the H(ospital).
23a Blind drunk, now in giggles to an extent (9)
UNKNOWING – hidden (to an extent) in the clue. Blind here has a meaning as used in a blind tasting or a blind date.
25a Son’s put down as expert (7)
SKILLED – S(on) and a verb meaning put down or executed.
26a Mean, to say ‘mature’ (7)
AVERAGE – a verb to say or declare followed by a verb to mature or season.
27a Narrow lens distorted reflection of colour (7)
SLENDER – an anagram (distorted) of LENS followed by the reversal (reflection) of a primary colour.
28a European allowed to restrict chaps for water, maybe (7)
ELEMENT – the abbreviation for European and a past participle meaning allowed contain (to restrict) another word for chaps or blokes. The answer here is not being used in its modern, chemical, sense but as one of the substances believed to be the foundation of everything in ancient times.
1d Spectator‘s wife is sent off (7)
WITNESS – W(ife) followed by an anagram (off) of IS SENT.
2d Thinned and thickened (7)
REDUCED – two meanings, the second meaning thickened (a sauce, for example).
3d Traps vibrated, top to bottom (5)
HOOKS – a verb meaning vibrated or juddered with the first or top letter (this being a down clue) moved to the end.
4d Ford perhaps needs parking by hotel guest (9)
PRESIDENT – the abbreviation for parking is followed by a registered guest at a hotel.
5d Pound wanted for lentils or beans (5)
PULSE – double definition, the first a verb to pound or throb.
6d Prepared tuna or a bit of salad — with time, one might get in rocket (9)
ASTRONAUT – start with an anagram (prepared) of TUNA OR A and a bit of S(alad) then add T(ime).
7d The same outfit for male after university (7)
UNIFORM – FOR (from the clue) and M(ale) follow an abbreviation for university.
8d Cook argued after shortbread’s first made sweeter (7)
SUGARED – an anagram (cook) of ARGUED follows the first letter of shortbread.
14d Initially, Steve Cram ran and ran (9)
SCRAMBLED – string together the initial letter of S(teve), CRAM and a verb meaning ran or seeped into an adjacent area (paint or dye, for example).
16d Ship’s officer supports inspection, and that’s the last word across the board (9)
CHECKMATE – a ship’s officer (usually the second-in-command) follows (supports, in a down clue) an inspection or examination.
17d Lessons for college girls (7)
CLASSES – The abbreviation for college followed by another word for girls. If you’ve downloaded and memorised Prolixic’s excellent “A brief guide to the construction of cryptic crossword clues” (and if not, why not?) you’ll know that ‘Definition for wordplay’ is frowned upon – ‘Lessons from college girls’ would be much better (and probably more interesting!).
18d Rock — new one kept in jar (7)
GRANITE – insert N(ew) and the Roman numeral for one into a verb to jar or grind.
20d Parrot — one pal holds it (7)
IMITATE – the Roman numeral for one (as in the previous clue) and a pal or ally containing IT.
21d Figure millions comes before hospital department’s invention (7)
FIGMENT – the abbreviations for figure and millions precede the only hospital department recognised in Crosswordland.
23d By the authority of two foreign articles (5)
UNDER – an indefinite article from French and a definite one from German.
24d Orders we must lose weight if this? (5)
OBESE – orders or honours are followed by (w)E without the abbreviation for weight.
The clues I liked best were 9a, 17a and 23a. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: FAR + THE + THYME = FATHER TIME