Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27853
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ***
It’s the turn of the more interesting (to my mind) Tuesday setter this week. I would have given this three stars for difficulty but I spent some time, without success, trying to make 10a into something more than a cryptic definition. Do let us know how you got on and give us your rating.
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 Firm line held in competition in vessel (7)
CORACLE – start with the abbreviation for a firm then insert the abbreviation for line in a competition or contest.
5a Incompetent prescription against consumerism? (7)
USELESS – split the answer 3,4 to get a prescription against excessive squandering.
9a Extremist engaged in awful trade (5)
ULTRA – the first of today’s hidden words.
10a Places where some are dazzled and most are kept in the dark? (9)
AUDITORIA – I was looking for some wordplay here but I couldn’t find any, so I think it’s just a cryptic definition (unless you know better) of places with the lights dimmed where the audience can be dazzled by the entertainment provided.
11a Sudden inspiration in bar, potentially? (10)
BRAINSTORM – this is a reverse anagram where the wordplay is in the answer. Split the answer 5,5 and treat the second word as an anagram indicator and the first as the fodder – you should end up with IN BAR.
12a Impressively long English film (4)
EPIC – the abbreviation for English followed by an abbreviation for a film.
14a Flag approaching mile in circuit? That’s illuminating (8,4)
STANDARD LAMP – another word for a flag or banner precedes a circuit of the track with the abbreviation for mile contained inside it.
18a Check high-level craft needed for executive position (12)
CHAIRMANSHIP – the abbreviation (in chess) for check is followed by high-level craft or competence in the cockpit.
21a Over drink, reviewed work (4)
OPUS – the abbreviation (in cricket) for an over is followed by the reversal (reviewed) of a verb (used mainly in the north of England) meaning to drink.
22a Revered figure engineered fuss about penalty, being strait-laced (10)
STUFFINESS – start with the abbreviation for someone revered in religious circles and follow this with an anagram (engineered) of FUSS containing the sort of penalty that a court can impose.
25a A posh drink hidden by variety of beer is purple (9)
AUBERGINE – A (from the clue) and the letter that’s used to mean posh or upper-class are followed by an alcoholic drink inside (hidden by) an anagram (variety) of BEER.
26a ‘Brief Encounter’ — selected screens (5)
TERSE – the second (and best) of today’s hidden words.
27a Affair produced by female hairstyle? (7)
SHEBANG – a female pronoun followed by a hairstyle where the hair is cut square across the brow.
28a Talk endlessly about old weapon (7)
HARPOON – a phrasal verb (4,2) meaning to talk endlessly and tediously contains O(ld).
1d My discovery inside toaster? (6)
CRUMBS – double definition, the first an exclamation expressing dismay or surprise (My!).
2d Working group in retreat held up? It’s often repeated (6)
RITUAL – the abbreviation for a workers’ organisation goes inside the reversal (held up, in a down clue) of the retreat or den of a wild animal.
3d This one car represented in retail outlet (5,5)
CHAIN STORE – an anagram (re-presented) of THIS ONE CAR.
4d Bang on outside of court after fire arises (5)
EXACT – the outer letters of court come after the reversal (arises) of a verb to fire or dismiss.
5d Traffic facility spared sun possibly (9)
UNDERPASS – an anagram (possibly) of SPARED SUN.
6d Food from Orient slightly altered (4)
EATS – start with another word for Orient and swap the order of the last two letters. Without the word ‘slightly’ we’d probably be accusing the setter of providing an indirect anagram.
7d Pole, say, that’s seen shortly in back of canoe? (8)
EUROPEAN – what is the last letter (back) of canoe an abbreviation (shortly) for?
8d Artistic view in the main? (8)
SEASCAPE – a gentle cryptic definition of a work by J. M. W. Turner, for example. The main is a literary term (as in the ‘Spanish Main’).
13d Manage a day with second of vicars in church (10)
ADMINISTER – string together A (from the clue), the abbreviation for day and a large church with the second letter of vicars inside it.
15d After nagging, initially only human to shed pounds? It’s almost disastrous! (4,5)
NEAR THING – after the first letter (initially only) of nagging we need a word for a human (as opposed to someone from another planet) without the abbreviation for pounds sterling.
16d Lithe performers in a musical entertaining mug (8)
ACROBATS – A (from the clue) and a Lloyd Webber musical (probably Kitty’s favourite) containing a verb to mug.
17d Watch, perhaps, woman with shift in a blue (8)
VALUABLE – start with the short form of a female forename and add an anagram (with shift in) of A BLUE.
19d Eccentric party below river feature (6)
WEIRDO – a festive party follows (below, in a down clue) a river feature.
20d What’s behind master negotiator in part? (6)
ASTERN – the third and last of today’s lurkers.
23d Fellow with tie lacking a physical presence (5)
FLESH – the abbreviation for a Fellow (of a learned society or college) is followed by a tie or tether without its A.
24d A song for promotion, operatic number (4)
ARIA – A (from the clue) precedes the reversal (for promotion) of a song or tune.
The clues which got the medals from me today were 26a, 1d and 4d. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: WELL + FAIR = WELFARE