Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27876
Hints and tips by Miffypops
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Nine across is a lovely clue which perfectly sums up cryptic crosswords. It is a charade or Lego clue. Do as the clue suggests and build the answer bit by bit. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is if you have forty years of cryptic solving behind you, a good smattering of general knowledge and a good memory.
The clue as a sentence bears no relationship to the answer. The definition “in control” is precise and succinct and might lead straight to the answer. The wordplay involves a motorcycle race meeting, The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races known as the TT. TT is regularly used in puzzleland and I admit it had me puzzled for years. A Roman numeral is involved so it is good to know them . We need to recognise that the letter A in the clue is included in the answer. Nothing indicates this just as nothing indicates that we need the first letter of the word Miles. The two males are the word HE repeated and the answer once all of these ingredients are put together in the right order is AT THE HELM. Not that simple at all then, is it?
Below are my hints and tips to DT cryptic puzzle No 27,876 which will hopefully help you to solve the clues that you are finding difficult. Try the hint first and if you are still in the dark click on the greyed out box that says click here and the answer will be revealed.
After the hints and tips is the comments section. If you want to ask about a clue please ask away. We are a friendly bunch. Somebody is bound to jump in with an extra tip or a clearer explanation than I have given. I am often amazed at the wisdom displayed. Please remember I am only a poorly schooled orphan boy.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a A daughter’s befuddled, consuming large drinks (7,4)
DRAUGHT ALES: An anagram (befuddled) of A DAUGHTERS around (consuming) the L(arge) will give these drinks. They are fine drinks too. I consume more than is good for me and they are the mainstay of my pub.
9a In control of a race meeting taking two males fifty miles (2,3,4)
AT THE HELM: A directly from the clue, the Isle of man T(ourist) T(rophy) races, the male pronoun twice (two males), the Roman Numeral which denotes fifty and the abbreviation for M(iles) will give this saying which generally means in control of things but specifically refers to steering a yacht. Please see the introduction above.
10a A number grow sick, get benefit (5)
AVAIL: A (again from the clue) a number, in this case the Roman numeral for five and a verb meaning to grow sick
11a Mother and father split (6)
PARENT: Your mother and father are both these. Take our usual suspect for your dad and add a noun meaning a split in a piece of fabric
12a Engaged, that’s the outcome about me and that girl (8)
ENMESHED: Take a word meaning the final result and put it around (about) ME directly from the clue and the female pronoun
13a A complete fool can upset someone telling jokes (6)
NITWIT: Take a three letter word meaning a can as in baked beans and reverse it (upset). Now add a word meaning somebody with a natural aptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way to create humour.
15a Affairs excluding union involvement (8)
ADULTERY: The union here is the sacred one of marriage. The joining of two people to the exclusion of all others. This word describes sexual affairs outside of that marriage. A mistress is a girl who comes between a mister and a mattress
18a Hurt during exam, leaves in this (3,5)
TEA CHEST: Place a word meaning to hurt inside another word for an exam to find this old fashioned container for the dried leaves that are used to make our early morning drink
19a Cry out — to the police? (6)
SQUEAL: To yell out or to grass somebody up.
21a Applaud catch? Codswallop! (8)
CLAPTRAP: Take a four letter word meaning to applaud and add another word meaning to catch, net or snare
23a Hired assassin? Good show, old boy! (6)
HITMAN: This good show is a commercial success in the same way that a best-selling single might be. The old boy is simply what we call an adult male. Together they form the name commonly used for hired guns.
26a Two support the Church (5)
BRACE: This term meaning a pair is formed by our usual crosswordland support for ladies breasts and the initial letters of the C(hurch) of E(ngland)
27a Appear to relish swallowing a double (9)
LOOKALIKE: A doppelganger. The clue is another charade. Take a term meaning having the appearance of and insert the letter A from the clue
28a Insured drivers prefer to avoid backing like this (11)
ENDORSEMENT: This note on a driving licence recording the penalty points incurred for a driving offence is not the preferred option for motorists. I have none on my licence at the moment. The last one I incurred for speeding caused a great deal of mirth in the courtroom and great leniency from the magistrate who was at the time The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire
1d Breathless piper lacking expression (7)
DEADPAN: Breathless here means no longer alive. The piper is one of Greek mythology
2d Current rock player (5)
ACTOR: The current is alternating. The rock is a hill or rocky peak. The player is that Cumberbatch fellow. He is there everywhere I look. Please make him go away. It is like Simply Red’s first album. It was on every advertising hoarding and in every paper and magazine. Mick Hucknall’s face everywhere you looked ad infinitum ad nauseum and when I got sickest of seeing it I went to work at Warwick University and there he was standing in front of me. So I told him how sick of the sight of him I was and could he please sit in the dressing room until the gig was over. What a great bloke he turned out to be. Simply Red played Warwick University Students Union three times and we spent many happy hours together.
3d No degrees at this London university? (9)
GREENWICH: The place in London on the prime meridian where longitude begins and ends. A beautiful place it is too.
4d Drawn and knotted (4)
TIED: A double definition. Drawn refers to equal scores in a sporting contest.
5d Meal done, ordered a drink (8)
LEMONADE: Anagram (ordered) of MEAL DONE will give this refreshing summery drink. Throw some Pimms in with Ice, Cucumber, Strawberry, Orange and Mint, Nothing else.
6d Plate of fish (5)
SCALE: The small, thin horny or bony plates protecting the skin of fish and reptiles, typically overlapping one another. Not Skate, it fits but it is wrong.
7d It’s divine embracing girl in time off (7)
HOLIDAY: Place a girl’s name inside a word that means divine. Simple. Well not really. We have no clue or hint to the girl’s name. How many girl’s names are there? To compound the difficulty no girl has been Christened with this name in the UK for the last hundred years it might be popular in Poland though. Anyway Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a comic opera about a princess with this name. Its alternative title is Castle Adamant
8d Fabric is produced for ready money only (8)
CASHMERE: This fine soft goats wool can be got by putting a word for ready money before a word meaning only
14d Reckless injunction to keep increasing the rent (8)
TEARAWAY: The rent here is a rip as in ripping paper or cloth. The injunction is an offer to carry on ripping to your hearts content. The clue is easier to solve than to parse
16d Kill dead, accepting one pound (9)
LIQUIDATE: Place a slang term for one pound sterling inside an adverb meaning no longer living.
17d Said sale is fixed and charged (8)
ASSAILED: Anagram (is fixed) od SAID SALE
18d Outlaw to fight for food for children (4,3)
TUCK BOX: This outlaw is one of Robin Hood’s merry men. Add a word meaning to fight as in a ring under the Marquis of Queensbury rules.
20d Mid-evening in days before Easter can be quite mild (7)
LENIENT: Place the middle three letters of the word evENIng inside the fasting period before Easter.
22d Note about fringe subject (5)
THEME: Place the seventh note of the tonal scale around a noun meaning the fringe or edge of a piece of material that has been turned under and sewn
24d Name I made up for a US State (5)
MAINE: Anagram (made up) of NAME I
25d Steal up around a wild beast (4)
BOAR: Invert (up in a down clue) a verb meaning to take property unlawfully around the A from the clue.
Solved and reviewed listening to the music of Bob Segar, Bessie Smith, David Bowie and T Rex. Nothing from this century then.
The Quick Crossword pun: high+pot+inn+use=hypotenuse