Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27885
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where pommers is still a bit knackered after the rather hectic month he’s had. Three weeks in the Far East followed by 3 turnarounds in the apartments has taken its toll. Oh well, I guess I’m not as young as I once was.
On to the crossword which I’m pretty sure is a Ray T but it’s unusual in that it has six anagrams. All the other signs are there though so I’m fairly confident. There are two lurkers, a first letters clue, the Queen is on parade along with her lead singer and all the clues are less that eight words – I rest my case.
I found it suprisingly easy for a Ray T puzzle (maybe you’ll all disagree) but it had the usual entertainment level if a little low on the innuendo. I’ll be interested to see what you all make of it.
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. 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.
7a Wavering atheist accepting new changes (8)
HESITANT: To start with we have a nice way into the puzzle with an anagram (changes) of ATHEIST with N(ew) inserted (accepting). Always happy when the first across answer goes straight in.
11a Porcelain incorporating cool cat (10)
CHINCHILLA: Another word for porcelain with a word meaning to cool inserted (incorporating). This cat could also be a rabbit or an Andean rodent. I think that the last time I saw this chestnut the cat was a rabbit.
12a Secret past revealed in court (6)
COVERT: A word for past as in finished is inserted into (revealed in) the abbreviation for court. A very good surface to this one.
14a Propositions sweetheart leaving dodgy threesome (8)
THEOREMS: Anagram (dodgy) of THREESOM(e) but without one of the swEet hearts (leaving).
15a Romantic Bond perhaps keeping trim (6)
SLOPPY: Perhaps how a child might describe something romantic. Take what (James) Bond is an example of and insert (keeping) a word meaning trim, as in trim a branch off a tree.
17a Unit of force, current and weight (6)
NEWTON: A word describing something that’s current or recent followed by a heavy weight. This unit is the derived SI unit of force that imparts an acceleration of 1 metre per second to a mass of 1 kilogram; equivalent to 105 dynes or 7.233 poundals. I bet you’re glad I told you that!
20a Right split about the first female rector (8)
REVEREND: You need R(ight) and a word meaning to split and put it all around (about) the first female person, you know, her in the Garden of Eden.
23a Rotten cop I fancy extorting money (10)
PROTECTION: A type of money extorting racket is an anagram (fancy) of ROTTEN COP I.
24a Fellow, ancient, seeing wrinkle (4)
Newspaper version: Beginning to feel ancient seeing wrinkle (4)
FOLD: F(ellow) [newspaper version: initial letter (beginning to) F[eel]] and a word meaning ancient, or at least aged
26a Instrument‘s bent with room to play (8)
TROMBONE: Anagram (to play) of BENT with ROOM.
2d Steal and it’s arrest and prison (4)
NICK: Triple definition. Something we don’t see very often is a triple definition. This one works really well.
3d Tap stuck in barrel? Wrench it, say (6)
FAUCET: This is also the American word for any tap and it sounds like (say) another way of saying “wrench it”. I always thought this was just the American word for a tap but on checking the oracle I find that in English English it is specifically a tap fitted to a barrel. One lives and learns.
4d Real civilisation, initially where Zeus was born (8)
CONCRETE: C (Civilisation initially) followed by a phrase (2,5) telling you where Zeus was born. Bit of general knowledge required here unless you guess the answer from the checkers and then look carefully at what you’ve written – like wot I did. It was my last in!
5d Referee and one supporter turned renegade, we hear (10)
ARBITRATOR: I (one) and a supporter of a lady’s chest are reversed (turned) and then followed by some letters which aren’t a real word but when pronounced sound like (we hear) a renegade or defector.
6d Greasy lumps in retreat? On the contrary (6)
ASYLUM: On the contrary because it’s not greasy lumps in the retreat, it’s the retreat that’s hidden in the greasy lumps. Second of the lurkers.
8d Spoils are not commonly wrapped by heartless thieves (6)
TAINTS: A common or uncouth way of saying “are not” is inserted (wrapped by) into T(hieve)S (heartless).
13d Terrible conceit — grew endlessly selfish (10)
EGOCENTRIC: An anagram (terrible) of CONCEIT GRE(w) (endlessly).
16d Missionary making contact in unending country (8)
PREACHER: You need a South American country without its last letter (unending) and insert (in) a word meaning make contact or arrive at. This doesn’t quite work for me as the tenses don’t seem to match.
19d Plug breach at sea (6)
ADRIFT: Abbreviation for a plug as in publicity followed by a breach. Nice to see “at sea” as the definition – it’s usually an anagram indicator which what I thought it was here until a checker came to the rescue.
21d Duty Queen performed with Freddie’s heart (6)
ERRAND: Her Majesty has finally turned up. Start with her and follow with a word meaning performed or managed and then the heart of FreDdie. Here’s one from the great man . . .
22d Guru‘s followers on hill (6)
MENTOR: Start with some followers (Robin Hood had merry ones) and follow with the usual hill or rocky outcrop where Gazza lives.
24d Starts to fabricate implausibly bogus stories (4)
FIBS: A nice all-in-one to finish. It’s the first letters (starts to) of the last four words of the clue.
Quite a lot of blue but my clear favourite is the triple definition and great surface in 2d. The other steps on the podium are occupied by 24d and 4d. What did you think?
The Quick Crossword pun: mar+teeny=Martini®