Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27886
Hints and tips by Digby
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Having been lurking in the Blogger’s Back Room for many months it was indeed a pleasure to been asked by Himself to brush away the cobwebs and get back on the keyboard.
Is it just me, or has the DT become a bit slapstick in its management of their puzzles? I don’t recall so many instances of discrepancies between on-line and paper versions, and of missing clues, that seem to have occurred recently.
Today’s Giovanni does at least seem to be well presented, and is a good test of the cryptic craft, with the usual cornucopia of clever crossword clues, and some old chestnuts for good measure.
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1a East European briefly securing time in charge of party matters? (8)
POLITICS: Someone from Eastern Europe missing the last letter (briefly) with T(ime) and the standard abbreviation for in charge inserted (secured)
5a Bit of change for officer? (6)
COPPER: Double definition, the second being slang for our lawmen
9a Briton gallantly defends this monarchy (5)
TONGA: Hidden clue
10a Bird in a spot, having lost tail in plant (9)
PIMPERNEL: Remove the last letter of a spot, often found on ones face, and insert a bird of the eagle family
12a Those euros exchanged in treasury (10)
STOREHOUSE: A pretty straightforward anagram (exchanged) of THOSE EUROS to get you going
13a Two metallic elements in minimal supply in rock (4)
CRAG: Put together the periodic table notations for 2 relatively scarce elements
15a Artist ate out after work, eating bad stew (11)
RATATOUILLE: Start with a member of the famous art institution, followed by an anagram (after work) of the next 2 words with a synonym for bad (as in feeling) inserted (eating)
16a Stretch out in bed maybe for story (3)
LIE: Double definition, the story being a fib
17a Name given to an elderly relation? (3)
NAN: N(ame) and AN from the clue
18a Improved performance needed by little man getting 0! (6,5)
TURNED ROUND: Once I had realised that the definition was just the first word in the clue, this fell into place quite quickly. A performance, or “go”, followed by a shortened male name, and the shape of an “O”. I read in the DT earlier this week that the abbreviated / nick-name versions of Christian names are statistically now more popular than the original – Jack, Evie, Millie, Charlie etc.
20a One languishing? Vitality must be found (4)
ELAN: Hidden at the front of the clue
21a Amadeus is one well-known in musical circles (6,4)
MIDDLE NAME: An example of a well-known person not always being known by their regular “handle”
24a Something wicked, you might say, presented by the little girl reasoning? (9)
SYNTHESIS: A homonym for a dirty deed, THE from the clue, and a shortened version of a sibling
26a Label the French used in presentation of information (5)
TABLE: A device that helps to file / find documents, then the French definite article
27a Bear stopped short outside old city (6)
ENDURE: Drop the last letter (short) of a synonym for stopped and insert our favourite (?) old city
28a Eastern isle occupied by extremely common person (8)
EVERYMAN: E(ast) and an island off our west coast with another word for extremely inserted (occupied)
1d River volunteers getting pipe down for chemical (6)
POTASH: Equally split: our favourite (?) river / volunteer soldiers / be quiet
2d Nothing upsetting on journey, in a manner of speaking (5)
LINGO: Reverse (upsetting) nothing and add a word for a trip, or turn
3d Path of car or jet moving into territory’s borders (10)
TRAJECTORY: Insert an anagram (moving) of words 3,4 & 5 into the extremity (borders) of T[erritor]Y
4d Slide with outer coating slightly deficient (3)
SKI: Drop the last letter of our personal coating
6d Responsible for maiden? (4)
OVER: Double definition, the second being an example of this, hence the “?” We need a few more of these at the Oval !!
7d Poster with a pleasant message (3,6)
PEN FRIEND: This poster is a particular type of correspondent
8d Belief about brave man, soldier imprisoned (8)
RELIGION: Usual abbreviation for about, followed by a description for a brave man, loaned from the animal kingdom, with the standard US soldier inserted (imprisoned)
10d I sport chest that’s exceptional — surgery responsible? (11)
PROSTHETICS: An anagram (that’s exceptional) of I SPORT CHEST gives a word which typically results from (responsible) an operation, usually involving amputation.
Analysis of this clue by several bloggers, who are clearly more awake than I was at 4am, suggests a category of the answer that hadn’t occurred to me.
In which case I feel that it merits an extra star for enjoyment, duly applied.
11d Entertainments not to be taken at face value? (11)
MASQUERADES: Costumed balls involving an element of surprise
14d Get so cruel, wandering around city (10)
GLOUCESTER: Another anagram (wandering) of GET SO CRUEL
15d Vehicle running into grass put on new course? (9)
RETRAINED: This passenger vehicle is placed neatly (running into) the usual riverside grass.
16d Person responsible for pub seen scurrying around after insects (8)
LICENSEE: Insects typically found on the scalp followed by an anagram (scurrying around) of SEEN
19d Head of faculty holds this person to be lower in reputation (6)
DEMEAN: This person is ME inside a university officer
22d US gangster and tramp contributing to book (5)
ALBUM: Another chest-nutty clue joining Mr C and an American “gentleman-of-the road”
23d Rubbish piling up around hospital can make one thunderous (4)
THOR: Reverse (piling up) a word for rubbish around H(ospital)
25d Anger with which father dismisses son (3)
IRE: Drop the first letter of a word meaning father
10d was the stand-out clue for me; a couple of mid-table anagrams helped to get me going in the early hours before dawn.
The Quick Crossword pun: Beaune+idol=bone idle