Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27904
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Good morning from County Mayo, where we’re visiting my sister, on a damp Irish morning.
As with last week’s Giovanni, I took a little time to get into today’s puzzle, but the fair cluing meant that after I’d finished I wondered why it had taken so long.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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1a Tear off to be entertained by thin relation (5-4)
GREAT-AUNT – Anagram (off) of TEAR inside a word for thin.
9a Clothes are left, found behind a piano more than once (7)
APPAREL – A (from the clue) followed by two instances of the abbreviation for the musical symbol piano, ARE (from the clue) and Left.
10a Attribute of a writer (7)
ASCRIBE – Split (1,6) this verb meaning ‘attribute’ could be ‘a writer’.
11a Time to argue for disloyalty (7)
TREASON – An abbreviation for Time followed by ‘to argue’ or work through.
12a Virtue of a disciplined pet (9)
FAVOURITE – Anagram (disciplined) of VIRTUE OF A.
14a Strange folk dances led by old theologian (8)
ODDBALLS – Put together Old, the letters a theologian might have after his or her name, and formal dances.
15a Fool is last to accept help (6)
ASSIST – Another word for fool followed by IS (from the clue) and the last letter of accepT.
17a A piano in small room is used by a star (7)
CAPELLA – A (from the clue) and the musical abbreviation for piano (again!) placed inside a small room occupied by a prisoner or a monk, then the second A from the clue, giving the name of a star in the constellation Auriga, the third brightest in the northern hemisphere (thank you Mr Google).
20a One shouldering heavy burden — tons at the end (2,4)
AT LAST – The mythical figure (5) who had the cares of the world on his shoulders, followed by Tons.
23a Don’t yet try to kill the fellow hugging ancient tree! (4,4)
HOLD FIRE – Synonyms for ‘ancient’ and ‘tree’ placed inside the pronoun for ‘the fellow’.
25a Coming by northern river for exciting experience (9)
ADVENTURE – A coming or arrival followed by the North Yorkshire river which flows through Ripon and Boroughbridge.
26a One of three kids scattering litter round front of park (7)
TRIPLET – Anagram (scattering) of LITTER wrapped around an abbreviation for Park.
27a Greek character thus joins leader of Gang Show (7)
MUSICAL – The 12th letter of the Greek alphabet followed by the Latin word for ‘thus’ and the first name of a famous US gangster.
28a Hair that could be inch long with initial cut (7)
CHIGNON – Anagram (could be) of INCH and (L)ONG, with its initial letter removed.
29a Quality of ungainly person offering weak signs taken amiss (9)
GAWKINESS – Anagram (taken amiss) of WEAK SIGNS.
2d Allocates new chairs to each in the course of breaks (7)
RESEATS – An abbreviation of EAch placed inside breaks or pauses from work.
3d Possible claim of abbot’s number two, based on logic (1,6)
A PRIORI – Split (1,5,1) this Latin phrase could be a Yoda-ish statement of his position by an abbot’s deputy.
4d A right uninteresting person leading volunteers in the woods (8)
ARBORETA – Put together A (from the clue), Right, an uninteresting person, and the former initials of the UK’s volunteer reserve force.
5d Food should be put under grill? Not egg (6)
TASTED – Remove the egg-shaped letter from a word for ‘put under the grill (especially bread).
6d Essence of sung message to encourage escape of Prince in vessel (9)
SPEEDBOAT – Remove the inessential words from the first line of the Skye Boat Song to get a motorised vessel.
7d What could make lass cry in a silly manner? (7)
CRASSLY –Anagram (could make) of LASS CRY.
8d Area misunderstood puts learner in annoying situation, awkward position (5,4)
BLIND SPOT – Put the symbol of a learner driver inside an annoying situation or dilemma, then add an awkward position, as in ‘He’s in a ____’.
13d Rose and Dorothy after upset were kept inside (7)
TOWERED – WERE (from the clue) inside the reversal (after upset) of a diminutive from of Dorothy.
15d Designer of the thing seen in sly form of therapy (9)
ARCHITECT – The pronoun for ‘the thing’, placed between a word for sly or disingenuous and the acronym for a form of therapy involving electric shocks.
16d Support for injury having got hit in fighting? (9)
SCUFFLING – Another word for hit inside the support for an injured arm.
18d Lady Fortune, for Spooner, one no longer effective (4,4)
LAME DUCK – This term for someone whose effectiveness is reduced, perhaps because his term of office is coming to an end, could also be a synonymous phrase for Lady Fortune after Dr Spooner had mangled it.
19d Channel Islands in grip of evil Italian breaking the law (7)
ILLICIT – Put together a word for evil or bad and an abbreviation for Italian, then insert the abbreviation for the Channel Islands.
21d European valiant in battle (7)
LATVIAN – Anagram (in battle) of VALIANT.
22d Do better than basic success in exam after teacher is listened to (7)
SURPASS – A homophone (is listened to) of the traditional appellation for a male teacher, followed by the basic level of success in an exam
24d Sailor chattering, not quiet at first (6)
RATING – Remove the initial P (not quiet at first) from a word for chattering.
The Quick Crossword pun: CHEQUE + LISZT = CHECKLIST