Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27931
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
There’s nothing to terrify the nags here and not too much sparkle. Let us know what you thought of it and how you fared.
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 Brass groom spent on foremost of dinners and a buffet (11)
SMORGASBORD – an anagram (spent) of BRASS GROOM followed by the foremost letter of dinners.
7a Girl from Lancashire (Nelson) (5)
IRENE – the girl is trying to hide (from) in the clue.
8a Wicked (excellent) playing game (9)
BADMINTON – charade of an adjective meaning wicked, a second adjective meaning excellent or unblemished and an adverb meaning playing or being performed.
10a A theologian in valley brings cheer (7)
GLADDEN – A (from the clue) and the postgraduate degree awarded to a theologian are inserted in a narrow valley.
11a Retire abroad, going to a country in Africa (7)
ERITREA – an anagram (abroad) of RETIRE followed by A.
12a Extremely nice, after work, I suppose (5)
OPINE – the outer letters of nice follow the abbreviation for an artistic work and I.
13a Row with senior sorted? That’s OK (2,7)
NO WORRIES – an anagram (sorted) of ROW and SENIOR.
16a Society member‘s unusual forenames (9)
FREEMASON – an anagram (unusual) of FORENAMES.
18a Amaze leader of gang, being taken for a ride (5)
STUNG – the definition (taken for a ride) means duped or conned. A verb to amaze or astound is followed by the leading letter of gang.
19a Urgent-looking letters in capitals I scrawled Pa sent back crossed out (7)
ITALICS – firstly cross out the reversal of PA from C[ap]ITALS I then make an anagram (scrawled?) of what remains.
22a Primate taken in by newspaper seller in the high street? (7)
FLORIST – a small primate from South Asia goes inside the financial daily paper.
23a Dither on rising ground in Suffolk town (9)
HAVERHILL – I didn’t know this town in Suffolk. A verb to dither or vacillate is followed by rising ground or an incline. As in 1a ‘on’ is being used to mean ‘precedes’ whereas in across clues it should really mean ‘follows’, i.e. A on B in an across clue should give BA and not AB.
24a Very keen to employ old dodge (5)
AVOID – an adjective meaning very keen contains (to employ, presumably in the sense of enrol or enlist) O(ld).
25a Released pent-up emotions, then forgave second XI, perhaps (3,3,5)
LET OFF STEAM – a phrasal verb meaning forgave (3,3) is followed by S(econd) and a sporting XI.
1d Favourite’s upset privately to make room for a replacement (4,5)
STEP ASIDE – reverse (upset, in a down clue) a favourite together with the ‘S and add an adverb meaning privately or in isolation.
2d Extra owed is yet to arrive (7)
OVERDUE – an adverb meaning extra or surplus to requirements and an adjective meaning owed or outstanding.
3d Crack crackers and become very angry (2,7)
GO BANANAS – charade of a crack or attempt and a slang word meaning crackers or crazy.
4d Grass-like plant in small border (5)
SEDGE – S(mall) and a border.
5d Famous actor, one in ‘Cromwell’, for example (7)
OLIVIER – insert the Roman numeral for one into the Lord Protector’s forename.
6d Put off, cleaner gent jilted (5)
DETER – dump the word gent from a cleaner (the inanimate sort).
7d Elected charitable trust with perfect sincerity (2,4,5)
IN GOOD FAITH – string together an adverb meaning elected, an adjective meaning charitable or benevolent and a word for trust or confidence.
9d Being this causes a problem seeing the reading’s wrong (4-7)
NEAR-SIGHTED – an anagram (wrong) of THE READING’S.
14d Yield after a powerful blow? (9)
WINDFALLS – cryptic definition of pieces of fruit picked up after a storm.
15d Fashionable, even, like nurses on the wards? (2,7)
IN UNIFORM – an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy is followed by another adjective meaning even or constant.
17d French solver playing ragtime (7)
MAIGRET – not Framboise or Jean-Luc – this fictional French crime solver is an anagram (playing) of RAGTIME. All morning I’ve been humming the theme music from the 1960s TV series with Rupert Davies (of which the best bit was the title sequence with him lighting his pipe).
18d Warehousing charge could be so great (7)
STORAGE – an anagram (could be) of SO GREAT.
20d Metal block in Victorian village (5)
ANVIL – hidden.
21d Large firm (5)
STIFF – double definition, the first meaning large as in a substantial alcoholic drink (or, more probably, as in a large fine).
The clues I liked best were 22a and 17d. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: CORPS + STICK = CAUSTIC