Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27933
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Hola from the Vega Baja where it’s looking like a nice day but was a bit chilly when I first got up. I think autumn has arrived.
I’m pretty sure we have a RayT today which I guess will fill some of you with dread, but don’t be too downhearted as it’s at the easier end of his spectrum. There’s a few anagrams to get you going and nothing to really frighten the horses. I enjoyed it and I’ll be interested to see if we get any converts today.
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.
1a Produce uniform piece of low-down compost boxes (11)
MANUFACTURE: Start with some compost and insert (boxes) the letter denoted by Uniform in the NATO phonetic alphabet and a word for a piece of information (low-down). I wasn’t sure about this stuff being strictly the same as compost but Collins has “any material, esp chemical fertilizer, used to fertilize land” so I guess it’s OK.
10a Amateur Queen cover (5)
LAYER: A word for an amateur, especially an amateur preacher, followed by the usual Queen.
11a Massive star, practically perfect, embracing ‘Posh’ (9)
HERCULEAN: A word for a star or leading man without its last letter (practically) followed by a word that can mean perfect with the usual letter for posh inserted (embracing).
12a ‘Best friend’ catching a cut branch to chew (9)
MASTICATE: Take a word for friend and insert (catching) A (from the clue) and a word for a piece of wood without its last letter (cut). ‘BEST FRIEND’ and chewing cut branches has to be something to do with a dog – right? Wrong! A clever bit of wilful misdirection IMHO as the word BEST isn’t necessary for the clue to work.
13a Too much one would set back as before (5)
DITTO: Three letters for “too much” and a shortened way of saying one or I would all reversed (set back).
14a Sweet spot for drive outside below par (6)
TOFFEE: Where you drive on a golf course placed around (outside) a word meaning below par or not very well.
16a They ogle taking in finale of ‘Buck Naked‘ (8)
STARKERS: Take a word for people who are ogling or gawping and insert (taking in) a K (finale of bucK). I have resisted the temptation! The beer’s very nice though, I had some in Singapore in July this year.
20a Declared to be satisfied about Tories’ leader (6)
STATED: Insert T (Tories leader) into a word meaning satisfied.
23a Girder’s ends enclosed by small beams (5)
GRINS: It’s GR (GirdeR’s ends) followed by a two letter word meaning enclosed by or inside and then S(mall). This one’s fairly straightforward once you twig that it’s beams as in smiles and not rays of light or the things holding up the roof. Until that penny dropped I was a bit held up by thinking that “enclosed by” was a containment indicator, D’oh!
24a Daily function, exterminator to be shown empty property (9)
CHARACTER: Daily is the “lady wot does” and she’s followed by a word for to function and then the first and last letters of ExterminatoR (to be shown empty).
26a Joined keeping unit and served in the army (9)
SOLDIERED: A word for joined, two pieces of metal perhaps, has I (unit) inserted (keeping).
27a Sailor’s capsizing holding head of pilot fish (5)
SPRAT: Reverse (capsizing) one of the usual sailors (don’t forget the ‘S) and insert (holding) a P (head of Pilot).
28a Criminal raid — need top plunder (11)
DEPREDATION: Anagram (criminal) of RAID NEED TOP.
2d Some Embassy baggage returned in Gulf (5)
ABYSS: It’s hidden in (some) Embassy baggage but it’s backwards (returned)
3d Lift United with adulation (7)
UPRAISE: The single letter for United followed by a word meaning adulation or worship. We’ve already had Uniform and posh and now we get United – three different ways of clueing the same letter!
4d Hermitage Museum’s opening supporting a quiet artist (6)
ASHRAM: A (from the clue) followed by two letters telling you to be quiet and then the usual artist. On the end (supporting in a down clue) is M (Museum’s opening).
7d Global warming expert‘s got coal limits resolved (13)
CLIMATOLOGIST: Anagram (resolved) of GOT COAL LIMITS.
8d Feeling conveyed that is not heartless (8)
SENTIENT: A word for conveyed, in the post perhaps, followed by the two letters meaning “that is” and then N(o)T (heartless).
9d One cared and isn’t, I fancy, selfish (13)
INCONSIDERATE: Anagram (fancy) of ONE CARED ISNT I.
15d Changing belief around when possible (8)
FEASIBLE: Anagram (changing) of BELIEF around a word which can mean when.
17d More angry about Church beginning to roast witch (8)
SORCERER: A slightly American word for more angry is placed around (about) the abbreviation for Church of England and an R (beginning to Roast). Here’s the apprentice . . .
19d With oddly free site, the compiler’s happy (7)
FESTIVE: Alternate letters (oddly) of FrEe SiTe followed by how the compiler might say he has.
21d Journey‘s special feature covering polar extremes (7)
TRANSIT: A feature or characteristic around (covering) the letters for the two poles.
22d Open container’s finished (6)
CANDID: A container followed by a word which can just about mean finished. Not my favourite clue. Perhaps we should start highlighting least favourites instead of favourites!
My favourite was 5d for its elegant simplicity. Also on the podium are 12a and 17d but there’s quite a lot of good stuff here.
The Quick Crossword pun: goes+Tories+ghost stories