Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27949
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment **
This is fairly straightforward and mostly pretty mechanical. Do 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 Some French couple in a hopeless state (7)
DESPAIR – a French word meaning ‘some’ followed by a couple.
5a Spice Girl embraced by part of UK and a foreign country (7)
NIGERIA – the forename of Ginger Spice is contained between the abbreviation for the most westerly part of the UK and A (from the clue).
9a Sign exasperated expression will return in tight outfit (7)
LEOTARD – a sign of the zodiac followed by the reversal of a mild expression of exasperation.
10a Second occupant of tent in brisk run (7)
SCAMPER – the abbreviation for second and someone temporarily living in a tent.
11a Very famous general abroad seen round degree ceremony finally (9)
LEGENDARY – an anagram (abroad) of GENERAL contains D(egree). Finish with the final letter of ceremony.
12a Stoop in Norse figure that’s pronounced (5)
DEIGN – this sounds like a Norse figure or someone from a Scandinavian country.
13a Intuitive feeling in search unchanged (5)
HUNCH – concealed in the clue.
15a Make speech about loud bore (9)
PERFORATE – a verb to make a speech contains the musical abbreviation meaning loud.
17a Note to cut a hem not mended — like some old gear? (4-5)
MOTH-EATEN – the seventh note of tonic sol-fa gets inserted (to cut) in an anagram (mended) of A HEM NOT.
19a Two foreign articles put together for seasoned church figure (5)
ELDER – definite articles from Spain and Germany come together.
22a Bird, chicken, not caught (5)
RAVEN – an adjective meaning chicken or cowardly without the cricket abbreviation for caught.
23a Time for fewer packages? (3,6)
OFF SEASON – packages can be used informally to mean ‘package holidays’ (though Chambers doesn’t list it) so this is a cryptic definition of a slack time for such. Some dictionaries have this (as here) as two words, others have it hyphenated but the BRB has it as a single word.
25a Fruit and a lot of staple food put in container (7)
APRICOT – start with A (from the clue) then insert a staple food without its final E (lot of) in a container.
26a On retiring, skinny front of garment reveals zip (7)
NOTHING – string together the reversal (retiring) of ON, an adjective meaning skinny or slim and the front letter of garment.
27a Outspoken writer of records, dealer in breakdowns? (7)
ANALYST – this sounds like (outspoken) someone who writes records or chronicles.
28a Expand a green meandering around lake (7)
ENLARGE – an anagram (meandering) of A GREEN contains the abbreviation for lake.
1d Biblical woman acclaimed uprising with fifty involved (7)
DELILAH – reverse (uprising, in a down clue) a verb meaning acclaimed or glorified and insert the Roman numeral for fifty.
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2d Warlord with grip on front of trigger in weapon (7)
SHOTGUN – a Japanese warlord contains (with grip on) the front letter of trigger. This is the second use of ‘front’ as an initial letter indicator.
3d A trap, covering ace once more (5)
AGAIN – A and an animal trap (outlawed in the UK since the 1950s) contain (covering) the abbreviation used in card games for an ace.
4d Northern racecourse favourite getting star treatment (3,6)
RED CARPET – the name of a racecourse on Teesside in the North of England is followed by a favourite or darling.
5d Inquisitive lad brought up easily discontented (5)
NOSEY – reverse (brought up, in a down clue) a young male relative then remove the inner letters (dis-contented) from the word ‘easily’.
6d A do singer ruined being bombastic (9)
GRANDIOSE – an anagram (ruined) of A DO SINGER.
7d Copy businessman in charge in US city (7)
REPLICA – a businessman who travels around collecting orders is followed by the abbreviation for ‘in charge’ inside the abbreviation for a west coast US city.
8d Put in order a shooting venue, we hear (7)
ARRANGE – this sounds like (we hear) a place where one can practise using firearms.
14d Loud clamour exploding near duchy (3,3,3)
HUE AND CRY – an anagram (exploding) of NEAR DUCHY.
16d Call criminal for reserve funds? (4-5)
RING-FENCE – a verb to telephone followed by a criminal who deals in stolen goods.
17d Sweet wine from area consumed by gentleman sadly laid up (7)
MARSALA – the abbreviation for area is contained inside the title used for an adult male. After that we have to reverse (laid up, in a down clue) an adverb meaning sadly or unfortunately.
18d Retired vicar enters function by a dining establishment (7)
TAVERNA – reverse the abbreviated title of a vicar inside a mathematical function then add A (from the clue).
20d Party rises unexpectedly, in brief (7)
DOSSIER – a festive party is followed by an anagram (unexpectedly) of RISES.
21d Deny Frenchman visitor, no saint (7)
RENEGUE – a French forename (that of Monsieur Descartes the philosopher, for example) is followed by an invited visitor without the two-letter abbreviation for saint.
23d One calls this eight troupers principally (5)
OCTET – this is a semi-all-in-one where the whole clue is the definition. Use the principal letters of the first five words.
24d Praise next old-fashioned sandwiches (5)
EXTOL – the clue conceals (sandwiches) the answer.
The clue I liked best was 4d. How about you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: SIGH + ATTICA = SCIATICA