Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27961
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
There are some pleasing clues here but also a few clunky surfaces so it was something of a mixed bag for me. Your thoughts, as always, are most welcome.
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 Hard to control a child, perhaps, after work, hollowed out (7)
AWKWARD – start with A (from the clue) and add a young person in one’s care (child, perhaps) after the word work without its middle letters (hollowed out).
5a David Cameron about to steal from the French? That’s a worry (7)
PROBLEM – put the abbreviation for Dave’s title round a verb to steal from and a French definite article.
9a Loving a short time hugging soldiers (American) (7)
AMOROUS – A and an informal word for a short time contain the abbreviation for non-commissioned soldiers. We finish with a 2-letter abbreviation for American.
10a Peter out with tough conservative (7)
DIEHARD – a verb to peter out (like an engine that’s run out of fuel) followed by an adjective meaning tough or difficult.
11a Go for a walk and get lost (4,1,4)
TAKE A HIKE – double definition, the second an informal command to get lost or go away. Chambers says that this is a US usage.
12a Team missing one member, heads of state extremely agitated (5)
TENSE – the number in a football team, say, after one player has been sent off is followed by the leading letters of ‘state extremely’.
13a Horrible about good, slow piece of music (5)
DIRGE – an adjective meaning horrible contains G(ood).
15a Bar’s grime — possibly an ash-grey, strong-scented substance (9)
AMBERGRIS – an anagram (possibly) of BAR’S GRIME. The definition is a straight lift from the BRB.
17a Suppress urge for food (6,3)
SCOTCH EGG – a verb to suppress or scupper is followed by a second verb, this one meaning to urge or incite.
19a Shrew, rat, hamster coming together in anger (5)
WRATH – hidden amongst the furry ones.
22a Praise former lover returning fortune (5)
EXTOL – the short word for a former lover is followed by the reversal of a word meaning fortune or fate.
23a Journalists and friends, maybe they try to get you on board (5,4)
PRESS GANG – charade of a word for journalists en masse and a group or circle of friends.
25a Teach about the Queen’s country (7)
TERRAIN – a verb to teach or coach contains our current Queen’s cipher. This is the third use of ‘about’ as a containment indicator.
26a Catch-22 novel after cover’s turned over (7)
DILEMMA – a Jane Austen novel follows the reversal of a cover or cap.
27a Put a stop to religious education by force (7)
REPRESS – the abbreviation for religious education is followed by a verb to force or thrust.
28a Was afraid of editor after report initially coming in late (7)
DREADED – the usual abbreviated editor comes after an adjective meaning late or deceased with the initial letter of report contained inside it.
1d A page in old hat getting changed (7)
ADAPTED – start with A and then insert the abbreviation for page into an adjective meaning ‘old hat’ or old-fashioned.
2d One who criticises that gets hammered before opening? (7)
KNOCKER – double definition, the second what someone seeking entry to your house may use to announce their arrival.
3d Atmosphere from a group of travellers (5)
AROMA – A followed by members of a travelling community.
4d I diet, pass out and fade away (9)
DISSIPATE – an anagram (out) of I DIET PASS.
5d Father‘s flat note (5)
PADRE – an informal word for one’s home, often a flat, is followed by a note from tonic sol-fa.
6d Topple across woollen wrap (9)
OVERTHROW – string together a preposition meaning across or ‘to the other side’ and a mainly North American term for a woollen wrap or shawl.
7d Student thinner when eating right (7)
LEARNER – a comparative meaning thinner contains (eating) the single-letter abbreviation for right.
8d Strange end in religious service? Nonsense (7)
MADNESS – an anagram (strange) of END goes inside a Roman Catholic service.
14d Help! Cut with axe! Upset when hospital leaves excuse (9)
EXCULPATE – an anagram (upset) of [h]ELP CUT AXE when the abbreviation for hospital is removed.
16d Arrogant tailor: he’d be glad, I being short of length (9)
BIGHEADED – an anagram (tailor) of HE’D BE G[L]AD I without the abbreviation for length. The surface is not great.
17d Lieutenant in clear retreat (7)
SHELTER – insert the abbreviation for lieutenant in an adjective meaning clear or unmitigated.
18d Cut, touching blooming exposed edge of rock (7)
OUTCROP – a verb to cut or clip follows (touching) an adverb meaning blooming or ‘in blossom’.
20d Drink, holding weapon? Penny gets worried (7)
ALARMED – an alcoholic drink contains a weapon. We finish with the abbreviation for one of our pennies prior to 15th February 1971. I remember a vox pop interview at the time with an elderly lady complaining of being confused by it all and saying ‘They should have waited till all the old people are dead’.
21d Writer‘s tired and gaunt (7)
HAGGARD – double definition, the first being an English writer of adventure novels including King Solomon’s Mines and She.
23d Yearn over small underwear (5)
PANTS – a verb to yearn or crave precedes (over, in a down clue) the abbreviation for small.
24d Very stuck in one crack (5)
SOLVE – the abbreviation for very is stuck inside an adjective meaning one and only.
I liked 28a and 4d but my favourite clue was 11a. Which one(s) impressed you?
Today’s Quickie Pun: MANNER + WAUGH = MAN-O’-WAR