Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27962
Hints and tips by 2Kiwis
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Shorts have now come out of the drawer. Our morning beach and estuary walks are now happening with exposed lower legs, still sporting their winter pallor, but slowly acquiring a tan that will last through the summer.
Jay entertains us nicely once again today. Sorting out the wordplay for 11d took us well into *** time for difficulty.
Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.
1a An early tea is arranged by head of press box (7,4)
PENALTY AREA : This box is defined by white lines on a football field and is an anagram (is arranged) of AN EARLY TEA after the first letter of press.
9a Work, and note state of light (7)
OPTICAL : The usual abbreviation for work, the note that follows ‘la’, and the abbreviation for a west coast US state.
10a Rationale of ‘About a Boy’ (6)
REASON : The abbreviation meaning about, A from the clue and a male offspring.
12a Peak time with virtually all following surgical procedure (7)
TOPMOST : The abbreviation for T(ime), then the abbreviation for a surgical procedure and finally, a word meaning virtually all.
14a Ale, but not Bass — that is strange (5)
EERIE : Remove the symbol that denotes bass from a synonym for ale and add the abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’.
15a Corrupt cop names head of smuggling ring (9)
ENCOMPASS : Ring here is a verb and is an anagram (corrupt) of COP NAMES plus the first letter of smuggling.
17a Sublime dish that’s unfinished is site of disturbance (9)
EPICENTRE : A word that means sublime or superb and then a dish served at the start of a meal with its last letter removed. We suspect that this word is much more familiar to us than to most of you.
20a A step up in enterprise, really (5)
RISER : It’s hiding in the clue.
22a Splitting hairs? (7)
PARTING : The answer is both a synonym for splitting and a description of what you might form when you comb your hair.
24a Sun’s set and sailors thus open bottles (7)
UNSCREW : An anagram (set) of SUN and a collective term for people working a ship.
27a Mean and squiffy female diets randomly (5-6)
TIGHT-FISTED : One of the many euphemisms for squiffy or drunk, then the abbreviation for female and an anagram (randomly) of DIETS.
2d Include contents of menu and lock up (7)
ENCLOSE : The contents of menu are the two central letters and then a word meaning lock up or shut.
4d Bitter about love for these cards (5)
TAROT : The symbol for love in tennis is inside a word meaning bitter or sour.
5d Cone as once modified, for instance (7)
ANAGRAM : The name given to the grammatical device that can modify ‘cone’ to ‘once’.
6d Foreign articles each containing toxic plastic (7)
EXOTICA : The two letter abbreviation for each surrounds an anagram (plastic) of TOXIC.
7d Tempers fraying after prisoner gets time for skirmish (11)
CONTRETEMPS : A colloquial word for a prisoner, the abbreviation for time, and an anagram (fraying) of TEMPERS.
8d Dazed state of man of God leading men (6)
STUPOR : A beatified person, then a two letter word meaning leading, and lowest ranking soldiers.
11d Aftershock unexpectedly divided Madeira, say (7,4)
DESSERT WINE : Aftershock is unexpectedly divided by splitting it 6,4 to give two words. When synonyms of these are put together, they describe something that Madeira can be an example of.
16d Believer’s description of one found in nave? (9)
Newspaper version: One found in nave may be so described (9)
CREDULOUS : The Roman numeral one is inserted into nave to give a synonym of the answer.
18d Begin, for example seeing former PM ignoring leader (7)
ISRAELI : Putting ‘Begin’ at the beginning of the sentence disguises the fact that it is a proper noun. A PM from Queen Victoria’s time loses his first letter.
19d In snake pit a pharaoh’s inscribed a message (7)
EPITAPH : Another one hiding in the clue.
21d Save son, and curl up tightly (6)
SCRIMP : The abbreviation for son is followed by a word meaning curl up tightly.
23d Turn and explode (2,3)
GO OFF : A double definition, the first one meaning to deviate from. Or a better explanation, the first meaning could refer to milk becoming undrinkable. (Thanks Gazza)
The AHA moment when we sorted out the wordplay for 11d makes this one our favourite for today.
The Quickie pun candid + hates = candidates