Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27970
Hints and tips by Deep Threat
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Good morning from South Staffs where a bit of sun is breaking through the dark November clouds.
A few archaic words, and at least one which is probably not in one’s everyday vocabulary, tell us without looking that it’s Friday and this is by Giovanni. As usual, the fair construction of the clues makes it possible to tease out the obscurities, but there were too many double definitions for my taste today, so I’ve reduced the enjoyment factor.
In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.
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7a Easy target making one flap (4,4)
BARN DOOR – Double definition: something which, metaphorically, is too big to miss; and an adjustable flap in front of a light source. The second definition comes courtesy of the BRB, and is not something I’ve come across before.
9a Joke precedes brief medical procedure in subcontinental area (6)
PUNJAB – A joke or play on words followed by a short and pointed medical intervention.
10a Hurry around very busy place (4)
HIVE – An archaic word for hurry wrapped around Very.
11a Unwell after brief holiday, an old rocker hesitated (10)
VACILLATED – Put together an abbreviation for a university holiday, a word for unwell, A (from the clue) and the 1950s rocker who seems to have appeared quite a lot recently.
12a Distant sea abroad for one normally on the land (6)
FARMER – A word for distant followed by the French for ‘sea’.
14a Positions organised by Cambridge college? (8)
RANKINGS – ‘Organised’ or ‘managed’ followed by the Cambridge college where the Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols comes from.
15a Vehicle by front of shop gets bashed (6)
STRUCK – The first letter of Shop followed by a commercial vehicle.
17a Within a week, say, business area goes to rack and ruin (6)
DECAYS – The postal district for the City of London placed inside the time periods which make up a week.
20a US general with a plan taking everyone to swampy area (8)
MARSHALL – A swampy area followed by ‘everyone’, giving us the name of the man who planned the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War.
22a Perhaps a trimmer sort of vessel (6)
CUTTER – This variety of sailing boat could also be what a trimmer is.
23a Leader of men taking a country to right is seen as a plotter (10)
MACHINATOR – Put together the first letter of Men, A (from the clue), a Far Eastern country, TO (from the clue), and Right.
24a It’s the end of the game, chum (4)
MATE – Double definition, the first being the end of a chess game.
25a A batsman’s stroke, look (6)
GLANCE – Double definition, the first being a cricket stroke where the batsman deflects the ball behind him.
26a Where milk is left and a chunk of bread (8)
DOORSTEP – The third double definition in a row, and the fourth in 14 Across clues. Where the milkman traditionally left the milk; or a thick slice of bread.
1d A-list chap spending hours upsetting big characters (8)
CAPITALS – Anagram (upsetting) of A LIST C(h)AP, leaving out (spending) the abbreviation for Hour.
2d Quartet in concert in days gone by (4)
ONCE – Four letters in a row in cONCErt.
3d Perhaps maiden first wants house to be clean (6)
HOOVER – An abbreviation for HOuse followed by something which can be a maiden in cricket, giving a verb for ‘clean’ using a mechanical device.
4d Work for top people, getting pounds and from ‘ere onwards wealth (8)
OPULENCE – Put together the Latin abbreviation for a work, the letter indicating upper-class people, the Latin abbreviation for pounds sterling, and how a crossword Cockney might say ‘from ‘ere onwards’.
5d Native in tin hat surprisingly embracing sailor (10)
INHABITANT – Anagram (surprisingly) of IN TIN HAT wrapped around the letters indicating a particular rating of sailor.
6d Scoundrel ordered to get good repeatedly (3,3)
BAD EGG – An old-fashioned word for ‘ordered’ followed by two lots of Good.
8d Mark in playing field north of old road (6)
RECORD – A three-letter abbreviation for a playing field or park (the Bath Rugby ground, for example) followed by (‘north of’ in a Down clue) Old and an abbreviation for ‘road’.
13d What when drunk is crimson, aha! (10)
MARASCHINO – An all-in-one clue: an anagram (when drunk) of CRIMSON AHA, which gives us a liqueur made from cherries.
16d Small openings? Girl being stuck inside yells (8)
CRANNIES – These usually go with nooks. A girl’s name with a word for ‘yells’ wrapped around it.
18d The female somehow hated being wrapped up (8)
SHEATHED – The pronoun for ‘the female’ followed by an anagram (somehow) of HATED.
19d Very happy to be as one of the family but not the head of it (6)
ELATED – Remove the first letter (not the head) from a word meaning ‘of the family’.
21d One from hot dusty place goes to the foreign land where things can grow (6)
ARABLE – A native of parts of the Middle East, followed by the French definite article, giving land which is ploughed for crops rather than grazed by animals.
22d Box of paintings maybe in study (6)
CARTON – ‘To study’ or read over, wrapped around what paintings are an example of.
24d Frenzy brought by smell of dampness (4)
MUST – Another double definition, the first being the frenzy associated with a bull elephant looking for a mate.
The Quick Crossword pun AARGH + CAIN = ARCANE