Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27991
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
I made swift progress through this one until I got to my last answer which was 6d. Even with two out of four checking letters in place I was getting nowhere until I remembered my earlier thought (on getting 25a and 16d) that the puzzle might be a pangram. Indeed it is and that was the help I needed to get 6d. Do let us know how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
I’ll be here tomorrow with the Toughie review but this is my last back-page blog before the festivities so I’ll take this opportunity to wish everyone – setters, bloggers, commenters and lurkers – a Very Happy Christmas.
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.
8a Don’t make me laugh: instruction to trainee bellringer? (4,3,5,3)
PULL THE OTHER ONE – double definition, the second what the captain of the bellringing team might say to a trainee who’s taken hold of the wrong rope.
9a Antelope bagged by foreign upstart (3)
GNU – hidden (bagged) in the clue.
10a Mum and dad, perhaps oddly impersonal entertaining daughter (11)
PALINDROMES – an anagram (oddly) of IMPERSONAL containing the abbreviation for daughter.
11a Fur, black, entered in auction (5)
SABLE – the abbreviation for black goes inside an auction.
12a Evicted Doctor of Divinity shown around island cottage (9)
DISLODGED – the letters used to identify a Doctor of Divinity contain the 2-letter abbreviation for island and a cottage (one found at the gate to a country house, for example).
15a Arab from second tribe featured in article (7)
SARACEN – start with the abbreviation for a second then insert a tribe or ethnic group into an indefinite article.
17a Swindler swindled? Turn a blind eye (7)
CONDONE – charade of a term for a swindler and an informal past participle meaning swindled. Chambers doesn’t recognise the first word on its own as meaning a swindler – it usually has to be followed by another word such as ‘artist’.
19a Powerful ruler in old marquee introduced to head (9)
POTENTATE – the abbreviation for old and a marquee or temporary shelter go inside an old word for a person’s head.
20a Member of religious group sitting in orchestra stalls (5)
RASTA – hidden (sitting) in the clue.
21a Carpenter’s power-driven piece of machinery noticed on flier (8,3)
CIRCULAR SAW – a verb meaning noticed or spotted follows (on, in an across clue) a flier or pamphlet.
24a Break down rubbish (3)
ROT – double definition, the first a verb to break down or decay and the second an informal word meaning rubbish or nonsense.
25a Dark horse, any one of the last three characters? (7,8)
UNKNOWN QUANTITY – another double definition. The last three letters of the alphabet are used in mathematics as variables whose value is yet to be ascertained.
1d Sudden downpour in Cape followed by noisy crack (10)
CLOUDBURST – the abbreviation used on maps for Cape is followed by an adjective meaning noisy and a verb to crack or break open.
2d Basic flat round centre of Ripon (6)
STAPLE – an adjective meaning flat, like old draught beer, goes round the central letter of Ripon.
3d Ring a teacher at university over North American drug (10)
BELLADONNA – string together an informal verb to ring or telephone someone, A (from the clue), a university teacher and the abbreviations for North and American.
4d Small tailless fish cause amazement (4)
STUN – the abbreviation for small is followed by a type of edible fish without its final letter (tailless).
5d Awfully neat word for ‘destroy‘ (4,4)
TEAR DOWN – an anagram (awfully) of NEAT WORD.
6d Shoot reserve, male (4)
ZOOM – this reserve is a place where wild animals are kept protected. Add the abbreviation for male.
7d Fully acquainted with poetry with depth (6)
VERSED – another word for poetry and the abbreviation for depth.
8d Margaret’s astride a US steed that’s legendary (7)
PEGASUS – one of the many diminutive forms of the name Margaret plus the ‘S go round (astride) A (from the clue). Finish with US (also given in the clue).
13d Acknowledged fuss: c-clue’s faulty (10)
SUCCESSFUL – an anagram (faulty) of FUSS C-CLUE’S.
14d Freight carrier, reliable type (5,5)
GOODS TRAIN – split the answer 4,6 and you have a reliable type or variety.
16d Magician working in clubs, member of panel (8)
CONJUROR – insert an adverb meaning working or in operation between the abbreviation for the card suit clubs and a member of a panel selected to judge.
18d Just ten appear in play in cathedral city (7)
EXACTLY – the Roman numeral for ten and a verb to appear or perform in a play go inside a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire.
19d Collect truck (4-2)
PICK-UP – if you replace the hyphen with a space this becomes a phrasal verb meaning to collect or call for.
20d Arguing in line in front of gymnasium (6)
ROWING – stitch together a line or tier, IN (from the clue) and the front letter of gymnasium.
22d Dissolute man in horse-drawn carriage blowing top (4)
RAKE – start with an open horse-drawn carriage with four wheels and drop the initial B (blowing top).
23d Relative lean and haggard? Not good (4)
AUNT – an adjective meaning lean and haggard without the G(ood).
Clue of the day for me is 10a. Which one(s) tickled your fancy?
Today’s Quickie Pun: NEIGH + PULLS = NAPLES