Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27993
Hints and tips by Kath
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating — Difficulty ** — Enjoyment ***
Hello everyone. I’m prepared to have a guess at who set this one but more about that later. Not surprisingly there’s a theme today – we have a couple of religious characters, some carols, pantomimes and a game, food, decorations and festive greetings, Granny’s been on the booze and, inevitably, someone has a terrible cold – all in all a typical family Christmas.
The answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you want to see them.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today and what you thought about the crossword.
8a Character who made ‘The More It Snows’ ring round (4)
POOH — This character who sang a little song that went ‘The More It Snows’ – (Tiddely Pom) was created by A.A. Milne – a reversal (round) of a ring or circle.
9a Diner consumes seconds — change diet for period after religious festival (10)
EASTERTIDE — A diner or someone having some food contains (consumes) the one letter abbreviation for S(econds) and that’s followed by an anagram (change) of DIET
10a Understand pressure on the woman after start of festive month (8)
DECIPHER — The very beginning of the month that we’re in now is followed by P(ressure) and a way of saying ‘the woman’.
11a Team members needed to carry out piping (6)
ELEVEN — The number of people in a cricket team is the same as the number of pipers in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
12a Plant removed from motel site (9)
MISTLETOE — An anagram (removed from) of MOTEL SITE
13a Like the sherry decanter by the time gran’s jolly vacant? (5)
EMPTY — I think this is just a double definition. I spent a bit of time wondering if I was missing something but I don’t think I am.
15a Biscuit that should be on the table tomorrow (7)
CRACKER — . . . and another double definition – a kind of biscuit that goes with cheese is the same word as a table decoration with paper hats and silly jokes inside it.
17a Caroller scored highly? (7)
SOPRANO — This caroller or singer is someone who sings in the highest voice.
20a Agreed time to enjoy 21 and 15s? (2,3)
AT ONE — Another double definition – the second is the time at which some people have their Christmas lunch. I think it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll be organised enough to be ready by then.
22a and 28: Queen maybe following Noel’s seasonal message (9,4)
CHRISTMAS CARD — The more usual word for Noel is followed by a something of which a Queen is an example (maybe) – it could just as well be a Jack, a King or an Ace.
25a Wise men’s origin that is recorded in gold book (6)
ORIENT — The two letter abbreviation for the Latin for ‘that is’ is contained in (recorded in) two letters meaning gold – not AU, the others – and the abbreviation for the second part of the Bible (book).
26a Researcher, not Roman Catholic, arranged to run through Nativity play perhaps (8)
REHEARSE — An anagram (arranged) of RESEARCHER without the abbreviation for R(oman) C(atholic).
27a Way three kings travelled with a bit of a laugh from Santa’s place in Devon (8,2)
WESTWARD HO — If the three kings were coming from the east then it makes sense that they were going . . . – follow that with a short laugh from Father Christmas to get a place in North Devon.
28a See 22
SEE 22a —
1d Innkeeper makes one lie in other building (8)
HOTELIER — An anagram (building) of LIE and OTHER
2d Founder’s church is in right surroundings (6)
CHRIST — The two letter abbreviation for CH(urch) is followed by another two letter abbreviation, this time for right, which contains the IS from the clue.
3d Carol’s little town (9)
BETHLEHEM — The name of a little town in a very well known carol. I don’t think this one needs any more of a hint than that.
4d Reign shown by star moving above cupola, leaving East (7)
TSARDOM — Begin with an anagram (moving) of STAR and follow that with (above) another word for a cupola or a concave ceiling on the top of a building without its final E (leaving East).
5d Pan panto character Simon (5)
PETER — The panto character was someone whose surname was Pan – he never grew up. The Simon was a saint. This person was also known as Cephas which is the alias of one of the crossword setters so I thought that maybe he’s set this crossword – or maybe that’s a red herring, and he hasn’t!
6d Cold that hangs about now? (8)
STREAMER — A double definition – a bad cold and a Christmas decoration.
7d Commercial opening that covers four Sundays (6)
ADVENT — The usual two letter abbreviation for a commercial or promotion is followed by an opening or outlet.
14d He takes a bow in pantomime (5,4)
ROBIN HOOD — “He” is often accompanied by a few merry men and this kind of ‘bow’ has some arrows that go with it.
16d Little certainty in company refusal to offer musical entertainment (8)
CONCERTO — Start with the usual two letter abbreviation for company – follow that with a short refusal or negative answer which contains (in) an abbreviation for certainty often used in horse racing and preceded by ‘dead’.
18d Harks on about wrapping a vessel found in older book (5,3)
NOAHS ARK — An anagram (about) of HARKS ON which contains (wrapping) the A from the clue.
19d Party performance of Parisian, with cleaner answer given first (7)
CHARADE — The French word (Parisian) for OF is preceded by (given first) a word for a cleaner or someone employed to help with housework and the one letter abbreviation for A(nswer).
21d Country fare for 22 (6)
TURKEY — A double definition – I have no excuses at all but this was one of my last answers.
23d Hurried to get to church after time, in a sleepy state (6)
TRANCE — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for T(ime) and follow it with (after) another word for hurried or rushed and a two letter abbreviation for C(hurch) of E(ngland).
24d Bedding down in the stable (5)
STRAW —Well, you’d hardly expect sheets and blankets or feathers would you?
I liked 10 and 27a and 24d. What about you?
The Quickie Pun:- WEE FREE + KINGS = WE THREE KINGS
A very Happy Christmas to you all and thanks to everyone for all the fun, particularly to BD for thinking it up and keeping everything running like clockword.