Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27996
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **
Wonders will never cease – the sun’s shining and there’s no rain this morning here in North Devon. I hope the same applies in those areas of the North of England which have been devastated by flooding and that those suffering there will be able to return to normal as soon as possible.
I thought that this was a fairly 13a type of puzzle with a few good clues but also some pretty weak ones. Do let us know how you fared and what you thought of it.
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 A lilac jug missing top represented emperor (8)
CALIGULA – an anagram (re-presented) of A LILAC [j]UG gives us the name of a Roman emperor famed for his excesses.
9a Traded item with European instead of old specialist (6)
EXPERT – start with a traded item sent abroad and replace the O(ld) with the abbreviation for European.
10a Energetic figure discussed part of India (3)
GOA – this Indian state sounds like (discussed) an energetic, or possibly promiscuous, person.
11a Source of heat in a cold run when struggling (8)
CAULDRON – an anagram (when struggling) of A COLD RUN. I take the answer here to be a situation characterised by strong emotions rather than a cooking vessel.
12a Withdraw wine close to unpalatable around church (6)
RECEDE – a type of wine and the closing letter of unpalatable contain the abbreviation for the Church of England.
13a Bland description of traffic island? (6-2-3-4)
MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD – double definition, the first normally used to describe a bland, unadventurous type of music.
15a Celebratory gathering one might see in dens? (4-3)
SEND-OFF – this is a reverse anagram. If you take the second bit of the answer as an anagram indicator and make an anagram of the first bit you should end up with ‘dens’.
18a Accidentally repeated delivery from good man with tool in East End (7)
STAMMER – the abbreviation for a good, holy man is followed by how someone in the East End of London might pronounce a striking tool.
21a Safe device I used after brush with people getting forward (11,4)
COMBINATION LOCK – I (from the clue) follows a verb to brush or groom. After that we have a people or race and a rugby forward. I’m not sure that the verb at the start is really a synonym of to brush.
24a The Italian’s after fast food for vegetarian (6)
LENTIL – one of the words for ‘the’ in Italian follows a fast in the Christian calendar.
25a Batting, what batsman adopts as illustration (8)
INSTANCE – charade of an adverb meaning batting (in cricket) and the position a batsman adopts at the crease.
26a Type lawyer initially ignored (3)
ILK – a word used to mean a Queen’s Counsel (derived from the material used to make his or her gown) without its first letter.
27a Daughter detained by drinks in Cheshire town (6)
WIDNES – the abbreviation for daughter goes inside (detained by) alcoholic drinks.
28a Loner unexpectedly was first on a course? (8)
ENROLLED – an anagram (unexpectedly) of LONER followed by a verb meaning was first or headed the field.
1d Seasoned meat? It gets left with friend in bistro (6)
SALAMI – ‘it’ here is an informal word for personal magnetism in the romantic sense. We need an abbreviation that means the same thing and that’s followed by L(eft) and the word for a male friend in the country where you’re most likely to find a bistro.
2d Man, perhaps, blocking executive given wrong information (6)
MISLED – if you see Man capitalised at the start of a clue you should think immediately of the bit of land stuck in the Irish Sea. Put that inside an abbreviation for the top executive in an organisation.
3d Iraq unit falters after mobilising, one of eight in field (7-8)
QUARTER-FINALIST – an anagram (after mobilising) of IRAQ UNIT FALTERS.
4d Enlarge publication provided in US city (7)
MAGNIFY – start with the informal word for an, often glossy, publication then insert a conjunction meaning provided or ‘in the event that’ inside the abbreviation for a US city.
5d Be dominant in union? (4,3,8)
WEAR THE TROUSERS – cryptic definition. This union has just two members.
6d Colourful range in toasted crumpets (8)
SPECTRUM – an anagram (toasted, in the sense of cooked) of CRUMPETS.
7d One given first degree? (8)
GRADUATE – weak cryptic definition. I suppose that one might think of ‘first degree’ as a homicide category (but that’s not used in the UK) or it could be a type of burn, but in neither case is it a very persuasive misdirection.
14d Some ignored index in great volume (3)
DIN – hidden (some) in the clue.
16d Obscure score with time (after month gone) composed (8)
ESOTERIC – an anagram (composed) of SCORE and TI[m]E after we’ve taken away the abbreviation for month.
17d One coming out with money stopping a good argument (8)
DEBATING – a young lady ‘coming out’ into society is followed by a slang term for money between (stopping, i.e. plugging) A (from the clue) and G(ood). The answer is a gerund.
19d Way of working restricting a chairman (3)
MAO – the abbreviation for a method of working contains (restricting) A (from the clue).
20d Footballer who’s offensive in match? (7)
STRIKER – double definition, offensive here meaning ‘used in attack’.
22d Dodgy libel about area being exposed to risk (6)
LIABLE – just about the easiest anagram you’re likely to find. A rearrangement (dodgy) of LIBEL contains A(rea).
23d Prestige gained by a revolutionary in court (6)
CACHET – insert A (from the clue) and our usual South American revolutionary into the abbreviation for court.
Best clue for me is 5d. Which one(s) gained your approval?
Today’s Quickie Pun: CURBED + RILL = KERB DRILL