Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27998
Hints and tips by pommers
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Hola from the Vega Baja from where I have the honour of blogging the last back pager of the year. As you might expect there are a few clues relevant to the occasion but for me they rather spoiled things as their answers were so obvious. The rest of the puzzle is pretty good though.
Before going on to the hints may I wish a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all setters, bloggers, commenters and lurkers. Feliz Año as they say around here.
À propos de rien (yesterday’s Toughie) we are a diverse lot on this blog. For example, if any of you were sad enough to want to visit all three of the Thursday bloggers, Kath in Oxford, Falcon in Ottawa and yours truly in Almoradí, you would have to travel almost 10,000 miles! Enough of that – on to the puzzle . . .
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue. The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.
1a Delivery man who may darken your doorway tonight (5-6)
FIRST FOOTER: This is a not very cryptic allusion to the, preferably dark haired, man who enters your house after midnight tonight and delivers good luck for the coming year. Depending on which part of the country you’re in he’s supposed to bring a silver coin, bit of coal, bread or whisky so definitely a bit of a delivery man. In some places a fair woman would bring bad luck with her so is to be avoided at all costs!
9a World-weariness that is holding a French knight back (5)
ENNUI: Take the Latin abbreviation for that is and insert (holding) the French indefinite artilcle and the chess abbreviation for knight. Then reverse the lot (back).
10a In our time, military is deployed after one’s left naval department (9)
ADMIRALTY: Two letters for the current time followed by an anagram (is deployed) of MILITARY but without one of the I’s (after one’s left).
11a Quiet resort hit by rumour of zoo animal from China (4-3)
SHIH TZU: Two letter for (be) quiet followed by an anagram (resort) of HIT and then two letters which aren’t a word but if pronounced sound like (rumour of ) ZOO. Split that lot (4,3) and you get a breed of dog which originated in China and whose name means “Little Lion”
12a and 15a: Why nary a peep exchanged in timely greeting? (5,3,4)
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Anagram (exchanged) of WHY NARY A PEEP. I didn’t even check the fodder but just wrote in the answer.
14a and 19a: Cast laud Spooner’s chanted lyric in topical song (4,4,4)
AULD LANG SYNE: Anagram (cast) of LAUD gives the first word. The next two words are a Spoonerism of two words which might mean chanted lyric but the second is actually misspelled so for me the clue doesn’t work. I think with this one you don’t need the dodgy wordplay as just the definition and enumeration are enough to make the answer obvious
15a See 12a
17a Journalist provided with cool, complex organisation (7)
EDIFICE: Start with the usual journalist and the a two letterword meaning provided and finish with a word which can mean to cool and you get the complex organisation. It’s a word more commonly used for a large or imposing building.
19a See 14a
20a Lustier dancing — Romeo gets closer (8)
SULTRIER: Closer as in the weather not location. It’s an anagram (dancing) of LUSTIER followed by the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
21a Me sporting tailored sateen? Kind of right (8)
EASEMENT: This is a right of access to your property by crossing a neighbours land and it’s ME (from the clue) inserted (sporting as in wearing) into an anagram (tailored) of SATEEN.
23a International alliance judged and ignored (7)
UNHEARD: An International organisation followed by a word which can mean judged or tried. Does this really mean ignored?
25a and 27a: Big-hearted punters try wild celebration somewhere in Scotland (9,6,5)
EDINBURGH STREET PARTY: An anagram (wild) of BIG HEARTED PUNTERS TRY gives you a celebration in Scotland which probably is a wild one.
26a Honour reflected by fine online publication (1-4)
EBOOK: Reverse (reflected) an honour bestowed by the Queen and follow with two letters meaning fine or not bad. I know another phrase which fits this honour’s initials.
27a See 25a
2d Relief turns up in leading democracy (5)
INDIA: A large democracy is formed by reversing (turns up in a down clue) a word for relief or help and putting IN at the start (in leading).
3d Man in charge of course, photographer needs another snooze (7)
SKIPPER: You need a word for a photographer and replace the part of it which means someone having a snooze with another word meaning someone having a snooze. This doesn’t work for me as it’s about a person snoozing not the snooze itself and I don’t see what the “of course” is there for.
4d Around Leamington Spa’s outskirts, jolly 1950s youth showed off (8)
FLAUNTED: Take the first and last letters (outskirts) of Leamington SpA and around them put a word for jolly, not a Royal Marine but a good time. Follow this with the usual 1950’s youth.
5d Nameless theatrical awards for items used in play? (4)
TOYS: Take the common name for the award for excellence in Broadway Theatre whose full little is “The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre” and remove the N(ame) (nameless). Don’t forget to put an S on the end as it’s all plural.
6d Stimulate anew to download another 26? (8)
REKINDLE: If you’ve got 26a this one’s easy. If not I guess it’s well nigh impossible. You also need to know a common brand of machine on which you might read a 26a and put RE at the beginning to indicate you’re doing it again.
7d First of all, I’m not intending to idle about like last year. That’s to begin with… (9)
INITIALLY: Take the first letters (first of all) of the next nine words in the clue.
8d Gum evidently endlessly chewed — there’s an admission (11)
DIVULGEMENT: Anagram (chewed) of GUM EVIDENTLY but without the Y (endlessly). Admission isn’t in my thesaurus as a synonym of this word but I guess it’s near enough.
12d Flawed heroes sully games manual (6,5)
HOYLES RULES: Anagram (flawed) of HEROES SULLY. The full title of the games manual has OF GAMES after the answer.
13d Fighting soldiers’ rations? (7)
WARFARE: If the answer were split (3,4) you would have a cryptic definition of what soldiers may eat during a battle.
16d Mutton dressed as lamb might appear in this majority (9)
ADULTHOOD: Majority as in being over the age of eighteen. Split (5,4) you have a cryptic description of a youth’s article of clothing being worn by said person in their majority.
17d Pinpoints signs of jewellery? (8)
EARMARKS: These signs might be of piercing in order the wear a certain item of jewellery.
18d Rusty saw perhaps that’s dropped by tree (8)
CHESTNUT: Double definition. The first one’s a bit cryptic.
19d Sea cub master knocked back bottles … a hangover in waiting? (7)
SAMBUCA: This is a lurker and its hiding (bottles) in SEA CUB MASTER but it’s reversed (knocked back). Personally I can’t stand this stuff so it could never drink enough for it to give me a hangover.
22d What’s near end of 31st? (5)
NIGHT: What’s at the end of the 31st or any other day is an old- fashioned word meaning near followed by the last letter (end of) of 31st.
24d Pet, we hear, is shy animal (4)
DEER: Pet as a term of endearment not a teacher’s favourite. This shy animal sounds like (we hear) another term of endearment.
Oh well, that’s it for another year. I wonder what 2016 will bring.
The Quick Crossword pun: prom+missus+yew+wont+adhere to= promises you wont adhere to