DT 27888 – DT 27892

DT 27888

Initially read this as a cryptic definition and had CREWS (mates = sailors) then PAIRS (Couples doesn’t fit) but it’s an anagram with a construction which I see more often in the ES cryptics.

Groups of mates (5) = TEAMS

of = anagram

Bad habit in which Tom gets dressed up as French aristocrat (7) = VICOMTE

bad habit = VICE, in which = containment, dressed up = anagram (of tom)

Bottles which don’t split? (4,3) = DEAD MEN

You either know the expression or you don’t. Just about possible to guess from the checking letters.

His view of immortality led to his own mortality (7) = ACTAEON

Cryptic clue. Again you either know it or not – I didn’t. I was trying to think of a Biblical (or Ancient Greek) character that saw God/heaven etc. after being told to hide their eyes or some such. ACTAEON saw the hunting goddess ARTEMIS bathing and was turned into a stag and killed by his own dogs.

DT 27889

Welsh politician facing test without scruples (6) = AMORAL

Welsh politician = AM, test = ORAL

Purse is genuine, we’re told (6) = PUCKER

we’re told = homophone, genuine = PUKKA

Token panel announcing trade? (4) = SIGN

Double definition.

DT 27890

A shipping term for complimentary meals? (9) = FREEBOARD

Double definition.

Power mostly keeps clear of the law (7) =  JURADIC

power = JUICE, mostly = deletion, keeps = containment, clear = RID

DT 27891

Check then decline cost (6) = DAMAGE

check = DAM, decline = AGE

Masculine minced pork pies (9) = CALUMNIES

minced = anagram (of masculine)

Broodingly romantic and persistent, by ousting companion (7) = BYRONIC

persistent = CHRONIC, by = BY, ousting = replacement, companion = CH

Succeeded team’s leading stopper (8) = SCREWTOP

succeeded = S, team = CREW, leading = TOP

DT 27892

Bit of willow to dry up almost entirely (5) = WITHE

to dry up = WITHER, almost entirely = deletion

Some behaved abominably in holy book (4) = VEDA

Hidden word.

Secret agent admits nothing having earlier captured English soldier (5) = SEPOY

secret agent = SPY, admits = containment, nothing = O, captured = containment, English = E

VICOMTE = French aristocrat
DEAD MEN = Bottles which don’t split? Empty bottles left after a party
AM = Welsh politician; Assembly Member
FREEBOARD = shipping term; distance from waterline to deck level
JURADIC= of the law
CALUMNIES = pork pies
WITHE = bit of willow; flexible twig
VEDA = holy book; any one or all of the four ancient holy books of the Hindus
SEPOY = soldier; indigenous soldier or policeman in India during the Raj

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