Phrases give the crossword setter scope to construct charade clues in ingenious ways. A phrase can be split up such that it reads like a different phrase, making it harder for the solver to reach the answer.
For example, the phrase IN EARNEST can be read as "I near nest", a fact often exploited by crossword setters:
Everyman 3329: I approach home with sincere intentions (2,7)
Times 24113: Not joking, I close refuge (2,7)
FT 13620 (Styx): One close to refuge with sincere intentions (2,7)
Indy 7507 (Nimrod): Seriously close to home, one's in the lead (2,7)
Here are a few such clues for you to solve. Each of them has a phrasal answer and uses the charade clue type to split the phrase into another sequence of words. Enjoy! Post your answers in the comments section.
1. Times 24003: In general area, spotted gap (2,1,5)
2. Times Sunday 4304: Alf's taken up hunting for a sport (4-6)
3. NIE 23-May-09: Behave awkwardly when you get the bill and get put out (3,2)
4. Times 24970: A delicate fabric under discussion (2,5)
5. FT 13815 (Phssthpok): Square corners supply hard puzzles (5,6)
6. Times 24910: One doesn’t stop bishop wearing old hat extremely rakishly (6-2)
7. Guardian 25439 (Orlando): Period in China, both useful and unpleasant (3,7)
[Update: Answers available in the comments.]
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