DT 27004 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27004

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27004

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

We have a very entertaining puzzle today with a micro-theme of female nursery rhyme characters. I really enjoyed it – how about you? Do leave a comment and let us know how you got on.
If you’re still doing the puzzle from the paper you may be confused by 5a which is an error (thanks to the ever vigilant crypticsue for the alert) – the correct clue is as shown here and on the web-site.
If you want to see an answer just drag your cursor through the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Punishment? Why? (4,3)
{WHAT FOR} – double definition, the first what your mother promised you’d get when your father got home if you’d been naughty.

5a  Colonist, one taking part in landing (7)
{PIONEER} – another double definition, the second the name of a number of US spacecraft including one which landed on Venus. The alternative (and probably better) explanation, as suggested by many commenters is that the definition is just colonist and that you have to insert ONE in a landing area for boats.

9a  Item initially pinched by the female cat burglar (5)
{THIEF} – the initial letter of I(tem) is contained by THE, then we have a F(emale). I would have expected some indication that cat-burglar is just one example of this.

10a  Hears about ancient disasters (9)
{TRAGEDIES} – a verb meaning hears, in the judicial sense, goes round a synonym for ancient.

11a  Keep following film director in retreat … (5,5)
{IVORY TOWER} – when we had this American film director (Howards End, The Remains of the Day) about a month ago several commenters said that they’d never heard of him so I hope that they were paying attention then. Follow his surname with a keep (part of a castle) to make the sort of retreat where someone may work without the responsibilities or distractions of the real world.

12a  … to check shoot (4)
{STEM} – double definition, this shoot being part of a plant.

14a  Motorway’s appearance is wrong (12)
{MISDEMEANOUR} – start with the name of the London-Leeds motorway then add the ‘S and a synonym for appearance or manner. The definition is a noun, not an adjective.

18a  Pole has lodgings by Welsh river (12)
{QUARTERSTAFF} – this pole is an old weapon of the sort used by Robin Hood and his men. It’s a charade of a word meaning lodgings (especially for the military) and the river that flows through the Welsh capital.

21a  Singer in musical, ‘Tommy’ (4)
{ALTO} – hidden word.

22a  Girl in rhyme sits with me, worried about what will keep hands warm (4,6)
{MISS MUFFET} – this arachnophobic nursery rhyme character comes from an anagram (worried) of SITS and ME which goes around a hand warmer.

25a  Popular person, modern and lively, coming from ball at cricket club (9)
{INSWINGER} – a word meaning popular or trendy is followed by an informal word for a modern lively person (possibly one participating in group activities!).

26a  Charge across river for bait (5)
{TROLL} – bait here could be a simple bait used in fishing or, as a verb, it could mean to bait or goad people by publishing controversial material on the web. Put a charge (for using a bridge or road, say) around R(iver).

27a  Drive off to bring adult member in for massage (7)
{SHAMPOO} – a massage of the scalp comes from a verb to drive something away with A(dult) and an elected member inside it.

28a  Goody-goody in up-train, unsettled (7)
{PURITAN} – a holier-than-thou and ostentatiously virtuous person is an anagram (unsettled) of UP-TRAIN.

Down Clues

1d  Up-to-date intelligence prior to strike (4,2)
{WITH IT} – this is an informal expression meaning up-to-date or trendy. A synonym for intelligence is followed by a verb to strike.

2d  A small key (1,5)
{A MINOR} – A (from the clue) is followed by an adjective meaning small or slight to make a musical key.

3d  Shared in centre of Dallas, capitally? (5-5)
{FIFTY-FIFTY} – the central two letters of Dallas when capitalised and treated as Roman numerals.

4d  Old-style resort abroad devoid of sun (5)
{RETRO} – resort (or re-sort) is often an anagram indicator but here it’s the fodder. We want an anagram (abroad) of RE(s)ORT devoid of S(un).

5d  Collect dull rug (6,3)
Blended rye a tramp slyly kept in rug (6,3) – (version in the paper).
{PRAYER MAT} – a charade of a collect (something recited in church) and an adjective meaning dull or lustreless. The paper version is an anagram (blended) of RYE  within a second anagram (slyly) of A TRAMP.

6d  Finished extra six deliveries (4)
{OVER} – triple definition, the deliveries being balls in cricket.

7d  Absurd notice about six getting the push (8)
{EVICTION} – the answer normally means being kicked out of a property but it can also mean getting the push from a job (like a certain Government Chief Whip, for example). It’s an anagram (absurd) of NOTICE containing the Roman numeral for six.

8d  Herb sprang up, one good with lamb? (8)
{ROSEMARY} – a verb meaning sprang up is followed by the nursery rhyme character who had a little lamb.

13d  Watch Attila? (4-6)
{HALF-HUNTER} – this is a type of pocket watch. If you treat the answer as a cryptic instruction you end up with a member of the warlike Asiatic race which was led at one time by Attila and which is normally included as part of his name.

15d  Slipping up, party after daughter’s heroic action (7-2)
{DERRING-DO} – a curious word (the result of a transcription error) meaning the sort of heroic action portrayed in Victorian adventure stories and Errol Flynn movies. It’s a present participle meaning slipping up or making a mistake and a festive party all preceded by D(aughter).

16d  Song from ‘Hairstars (8)
{AQUARIUS} – double definition, the second meaning a constellation.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d  Animated film freak is at a resort (8)
{FANTASIA} – a freak or enthusiast is followed by an anagram (re-sort) of IS AT A.

19d  A launch at sea (6)
{AFLOAT} – A (from the clue) is followed by a verb to launch (a company on the stock market, for example).

20d  Last broadcast by elected Soviet leader (6)
{STALIN} – this Soviet leader (who certainly wasn’t democratically elected) is an anagram (broadcast) of LAST followed by an adverb meaning elected.

23d  Abandon fight (5)
{SCRAP} – double definition, the first a verb to abandon or throw away.

24d  Wet head of wretched scallywag (4)
{WIMP} – wet here is a noun, as used by Mrs Thatcher to describe someone with no backbone. The leading (head) letter of W(retched) is followed by a young scallywag or cheeky rascal.

My favourites today were 18a, 22a, 8d and 13d. Which ones did you like?

From the following day’s newspaper:

Correction: Yesterday’s clue 5 Across should have been ‘Colonist, one taking part in landing (7)’.  The clue published was an alternative clue to 5 Down.   Apologies for any confusion caused.”

Today’s Quickie Pun: {TRANCE} + {LATER} = {TRANSLATOR}

94 comments on “DT 27004

  1. But the clue for 5a in my copy of the Telegraph is “Collect dull rug” which stumped me. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi Tim – welcome to the blog. No – it’s an error in the paper (as I wrote in the prologue).

      1. I strongly suspect that the wordplay explanation is correct.

        It would have been an odd way to clue the spacecraft, since most of them were specifically intended not to land anywhere, and the one that could be said to have been “involved in landing”, IIRC, didn’t actually land itself.

        1. A recent Indy (I think) puzzle had a whole theme on Mars Landers! I didn’t realise I knew so many!

    1. I had the same problem Domus, but my electronic aid said there was no other answer with the checking letters – so I put it in, resigned to Gazza telling me why I had got the right answer. So there’s a surprise ! Begs the question – What is collect dull rug ?

      Found this v difficult – one of the hardest recent mid-week ones. Got to the end without hints – apart from 5a ! Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review. I had forgotten the 11a director !

      1. To clarify:

        The 5d clue had a late change which unfortunately was applied in the newspaper version to the 5a clue by mistake, leading to the 5a clue in the paper being nonsense and there being two different clues for 5d.

  2. In the Telegraph e paper 5a is clued as “Collect dull rug”. Very confusing, but otherwise enjoyable and three stars.

  3. Yes the clue for 5a in the paper version was wrong which led to a lot of head scratching. Interestingly, the clues for 5d and 5a (paper version) both related to the answer to 5d.
    Agree it was a very entertaining crossword with my favourites being 3d and 8d. **/**** rating for me , excluding of course the time spent trying to unravel 5a.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza for the review.

  4. No complaints from me today. Middle of the road for difficulty and above average ffor enjoyment. We have had the film director several times in the past do no problem there.too many good clues to mention. Many thanks to all.

  5. We have a difference between on line and paper – or perhaps in the edition. 5a is completely nonsensical on my paper version reading “Collect dull rug”………Pioneer is the only word that fits in P-o-e-r………

    Looks like the boys and gals at the DT have slipped up today.

    1. Nick P,
      You’ve changed your alias so your comment required moderation.

      The clue in the paper is wrong.

  6. Pedantically, I also considered the word ‘extra’ superfluous in 6d, but maybe that’s just me!

    1. Hi Kevmcc

      I think that 6d is a triple definition, and ‘extra’ is one of them, ie if something is ‘extra’ it is ‘over’.

  7. A couple in the SW held me up, especially 16d (I have never seen the musical).
    I also parsed 5a the same as Kevmcc, and cs, without even thinking of the US spacecraft.
    A few clues I liked, but I am sorry to say I did not enjoy it as much as others did.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.
    3*/2.5* for me.

  8. Lady L and I completed this in reasonable time but needed Gazza to explain how a couple of clues work, for which, thanks. I am still bemused by 13d. Attila is half of the man’s usual denomination, but where does the ‘ter’ come into it?

  9. Can’t say I enjoyed this too much. Quite apart from the c**k up at 5A (can I have my money back please), I didn’t feel 1D, 2D and 25A were particularly good clues (too many possible answers), 6D contains a totally superfluous word (extra) and whilst I appreciate the cleverness of 3D, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of the word CAPITALLY. Having said all that, I liked 18A, 22 A and I thought 13D was excellent.

  10. All this chit-chat about 5D!! A collect can be interpreted as “Prayer” and rug as mat i.e. dull and rug. So what’s to argue about? It may have been altered but I can’t see anything wrong. Liked 1, 5 ( “one ” in “pier”} and 9A, 1, 5, and 15D. With thanks to setter and Gazza for concise and helpful hints.

      1. The three letter version is an alternative spelling and so much used by crossword setters.

  11. Bit of a ‘frenetic’ crossword today,the sort Sergeant Bilko would write! Thanks Gazza for the blog-enough said re the 5a nonsens clue.Some excellent clues ,liked13d and 3d and thought it the wittiest offering for a while, score it ***/****, thanks to setter-who was it?

  12. Apart from upping my rate of non work-related emails first thing this morning, I thought this seemed a fairly typical Tuesday puzzle. I agree with both gazza’s star ratings and favourite clues.

    The Toughie was a mixture of some tough and some not so tough. Give it a go and see what you think.

    1. I enjoyed the toughie today. Awaiting one explanation from BD, and that’s all i’m saying on this page about it.

  13. I enjoyed this crossword very much, tougher than the usual Tuesday efforts. I also had the paper version clue and couldn’t work out the reasoning until I read your prologue a few minutes ago. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  14. Testing little puzzle I thought with some nice touches. I parsed 6d as a triple definition, like Gazza, so disagree with the superfluous word theorists. Although, would prefer the word not to get such a hackneyed cricket treatment or just plug a different word into the grid. Was beginning to see a fractions theme with quarter, half and fifty-fifty but it led me nowhere in the end.

  15. We enjoyed this one – tricky enough to be interesting but not mind-bending :grin: but maybe I’d worn the brain out on the Toughie and then trying to get to grips with the HELLO bridge convention this morning!

    Fav has to be 8d as the answer is not just a herb but one that goes very well with lamb!

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  16. I really enjoyed this one once the confusion was cleared up – what a muddle. I feel a bit sorry for the person responsible for the ***** up and should imagine that his/her persona is definitely not very grata in lots of houses across the country today. How lucky we are to have this great blog to sort us all out when things go wrong!
    I agree with gazza’s ratings for difficulty and enjoyment. I had remembered the 11a film director from a fairly recent clue otherwise could have been in trouble with that one. Not surprisingly I’ve never heard of 25a which took me ages. 18a and 13d also took a while. I needed the hints to explain 3 and 13d.
    Lots of good clues today – 1, 18 and 22a and 8 and 13d.
    With thanks to ?Petitjean and gazza.

  17. Solved this despite the error of clue 5a (I get the Brussels print of the DT after lunch each weekday).

    Faves : 11a, 18a, 22a, 3d, 8d, 13d & 16d.

    Though that a lot of clues were rather colloquial!

  18. Must be me, i thought this was a 5/2 rating. Almost as bad as yesterday’s for me. Managed threes clues on my own! Don’t get slyly in 5d, never heard of troll for bait, what on earth has the stuff you wash your hair with to do with a massage, why extra in 6d, 6 balls make an over, there are no extras involved, and of course I totally forgot the film director. So all in all not my best effort today.

    1. The clue to 6d is simply three definitions of the answer, one of which is “extra”. The answer to 27a meant “massage” long before it meant anything else. Slyly is an anagram indicator.

      I’m very surprised that you’re not familiar with the usage in 26a.

  19. Solved this in 2 lumps, half on the ferry punctuated by fog horns, and the other half sitting in brilliant sunshine sipping a very nice Sauvignon.

    Found it quite tricky in places but eventually it all fell into place.

    I thought everybody knew that a collect was a prayer :).

    Thanks for the review and to the setter.

    A fellow passenger had a paper Telegraph so will be trying toughie later.

  20. I wonder why so many bloggers leap straight into action before first reading the prologue / hints / comments.
    It would save such a lot of wasted effort.

    1. Its not exactly a challenge if you check out all the hints and answers before attempting the crossword.

  21. Still not keen on crosswords that rely on names of individuals that are current – OK Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili is pretty well known, but film directors?

    Ho hum

  22. 5d – Blended rye a tramp slyly kept in rug (6,3) – (version in the paper).

    Just to add to the confusion … maybe 5d was changed because … all the anagram fodder is contiguous within the clue yet there are 2 anagram indicators? Is that acceptable?

    Thanks to this Blog for sorting it all out! Will there be an apology in Tomorrow’s paper?

  23. Getting the ‘F’s’ from 1A & 9A made 3D fairly obvious, but I couldn’t understand the rest of the clue, until I read Gazza’s hint…. Very clever!

  24. I enjoyed this though I needed the hints to finish, mainly because I’d never heard of a 25a. I didn’t understand 6d either and took a long time to work out the famous 5d. I didn’t like the clue for 13d although I knew the answer. Having a simple mind, the clues I liked were 14 and 22a and 2d. How is it possible that people don’t know that film director? Thanks to Gazza and (was it?) Petitjean. :-)

    1. Welcome to the blog Graham

      I’m not aware of any way of doing it apart from a series of screen prints pasted into a document, which is tedious and messy.

    2. Copy and paste into an MS Word document – works for me. If you then want to see the answer you need to highlight the text and change the colour.

      1. PS When you highlight the text on screen the answers show but you can avoid looking at them. They don’t show in the Word document.

  25. I often get answers then work ou the clue, but 5a really did for me, cannot trust myself to look here first!

    1. Jane,
      Sorry for the delay in the appearance of your comment. It required moderation because you’ve changed your alias.

    2. That kind of mess up, to put it politely, doesn’t happen very often. I never look at the introduction or the hints before I have either finished the crossword or completely thrown in the sponge.

  26. Well, forget the 5a error – I thought the whole thing was an error and should have been inside in the Toughie slot!! REALLY struggled with this one – so much so that I can’t say I really enjoyed it and needed some hints to finally finish off as was so fed up with the whole thing. Sorry!

  27. I enjoyed this today (for me easier than yesterdays) but I needed gazza’s hint for 11a & 3d. ***/**** for me. Thanks to gazza & the setter (Pettijean?)

  28. Really enjoyed this but failed to get 18a and a couple of others. Am exoecting an apology in tomorrow’s paper for 5a! First mistake in a long time. I do recall they printed the same crossword in one week about 5 years ago. Best challenge of the week so far!

  29. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review and hints. I did enjoy this one, but found it a bit weird. It was as if my id did the puzzle ( can’t spell subconscious :-) ) while I was watching. Anyway, I guessed 13d, it was in the back of my mind, still don’t understand the hint, same with 3d. Favourite was 8d. Thought it was 4*/4* Wouldn’t it be nice to see the Sun, still the cold weather predicted at the weekend should clear the fog !!

    1. 3d – I tried valiantly to fit in Fort Worth but not enough letters.

      As gazza says “the central two letters of Dallas when capitalised and treated as Roman numerals”.

      L = 50!

  30. What an utter delight!

    Not far off a personal best time for me, so I can’t rate it as more than ** difficulty. Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same!

    Thanks to Gazza and Petitjean.

  31. We enjoyed this one and agree with Gazza’s ratings. It occurred to us that it had a Petitjean feel to it too. Lots of clever clues. Thanks setter and Gazza.

      1. Thanks pommers. Note the lower-case p this time. Not sure that we will stick with it as we feel that The Reviewers deserve the honour of an Upper-case Proper name. Cheers.

        1. I loev the new avatar too – it looks like the two of you are trying to work out a particularly knotty clue.

          1. Exactly right Sue. But we shouldn’t claim all the credit. Our son and family who live in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands were visiting and did most of the putting together for us. Cheers.

        2. Thank you for that but it’s my choice I believe – lower case it is :smile: Lots of my mates, who christened me “pommers” many years ago, would say I don’t deserve the capitalisation anyway :lol:
          See you Thursday if not before, but don’t count on the overnight blog from me as it’s getting a bit chilly in the night now.

          1. Lower case it is then. Hate to think of you missing out on your beauty sleep just to put the review up for us. We get spoilt by Scchua on Wednesday usually anyway.

            1. The overnight bit sometimes depends on whether I go to the local for an after dinner coffee – not so much coffee as concentrated caffeine in a glass! V tasty but it don’t half keep you awake :grin: Of course, the coffee requires a brandy (or two) so the blog sometimes suffers a bit!
              Scchua has the advantage of living in a time zone not too far from yours.

  32. Kept today’s offering for this evening not wishing to watch football! Most enjoyable and did finish but could not understand why 5a answer was Pioneer until I checked the blog. Thanks to setter for a better than usual workout and Gazza for the hints.

  33. Having had a bad day on site I was bemused by the 5 a/d clues as well. I had 5d from the clues to both 5a and 5d in the paper so penned in 5a in from the checking letters – I think that the ONE in PIER was intended (now I have seen it!). Thanks to the setter (sorry about their muck-up today as it kind of spoilt the puzzle for me!) and to gazza for the review.

  34. Thanks to gazza and the setter. I never heard of troll , rosemary is the herb to enhance lamb, never mind the nursery rhyme, and swingers aren’t so much modern and lively as…well i’ll leave that to another setter.Seemed easier than yesterday’s as it seems to me to be to be on tthe same wavelength.

    1. The definition of “swinger” used here was perhaps more common in the ’60s, but it’s pretty much lifted directly from Chambers.

      We do see examples of 26a even here, from time to time…

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