DT 27005

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27005

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was made a little bit more difficult by the grid which has more than the usual number of unchecked letters. So I’d give it a 2.5+ * for difficulty and a 3* for enjoyment. Thanks to setter.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{ } are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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.


1    Rump, ham or game? (10)

{BACKGAMMON} : [rump;posterior] + [smoked or cured ham].

Answer: Board game for 2 players with dice and pieces.

6    Slump preceding a long tale (4)

{SAGA} : [slump, eg. from overload, or plain old age] placed before(preceding) A.

Answer: Long winded tale, usually spanning generations of characters.

8    Fine-tuning of foresight on unloaded rifle (8)

{REVISION} : [foresight] placed after(on, in an across clue) {“rifle” minus
all its inner letters(unloaded)}.

9    The shape of Bologna after most of it is developed (6)

{OBLONG} : Anagram of(after … is developed) “Bologna” minus its last letter(most of it).

10    Work land area on hill producing food for Mexico (8)

{TORTILLA} : {[work land] + abbrev. for “area”} placed after(on, in an across clue) [a hill, especially a bare and rocky one].

11    Swindle  crowd (6)

{HUSTLE} : Double defn: 2nd: To shove;crowd someone roughly.

12    Smile, with time for new determination (4)

{GRIT} : [smile broadly] with the abbrev. for “time” replacing(for) the abbrev. for “new”.

14    Done half of this part of the golf course (7)

{THROUGH} : 2 letters of(half of)”this” + part of the golf course you don’t want to find your ball in.  You never know what you might meet:


On the other hand… Katecombes_display_image_display_image

To get back to business:

Answer: “We’re [done]!” could be the last thing you said to your ex-romance.

18    Import from Chinese dynasty to include endless jeans (7)

{MEANING} : A famous Chinese dynasty containing(to include) “jeans” minus its front and back end letters(endless).

Answer: The significance of something.

20    Piece of news one came across on the way back (4)

{ITEM} : Roman numeral for “one” + reversal of(on the way back) [came across;encountered].

23    Nothing very loud to establish counterbalance (6)

{OFFSET} : Letter that looks like zero;nothing + abbrev. for the musical instruction to play very loudly + [to establish, eg. an example].

24    Net value is adjusted, becoming final after a time (8)

{EVENTUAL} : Anagram of(is adjusted) NET VALUE.

25    Chair apparently embracing return of outcast (6)

{PARIAH} : Hidden in(embracing) and reversal of(return) the rest of the clue (excluding the defn. of course).

Defn: As a noun.

26    Stubborn, but bound to reform without new charge (8)

{OBDURATE} : Anagram of(to reform) “bound” minus(without) abbrev. for “new” + [charge, usually per period of time].

27    Hide, if virtually broke (4)

{SKIN} : [broke;without money] minus its last letter(if virtually).

Defn. and Answer: As a noun, .

28    People in power panicking at teens on grass (10)

{POTENTATES} : Anagram of(panicking) AT TEENS placed after(on, in an across clue) [like “grass”, slang for marijuana].


1    Exhausted ticket seller after sting (5-3)

{BURNT-OUT} : [ticket seller;solicitor, not of law] placed after(after) [sting, eg. from hot tears].

2    Insurance agent’s final secret (6)

{COVERT} : [obtained with insurance] + last letter of(…’s final) “agent”.

3    ‘Shot’ — small drink for small talk (6)

{GOSSIP} : [a shot;a chance at] + abbrev. for “small” + [to drink a little at a time].

4    Doctor performing easy work unofficially (9)

{MOONLIGHT} : abbrev. for a doctor in the military + as in “who’s [performing] tonight?” + [easy;not heavy going].

Answer: To work at an additional job after your official one, the word being derived from the assumption that you already have a day job.

5    They open, exceptionally, for a new convert (8)

{NEOPHYTE} : Anagram of(exceptionally) THEY OPEN.

Answer: A new convert to a religious faith.

6    Drink on board with partner’s representative (8)

{SALESMAN} : A type of alcoholic drink contained in abbrev. for “steamship”(on board) + [partner, a male one].

7    Go to Scotland and put up new fuel nerve centre (8)

{GANGLION} : Scottish for “to go” + reversal of(put up, in a down clue) {abbrev. for “new” + a type of fossil fuel}.

Answer: An anatomical term for a mass of nerve cells, and figuratively the centre of activity.

13    Inflexible but viable perhaps including two thousand plus order initially (9)

{IMMOVABLE} : Anagram of(perhaps) VIABLE containing(including) {Roman numeral for “2000” plus(plus) first letter of(initially) “order”}.

15    Fine line taken in joint request for small container (3,5)

{HIP FLASK} : Abbrevs. for “fine” and “line” respectively contained in(taken in) {[a joint in your body] + [request]}.

16    Lack of love on religious outpost? (8)

{OMISSION} : Letter resembling zero;love as in tennis scores placed above(on, in a down clue) [religious outpost, subject of a Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons movie].

17    Good Independent newspaper report for retail outlet (8)

{GIFTSHOP} : Abbrevs. for “good” and “independent” respectively + abbrev. for a daily English newspaper in pink + [report;tell on].

19    Coins once used for drugs lie all over the place (8)

{GUILDERS} : Anagram of(all over the place) DRUGS LIE.

Answer:  Made redundant by the Euro.

21    Fashionable channel to admit as member (6)

{INDUCT} : [fashionable;trendy] + [channel, eg. for your tears].

22    Country or kingdom raised women on island (6)

{KUWAIT} : Reversal of(raised, in a down clue) abbrev. for the kingdom not a million miles away from most of you + abbrev. for “women” placed above(on, in a down clue) [small island, especially in a river].

The Quick crossword pun: {hair} + {deed} + {days} = {heady days}



  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    We thought this one was on the gentle side for a Jay but up to his usual high standard. The ones we liked best were 14a and 22d. Great fun throughout.
    Thanks Scchua and Jay.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Very good start to the day thank you Jay and scchua too.

    The Notabilis toughie is exactly that. I will report back later, probably much later :)

    • pommers
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Just finished the Toughie – any space in the darkened room or has everyone else beaten me to it? :grin:

      • andy
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Have one irritating clue left, have been staring for ages and just can’t see it!

      • Jezza
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I doubt there is any space left for me now! That was what I call tough… just finished, having spent most of the morning looking at it in between office duties.

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        I can move over a bit – as long as you promise not to nick one of my lunchtime sandwiches.

  3. Wayne
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Excellent Xword and excellent review. Thanx to Compiler and Scchua. ***/**** rating for me.

  4. Jezza
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The usual smooth surfaces that we expect from Jay. Very enjoyable, even if the pleasure was over too quickly.
    Thanks to Jay, and scchua. 1*/4* from me.

    Now for the toughie, which reading comment from cs above, might be considerably more of a struggle.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Try lots of lateral thinking, banging head on desk and Tippex – that, coupled with Gnome’s law – ish (I didn’t actually mention any clues, just said I was struggling) got me there in the end.

      • eXternal
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        agree with that, just worked out 19A by contorting my brain every which way.

  5. Brian
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hard work but quite enjoyable. Liked 1a and 4d but needed scchas explanation for 15d and 25a. Thx to Sccha and to the setter for providing the first crossword this week that I have solved.

  6. cephas
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    58 interlocking squares is about average. Yes, there are some double unches, but in every case at least half the letters interlock. Two of the 4-letter words have 3 interlocking letters, two of the 8-letter words have 5 interlocking letters and the 9-letter words have 6 interlocking letters. To me this is above average interlocking!
    You can blame me for designing the grid.

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      I think that D.S.Macnutt mould approve of the ratio. Personally I didn’t have a problem with the checking ratio – just the cryptic brain cells!

  7. Sweet William
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay and Scchua. After the last 2 days I was thinking that either I was becoming thicker or the puzzles harder. Managed to complete this reasonbly quickly ( for me ) which was necessary due to car MOT, 2nd stage Christmas cake production and man on roof trying to solve problem of water running down bedroom wall.

    Grid can’t be too bad if I’ve finished it !

  8. skempie
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable if untaxing puzzle today, its amazing how easier crosswords become with the right clues in the right places.
    I guess 22D mus be my favourite today although I did find a number of other clues to be fun (1,14,16, 26A, and 7,15D) and I have to say that due to the poor light quality today (and my obdurate refusal to turn the light on)(see what I did then), I was a bit shocked when I looked at 3D and the first ‘h’ looked like an ‘n’.

  9. Beaver
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I agree with a**/***, enjoyable start to the day, got stuck on the final clue ,which was my fault as i tried to begin 22d with a’Q’!-must have been from Spike Milligans Q8,when the penny dropped ,the charade was apparent,Thanks to Jay and Scchua-liked the pictorial of 14a,i’d have found the snake.

  10. Vince
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    6d. Partner = man???? I’m afraid it doesn’t work for me.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      It works for Chambers Thesaurus


      partner, husband, lover, boyfriend, fiancé, spouse, sweetheart

      colloquial fellow, bloke, guy, toy boy

  11. Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I tend to agree with the BD rating today. The top right corner nudging it above a ** but not quite a *** difficulty. *** for enjoyment is fair enough. Regards to all.

  12. Kath
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I thought this was a bit more straightforward than some of Jay’s crosswords – quite often on Wednesdays I get very few of the across answers on first read through but today I did several. The number of unchecked letters is something that I never notice – a bit like pangrams, ninas and the number of anagrams! Probably 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment for me.
    My last two were 28a and 22d. Grass=pot is one of the many things that I always forget.
    I liked 1 and 14a and 4 and 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua – I’m practising using the right upper/lower case, not to mention correct spelling!
    Still grey, foggy, drizzly and generally miserable in Oxford – hibernation is beginning to seem increasingly attractive.

  13. ChrisH
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with Kath’s assessment of both the puzzle and the weather.

    22d had me scratching my head. The answer seemed to fit, but had a mental block on the ‘Kingdom’ bit, strangely.

    • Kath
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink


  14. Big Boab
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to scchua for a very entertaining crossword and review.

  15. SheilaP
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your explanation of the mechanics for working out your hints, but I’m afraid they are not much help. I am just a simple soul, who likes things to be straightforward, and I find it hard enough to do the crossword, never mind trying to work out the hints when I need help.

  16. pommers
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jay for a fine puzzle Very enjoyable, not too taxing and just what my brain needed after its tussle with the Toughie! :grin:

    I think 10a might be favourite but the answer is something completely different here!

    Thanks also to scchua for the review.

  17. Peter
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Finished in 2 sessions today with the exception of 22d, which I still don’t understand.

    Personally I thought the left hand side was easier than the right. I’m not enamoured by the grid, it seems like 4 separate crosswords to me. Also there were a few words I don’t normally use, like 25a and 26a.

    So, it’s a 3*/3* for me today.

    Thanks to Jay and Scchua.

    • pommers
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Peter

      Re22d. The def is country, it’s actually a Middle East one in this case. Reverse the abbreviation for the United Kingdom and then follow with W(omen) and a small island in a river.

      Have a look here for the island :-


      Both spellings are worth remembering as they come up from time to time.

      • Peter
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Pommers, thank you. I knew the answer must be Kuwait, but for the life of me I couldn’t work out why and, unusually, Scchua’s explanation didn’t help.
        Must be thick today!

  18. MikeT
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Like several others, I struggled a bit with 22D & 28A – but got there in the end, with confidence in my solutions, because of the excellent clueing (although I couldn’t see how they worked until I read them through again – after filling in my answers).

  19. Only fools
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Late start,red wine poisoning and two initial errors made this more difficult than the reality. 3/3 for me .tomorrows another day !

  20. Franny
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I did this this morning and managed to complete it with a good deal of assistance. There were no special favourites, but thanks to Jay and scchua, and to Pommers for explaining 22d further. There are times when scchua’s explanations are as good as another lot of cryptic clues, but that one didn’t work for me today.

  21. Derek
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    First in was 1a and 19d was a good laugh for me!

    Faves today : 9a, 10a, 28a, 7d, 15d & 22d.

    Autumn is now definitely here – the trees in the woods on the other side of the street are shedding their leaves by the million.

    Am now again on my lonesome ownsome as my son who was here for the last five days is heading back over the pond to NYC. He spent the summer in our place in the Var with my car – it has now gone in for its annual APK (roadworthiness checkup).

    Shall finish off the roast leg of lamb tonight with a drop of full-bodied Rioja.

  22. Hrothgar
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable – and educational, ait an island – prelude to RayT’s sizzler tomorrow, hopefully.
    Thanks jay and scchua.

    • pommers
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget EYOT – an alternative spelling :grin:

      • Hrothgar
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks pommers – a timely reminder to me to swot up on geographical features. :)

    • Kath
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      We had Ray T last week (I think) so probably not tomorrow. :sad: A pity – I could just do with one of his crosswords.

      • Peter
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Does that mean its going to be easier tomorrow?

        • Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          Probably as we think Petitjean was yesterday (popular music clues in Cryptic and Quick crosswords), although we do occasionally get two Ray Ts in a row.

          • pommers
            Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            Looking forward toit, if indeed it is!

            • Hrothgar
              Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

              We’ll know at one second past midnight.

              • Kath
                Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

                You might!! :smile:

  23. Annidrum
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes,good one Jay , my favourites 1d&4d. My laptop bought in America is telling me I spelt “favourites & spelt” incorrectly!!

  24. Heno
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay & scchua for the review & hints. I found this quite straightforward, but entertaining. Only 1.5 on the Blacksheepometer, to coin a phrase. I think I was on the setter’s wavelength. Started with 1a, finished with 19d. Favourites were 9a & 22d. A nice walk from Kew Gardens to Richmond along the Thames, and the sun even came out :-)

  25. una
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    this neophyte took a little while to get into “cryptic” thinking but slipping into that mode is the pleasure of it ,I think.Thanks to sschua and setter.great fun.

  26. Catherine
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Took people’s advice from last week and have now subscribed to the online crosswords. Back in Canada and (sort of) in real time with you.
    Really enjoyed the puzzle but felt stressed as I was already 5 hours behind everyone else! Sure that will pass though.
    Thanks everyone.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      But you can get “tomorrow’s” crossword the evening before. Falcon lives in Ottawa and he writes his reviews on this blog before going to bed.

      • Catherine
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I will check it out tonight.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      We know the feeling Catherine. We get “tomorrow’s” puzzles at noon today, so if we do them before going to bed have a smug feeling about being ahead of all the lay-a-beds in the UK. Cheers and welcome to the club.

      • Catherine
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kiwis! I actually just read the first blog you wrote on 2 months ago! I read it yesterday and that’s what made me finally decide to subscribe.

      • pommers
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kiwis
        Review (which I’m sure you don’t need) will be posted about mid-afternoon Kiwi-time!

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

          You are such a brick pommers. Even if we do not use the review, at least we can be first in with our comment.

          • pommers
            Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

            I’m an “old fogey” and still think this internet stuff is amazing! Here’s me, in Spain, talking to you guys (who I’ve never met) in New Zealand in real time – how wierd is that?
            Reminds me of a night when I was driving to Wales and pommette was on her mobile – took me a while to twig she was talking to her friend in Brisbane who was in her car taking her kids to school – now that is bizarre!

            Anyway, the puzzle must be online by now so off to the blog for me – see you tomorrow (or today?).

    • pommers
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Catherine (that’s also my sister’s name!).
      Don’t worry about time zones! I’m sat here now wondering whether to go to bed, and then get up early to do tomorrow’s blog, or whether to stay up and do it now! H’mm, might have another glass or two before deciding!
      The 2Kiwis would be pleased if I did it now but . . . .

      As BD said, Falcon lives in Ottawa, scchua is in the Far East , gazza in Devon and me in Spain,so what the hell? This is t’internet There’s a guy in Kenya who sometimes posts about a month in arrears, because that’s when the puzzle gets printed in the local paper!

      You will probably be solving tomorrow’s puzzle at the same time as me – decided! Review will be posted about 0330CEST, unless it’s a really hard piuzzle (one never knows)) :grin:

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

        Don’t know if you’re still up and working, but thought we’d let you know that the Toughie took less time than the one you are reviewing! Good luck.

        • pommers
          Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

          Just finished doing the review – tricky little bugger! Post in about an hour. Running a bit late due to aforementioned glass or two!

  27. Ainsley Gill
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Re yesterday’s crossword – not impressed with the apology – ‘apologies for any confusion caused’. As if there was any scope for no confusion!

  28. gnomethang
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I thought this slightly stiffer for a Jay but no less enjoyable. Mind you I am in Crossword Fatigue mode at the moment so everything feels a bit tough.
    THanks Jay and Scchua.