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DT 27006

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27006

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.   Well, was this a recycled Toughie or what?  Hardest back-pager for some time methinks.  There again, it could just be me having an off day I suppose!  I found it hard to solve and it didn’t get any easier when writing the hints, which was a bit of a surprise as things usually look much more simple with hindsight.  Thanks to the setter for a bit of unexpected brain strain which I did enjoy a lot, once I realised I could actually solve it without screaming for help!

The clues I like most are in blue and the answers can be seen by highlighting the space between the curly brackets. 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           Kid getting into music roots out old footwear (4,5,5)
{BLUE SUEDE SHOES} – Take some kid, as in soft leather, and put it into a style of music from the American deep south and then add a word meaning roots out, weeds from the garden maybe. If you then split it (4,5,5) you’ll get some footwear made famous by King Elvis.  Thanks to pommette for parsing this one for me – I’ll get her on the blogging team soon!

9a           Gatsby recalled except via a name in books still? (8)
{STAGNANT} – Still, as in still or unmoving water.  Take GATSBY and remove (except) the 2 letters that can mean “via” and reverse (recalled) what’s left. Then follow with A (from the clue) and N(ame) both inserted into the abbreviation for the books of the New Testament.

10a         Fellow embraces company and wine (5)
{MACON} – A type of French wine is the usual company inserted into (embraces) a word for a fellow or male person.

12a         Hairstyle making a comeback in ‘Doctor Faustus’ (4)
{AFRO} – Hidden in (in) but reversed (making a comeback) in Doctor Faustus.

13a         Tip off, using good English, about arranged eviction (4,6)
{GIVE NOTICE} – G(ood) and E(nglish) placed around an anagram (arranged) of EVICTION.

15a         Desolate amateur shrink (3,5)
{LAY WASTE} – Desolate as a verb.  A word for amateur, preacher perhaps, followed by a word for shrink, as in diminish or lose weight.

16a         Garden rubbish hazard (6)
{DANGER} – It’s an anagram (rubbish) of GARDEN.

18a         Same two chords in Emerson Lake and Palmer’s records (6)
{ELPEES} – Take two musical chords or notes and insert into the band’s initials (don’t forget the ‘s) and you get a word for some long playing records.  Didn’t know this was a real word until the BRB came to the rescue!

20a         Visual humour landmark requires silence (5,3)
{SIGHT GAG} – A landmark or something worth looking at followed by something which would make you silent.  Is this a bit obscure or is it just me in a bad mood?

23a         Bird of prey noticed displaying evidence of conformity (4-6)
{KITE MARKED} – It’s the evidence that something conforms to British Standards.  A bird of prey is the first word and then a word meaning noticed or taken note of.

24a         Marrow in haggis? Turnips apparently (4)
{GIST} – This is marrow in the sense of the essential meaning.  It’s hidden in haggis turnips.

26a         High wire safety issue making work for nine (5)
{NONET} – This work for nine musicians, if split (2,3) would indeed be a safety issue for a high wire walker.

27a         One with depression, needing vermouth — unknown brand (8)
{IDENTITY} – OK, the definition is Brand as in marque or name.  It’s a charade of I (one), a depression (I have one in the front wing of my car), an abbreviation for Italian vermouth and finally an algebraic unknown.  Definitely harder to hint than solve!

28a         Head latterly went on about sense and shrewdness of judgment (3-11)
{FAR SIGHTEDNESS} – Not sure how to explain this but here goes! Take a word for a head or cape/headland and put it at the end (latterly). Before that you need a word for “went on” or how you did in something placed around (about) one of your senses.


2d           Could be Lulworth skipper having abandoned heading misses France completely (7)
{UTTERLY} – What is a “Lulworth Skipper” an example of?  Look it up, as I did, in Google and then remove the first letter (abandoned heading) and then remove (misses) the F(rench) and you’re left with a word meaning completely.  This puzzle is getting more difficult by the clue!

3d           Wise ignoring half of sausages’ ingredients (4)
{SAGE} – Easy one! It’s half the letters of sauSAGEs.

4d           Waste burger one tucked into with energy before (8)
{EMACIATE} – Waste as in waste away, yes it’s a verb.  Start with a burger (I had a big one last week), follow with I (one) and a word for “tucked into” or consumed and put E(nergy) at the start (before).

5d           Hazel perhaps will follow two directions in course (6)
{ENTREE} – Two compass bearings followed by what hazel is an example of gives my favourite course of a meal.

6d           Hospital may hope to offset treatment (10)
{HOMEOPATHY} – This is a treatment you probably won’t get in a hospital.  Start with H(ospital) and follow with an anagram (offset) of MAY HOPE TO.

7d           Take the edge off delightful impression (7)
{ETCHING} – An artistic impression is a word for delightful or attractive without its first letter (take the edge off).

8d           Come a cropper cutting into opening question (11)
{INTERROGATE} – To get this word meaning to question you need to start with INTO (from the clue) and an opening, at the end of a garden path perhaps, and insert (cutting) a word for “come a cropper” or make a mistake.

11d         Austin maybe left benefits protecting popular originator of 1 (4,7)
{CARL PERKINS} – This is the guy who wrote the song in 1a so a bit of GK needed. Start with what an Austin was an example of and then L(eft) for the first name.  For the second name you need some benefits that you get on top of your salary placed around the usual two letters for popular.  Never heard of this guy but managed to work it out from the wordplay before a check in Wiki!  Apparantly he’s very famous but lost on me!

14d         Overdue, Sun taking blame sadly for Jerry Lee Lewis and 11 among others (10)
{LABELMATES} – A word for overdue followed by S(un) and insert an anagram (sadly) of BLAME.

17d         Being on strike for an aid to survival (8)
{LIFEBELT} – A being and a word for strike or hit gives an aid to survival on a sinking boat.  Fortunately I’ve never needed to use one of these although we always had a couple to hand on Firenze!

19d         Auntie P rarely reveals her name (7)
{PETUNIA} – an anagram (rarely) of AUNTIE P.  Funny, pommette’s niece and nephew never called her “Auntie P”!

21d         Cook — no learner — set grill for rubbery piece of meat (7)
{GRISTLE} – An anagram (cook) of SET GRILL but without one of the L’s (no learner).

22d         Making an effort  can be distressing (6)
{TRYING} – Double definition.

25d         Boss‘s doubt is not even raised (4)
{STUD} – The odd letters (not even) of DOUBT IS but reversed (raised in a down clue).

Interesting puzzle but with some good stuff I think.  Favourite was 6d, just for its surface.

The Quick crossword pun: {gore} + (gone} + {Zola} = {gorgonzola}

116 comments on “DT 27006

  1. I found this the hardest one in a long-time too. I did finish it without hints but took me twice as long as usual. Especially difficult when you can’t get one of the three clues that refer to one another. Once I got the answers I thought they were very good, but definitely too hard for a back pager.

    1. Glad someone agrees with me! Usually when I reckon it’s a hard one everyone else says it’s just a 2* pussycat :grin:

  2. Agree with you pommers that it was “a tricky little bugger”. It actually took us longer than the toughie. We struggled and needed Google help with a couple of musician clues and 23a. Good fun but won’t pick favourites..
    Thanks Mr Ron (We wonder if it is anyone we know?) and of course pommers for his middle of the night devotion to duty.

    1. You’re forgiven 23a – don’t suppose it’s very relevant in New Zealand. I thought this had the feel of a Petitjean (the music bits) but have really no idea. Also I thought the “slightly mad hat” helped when I put it on :grin: I’ll look at the Toughie tomorrow (or later today I suppose that should be).

      Going to bed now, if our new cat has left me any room. It’s surprising how much bed a tiny cat can occupy!

      1. I thought this was very enjoyable – thanks to Mr Ron and pommers. If today’s Mr Ron is Petitjean (which seems probable given all the musical references and the Quickie pun) I’m beginning to wonder whether Tuesday’s Ron (who I had assumed to be Petitjean) was actually someone different (or could he have made two appearances in the same week?).

  3. At Petitjean’s workshop the other week, we discussed ‘puzzles that had gone in the wrong envelope’ – This definitely appears to me to be a Petitjean and one that definitely may have been misposted :) A tricky start to Thursday, 3.5* difficulty for me, including one application of Tippex. Thanks to Petitjean and Pommers.

    The Toughie is a typical Excalibur and took me slightly less time to solve than the back pager.

  4. I also found this tricky today for a back-pager. If I was guessing, I would say this was by Petitjean, but I would not stake a bet on it (I would never make a successful gambler!).
    Thanks to setter, and to pommers. 4* difficulty for me.

    I have just picked up a copy of yesterday’s Times – I think I will have a go at that one now.

    1. Times puzzle – 25,302. Apparently one of the preliminary prize puzzles from last Saturday. Not particularly difficult, but would be interested to know what time one of the ‘experts’ would solve it in.

        1. Thanks. I just looked at that site. I rarely do the Times puzzle, but my solving time was approximately twice yours :)

  5. I agree with the general opinions about this one so far.

    I suspect that the “skipper” in 2d requires a capital, though.

      1. Chambers thesaurus also has it with a small “s”, it seems, and SOED has “skipper” (not capitalised) as “a small mothlike butterfly of the family Hesperiidae, a hesperiid”. I stand corrected.

    1. The OED lists it without the capital, but I gave it one in the hint! It’s capitalised in Wikipedia.

      1. Oh dear, the trouble that upper and lower case letters are causing us at the moment! If in doubt blame pommers (please note use of ‘p’ rather than ‘P’) as he started it all!! :smile:

          1. Don’t confuse me any more – the little grey cells have all been used up now! The other name that always causes problems for me is Qix – far too used to ALWAYS typing u after q!!

            1. Trouble is, I am now used to typing it with the capitalised second, that I tend to type the word like that all the time, which doesn’t really help in work-related documents. :D

                1. The problem with that one is when you type a review of one of his NTSPP’s and want to type the’ prolific Prolixic’. :D

              1. I don’t know about anyone else but I now have to think very carefully about the REAL words for ‘perservate’, ‘perservation’ and ‘perseverance’!

                  1. Ne too. And I don’t know if you remember when I invented the ‘numberal’ – it is a sort of cross between a number and a numeral – well I now can’t type the word numb. I mean numeral at all :D

  6. Great, one of the best ‘Thursday’s’ ever.
    Following the clues very, very literally paid off, even to my ‘invented’ word for 18a.
    (and had to check Lulworth Skipper was a butterfly)
    Many thanks setter, doesn’t feel RayT, and pommers.
    Yes, it does, Qix.

  7. Well, it’s a relief to know that you found this difficult too, Pommers! It took me a great deal of persevation and all the help I could get to fill it in, leaving seven clues where I needed your hints and even solutions. This is very rare for me and I wasn’t happy. Being an Aussie living in Switzerland, i hope I’m also excused 23a. There were no favourite clues, but a number of a type that I really detest: 1 and 9a and 4 and 14d. Many thanks to Pommers for the hints, which must have been pretty hard to compose in some cases, and to Mr Ron in a grudging sort of way. :-(

  8. Didn’t like this one at all but the day was brightened for me by the Toughie, which I really enjoyed

  9. Well, I thought this was a 2* pussycat !

    OK, I lied. Very tricksy today and agree that it may have been posted in the wrong envelope (although I would consider it halfway between a back-pager and a Toughie).

    2D gave me a few probs as I was determined to get COVE in there somewhere and 28A was definitely a case of getting the answer and then trying to find some way to justify the clue.

    Nice to see 11D getting some of the credit he deserves,, so many people seem to think that Elvis was the only recording artist in them tar days.

    Never knew you could spell 18A like that.

  10. This week has been full of tough ones IMO and this the hardest so far. I await tomorrow’s in trepidation. Favourite clue 26. I did not like 18…still don’t think that’s a real word. Never heard of 20 or 14. Made up words, I reckon!

    1. Neither do I.
      Doesn’t appear in online dictionaries etc.
      I only knew it was ‘right’ when I made mt DT online submission.
      But it’s ‘constructable’ :)

    2. Fully agree, def been a week for the experts leaving v little for us mere mortals!
      Looking forward to tomorrow’s Giovanni, he is always scrupulously fair unlike this horror, elpees indeed, don’t care what Chambers says

    3. I agree with Roger. These words, 18, 20 and 14 (if they exist) in not people’s vocabularies. Also I have a problem with ‘two chords’ A chord is two or more notes played simultaneously. A note is not a chord.

      Had to cheat for 14 down which then gave me 23a. Otherwise, solvable with a bit of guessing.

      1. Chord is OK by me. There’s E major, E minor etc.

        According to pommette there might well be an E7 and E diminished 7th but she doesn’t sound certain about that :smile:

    4. Roger, Made up words, I reckon!

      Aren’t all words “Made Up” somewhere back in the mists of time? Discuss!

        1. Or as Stanley Unwin said:

          “Are you all sitty comftybold two-square on your botty? Then I’ll begin.”

  11. The whole time (and that means quite a lot of time) that I was doing this I was wondering what others were thinking of it. I’m hugely relieved that it’s not another of those “oh, it was just me, then” days. I agree with the ratings that pommers gave it – 4* for both.
    I finished but needed the hints to explain quite a few of my answers. I’ve never seen 18a like that but it is in BRB. I’ve also never heard of 20a but it couldn’t have been anything else – unless I haven’t looked carefully enough I don’t think that one is in BRB. The one that nearly defeated me completely was 14d – I could see that it was an anagram, I could see what it was an anagram of – couldn’t do it for ages – I was trying to invent a group that they may both have been in – knowing nothing about either of them didn’t help.
    Lots of really good clues – 1 (thought it was just Elvis) and 26a and 6, 17 and 22d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and pommers.

  12. Wow! This one really caused me some headaches and there were quite a few where my answers were right, but it was only after reading Pommers’ hints, that I fully understood the wordplay in the clues. Given that they’ve been getting harder all week, tomorrow’s should be interesting.

  13. Found this very tricky and needed a lot of help from the review.

    Thanks to Pommers for the review and to Petitjean for another lesson in misdirection.

    Will be having a little chat with him in a week about his theming post war American music trivia!

    1. Rub it in a bit from me too, Col. He told me that he had been shunned by a certain publication for commenting on the antiquated nature of their cultural references in crosswords….

  14. This must have wandered away from where it was supposed to go i.e. somewhere towards the middle of the paper

    Attempted this while waiting for an appointment with the eye consultant at Queen’s Medical Centre. Disappointment on both counts: I could only do about 25% of the puzzle and I need laser treatment on both eyes. Deep joy!

    Thanks to pommers & to Mr Ron.

    1. My sympathies, spindrift. Retinal detachment by any chance? Don’t your eyes go funny with those drops they put in!

      1. 29 years of being diabetic have exacted their toll I’m afraid and yes those eye drops not only sting like a bugger but make your retinas the size of dinner plates and make people ask what drugs you’ve taken…

        1. I don’t know whether I sympathise more with your needing eye treatment or the difficulty you must have had parking at QMC.

          1. Ah but he would have had to have someone else drive him there and back so they would have had to do the parking – I had to have those drops in my eyes recently and had trouble finding the car in the car park – and its bright yellow.

            1. True, but anyone familiar with QMC in Nottingham will know that parking for out patients and visitors is so dire that people in these categories almost need treatment indoors following the experience! I had to take my mum – she died two years ago – on many an occasion. On the other hand, I had a cataract op done here in West Cumberland Infirmary, two years ago; no parking hassle, no waiting list and altogether a very relaxed experience. Not quite so crowded here. BTW I took my daughter to Maidstone last week for laser eye surgery.

                1. True, parking at QMC is a ‘mare but there is an excellent bus service every 10 minutes from the local Park n Ride – plus it’s free! By the time I’ve sat around waiting the wide-eyed effect has worn off somewhat so with my sunglasses on I can drive again quite safely…IMHO anyway.

                  1. I enlist the help of Mrs SW for transport. I do find that the drops mean computer use is out of the question for a while. as letters seem to drift up and down the screen and I cant read anything !

  15. Agree with all above ! Struggled on without help until 18a and 14d when I gave up and looked at your hints Pommers. Fancy 18a being a word ! Having read the comments I might even have a peek at the Toughie which I normally avoid due to incompetence.

    Thank you setter for a difficult puzzle and Pommers for your review ( helped or hindered by those last 2 ? brandies ! )

          1. DO have a go – I can’t usually do Toughies but today’s took me about half the time that the back page puzzle did. I guarantee that it will only have one or two * for difficulty – how do I know? Because I could do it!!

    1. So why would not being able to solve today’s puzzle, put you off solving the Giovanni tomorrow??

      1. Lots of practice available for tomorrow’s Giovanni !

        Today’s Guardian – Pasquale.
        Today’s FT – Bradman.

        I wonder what the Don does in his spare time?

  16. Finished without using hints, but wasn’t prepared to believe 18A was actually a word, despite filling it in.

    1. Argibbo,
      Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your alias. Both old and new should work from now on.

  17. Brilliant today,just the thing for an old rocker, i score it***/*****.Did’nt know there was a’ long version ‘of 18a,, LP’S – thanks Pommers for the blog ,which also clarified the’ roots’ bit of 1a and the lepidoptera connection of 2d.
    What a name for a Sherlock Holmes story The Mystery Of The Lulworth Skipper! Just off to find my drainpipes.

  18. I am with the ‘found it difficult’ crew. I knew the song for 1A but never ever the bloke written down the side. Let’s have some references to One Direction or Cheryl Cole, please :)

          1. Aha, thanks for the expert help as always, Gazza. DT Editor – put that man Qix on your team of setters forthwith

  19. I managed to solve it … unaided … but quite a few I had to verify in the BRB! (LPs etc)

    However, the Butterfly – required a bit of “investi-googling”.

    What no clip? (1a, 11d & 14d) – Labelmates

      1. Yes indeed. I saw Carl Perkins live back in 1964 (Colston Hall, Bristol) with Chuck “Crazy Legs” Berry. I think the supporting acts included The Animals (who previewed their “new” single House of the Rising Sun) and the Nashville Teens.

        Elvis, Carl and Jerry Lee along with Johnny Cash made up the legendary “Million Dollar Quartet”.

        1. Wow that must have been an amazing show. Carl Perkins wrote a lot of great songs – don’t know why he’s not better known. I have an American friend who is on a mission to get Carl Perkins the recognition he deserves!

            1. On my browser, the first result in searching YouTube for The Nashville Teens is introduced by Sir Jimmy Savile! . I was never in favour of the Soviet Union’s policy of making certain people “non-people” – but I wish YouTube would do it for him!

  20. Really enjoyed this puzzle. Being Canadian I can usually get both the British and the American references although 23a was definitely new to me! Interesting that 20a is not a familiar phrase to most of you as it is quite common here. Think Chevy Chase or Charlie Chaplin. Loved all the old rock and rollers in here. Also thought 13a was clever for its surface reading.
    Thanks for the parsing of 2d, pommers. Got the answer but had no idea why.
    Thanks again to pommers and to the setter.
    Could only see one answer at first reading of yesterday’s toughie but will give today’s a go after reading your comments!

  21. What a ridiculous crossword to put on the back page! The only two I could get were 1a and 11d. As has been said many times before, please DT save these for the Toughie.

    1. Your views usually coincide with phercott and he/she? seemed to enjoy today’s Toughie which is, I and others found, easier than the back pager.

  22. Is today Thursday or Friday? Found this tough going, Elvis and Carl helped a lot. *****/* rating for me. Thanx Pommers for the Review, much needed.

  23. Thanks to pommette for parsing this one for me – I’ll get her on the blogging team soon!

    When hell freezes over :roll:
    I looked at the clues before I went to bed and apart from being able to parse 1a for himself I don’t think I would have got a single solitary one of these!

    Hope you are all well and sorry for not being here in ages. Been a bit distracted!

    1. POmette, hope all OK, just off out with remaining pooches pre bedtime. Whats this about a new cat, do you still have the fat cats?

      1. Still got the fat ones Andy but pommette has taken in a little stray kitten!

        Fat ones not too keen but are slowly coming round – we only get about 2 fights per day now :grin:

  24. Mighty misdirection must make many moan.
    It did me, but worth it when a bob’s worth of pennies dropped.
    Spot of tennis, then a drop of Black Sheep

        1. Horrid? You’re right of course in Brian’s case, but not a word I’d use for it! Much enjoyed.

          Did come as a bit of a surprise though – I was expecting a back pager and got a 2* Toughie instead. In the middle of the night it’s not exactly what you need :smile:

          Such is life on a Thursday though, you never know what you’re going to get. Like it :grin:

  25. Late on duty today but really enjoyed this one. Nice to see one of my all time heroes in at 11. Put stablemate in 14 which didn’t help. Never seen 18 written like that before. No real favourites but nice to see good surface reading which has been absent lately.

      1. I have no idea how Excalibur’s mind works but I certainly found it easier than today’s back page puzzle – I hardly dare ask again as I know I did once a very long time ago but can’t remember the reply – Yoda speak?

      1. having had a go and then checked the hints , I would say ,so long as you are familiar with “cryptic speech”
        , in a cryptic way straight forward.Though I still dont get the second half of 23a or6d.
        Determined to conquer cryptics!

  26. Late as usual – I started with a gulp but finished in a *** time thanks to a bit of inspiration and remembering Mr Perkins and stuff. Thanks to Petitjean (I am staking a £5-00 that it is he) and to pommers for the review.

  27. Didn’t enjoy this at all, much too difficult. Thanks to the setter & to Pommers for the review & hints. Was about 10 answers short, then resorted to the hints. Welcome back RayT :-)

  28. Dear Pommers

    The clue to 10a was Fellow embraces company and wine (5) and answer was Macon

    Considering that this crossword has a Rock n Roll theme

    The clue to 10a could have read Fellow embraces company and the home of Bama Lama Bama Loo

    Macon, Georgia, is the birthplace of Little Richard

  29. Started it in bed last night and finished this morning. All except 14d that is, which I couldn’t get even with the full frame. Never heard the word before, but quite like it and should have got it. Couldn’t get “stablemates” out of my head even though it didn’t fit.
    In view of the general concensus that it was very tricky, will award myself a star for effort. As far as 1a is concerned, got it from the frame and knew it was correct, but would never have understood why without your explanation.
    I’ve never tried the toughie. Might have a go today.

    1. Today is not a good day for trying the Toughie for the first time – don’t say you haven’t been warned :)

  30. Who knows that Carl Perkins wrote Blue suede shoes? I had to look this one up and a crossword should not need this. We were completely stumped with Elpees and had to resort to Dave along with Labelmates. Thanks for the solutions but a bad crossword in my opinion.

      1. Few people complain when they’re expected to know the works of famous novelists or playwrights, so this is absolutely fair game.

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