DT 27016

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27016

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

I thought that this was a fairly insipid sort of puzzle, but it does have a Nina (see top and bottom lines) which presumably give us the Quickie pun (see below for my thoughts on this pun). Let us know how you got on and how you rated it.
If you want something a bit more stimulating today you’re spoilt for choice. The Toughie is an excellent puzzle by Dada and Alchemi, one of our regular NTSPP setters, makes a well-deserved debut in the Independent.

Across Clues

5a  Language used within confines of stag party (7)
{SHINDIG} – a lively party appears when you insert an Asian language inside the outer letters (confines) of S(ta)G.

7a  Old politician going into price for fertiliser (7)
{COMPOST} – insert O(ld) and the usual abbreviation for an elected politician inside a synonym of price.

9a  Inappropriate, a French affair of honour, unconcluded (5)
{UNDUE} – a French indefinite article followed by a contest to obtain satisfaction in a matter of honour without its final L (unconcluded).

10a  Develop  complex (9)
{ELABORATE} – double definition, really the same word twice – firstly as a noun meaning to add detail and secondly as an adjective meaning highly detailed.

11a  To unsay what has been said about sappers is cowardly (8)
{RECREANT} – this is an archaic word meaning cowardly (new to me but fairly obvious from the wordplay). A verb meaning to retract a former statement or belief goes around the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers (sappers).

13a  Wager involving trouble in lodge (6)
{BILLET} – this is a verb meaning to provide lodging (especially for soldiers). Another word for wager contains (involving) a trouble.

16a  That memento, neglected now (2,3,6)
{AT THE MOMENT} – an anagram (neglected) of THAT MEMENTO.

20a  Gold on country carriage (6)
{LANDAU} – append the chemical symbol for gold to another word for country.

21a  Where the buffalo roamed, what could provide stew? (4,4)
{WILD WEST} – how would you provide an anagram of the word ‘stew’?

24a  Russian aircraft helping movement of people? (9)
{MIGRATION} – a Russian fighter aircraft followed by a fixed portion or helping.

26a  Lieutenant suffering setback in match for championship (5)
{TITLE} – the abbreviation for lieutenant gets reversed (suffering setback) inside a sporting match in which the loser is normally eliminated from the competition.

28a  Considered duties to be sorted out by daughter (7)
{STUDIED} – an anagram (to be sorted out) of DUTIES followed by D(aughter).

29a  Salad ingredient for fashionable party person short of time (7)
{CHICORY} – an adjective meaning fashionable or stylish is followed by a member of a specific political party without the T (short of time).

Down Clues

1d  Deer kept out of sight crossing southern end of glen (4)
{HIND} – a verb meaning kept out of sight goes round (crossing) the last letter (southern end) of (gle)N.

2d  Stick a note in this place (6)
{ADHERE} – A (from the clue) followed by a musical note and an adverb meaning in this place.

3d  Bad-mannered male, Italian, entering bar after one (8)
{IMPOLITE} – the abbreviation for male and then a bar or rail with the abbreviation for Italian vermouth inside (entering) it all follow I (Roman numeral for one).

4d  Foolish talk over a list (4)
{ROTA} – foolish talk or nonsense precedes (over, in a down clue) A.

5d  Small amount of paper for a country gentleman (6)
{SQUIRE} – S(mall) is followed by a word for 25 sheets of paper (one twentieth of a ream).

6d  Beverage teenager brewed (5,3)
{GREEN TEA} – an anagram (brewed) of TEENAGER.

7d  Essex Man from Harwich, a vulgarian (4)
{CHAV} – a derogatory term for a brash man (or woman) from Essex is hidden (from) in the clue.

8d  Formal agreement to take out Yemen’s leader (6)
{TREATY} – a verb to take out or entertain is followed by the leading letter of Y(emen).

12d  Measure  mountain range (5)
{CHAIN} – double definition, the first an old imperial measure of length (in this case 66 feet) which along with the rod, the pole and the perch has unaccountably fallen into disuse.

14d  Quantity of drink, low in calories, divided by right (5)
{LITRE} – a word used by food and drink manufacturers to try to make you think their product is non-fattening contains (divided by) R(ight).

15d  It’s not easy  providing a spread indoors? (2,6)
{NO PICNIC} – double definition, catering indoors being the fallback position, perhaps, in the event of bad weather.

17d  Drink, it spilled over a girl (3,5)
{TIA MARIA} – this is a coffee liqueur. Reverse (spilled over, in a down clue) IT and add A and a girl’s name (that of the grunting Russian tennis player, perhaps).

18d  Alluring island castle (6)
{GLAMIS} – this is a castle in Scotland which was the childhood home of the late Queen Mum. It’s a charade of an abbreviated word meaning alluring (often followed by ‘rock’) and the two-letter abbreviation for island.

19d  Determined, good man approaches English cathedral city (6)
{STEELY} – the abbreviated title afforded a good (in the religious sense) person is followed by E(nglish) and a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire.

22d  Told stories, on the way up, about volunteers in army unit (6)
{DETAIL} – a verb meaning told untrue stories is reversed (on the way up, in a down clue) and contains (about) the abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers.

23d  Benevolent  type (4)
{KIND} – double definition.

25d  Food — good spread (4)
{GRUB} – G(ood) is followed by a verb to spread (suncream, for example).

27d  Excessively large instrument (4)
{TOOL} – an adverb meaning excessively is followed by L(arge).

None of the clues really stood out for me – how about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HARE} + {BAWL} = {HAIR-BALL}. This presumably is the right answer as it’s the Nina in the Cryptic, and visually it does work, but the pronunciation of the first word from its clue is nothing like this, and my initial thought was that the pun was {HORRIBLE} (in both senses).




  1. skempie
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this one although it didn’t present too much problem (had to think a bit over 17D though, wanted to put TEA in as the first word).
    I thought 21A was quite clever and it was nice to see 11A make an appearance.

    I thought that the quickie pun may be ARABLE? but perhaps not given the nina here.

    • Sweet William
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Agree about 17d – with “T” and “A” in the 3 letter word, I fell nicely into the trap for a while ! New word for me at 11a. Found the RHS easier than LHS and enjoyed the challenge: thank you setter and Gazza for your review.

  2. Jezza
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Without doubt the highlight of the puzzle is the picture Gazza has found for 17d.
    Many thanks to him for the wonderful picture (and of course the review).
    Oh.. and I almost forgot thanks to the setter for the puzzle, and providing Gazza with the opportunity for such a marvelous picture. :)
    Now for the toughie.

    • gnomethang
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m with ya Jezza!

  3. Only fools
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Only real delay was 11a (such a straightforward clue as well!) .no real smiles .2*\2* for me.

  4. mary
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Morning Gazza, I quite enjoyed this one, 21a was last in for me and I thought it was very clever, I got stuck on the song ‘Home, home on the range etc…!! thinking range was to do with it, cooking range Duh! so although it was my last in it was definitely my favourite, also liked 27d and 25d, a two to three star for me today, thanks for hints Gazza though I didn’t need them today :-)

    • mary
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I thought 16a was a bit too obvious, almost giving the answer( IMHO of course)

      • mary
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Missed the NINA too!

    • una
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      had exactly the same response

  5. Pompeybob
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Just a note that the answer to 12d is still very much in use on a daily basis in the rail industry

    • gazza
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Hi Pompeybob – welcome to the blog and thanks for that.

    • Wayne
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Hello Pompeybob, nice to see another person from ‘Gods City’. One of my handles is yepmopdog. Hope we do well tonight.
      As for the crossword, I to thought it was tame but enjoyable. */*** rating.
      Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza for his review.

  6. mary
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Just looking at the stats for page views amazing! Wonder how many I’ve made since I joined or any of us for that matter :-)

    • Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s not possible to separate the figures by individual. My own page views are excluded from the total!

      • mary
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        It’s a fantastic achievement Dave, did you ever think it would go this ‘Big’ ?

        • Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Not when I started it, but it did take off quickly. For that I am particularly grateful to Libellule and gazza, who had the faith to join me in the very early days.

          • mary
            Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

            How did you ‘find’ Libelulle and Gazza?

            • Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

              We all used to provide help in solving crossword clues (and still do occasionally) on another site.

              • mary
                Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                Not the telegraph? Whatever, thanks to you three and to all who have joined in since then to help us lesser solvers on a regular basis, you have made solving the Telegraph Crossword fun and entertaining and even educational, don’t know what I’d have done without you all :-D

                • Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

                  Puzzles from the Telegraph and a plethora of other newspapers.

                  We all “met” BigBoab on there as well, but ironically none of us have actually met in person.

                  • mary
                    Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                    You surely have to one day?

                    • mary
                      Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

                      I think it was just the three of you when I ‘joined’ in the June, if I’m not mistaken it was on a ‘Gazza’ day and I thought how nice it was to be welcomedo nto the blog :-)

                    • Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

                      Tilsit’s first review was posted on 23rd March 2009, and by that time Peter Biddlecombe was providing the full reviews of the Saturday prize puzzles.

                      Your own first comment was on 9th June 2009 (DT 25950) and yes, it was a gazza review.

                    • mary
                      Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

                      Thanks for all that Dave, yes of course Tilsit and maybe even Rishi was there then too?

            • Kath
              Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

              Yes – I was just about to ask the same question – whatever the answer, I’m glad you did!

  7. Don Pedro
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Now I feel really thick! Never heard of a Nina in this context (but I have now read Tilsit’s explanation). I cannot see anything hidden or anything connected with the Quick pun. Please enlighten me Gazza. Muchos gracias.

    • gazza
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Read the letters in rows 1 and 15, i.e. the 8 white squares in otherwise all-black rows.

      • Don Pedro
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks, Gazza Doesn’t stop me feeling stoopid!

  8. crypticsue
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Agree with gazza’s ratings and comments about the pun, just not sure about the relevance of the pic for 17d :D

    Lovely Toughie from Dada too. And the sun is shining and the sky is blue….now if only I wasn’t at work.

    • mary
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      The sun has just disappeared here sue, very gray now :-(

      • Kath
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        The sun has disappeared here, too. Grey and quite nippy but kitchen is nice and warm – Christmas pud steaming and chilli in oven.

        • mary
          Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Mmmm can just imagine the smell :-)

  9. Sheepdog
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    11 Cordilia will not flatter her father so he cuts her off without a brass farthing. Kent stands her corner and annoys Lear who says

    Hear me, recreant, on thine allegiance, hear me;

    And he banishes him

    A Level English – more years ago than I care to remember

  10. Kath
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was OK but not spectacular – in other words I quite enjoyed it but have enjoyed other puzzles more.
    Just like yesterday I did most of it fairly quickly, for me, and then got completely stuck with 21a and 17d – the first word of 17d HAD to be ‘tea’ didn’t it? :roll:
    I liked 21 (when I finally got it) and 24a and 15 and 18d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.

  11. Big Boab
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Unchallenging but fairly enjoyable, thanks to the setter and to Gazza. The toughie by Dada is a corker!

  12. Catherine
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Finished most of this last night and then was able to fill in the nw corner this morning. Have never heard of 18d so needed the hints for that. Thought 15d was clever – it made me smile!
    Bright and sunny here but cold! Had a few flakes of snow yesterday. I am enjoying the toughie today also but I am stuck on 3 last answers even though I have the checking letters. I am hoping my brain will defog enough this morning to figure them out by myself. Will no doubt be checking in on the blog soon though.
    Thanks to the setter and to gazza .

    • Steve_the_beard
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Catherine

      You’ll find it in Macbeth :-)

      MACBETH, to the witches:
      Speak, if you can: what are you?

      First Witch:
      All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!

      Second Witch:
      All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!

      Third Witch
      All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!

      • skempie
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        It was also where the Queen Mum lived when she was a sproglet. Its pronounced GLAMS btw.

      • Catherine
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Two quotes from Shakespeare in one day – what a blog!!
        The only play I have in my head is Twelfth Night. Studied it in grade 9 in Canada, studied it for 2 years for “O” levels in Geneva, studied it in grade 13 back in Canada. Went to Stratford – what was on but Twelfth Night!

  13. Ian
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Catherine about 15d, made me smile too. Confess to not understanding where the ‘wild’ came from in 21a until reading the hints. 2*/3*for me. Thanks to all. Wet and cold here in the midlands after a lovely start.

  14. pommers
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    A bit too unchellenging to be truly enjoyable I thought. More a case of “read the clue, write in the answer” so no stand-out favourites.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza, not least for the 17d picture :grin:

    AS Gazza has said the Alchemi puzzle in today’s Indy is well worth a look. Nicely topical.
    You can find it here :


    • pommers
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      P.S. Cold and raining here today :sad: and more of the same forecast for tomorrow :sad: :sad:

      Been for 6 monthly blood pressure check this morning – apparantly I’m not about to explode :grin:

      • mary
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Lucky you pommers, I was put on extra tablets three weeks ago, maybe I should move to Spain ;-)

        • pommers
          Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Not a bad idea! It’s said that the blood thins as you get acclimatised to the heat which lowers blood pressure and has all sorts of other beneficial effects.

          • collywobbles
            Posted November 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            I can vouch for that Pommers although it’s cold here today, it’s the Tramontane, albeit sunny.
            As has been said, easy crossword but nonetheless enjoyable.Thanks to Gazza for hints, which I did need, and to setter

  15. Brian
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the rating for NE and SW corners but I found the other two very tricky indeed at least a 3 star esp considering 11a. Not my favourite puzzle at all, sorry.

  16. Heno
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review & hints.. Agree with Gazza’s star ratings. Started with 5d, finished with 18d, favourites were 5,21&24a. Lovely morning in Central London, but starting to rain now. Quite enjoyed it though, a new word for 11a, but managed to get it from the wordplay.

  17. Beaver
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to award it **/*** today if only for 21a,which i thought must involve ‘range’ ie something to cook on and somewhere Buffalo live! eventually twigged but would have struggled without the letters.Remembered my shakespeare bit from ‘o’ level- G-thou art and Cawder and shalt be what thou art promised etc.Spain seems a good idea at the moment

    • pommers
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Don’t bother with Spain this week! It’s only 12C and peeing down at the moment.

      • mary
        Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        It’s only 7C here!

        • pommers
          Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          Ah, but you don’t have the thinned blood :lol:

  18. Chris
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    What an excellent site – and now I understand what a Nina is!

    • gazza
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Chris – welcome.

    • mary
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Hi Chris, yes after finding this site you need never feel alone with a crossword again ;-)

  19. douglas
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    17d threw me for a while…drink and a 3 letter word t?a, got me stuck on tea, til the penny dropped!

  20. Roger
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed it. Likewise fell into the Tea trap! And 11A was a new word for me. Favourites 15, 5 and most definitely 21.

  21. Hrothgar
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed sorting this out in an unpanicky sort of way.
    Annoyed with self rhat I hesitated with 11a until I got it putting on my cycle clips to go out.
    Thanks Setter and Gazza.

  22. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    For some reason we found this one a bit on the tougher side, and our time to finish put it into 3* territory, so rather surprised to see others’ comments this morning. Last two in were 11a and 12d so will give them top spot. And we missed the Nina.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  23. axe
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I must agree with the majority, this was not my most favourite puzzle of the day. The picture from 17d was by far the best highlight.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  24. Sarah f
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite tricky, and needed the hints to help me finish.
    Perhaps, just my day, but thanks to Gazza and the Setter.

  25. una
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    gettting better all due to your blog tutorial, Big Dave ! It really enhances the crossword experience, or today Shakespearience.

  26. Terryfromslough
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Sorry still don’t know what a NINA is, tho see HAIRBALL. Was stuck on 15 & 21 till Chambers gave me the 6 letter word, then thought why Go —— till I came to you. I often get left with 2 like that, especially if daughter not available to provide fresh view.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      A Nina is basically a message hidden in or around the edges of a crossword.

  27. Terryfromslough
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks but what was the message in hairball & what does N I N A stand for?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Hair ball is both at the top and bottom of the cryptic puzzle and is the pun in the quick puzzle too. Nina was the daughter of an artist who always hid her name in his paintings. I very rarely spot a Nina in a puzzle, probably because I only heard about them late in m crossword solving career – I tend to wait until an email arrives from a fellow blogger saying ‘did you get the Nina?’

  28. pommers
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you already know this, if so please forgive.

    The Quick and Cryptic crosswords, on any paticular day, are always set by the same person. Hence the relevance of the Nina in today’s cryptic.

  29. gnomethang
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Agreed with the majority – short but fine for me. The Pic of Ms Sharapove from a Sports Illustrated shoot a few years back was mighty fine!.
    Thanks to the setter and gazza.

    • axe
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the name. The **** was famillar. It has been bothering me for ages.