DT 27024 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27024

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27024

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja, where the weather has returned to normal service after about 10 days of pretty constant rain!
There’s a couple of tricky clues in this puzzle but otherwise a pretty solid 2* for me and a lot of fun, even at 0700.  It’s worth the 4* enjoyment if only for 5d!  Not sure about the setter but it might be RayT again, perhaps he’ll let us know. I can spot Jay a mile off but I’ve not blogged enough of RayT to be sure.

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.


7a           Dilemma produced by number transported by bike and a railway (8)
{QUANDARY} – To get this dilemma you need to start with a word for a type of bike with four wheels and insert (transported by) N(umber) and then follow with A (from the clue) and the usual abbreviation for railway.  Never sure about this being a bike. A bike has 2 wheels, a trike has 3 and this has 4, so how can it be a bike?

9a           Regard alike English queen and retired foreign character (6)
{EQUATE} – A charade of E(nglish), an abbreviation for Queen and then a reversed (retired) Greek letter.  I always forget this abbreviation for Queen, d’oh!

10a         Superficial flaw in golf shot (4)
{CHIP} – Double definition.  It’s the type of golf shot which usually puts the ball on the green.

11a         Copper consuming a second fine drink largely in disguise (10)
{CAMOUFLAGE} – Start with the chemical symbol for copper and insert (consuming) A (from the clue) and a second or short period of time (not S, the other one). Follow with F(ine) and a drink without its last letter (largely).

12a         Bird in a cove fluttering close to boat (6)
{AVOCET} – It’s an anagram (fluttering) of A COVE followed by the last letter (close to) of boaT.

14a         Fanciful Scot, say, with love for bit of alcohol (8)
{NOTIONAL} – You need a word describing a citizen of any particular country and replace the first A with an O (love (0 in tennis) for a bit of Alcohol).  Not 100% happy with this one as there are two A’s in the word and no indication of which one should be replaced. Perhaps it should say “first bit of alcohol” – discuss!

15a         Irregular feature of Lutheran domicile (6)
{RANDOM} – The answer is hidden in (feature of) Lutheran domicile.

17a         By the sound of it, locate swimmer (6)
{PLAICE} – This fish (swimmer) sounds like a word meaning locate or to put in a location.  Bit of a chestnut methinks.

20a         Base’s upset with drunkard overturning building material? (8)
{ASBESTOS} – I don’t think this building material is used any longer but it’s an anagram (upset) of BASE’S followed by one of the usual drunkards reversed (overturning).  Cost pommette and I quite a lot to have this stuff removed from our last house!

22a         Rupture in river entering part of shoreline (6)
{BREACH} – The type of rupture made in a castle or town wall perhaps, think of the famous speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V, is formed by inserting (entering) R(iver) into the part of the shoreline where you might sunbathe.

23a         Clean motor manufactured in gambling venue (5,5)
{MONTE CARLO} – An anagram (manufactured) of CLEAN MOTOR.

24a         Gullible fellow, English, trailing Northern Ireland politicians (4)
{DUPE} – The initial of a Northern Irish political party followed (trailing) by E(nglish).

25a         List of business from mature Northern lawyer (6)
{AGENDA} – A list of the business to be discussed at a meeting.  It’s a word for “to mature” followed by N(orthern) and the usual American lawyer.

26a         Tie duly designed around opening to exhibition in festive period (8)
{YULETIDE} – A word for next month’s festive season is an anagram (designed) of TIE DULY placed around an E (opening to Exhibition).


1d           Person easily persuaded to linger after raising drink (8)
{PUSHOVER} – Reverse (raising in a down clue) a word for to drink and after it put a word for linger or hang about.

2d           Unexpected  game (4)
{SNAP} – An unexpected spell, of cold weather perhaps, is also a children’s card game.

3d           First bit of marketing course producing figure with luck? (6)
{MASCOT} – Take an M (first bit of Marketing) and follow with a famous racecourse and you’ll get a figure which brings you luck.

4d           Object of ridicule in genuine denial of charge (8)
{REBUTTAL} – Take an object of ridicule, or the target of a joke, and put it in a word for genuine.

5d           Revolutionary device for disposing of nuts? (10)
{GUILLOTINE} – A lovely cryptic definition of the device used, by French revolutionaries, to dispose of the nuts (not those nuts – heads!) of the aristocracy.

6d           Greek character entertaining leader of Turkey? Sign of shame (6)
{STIGMA} – Take a Greek letter and insert (entertaining) a T (leader of Turkey)..

8d           Servile followers avoiding sun with one Middle Eastern national (6)
{YEMENI} – Start with a word for people who always agree with the boss and remove the S (avoiding Sun) and then add an I (one).

13d         A lot of interest over girl’s musical instrument (10)
{CONCERTINA} – A word for interest or care without its last letter (a lot of) followed by a girl’s name.  Cue picture of Anna Mae Bullock!

16d         Professional keeping pupils under observation? (8)
{OPTICIAN} – A cryptic definition of a professional who looks after your eyes (pupils).

18d         Extraordinary speed a car right away showed in adventure (8)
{ESCAPADE} – This adventure is an anagram (extraordinary) of SPEED A CAR but without the R (Right away).

19d         A guy holding lead to Rottweiler that’s wandered off? (6)
{ASTRAY} – A word describing someone who’s wandered off or gone AWOL.  Start with A (from the clue) and then a guy, as in guy rope, with an R (lead to Rottweiler) inserted (holding).

21d         Parasite in cake? (6)
{SPONGE} – Someone who lives off the generosity of others is also a type of cake.

22d         British money originally taken out for protection against the elements (6)
{BROLLY} – Start with an abbreviation for British and then a slightly old-fashioned slang term for money without its first letter (originally taken out).  I’ve certainly needed my one of these a lot in the last 10 days!

24d         Info in that addendum taken back (4)
{DATA} – Hidden in (in) that addendum, but it’s backwards (taken back).

Some nice clues in this one but my favourites were 14a, 5d and 16d.

The Quick crossword pun: {damn} + {ass} + {cuss} = {Damascus}

63 comments on “DT 27024

  1. I dont think it’s a Ray T but I agree it was a cracking puzzle. The best of the week for me and also the easiest – maybe a connection! 8d my COTD amongst several good ones. Agree with Pommer’s ratings. Many thanks to both.

  2. A smidgeon more than a 1* for me, held up momentarily by 5d, and 14a.
    5d favourite; thanks to setter, and to pommers.

    I’ve been too busy to look at a toughie this week, but i might have a look later.

    1. Hi Jezza
      Those were my last two as well. 5d caused a “laugh out loud” when the penny dropped :grin:

      Toughie’s a Petitjean. I’ve done about half and it’s not putting up too much of a fight – yet!

      1. When the 5d dropped, you could have laughed your head off :)

        As gnomethang says, i’ll get me coat..

        1. The Toughie does have a bit of a sting in the tail and the slightly mad hat may help!

          Now for the spider lady in the Grauniad.

  3. I have to say I really enjoyed this today (no work so that always helps) I agree with the ** and **** rating. 5d had me thinking but is a very good clue. Many thanks to all.

  4. Agree that it is a really good puzzle. Fun, and not too taxing. Liked 5d and 11a.
    Thanks Mr Ron (would be very surprised if it is RayT) and pommers.

  5. Hola pommers, and thanks for blog, although I didn’t need it today and if it is a RayT it is one of his easier ones, although it does have the trademark ‘Queen’ , I think 14a is ok because it is obvious which ‘a’ has to be replaced? fav clues today 13d and 16d, quite enjoyed this one, so thanks to whoever the setter may be :-) , a two to three star for me today as I still needed some help from ‘my friends’

  6. Agree with all the above ! 5d the outstanding clue. 14a – had the answer but really struggled to understand the wordplay. I was taking “al” for a bit of alcohol “ion” for sounds like a Scot etc etc and generally in a mess. Thank you setter – didn’t feel like a Ray T ?? and Pommers for your review – in particular your explanation of 14a. Not the best clue perhaps ! But an enjoyable puzzle.

  7. I always approach Thursday with a bit of apprenhension but this was a lovely puzzle, challenging enough to make me feel mentally exercised but delightfully solvable clues which look even nicer once the penny has dropped. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  8. Enjoyable offering today, I managed to sail through most of it until getting a bit bogged down in the NE corner. All fell into 17A once I managed 5D (excellent clue). Must agree with pommers on 14A, didn’t like this one at all.

    Managed to get the telly on just as Sehwag’s wicket went down, was looking good after Tendulkar fell, but gone downhill a bit after that. Still, the weather in India looks a tad better than the cold grey mist we have here,.

    1. Must say, looking at the Matt cartoon, I must remember to lock the house up when I go to vote or this Police Commisioner thingy. (I want my vote to go to Commissioner Gordon, he did quite a good job in Gotham City)

    2. Thanks very much! I’m watching it on Sky+ and Sehwag is still batting….

      What a wonderful puzzle.

  9. I finifhed in exactly the same place as Jezza and agree on 5d being a smashing clue. Thanks to Pommers for the review (you don’t need to justify th epic for 22d as she is a ‘brolly-dolly’!). Thanks too to the setter.

    1. Hi gnomey

      “brolly-dolly” is exactly what I put into Google to find a suitable image! They were much needed at last Sunday’s MotoGP in Valencia :sad:

  10. I found this more difficult than it sounds as if the rest of you did. My excuse is a beastly cold – snotty, grotty, grumpy and generally miserable pretty much covers it! :sad:
    It didn’t feel like a Ray T to me – I know it had a queen in there but I think (could be wrong here) that his usually has a capital letter. Lots of the clues have more words in them than he generally uses and the quick crossword really doesn’t look like him – plus we have had him for the last two Thursdays, I think.
    I enjoyed this as much as I’m going to enjoy anything today and thought there were some good clues. I had serious trouble with 14a and, for some reason, 21d.
    Really liked 12a and 5d (although was very slow to see the relevance of ‘nuts’) and 13 and 19d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and pommers.

  11. Enjoyed this puzzle. Unlike most everyone else I had real trouble with yesterday’s. For some reason this week I am finding the toughies more solvable than the back pager.
    Had to google 7a because I could see the answer but didn’t get the wordplay. Here in North America we call those ATV’s – All Terrain Vehicles. Perhaps 20a should have read “toxic building material” Liked 13d when the penny dropped. My last one in was 5d and I needed the hint! Obviously still need work on my British English :)
    Thanks to Pommers – glad the sun has returned- and to the setter.

    1. I’m just having a go at the Toughie now – can’t very often get very far with them but am really enjoying today’s – just got 22d which has made me laugh! :grin:

    1. Hello Shamus and thanks for dropping in. I’ll get used to the style of the Thursday setters eventually – 18 months blogging Jeremy means I’m not so good at recognising the different setters on Thursdays!

      Thanks for 5d, I’m still smiling about it :grin: (bear of little brain!).

    2. I think it is so lovely when the stars of the show (the clever people who set these beasts that drive us mad, and make us all such addicts) ‘drop in’ to claim it. A big :smile: to you, Shamus.

        1. The G signifies nothing apart from my terminal inability to type. Only being typing for nearly 45 years but seem to be getting worser rather than betterer. I really must retire.

            1. My aim is to retire from the day job so that I can devote more days during the week to making grown men cry – not just on the blog but the three at home too :D

                1. “dau”

                  Am I the only person who is given 15 minutes to edit / correct comments?

                  (Must change my Moniker to “The Pedant”)

                2. I don’t do them all day – I go in early to do the two DT puzzles before my official start time – sometimes he ‘helps’ me which holds me up a bit. I save the other ones for lunchtime usually, unless I have a boring job such as stuffing newsletters into envelopes which means that I can multitask and look at the crossword at the same time.

    1. You enjoyed last Thursday’s, which WAS Ray T, and I think I remember you saying that it couldn’t be because you’d enjoyed it too much. I’m getting the feeling that you might not recognise one of his puzzles if it jumped up and bit you on the bum!!

        1. His are the only puzzles that I CAN spot. Having said that, I missed last Thursday’s – wasn’t expecting it because he was the previous week but, once people started suggesting that it was, it didn’t take me long to agree. Just in case nobody has heard me say it before, he is my favourite setter. Having done today’s Toughie I think that Petitjean could be snapping at his heels for position!! I LOVED it!

  12. Very enjoyable (just enough success to keep it intriguing not frustrating) – it took me a while to get 5d but made me laugh when I did. Thanks Mr Ron and Pommers.

    1. “Minor bug fixes” doesn’t sound too encouraging but as you say, fingers crossed.

      Bought a mini the other week and really enjoying the lighter weight.


  13. Just finished and I have been at it all day. We are 1 hour ahead here so that’s a long time. But, very challenging and very enjoyable so thanks to Shamus for the puzzle and thanks to Pommers for the occasional reference point. By the way the sun has just come out here after 10 days of cloud which is unusual this time of year

  14. Thanks to Ray T and pommers for the review & hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, was 2*/4* for me. Started with 1a, finished with 17a. Favourites were 11a & 5d. Cold in Central London.

  15. Really enjoyed this with some nicely crafted clues. I note a few previous comments applaud 5d and I agree. Last in was 5d. 9a and 12a also nice. A hard day in the field for England today – good job Swanny was there. Why no Panesaar too?

  16. Wow, a Thursday puzzle that’s fun, long may it continue. 5d very witty. Conversely, worse clue for me was 11a, one of those tedious exercises in putting some letters outside some other letters followed by some more letters. 9a was a bit like that too, and I can’t see where the final letter comes from.
    Thanks to setter and the blog.

    1. Grumpy Andrew – 9a – Have you read the hint above?

      If you’re missing just the final letter, I think you might have gone wrong somewhere when parsing this clue!

  17. Brian & Kath, I found it quite hard too, especially the top half as I’d done all the bottom clues before getting anything in “plaice” above random !! Chambers got me going & I liked 5d tho started with “screwdrive” !!! Just needed blog to solve the short equation. Thanks for that.

  18. Really loved todays crossword,thanks to Shamus and pommers.So nice to come home to a fun do-able puzzle after a shattering 11 hour day.I’d like it to be its Shamus every thursday.

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