DT 27020 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27020

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27020

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. I solved this one on the way to London before linking to Derby for the Sloggers and Betters meet. There were a couple that held me up through my own stupidity but apart from that pretty straightforward I thought.

Remember that the defiitions are now underlined.


1a           House worker perhaps, I toil furiously in dreadful panic (10)
POLITICIAN – The Lower House in Parliament. An anagram (furiously) of ITOIL inside an anagram (dreadful) of PANIC

6a           Writer of plays safe for audience (4)
SHAW – A few people remarked on this. It is not the best homophone in the world but easily gettable if you consider ‘sure-footed’ and ‘safe-footed’ as a mountain goat. In any case we want George Bernard SHAW and SURE

9a           Bird needs a moment, being fabulous (10)
COCKATRICE – Not quite an all-in-one but the bird is a mythical (fabled) bird. Start with COCK (a male bird) then add A TRICE (a moment).

10a         Person in charge succeeded initially in pitch (4)
TSAR – In old Russia perhaps. Place the abbreviation for Succeeded inside TAR (pitch oil).

12a         Incline to follow leaderless soldiers and join up (6)
ENLIST – LIST for incline after (M)EN without the leading letter.

13a         Get little beauty outside car (8)
DIMINISH – The slightly antiquated word for a looker/beauty outside a MINI car.

15a         Coach in job a 1 Across means to secure delivery (7,5)
POSTAGE STAMP – A lovely definition here, delivery being by Royal Mail. Place a STAGE coach inside a POST (job) then follow with A MP – Minister od Parliament, a synonym of 1 across.

18a         Labrador pets destroyed building material (12)
PLASTERBOARD – An anagram (destroyed) of LABRADOR PETS. Personally I think the surface reading would be improved by PET LABRADORS myself.

21a         Athlete — small one making an impression (8)
SPRINTER – The usual abbreviation for S(mall) followed by a PRINTER.

22a         Locality around a grand house (6)
PALACE – I couldn’t get A G(grand) out of my head so it took ages to see PLACE around A.

24a         Avoid failure to score (4)
DUCK – Two definitions – the first a way to avoid something and the second a failure to score as a batsman in cricket.

25a         Perhaps Babe’s heart goes to hunter of boar (3-7)
PIG-STICKER – I worked this out from the wordplay and checking letters before I remembered the word. Babe was a famous PIG in a dreadfully treacly film. Add the apostrophe ‘S and then add TICKER for heart.

26a         Found players (4)
CAST – Two definitions. To CAST iron n a foundry and a group of actors in a production.

27a         Garage gets building concrete materials (10)
AGGREGATES – An anagram (building ) of GARAGE GETS. A similar clue in all ways to 18a!.


1d           Strike enforcer takes nothing from coal product in mine (6)
PICKET – Remove the O from C(o)KE and place in a PIT (mine)

2d           Pass up beer in place (6)
LOCALE – A reversal of COL (a mountain pass) and ALE for beer. Locale is a place or environs.

3d           Control ball aiming for goal in sport (4-8)
TRAP-SHOOTING – A charade of TRAP (control/stop a ball) and DHOOTING (aiming for goal).

4d           What cows eat is about right for dairy product (4)
CURD – Well it was either going to be CURD or CRUD!. Place CUD (what cows chew) around (set about) R for Right.

5d           A cricket club phone sound cut short in Stanley’s place (10)
ACCRINGTON – Accrington Stanley being a football club. A charade of A, CC for Cricket Club (e.g. MCC for Middlesex) then RINGTON(e) – a phone sound cut short.

7d           Pilot has crashed — get him here (8)
HOSPITAL – A nice semi all in one that was not too hard. An anagram (crashed) of PILOT HAS and the whole clue giving the place where he would need to go if still alive.

8d           Dignitaries or head of state beset by cats (8)
WORSHIPS – OR (from the clue) and S (the head of state) inside (beset by) WHIPS (cats’o’nine tails)

11d         Liberal is redrafting Parliamentary process (5,7)
FIRST READING – A nicely misleading clue since redrafting is actually part of the anagram fodder and not as it appears an anagram indicator. We need a liberal anagram of IS REDRAFTING. Very nice consistent surface reading as well.

14d         One hungry celebrity covering up — not I (10)
STARVELING – STAR (Zelebrity)and VEILING (covering up) without its first I.

16d         Is act arising in long story happening from time to time (8)
EPISODIC  – IS and DO (for act) reversed (arising) in EPIC – a long story.

17d         Loudly criticises accommodation (8)
BARRACKS – To definitions, the second accommodation for soldiers.

19d         Forwards alien parcel (6)
PACKET – The forwards in Rugby who make the scrum are known as the PACK. Add the lovable Extra-Terrestrial, E.T. to get the parcel.

20d         Ruins partly inside Bristol (6)
DEBRIS – Our only hidden (in the last two words) clue today.

23d         Druggie, Liverpudlian but not Scot mostly (4)
USER – SCOUSER with most of SCO(t) removed.

Whilst reviewing this I found myself enjoying it more and more. Nothing contentious but some very good consistent surface readings. Thanks to the setter and I will see you all in a fortnight for the Sunday review.


2 comments on “DT 27020

  1. I am sorry to see the answers – I used to copy onto Word and print without seeing the answers – it has helped me enormously learning how to deal with Cryptic Xwords.

    1. Hi Joan – welcome to the blog.
      The answers are visible here because this was a Prize Puzzle. As with all Prize Puzzles the full blog, including answers, is only published once it’s too late to enter the competition.

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