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DT 27028

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27028

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment */**

I don’t believe that anyone will need the answers today – I thought that it was just about the easiest back-pager I’ve come across. I didn’t find it terribly stimulating either – there seemed to be a sameness about a lot of the clues. Then again I may be feeling bad-tempered because it’s dark and miserable outside, so what did you think?

Across Clues

1a  Physio service adheres to European Union rule (7)
{MASSEUR} – a church service is followed by (adheres to) the abbreviations for a) European Union and b) rule.

5a  In good health and not working, so moderately wealthy? (4,3)
{WELL OFF} – a charade of an adjective meaning in good health and an adverb meaning not at work.

9a  Small number of us on island, hard to feed (7)
{NOURISH} – string together a) the single-letter abbreviation for number, b) the possessive adjective describing what belongs to us, c) the two-letter abbreviation for island and d) the abbreviation for hard (used to classify pencils).

10a  More inexperienced guy, one out before end of over (7)
{YOUNGER} – an anagram (out) of GUY ONE precedes the end letter of (ove)R.

11a  I joined 14’s party to protest before race (5,4)
{MARCH HARE} – one of the characters appearing at 14d’s party comes from a verb to take part in a political protest followed by a verb to race or go quickly.

12a  Portsail from one over in Georgia (5)
{GENOA} – this clue has two definitions as well as some wordplay. It’s an Italian seaport and also (with lower-case) a large foresail used on racing yachts. Reverse (over) ONE and insert it in the standard abbreviation for the US state of Georgia.

13a  How one may address a woman from the West or East? (5)
{MADAM} – the answer’s the same whether you read it from left or right.

15a  The right side leading table (9)
{STARBOARD} – an adjective meaning leading or champion is followed by a word for a table.

17a  Chief to censure bridge contract (5,4)
{GRAND SLAM} – an adjective meaning chief or paramount is followed by an informal verb to criticise or censure.

19a  Puzzle over people carrier (5)
{REBUS} – a type of word puzzle comes from a preposition meaning over or concerning followed by a public service vehicle.

22a  Last month leading artist identified as extremist (5)
{ULTRA} – the abbreviation used in official correspondence to refer to the previous month is followed by the abbreviation given to a leading artist.

23a  Held back playing for second eleven? Not quite (2,7)
{IN RESERVE} – playing for the second XI would be (2,8) so the answer here is one letter short (i.e. not quite).

25a  Upper garment in basin, also cap (4,3)
{TANK TOP} – a type of basin followed by a verb to cap or surpass.

26a  Busy person taking on board reorganisation of quiz game (7)
{BEZIQUE} – the metaphor for a busy person (likening him or her to a hard-working insect) contains (taking on board) an anagram (reorganisation) of QUIZ.

27a  Figure manure must be spread, then left (7)
{NUMERAL} – an anagram (must be spread) of MANURE is followed by L(eft).

28a  Old record with new inset showing pop group’s manager (7)
{EPSTEIN} – an old record format followed by an anagram (new) of INSET.

Down Clues

1d  The smallest skirt mother wanted (7)
{MINIMUM} – a familiar term for mother is required (wanted) to follow a type of skirt in order to make this answer.

2d  Even daughter agreed (7)
{SQUARED} – an adjective meaning even, with neither side having an advantage, is followed by D(aughter).

3d  Cavell, say, handled it heroically, imprisoned within (5)
{EDITH} – hidden (imprisoned) within the clue is the forename of, for example, Nurse Cavell the WWI heroine who was executed by the Germans.

4d  Learns in the course of proper dummy run (9)
{REHEARSAL} – a verb meaning learns or gets word goes inside an adjective meaning proper or genuine.

5d  Movie starRooney, for example (5)
{WAYNE} – double definition – the surname of a movie star and the forename used by, for example, the England footballer. You’re meant to think of Mickey Rooney, the actor.

6d  Boulanger playing in part of hotel, perhaps (6,3)
{LOUNGE BAR} – Boulanger is a common French surname (like Baker in English) but I don’t know which, if any, person of that name is being described here. What we want is an anagram (playing) of BOULANGER.

7d  Material made from angora, woven around back of fez (7)
{ORGANZA} – an anagram (woven) of ANGORA goes round the back letter of (fe)Z.

8d  Send on  attacking player (7)
{FORWARD} – double definition, ‘send on’ meaning re-address some mail.

14d  Tea drinker making foolish threat, animatedly (3,6)
{MAD HATTER} – a synonym for foolish or idiotic is followed by an anagram (animatedly) of THREAT to make the Lewis Carroll character who held a tea party.

16d  Excellent naval officer penning book, second in series (9)
{ADMIRABLE} – the same naval officer that we had yesterday contains (penning) B(ook). Finish with the second letter of sEries.

17d  (on-line version) Gourmand has good time in Bedfordshire town (7)
{GLUTTON} – start with G(ood) then insert T(ime) in a Bedfordshire town known for its airport.

17d (paper version) Forest creature, a pig (7)
– double definition. The forest creature is another name for a wolverine and the pig is human.

18d  An American theatre award going to maiden opposite (7)
{ANTONYM} – a charade of a) AN (from the clue), b) an American theatre award and c) the abbreviation used for a maiden over in cricket.

20d  Nothing inside three-masted vessel is rococo (7)
{BAROQUE} – insert the letter that looks like zero or nothing in the vessel.

21d  Spotted guarding ambassador and bishop in drinking den (7)
{SHEBEEN} – a past participle meaning spotted or noticed goes round (guarding) the abbreviation for the title awarded an ambassador and the letter used for bishop in chess notation.

23d  One politician the Spanish push forward (5)
{IMPEL} – string together I (one, in Roman numerals), the usual abbreviation for an elected politician and the Spanish definite article (masculine version).

24d  Classifies courts as redundant (5)
{SIZES} – start with types of court in England and Wales (replaced in 1972, so perhaps an ‘old’ would help) in which judges would travel round a circuit hearing the most serious criminal cases. Now get rid of (make redundant) the leading AS.

The clue I liked best (possibly influenced by relief at getting to the end) was 24d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {VIA} + {LINK} + {ACES} = {VIOLIN CASES}

66 comments on “DT 27028

  1. Agree with Gazza rating, but I did find it enjoyable. . Best clue for me being 24d. Thanx for the review Gazza (not needed, but read) and thanx to Compiler

  2. Quickest ever time for me, no electrics or google so it must have been easy!

    Still fun though.

    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for review.

  3. Note there are two different clues given for 17d. The paper version gives” Forest creature, a pig”

  4. Fairly easy today but 17d had me foxed with a different clue – anyone else find this?
    Clue in my paper was ‘Forest creature, a pig’

    1. Hi Kev – welcome to the blog and thanks for the info. I wish the Telegraph would stop having different clues in the paper and on-line.

  5. What a difference a week makes! Last Tuesday I was utterly beaten; today I finished in record time although I’m not too sure some of my answers are correct. We’ll see tomorrow.

  6. I must agree this was pretty easy, but isn’t part of the enjoyment being able to solve them? My enjoyment factor tends to go down when some of the clues are too convoluted or tenuous, as these can sometimes cause too much head-scratching.

    1. I agree that part of the enjoyment comes from solving the puzzle but I think it’s reduced if the puzzle doesn’t put up some sort of struggle along the way.

      1. Everyone has to start somewhere and for newbies, or incompetents, the odd fairly easy one keeps us trying. So please be patient and just feel superior when they crop up, and remember that it is quite a plus for some of us when we discover one we can finish without looking up the help on this wonderful website.

        1. Keep going and good luck to you. The occasional fairly gentle one gives a great boost to morale and confidence. Everyone on this wonderful website is patient – lots of people have a fair bit of experience of cryptic crosswords, particularly the really clever bloggers. No-one will ever make you feel inferior or stupid so, if you don’t understand something, ask and someone will answer you. This is especially useful at weekends when fewer hints (and no answers in the curly brackets because they are prize crosswords) are given.

        2. I don’t mind the occasional easy one and I seem to have enjoyed today’s more than Gazza did, hence my 3* enjoyment rating. Just because it’s gentle doesn’t mean it isn’t any good!
          Pommette enjoyed this one too but thought it 3*/3*.

          Of course, I might be regretting my words on Thursday when I get another misdirected Toughie to blog :grin:

        3. Hi Sanham and welcome from me too.

          On the Grauniad site (on Mondays) there’s a puzzle called the “Quiptic”. It’s designed for newbies or people who want a quick solve. From experience of solving them I think the brief to the setters is along the lines of – don’t make it too tough but include as many of the different clue constructions as you can. They are usually about a 1 or 2 star difficulty level, as measured on this site, but beware! Sometimes the setters seem to forget the “not too tough” bit and the odd tricky clue creeps in, but they’re always worth a look (free as well!).

          Recommended setters (IMHO), in no particular order, are Arachne, Orlando, Hectence and Pan, but they’re all pretty good.

          Here’s this week’s, by Pan


  7. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. But I did quite enjoy it – think Gazza must be turning into Grumpy Gazza ;-) I must admit, I didn’t understand the ‘forest’ part of 17D in the paper, but the answer was fairly obvious. Nice to see some fairly good cluing for 26A and 20D.

  8. Everyone’s being a tad hard,some of the clueswere quite witty, i agree a one *, but i quite enjoyed it and for once got to work on time!

  9. While this may have been relatively easy when compared to what we are used to think of it as a warm up for the Toughie which it is (IMHO)

    Thanks to setter & to Gazza for helping me pass what is a typically cold, wet & miserable Tuesday morning in late November. Positively dreich!

  10. Agreed, by recent standards a lot easier. Agree with Mike T at 8. above, enjoyment comes from completing the puzzle rather than struggling on and on and finally turning in exasperation to the hints ! Thank you setter and Gazza for the review – the photo at 1d is …………..amazing ! – but entirely appropriate !

  11. I really enjoyed this one. OK, it was easy but there were some lovely clues with great misdirection ie 16 26 and 28. Not too many anagrams either which is good. Favourite was 25 which was last in with a great guffaw.

  12. An easy one but fun for sailors with port, starboard, genoa and a barque all in the same puzzle. 12a was sweet but have to point out the sail in Gazza’s illustration is actually a spinnaker. Sorry for being pedantic and somewhat ungracious because I need help on most days. Thanks all.

    1. Being a total landlubber I’ll take your word for it. My excuse is that the picture was labelled ‘Formula One Genoa Sail’. Where’s pommers when you need him?

      1. I’m here! Why the picture should have that title defeats me as Mikey-Mike is correct in that it’s a spinnaker. A Genoa is the normal foresail on a yacht where the bottom corner (tack) comes back aft of the mast. If it doesn’t it’s a Jib.

          1. Thanks, pommers. I’ve replaced the wrong picture with your (right one) now in case anyone is confused by the comments.

    2. If its any consolation Mikey, I come from a long line of seafarers and whent to a school run by the Navy, but still nearly got 12A wrong (but that could be because I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and he has a town there called Genua – it was nearly a messed up crossword for me!)

  13. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review and hints. Very easy, I just broke my record by miles :-) Was 1*/3* for me because of some good clues in the SE corner. I used to play 26a with my Dad many years ago. Favourites were 26,27,28a & 24d. The only problem was that I originally had repel for 23d, but soon realised my error when I looked at 25a. Gloomy day in Central London. May look at the Toughie now.

  14. easier than yesterday’s Rufus but it didn’t make me grumpy. Thanks to setter and gazza. What did make me smile was solving 25a as I could imagine gazza’s finding an illustration enjoyment rating factor :)

    The toughie is lemon squeezy too.

    1. Not to mention 1d which from memory I think the old roué has used before ~ although why I would remember such a salacious illustration is beyond me…

      1. I’ve never seen it before today. You must have come across it elsewhere as part of your extensive research. :D

            1. Well, I obviously had seen it before but had forgotten it. Still it’s well worth reviving these old classics. :D

  15. Afternoon Gazza and thanks for hints and illustrations :-) , I agree one of the easier puzzles today but I had trouble with a few of the clues so I would rate it personally as at least two star, no real favourite clues

  16. Straightforward puzzle today.

    A sprinkling of Qsand Zs, I thought it was going to be a pangram, but it fell short, a bit like the puzzle perhaps.

    Now for the toughie!

  17. Very simple crossword today even with the paper clue for 17d ( an old name for a wolverine I believe), reasonably enjoyable however, my thanks to the setter and to Gazza especially for the picture clue at 1d. The toughie by Kcit is equally easy and equally enjoyable.

  18. Over so fast it provided little difficulty or enjoyment. will try the Toughie later. how often does the online version have differing clues to the paper? Best thing today was Gazzas review for which usual thanks.

  19. Agree with 1* (or less) difficulty but I did quite enjoy it so 3* for that. If they were all this easy I think I’d take up Sudoku!

    Favourite was 24d.

    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

    1. boredom with the”diabolical” sudoku drove me to cryptics ! I thoroughly enjoyed working out clues without help.Still dont get why a glutton is a forest animal.Thanks to Gazza and setter.

      1. A glutton is another name for a wolverine and, apparently, they (or at least some of them) live in forests in cold places like Alaska and Siberia.

  20. I’m grumpy today too – 6.00am alarm (husband had to be somewhere an hour away by 8.00am) started the day off badly and it hasn’t really improved – I suppose there’s still time but it’s barely light yet and will be dark again in a couple of hours AND it’s windy and rainy. Moan over!!
    I quite enjoyed bits of this – found the top half much easier and quicker than the bottom which took longer. Generally nearer a 2* for difficulty for me – a few in the bottom half held me up. I didn’t do myself any favours by deciding that the second word of 17a had to be club – don’t know much about bridge.
    I liked 1, 13 and 27a and 1, 17 (didn’t know the first definition – paper version of the clue) and 24d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    Christmas cake in oven. :smile: Just off for second wet muddy dog walk. :sad:

  21. So, that’s my personal best reduced by 25% then…

    Yes, it was easy, but still rather pleasant.

    I enjoyed 22A (because I’m just old enough to remember being taught these “Business English” terms at school) and 26A (for reminding me of a game that I haven’t played in forty years!).

    Thanks to Gazza and setter (who was it?).

  22. On the whole I agree it was quite straightforward EXCEPT for 19a, never heard of this term before, don’t see why a grand is Chief in 17a and the first part of 22a is a complete mystery to me.

    1. Brian

      Re 22a, ULT is an abbreviation for ULTIMO, meaning the month preceding the current one.
      The current month is often referred to as INST, an abbreviation for INSTANT.

  23. This puzzle has caused me to reduce my “time”.
    It is a complex mathematical formula.
    Thanks setter and Gazza,

  24. Hooray for crosswords that don’t make a virtue of pointless obscurity. Not entirely easy either, my last to go in was 24d. Thank you setter and blog.

  25. Yes, it was rather easy but enjoyable too. Almost as good as the photos above. More please BD.

  26. Well thanks a lot everybody for making me feel totally inadequate. I didn’t manage to finish it, but I was feeling quite pleased with myself, with only a couple of answers to get (well four actually) until I turned to this site for help only to find it being dismissed as too easy…
    And I thought it was me getting better!

  27. I found this far from easy. On the train on the way home I resorted to the mobile version of this site. As I couldn’t see the answers, I found that several of the clues here didn’t help at all. I feel compelled to list the clues I struggled with:

    17a Bridge – never played it and know nothing of the game.

    19a Rebus -a puzzle from the middle ages!

    25a basin = tank – regardless of what the dictionary may say, I’ve always regarded a tank as enclosed and a basin as open. Silly me!

    26a Bezique – some obscure game from the 19th century!

    3d Edith Cavell – Excuse my ignorance, but never heard of her.

    17d Glutton = wolverine – I didn’t even realise what a wolverine was somehow.

    20d Barque – rococo/baroque – again, not heard of any of these terms/names.

    21d Shebeen – another archaic term which has passed me by.

    24d Assizes – too young to remember this term.

    For me, 3* for difficulty and 1* for enjoyment. Ho hum.

    1. Ho hum to you – LOTS of these come up in cryptic crosswords often enough to be stuck in the memory bank for use in the future. Have to confess that I didn’t know that a glutton was a wolverine ie a forest creature. Basin=tank took me a while. I, also, know nothing about bridge.

      1. Hi Kath

        Re bridge: the only things that come up in back-pagers are that North/South are partners, as are East/West, therefore other combinations like North/East are opponents. A “Grand Slam” is the highest contract and there is a “Dummy”, which I have seen amusingly clued once or twice. The main game is “Contract Bridge” but there is another older version called “Auction Bridge”. The guy who actually plays the contract is called the “Declarer” and that’s about it.

    2. Hey Jerome, less of the 19th century! Pommette and I aren’t that old! We used to play Bezique when we married in 1976 – it’s about the best card game there is for just 2 players!

  28. Found the top half straightforward but struggled with the bottom. Baroque and bezique had me beaten.

    Thanks to Gazza for the excellent explanations.

  29. Not easy for me! – Especially 26a and 24d but I’m fairly new to these. I’m in Hong Kong and this crossword is published a few days later by the looks of it in a daily newspaper called The Standard. Great blog.

    1. Hi JayBee – welcome to the blog. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll become a regular contributor.

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