DT 27030 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27030

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27030

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the very noisy Vega Baja where a guy started up a pneumatic drill about 50m away at 0830 this morning. Didn’t help the concentration on what turned out to be an enjoyable RayT. I’m fairly confident that it’s him this week as we have the Queen, Beam (his Toughie pseudonym) and a bit of innuendo.  I’ve gone for 2* overall but for me it was a puzzle of two halves. The top half was only 1* as I more-or-less just wrote in the answers but the bottom half was a 3* head-scratcher so, on average, 2* it is! Maybe it was the pneumatic drill which caused the problem – it’s now gone quiet but been replaced by what sounds like a rather large angle grinder!

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           Common man grabbing hot bird (8)
{PHEASANT} – Take a common man of the country and insert (grabbing) H(ot) to get a game bird.  The other way of looking at it is that the “common man” is a slang term for an uncouth or uncultured person.

9a           Bliss from Mathieu to Piaf (6)
{UTOPIA} – The answer’s hidden in (from) Mathieu to Piaf.

10a         Native American belief’s not dead (4)
{CREE} – These native Americans actually live in Canada. Take another word for belief and remove the D (not Dead)

11a         Enrage former Queen, bit embracing snake (10)
{EXASPERATE} – Start with the usual abbreviation for former (2), the abbreviation for our Queen (2) and a word meaning bit or consumed (3) and place them around (embracing) a snake.  Personally I think “irritate” would have been better than “enrage” but it comes up in the thesaurus!

12a         I go astray in South American mountain range (6)
{SIERRA} – Take a phrase (1,3) that could mean “I go astray” or “I make a mistake” and insert into South American and you get a Spanish (or South American) word for a mountain range.

14a         Players facing match using brains (8)
{MENTALLY} – These palyers are more often clued as soldiers or chess pieces. Anyway, follow them with a word meaning match or agree and you get an adverb describing something done in the mind.

15a         Salutes grand pilot performing roll (6)
{GREETS} – Salutes as in says hello. Start with G(rand) and follow with a verb meaning to pilot or guide but it’s reversed (performing roll).

17a         Bambi’s around with one more innocent (6)
{DEWIER} – Take the animal of which Bambi is an example and place around W(ith) and an I (one).

20a         Retract gear with boat at sea (8)
{ABROGATE} – An anagram (at sea) of GEAR with BOAT.

22a         Assembles before court session’s opening (6)
{ERECTS} – Assembles as in “puts up”.  The poetic word for before followed by an abbreviation for court and an S (Session’s opening).

23a         Endlessly sick patient treated getting clean (10)
{ANTISEPTIC} – A word meaning clean or germ-free is an anagram of SIC(k) (endlessly) and PATIENT

24a         Bum a fag end? (4)
{BUTT} – Double definition. The first is an American term for your bum.

25a         Bolt setting record in sprint (6)
{DEPART} – Bolt as in leave. Take an old record and insert (setting . . . in) a word for sprint or dash.  Great surface!

26a         Mess for officers fighting resistance in destruction (8)
{WARDROOM} – This is the officers mess on a naval vessel.  Start with some fighting and then follow with a word for destruction or a terrible fate and insert R(esistance).


1d           Tasteful porcelain after tea (8)
{CHARMING} – Some Chinese porcelain after a word for tea (or your cleaning lady!).

2d           Caught, then time for pen (4)
{CAGE} – C(aught) followed by a long period of time.

3d           Snapper and artist arrived first (6)
{CAMERA} – This snapper is one with which you take snaps! A word for arrived followed by the usual artist.

4d           Doubt sentence ends around American prisons (8)
{SUSPENSE} – SE (SentencE ends) placed around the abbreviation for American and an American term for prisons.

5d           Turn out mineral to produce gemstone (10)
{TOURMALINE} – An anagram (turn) of OUT MINERAL.

6d           ‘Beam‘, part of personnel in Telegraph (6)
{LINTEL} – A beam found over a door or window is hidden in (part of) personnel in Telegraph.

8d           Artist consumed by insides, a shock! (6)
{TRAUMA} – Insert the usual artist into (consumed by) a childish word for your stomach (insides) and follow with A (from the clue).

13d         Verbose tale or rich fabrication (10)
{RHETORICAL} – An anagram (fabrication) of TALE OR RICH.

16d         An undergarment dropped in taste for farce (8)
{TRAVESTY} – Take an undergarment (1,5) and insert (dropped in) into a word for a taste or to sample.

18d         Allowance involves old Treasury leader spinning (8)
{ROTATION} – O(ld) and T (Treasury leader) inserted into (involves) an allowance or portion.

19d         Star of Wimbledon initially getting award (6)
{BESTOW} – A word for star, as in finest, followed by OW (Of Wimbledon initially) gives a verb meaning to award.

21d         Strip for the audience is forbidden (6)
{BANNED} – A word meaning forbidden sounds like (for the audience) a strip.

22d         Extra performance from Poulenc or Elgar (6)
{ENCORE} – Hidden in (from) Poulec or Elgar.

24d         Starts to ban appallingly rowdy sot (4)
{BARS} – The answer is the first letters (starts to) of the other words in the clue.  There’s either something missing from this clue or I’m being particularly thick this morning as I can’t see the definition and it doesn’t work for me as an all-in-one.

Quite a few great clues in this but my favourites were 24a and 25a.

The Quick crossword pun: {raw} + {can] + {droll} = {rock and roll}

108 comments on “DT 27030

  1. Absolutely no doubt about this one being a RayT. All the trademarks are there. Like you pommers, we found the top half simpler than the bottom, but still on the gentler side for this setter we thought. Agree that something seems missing from 24d. No doubt we will be enlightened later. Lots of lovely clues so won’t pick a favourite.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  2. Agree totally with your comments my particular delays were 17a,19d,26a .
    Enjoyable and a few smiles .also agree with you rating .

    Thanks .
    Ark operational but too windy for a spinnaker or indeed a genoa !

  3. 2*/3* for me. Last one in 25a.
    I thought 24d works ok as a definition to the clue. Thanks to RayT, and to pommers.

  4. Just snuck into 3* inside back page time and I did enjoy myself. Some of my hold up was with not being able to read my own writing! Thanks to Ray and Pommers.

    The toughie only took me a minute more than the i-b-p so why not give it a go.

        1. Just had very quick look at Toughie and done about three. One quick question – are we still doing letters of the alphabet? If so, going on my answers so far, it can only possibly be one. Maybe I’m wrong.

              1. I really wish that all the clever chaps and chappesses would refrain from commenting on the Toughie on this page!

                Or give a SPOILER warning!!!

                It does somehow spoil my feeble attempts at the Toughie!

  5. Just in case anyone’s noticed the change, I had intended to go for 4* enjoyment in the first place. The software defaults to 3*/3* and I forgot to change it! Not surprising with all the noise around here – the drill’s now back again and the angle grinder’s still going!

  6. A couple of nice anagrams to get me going, surprisingly I found top half more difficult than the bottom. No particular favourite clue(s). **/**** rating. Thanx to compiler and to Pommers for his review.

  7. OMG! I actually enjoyed this, def a first for me. 12a, 15a and 3d especially.
    Not sure that suspense means doubt and never come across dewier before but that’s nit- picking. Must admit to needing Pommers excellent hints for confirmation of 24d so much thx and also to Ray T for providing me with a puzzle that I enjoyed, lets hope I have turned the corner :-)

    1. Well done Brian, as I said before I enjoy the occasional RayT too, but I don’t think I’ll join the fan club :-)

    2. Hi Brian

      Glad to hear you’ve finally enjoyed a RayT!

      Agree that DEWIER is a bit odd but I’ve no problem with SUSPENSE. Here’s the first definition from Collins and the thesaurus entry:-

      1. the condition of being insecure or uncertain ⇒ “the matter of the succession remained in suspense for many years”

      = uncertainty, doubt, tension, anticipation, expectation, anxiety, insecurity, expectancy, apprehension

      1. Not according to Chambers which defines it as intermission, cessation, deferring, a state or atmosphere of nervous or excited uncertainty, indecision. I agree that doubt could be inferred but I thought Chambers was the absolute guide in these matters.

        1. I think Chambers is the dictionary of choice for most setters because of its rich vocabulary but I don’t think its use is set in tablets of stone. Maybe BD or Gazza know better?

          1. You can never rely on a particular word being in the dictionary definition of a synonym – that’s not the purpose of a dictionary.

            Chambers Thesaurus, however, gives the following synonyms for suspense:

            uncertainty, insecurity, doubt, doubtfulness, anxiety, tension, nervousness, apprehension, anticipation, expectation, expectancy, excitement

  8. Thank you Ray T and Pommers for your review. Managed to complete with the exception of 24d upon which I gave up and needed your hint to finish. I agree with your comments – the clue doesn’t seem quite right somehow. Although I understand the intention of the clue, the wordplay seems to lack something ?? I could use the excuse that the scaffolders have arrived, but they are not too noisy…….yet !

  9. Good morning pommers from a very wild and wet West Wales!! garden furniture blowing everywhere, apart from one or two clues I found this one of RayTs easier puzzles a two to three star for me today, I agree re 24a, for me this type of clue just doesn’t work, we are being told to use the b from ban but also ban is part of the definition, these are a ‘no no’ as far as I’ve learnt in the last three years, I can’t see that it qualifies as an ‘all in one’ ‘ban’ is definitely doing double duty!

    1. Opposite way round to you pommers, I found the bottom half the easiest and was left with most of the top to finish

      1. I probably wasted too much time trying to unravel the two 10-letter anagrams before I had enough checkers, d’oh!

      1. I’ve been thinking about this and I think these “leave nothing to the imagination pics” of men appeal more to gay men than red blooded women.I am keen to find out if I’ll be in a minority of one.

        1. So what’s wrong with the occasional picture for the gay men among us? I never said it was “one for the ladies” but everyone just assumes . . . !

          1. nothing whatever. I (and perhaps I am alone in this ) think women look for attitude, character , a twinkle in his eye (think Johny Depp, Bill Clinton ) rather than pictures of genitals.

            1. OK, point taken but I’d rather not think too much about either of those guys if you don’t mind! Both second rate in their chosen professions.

  10. No real problems today but not one of my favourite crosswords. I didn’t particularly like the word ‘dewier’ let alone to mean innocent (although I note that it does mean just that). Didn’t like 24D either – very iffy clue IMHO, also 24A is very much an Americanism (something I abhor – we have a wonderful language which is busily being eroded by thems over the pond).
    Having said that, I liked 20A and nice to see 5D and 26A making an appearance.

    Having finally bailed out the garden, looks like it’ll need it again this afternoon – still busy nailing all the garden fixtures down at the moment.

    1. Incidentally, I got half way through writing my rant on the way our language is being mauled when I remembered that there are a few people on this blog from ‘over there’ so I toned my views down a tad. See how nice I can be :-)

    2. Hi skempie

      24a could have been worse! The answer is a US slang term for a whole cigarette so RayT could have left out the word END and the clue would still work :grin:

      1. Ah, but he could have made reference to shooting or archery, although I suspect that would also have been lost on a lot of people.

          1. The BUTT is the mound of earth built behind the targets to stop bullets or arrows whizzing off across the countryside and mowing down innocent passers by.

  11. Many thanks. This was a nice stroll. One or two anagrams for the more obscure words. Everything quite simple to work out with some clever misdirection. Good stuff all round. ** and **** from me too. Regds to all

    1. Pommers, is it normal to have an anagram indicator and, if so, what is it in 23a – ‘treated’?

      1. Hi Collywobs

        Yes, of course you need an indicator to know the answer is going to be an anagram.
        In this case you take SIC (SIC(k) endlessly) and PATIENT and TREAT them (i.e. make an anagram) which gives you a word meaning clean, or more accurately, very clean. So yes, treated is the anagram indicator.
        Dean Mayer (Elkamere in Toughies) once told me he reckoned there were over 5000 potential anagram indicators in the English language!

  12. Really enjoyed today’s offering and the excellent review as usual. 2*/4* Thanks to both. Never mind Pommers – it’ll soon be siesta time!

  13. Definitely a Ray T. :smile: His naughty hat must have blown away in the gales! :sad:
    I enjoyed it a lot – as if anyone would expect me to say anything different.
    I found it trickier than 2*. I had real trouble in the bottom right corner. Along with others I couldn’t make sense of 24d although I was sure that was what it had to be. Due to a REALLY stupid mistake with 18d (wrong ending) I absolutely couldn’t do 26a.
    I liked 7, 15, 24 and 25a and 8, 13 and 21d.
    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

    1. My first thought was the wrong answer for 18d (ING on the end?) but fortunately I’d already got 26a so it didn’t fit :grin:

        1. Lucky! I started, as usual, by going through all the across clues and that was one of the only two I got in the bottom half :grin:

  14. Enjoyed that but would agree with Pommers re:24d – what has the answer got to do with a sot apart from the fact that those are the places you are most likely to find one?

    Thanks to Ray T & to Pommers as per.

    1. The clue is telling you to take the first letter of’ ban appallingly rowdy set’ spindrift , for me it doesn’t work as ban is being used twice

    2. I think ‘bars’ here is not a noun. If the ‘appallingly rowdy sot’ was banned, they would be barred.

      1. The only way the clue can work is if the whole of it is the defintion. All the words of the clue are used up in the wordplay leaving nothing else.

        Doesn’t work for me. Perhaps Ray will drop by and enlighten us all.

        1. I’m glad someone sees it as I do pommers, what a day here, thunder,lightning, hailstones, torrential rain, high winds,some poor people are going to be flooded out again today :-(

          1. Looking like it could be us Mary (well, not us personally, but us as in around the area, we’re quite hight up a hill). Thought the conservatory roof was going to go a short while ago, it still might!

          2. Pretty awful here too. VERY windy and heavy rain forecast for later – garage roof and collie thinking about leaving home. Garage roof because of the wind, and collie because our 18 year old cat has moved into her bed – World War 3 going on in the kitchen! :roll:
            Now to be serious – I do hope that everyone in the really badly affected areas stay safe, warm and dry.

            1. We in Peterborough (uk) have so far avoided the rain, but the wind is horrendous and the Nene river is already a foot higher than yesterday. The rain is due soon. Why Oh Why did I choose this week to house sit a canal boat with four dogs!!

              1. . . . so when did the extra two dogs arrive? Last that I was aware of was the arrival of two rescue ones (?greyhounds or something similar) not long before your heroic one was mown down.

              2. Ah – have just re-read – you still own only two dogs but have two more to look after at the moment!

                1. Yes, my two, Cynthia and Cuthbert plus two others, The owners advised me to “abandon ship” – so I did in the middle of the night along with others on adjacent boats. A team effort helped me wade waist deep from the boat in torchlight to the embankment five times, four to carry a dog, once for my stuff. It all happens in Peterborough!!! Will attempt the crosswords later this evening.

  15. Another fine offering from RayT. Not much innuendo though – I wonder if he’s been asked [by the powers that removed us from the back page] to tone it down. My favourite was 6 and also liked 4 17 21 25 and 26. 24d looked a bit dodgy – I think the definition is ‘starts to ban’ but it didn’t seem quite right. Still a very good workout for a lousy day.

    1. Hi warren – welcome to the blog.
      Full marks for ingenuity but pommers has given the correct answer (and I don’t think a bore is the same as a sot).

      1. You obviously haven’t met some of the drinkers I have :D

        PS: Driving home I realised that I had better point out that I was referring to my time in the 1980s working in our local and the comment bears no relevance to anyone I might have been drinking with since.

          1. You really must emerge from the wilds of Devon some time and see how unboring an S&B meet is. Not the January one as it is 99% certain that I will have to miss that one. :(

            1. Love to meet you one day Sue but it’s looking unlikely I’m afraid. Pomette met the gnome at the last one in Derby though so we can live in hope!

              1. I’ve met Sue and gnomey and Prolixic, and Jay, and lots of people, particularly BD (probably shouldn’t forget to mention him!) at the one S&B that I have been to at Liverpool Street just about this time last year, I think. I agree with CS – gazza should come to one. He is a very big part of this blog.

                1. . . . just remembered two more – Alchemi and Elgar – just like their crosswords – one was hilarious and the other a bit scary . . . say no more!!

  16. Very much enjoyed this puzzle but couldn’t finish the se corner without the hints. Got 26a with the hints and then 19d fell into place. I was working backwards on 19d and had w as my first letter!
    Skempie – if we have Latin words and Spanish words etc I don’t see why we can’t have the occasional American word. Think of it as another language rather than a desecration of your own native tongue : )
    Pommers – nice picture for 24a btw but twice in one week!!
    Many thanks for the hints Pommers – especially for the clarification that 10a are in Canada only. Many thanks also to Ray T

      1. Perhaps I should have said a tribe that was originally and is still a tribe that lived in what is now Canada. The Cree are one of the largest and most important groups of First Nations people in Canada.

          1. What’s that mean then?

            According to Wiki they once had a chief called “Ahchuchhwahauhhatohapit”, apparantly it means Starblanket, which is a lot easier to pronounce!

            1. North Yorkshire dialect of native cree .Roughly translated means it’s ok just wanted it to be right .But my Cree is a little rusty !

  17. Thanks to Ray T & to Pommers for the review and hints. I can normally manage to complete aRay T, but not today, needed 8 hints. Lots of good stuff though. Had never heard of the mineral, knew it was an anagram but to no avail. Never heard of the Bambi answer either. Live & learn. Looks like we’ve had the best of the weather in Central London.

  18. Agree with most of the blogs,dewier iffy and all in one, bars,did’nt work for me,last one in but unconvinced,needed sometying else,as you say,maybe Ray T can clarify.Dissapointed with the pictorial of 16d,what a wasted opportunity Pommers! Struggled with the SE corner so score it***/****

  19. I must be improving – found today’s RayT quite easy.

    Lacking in innuendo today but I do admire his discipline in restricting all the clues to less than 9 words!

    9a – Shame that Mireille Mathieu, regrettably, came before Edith Piath in the clue.

    24a – pommers – this picture is very popular this week! (Toughie 879 – 20d)

    1. I know about 24a Franco – that’s why the pop out comment says what it does :grin: Hover your mouse ove the picture.

      1. Have just read your comment so ‘hovered’ over the picture to see what you were on about! I really think that the pair of you should be ashamed of yourselves :roll: and watch out for the return of Bionic Woman or you’ll be in REAL trouble!!!

  20. A gentle Ray T today I thought. Was left with 12a to get when I went to the hints . I kept trying to fit I into Andes….didn’t work. Thanks to Ray T & Pommers.

  21. A bit late again today. Someone fell under a train!

    Anyway, many thanks to pommers for the review, and to all who left a comment.

    For 24d, ‘bars’ is a verb…


    1. Hello Ray. Tried BARS as both verb and noun but I’m still none the wiser as to what you were getting at! As I said it could be me being particularly thick this morning Not for the first time as you will see as I continue to blog your very enjoyable puzzles!

      Sorry about the falling under the train – I take that it wasn’t you!

      1. When I used to commute to London back in the 70s, we were once delayed for some time and when we eventually reached the next station, they apologised for the delay which was due to a ‘fertility’ on the line. Don’t you just hate it when Druids ruin your journey home?! :lol:

        1. When I was at school, I once had to catch a train to London from Braintree station at around rush hour. Two trains had been cancelled and the next was full. The station announcer came over the tannoy to say that the next train would not stop, surprisingly it did ! We looked to see the reason for it and there was a chap in full pin-stripe suit, bowler hat, briefcase rolled up times, brolly, the full works, standing on the line waving the train down. we piled on an he got arrested at Liverpool Street. (I got to the interview on time though :-) ).

  22. Thanks to RayT for a fun solve – read 7a and you know what you are in for!. I would put this at ** difficulty based on the solving time and having seen the comment above I would say it was my favourite clue and an &Lit. Cheers pommers for the review and the poster at 24a.

  23. Thanks to Ray T and pommers.Always too exhausted on Thursday to make a good fist of it.I live not a hundred miles from west Wales and we are not getting your weather. Hope it calms down for you.

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