DT 27034 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27034

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27034

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I never know what sort of puzzle I’m going to get on Tuesdays – I liked this one a lot more than last week’s. I’m not sure whether this was deliberate or not but several of the clues seem to have a connection with India. Do leave a comment – if you’ve been lurking here some time and haven’t introduced yourself then today would be an excellent time to break your duck!
To reveal the answers just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clues; if you have problems doing this on an I-thingy or similar there is some help in the FAQ.

Across clues

1a  He coaxes reluctant dancer to writhe about with her holding arm (5,7)
{SNAKE CHARMER} – a verb meaning to writhe or twist is followed by the single-letter abbreviation for about or concerning. Then finish with HER (from the clue) containing ARM (also from the clue). It’s a bit odd having the last six letters straight out of the clue but perhaps ‘woman holding member’ would have been too suggestive!

9a  Bury’s features shared link (9)
{INTERFACE} – a verb meaning to bury followed by a collection of features (including eyes, nose and chin).

10a  Bohemian bar being talked about (5)
{CZECH} – sounds like (being talked about) a verb to bar or obstruct.

11a  Small loans to young people (3-3)
{TOP-UPS} – TO (from the clue) followed by a dated word for cheeky young people.

12a  Forsaken beauty loses cool (8)
{LOVELESS} – a word meaning beauty without the IN (cool, i.e. trendy).

13a  US raid ‘compromised’ — that’s the line coming from centre (6)
{RADIUS} – an anagram (compromised) of US RAID.

15a  Refute Sun’s in favour of stopping deception in football (8)
{DISPROVE} – the abbreviation for sun and a preposition meaning in favour of are inserted (stopping, i.e. plugging) in what modern footballers are all too ready to do to deceive the referee.

18a  Hysterical F-Frenchman’s habitual response (8)
{FRENETIC} – the F (from the clue) and a male French forename (think of the cafe owner from ‘Allo ‘Allo) are followed by a habitual facial contraction.

19a  With 40% cutback analyst is one with target to hit (6)
{ARCHER} – a 10-letter word for an analyst has its first four letters (i.e. 40% of the total) removed.

21a  Sedate umpire’s ringing ‘Caught!’ (8)
{MEDICATE} – sedate, as the definition, is a verb, i.e. to administer a sedative. A verb to umpire or arbitrate goes round (ringing) the cricket abbreviation for caught.

23a  Recommend healthy yodelling to help musical beginners when beat (6)
{RHYTHM} – the beginning letters of six contiguous words in the clue.

26a  Some Abba wannabes backing Prince (5)
{NAWAB} – hidden (some) and reversed (backing) is an Indian prince or nobleman.

27a  Redesign a core site for specialist publications (9)
{ESOTERICA} – an anagram (redesign) of A CORE SITE.

28a  Impression of something about to happen here – people are gripped by it (12)
{PRESENTIMENT} – an adjective meaning here or in attendance comes first. Then add a word for people or human beings generally which is contained (gripped) inside IT.

Down Clues

1d  Rocky feints with right slug (7)
{SNIFTER} – a slang word for a small alcoholic drink (slug) comes from an anagram (rocky) of FEINTS followed by R(ight).

2d  Temperature on high following air-conditioning malfunction (3,2)
{ACT UP} – the definition here is a phrasal verb. The abbreviation for temperature and an adverb meaning on high or aloft both follow the abbreviation for air-conditioning.

3d  Transport EU partner fixed (9)
{ENRAPTURE} – an anagram (fixed) of EU PARTNER means to transport or entrance.

4d  Some macho axe-wielding fool (4)
{HOAX} – hidden (some) in the clue is a verb to fool.

5d  Rebellious chorister lacking special eloquence (8)
{RHETORIC} – remove the single-character abbreviation for special from CHORI(s)TER and make an anagram (rebellious) of what you have left.

6d  Compere, familiarly, seems clever off and on (5)
{EMCEE} – regular (off and on) letters from ‘seems clever’.

7d  The mob he organised is something enormous (8)
{BEHEMOTH} – an anagram (organised) of THE MOB HE produces a great beast from the Book of Job (identified by scholars variously as a hippopotamus, elephant, crocodile or water buffalo).

8d  Modest husband belonging to exclusive social class (6)
{CHASTE} – H(usband) is contained inside (belonging to) an exclusive social class in India.

14d  Sea’s blue inherently (4,4)
{DEEP DOWN} – a poetic word for the sea followed by an adjective meaning blue or dejected.

16d  Board game is cheaper version (9)
{PARCHEESI} – this was my last answer in because I’d never heard of this Indian board game (Chambers likens it to backgammon or ludo). It’s name (or at least one possible spelling of it) is an anagram (version) of IS CHEAPER.

17d  Lethargic and lacking an agenda? (8)
{LISTLESS} – double definition, the second a cryptic description of a meeting, say, with no itemised schedule or agenda.

18d  Kindle typeface accommodates Middle English (6)
{FOMENT} – kindle is not, as the setter would like you to think, the electronic device for reading books but a verb meaning to spark off. Another word for typeface contains (accommodates) the abbreviation for Middle English.

20d  Balance affected manner with righteous heart (7)
{REMNANT} – the balance or what’s left over comes from an anagram (affected) of MANNER followed by the central (heart) letter of righTeous.

22d  Brace bendy pole (5)
{CABER} – an anagram (bendy) of BRACE.

24d  Sudden pain expelling start of gastric wind (5)
{TWINE} – in the surface wind is a noun but as the definition it’s a verb meaning to coil or twist. Remove (expel) the starting letter of G(astric) from a sudden sharp pain.

25d  Gosh, Beethoven’s Ninth is old-fashioned stuff (4)
{CORN} – this is something old-fashioned or hackneyed. An interjection expressing surprise (gosh) is followed by the ninth letter of Beethoven.

The clues I liked best were 15a, 18d and 24d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {JAY} + {LOUSE} + {ROC} = {JAILHOUSE ROCK}


65 comments on “DT 27034

  1. Just noticed a small typo in the crossword number Gazza – Too many anagrams for my liking, but thanks to all involved

  2. Can’t say I enjoyed today’s offering too much, it just seemed to be trying to be too clever with some very obscure words (particularly with an Indian connection as gazza said).
    In fact, looking over it again, I can’t see any clues that I particularly enjoyed solving and a few that I found rather annoying (10A, 26A, 27A, 6D, 16D of course) in fact, the only thing I can say good about the solve is that I didn’t try to use COO for Gosh in 25D.

  3. I quite enjoyed today’s offering with no real difficulties. 16d was a new one for me but solvable from the clue. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  4. Thought this was going to be a write in at first having completed the rash of anagrams .I was not certain about 25d at first until the penny dropped ,liked 18d when I eventually got there ,similar with 12a and 21a.Certainly much more of a struggle than last Tuesday so 3.5*\3.5* .
    Finally stopped raining but 50 roads closed in N Yorks.

  5. I like anagrams! That’s why it was a relatively easy puzzle today. Hardest were 18a and 23a Favourite was 18d. A life of reading BOP when I was young helped with 26a. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  6. I struggled a bit today particularly the NE corner,last one in was 10a,i was looking for a synonym,ie hippie etc when Sherlock Homes came to my rescue as i remembered ‘a scandal in Bohemia’ with the lovely Irene Adler!,liked 1a and12a,Thanks Gazza for the18a pic of VM.Todays score(sounds a bit like pop master) ****/***

  7. 16d was my last one in; never heard of it, and I had a lucky guess with the remaining letters of the anagram fodder.
    A bit of a mixed bag for me today – 2.5* on both counts. Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

  8. At last! An excuse to finally use my Hobson Jobson dictionary at which Mrs S raised her eyebrows to the ceiling when it was delivered.

  9. I found this one tough and had to resort to electronic help for quite a few. Not enamoured with 6D. Favourite 1a

  10. E joyed this one but must admit I needed help for 25d which as far as I can see has nothing to do with old fashioned at all,.

  11. I really enjoyed this one which didn’t take me long to solve and left me smiling. I had heard of the game at 16d, I just wasn’t sure how to spell it. Thanks to Petitjean for a nice start to Tuesday solving and to gazza for the review.

  12. As a newcomer I’m fascinated by the variations of diificulty given for the puzzles between ‘our’ blog and the on-line Telegraph.
    Yesterday the Telegraph rated the puzzle **** for difficulty and our site gave it */**
    To-day it’s the other way round. Telegraph ** for difficulty, Blog***
    Best not to worry, methinks; just do it and don’t be put off by lots of ***** !
    Many many thanks to the setters and helpers. Attempting the puzzle, using the ‘aids’ when needed and reading the comments makes for a great way to spend time on a wet morning.

    1. The only way that the online site can assess difficulty is by the time taken to solve the puzzle. This is a nonsense figure as some people print them out, take them to work and then fill them in when they get home (By the way, the clock starts running when you view or print the puzzle.)

      1. That pretty much applies to me. I print the puzzle off at home and solve it at a coffee shop on my walk to work. I rarely enter the (back-page) puzzle online, unless I want to confirm what I have entered is correct.

        1. In the early days there was a user called “puzzle-tester” who was always there when the puzzles became available. We think that this internal account is suppressed from the leaderboard, but because of the poorly-written software cannot be removed from the “top time” slot.

          1. Yes, but that appears simply to be for typing in the answers, so it wouldn’t really give any information about the “ratings”.

        2. this is going to sound daft and i have put my coat on, but do the DT release the puzzles at midnight UK time or midnight in countries where they have other operations?

  13. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, not my favourite puzzle, too many anagrams, other than that not too bad.

  14. Good puzzle, great fun except for the NE corner having never heard of MC spelt as EMCEE. So you live and learn.

    I dissenting voice I may be but I enjoy the anagrams, let’s have more!

    Will it stop raining soon?

    1. Emcee is the only way they spell it in a cryptic crossword and it appears time and time again.

            1. As CS says, these constructions come up quite often.

              An emcee might well wear a DJ, but for a deejay, that wouldn’t be okay.

              An MC and a DJ might combine to produce an elpee, but UR more likely 2C a seedy version nowadays.

  15. I thought this was tricky – VERY tricky, and very enjoyable! It has taken me rather a long time.
    I couldn’t get the first word of 1a for ages. I got 12a but needed the hint to explain why. Needless to say I didn’t understand some of 15a. I still can’t work out what the ten letter analyst in 19a is. I missed the first letter bit of 23a – that was one of my last ones in. I had never heard of the board game but it was obviously an anagram and, with alternate letters in, didn’t involve too much playing around with the remaining letters.
    I liked lots of these clues – 1, 10, 18 and 26a and 2 (another one that took ages), 4, 14 and 22d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron (or Petitjean) and gazza.
    Finally stopped raining – we’re up on a hill so we’re dry but roads all round Oxford are under water and shut. Hope that everyone else is dry and OK.

      1. Thanks gazza,
        I managed to sort out 15a from your hint – it was the analyst that had me completely foxed!

    1. Me too, Kath. I arrived at the correct answer for 19a but couldn’t think what four letters to add to it to make an analyst. Thanks to Gazza for explaining it but I don’t agree that a researcher is an analyst!

  16. Enjoyed today’s very much (and learnt a new word) – thanks Gazza and setter.
    (Being picky though, I am not convinced 21a means “sedate” ; I have always seen it used in a general sense.)

      1. Ah yes, thanks Gazza – I see what you mean. Having spent a lot of time medicating people (sedating being the thing one was usually trying to avoid) I was thinking on different lines!
        Sorry to be dim but what is the BRB? Google no help.

  17. Enjoyed today’s puzzle but could not see 1a for the life of me although I had all the checking letters. Thanks for the photo Gazza- instant answer! Saw how 25d worked but couldn’t get the 3 letter word for “gosh” I obviously know the word but it is not in my active vocabulary!
    Question – what is the “‘s” doing in 9a and 18a? I see where it means “is” in 15a, 21a and 14a but can’t see its purpose in the first two.
    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

    1. For 18a the ‘S in the surface is the possessive (needed to make the surface make sense) but for the wordplay you need the ‘S to be short for HAS so 18a becomes ‘ … F-Frenchman has habitual response’.
      In 8a the ‘S again stands for HAS in the wordplay (but in this case I think the clue would work equally well, or perhaps better, without the ‘S since Bury is the name of a place).

      1. Thanks Gazza. That makes sense if I think of it as “has” and not “is”. A lot of “apostrophe s’s” in this puzzle!

    2. Yes – I was also fooled for ages by the apostrophe in 9a – the problem is that we keep on learning and lots of times the bloggers say “Don’t forget the apostrophe ‘s’. Then, when you DON’T want it, you remember to try to put it in! :roll:

  18. Completed all but NE corner before long lunch with refreshments ! Having returned, the picture has not changed and needed hints to finish ! Even without refreshment would never have got 6d ! Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints. Found it considerably harder than yesterday.

  19. A decent crossword editor would have stepped in and had 16d changed. To, for example, a word that more than 0.1% of Telegraph readers might know. Can’t say that I particularly enjoyed most of the rest of the puzzle either.

    1. I thought that it was a really good puzzle. Can you think of anything else that would fit, given the checking letters, for 16d? I certainly can’t! I really take my hat off to anyone who can fill those kind of gaps with something that makes sense, even if none of us, even gazza, has heard of it.

      1. Unfortunately there is a board game called Priceless which fit in with the two checking letters I had at the time! Apart from thinking this was a poor clue and answer, it then held me up for a long time until I realised why it was a poor answer…..

        1. The game is much better known in the US, and IIRC the spelling used here is a brand name. I’ve heard of it quite often in TV shows and films from the States.

  20. We enjoyed this and found some of the clues quite challenging. Thought that it might have been a Petitjean and good to see this confirmed by CS. Have marked 24d as our pick of the day. ***/*** about right for us.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  21. Found this a mixture of the difficult and the banal. Rather a lot of anagrams (which I personally welcome). My little electronic aid informs me that 16D defines as ‘A modern board game based on pachisi’. That clears that up then.

    Favourite clue 1D, but not for cryptical reasons!

  22. One always enjoys trying, but today with very little success.Much preferred last tuesday. I can’t understand the purpose of “exclusive” in 9d, since some castes are excluded ,not exclusive.Thanks to Petitjean and Gazza.

    1. una, Chambers says: caste: “an exclusive or hereditary social caste”

      (9d seems to have been excluded – presumably you mean 8d. :wink:)

  23. Thanks to Petitjean & to Gazza for the hints and tips. Enjoyed this, but needed the hints for 12a, 16d & 25d, all of which I had to look up. Would never have thought of 12a, had the anagram fodder for 16d, and could only think of wow not cor :-) rating was 3.5*/4* for me.Favourites were 18 & 24d. Hoping for some Sun later in the week in Central London.

  24. Agree with Grumpy Andrew & Kath, except not so sure about the enjoyment. Spent a lot of a wet afternoon after starting well in top left. Didn’t get or like 10a or 16 but liked 15. Missed Rene but got 18a from 18d.

  25. Enjoyed solving this. The bottom half was easier than the top except for 1a – Gazza your comment on this clue was much appreciated!!

    Faves : 18a, 19a, 14d & 16d.

    Weather in NL reasonably dry but with morning mist.

    1. Yes – I also loved gazza’s comment in his hint for 1a – it made me laugh – forgot to mention it earlier. JUST what we expect, and look forward to, on Tuesdays and Fridays! :smile:

  26. Took a while to get into this, but really enjoyed most of the clues. 16d must have beaten most solvers without a dictionary or computer. I did not get 12a until I acccessed this site and thought it was a good clue.

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