DT 27035 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27035

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27035

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Scchua is taking a break today, giving me a chance to review this untaxing but enjoyable puzzle from Jay.

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.


1a    Damn the two of them, getting European allowance (11)
{BOTHERATION} – this word my mother used to avoid saying damn is a charade of a word meaning the two of them, E(uropean) and an allowance

9a    Social climber‘s winning way, and skill (7)
{UPSTART} – a charade of a two-letter adverb meaning winning, an abbreviation of a way or road and a skill

10a    One of four children aboard liner forming teams (6)
{SQUADS} – put one of four children born at the same time inside (aboard) Crosswordland’s usual ship (liner)

12a    Quickly run out by a league member (7)
{ALLEGRO} – the musical direction to play quickly is derived from the abbreviation for R(un) O(ut) in cricket following (by) the A from the clue, L(eague) and a member or limb

13a    Carry on suits an eccentric (7)
{SUSTAIN} – an anagram (eccentric) of SUITS AN

14a    Measures of energy in sleep (5)
{DOSES} – E(nergy) inside a slang word for to sleep

15a    Fleet docked with sick old animal (9)
{ARMADILLO} – the Spanish fleet without its final letter (docked) followed by an adjective meaning sick and O(ld)

17a    Instrument for strategic planner around house (9)
{ALPENHORN} – an anagram (strategic) of PLANNER around HO(use)

20a    The outskirts of Chester in view from loose rocks on hill (5)
{SCREE} – the outer letters (outskirts) of ChesteR inside a verb meaning to view

22a    Broken-down old mare’s elevated position (7)
{EARLDOM} – an anagram (broken-down) of OLD MARE

24a    First-class average set back after a medical condition (7)
{ANAEMIA} – two letters which indicate first-class, an average all reversed (set back) after the A from the clue

25a    Bottle full of soup oddly in sight (6)
{VISUAL} – a bottle around (full of) the odd letters of SoUp

26a    Mainly unlisted mobile device (7)
{UTENSIL} – an anagram (mobile) of mkost of (mainly) UNLISTE(d)

27a    Tory tempters falling out in argument (11)
{CONTRETEMPS} – a three-letter word for a Tory followed by an anagram (falling out) of TEMPTERS


2d    Fruit mountains after the first of October (7)
{ORANGES} – a series of mountains follow the initial letter (first) of October

3d    Tricky problem — damaged tooth needs a crown put back in (3,6)
{HOT POTATO} – an anagram (damaged) of TOOTH around the A from the clue and a word meaning the crown or peak reversed (put back)

4d    Head of school involved in knocks and scrapes (5)
{RASPS} – the initial letter (head) of School inside (involved in) a noun or verb meaning knocks

5d    Faith expressed in being tied up (7)
{TRUSSED} – sounds like (expressed) a word meaning faith or reliance

6d    Eccentric‘s love doubled outside dance (7)
{ODDBALL} – O (love) followed by the outer letters of DoubleD and a dance

7d    Rule leaves volatile fund managers in trouble? (3,3,5)
{FUN AND GAMES} – an anagram (volatile) of FUND MANAGE(R)S without (leaves) the R(ule)

8d    Trees concealing small book (6)
{PSALMS} – some tropical tress around S(mall) gives this book of the Bible

11d    Not reliable at work and insufferable (11)
{INTOLERABLE} – an anagram (at work) of NOT RELIABLE

16d    Painting adult touring fashionable island (9)
{MINIATURE} – an adjective meaning adult around (touring) a two-letter adjective meaning fashionable and I(sland)

18d    Wine firm providing cover for Independent series of columns (7)
{PORTICO} – a fortified wine and the two-letter abbreviation for a firm or business around (providing cover for) I(ndependent)

19d    Agree on ring but altered, without question (2,5)
{NO DOUBT} – a three-letter word meaning to agree followed by the ring-shaped letter and an anagram (altered) of BUT

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d    Disturb son, out of bed, eating fish (5,2)
{SHAKE UP} – S(on) and a two-letter adverb meaning out of bed around (eating) a fish resembling the cod

21d    Unmarried woman supporting soldiers gets careless (6)
{REMISS} – the title afforded to an unmarried woman follows (supporting in a down clue) some sappers (soldiers)

23d    Trace elements surrounding rising general confusion (5)
{MÊLÉE} – hidden (surrounding) and reversed (rising in a down clue) inside the clue

Another one for the anagram lovers – there are 9 whole or partial anagrams today.

The Quick crossword pun: {port} + {haste} = {poor taste}

51 comments on “DT 27035

  1. The most enjoyable puzzle for me so far this week. My only pause for thought was 16d, which was my last one in.
    Thanks to Jay, and to BD. 2*/4* for me.

  2. Again, no real problems today (wondering if we’re being set up for a cracker from The Don !).

    Rather liked 1A and 10A.

    No rain today (hooray) but its b****y freezing. Ah well, I guess winter’s arrived.

  3. Thank you Jay: I finished it, so it can’t be too difficult ! Very enjoyable and thank you BD for your review. Lovely day here in the grim North !

  4. Untaxing? Untaxing?!! I had to abandon it, struggling so much, was I. How come L is shorthand for league? I know it is the first letter but really….shall we have R for radio or R for rhinoceros? I really do find the arbitrary use of initial letters (when not hinted at) somewhat vexing.
    Same argument goes for R(ule) in 7d.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, it’s the fallback for sloppy setters in my opinion when they can’t be bothered to think of a decent clue.

  5. Today I got stuck on the left hand side. Right hand side no problem and I whistled through it quickly.
    I am not keen on using BD’s hints but they were needed today. Thanks, BD.
    For me a 2.5/3 starrer today

  6. Brilliant – I loved it. I agree with 2* for difficulty but possibly nearer a 5* for enjoyment.
    1a and 7d were my last ones in and my favourites. My Mum also says 1a! I always think that Jay does that kind of clue so well – I could easily be wrong, as I am so often, but I think ‘gobbledegook’ was one of his a while ago.
    I was a bit on the slow side to get 5d for some reason. 18d also – I managed to convince myself that the definition was ‘wine’ and that it had to begin with a C and end with an O. Apart from those didn’t have any problems.
    Favourites 1, 14, 15 and 27a and 3 and 7d.
    With thanks to Jay and BD.

  7. I think I enjoyed most of this today, its taken me a while as my mind is not really on it, one of our dogs is in having an eye removed today poor thing, fav clue 15a, I agree with Roger with seemingly random letters being used for various words

    1. They are not “seemingly random letters” – they are almost invariably abbreviations supported by Chambers. For example H = Hard, as used on lead pencils and N = Newton from the symbol used for the derived SI unit of force.

      1. I like the way a cryptic crossword teaches you all the abbreviations you didn’t know. I find once they have been in a crossword I don’t forget them either which comes in handy both for future crossword purposes and impressing Mr CS :)

    2. I’m not surprised that your mind wasn’t on the crossword – I do hope that she is OK – are you going to be able to take her home later today?

  8. The usual Wednesday wizardry I thought. Not taxing but quite enjoyable nontheless. Perhaps a little heavy on anagrams for my taste but I know lots of you like them.

    Favourite was 1a.

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

  9. 2*/4* for me too – for some reason the idea of an 15a always makes me smile. Like Pommers my favourite was 1a. Thanks to Jay and BD.

    I enjoyed the Toughie too – not quite as verbose as some Shamus’s.

  10. Missed the clueing for 19D & 23D (until I read BD’s hints) but did have the right answers. As always with Jay, this was a very fair puzzle, but tricky in a number of places. Spent ages working out answers to 11D and 17A – before realising they were cleverly concealed anagrams. Great fun and I love BD’s picture for ‘trussed’

  11. I did enjoy today’s puzzle and go for**/****. I agree with Roger about the use of initial letters ,either to be inserted or left out of clues to achieve a solution ,as in 7d. I take BD’S point about H and N- O for over is frequently used(cricket), can’t see where R the abbreviation for rule comes from; R O for run out is fine, as it is a a recognised ‘shoutening’, but L for league,really!. Seems to have become a modern penchant of setters.

  12. Too many anagrams for my taste but reasonably enjoyable if untaxing crossword. Thanks to Jay and BD.

  13. Wouldn’t it be awful if we were all the same… this was 3* time for me, I don’t quite know why!

    BD, you have a couple of trivial typos – 26A “mkost”, 8D “tress”.

    Also, you started your review by naming the setter, which I like. Could you ask all reviewers to do that?

    Thanks to BD and Jay.

    1. We do name them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are moveable feasts, setter-wise so it isn’t always possible to know or tell who set the crossword.

  14. Least enjoyable puzzle of the week for me, found it very tricky at least a 3 star. Very little fun.

    1. Could someone explain 3d. Using the clue above if you take tooth and a away from the answer you get opt, what has that to do with a crown?

      1. Brian, the anagram of “tooth” is in capitals here HOT potaTO. The inserted letters are A TOP = A CROWN but they are reversed (put back).

  15. Enjoyed this puzzle greatly, made it more difficult than it should have been as I didn’t spot all the anagrams right away.

    Thanks to BD for the review.

    Thanks to the setter, a fun puzzle.

  16. I really did get myself in a paddy with this one early on. 14A the issue – not concentrating I had the answer as DOZES – dozens with an E in. Yes I know it doesn’t work but I now had (accurately) the D and the last S in position and the tempting Z in the centre. What a cluster-wotsit!

  17. Always enjoy Jay, always an edge to tussle with, so **/*** and I like the routine work-out of anagrams.
    Thanks and BD

  18. A very pleasant mid-week puzzle with a fair mix of clues.

    Liked : 15a, 17a, 27a, 3d, 16d & 20d.

    Very pleasant evening sky in NL with a full moon rising in the east.

  19. A very fair challenge, all told.
    7d caused a bit of 7d working out which way round were the answer and fodder.
    I would question whether the definition is “trouble” – in my book, more a bit of a malarkey!
    So, thanks for the 7d, Jay & BD.

    1. I think it’s OK for trouble. Whenever my Dad’s car conked out, which it did frequently, I remember him coming home and saying that he’d had fun and games with the ****** car again. I’m pretty sure that he meant trouble rather than your definition!!

  20. Thanks to Jay & to Big Dave for the review & hints, which, for once, I didn’t need. Started with 2d, finished with 8d. Favourites were 1a, 5&19d. Was 3*/3* for me. Sun came out for 10mins this afternoon in Central London.

  21. Nearer 3* than 2* for me, but eminently solvable. Less difficult than the toughie, but that’s how it should be, I’d say.

  22. Too taxing.Where was the definition in 4d and 7d ? Strategic is a new anagram indicator to me.Generally it seem to me that this crossword pleased the experienced hands and confounded the inexperienced. Thanks to Jay and BD.

  23. To Big Dave : could Petitjean be the new crossheir (Irish Times) ? Lots of long-winded versions of his clues.Pity you don’t blog it. I guess the circulation figures would never justify it.

    1. Definitely not.

      As far as I can remember, Bill Butler, who used to run a Crosaire blog, took over when the supply of Derek Crozier puzzles ran out.

  24. I was not impressed with clue for 12a. There did not seem to be any indication of the order or construction of the elements, or even an indication that the answer is an anagram of them.

    1. Hi Robert – welcome to the blog.

      There’s no anagram in 12a. It’s A (from the clue) + L(eague) + LEG (member) + RO (run out). The ‘by’ tells us that the RO follows the rest.

      1. Thank you.
        Had not come across the use of “by” like that but perhaps I should have realised.
        As you probably gather I was unhappy at not obtaining the build up precise specification I expect


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