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DT 27036

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27036

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja. Definitely another RayT this week.  We have the Queen, Beam and plenty of innuendo! Most of this I found fairly straightforward, took me top end of 2* time, but there are a few head-scratchers so I’ve given it 3* for difficulty. Very enjoyable with a nice mix of clue types and six anagrams to get you going.
It will be interesting to hear what those who aren’t keen on RayT have to say!

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.


1a           Pirate‘s earthy character for the audience (7)
{CORSAIR} – “For the audience” is a homophone indicator.  This pirate sounds like a word for earthy or crude followed by a word for character or nature.  Another one of those that’s a lot easier to solve than give a hint!

5a           Lady of the French game (7)
{DUCHESS} – The answer is a Lady in the aristocratic sense.  Take the French for “of the” and follow with a board game.

9a           Parading topless with a bow? (7)
{ARCHING} – Take a word for parading and remove its first letter (topless).  Looks like RayT might be wearing his risque hat this week!

10a         Woolf in essence shows skill (7)
{FINESSE} – The answer is hidden (shows) in Woolf in essence

11a         Ecdysiast ends in act showing little bust (9)
{STATUETTE} – Not that sort of little bust, it’s a small piece of sculpture.  Take ET (EcdysiasT ends) and insert into an act of Parliament.  Although you don’t need to know the meaning of Ecdysiast in order to solve the clue I looked it up anyway. Definitely the risque hat this week!

12a         Stop terrorist head backing state (5)
{AVERT} – A word for to state followed by T (Terrorist head)

13a         Clown, often melancholy, improvising caricatures initially? (5)
{COMIC} – This clown or funny person is the first letters (initially) of the first five words of the clue.  Not 100% sure about this one. Clown appears to be doing double duty.

15a         Canon with dire changes for sacrament (9)
{ORDINANCE} – An anagram (changes) of CANON with DIRE.

17a         Poor signs perhaps for medical forecast (9)
{PROGNOSIS} – An anagram (perhaps) of POOR SIGNS.

19a         Indian capital (5)
{RUPEE} – Cryptic definition of the currency (capital) of India.

22a         Beam’s, say, providing lift (5)
{RAISE} – This word for lift sounds like (say) a word for beams, sunbeams perhaps.  Of course it also sounds like the setter’s first name and Beam is his Toughie alter-ego!

23a         Enclosure crammed keeping Queen band together (2-7)
{CO-OPERATE} – Take a word for an enclosure, of chickens perhaps, followed by a word for crammed, as in consumed, and insert the Queen.

25a         Sweetheart with reason to get touchy (7)
{EMOTIVE} – Touchy as in touches your feelings. Start with E (swEet heart) and follow with a reason.

26a         New Avenger giving chase (7)
{ENGRAVE} – Chase as in chase out or etch.  It’s an anagram (new) of AVENGER.

27a         Policeman’s discharge around large parade (7)
{DISPLAY} – Start with the abbreviation for a Detective Inspector (don’t forget the ‘s) and follow with a word for discharge, a debt perhaps, placed around L(arge).

28a         Hill’s divided by rushing stream (7)
{TORRENT} – A charade of a word for a hill and a word meaning divided or split.  I guess there’s a lot of these in the UK at the moment!


1d           Traditional Catholic in charge of controlling girl (7)
{CLASSIC} – Take the abbreviations for Catholic and In Charge and insert (controlling) a girl.

2d           Redeem seeing miracle play (7)
{RECLAIM} – An anagram (play) of MIRACLE.

3d           Nice parting speech? (5)
{ADIEU} – A cryptic definition of how a resident of Nice might say goodbye.  The necessary capitalisation of Nice is nicely disguised by putting it first!

4d           Just ego’s hurt I fancy (9)
{RIGHTEOUS} – An anagram (fancy) of EGO’S HURT I.

5d           Writer gave up on Old English (5)
{DEFOE} – Reverse (up in a down clue) a three letter word which can mean “gave”, especially food, and follow with O(ld) E(nglish) and you get the guy who wrote Robinson Crusoe.

6d           Tin or can possibly holding last of preserve? (9)
{CONTAINER} – A anagram (possibly) of TIN OR CAN with an E inserted (holding last of preservE).  Another where the definition seems to be doing double duty!

7d           Oriental bird after endless happiness (7)
{EASTERN} – Take a word for happiness, as in peace of mind or serenity, and remove the last letter (endless). Follow with a small seabird.  I wasn’t sure about the happiness bit but it came up in my thesaurus.

8d           Little friendship following second love (7)
{SWEETIE} – A colloquial term for your love or sweetheart. Start with S(econd) and follow with a Scottish word for little and a friendship or connection.

14d         Incorrigible, wasting time relaxing (9)
{CONGENIAL} – Simply think of a word for incorrigible in the sense of inveterate and remove (wasting) the T(ime)).

16d         Shady girl flashed on street (9)
{DISHONEST} – Shady as in a bit dodgy. Start with the usual two letter girl and follow with a word for flashed (not that sort of flashing – a light!) and then the abbreviation of street.

17d         Warn of downfall supporting left (7)
{PORTEND} – Nautical left followed by (supporting in a down clue) a word for downfall or finish.

18d         Threatening nothing less, accepting nothing (7)
{OMINOUS} –Start with O (nothing) and follow with a word meaning less and insert (accepting) another O (nothing).

20d         Win over a team leader in position (7)
{PLACATE} – A (from the clue) and T (Team leader) inserted into a word for “to position”.

21d         Fire was one  thing to heat water (7)
{ELEMENT} – Double definition. The second one is the thing you find in the bottom of an electric kettle.

23d         Tough chop found in empty carvery (5)
{CHEWY} – You might describe a tough chop as this!  You need CY (empty C(arver)Y) and insert a word for chop or cut.

24d         Uplifting piano music by the French composer (5)
{ELGAR} – Reverse (uplifting in a down clue) a piece of Jazz piano music and a French definite article and you get a composer, or a Toughie setter!

Lots of good stuff in this and it’s nice to see the risqué hat in use again.  My favourites were 3d and 11a, ecdysiast indeed!

The Quick crossword pun: {tans} + {Sun} + {near} = {Tanzania}

62 comments on “DT 27036

  1. Pommers, 13a and 6d are supposed to be &lit (all-in-one), so the intention is that the whole clue forms the definition.

          1. I agree with Qix that an &lit was the intention. They are notoriously hard to write but when they come off they are my favourite clue type. Unfortunately neither of these quite make it for me :sad:

    1. My Brother used to say “If it has a question mark at the end of the clue, all the normal rules seem to go out the window”- and here are two examples of exactly what he meant. (He introduced me to the DT crossword.)

      Perhaps this is another rule in itself that needs to be added to the “how to solve crosswords list”.

  2. Ecdysiast was a new word for me; without a dictionary to hand, I assumed it was someone associated with the church!
    2.5*/4* for me. Favourite clue, 16d. Thanks to RayT, and to pommers.

    1. Morning Jezza
      Chambers has ecdysiast as a “facetious” word for a stripper! Comes from ECDYSIS, the act of shedding an old skin.

  3. Loved it. This puzzle reminded us of all the reasons that we really like RayT puzzles. Too many good clues to pick a favourite. Took us about ** time and at least **** for enjoyment.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  4. Many thanks to RayT and to Pommers for a very enjoyable and not overtaxing crossword and a very entertaining review.

  5. At least 7 or more smiles and the bonus of a new word I will probably never use !
    I assume 7d is eas(y) although the answer was obvious .
    3*\4* for me .

  6. I really enjoyed it today. A good mix of clues, a few headscratchers and a few laughs. I will probably remember “ecdysiast” next time I redecorate. Thanks to RayT for a fun puzzle & to Pommers for the review.

  7. Very enjoyable Ray T today with no real problems. After first pass through the across clues I thought I may have been in trouble (3 filled in) but after a few of the downs slipped in everything followed.
    Too many good clues to mention them all but my fave today has to be 11A if just for the fact that I learnt a new word (not for pommers’ picture at all)(honest)

  8. I do look forward to the Thursday puzzle – both for the contribution from RayT and Pommer’s review. 2.5*/4* for me.

  9. A but of a toughie for me and really struggled to get going. And, wow, what a great feeling of satisfaction to finish it without resorting to electronic aids or the hints. Thoroughly enjoyable and thanks to RayT (and Pommers).

    Some cracking clues 26, 16 and 21 but my prize for the best has to be 1A

  10. Very enjoyable – a game of 2 halves for me. Slough of despond after reading the across clues until I got to the anagrams at 15a and 17a. So completed the bottom half first. Enjoyed the hidden word at 10a – and many others of course. Thank you Ray T and Pommers for your review – the bust doesn’t look all that “little” !

  11. A lovely start to Thursday thank you Ray and Pommers. 2.5/4 for me.

    Does anyone else, once they have realised it is a Ray T, solve a clue and think ‘I know what Brian is going to say about this’ or is that just me? :)

    I enjoyed the Myops Toughie too – fluffier than some of his past efforts but still a Toughie.

    1. I thought the toughie today was definitely on the untaxing side, a good one for the”toughie neophytes” to cut their teeth on.

  12. Top half**, bottom half****, so Agree with score it ***, and ****.Agree with Pommers re 7d and ease, was’nt convinced with the ‘ate ‘part of 23 and crammed,but i find it does mean’gorge’so suppose it’s fine.11a pictorial was original, thanks Pommers-should have been in a snake skin bikini for authenticiyt!

    1. If you read the end of this comment quickly, coupled with a sight problem in my left eye, I was left somewhat amazed that Pommers actually possessed a snake skin bikini :lol:

  13. Hi pommers and thanks for the blog, I must say I found this a very ‘doable’ RayT crossword today, I really liked 22a and 5a, putting ‘chief’ in at 19a straight away didn’t help me much!I agree with you on 13a and 6d, a few synonyms which I thought weren’t exactly synonyms but I’m sure if I look I’ll find they are, a three star for me today, off now to sit with dog recovering from enucleation! Thought there was no need for that word in 11a, although it was obvious we didn’t need to know what it meant

        1. I did, but if the clue could have read “stripper ends in act showing little bust” you would get the laugh straight away :grin: Unfortunately it don’t work.

          Hope the dog recovers quickly. I’ve known 2 or 3 one-eyed dogs over the years and it didn’t seem to bother them at all.

    1. How is your poor girl! I bet she’s getting lots of extra attention. It always amazes me how quickly dogs and cats recover from something that would take a person ages to get over. Hope that she’s OK.

  14. Am I the only one who has the phrase “Terpischorean ecdysiast” to hand for those times when “exotic dancer” just won’t do?

    Pommers, in your explanation for 6D you didn’t point out that the anagram needs also to use the E from the end of preserve.

    Definitely agree with the 3*/4* rating.

    Thanks to pommers and RayT (and well done for getting the photos for 5A and 11A the right way round!)

    1. Hi Steve
      Thanks for the pointer on 6d – I was a bit miffed at finding a second not-quite-right &lit so probably didn’t give it full justice. I’ll correct it.

  15. I wasn’t expecting a Ray T today – one quick look told me that I was wrong! I was SO glad that I’d stored it up as a reward to do when I’d done other ‘stuff’ – well worth waiting for. I agree with ***/****.
    I did a lot of this quite quickly, for me, and then got stuck for a while.
    I didn’t know what an ecdysiast was – I do now! Whenever I learn a new word I try to use it several times so that I’ll remember it – could be tricky . . . ! The bottom right corner took me the longest. I was slightly doubtful about congenital and incorrigible being synonymous but I was just thinking medically rather than about an ingrained characteristic.
    I liked all the clues that he wrote with his naughty hat on plus 19a and 3, 23 and 24d.
    With thanks to Ray T and pommers.

    1. I thought 11a was very clever in that you can solve it without knowing what the word means. It’s only when you look it up that a whole new level of smut is revealed :grin:
      Appealed to my schoolboy sense of humour and was a great photo opportunity :lol:

  16. I was also a bit unsure about some of the synomyms, but in such situations, I pencil in the answer and look for crossing letters from other clues to provide justification. Ray T is always a challenge for me, but provides a high degree of satisfaction, when I solve all his clues.

  17. The master at his best. What a lovely word in 11 – must remember that one. Favourite was 16 but also liked 8, 11, 24 and of course 22. RayT always gives me a giggle and this puzzle was no exception. More anagrams than usual but we will forgive him that. 22 a glass to Beam!

  18. An enjoyable puzzle from Ray T.
    1a was first in but being a Yorkshireman I don’t concur homophonically!
    Good mix of clues.
    Liked 19a & 21d best of all.

    Weather started off sunny today but now solidly overcast so will be raining soon!

    Pantomime tomorrow in Den Haag (The Hague) – we go every year and howl at the villain and cheer the heroine! Great fun.
    We always eat at a Thai restaurant near the theatre beforehand

  19. Thanks to Ray T & to Pommers for the review & hints. Managed this ok, and would agree with 3*/4*. Did three quarters fairly easily, then got held up in the SE corner, but they all suddenly fell into place after I got 23a, great stuff from Ray T, favourites were 23&26a and 6,18,23d. started with 1a, finished with 16d. brilliant sunshine in central London.

  20. Been a good day today! We’ve had a lady on the game in France (sorry Kate!), parading topless, a stripper showing a little bust, a sweetheart wanting to get touchy and a shady girl flashing! :grin:
    Also photo opportunities for a classic car, a stripper and Purdey – oh, and a nice bird too! :grin:

    Thanks Ray

  21. Really enjoyed this – best of the week so far and done without too much angst. 2* difficulty 4* enjoyment. Loved “statuette”.

  22. I didf struggle with this puzzle and I am not keen on RayT crosswords but I have finished it, with a little help from Pommers, for which many thanks, and I did feel satisfied when it was done. Perhaps I am having a volte face like Brian

  23. Well it’s the first one this week I’ve finished without A LOT of help, so have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Thank you Ray T and Pommers for the explanations – of which I did need a few, just to check…

  24. Setter here…

    Many thanks to pommers for the hints, and to all who commented. As always, very much appreciated.


  25. Really enjoyed the puzzle today! The first one this week where I didn’t need the hints. Did the first half after breakfast and the second half after lunch. Is it a good thing when your husband knows what ecdysiast means and you don’t??
    18d was my favourite clue. Thought it was very cool.
    Liked 23a too. 2012 is the International Year of Co-operatives!
    Thank you Pommers and RayT.

  26. As far as today is concerned I thought it was absolutely impossible. I managed five clues then gave up in frustration Thanks, nevertheless, to Pommers and also to RayT for his comments.
    So it’s a ************\* for me!

    1. Oh dear – don’t give up or get discouraged – he’s such a brilliant setter. There’s always something that provides a laugh, in my opinion anyway. I look forward to his crosswords more than any others.

  27. Very enjoyable today – thanks to RayT and Pommers (having first guessed who the setter was, I laughed at 22a’s apostrophe in Beam’s!).

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