DT 27041

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27041

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **+Enjoyment ***

A puzzle whose southwest corner took a little longer than the rest (or perhaps I’m rusty after being away?). Therefore a 2-2.5 * for difficulty, and a 3* for enjoyment. Thanks to setter. I (especially) liked the inventive 16 across.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{ } are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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.

1    Showing caution about churchman’s aggressive slogan (3,3)

{WAR CRY} : [showing caution;on guard against danger] containing(about) abbrev. for one of a certain religious faith.

(Does that look a bit like Psy’s gangnam?)

4    A vessel welcomes test, oddly, but doesn’t behave right (4,2)

{ACTS UP} : A + [a vessel;a container for liquids like tea, etc.] containing(welcomes) T,S{1st and 3rd letters of(oddly) “test”}

Answer:  When a little child or machine doesn’t behave or function properly.

8    Doctor looks sulky, accommodating old hippies (8)

{DROPOUTS} : {abbrev. for “doctor” + [looks sulky;exhibits body language with the lips]} containing(accommodating) abbrev. for “old”.

Answer:  … from the mainstream, or just college.

10    Bank on road taking odds not often seen (6)

{RARELY} : [bank on;depend on] placed after(on, in an across clue) RA{1st and 3rd letters of (taking odds) “road”}

11    Happy clearing — finishing early (4)

{GLAD} : [a clearing;open space in a forest] minus its last letter(finishing early), “e”.

12    Explosive assertion about daughter’s skill (10)

{ADROITNESS} : Anagram of(explosive) ASSERTION containing(about) abbrev. for “daughter”.

13    The freedom of Paris? (5,7)

{CARTE BLANCHE} : [freedom;a totally free hand] as a local in Paris, France might say, literally a “blank document”.

16    Drag one in? The first shall be last (5-7)

{CROSS DRESSER} : Cryptic defn: [one in drag], from the phrase “drag one in” with its first word moved to the end of the phrase.

20    Bet impression includes church forerunner (10)

{ANTECEDENT} : {[what is bet;the stake in a gamble] + [an impression in an otherwise smooth surface] } containing(includes) abbrev. for “Church of England” – as opposed to the one in 1across.

21    Affectation shown by topless couples (4)

{AIRS} : [couples;twos of a kind] minus its first letter(topless), “p”.

Answer: What are put on by a la-di-da.

22    A divine being in Father’s place of worship (6)

{PAGODA} : { A + [divine being, with or without a capital letter]} contained in(in) [short for one’s father;dad].

Answer: A sacred building in India and the Far East.

23    Speculator‘s tense — gold pinched in robbery (8)

{THEORIST} : abbrev. for “tense” in grammar + {[gold] contained in(pinched in) [a robbery;a holdup, title of quite a few crime movies]}.

24    Left without cover, and fair worn out (6)

{EFFETE} : The 2 internal letters of(without cover) “left” plus(and) [a fair;a bazaar especially one held outdoors in aid of charity].

25    Take some diplomat on a launch without a key (6)

{ATONAL} : Hidden in(take some) “diplomat on a launch“.

Answer: Descriptive of a composition without a musical key.

1    Look drawn out with no new things to be done (8)

{WORKLOAD} : Anagram of(out) LOOK DRAW{“look drawn” minus(with no) abbrev. for “new”}.

2    Quick foray, seizing power (5)

{RAPID} : [a foray;a sudden attack] containing(seizing) abbrev. for “power” in physics.

3    Pointed remark suppressed by sources in Radio Hallam and University is nonsense (7)

{RHUBARB} : [a pointed, cutting remark] placed under(suppressed by, in a down clue) initial letters of(sources) “Radio Hallam” and “University” respectively.

Answer: The nonsensical noise made by actors repeating this same word to simulate conversation.

5    Joker gets one bill to do with heart (7)

{CARDIAC} : [a joker;an amusing person] plus(gets) Roman numeral for “one” + abbrev. for [bill;a statement of expenses to be settled].

Answer:  Descriptive of things to do with the heart anatomically.

6    Writer on board for runners (9)

{SPRINTERS} : [a device that reproduces a paper copy of writing] contained inSS”(abbrev. for “steamship”)(on board).

7    European buff (6)

{POLISH} : Double defn: 1st: A European nationality; and 2nd: To give a shine to, eg. with what could also be described as French.

9    Program for organising broadcast, needing cover (11)

{SPREADSHEET} : [to broadcast;to distribute over wide area] plus(needing) [cover, especially on a bed].

Answer: Computer software – remember Lotus 123?

14    Reprimanded by annoyed American (6,3)

{TICKED OFF} : Double defn: 2nd: An Americanism for annoyed;angered.

15    Repairs carried out the end of April in revenge (8)

{REPRISAL} : Anagram of(carried out) REPAIRS placed before(before) the last letter of(end of) “April”.

17    Finished a case of Camembert and ham (7)

{OVERACT} : [finished;done with] + A + the 2 outermost letters of(case of) “Camembert”.

Answer: To ham it on stage.

18    Back down and negotiate in support of engineers (7)

{RETREAT} : [to negotiate;to deal with towards a resolution] placed below(in support of, in a down clue) abbrev. for engineers in the British Army.

19    Rile poor Argentine with no time at home (6)

{ENRAGE} : Anagram of(poor) “Argentine” minus(with no) {abbrev. for “time” and [at home;not out]}.

21    Media pronouncement covering what to wear (5)

{APRON} : Hidden in(covering) “media pronouncement “.

The Quick crossword pun: {carries} + {horse} = {curry sauce}



  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Another fine Wednesday puzzle which did not present too many problems. Enjoyed 16a but put our tick for best next to 12a as we did not at first pick the anagram.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  2. Brian
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    That’s better. After struggling with the last two days, I found this one much more straightforward and much more fun. Did like 1a although I thought the abbrev for church was ch or ce never thought of cr before. Best clue for me was 13a.
    Thx to the setter, glad I didn’t need Scchas cryptic clues today.
    Thx to all for the kind comments yesterday about Callie, the house still seems so quiet. Mrs B wants to get another dog but I think it’s too soon, it still hurts too much.

    • jezza
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      I think the abbreviation is RC.

    • skempie
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      The church is RC with wary around it

    • mary
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Well done Brian just goes to show, I could not get into this one today, hope you feel a little better after your sad news yesterday :-(

  3. jezza
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I spent twice as long as I normally would on a Wednesday to complete this one. Perhaps I am just having a particularly dense start to the morning.
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua. 3.5*/3* for me.

    Hopefully I will fare better on the toughie!

    • Kath
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Me too! I blame it on a frozen brain.

  4. Only fools
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Agree totally with your summary and rating so won’t add to it .
    Thanks .

    • Only fools
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Sorry thought the pics were brilliant particularly 16 !

      • Steve_the_beard
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        That’s very revealing, I prefer 21D myself.

        But, as we say round here, À chacun son goût…


        • Only fools
          Posted December 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Honni soit qui mal y Pense ! Bons mots .

  5. Sweet William
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Initially thought I would struggle with this, but managed to get going and finish. Having put the answer in for 10a it took me ages to get the wordplay. The photo for 16a is………………appropriate ! and I think I might need a larger apron than 21d ! Thank you Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and Scchua for your review.

    • scchua
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      “I might need a larger apron than 21d !”
      Depends – are you doing the housework? :-)

      • Sweet William
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        I think I had better say “yes” to that ! What else could I possibly be doing ? !! A Masonic meeting maybe ?

  6. Wayne
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    ***/**** for me today. Re: 18d, don’t really understand the reference to ‘negotiate’, perhaps I need a more up to date dictionary.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Scchua for the review.

    • skempie
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      if you treat with someone, you negotiate – its the root of the word treaty.

      • Wayne
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Thank you skempie.

  7. Lord Luvvaduck
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Glad some people found this easy – we really struggled and had to resort to using the hints – not something we often have to do. Thanks Scchua. Yesterday got awarded *** if I remember correctly and we did it in comfortably under our usual time. Would give this one ****.

  8. skempie
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Bit late on this one today, mainly because I was deeply involved in watching the cricket, but also because I stupidly put RETRACT in for 18D (well, it sort of worked, but not for 23A).

    Favourite for me today was 1A, a very clever clue that works on many levels. I actually used to look forward to Friday nights down the pub and the arrival of the Sally Army’s mag as it used to have a really good crossword in it.

  9. Kath
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was really difficult. I don’t know why but it’s taken me quite a long time.
    Part of the hold up was being very slow to get 16a and 9d. I ended up getting 16a without understanding why – now that I do understand it I like the clue. No excuses for 9d. Was also slow with 13a – no excuses for that either. I missed the anagram indicator in12a and kept trying to make it start with HE.
    Favourites include 1, 8, 16 and 21a and 14d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Cold and snowy in Oxford.

    • mary
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you Kath and found it difficult but at least you perservated :-)

  10. mary
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Surely a printer is just that and not a writer?
    Sorry afternoon schuaa and thanks for blog, I just couldn’t get into this today and didn’t even try to perservate with it :-(

    • Vince
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you Mary, re the printer.

  11. crypticsue
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Greetings from a very snowy East Kent. This took me the usual time for a Jay puzzle although it didn’t help starting with the downs today. No particular favourites. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

    The Beam Toughie is in the right place in the paper and a nice mix of the enjoyable and head-scratching.

    • mary
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh no its not really snowing is it :-(

      • crypticsue
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Quite a bit this morning which is now thawing a little . However, the sky has gone grey again and even if it doesn’t snow again, we are promised frost for tonight.

        • mary
          Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          it’s cold here but the sky is blue once again and the sun has been out all morning but I dare say the snow will reach here soon!

        • Kath
          Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          It snowed here last night – not a huge amount – just enough to make life difficult. Sunny but only 3C now – forecast for tonight is for it to go down to minus something silly. Should make tomorrow morning what my Dad would have called ‘a bit sporting’!!

          • andy
            Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

            like Mary, no snow here , lovely sunshine but very cold, windchill methinks. Cynthia (saluki) hates her new “coat” which a friend made from old M&S jumpers. She has opened a wardrobe, helped herself and her bed is now full of Berghaus and north face fleeces. Do I tell her off or say she has style …..

  12. Up The Creek
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    This was quite easy with some really good clues of which I thought 1a 12 13 16 and 20 stood out. Now to the Beamer. I suppose this means no RayT tomorrow.

  13. Heno
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay & scchua for the review & hints. Was 3*/3* for me, as I was held up in the SE corner, until I got 9d & 23a, then the rest followed. Favourites were 13a & 9d. Lots of Sun in Central London, off to the Hackney Beer Festival later.

  14. Big Boab
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable crossword and to scchua for a very entertaining review, beautiful crisp sunny day here in Fife.

    • Aristotle
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I think enjoyable is exactly right. For us there was nothing that couldn’t be worked out with a bit of thought but it did require more than some.
      Our thanks to the setter

  15. ChrisH
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward, but no stand-out clues. Had several different answers for 1D until the penny eventually dropped. Doh.

    Re the quickie pun, not sure it works ‘up north’!

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      The pun didn’t work down south either :)

      • Posted December 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        I thought it worked with a Scouse accent – I wonder where our setter comes from?

    • Jay
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking more along the lines of Brian Sewell in his local chippy…..

      • Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        The mind boggles at the thought of Brian Sewell in any chippy!

  16. Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to say I found this a bit if a trudge today. Couple if redeeming clues. All in all *** and ** from me. Regards.

  17. Steve_the_beard
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same, etc.

    No more than 2* for me, a few smiles along the way and 23A was my favourite (and last one in too).

    Thanks to Jay and scchua (what an interesting variety of pics!).

  18. Catherine
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Could not manage this at all today! Lost interest and used scchua’s hints. Thanks to him for those.
    I don’t really see 8a as a synonym for hippies as I was one and not the other myself!
    I am puzzled by the explanation for 3d as surely the pointed remark is not contained by “rhu” but rather under “rhu”.
    Not a stellar day for me!
    Thanks also to the setter.

    • scchua
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      You’re right Catherine. Blog now corrected to what I meant to say (honest!)

    • Kath
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I agree with you about 8a – I was also one and not the other! I notice that neither of us is saying which we were and which we weren’t! :smile:

  19. shropshirelad
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Was a crossword of two halves for me today. Top half went in very quickly but struggled with the bottom for ages and when complete, couldn’t figure out why it had taken me so long. 3*/2.5* for me.

    Thanks as ever to both reviewer and setter. Sun has shone all day here in Shropshire but it is turning very cold – the snow normally misses my neck of the woods but it would be nice to have some on Friday as we are heading to the Birmingham German market (any excuse for some gluhwein)

    • skempie
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      That’s the one where they keep playing the Dambusters theme music

  20. Beaver
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    About a 2.5*/*** today for me,nice variety of clues,seemed to be on the right wavelength-thanks Jay, and Scchua for the ‘illustrations 21a reminded me i need a new duster ,is 16a a new olympic sport?

    • scchua
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I hope your new duster is not inanimate and looks just as good as the pic. (I assume it’s 21d and not 21a.)

  21. Colmce
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Found this one quite tough with pretty impenetrable word play, just managed to finish without hints but wasn’t entirely sure how I’d got some of the answers.

    Thanks for the review which made all clear.

    Thanks to Jay for a tester.

  22. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    It took me ages to see the anagram in 12a. I am cheered up to find I am not alone!
    Thanks to scchua and the setter.

  23. una
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    At least a**** difficulty for me.Completely flummoxed by 23a and 24a.I suppose I will improve with time at this type of clue. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  24. Michael
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Even with the hints I still can’t get 13a and 15a. Have given up. But I found Monday and Tuesday easy.

    • Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Michael

      13a The freedom of Paris? (5,7)
      This is simply a French expression (in Paris) of a phrase, commonly used in English, meaning unlimited authority to do whatever you want (i.e. freedom)

      15a is impossible, as it doesn’t exist!

  25. gnomethang
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Another fine puzzle – thanks Jay. My accent has been running round the country like the Milk Race but I have settled on Scouse or Sewell!. Thanks to BD for the review.

    • andy
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink


  26. Little Dave
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    A nice brain work-out last in 16a. 24a my favourite.

  27. Patrick
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Must be on a different planet. I found today v.hard. I am a moron tho.