DT 27042

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27042

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from frigid Ottawa. Actually the temperature seems to be on a roller coaster lately – one day its close to 20°C and the next its subzero.

After two weeks of Ray T (as I can see from a quick scan of the files), I would say that today’s puzzle is definitely not a RayT.

Perhaps it is another offering from Shamus, but I am not familiar enough with his style to make that determination; so I’ll just attribute it to Mr Ron. I hope you were quicker than I in detecting the numeration error in 5d which should be (6,4) (4-2,4) and not (7,4).

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 Monkey revealing part of body among second group (8)
{MARMOSET} – place an upper limb inside a short word for a short period of time and append a group of related people or things

9a Satisfying English number getting disgusted reaction (6)
{ENOUGH} – a word sum of E(nglish) and an abbreviation for number, followed by an expression of disgust

10a Provide service for heavy object, we hear (4)
{WAIT} – this type of service is typically provided at a table; it sounds like what you would gain should youpartake of it too liberally

11a Eastern fighter with restricted allowance for going abroad (10)
{EMIGRATION} – a charade of E(astern), a Russian military aircraft, and the type of restricted access to goods invoked during a time of war or shortage

12a Appropriate feature in snooker? (6)
{POCKET} – a part of a snooker table when used as a verb could mean to take something dishonestly

14a One taking a dip grabbing note for rest (8)
{BREATHER} – someone swimming at the beach swallows the second note of the musical scale

15a Figure recalled greed, perhaps, in sport (6)
{TENNIS} – a charade of a ‘numerical figure’ followed by the reversal (recalled) of what greed (along with six others) constitutes a deadly example

17a Record created by me in sea in France? (6)
{MEMOIR} – a French word for me in a French word for sea

20a Beverage about to be consumed by fellow, getting half each (5,3)
{GREEN TEA} – place a short word denoting with regard to or concerninginside an informal short form of a more formal word for chap and then add, not an abbreviation for each, but half of each (although it amounts to six of one and half a dozen of the other)

22a Effect of quake seen in backward capital? Right (6)
{TREMOR} – form a word sum of a European capital and an abbreviation for right; then reverse the lot

23a Seize for use a new group of animals after taking firm measure (10)
{COMMANDEER} – a charade of A (from the clue), N(ew), and a group of forest animals (Bambi and company) is placed after another charade consisting of the abbreviations for company and a very short metric unit of length

24a Immense French novelist almost close to irreplaceable (4)
{HUGE} – remove the last letter (indicated by “almost”) from the surname of a 19th century French novelist and replace it with the final letter (close) of (irreplaceabl)E.

25a Major route and place providing setting (6)
{MILIEU} – a charade of England’s premier motorway and a French transplant meaning place

26a Legal body overturning core of matter in hearing (8)
{TRIBUNAL} – a reversal of a synonym for crux is found inside the type of hearing that would take place in a courtroom


1d Idle figure and aggressive youth hanging around a tree on the way up (8)
{LAYABOUT} – an ill-mannered young man contains a charade of A (from the clue) and the reversal of a tree whose leaves may add flavour to the soup

2d Rude remarks amid stress muttered (4)
{SMUT} – hidden in the final two words of the clue, you should find some vulgarities

3d Face venomous creature needing specialist treatment (6)
{ASPECT} – Cleopatra’s means of doing herself in is followed by some shocking therapy

4d Salesman, one in endless celebration, getting suspension (8)
{REPRIEVE} – start with a short term for a salesperson and follow it with a truncated (endless) synonym for some noisy, lively merrymaking into which the Roman numeral for one has been introduced

5d Jogger to step into ground (4-2,4) [not (7,4) as published]
{POSTIT NOTE} – anagram (ground, like coffee) of TO STEP INTO; this was my last one in even though I had spotted the possibility of an anagram early on but had dismissed it without working it through to a solution on the basis that the number of letters in the fodder was insufficient according to the (faulty) numeration in the clue. [The enumeration is correct in the paper and, now, on-line. Gazza]

6d Pass by topless Italian ladies (6)
{IGNORE} – the Italian word for ladies with its initial letter removed (topless in a down clue); the setter could have achieved the same end, to less effect, by phrasing the clue “… topless Italian gentleman”!

8d Strain to acquire one pound for headwear (6)
{TRILBY} – a word meaning to make an effort contains the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for pound (not of the monetary variety)

13d Woman helping to accommodate Danes? (10)
{KENNELMAID} – a cryptic definition of a young woman who is employed by an establishment where Great Danes, among others, are boarded or bred.

16d Latin bus crashed in foreign city (8)
{ISTANBUL} – anagram (crashed) of the first two words in the clue

18d Port manufactured great armour, perhaps (4,4)
{RIOT GEAR} – a major seaside city in South America is followed by an anagram (manufactured) of GREAT

19d Clear head needed by conservationists (6)
{PATENT} – an old or facetious term for the head (especially when alluding to baldness or intelligence) precedes the abbreviation for the charity concerned with preserving historic buildings and monuments, and areas of natural beauty in the UK

21d Man on board that is inexperienced type (6)
{ROOKIE} – a charade of a man on a chessboard (aka castle) and the abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning ‘that is’

22d Retire with last instalment of pension in Italian city (4,2)
{TURN IN} – I’ll soon be able to turn out the lights and do this; place the final letter (last instalment) of (pensio)N inside a Northern Italian cityfamous for a religious relic shrouded in mystery.

24d Quantity of fish in dining area reported (4)
{HAUL} – the amount of fish caught at a single time sounds like (reported) the dining area one would find at an institution such as a boarding school

The puzzle seems to have a bit of a Mediterranean flavour about it, with several references to France, Italy and Latin. As for a favourite clue, none really stood out for me. Among the clues that I got the most satisfaction from solving is 13d, mainly because it is the first time that I have encountered this term which is not used in North America. I also liked 6d, especially when I realized that – linguistically at least – an Italian man is, in fact, no different than Italian women.

The Quick crossword pun: { corps } + { nett } = { cornet }



  1. crypticsue
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Morning Falcon from a very cold (though not as cold as Canada) East Kent. I found this quite a tricky crossword, definitely 3.5* difficulty with no particular favourites. Thanks to you and Mr Ron.

    The paper has 5d as 4-2, 4 which is of course how the registered trade mark of the originals is written.

    The Dada Toughie didn’t take me an awful lot longer than the IBP but has some good d’oh moments and I did enjoy myself.

    • Falcon
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I found judging the difficulty level of this puzzle rather problematic. I resorted to the use of electronic aids sooner than I would have done had I not been reviewing the puzzle (one can’t spend all night – as is my situation – solving the puzzle and not allow time to write the review). I’m sure if I had perservated a bit longer I would have been able to solve many more clues without help. So setting the difficulty level becomes an exercise in gauging “What would I have thought of this puzzle if I didn’t have to review it?”. It is a well-known scientific principal that the process of measuring often affects the outcome of the measurement.

  2. jezza
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one this morning; just about right for my frozen brain cells!
    2.5*/3.5* for me. Many thanks to setter, and to Falcon.

  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The possibility of this being by Shamus also occurred to us. Maybe he will pop in and confirm if this is so. 13d puzzled us too as we have never heard it in our part of the world. Managed to work it out though. Agree with the ratings.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Shamus?) and Falcon

  4. Only fools
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Had exactly the same problem with 5d and took me longer to spot the numeration error than get the answer ! I enjoyed this,again with no absolute stand favourites but a few smiles .
    2 .5 * / 3+* for me .
    Sub zero here at moment with not the remotest prospect of 20C .

  5. Kevmcc
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I hadn’t heard of the word in 13d either, I was just about to try my luck and stick in another word I hadn’t heard of (ie beginning with the German for children) when inspiration struck…even though it wasn’t in my dictionary.

    And what relevance does the picture of Bo Derek have to 15a?? Not that I mind, of course.

    • skempie
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Well, Bo Derek certainly had a figure (and she was in 10 and I would rather see her than Dudley Moore)

      • spindrift
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Warms the cockles of an old man’s heart just looking at that image…or something on those lines anyway…

        • Kevmcc
          Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          I did think of the film connection, but thought it a bit TENuous…ahem…

          • Falcon
            Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Skempie does seem to have noticed the quotation marks around ‘numerical figure’ in the hint.

  6. Sweet William
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Finished – but with hints. Found this hard going – thank you Falcon for your review and to the setter. Would never have got 5d without help. Series of Christmas lunches start today – so imperative to get this done as brain might have slowed up by late pm. Well done to anyone who completes without hints !!

  7. Beaver
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    A step up in difficulty today,3.5*/3*, became easier when a few answers were in, liked charade 23a and 26a,oh and 17a was clever, thanks to Falcon for the pot black pic for 12a.opportunity missed with 13d!

    • Falcon
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Re: 13d – opportunity seized (but maybe not what you had in mind :wink: )

      Re: 12a – I’m guessing that by “pot black pic”, you mean that you see only a black square where there should be a YouTube video (which does involve a good deal of potting).

      • gazza
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        By ‘Pot Black’ I’m guessing that Beaver is referring to a long-running televised snooker competition in the UK – see here.
        This started soon after the introduction of colour television and produced the classic commentator’s announcement ‘For those of you watching in black and white the pink ball is next to the green’.

        • Falcon
          Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the explanation, Gazza. Yet another case of a missing cultural reference causing confusion.

        • Beaver
          Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          correct Gazza,but dont remember this frame!.

  8. Brenda Reding
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle, lots of clever clues but beautifully logical, a joy to solve so thanks to Mr Ron and Falconf for equally logical hints. I liked 15, 17 and 20A, 6, 8 and 18D, to mention a few, I liked them all ! Thank you

  9. mary
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Morning Falcon and thanks for the hints, I didn’t need them today but did need my usual ‘electronic friends etc’ , quite enjoyed it but no real favourite today

  10. skempie
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    At first I thought we were in for a bit of a stinker. After the first run through of the across clues I had the grand total of two! Luckily, the Downs started to drop in and in the end there were no severe problems. Like Kev above, I was on the point of inserting KINDER into 13D (well, Danish is a fairly germanic language and I guess that a nursery maid would probably cover the clue) when inspiration (or a hit from the coffee) hit.

    England doing well in the cricket (hand firmly on wooden table as I type this)

  11. Collywobbles
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for the hints Falcon. However, I did feel that, perhaps, an explanation for 23a might be ‘after taking firm measure’ = command and ‘group of animals’ = deer.

    • gazza
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t that give you a double D and 11 letters?

      • Kath
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Or they’d be ‘eer’ rather than ‘deer’.

        Reminds me of what cows with no lips say? OOOOOO! And what do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea!

      • Collywobbles
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes Gazza, youv’e spotted the flaw in my thinking

  12. Steve_the_beard
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, a pleasant European theme and thanks to Falcon for some excellent pictures. I particularly enjoyed the trick shots, very timely given the snooker at the moment.

    Do we know the setter yet?

    BTW no more than 2* for me – I think I must be having a good week :-)

    • Falcon
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      The setter has checked in at comment #16. Regarding the difficulty level, see my comment to CrypticSue at comment #1.

  13. Kath
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I got off to a great start then it all went horribly wrong. Nearer a 4* for difficulty for me today, and have yet to decide how many for enjoyment!
    I ended up with one that I absolutely couldn’t do – 18d – even with alternate letters couldn’t get it – I thought the definition was ‘port’. I was slow to get 13d – like others I considered a word beginning with ‘kinder’ then the light suddenly dawned.
    I love the picture for 7a – they’re SO sweet. I’m finding it hard to believe it’s real as I had no idea they were quite so tiny.
    My favourite clue was 17a. I also liked 5 and 16d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon.
    Terribly cold here – it’s just struggled UP to 1C – think that’s probably as good as it’s going to get.

    • Catherine
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Same thing happened to me Kath. Could not see 18d as I was looking for a port. Sometimes things are simpler than we think! Reading the hint gave me my doh moment.
      Also had kinder for 13d.
      Definitely a better day for me today than yesterday though.
      Thanks to Falcon and to Shamus

    • Roger
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Fascinating how our different our brains are wired. There;’s you romping through Rufus and me struggling. And here we are today with me romping through this very enjoyable puzzle!.

      Favourite clues 7,9,20 and 13. But the clue of the crossword for me was 5D (the inline version had 4-2-4).

  14. axe
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I struggled with this today. I actually found it harder than the toughie.
    Re 5d My print-out showed (4-2,4).

    Many thanks to Falcon for the review and Mr Ron for an excellent puzzle.

    • Falcon
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Usually, errors in the paper get corrected on the website. Today, it would appear that a production error in preparing the puzzle for posting to the website has caused the (4-2,4) in the paper to somehow be transcribed as (7,4) on the website (possibly the 7 coming from 4 + 1 (for the hyphen) + 2).

      • Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        It has been subsequently corrected online. The original (7,4) seemed to include the hyphen.

  15. Big Boab
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Super crossword and very entertaining review, I loved the pool trick shots. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon. Toughie is very enjoyable also.

  16. Shamus
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Falcon for his blog and everyone for comments. Greetings from an equally chilly SW London!

  17. Chris
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this, admired 5d, and got on OK except needing the blog (many thanks Falcon) to tell me why the correct answer that I had for 1d did not involve parsing it to include a yob! Thanks to Shamus. ***/****

    • Falcon
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      You are not alone with respect to yob – that is where my initial efforts were directed.

  18. Posted December 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Glad it wasn’t just me that thought 5d was an anagram then dismissed the idea because there were not enough letters! 25a was a new word for me but easy enough to work out. I’d say ***+ and *** today. Regds to all.

  19. Silveroak
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I never did see the error in 5d and wasted countless time trying to fill in *o*t*t. Also the capital letter in 13d for Danes stopped me thinking about the dog. For the first time in ages I needed your help Falcon to fill in the 4 last clues (thank you). Have found the puzzles all week difficult, even Monday’s. Perhaps we will get an easier one Friday:)

  20. Heno
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr.Ron & to Falcon for the review and hints. Found this very tricky, needed the hints for 17a couldn’t remember my French, 18d wouldn’t have got it, and 19d ditto. Had 24a as Hugo, sloppy thinking by me. I still enjoyed it though, and would say it was 4*/3*. Favourite by a mile was 5d. Typical winter weather in Central London.

  21. shropshirelad
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle today and very good review – so thanks to all involved. 3*/3.5* for me

  22. Collywobbles
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle.Finished West quite quickly but struggled with east so, many thanks for the hints Falcon. I thought that 22a was very clever

  23. Sweet William
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Advice please ! Contributors are thanking Mr Ron and Shamus as being the setter. Are they 2 people or the same person ?? Apologies for ignorance, but long lunch has confused me !

    • Falcon
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Mr Ron is a pun on “mysteron” introduced some time ago by the 2Kiwis.

  24. andy
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi SW, Mr Ron ( version of Mysteron coined by 2kiwis when on Tuesdays and Thursdays the setter is not known). Shamus has confirmed at comment 16 he is the setter today.

    • Sweet William
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Andy and Falcon – that’s one more problem solved !

  25. Brian
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    A puzzle of two halves, the top being OK but the bottom being very hard. I take my hat off to anyone who got 13d without recourse to an electronic aid or the hints. I am fairly sure I would not of got the answer if I lived to be 100! A dreadful clue. Lots of French today inc a word I am not familiar with Mileu. Too tough for me.

    • andy
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      hands up, sort of, without checking letters i’d never have got close Brian

  26. Hrothgar
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I thought this an excellent puzzle.
    First thought, what a stinker, I’ll never do it.
    But once focused managed to complete unaided in my bit longer than usual time.
    Clues very well constructed and clever, I thought, eg 25a, 26a, 8d, 13d .
    Thanks Falcon. especially for the PWOARS, and the setter.
    (who wan’t RayT)

  27. Franco
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Shamus for the Puzzle.

    And thanks to Falcon for a very entertaining review! The Trick Shots video was far more entertaining than watching your compatriot, Cliff Thorburn! He wasn’t called “The Grinder” for nothing!

    • gazza
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      His compatriot Bill Werbeniuk was more interesting. He is said to have downed six pints of lager before each match to control his tremor, then continued drinking at the rate of one pint per frame.

      • Falcon
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        As a sport, snooker is barely on the radar in Canada. That’s why anyone who’s any good at it goes to the UK.

        Big Bill’s drinking (along with his massive size) seem to have been his undoing, in that he died of heart failure at the relatively young age of 56. Meanwhile, “The Grinder” is with us still. Is there a moral to this story?

      • jezza
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        30 pints a day apparently. He must have had an unfeasibly large bladder (perhaps a distant relation to buster.. what’s his name?) :)

        • gnomethang
          Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          When drinking was barred from the tournaments he apparently presented a doctor’s note to say that he had to have a beer!
          I enjoyed this and put things in so quickly that I missed all the fuss about the enumeration. Thanks to Shamus and to Falcon for the review.

  28. una
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Big Dave has been proved right again ,”be careful what you wish for”. I loved Shamus’ debut a few weeks ago, but I really disliked most of the style of clues today.Or maybe I’m just coming down with something, feel very cold despite hugging the radiator.Thanks to Falcon and Shamus. Actually did better on the toughie.

    • Franco
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      The first symptoms of Man-Flu!

      Be Careful!

      • Kath
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be silly, Franco! gazza told us a long time ago that ‘girls don’t get man-flu – the worst they get is a girly sniffle’. He went on to explain that this is proved by the difference in the size of their hankies!! Well, that’s roughly how I remember it anyway!!

      • Kath
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        Another PS – I also remember when I originally asked the question if women could get ‘Man-flu’ that Mary replied and said that they couldn’t – they got PROPER flu!

    • gnomethang
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      HI una – Shamus has been around for a fair while on the back page and subsequently the Toughie – since I have been on the Blog anyway. I think that he might be sufficiently busy to not leave a comment every time. Currently I know how he feels!

      • Only fools
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        I think his “debut” was in 1986 !

    • Kath
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Poor you – maybe you are coming down with something. Whatever Franco says it won’t be man-flu – see below.

      • Kath
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        PS – Or even see above!!

  29. marcus brown
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Quite the opposite of today’s Stinker. Awful surface readings, clunky clues and not a trace of humour. Booooring – yawn

  30. marcus brown
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Sorry. Left out some words! Quite the opposite of today’s Toughie. Stinker. Awful surface readings, clunky clues and not a trace of humour. Booring – yawn