DT 27048 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27048


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27048

Hints and tips by Digby

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

While pommers (not forgetting pomette) does his filial duties in the f-f-freezing UK, I get to tackle my first Ray T puzzle (for recent recruits to the blog, 6d (Queen) and the Quickie consisting entirely of single word clues, are his trademarks) What can I say? Other than it is a puzzle to bring joy to a dull day. I hope that you all have as much fun solving it as I did.

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           Spring’s madness ends in bursts (6)
{SPASMS} Where you go to “take the waters” + M(adnes)S        My last one to go in – a penny-drop moment!

5a           Staggering, naff flashy jewellery (8)
{BUMBLING} 3-letter (vaguely rude?) synonym for naff, followed by OTT accessories

9a           Nude crones cavorting for adults only? (10)
{UNCENSORED} An anagram (cavorting) of NUDE CRONES (not a pretty sight !!)

10a         Bad habit‘s very cool (4)
{VICE} V(ery) + extremely cool water

11a         Female left male lover carrying a torch (8)
{FLAMBEAU} F(emale) L(eft) M(ale) with A inserted (from the clue) plus a lady’s man

12a         Get another round in! (6)
{RELOAD} ……a gun

13a         Mythological figure seeing reflection? (4)
{ECHO} Double definition

15a         ‘Rock‘ perhaps, a drug (8)
{ASTEROID} This space-rock is formed by A + a type of drug, one variety being performance-enhancing.

18a         General accepting medal for regular? (8)
{CUSTOMER} The hero of Little Bighorn, with O(rder) of M(erit) inserted (accepted)

19a         Look nasty, we hear (4)
{MIEN} A word meaning demeanour sounds a bit spiteful

21a         Pound’s confining small animals (6)
{BEASTS} Pounds as in “hits”, with S(mall) inserted

23a         Back in profit, I repaired to get drink (8)
{APERITIF} Hidden backwards in the middle of the clue

25a         Express and Sun showing arrogance (4)
{AIRS}  Don’t think of newspapers. To state your view + S(un)

26a         Turning red, I entered, taking part (10)
{INGREDIENT} A clever clue where the indicator is  also the solution, which is hidden in the first 4 words

27a         Topping menu with orgies, not so bad (8)
{MERINGUE} The fodder for this anagram (bad) comes from MENU and ORGIES  (not SO)

28a         Look concerned with pain returning (6)
{REGARD} The usual abbreviation for concerned, followed by something that is a bit of a chore reversed (returning)


2d           Sheet that’s turned over for the French siesta (5)
{PANEL} What the French might call 40 winks, all reversed (turned over)

3d           Ship’s mate’s abnormal love in club (9)
{STEAMBOAT} Anagram (abnormal) of MATES followed by a cricket “club” containing O (love)

4d           Scarfs remains after last of leftovers (6)
{SASHES} S (last of leftoverS) followed by what is left after cremation

5d           Area of real danger, but I’m dubious (7,8)
{BERMUDA TRIANGLE} An nice all-in-one anagram (dubious) revealing a place where things mysteriously disappear

6d           Cool Queen, second time around (8)
{MODERATE} The signature clue. An abbreviation for moment (second) followed by a specific period of time, with ER indoors (around)

7d           Position going up and down (5)
{LEVEL} Palindrome – a horizontal position

8d           Fruit centre in a confection (9)
{NECTARINE} Confection is the anagram indicator for the rest of the fodder

14d         Get up following terribly acute burn (9)
{CAUTERISE} This rather painful burn is an anagram (terribly) of ACUTE followed by a synonym of “get up”

16d         Left sweetheart first wearing wedding band (9)
{REMAINING} Inside (wearing) the traditional wedding gift we need swEet-heart and a synonym for first, or primary

17d         Fantastic ‘Pulp’ in chorus (8)
{SMASHING} Pulp is what you do to spuds, inserted into a verb meaning chorus. A nice little clue, I thought.

20d         Try again? (6)
{REHEAR} What a judge might do after a mistrial

22d         Starters of seaweed, uncooked seafood’s hidden inside (5)
{SUSHI} The initial letters of last part of the clue

24d         Bull almost decapitated champion (5)
{INNER} This ring near the bull is on a dartboard – just remove the initial letter (decapitated) from a champion

ARVE Error: need id and provider

It was very dark when I started putting this together, and I became so absorbed that I barely noticed that dawn had broken! Perversence definitely needed, but worth the effort. What do you think?

The Quick crossword pun: {EVIL} + {INN} + {WAR} = {EVELYN WAUGH}

92 comments on “DT 27048

  1. Many thanks to RayT for a most enjoyable crossword and to Digby for a very entertaining review.

  2. I thought this very difficult for a back-pager. 27A is little unfair, IMHO, ‘so’ doesn’t really appear in ‘orgies’ unless you swap it round a bit. Also a bit bemused by what 4d is trying to say. Anyone? I did like quite a few of the clues, however. 24d being my favourite

    1. I agree on the difficulty – thought it was another case of envelope mix-up.
      In the 4d surface I took scarfs to be the slang verb meaning consumes or scoffs.
      Thanks to Ray T for the entertainment and to Diggers for the excellent review.

      1. Definitely envelope mix up but the usual Ray T, if a little much for my frost frozen brain. Does anyone else fondly remember the days when the plural of scarfs in the sense of the solution was spelled with a -ves at the end?

  3. Thoroughly enjoyable although not straightforward for me .Held up in SE corner as a result of taking overly long to spot the hidden word in 26a .Last two in were 19a (new word for me and have taken an instant dislike to it) and 25a which I just couldn’t see and initially come up with some inventive alternatives.
    Definite 4* / 4 * for me in the very very frozen north .

    Thanks once again

  4. Slow start but managed to finish. SE corner last in – once I saw 23a and 26a it helped ! Well hidden words ! Thank you for the enjoyment Ray T and Digby for the review. 22d suggests you are student of Masterchef – not sure whether Monica would approve ? !

  5. Agree this was harder, got held up on 19A and took ages to spot the hidden word in 26A, generally a bit dim today! However enjoyed the exercise, feel thoroughly brain-washed and ready to tackle the toughie. Thanks to RayT and Digby

  6. Morning Digby thanks for the hints though I did manage to finish without them with a little of my usual help, funnily enough I didn’t think this was one of Ray Ts most difficult today, I think the reading of 4a is a bit iffy although if it is as gazza says, it’s an americanism I think? I thought the inclusive clues good, took me ages to see them even after I’d guessed at the answers! fav clue 15a, last one in 25a, another beautiful sunny day here, we’ve had a beautiful week, sunny, cold & crisp, no rain or wind thank goodness

    1. Next time you vanish for a couple of days, Mary, could you please fill in the appropriate paperwork before you go otherwise we all start to worry about you.

      1. Aw thanks sue :-) I had two very early hospital appointments and by the time I got back I was just too shattered, I will possibly not be here tomorrow and also definitely not next Tuesday (more appts) they are still trying to sort me out I give up!!

          1. Thank you Catherine, I just want to get back to normal although there are those who might say I’ve never quite been that! :-)

  7. 13a is muddled mythology: she was in (unrequited) love with Narcissus who was the one who saw and fell in love with his own reflection. We found this very slow going and needed hints, for which, thanks, and electronic aids. Lady L has more patience than I do – if it cannot be done over elevenses I lose interest, which is why Ray T’s contorted clues are not for me, I am afraid.

    1. I agree, perhaps “hearing ” would have been better than “seeing” but then it would have been too easy, I suppose.

  8. This was a slightly stiffer challenge than I was expecting this morning. All good fun though! Thanks to RayT, and to Digby. 3*/4* for me.

  9. No serious problems today but as others have said, I was a little held up with the inclusive clues. I was very impressed with the anagram in 5D. Not too sure about 4D, surely scarves go around the neck and sashes over the shoulder? Hum ho.

    Wrapped up warm watching a bit of the cricket again, commentators seemed to think it was England’s day but I’m not so sure. Can’t say I’m very impressed by the Indian team having a sit down and massage on field during the drinks break though.

  10. A bit like pulling teeth today,took ages,, score****/**, too tedious with no’flow’ Was watching the cricket at the same time, which was more self inflicted punishment.Change of mood required- just put theScorsese Shine A Light on the DVD- Mick always cheers me up.

  11. I was not on the right wavelength at all today. Took me ages. NW corner last in. One or two nice clues but nothing special. ***+ and ** from me today. I know I might be in a minority and it could just be me feeling a bit under he weather, sorry if that’s he case. Regds to all.

        1. Although I didn’t find it easy I am with you here Dave that for myself it wasn’t one of his harder ones

  12. Is bumbling really a synynom for staggering? Also I never heard of flambeau. I dont really get the connection between the clue and the solution in 6d. I did enjoy trying. Thanks to Ray T and Digby.

    1. http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/ says that bumble means “move in an awkward or clumsy way”, so Yes.

      It also says that the verb to moderate means “to make less extreme, violent or intense”.

      Thanks for making me think of my dear and late Aunt Una :-)

      1. On reflection , I just wanted to add that I hope we will all have a nephew who will remember us kindly,some day.

    2. The way that I interpreted 6d, having spent ages trying, was that it might be something to do with oven temperatures – as in ‘cook in a moderate (?cool) oven’. I could very easily be completely wrong!

      1. Hi Kath & Una,
        My take on this one was that if you moderate an argument then you cool things down.

        1. Ah – that is, of course, far more sensible. How didn’t I see it? Why make life difficult when, with a bit more effort, it can be made impossible? :roll

  13. What a stinker – five star hard for me.

    After quite a while I sat back and realised that I’d done the entire right side but only a couple on the left, most odd.

    Last one in was 25A, favourite was 11A because I felt so pleased when I remembered it.

    Thanks to RayT and Digby (question: why are the pictures so small?).

    BTW I don’t like 27A. A perfectly good clue, I just can’t eat the stuff :-)

    1. Hi S-T-B,
      I just didn’t want to dominate th sight with pictures.
      They can be enlarged if you are having trouble seeing them.

            1. Hello Mary,
              Yes, it’s supposed to be a sash around her waist.
              Had a spot of bother Googling a suitable picture to use, so if any one has a better version please let me have the url.
              May I add my best wishes too.

  14. If this hadn’t been so obviously a Ray T crossword I would probably have given up – I found it really difficult. Can’t remember who said a few weeks ago that a crossword was a WED (Wrong Envelope Day) – think it could have been gazza – but I think this is another one!
    What a battle! I’ve finally finished it but it’s taken ages. At least a 4* for me and possible nearer 5*.
    I did enjoy it and thought that there were some really good clues, once I’d sorted them out.
    I liked 5, 9 and 11a and 2, 5 and 20d and both the hidden in the middle answers.
    With thanks to Ray T and Digby.

    1. Well peversered Kath !!
      Agree it is a little bit of a curate’s egg, but overall very well worth the effort, I thought.

              1. Of course it is!! If in doubt blame Mary!! :smile:
                When I worked in the Cardiac Catheter Lab in the hospital someone once said “If in doubt blame Kath” and someone else said “No, if in doubt blame the smallest person in the room”. The next response was “Isn’t that usually the same thing”?!

  15. Right, I’m finally posting on the right page. No idea how someone who is usually computer literate has managed to make such a raised rooster of this.

    Hi everyone, been reading the blog for some time, but finally posting. Look forward to improving my crossword (and webposting) skills in time.

    1. Hello pplank welcome to the right page :-) & the blog hope you find it as helpful as I and many others do, we are normally a really friendly lot, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or of making a fool of yourself, I do it all the time ;-)

  16. Really enjoyed this APART from 25a which I thought was a dreadful clue (probably because I couldn’t get it :-)
    Beginning to see how Ray T constructs his clues and I can see now why he is so popular. The whole of the NW corner was very clever but helped getting 1a as my first answer. Thx to Ray T and to Digby for the answer to the cursed 25a.

      1. Glad somebody else found 25a a nuisance Brian ! Looks as though the “conversion” is permanent !

      2. I’m going over to the other side as well. Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. I liked the cleverness of 26a and the word play of 5d.I’m not good enough to do them on my own yet so thanks Diggers for the hints and, of course, RayT for an excellent puzzle

  17. Definitely more difficult than usual! My “perservation” ran out and I needed to resort to Digby’s hints for the last few.

    22d – RayT always seems to throw one of these in – usually there is much discussion about it’s crossword correctness. But not today.

    Thanks RayT & Digby

    1. I didn’t bother saying anything today Franco but I could if you really wanted me to ;-) , I think it’s normally in a RayT crossword these crop up and I think I would be battling against the crowd, so to speak :-)

    2. Perservate with perservation
      You’ll get there, there’s no doubt
      If I never would have perservated
      I’d never work it out!

    3. I feel I must ask – what has happened to your gravatar picture – is it lost in freezing fog??

  18. Well my little streak ended today! Needed the hint for 25a, in fact needed the answer! Why is it those short ones can be so hard to see.
    Looked at this puzzle for ages before I could put anything in but then I finally got going. 11a was my favourite clue but I also thought 26a across was very clever.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Digby.

    1. Snap! I really really really struggled with this one and didn’t get very far at all in the time available. Mind you even if I did have more time I doubt that I’d have done much better. Bit of a stinker – at least for this addled brain.

  19. I also found this one more of a Beam than a RayT. Find it hard to judge the difficulty rating time though, as I was flying solo (difficult for a kiwi) as Mrs 2K was otherwise engaged. Thoroughly enjoyable, as is usual for us with this setter.
    Thanks RayT and Digby.

  20. Well, I suppose it was clever and smart and enjoyable and all these things but I hated it,because it was too much of a struggle for this old brain and I ‘m (was) a Ray T fan! Maybe my mind was too much on leaving at 4am to go to visit No 1 son & No1 grandson in New York. (feeble excuse) So since I won’t have time for crosswords for the next two weeks may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2013.
    Felices Fiestas to Pommers, Pommette & Nora (the only ones on the blog I know who live in Spain)

    1. I don’t think that doing ANYTHING at 4.00am is a feeble excuse for finding a crossword difficult. Being awake at 4.00am sounds a tad on the impossible side to me.

  21. I’m so glad that I don’t buy the Telegraph anymore and instead cadge a copy of a mate at work, I’d be really annoyed if I paid for this. Come on Telegraph, can we have some quality control please? Worst clue? Probably 18, having to get “Custer” from “general”. It is one of those backwards clues that works when you know the answer, but there’s very little chance of getting the answer from the clue.
    Also, much as I find this blog very helpful (I really needed it today) I don’t think any historian would describe Custer as the hero of Little Bighorn. The man was an arrogant buffoon who got himself and most of his command killed. That was some achievement considering that his cavalry were armed with rifles and the enemy were largely armed with hand weapons. The heroes of Little Bighorn I think were the native Indians who defeated Custer and his men.

    1. Hi Grumpy Andrew,
      I am no historian (though Mrs Digby would lay claim to be) so I would certainly not dispute your analysis or views.
      Whether or not he deserved the accolade, the man is nevertheless viewed as a hero in his own country, so I stand by my descripton in the hint.
      Keep cadging the paper from your mate – or you might miss some really good puzzles.

  22. Thanks to Ray T and to Digby for the review & hints. I couldn’t do this for toffee. I needed 12 hints, seemed more like a Toughie. So was 4*/2* for me. Favourite was 9a, lol moment.

  23. Struggled today so special thanks to Digby for help and Ray T for setting what I found quite a challenging task.

    1. Hi pommers,
      I certainly did, and it was nice to get a visit from “himself” (#20)
      6d caused quite a lot of comment, both in construction and spelling, but it seems as though there’s always at least one clue that doesn’t please everyone.

      And, might I ask what you were doing out until nearly 3am!?

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