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DT 27053

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27053

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Scchua is away again today, but should be back next week. He has missed another excellent puzzle from our Wednesday Wizard.

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    Jessica, on computer game at Olympics … (5,6)
{TABLE TENNIS} – the surname of Olympic heptathlete Jessica preceded by (on in an across clue) a type of computer

9a    … to confront elite, gets personal application (4,5)
{FACE CREAM} – a verb meaning to confront followed by the elite

10a    Short quarter-sections enclosed (5)
{TERSE} – hidden (enclosed) inside the clue

11a    Fake reporting of school tests by heads of English and religion (6)
{ERSATZ} – what sounds like (reporting) the much-maligned school tests preceded by the initial letters (heads) of English and Religion

12a    Boring tools for American lawyer in messy fights (8)
{BRADAWLS} – an American lawyer inside messy fights outside pubs

13a    Gets rid of  clothes for theatre (6)
{SCRUBS} – a double definition – the second one being clothes worn in the operating theatre

15a    Question and answer in front of school lines (8)
{QUATRAIN} – QU(estion) and A(nswer) followed by a verb meaning to school give a stanza of four lines

18a    Key expert, except on odds (5,3)
{SPACE BAR} – a key on the computer keyboard is constructed from an expert followed by a word meaning except (used in betting) preceded by an abbreviation used in betting odds

19a    Stops going by car when holidays are mentioned (6)
{BRAKES} – sounds like (mentioned) some short holidays

21a    Where strikers are seen to fight after game? (8)
{MATCHBOX} – a verb meaning to fight with the fists after a game between two teams

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a    Cause devastation, writing a volume in anger (6)
{RAVAGE} – the A from the clue and V(olume) inside anger

26a    American in Jamaica jailing assassin (5)
{NINJA} – hidden (jailing) inside the clue

27a    Picture file misplaced by alcohol producer (5,4)
{STILL LIFE} – an anagram (misplaced) of FILE preceded by an apparatus used to produce alcohol

28a    Fifty for cooked lunch after journey’s end (4-7)
{HALF-CENTURY} – an anagram (cooked) of LUNCH AFTER followed by the final letter (end) of journeY


1d    Start to think of charges for sweets (7)
{TOFFEES} – the initial letter (start) of Think and OF followed by some charges

2d    Resists  responsibilities? (5)
{BUCKS} – a double definition – the kind of responsibilities that can be said to stop here!

3d    Celibate pinching kiss getting worked-up and emotional (9)
{EXCITABLE} – an anagram (getting worked-up) CELIBATE around (pinching) X (kiss)

4d    Regular revenue (with no regret) (4)
{EVEN} – drop (with no) a word meaning regret from (r)EVEN(ue)

5d    Lots of euros lost supporting miners (8)
{NUMEROUS} – an anagram (lost) of EUROS preceded by (supporting in a down clue) the union to which coal miners belong

6d    Harshly criticised missing student, having had enough (5)
{SATED} – start with a verb meaning harshly criticised and drop (missing) the single-letter abbreviation for a student

7d    A relative newcomer walks forward? (7)
{STEPSON} – a relative acquired by marriage could, if split (5,2) be a verb meaning walks and a preposition meaning forward

8d    Disadvantage of retreat? (8)
{DRAWBACK} – a double definition

14d    Convert rags into carpeting (8)
{ROASTING} – an anagram (convert) of RAGS INTO gives a carpeting or reprimand

16d    Sailor chap wearing waterproof (9)
{TARPAULIN} – a charade of a sailor, a man’s name and a two-letter word meaning wearing

17d    Song about America and wild partying (8)
{CAROUSAL} – a Christmas song around the United States of America

18d    Groundbreaking work of menials? (7)
{SEMINAL} – an anagram (work of menials) of MENIALS

20d    Background for part of play on track (7)
{SCENERY} – a part of a play followed by a train track

22d    The Prime Minister to have meals in hotels? (5)
{HEATH} – a former Prime Minister is derived from a verb meaning to have meals inside H(otel) and H(otel)

24d    So long a day — that is the 2nd of July (5)
{ADIEU} – the A from the clue followed by D(ay), the Latin abbreviation for that is and the second letter of JUly

25d    One’s often slipped making a record (4)
{DISC} – two definitions, the first one being a layer of fibrocartilage between vertebrae

I have to dash off to a coffee morning – back later.

The Quick crossword pun: {sew} + {pop} + {error} = {soap opera}

45 comments on “DT 27053

  1. Oo-er – first up today! Really enjoyed this pangram. Think1a favourite once I understood why I’d got it! All over too quickly for me. Thanks to all

  2. For once spotted it was a pangram which helped me with 11a which was last in .Thoroughly enjoyable with a good few smiles . Same ratings for me .
    Thanks again .

  3. Very enjoyable – thank you setter, and thank you BD for your review. Having not spotted the pangram yesterday, and seeing “z” today I was alive to the possibility ! Had the checking letters for 18a and took a guess in the end and was wrong ! Needed your explanation BD, thank you. New word for me at 15a as well.

  4. A nice gentle puzzle that did not give too many problems, and yes we did pick the pangram. That makes two of these in a row. Lots of good clues so won’t pick a favourite.
    Thanks Jay and BD.

  5. A couple (7d and 15a) held me up briefly, the rest went in quite smoothly. 2*/4* for me.
    Thanks to Jay, and to BD.

  6. Good morning Dave, thanks for hints, though, didn’t need them today, or my books or electronic friends, with an awful lot of perservation I managed to finish without any kind of help whatsoever, this very rarely happens for me :-D , I started off with the toffees and went slowly from there to finish off with 15a and 7d, two pangrams in a row, at least I realised it was today! lots of clues I liked 1a, 13a, 8d being but a few, 15a a new word for me, have fun with this one everybody, a two to three star for me, I started this really early today so it has taken me a while

  7. Great crossword today, 18a had me head scratching for a while as I wanted to put in *****/man, then of course the penny dropped.
    1st in was 1a (which set me up nicely), last in was 11a. Best clue(s), a toss up between 27a ,28a and 1a.
    **/***** rating for me. Thanx to Compiler and to BD for the review.

  8. I think Mike in Amble sums it up very nicely. Happy Christmas Jay and thank you for a nice inside back page puzzle.

    Elkamere’s Toughie is putting up the usual fight but I will perservate on

    1. Just had a scan through the Toughie & I know I’ll be returning later for the hints. Solve nary a one. can I not.

  9. Never spot pangrams, going for a **/****, not heard of 15a and last one in 18a, took too long and probably my favourite clue when i saw the light.Thanks Big Dave for the ‘picks’, can’t get sound on my computor at work, assume the video of Eric,Ringo et al for 21a is a song with the same title as the solution ,is that Carl Perkins on guitar? Thanks to setter for the entertainment.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable was this. 1a was lovely – topical too. Last in 18a. Off up to the Midlands tomorrow so I expect to be starting 27,054 very early somewhere on the M1.

  11. Late on parade today – wrote this gubbins out, submitted it then realised 2 hours later that I’d cleared the cache from my computer and the login had disappeared. Grrrrr

    Wonderful puzzle today thoroughly enjoyable although I did have to think hard about 13A, got the answer no problem but couldn’t get the prison out of my head and spent ages trying to find the connection (when there obviously wasn’t one!).

    I thought 9A was a good clue and 16A was excellent but the pick of the day has to go to 1A – a superb clue and probably my Clue Of The Year (so far)

    Might go and see Life of Pi, but I want to see it in 3.148D

  12. Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A most enjoyable penultimate pager puzzle, I was nine answers short when I looked up the answer for 15a, I had never heard of this word, then once that was in, I got the rest. Last in was 18a which was also a favourite. Another fav was 1a. Missed the fact it was a pangram again doh ! Was 3*/4* for me. Quite murky in Central London, glad my exercise is indoors later on the Squash Court :-)

  13. Thanks to Jay and BD, that was fun!

    As soon as I read 1A I started hoping that it would be She of the lovely smile :-)

    Last one in was 2D; I wrote the correct answer in the margin when I read the clue, but for some reason I wasn’t convinced and I was suspicious of a trap…

    BTW BD, in your hint for 5D, is the “3” silent is “pre3ceded” :-)

  14. Brilliant puzzle – I agree with the 2* and 4*.
    No real problems apart from, as usual, being very slow to spot the hidden answers. 13a took a while too – really stupid as I’ve spent half my working life wearing them! I got in a bit of a muddle with 1d and thought that I had an unaccounted for F but the hint sorted that out.
    I liked 1, 9, . . . . . really too many to write them all down!
    With thanks to Jay and BD.
    Just about to go for rather splashy dog walk then going to make crumpets. :smile:
    Moral for today – do NOT sneeze when carrying a very full bowl of dog water!! :roll:

  15. Nice puzzle but I really struggled with 7d. Still don’t see what table tennis has to do with face cream but then I have never understood the dots thing with two clues. It never makes any sense to me at all!

    1. The two solutions aren’t linked at all, it’s just that the first two clues when run together make a complete sentence (although not a very elegant one in this case).

      1. Thx for that, now I understand the construct but don’t really see that it adds anything to the crossword. Seems fairly pointless to me.

            1. I think you’re right!! Some time ago someone corrected me when I put in a completely haphazard number of dots and spaces and said that it was dot space dot space dot space – really sorry but can’t remember who that was. Since then I’ve been quite careful to get it right!! Maybe it was you, Franco, but I don’t think it was.

    1. Hi, you’ve changed your alias so your comment needed moderation.
      A pangram is a puzzle where each of the 26 letters appears in the grid at least once.

  16. Many thanks to BD for the always expert analysis, and to all for the comments. With best wishes for Christmas from your Wednesday compiler

    1. Hi Jay and a Merry Christmas from me too. Splendid puzzle, as always, today and I’m looking forward to many more next year. Talking of which, best wishes for 2013 as well.

    2. I too extend happy Christmas greetings to you Jay, As Pommers says, look forward to “seeing” you in 2013.

    3. And a very happy Christmas from me too – I do so enjoy Wednesday puzzles, particularly the ‘silly’ words like gobbledegook – they always make me laugh, when I finally get them.

  17. Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Last in 15a to my shame, thought it must be some kind of ‘man’ for far too long!
    Very cute three-part clue.
    Many thanks Jay and BD for the review.

  18. A splendid puzzle just hard enough to make it interesting with some nice twists and turns.

    Thanks to BD and to the setter.

  19. Finally got to look at this one in the local over a post-prandial coffee and brandy. Yes, I know! I spend far too much time and money in there, don’t nag! But I’ve been having problems with the electric all afternoon so needed cheering up! One of our circuits kept tripping and it took an age to sort out what the problem was – a shorting extension lead!

    Anyway, an excellent puzzle from the Wednesday Wizard and a whole lot of fun, apart from it was over far too quickly! Had to resort to last Wed’s puzzle, which I missed while in the UK, to finish the brandy!

    Unfair to pick a favourite but if pushed would go for 1a. I really thought she would win SPOTY :sad: */**** from me.

    Many thanks to Jay and Big Dave.

      1. Thanks. Problems sorted now! Eventually traced to an extension lead that is shorting inside, so now in the bin!

  20. I thought 18a was a little beauty and certainly gave the most satisfaction when last in. Good to see my team getting a mention in 1d as we go into the holiday programme. With thanks to Jay and BD and seasonal best wishes to all.

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