DT 27054 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27054

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27054

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja. I may be wrong but I reckon this is a RayT production, I think I’m beginning to spot his style. I found it not too difficult but very enjoyable. Not many anagrams, which is why I liked it, so I guess lots of you will disagree with my ratings!

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.


8a           Newspaper boss backed intended contempt (8)
{DEFIANCE} – Reverse the usual newspaper boss (backed) and follow with your intended.  Wasn’t convinced by the definition but the BRB has “brave or bold contempt of opposition”.

9a           At sea most of cargo enters astern (6)
{AFLOAT} – If you were at sea you would be this, unless you were in a submarine.  Take another word for cargo and remove the last letter (most of) and then insert it into (enters) another word for astern or towards the back end of a boat.

10a         Pulse indicated allergy to some extent (3)
{DAL} – This pulse, which has several alternative spellings, is hidden (to some extent) in indicated allergy.

11a         Not in agreement about November’s bonus (8)
{DIVIDEND} – Insert N(ovember) into a word meaning not in agreement.

12a         First pair of reporters favourite to cover area in Echo (6)
{REPEAT} – Start with RE (first pair of REporters) and follow with the usual favourite with A(rea) inserted (to cover). Can’t see why Echo is capitalised but I’m probably missing something!

13a         Available relations taking coach for Harrow or elsewhere (6-3,6)
{SINGLE SEX SCHOOL} – Harrow and other places such as Roedean are examples of this sort of establishment. You need a word for available, as in not married, a word for relations of an intimate kind and a synonym for coach or train.  Manchester Grammar was one of these when I was there but they now take girls!

15a         Daughter’s poor exam result bringing disgrace (7)
{DEGRADE} – Start with D(aughter). Then follow with a phrase (1,5) which describes a poor exam result.  Another definition I wasn’t sure of but it’s in the BRB. Think I‘ll stop doubting!

18a         Showing his age, old comic Ken familiarly embraces Queen (7)
{DODDERY} – Take a familiar name for the old comedian called Ken and insert the usual Queen.

21a         Be polite, be aware of your place initially, then employ abrasive questions (4,4,2,3,2)
{MIND ONES PS AND QS} – Now listen very carefully, I will say this only once!  Start with a word meaning be aware of (4), add a posher way of saying yours (4), then a P (Place initially), then a word for to use an abrasive smoothing paper (4) and then an abbreviation for questions (don’t forget the S).  Once you’ve put that lot together split it as indicated in the enumeration to get a phrase meaning to be polite.

24a         A pump possibly collecting last of water on land (6)
{ASHORE} – A (from the clue) followed by what a pump is an example of (possibly) with an R (last of wateR) inserted (collecting).

25a         Visitors who want to be superior to their hosts (4,4)
{AWAY TEAM} – These visitors to a football stadium certainly want to beat their hosts.

26a         Horse manure’s no good (3)
{DUN} – Manure without the final G (no Good)

27a         Following English runs, R. Bopara finally volunteers for slips (6)
{ERRATA} – Slips as in mistakes. Simply build it from the clue – E(nglish), R(uns), R, A (BoparA finally) and finish with the usual volunteer soldiers.

28a         Love having her little bit of money around — that’s easy to understand (8)
{COHERENT} – Take O (love) and HER (from the clue) and insert into (around) a little European or American coin.


1d           ‘Enigma’ to be broadcast — I will knock out a sign (6)
{GEMINI} – A sign of the Zodiac. It’s an anagram (to be broadcast) of ENIGMA followed by an I (from the clue) but with the A removed (knock out A).

2d           First-class fish on the decline (6)
{AILING} – The usual abbreviation for first class followed by one of crosswordland’s favourite fish.

3d           Penned acid needy letters about national celebration (12,3)
{INDEPENDENCE DAY} – It’s an anagram (letters about) of PENNED ACID NEEDY.

4d           Beast‘s outspoken answer to ‘Which wine, darling?’ (3,4)
{RED DEER} – This animal (beast) sounds like (outspoken) a possible answer your wife might give to the question in the clue.

5d           Two creatures sheltering hospital cat turning up in overhanging growth (6,9)
{WALRUS MOUSTACHE} – Take H(ospital) and CAT (from the clue) and reverse them (turning up in a down clue). Then insert (sheltering) into a charade of two animals (one very large and the other very small) and split the result (6,9).  I thought at first that this might be an allusion to my stomach!

6d           To lose one’s footing wearing boots perhaps is careless (8)
{SLIPSHOD} – A charade of a word for lose one’s footing and a word for wearing boots or any other type of footwear.

7d           Gush about a jam lover (8)
{PARAMOUR} – Take A (from the clue) and a word for jam or force and around them (about) place a word for gush or spout.

14d         Find fault with  hack (3)
{NAG} – Double definition.

16d         Delegate with messy air, disorientated (8)
{EMISSARY} – Delegate as in envoy. It’s an anagram (disorientated) of MESSY AIR.

17d         Hancock character — one with expression of disappointment — in funny drama (5,3)
{RADIO HAM} – This is one of Tony Hancock’s most famous characters.  Take I (one) and a short expression of disappointment (2) and insert (in) into an anagram (funny) of DRAMA.  My favourite was the Blood Donor but this one was pretty funny too!

19d         Aim to get goal (3)
{END} – Double definition.  The two definitions are a bit too similar IMHO.

20d         Obliquely question expert about the capital of Norway (7)
{ASKANCE} – A word for to question followed by an expert with N (capital of Norway) inserted (about).

22d         Lack of volunteers to join railway — official (6)
{NOTARY} – This is a sort of legal official.  It’s a charade of a word for lack of, the usual volunteers and the abbreviation for railway.

23d         Mini designer holds Issigonis’s original — it’s charmingly old-fashioned (6)
{QUAINT} – Take the designer of the mini-skirt and insert (holds) an I (Issigonis’s original).

A lot of blue highlighter but no real stand-out favourites for me.

The Quick crossword pun: {sow} + {work} + {rout} = {sauerkraut}

70 comments on “DT 27054

  1. Agree with your ratings pommers but not with your attribution of setter. It did not feel like a RayT to us. Maybe a Shamus but he has done today’s Toughie so we will stick our necks out and guess Petitjean. (Now wait to be shot down in flames.) Fun puzzle with lots of good clues as shown by your “blue” hints.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers

  2. Very enjoyable puzzle. I have found some of the puzzles this week more work than pleasure. This one made me work hard but it was very satisfying. Liked a lot of the clues but especially 1d and 5d. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  3. Pommers, 12a has Echo with a false cap to suggest that it’s the name of a newspaper (having “reporters” earlier in the clue).

    1. I guess you’re right but it seems a bit pointless as the answer was so obvious. I just built it as I read the clue and filled it in the light. I didn’t actually notice the capital until writing the hint.!

  4. Definitely not a Ray T unless he has taken to putting more words in his quick clues. Whoever set it, it took me at least a 3* time to solve and I did smile at quite a few of the clues Pommers has marked in blue, especially 4d. Thanks to the Thursday Mr Ron and Pommers too.

    The Toughie took me exactly the same time as the inside back pager to solve – what that says about either of this morning’s DT puzzles or my ability to solve cryptic crosswords with so much other stuff in my life to sort out going round and round in my head, I do not know.

  5. Didn’t feel like a Ray T apart from 18a. :-)
    Agree with the rating but some nice clues esp 4d and 17d if only an excuse to remember England’s best comedian.
    Thx to the setter and to Pommers although I didn’t need the excellent hints today.

  6. “Very nearly an armful ” of smiles and very enjoyable as a result .Agree with the ratings .
    Thanks again .

    1. Just the quote I had in mind to use :-)

      My favourites were 5D (of course!) and 17D. My thanks to all.

  7. I’m there with the rating but would but my pound on petitjean. Thanks to pommers and the setter.

  8. Got there in the end – found it difficult today. Struggled with 21 a until I had the “q” when the penny dropped. hesitancy with “e” or “a” in4 d didn’t help either ! But with a lot of the “P” word and help from Mrs SW finished without hints. Thank you setter for the enjoyable struggle and Pommers for your review. Our 2 sons went to MGS ! – before young ladies were admitted !

    1. Ladies? You’ll be suggesting the boys are “Gentlemen” next! They certainly weren’t in my day :grin:

  9. Rating about right for me also – Maybe a **+ for difficulty. Struggled for ages with 7d got there with a bit of guesswork in the end. , I am the only person that doesn’t find Tony Hancock funny or Is it just me? Many thanks to all.

  10. One of those puzzles that took longer to complete than it should have done. No stand-out favourites for me today. 3* on both counts.
    Thanks to setter, and to pommers.

    We are about to close the office doors until the new year, and head in the direction of the nearest drinking establishment!
    No time for toughies now until next year; back-pagers only (if the children allow me).

  11. Must admit, this felt a bit like a RayT in that first pass of the across clues gave one answer, luckily the down’s came into play (this often happens when I do a RayT puzzle). Some very clever cluing today and one answer in particular (13A) made me grump a tad. My old school uniform at my SSS consisted of shorts (imagine winter in East Anglia in shorts!) until the 5th form was reached. I finally got to the 5th form and they changed the uniform – long trousers for all; then, a few years after I left, it went co-ed !

  12. Was pleased to finish this having started very early at Warford Gap service station north bound. Liked 27a and 4d. Last in was 7d which I thank my mother for getting! Rained all the way here.

  13. On first ‘read through’ looked really difficult, especially with the ‘grid’, However once progress had been made and after a bit of fine tuning, everything fell into place and i thought it very enjoyable with some very original clues, no old chestnuts here.Liked 23d, thanks for the pictorial.A **/**** for me, even contained a reference to the lad from railway cuttings!

  14. Morning all. Now I’ve looked at it again I’m not sure why I thought it might be a RayT! But it was around 0300CET when I was writing the hints. Think I agree with the 2Kiwis and gnomey re it’s prvenance.

    1. Pommers,
      I am with Gomey and the others. This is not a Ray T. crossword, its not his style. I would put my money on a Petitjean.

  15. Morning pommers and thanks for hints. I didn’t think it was a RayT apart from the Queen in 18a, because if it was I actually enjoyed it and most of the readings made sense, two I thought were really clever 27a and 23d, apparently Issigoni was something to do with the first design of the mini car, so although we didn’t need to know this to solve the clue it was very cleverly included, as with 27a including, runs, slips and Bopara who was a cricketer ( I only know these thing through looking them up ;-) ) fav clues 27a, 23d and 26a, a 3star for me today

    1. You’re right about Issigonis Mary, he was the designer of the Mini car. I noticed the connection while solving and then completely forgot to mention it in the review, d’oh!

      Thanks for pointing it out :smile:

    2. I’m sure that Ravi Bopara will love your use of the word WAS Mary – he’s still going strong with Essex and England) :-) Regarding the mini question, I immediately thought Issigoni would be the answer so was a little disconcerted when it was in the clue. Even more disconcerted having solved it to find a 2 letter word beginning with Q (QI popped into my head and straight back out again).

  16. Really enjoyed this one and thought many of the clues were extremely clever – whoever set it. Thanks also to Pommers for the review.

  17. T’was a crossword of two halves for me. Bottom went in no problem at all – but really struggled with the top and have only just finished. Some really good clues and, as Pommers said, not too many anagrams – just how I like them. 3*/4* for me today.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers (of course)

  18. If it wasn’t chucking it down here today I’d go outside and sit on the fence about whether it’s a Ray T or a Mr Ron. I think, probably, a Mr Ron if only because, as cryticsue has already said, of the clues in the quick crossword. Who knows? Anyway 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment for me.
    I found the right side far more difficult than the left. I sat and looked at 5d for ages before the light suddenly dawned. I wasn’t very happy about defiance and contempt but then looked it up. Started off with the wrong second word in 21a – I know that I often get those wrong so had a pretty low threshold for changing it – 3 and 20d did that for me!
    Lots of really good clues – 13a (took me a long time) 18 and 21a and 4, 5, and 17d (didn’t know that but eventually worked it out.)
    With thanks to whoever is responsible for this one and to pommers.

    1. The thing with clues like 21a is never never write in the ONES or YOUR until you have a checking letter from another clue. Saves loads of confusion and Tippex.

      1. I only put it in lightly – I thought we could be getting the ‘your’ from the clue but was ready to change it at the drop of a hat, and did so very quickly.

  19. I thought for a while that this was going to be yet another pangram today but we are missing a ‘j’ and a ‘z’

  20. Thanks to Mr. Ron & to Pommers for the review and hints. Really struggled with this one, had “dig” for 14d, which stopped me getting 13a. All the trouble was in the NW corner, I needed hints for 8&14a, then could only think of “red bull” for 4d, brain lapse or what :-) Was 3*/3* for me, favourites were 24a, 5&23d. Raining all day in Central London, hope the predicted flooding elsewhere is very minimal.

  21. Great fun today, best puzzle of the week for me! Thanks to Setter & Pommers.
    Are you sure about MGS admitting girls? When did this happen?

    1. As I understand it girls are not actually admitted to MGS but there are now a lot of courses shared with MHSG so there are girls in the school!

  22. What a day, and not in a good way.
    The lovely lady wife is still unwell. Car just MOT’d and needs 4 new tyres. 28 year old freezer just given up the ghost. It’s raining and as dark as a black hole.
    Turned to puzzle for some light relief. Found it absolutely impossible and could only solve 6 clues despite working on it for an hour. So it’s 5 star/1 star for me
    Still, mustn’t grumble.

    1. I think that you’re allowed to grumble under the circumstances! All that is far too much to deal with on any one day, specially so near to Christmas.
      On the plus side, tomorrow (although some say today – don’t understand) is the shortest day so it really won’t be long until the light gets better and then we’ll all cheer up! :smile:

    2. Please don’t read “we don’t mind” as we dont care . Not at all. Do post tomorrow to tell us how you’re getting on.

      1. . . . and if we’re all still alive! Not sure whether to do a hopeful :smile: or a :sad: I suppose if we’re all doomed it doesn’t really matter which one it is as none of us is going to be around to mock me! In which case :grin: Only joking!

  23. Definitely not Ray. Lacks the sparkle and is nothing like as good .In 21a I didn’t at all like ‘your’ in the clue being solved by ‘one’s’ in the answer.

  24. I enjoyed this.
    Seemed sort of Ray T-ish.
    Just over my usual time, so a ** and three quarters, perhaps.
    Thanks setter, and pommers for the review.

  25. sweated and slaved and eventually got all of the south west corner and then north west and the long clues except 5d which I dont think i would ever get. Loved 4d, a precis of how my evenings begin with Mr Uno.
    1d, 3d, 20d solved by looking at the definitions rather than the clue, in other words inspired guesses. This is probably a bad sign. I think it means I’m not really getting the cryptic way of doing things.More than ** for me , but very enjoyable. thanks to pommers and setter, whoever it is.

  26. So definitely not a Ray T then – he has always ‘popped in’ by now on his days.
    I’m going to stick my neck out, in a totally amateurish way, and say that it’s Shamus trying to fool us into thinking that it’s Ray T by putting the Queen in. I thought that Petitjean went in for music and foody stuff and there isn’t much, if any, of that.
    I’m now waiting to be put back in my box!!

      1. I haven’t looked but will do so now – don’t usually do the Quickie unless someone says that the pun is particularly good and then get drawn into it. Even before looking I am bowing to superior knowledge and already back in my box!! I give in!

  27. I’ve never seen a Ray T puzzle with a 12-word clue, as far as I can remember. 8 seems to be his limit.

    Aside from HMQ’s appearance, nothing else about this one suggests that it’s his.

  28. This has just come out in NZ… I found this more difficult than most, took me maybe triple the usual time BUT I did finish it eventually, which is not always the case. I found this one quite obscure in the setter’s style, and yet once filled in, it was hard to see why I struggled. An odd experience! *** / *** for me.
    And now that someone has pointed out the Issigonis reference, 23D is my favourite alongside 4D.

Comments are closed.