DT 27059

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27,059

Hints and tips by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Pommers is having a well earned rest from his local watering hole so I have the pleasure of blogging today’s crossword. This has all of the hallmarks of a Ray T crossword with the trademark innuendo (not an Italian suppository), a reference to his favourite group, Queen, and all of the clues in the Quick Crossword being single words. As usual, there is lots to enjoy with a Ray T crossword. My favourite clues are highlighted in blue.

The definitions are shown underlined in the clues. Answers can be revealed by highlighting the words 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.


1 Headlong plunge? (11)
{PRECIPITATE} – A double definition and all in one clue – headlong in the sense of at full speed and plunge in the sense of to pitch oneself over-enthusiastically into action or to bring on suddenly. The two words together also define the answer.

10 Most of the drink produces dull drone (5)
{THRUM} – The first two letters (most) of THE followed by an alcoholic drink distilled from molasses gives a word meaning a dull drone.

11 Respectable ladies endlessly preserving jams (9)
{WHOLESOME} – A word meaning respectable (in the sense of good taste or morals) comes from another word for ladies with the final letter removed (endlessly) inside which (preserving) you add a word meaning jams (in the sense of difficulties or problems). A lovely allusion to the WI making their jam though whether the Calendar Girls would qualify as the answer is another question!

12 Hands in a welcome deal (9)
{AGREEMENT} – Another word for a deal in the sense of a contract comes from a word for hands (as in a crew or team) inside the A from the clue and another word meaning welcome or say hello.

13 Modelled your extremities for dirty old man (5)
{SATYR} – Another word for modelled or posed followed by the first and last letters (extremities) of YOUR gives a word for a dirty old man – from the Roman God who was portrayed as part goat.

14 Following good publicity, buy appliance (6)
{GADGET} – Another word for an appliance or gizmo comes from he abbreviation for good and a two letter word for publicity followed by another word meaning buy.

16 Pot contains recipe before call of dinner (8)
{PRANDIAL} – The OF in the clue forms part of the answer indicating that the answer is an adjective relating to dinner. The answer comes from a type of cooking pot going around (contains) the abbreviation for recipe followed by a word meaning call (as you would do to a number on the telephone).

18 Bum shown squashed (8)
{TRAMPLED} – Another word for a bum or gentleman of the road followed by a word meaning having shown the way gives a word meaning squashed.

20 Trashy establishment admitting most shamefaced (6)
{SHYEST} – A word meaning most shamefaced (in the sense of being extremely modest or bashful) is hidden in (admitting) the words TRASHY ESTABLISHMENT.

23 Living animal reaching virtual adulthood initially (5)
{LARVA} – The first letters (initially) of the first five words clue give one of the stages of insect development before they reach adulthood.

24 Name a shrew rejected, start to tame shrew (9)
{TERMAGANT} – A word for a brawling, troublesome woman comes from another word for name or call followed by the A in the clue, word for a shrew or scold reversed (rejected) and the first letter (start to) TAME.

26 Drug found in property? (9)
{SUBSTANCE} – A double definition. Drug as in an illegal **** and property in the sense of the essence or quality of something.

27 Welcome to show lower regions with nothing on (5)
{HELLO} – A word used to welcome someone comes from a word for lower regions or Hades followed by an O (nothing).

28 Act pains me to pieces covering Queen (11)
{IMPERSONATE} – A word meaning act (in the sense of to imitate or play the part of) comes from an anagram (pieces) around (covering) the abbreviation for the Queen. Look below for a seasonal twist on a Queen classic.


2 More exceptional bottom upended without resistance (5)
{RARER} – Reverse (upended) a word for the bottom or backside and put this around (without) the abbreviation for resistance to find a word meaning more exceptional.

3 Rival‘s advance to embrace darling (7)
{COMPETE} – A word meaning rival (as a verb) comes from a word meaning advance (in the sense of to approach or move forward) around (to embrace) an affectionate word for darling.

4 Right’s dead in dust (6)
{POWDER} – The abbreviation for dead goes inside a word meaning right (as in the authority to do something) to give another word for dust. The ‘s in the clue is short for has

5 Titles’ opening with scoundrels Del and Rodney (8)
{TROTTERS} – The collective surname of Del and Rodney comes from the first letter (opening) of TITLE followed by another word for scoundrels.

6 Senator sacked for disloyalty (7)
{TREASON} – An anagram (sacked) of SENATOR gives a word meaning disloyalty.

7 Left in fights, hurts a broken hand (8,5)
{STRAIGHT FLUSH} – This hand in a game of poker comes from putting the abbreviation for left inside an anagram (broken) of FIGHTS HURTS A.

8 Repentant criminal with form getting time inside (8)
{CONTRITE} – A word meaning repentant comes from a three letter word for a criminal followed by a word for a ceremonial form or observance inside which you add the abbreviation for time.

9 Garage patrons’ toilet in need of facelift (6,7)
{PETROL STATION} – A garage where you buy fuel comes from an anagram (in need of a facelift) of PATRONS TOILET.

15 Funding raised over family abuse (8)
{DIATRIBE} – A word for abuse come from a three letter word for funding reversed (raised) over or above (in a down clue) a word for family (in the sense of a clan or ethnic group).

17 One’s served in jug perhaps (8)
{SENTENCE} – A mildly cryptic definition of the period of time you spend in jail (jug).

19 Vision of cat after face includes his head (7)
{PHANTOM} – This spectral vision comes from the word for a male cat after a slang word for face inside which you put the first letter (head) of HIS.

21 Pagan ardour on top of bird (7)
{HEATHEN} – Another word for pagan comes from a word meaning ardour (from the rise in temperature it produces) on top of or above (in a down clue) a type of bird that lays your breakfast egg.

22 Gives someone the low-down underpants (6)
{BRIEFS} – A double definition for telling somebody about something and an informal word for underpants. A lady with these is a barrister. A lady without them is a solicitor.

25 Dispense with amateur tax returns (5)
{ALLOT} – A word meaning dispense comes from the abbreviation for amateur followed by a word for a tax (that you might pay to go over a bridge) which has been reversed (returns).

Lots of good clues to enjoy and chortle over today so it is difficult to select favourites but I will plump for 13a and 9d with 11a as my favourite.

Today’s Quickie Pun {ADDER} + {LESSONS} = {ADOLESCENCE}.



  1. crypticsue
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    A lovely smile-inducing crossword to start the day,thank you Ray – I agree with Prolixic that 11a is the favourite clue of the day. Thanks to the latter for an excellently illustrated review – is it just me or does the chap pictured for 13a look like he has a headache from too much Christmas celebration? :D

    The MynoT toughie is very enjoyable too.

    • mary
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      sue you still have a funny face on my computer!

  2. Only fools
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Thought this was the toughest back-pager for many a long day .At one stage I had the whole of the upper half completed and precious few in the lower .Eventually pennies dropped (not rapidly) and finally finished in the SE corner ,last in 24a which was a new word to me as was 10a .Favourite 13a
    4+*\ 4+* for me .
    Thanks for the review which I needed for one or two explanations (nice to see one of Pommers much used words in there.)

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      24a appears quite a lot in cryptic crosswords – my trouble is remembering how to spell it!

      • Only fools
        Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Don’t remember it ,but won’t forget in view of the time it took me!

  3. mary
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Morning Prolixic, this was not one for me today, I’m not even going to perservate with it, too much like hard work to me, it has taken me an hour to do about a quarter of it, at this rate I’d be here all day, I wonder what the RayT coverts will have to say today!

    • Prolixic
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Mary, why not sneak a peek at the across answers and then try the downs with the benefit of the checking letters. On balance, I would say that the down clues were a bit easier to solve.

    • Senf
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Same for me, I just could not get going on this one at all. Let’s hope Giovanni is relatively kind to us tomorrow.

    • Kath
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      As a Ray T fan I would say :grin:

  4. mary
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I have had an ipad off one of my sons for Christmas but don’t seem to be able to find an App for this blog on there anyone help please????

    • Prolixic
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      You need to use Safari (the Internet Explorer equivalent on the iPad). The icon is the little compass on the bottom task bar. Just type in bigdave44.com in the address bar when Safari opens and the site should open.

    • Only fools
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      My tip would be not to use the app but go direct to the site .

    • mary
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Thanks both have done this :-)

  5. Brenda Reding
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Personally, I found this quite hard-going, definitely not on the same wave length but got there in the end after long deliberations. I mean are “holes” really “jams”? A bit iffy to me.In 11A. And I didn’t like 26A much either. Did like 10, 13 and 24A, 19 and 22D Thanks to Ray for the brain work-out and Prolixic for explanations, needed for 5D

  6. nubian
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    God, I made hard work of that one, hope it is just the excesses of the season that have slowed me down. Can I go back to sleep now ? Oh thanks to Pro and Ray

  7. jezza
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    A most enjoyable puzzle that required a little more thought than normal. 3*/4* for me. Thanks to RayT, and to Prolixic.

  8. Colmce
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Definitely a 3+* for me, took ages and then needed help for last two in.

    Thanks to setter and to Prolixic for his review.

  9. una
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was horribly difficult, and if this standard of puzzle continues I think I’ll just have to give up. New words were thrum and termagant.Favourate perhaps 17d.thanks to prolixic and setter.

  10. Sweet William
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Ray T for what I thought was a pretty difficult puzzle. Glad to see that I was not alone. Eventually finished with a lot of that “P” word and the use of my new BRB and Chambers Crossword Dictionary ! I am very grateful to BD and Kath and I think it was Anax who suggested these for a Christmas present ! Thank you Prolixic for your review. I must confess that it was only after the grandchildren left that I could concentrate and get the job done !

  11. Peter
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    A 5*\2* for me, I’m afraid. I just couldn’t get on Ray T’s wavelength and although I’m much the wiser having read Prolixic’s explanations, I think I would never be able to have worked them out.
    So, as usual a very good puzzle worthy of the inside pages but not the back page, IMHO

  12. Roger
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Like others I found this really tough, and to be honest, not at all enjoyable.

  13. Brian
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Really struggled with this and had to admit defeat after one corner. Thought I was beginning to get to grips with Ray T but he has beaten me all ends up today.

  14. Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Not on the right wavelength today. Definitely more than **/*** for me. 24a and16a last in. Got there in the end but a bit if a slog I’m afraid.

  15. ricardo
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was a bit of a tough back pager, but enjoyed working through it.
    What a fantastic aid to the budding crossword enthusiast this site is – many thanks Big Dave et al. I still struggle with most toughies but it’s great to have a go and then use the blog to try to learn new tricks!
    With that in mind, i now get the DT on line via my IPad (using the newstand icon) as well as picking up the paper most days, using the voucher system? Does anyone know how to get the toughie doing that? I can find the crytic and the quick, but not the beast! Hoping I’m missing something simple and it is available somehow.

    • Only fools
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Sadly it is’nt .I operate same as you

      • Peter
        Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Yes, only fools is correct. The toughie isn’t available on the ipad

        • ricardo
          Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          Thanks both – what a pity! I’m sure there must be a good reason!!! (or not?)

    • RBC99
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      If you use Crux they are all there.

      • Prolixic
        Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Crux is an excellent app for the iPad / iPhone that I use daily. You can download the back page and Toughie crosswords and some of the general knowledge crosswords. You can use your Telegraph Puzzles log-in details to download crosswords but I don’t know whether subscribers to the full Telegraph on-line edition can use their user name and log-in with this app. If anyone has had any success doing so, let us know and I will update the on-line guide here:


  16. Caroline
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    After 5 hours looking at this on and off, I have resorted to putting in most of the answers by looking at the answers! Very frustrating and just couldn’t get into the head of the setter. Jug = jail? Right = power? Rather too obscure for me!

  17. neveracrossword
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad that others found this hard-going. Finished eventually, after taking a peek at comments on this site to reassure myself that I was not alone in struggling.

  18. Merusa
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    This was a brute and after getting about seven answers, I resorted to my little crossword solver to chivvy me along. Funnily enough, I got 5d quite easily but had to google the names as I had never heard of Del Boy and Rodney!! Altogether a true workout.

  19. Kath
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Well I loved it! I have the house to myself, briefly, for the first time since Saturday – haven’t even looked at a crossword since Sunday – my withdrawal symptoms have miraculously disappeared!
    Like others I found it quite difficult to get started and was beginning to worry that the cryptic bit of my brain had seized up after just a few days of not being used but, once I got going, it all fell into place. Probably 3* for difficulty and 4*+ for enjoyment from me today.
    I had a spot of trouble with 5d having never watched the programme and was very slow to get 1a.
    I had always thought that Ray T was the master of innuendo but, after Prolixic’s comment at the end of the hint for 22d I’m beginning to think that he’s setting up in competition!
    I have such a long list of favourites that I’ll just pick a few – 10, 11, 13, 18 and 27a and 9 and 22d.
    With thanks to Ray T and Prolixic.

  20. Miffypops
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    An interesting struggle with answers hard to find but well worth the time and trouble. Thank you Ray T.

    • gazza
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Migfypops. Now that you’ve found us I hope that we’ll get comments from you on a regular basis.

  21. Hrothgar
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Hard but doable, IMHO.
    Took far too long over 1a, then a Duh moment.
    Many thanks RayT and Prolixic for the review.

  22. Gilda Gordon
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Big Dave!
    I know this isn’t a comment but… I’ve just bought an Ipad and was trying to use your crossword blog site on it, but couldn’t work out for the life of me how to make the answer to the clue come up. Nothing I did caused the answer to appear within the brackets. Do you by any chance know what to do? I’d be really grateful if you could help me out and hope you don’t mind me asking you.

    Thanks a lot.
    Gilda Gordon

    • gazza
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Hi Gilda – welcome to the blog.
      I’m copying the response supplied by Nigel Baker to a similar request yesterday:

      You can easily read the blank words in brackets, on the ipad, by highlighting the hidden word (as you would to cut, copy and paste) then choosing the define option. It takes a bit of practice rolling your finger around the hidden word because it sometimes wants to highlight the whole page. Hope this helps.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        I don’t find it difficult if I greatly enlarge the blank bit on my ipad and then put my finger on the bit until the copy and define options appear. :)

        • Hrothgar
          Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          To enlarge, use thumb and forefinger (obviously!) :)

    • Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me as well Gilda.

      You are asking someone with an intense dislike of anything, hardware or software, that carries the Apple brand! I’m pleased that others were able to help you.

  23. RayT
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Setter here…

    Many thanks to Prolixic for the review and to everybody for your comments.


    • Prolixic
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


      Many thanks for dropping by. Thanks for all the fun you and Beam have given us this year. With best wishes for the New Year and the new crosswords to come.

    • Kath
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Ditto to everything that Prolixic has said.

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Back home again after spending a few days over Christmas with family. Good to get back into crossword routine and be greeted with this great RayT offering. (Even had our brand new BRB on hand in case of emergency. Our 30yr old COD can now go into retirement on the bookshelf.) Lots of chuckles and challenges from this one, just what we like.
    Thanks RayT and Prolixic.

  25. eXternal
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Like many, I thought this was more difficult than Ray T’s usual offerings. Managed to get there in the end, however. I thought 11a was beautiful, agree with Prolixic that it is a wonderful allusion. Thanks Ray T and Prolixic.

  26. asterix
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I certainly needed more than usual DT cryptic time to solve this, but after a slow start, it gradually all slid into place.
    Some lovely misleading surface – 11a, 18a, 19a with that sly Cheshire Cat misdirection, too many other favourites to mention.
    A lot of fun: many thanks Ray, and Prolixic for the hints that confirmed the workings.


  27. Chris
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Totally beaten today only doing 25% (but it would be boring if they all were easy!). *****/**
    Many thanks to RayT, to Prolixic for the witty review – and especially Big Dave without whose blog most of today’s puzzle would have been unintelligible to me.

  28. Heno
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Prolixic for the review & hints. Superb puzzle from Ray T, was 3*/5* for me, brilliant! Late blogging due to my Uncle’s 80th Birthday party.