DT 27060 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27060

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27,060

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Gazza has very kindly offered me the chance to do an on-the-day blog – if it is raining as much in Devon as it is in East Kent, I hope he has opted for the long lie-in rather than the early dog-walking option!

You always know what to expect on the back page of the paper on a Friday morning,   and the final Giovanni of 2012 turned out exactly as expected with a good mix of clues, with a couple of chances to smile and some which I know are bound to give rise to comment!

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.


7a           Management of river in Norfolk town adjoining a lake (8)
{DISPOSAL}   I do love a clue where one  can gently remind  Gnomey of his  favourite Italian river which today should be  inserted  into a Norfolk town (4) and followed with A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for lake. 

9a           Bird arrives diving into grass (6)
{PARROT}   Insert the abbreviation for arrives into the sort of grass people smoke rather than mow!


10a         Scoundrel, in the course of time, makes mistakes (6)
{ERRATA } To get the Latin plural word meaning mistakes, you simply need to insert a despicable person into a series of years reckoned from a particular point in time.

11a         Soldier receiving notice in a pickle (8)
{MARINADE}  An alcoholic mixture or pickle used to improve the flavour of food before cooking.   Insert the abbreviation for advertisement (notice) into a soldier serving on board ship.

12a         Nutter in pother bungled car manoeuvre (5-5,4)
{THREE-POINT TURN}  One of those manoeuvres you only do as part of the driving test and then hardly ever again!  It’s found in an anagram (bungled) of NUTTER IN POTHER, a phrase which probably quite accurately describes some learner drivers!

three-point turn

15a         Harvest to get hold of round end of September (4)
{CROP}   ‘Get’ here refers to a verb meaning to capture or catch into which should be inserted the final letter (end) of September.

17a         English residing in opulent German state (5)
{REICH}  Insert (residing in) the abbreviation for English into a synonym for opulent to get Germany as an empire.

19a         King articulate but no leader (4)
{LEAR}  The crossword setter’s most useful Shakespearean King is obtained by removing the first letter (no leader) from a word meaning articulate or distinct.

20a         Family team was behind a fund for restoration (7,3,4)
{HUSBAND AND WIFE}  An anagram (for restoration) of WAS BEHIND A FUND.

husband and wife


23a         Help one to get better for special type of race (8)
{HANDICAP}  A race where special advantages or impediments are imposed upon the competitors.     To help or assist (for example when helping someone  into a car) followed by I (one) and a verb meaning to surpass with something better.

25a         Expresses love when restricted by bad habits (6)
{VOICES}  Insert O (love) into some bad habits or sins.

27a         To wander round losing daughter is more despicable (6)
{MEANER}  Remove D (losing daughter) from a verb meaning to wander listlessly or randomly.

28a         Hurried, always getting worried about it (8)
{CAREERED}   Hurried, galloped or rushed wildly.   Insert the three-letter word a poet might use to represent ‘always’  into part of a verb meaning worried  or concerned about.


1d           Support lord audibly (4)
{PIER}  The support of a bridge etc is a homophone (audibly) of a noble of the rank of a baron or above, of which a lord is an example.

2d           At university time for the latest news (6)
{UPDATE}  The two letters meaning that one is in residence at a university followed by a statement of time, today’s being the 28th of December.

3d           Criticise success that comes through lots of tricks (4)
{SLAM}  Double definition – to harshly criticise or the winning of every trick in a game of bridge or whist.

4d           Dissolute priest I found lacking energy and enthusiasm (6)
{SPIRIT}  An anagram (dissolute) of PRI[E]ST I, once you have removed the E (energy lacking).

5d           Calm knight leading queen into path (8)
{TRANQUIL} An adjective meaning calm and peaceful.    Insert into a path or track, the chess abbreviations for knight and queen.

6d           False idol of French clan brandished in game (6,4)
{GOLDEN CALF}  Any false object of worship, named after the idol worshipped by the Israelites during the absence of Moses.   Insert into the game played with a set of clubs around a prepared stretch of land,  the French word for of, and an anagram (brandished) of CLAN.

Golden Calf

8d           Run away from snaky character, one who finds fault (7)
{SCARPER}  To run away or escape.   Follow the letter of the alphabet which looks like a snake with someone who finds fault or nags about trivialities.   

S is for...

13d         Unsentimental, as a boxer taking some punches needs to be? (4-6)
{HARD-HEADED}  A cryptic definition of the sort of skull  that a boxer might need to avoid being damaged by punches is also an adjective meaning unsentimental or pitiless.


14d         Poem I set down with a twist in it (5)
{ILIAD}  The Greek epic poem on the Siege of Troy, said to have been written by Homer – follow I from the clue with another way of saying set down or spread out, the middle two letters of which have been twisted or swapped round.

16d         Writer has article about a sorrowful American city (8)
{PASADENA}   A Californian city is obtained by inserting into a writing implement (3) A (from the clue) and  a simpler way of saying sorrowful (3),  and then  finishing by putting the indefinite article at the end.

18d         Linger outside an industrial city in Germany (7)
{HANOVER}  To get the industrial city which is the capital of the German state of Lower Saxony, insert AN (from the clue) into a verb meaning to linger, especially nervously or solicitously.

21d         Short financial statement — something that may bind agreement (6)
{ACCORD}   The abbreviation for a statement, especially a financial one) followed by a type of thick string used to bind.

22d         Person in cafe — one has got soaked apparently! (6)
{WAITER}  Insert I (one)  into the element that might make you soaked!   


24d         Group of Scouts prepare for camp? (4)
{PACK}   A fairly obvious double definition.

26d         One is not fair (4)
{EVEN} An adjective meaning fair or just is also a word used to describe a number of which one is not an example.

My favourite clues were 12a and 22d.   I’m off to see if the  Micawber End of Year Toughie is the usual treat.     


The Quickie Pun  {READ} + {HUBBLE} = {REDOUBLE}

55 comments on “DT 27060

  1. Thanks to CS for giving me a day off and to Giovanni for the usual mastery. I can confirm that the Micawber Toughie is tremendously enjoyable.

      1. CS – Avatars? – When you post a reply – you have a funny green face!

        But – in the top-right-hand corner of your blog – you have the normal basket of flowers!

        (Also, I haven’t taken a bath anywhere for years!)

        1. The one at the top of the review is added by the CSS (Cascading Styl Sheet) that I control. The other one is automatically generated from gravatar.com.

          1. I have now been into gravatar.com on at least five occasions, the last one just now, and confirmed each time that I want my flowers to be my avatar associated with my new email address. I don’t see what else I can do. Incidentally, when I look at the blog, any comment I make has the flowers as usual.

            1. How funny – when I look at this reply/comment it’s the green man face again. Oh dear – prefer the flowers!

                1. Beyond me how this can happen but I have been puzzled as your flowers always appear on my screen (iPad) and they are now but I have just switched to my computer where you are as they say a green man .Now got them side by side and on one flowers t’other green man . Sure some whizz will be able to explain this .

  2. Morning CS.

    Found this one very hard to get into, and had to set it aside a couple of times, but got there in the end.

    Cubs come in packs, scouts in troops.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle .

    1. Agree with you, when I was in the Scouts it was very frowned upon to refer to a pack. Also I don’t know what cafes Giovanni frequents but never come across a waiter in one :-)

    2. Yes, cubs and scouts are quite different, many setters, though think otherwise.
      That’s why in the end, it, being the last in, didn’t throw me.
      Thanks setter, nice and taxing, and crypticsue for the review.

  3. Very pleasurable ,no stand out favs .1 .5 * / 3 .5 * for me .Agree with comment about Scouts but……
    (Thought the pics more tasteful than the norm !)

    Thanks once again

  4. That’s more like it! An excellent Friday offering, very enjoyable. Got held up for a white by putting LAUD in 1d which we were obviously meant to do, nice bit of misdirection.
    Such a relief after yesterday’s headache.
    Thx to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Crypticsue for the explanation for 9a.

  5. 5d was my last one in to finish off this enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni. Thanks to him, and to crypticsue for the review.
    3*/3.5* from me.

  6. Enjoyable puzzle today. Started at random with 12 a then put Head Strong for 13 d. That held me up for quite a while. The SW corner went in very quickly after I corrected my mistake! 7a last in and arguably the best clue. Regards to all.

  7. Sorry but did not enjoy this at all and I envy the people who found it fun! I usually do but this was a I’ll-do-it-because-it’s-there sort of crossword, disappointing to me. No stand-out likes apart from 27A and 18D. Thanks to Giovanni and CS and hope to be more on the ball tomorrow.

    1. I agree with Brenda.. Not enjoyable for me either. I eventually managed the top half but struggled with the bottom until the crypticsue hints arrived.
      Scouts come in patrols and troops, not packs (only cubs are in packs) as has been so elegantly pointed out above.
      So it’s a 4*\2* for me.
      Nevertheless, it’s thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle, CS for the hints and BD for setting it all up.

  8. All over the place today ! But not alone, relieved to see. Thank you Giovanni and CS for your review and hints which I needed today. Made a big mistake with one of my first entries – had “Head strong” for 13d which completely b#x*@#ed up the LHS ! Would not have got 6d without the hint either – so thank you CS for decoding. Well done all those who breezed through it !

  9. I enjoyed this – more of a 3* for difficulty for me, if only because I was completely, and stupidly, defeated by 26d – it’s always the four letter words that get me!
    I got into all kinds of a muddle with 7a and 6d – I could see that 6d had to be an anagram but just couldn’t find the right letters – oh dear! I was also quite slow to get the 20a anagram.
    I liked (eventually) 7, 12, and 20 (again eventually) across and 13, 14 and 18d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and CS.
    Blissfully quiet here! :smile: By tomorrow I’ll be missing my daughters, nephews etc! :sad:
    If it doesn’t stop raining soon I’m going to cry!!

  10. I found this hard to get into and required quite a bit of persevation. Got there in the end without resorting to the hints so quite pleased.

    Getting 4d wrong didn’t help with 9a but hey-ho, it’s just a puzzle!

    Dull and wet in N. Devon. Again.

  11. I think ‘hard work’ would sum it up here. Had to cheat on 8d in the end by looking here. Thanks for the hints. :)

  12. After a sluggish start I got this done on a pleasantly quiet Piccadilly Line train. Last in was 26d which was rather obvious on reflection. Very enjoyable it was too.

  13. I got off to the worse possible start with my first three answers in being Laud for 1d, Esprit for 4d and Head-strong for 13d! This held me up for quite a while but I got there in the end. Overall for me this was a great puzzle. Many thanks to Giovanni and Crypticsue.

  14. Thanks to Giovanni & to CrypticSue for the review & hints. Started with 1d, & put in “laud” realised the error of my ways when I solved 10a. Found it quite straightforward and very enjoyable, but got stuck on 24d, wouldn’t have got that in a million years, so 3*/4* for me. Off to play in a friendly Squash Match now on my Birthday. Need to run off the Turkey :-)

    1. Happy birthday from me too – can’t help feeling sorry for people who have birthdays really close to Christmas – or is it OK? Not that you had any say in the matter!!

  15. Glad not to be alone in falling into Giovanni’s laud trap, but enjoyed this much more than yesterday and didn’t need help from CS. Actually finished unaided (except for help from my wife with 24d. She tells me with some authority that Brownies come in packs, Guides in companies, and Scouts in troops.)
    I don’t think she knew any Cubs.

  16. Enjoyed the puzzle but needed the hints to finish off. I saw the word for 7a for could not parse it. Who knew there was a town called Diss! On the other hand I got 16d easily as I once lived there. Did not help myself by spelling the last word of 12a “urnn” forgetting to add the extra “t”. Rather difficult to solve 5d without the “u”!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Sue for the hints.

    1. There’s an old riddle (I think I first saw it in a Christmas cracker in the fifties): Q:”Which Norfolk town is difficult to find?” A: “Diss, because as you approach it the town Diss appears!” [Groan]

  17. Note to all setters; I’d like to say how much I appreciate the way that the Don marked 12A in the Quick crossword as (4,1’4) rather than (4,5). I strongly feel that if the hyphen is shown as a symbol in its own right then the apostrophe deserves the same.

    Thanks :-)

  18. I thought this very enjoyable, though had huge problem with 24d and therefore 28a, had to resort to crossword solver. I also needed CS hint to know why 26d was right. I put it in because it fit!

  19. We had to scroll through Wikipedia/Norfolk towns again but this time just to confirm that such a strangely named town did exist. Obviously from the above comments we don’t need to mention the cubs-scouts pack-troop thing again. Surprisingly we picked the trap in 1d and put in the right answer as our first answer. A most enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and CS.

    1. I have actually passed through Diss on more than one occasion on the way to holidays in the Norfolk Broads, although not for some years now.

    2. The alternative/wrong answer hadn’t occurred to me – just as well as otherwise I’d probably have fallen for it too!
      Snow seems quite heavy this evening . . .

    3. On re-reading the review we note that we got 26d wrong. We had put in “eyed” with the justification that one-eyed = not fair. Oh well, can’t win them all!

  20. Diss appears a lot. Herts town is usually Tring or more rarely Ware. It is just one of those things to commit to the memory bank.

  21. No wonder I struggled.

    Since when did ‘management’ = ‘disposal’?

    Isn’t the wording in 16d out of sequence? I see writer = pen. But then ‘has article about’ could mean a word for article is wrapped around ‘pen’ OR pen wraps around a word for article (reversed because of the ‘about’). Or is it supposed to mean that writer has article = pena about ‘a’ sad? Weird

    1. For disposal the BRB has arrangement, disposition, deployment, management as in ‘the disposal of our troops’.
      16d is PEN (writer) + (has) A (article) with all that going around A and SAD (sorrowful).

        1. The free online version is not the full Chambers Dictionary, aka the BRB. That was available online by subscription, but has been withdrawn. If you want a computer-based version then there is an iPhone app. Failing that, there is an addon to WordWeb Pro, which is not cheap. WordWeb, who also produce the iPhone version, is the best wordsearch engine that I have used, followed closely by Tea (which is the best for anagrams).

              1. Thanks BD. No definitely not an option. My ‘techie’ days are far behind me. These days I prefer to use my computer !

  22. Found this harder than most and spent ages on 26d, eventually settling for (one-)eyed as not being fair. Still think it’s a better answer than the proper one! I’ve really enjoyed Christmas puzzles so thanks to all. And particular thanks to whoever recommended the Crux app yesterday, it’s fantastic and will save a fortune in subscriptions to Telegraph app and you can get the toughie!

  23. A very good crossword from the Don, as you’d expect. But a few more quibbles than usual: a) pity he made a mistake with the scouts and the cubs; b) I didn’t really like the wording of 26dn, and would have preferred ‘One is not this fair’, which has just as good a surface and avoids the phrase ‘One is not’ being used as a definition; c) in 7ac a lord is only an example of a peer — there are other sorts of peer, ladies for example — so should he not have said ‘lord, say’, or some such’?

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