DT 27064 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27064

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27064

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable puzzle, a bit of a slow start until the long answers were in place. A 3*/3* for me. Thanks to setter.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx and/or yyy is required.

{ } are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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.

8    Set off for team’s outfit (minus top) (4)

{TRIP} : [a team’s outfit;the clothes team member wear with distinctive colours and pattern] minus its initial letter(minus top).

Answer: To set off, say, a booby trap.

9    Objective Kennedy oddly rejected (3)

{END} : Even letters of(oddly rejected) “Kennedy “

10    Advocate fruit to be infused with source of radiation (6)

{PREACH} : [a fruit;also a person or thing especially attractive, liked or enjoyed] containing(to be infused with) initial letter of(source of) “radiation “.

11    More than half of dons exaggerate (6)

{OVERDO} : [more than;exceeding, eg. a limit] + first 2 letters of(half of) “dons “.

12    Ventilate loos on board ship for such idiots (8)

{AIRHEADS} : [to ventilate;to expose to the atmosphere] + [loos on board ships;also the parts of ships where the crew toilets were once located, hence the term].

13    Pawn a table for a musician (15)

{INSTRUMENTALIST} : [a pawn;a tool;a person used by another to gain an end] + A + [a table, eg. of names].

15    Favouring bridge player in suitable sacrifice (7)

{FORFEIT} : [favouring;as opposed being against] + { [abbrev. for one of the four players in the card game of bridge] contained in(in) [appropriate;suitable, eg. for use] }.

Answer: To lose or surrender something as a penalty.

17    Confer right to half of Open Championship (7)

{ENTITLE} : Last 2 letters of(half of) “Open ” + [championship;what a champion wins].

20    Caught baron prepared to pay and publish effect on planet (6,9)

{CARBON FOOTPRINT} : abbrev. for “caught” in cricketing notation + anagram of(prepared) BARON + [to pay, eg. the bill] + [to publish, say, a newspaper, especially in the old non-electronic way].

Answer: A measure of the environmental effect on the planet.

23    University course is not far away during attacks (4,4)

{FINE ARTS} : [not far away] contained in(during) [attacks;sudden acute manifestations of a disease like epilepsy].

25    Popular area with many youths initially giving offence (6)

{BIGAMY} : [popular in a major way] + abbrev. for “area” plus(with) initial letters, respectively, of(initially) “many youths “.

Answer: A matrimonial offence, the punishment for which is having more than one mother-in-law.  As some would say, why anyone would want to have more than one is a bigger mystery.

26    Jerry, for example, eats small dessert (6)

{MOUSSE} : [for example, a cartoon animal whose name was Jerry] containing(eats) abbrev. for “small”.

27    Be obliged to pay for letter being broadcast (3)

{OWE} : Homophone of(being broadcast) a letter in the English alphabet.

28    Fixed diet is poor (4)

{TIED} : Anagram of(is poor) DIET.


1    Call everybody out with bird in tower, fearful (6)

{CRAVEN} : “call” minus(… out) [everybody] plus(with) [the species of birds in the Tower, whose removal, legend says, will result in the fall of the English Kingdom].

2    Turning back, meet one salesman with a drink (8)

{APERITIF} : Reversal of(turning back) { [to meet;to match] + Roman numeral for “one” + [short for a salesman, especially a travelling one] plus(with) }.

3    People fighting for change turn on sign (15)

{REVOLUTIONARIES} : [a turn;a single course of the orbit of one astronomical body around another] placed above(on, in a down clue) a zodiac sign.

4    Forms a mental image of sea and tide turning (7)

{IDEATES} : Anagram of(turning) { SEA & TIDE }.

5    Proposes supporting working for requirements of surgeons (9,6)

{OPERATING TABLES} : [proposes, eg. an item/motion for discussion/resolution in a meeting] placed below(supporting, in a down clue) [working;as opposed to being kaput].

6    Chef regularly put on genuine crop of grass (6)

{CEREAL} : 1st and 3rd letters of(regularly) “chef” placed above(put on, in a down clue) [genuine;based on fact].

Answer: Any plant in the grass family, the wild form being the ancestor of cultivated grain.

7    Help to pack cold tart (4)

{ACID} : [help;relief, eg. for the poor and needy] containing(to pack) abbrev. for “cold”.

Answer: A sharp taste.

14    Gloss over boxing star (3)

{SOL} : Reversal of(over) and hidden in(boxing) “gloss “.

16    Star rejecting new productions from potential parent (3)

{OVA} : [star; ] minus(rejecting) abbrev. for “new”.

Answer: Biological products from a female potential parent.

18    I fix charge outside for water (8)

{IRRIGATE} : I + {[fix, sometimes crookedly, eg. a competitive match] contained in(… outside) [a charge, eg. for services].

Defn: As a verb.

19    Check up on popular criticism (3,4)

{POT SHOT} : Reversal of(up) [check;block] placed above(on, in a down clue) [popular;description of a favourite].

Answer: A piece of criticism.

21    Stand-out feature of transport company once on the Orient (6)

{BREAST} : [initials of former British transport company, since privatised] placed above(on, in a down clue) [the Orient].

Answer: An anatomical feature, that, well, stands out conspicuously, especially if enhanced. Think Jordan (and not the country).

22    One, say, having no feeling here inside (6)

{NUMBER} : [having no feeling] + inner 2 letters of(inside) “here” .

Answer: An example of which;say is “1”.

24    Most of satire is smooth (4)

{IRON} : [satire;a literary technique of indicating that which is opposite of that which is stated] minus its last letter(most of).

Answer: To make smooth, with an implement, usually hot.

The Quick crossword pun: {tray} + {dune} + {aeon} = {trade union}

43 comments on “DT 27064

  1. A little tougher than we have come to expect on a Wednesday, and good fun as well. Enjoyed the four long clues as these gave lots of entry points.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  2. Definitely more difficult (didn’t matter where I started, downs, acrosses or …) and not quite as much fun as usual. Thank you to Jay and scchua.

    The Dada Toughie is definitely on the soft side of tough. Why not give it a go?.

  3. Thanks to Jay for the usual quality puzzle, which flowed rather nicely, and to scchua for the review. 2*/4* for me.
    Back to work today and back to the toughies, with a couple to look at later this morning.

  4. One of those where you say afterwards – why didn’t I do it quicker?
    Therein lies the setter’s art.
    Many thanks Jay and scchua.

  5. Thank you Jay for an enjoyable puzzle. A bit easier than yesterday’s ? Took me a while to get 19d – last one in. Thank you Scchua for your review. Notice you have taken the cautious route with your photo for 21d – which presented something like an open goal for a reviewer ?

    1. Hi Sweet William, I reckoned everyone would still be overdosed on 21downs from last week, when I used up this week’s quota as well. :-)

    2. 19d was last in for me as well. It took me ages to get 20a even though I had the first word (doh!). Quite taxing for me, as a relative newby, but I just managed to complete it before the blog was posted :)

        1. SPOILER ALERT

          Hi Nora,

          To take a {19down} at something is to make a random or incidental criticism of it. The wordplay is “stop” reversed + “hot”, as in “a hot/popular favourite”, or “miniskirts were hot/popular in the 60s”.

      1. Right, there are other things with a stand-out feature called the same as 21d, eg. a chimney, but they’re all derived from the more familiar (and interesting) anatomical sense.

  6. Finished but what a dreadful puzzle. The only decent clue for me was 26a, the rest were just a pure drudge.

  7. Again I tend to agree with the BD rating today. A puzzle of two halves. The top went in very quickly but the bottom half much slower.19d last in. I still don’t like homophones such as 27a. Otherwise all fair enough. Regards to all.

  8. Found this a struggle ,somewhat self inflicted by initially inserting emissions for the second word of 20a which led to system for the second word of 6d which led to chaos and a rethink ! Having completed I have now read the hints to check the wordplay and frankly think some of the clues were tenuous to the extent of being daft ! (Technical term)
    4* / and a begrudged 2 * for me
    Thanks for the explanations .

  9. Hi scchua, happy new year and thanks for the blog, I must say I tend to agree with Brian on todays, a lot of hard work, I don’t mind that if I enjoy it, but I didn’t really enjoy this one, the 4 long clues took me ages to do, a new word for me at 4d, thought 21d quite amusing :-) , fav clue today 26a, ok I know it was simple but I liked it, at least 3 clues today using the word fit or fits in the answer, 2d, 15a, and 23a…just saying, off to cinema later to see Jack Reacher if I can stop coughing long enough :-(

  10. As Hrothgar has already said, I can’t see why this one took me so long. I agree with the 3* difficulty but would probably give it an extra one for enjoyment.
    I made a real pig’s ear of the bottom left corner. Even though I couldn’t explain it I started off with the wrong ending for 3d which really didn’t help with anything very much. Eventually saw the error of my ways but was still very slow with 23 and 26a and 21d. 14d was my last one – I was trying to think of a boxer! Stupid!! I don’t think I’ve heard of the loos on a ship – or if I have I’ve forgotten it which is probably more likely.
    I loved 26a. I also liked 20a and 5 and 19d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. …some really clever clues, I thought. :)
      …and, hopefully, we can look forward to RayT tomorrow.

      1. I’ve just about worked out that tomorrow is Thursday – in a terrible muddle with days because of all the bank holidays! As for which week it is I’m really not sure but I think last Thursday was Ray T – could easily be wrong! We could just hope. :smile:

  11. Certainly on the tough side – the long ones took a while to drop which helped a great deal. Thanks to Jay and scchua

  12. After a flying start, ground to a halt. Had to cheat on 19d. Just not on the wavelength. I, too, smiled at 26a.
    3.5* for difficulty, 2* for enjoyment.

  13. Difficult for me after yesterdays festivities,thanks to Scchua for the explanations,knew the answers were correct but the brain could’nt get out of first! ****/*** today, 4d a new word for me,no complaints re the clues , off to see the Hobbit tomorrow ,which should be less taxing.

  14. A confetti crossword. Not a clue. A dreadful crossword and worthy of a Tough Toughie. Put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day. Enjoyment -100 Difficulty + 100

  15. All fairly happily done here apart from 21D of which I could do with some additional pictorial assistance.

    1. Hi WBGeddes, I’m not falling for that one! :-) . Anyway, you might wish to refer to last week’s blog for a lot more (not just some) pictorial assistance. :-)

        1. I was assuming that it might be you who might have written to the DT – not been published – but made it into their year end book of amusing unpublished letters ! Perhaps I got the wrong WBG – apologies if that is the case !

            1. Mark Rothko and Samantha Cameron !

              I managed to get some in the paper but nothing in the book. Not sure which is more satisfying / fun !

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle. I was on the right wavelength today and all the long ones went in quickly! Did need the hint for 19d though. The “check up” had me fooled. 12a made me laugh!
    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  17. I did enjoy this one but found it devilish hard. I never did get 17a even with hint and had to look at answer, but then I had an “n” instead of “l”. I got some but had no idea why, e.g. 13a, but i was thinking of a different pawn. When will I ever learn to look at words from all angles instead of fixating on one meaning.

  18. Like Mary I enjoyed 26a – it made me smile. But definitely a 3/3 for me today. And I couldn’t work out how to decide to end the first part of 5d with ing or ion – any clues? Many thanks to setter & scchua.

    1. Hi Poppy, re first part of 5down. It’s consistent with “working” (not “work”) as an adjective.

      1. Oh that makes sense, thanks! It’s so obvious once it’s explained. I’m still quite a ‘newbie’ to this.

  19. Hi everyone! Today’s was the hardest in a week for me, probably because a few Britishisms (as we call them). In the US, “to table” means to quash a proposal –the opposite of the UK! Thanks for the wonderful blog!

  20. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I enjoyed it, but found it more difficult than the usual Wednesday fare. Needed the hint for 19d and got the last letter wrong on 22d. Favourite was 20a. Was 3*/3* for me. A little rain in Central London to start the new year.

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