DT 27071

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27071

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Pommers will be recuperating for the next few weeks, but I bet he’s kicking himself having gifted me a Ray T puzzle. Once again the key is out-of-the-box thinking.

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    Talk about bosom, redhead’s put together! (11)
{ORCHESTRATE] – a verb meaning to talk around another word for the bosom and the initial letter (head) of Red

9a    Scraps lacking resistance in bars (7)
{EXCEPTS} – start with scraps or selected passages and drop (lacking) the R(esistance)

10a    Attachment of woman welcoming former husband (6)
{ANNEXE} – a woman’s name around a former husband

12a    It’s stir following bust for twister (7)
{TORNADO} – a stir or fuss after an adjective meaning bust or ripped

13a    Dodgy pal with nice bird (7)
{PELICAN} – an anagram (dodgy) of PAL with NICE

14a    Frost reportedly wrote in this (5)
{RHYME} – what sounds like frost is actually how Robert Frost wrote

15a    Album with ‘Time’ becoming timeless (9)
{IMMUTABLE} – an anagram (becoming) of ALBUM with TIME

17a    Sailor hangs around for birds (9)
{STARLINGS} – a three-letter word for a sailor inside a verb meaning hangs loosely

20a    Moisten food‘s main ingredient retaining temperature (5)
{BASTE} – a main ingredient around (retaining) T(emperature)

22a    Awkwardly sit with same painter (7)
{MATISSE} – an anagram (awkwardly) of SIT with SAME

24a    Most fashionable bird embracing the French (7)
{COOLEST} – a short-tailed waterfowl around the French plural definite article

25a    Perceived sixth sense that is dead (6)
{ESPIED} – a three-letter abbreviated sixth sense followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is and D(ead)

26a    Hostelry holds room back reserved (7)
{INDRAWN} – a hostelry around (holds) the reversal (back) of a room in a hospital gives an adjective meaning reserved

27a    Weighing of certain hands in game (11)
{MEASUREMENT} – an adjective meaning certain and some hands or workers inside game or flesh of hunted animals


2d    Put back record left in competition (7)
{REPLACE} – an old-fashioned 4-track record and L(eft) inside a competition

3d    Past master (9)
{HISTORIAN} – a cryptic definition of an expert in things past

4d    Floated on top of putrid bog (5)
{SWAMP} – a verb meaning floated on water followed by the initial letter (top) of Putrid

5d    Lock combination for altering without opening (7)
{RINGLET} – this lock of hair comes from an anagram (combination) of A()LTERING without its initial letter (opening)

6d    Transport bill carrying a team about (7)
{TAXICAB} – a three-letter word for a restaurant bill around (carrying) the A from the clue, a cricket or football team and the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about

7d    Intrepid beating Mount Everest endlessly (11)
{VENTURESOME} – an anagram (beating) of MOUNT EVERES(T) without its final letter (endlessly)

8d    Small, voluptuous and dirty (6)
{SCURVY} – S(mall) followed by an adjective meaning voluptuous or shapely

11d    One Knight trying to trap Queen is unusual (11)
{INTERESTING} – I (one), the chess notation for knight and a verb meaning trying or evaluating around the regnal cypher for the Queen

16d    Pleasure having bent for punishment (9)
{MASOCHISM} – a (not very) cryptic definition of the derivation of pleasure from being punished

18d    Performer in part is tested (7)
{ARTISTE} – hidden (in) inside the clue

19d    Girls with large behinds, capturing his heart (7)
{LASSIES} – L(arge) and a word meaning behinds or rears around the middle letter (heart) of hIs

20d    Trail found in mountain stretch (7)
{BROADEN} – a trail or way inside a Scottish word for a mountain

21d    Makes out with a wife to swing (6)
{SEESAW} – a verb meaning makes out or discerns followed by the A from the clue and W(ife)

23d    More gnarled  tree? (5)
{ELDER} – more gnarled in the sense of more aged

Our thoughts today are with crypticsue.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {FUR} + {TUB} + {BRAY} = {VERTEBRAE}


  1. skempie
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Hmmmm Interesting. Took me a while and I’m starting to wonder about Ray’s mindset, lots of ‘naughty’ or ‘innuendo’ clues I thought, also a lot of thinking outside of the box indeed.

  2. pommers
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Just finished this one and a lot of fun it was. Quite a few laughs and the risqueness seems to getting a bit riskier :grin: Glad you gave it 3* difficulty Dave as I found it a bit tricky in places (as usual for me with a RayT). Last in for some reason was 16d, even with all the checkers it took ages for the penny to drop, D’oh!

    Dave, I think pommette is insisting we go to the apartment next week for a few days of R&R so it will probably be the week after before II can get back in the chair. Thanks for filling in today.

    Thanks to RayT too

    Best wishes to crypticsue – thinking about you girl!

  3. Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I rate this puzzle as ***+ and ***. Some very nice clues and some good wordplay but I got too many answers then had to work out how the clue worked. Perhaps I’m being unfair and grumpy because I’ve had to do to many domestic chores this morning. Regds to all.

  4. Only fools
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Cracking puzzle .I ran aground in the SE corner and took far too long to refloat but smiled when I did .Very enjoyable and agree with the ratings .

    Thanks yet again .

  5. jezza
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    The anagram at 7d took me the longest to unravel, and I needed to revisit the puzzle to finish it off.
    3*/3* for me. Thanks to RayT, and to BD.

    The toughie today is about as gentle as a toughie can be.

  6. Collywobbles
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I know that I have been critical of RayT puzzles in the past because of the ‘out of the box’ thinking and the difficulty in breaking into the puzzle in the first place. However, I have completed this crossword before the hints came up and enjoyed every minute of it. So, I take it all back and humbly apologise to RayT for being a dissenter.

  7. Chris
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Took a while to get started today, and some time to complete, but I’m proud to have finished it without any hints! 9A, which in retrospect should not have been that difficult, was the last one in.

  8. spindrift
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Genius! Nuff said!

  9. Brenda Reding
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Quite tricky but once started moved slowly but steadily ahead. Needed BD’s explanation for 11D, got it but didn’t understand why! 20D was a surprise but it developed itself – wasn’t what I thought I was looking for at all.No favourites, a good all-round crossword. Thanks to setter and BD. Best wishes to Crypticsue, and Pommers for his continued recovery

    • Nora
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand either, as I don’t think ‘interesting’ is synonymous with ‘unusual’.

      • Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Once again the setter can quote Chambers Thesaurus:


        attractive, appealing, entertaining, engaging, absorbing, engrossing, exciting, fascinating, captivating, intriguing, compelling, compulsive, gripping, riveting, stimulating, thought-provoking, readable, viewable, amusing, curious, unusual

        colloquial: unputdownable

      • Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

  10. The Blott
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Scurvy doesn’t mean dirty…..

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog The Blott

      Chanbers Thesaurus gives:


      contemptible, vile, dirty, shabby, worthless, dishonourable, sorry, ignoble, despicable, rotten, pitiful, mean, low, bad, base

      formal: abject

      colloquial: low-down

    • skempie
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      As in ‘Scurvy Knave’ a phrase often heard in very bad, 1950’s style movies about mediaeval times or involving pirates.

      • spindrift
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        One of Robert Newton’s oft used phrases as Long John Silver I think along with “Them that be dead, be the lucky ones…aharr…aharr!”

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      A scurvy trick is a fairly old and obscure phrase but it is legitimate.

  11. gnomethang
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    A class puzzle with loads of laughs. Thanks RayT and BD and.

  12. Beaver
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I agree that a tad of lateral thinking required for this Ray T offering.Was progressing swimmingly well until i reached the SE corner which took me longer than the rest put together.Howeaver got there in the end( thought 20a- the foods main ingredient part ,a bit ‘iffy’) and score it ***/***,fav 1a.Thanks all.

    • Kath
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I think the definition is ‘moisten food’ and the ‘main ingredient’ is ‘base’ rather than ‘food’s main ingredient’ being ‘base’. That sounds a bit convoluted – oh dear!!

  13. Kath
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was about as difficult as Ray T ever is – 4* difficulty and nearer 5* enjoyment from me today. Maybe it just took me a while to escape from my box.
    After reading all the clues once I only had about four answers and they were all in the bottom left corner – getting anything in anywhere else took a while but got there in the end. Being slow to get 1a and 7 and 11d didn’t help.
    I didn’t know that 8d was anything other than a Vit C deficiency and I didn’t know 15a.
    Probably too many good clues to pick out any particular ones – maybe 10, 13 and 14a and 8, 19 and 21d.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    I hope that crypticsue is doing OK.

  14. angel
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness – after less entertaining interregnum hopefully we are back in the old routine of enjoyable yet testing puzzles. Long may that continue. Thanks to all concerned.

  15. Big Boab
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Very much a classic RayT and none the worse for it, my thanks to him for a very enjoyable crossword and to BD for a masterly review. Best wishes to Crypticsue and Pommers (nice to have you back )

  16. Hrothgar
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Usual brilliance from RayT.
    Stalled in SE corner, thunk and thunk.
    Then it flowed.
    Many thanks RayT, and BD for the review.

  17. Mikey-Mike
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I think Ray T set this up to see what illustrations would be drawn from the bloggers. There are many opportunities, 1, 10 and 24 across then 8, 19 and 24 down for starters. What fun, to quote Miranda!

  18. Brian
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    As always with a Ray T very very tough but clever.
    However, although I thought 14a and 8d were excellent clues I don’t see why interesting equates to unusual or orchestrate to put together. The former does not work for me and the latter is just plain wrong. To orchestrate something is to make it happen not to put something together. I also thought 1a and 3d were weak clues. Also never come across indrawn before so that is something I have learnt today. Finally (sorry to be long-winded) but why the italics on 15a, does it carry some meaning?
    Thx to Ray T for making my brain hurt and to BD without whose hints I most certainly would not have finished.

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      No italics in the online version, but that’s a limitation of the dreadful software that was written by someone who knew nothing about crosswords.


      • pommers
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        So those are the tossers!

        • Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          And here’s the actual guy saying how clever he is:


          Now you know whose image to stick pins in.

          • Franco
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Today’s Toughie – 5d – paper version – also has Times .

            If they cannot use italics in the on-line version, perhaps they shouldn’t use them in the paper! Or is that too simple?

            • Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

              The same applies to the clues in the Quick crossword which make up the pun – they are italicised in the newspaper version but not online.

              • andy
                Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

                Not sure whether I like todays pun or not, depending whether I’ve got it correct… Nudge

                • Franco
                  Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

                  andy, you’re showing a bit of backbone by pointing out the omission of today’s Quickie Pun!

                  But, the blogging team seems to be much depleted at the moment!

                  Best wishes to them all!

                  • andy
                    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

                    Oh well!!
                    They certainly do , and my best wishes go to them as well

                • gazza
                  Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

                  It’s there now.

          • gnomethang
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

            Dear Lord, he’s bragging about it!

  19. Catherine
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought the clues were clever but the risqué factor went a little too much towards misogyny for me. “A wife to swing” “small voluptuous and dirty” “talk about bosom” “woman welcoming former husband” “trying to trap Queen” “bent for punishment” “large behinds” etc was a bit to much for me.
    Thanks BD

    • Merusa
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      In any case, I thought the English spelled behind with an “r” replacing the first “s”, thus: “arse”.

    • Franco
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Catherine, not to mention ” … nice bird” (13a) & “Most fashionable bird … “(24a) & ” … bust … ” (12a)

      I missed the theme completely!

      A shame that RayT has already has popped in and will most probably not have read your comment!

      • Catherine
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        Franco, thanks for your comment. I think it’s a shame too because I really thought he piled it on a little too much.

    • una
      Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink

      I totally agree, Ray T appears to think that he is setting for an entirely male audience.

      • Catherine
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

        My feelings too, Una

  20. ChrisH
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Agree with most of the comments above.Do-able but testing. 3.5*/4* for me.
    Thanks to big Dave for the cracking redhead in 1a.

  21. Ian
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Great enjoyment from me. Big Dave, I assumed 16d had a double meaning of ‘having a bent’ for punishment AND having bent (over) for punishment, thus giving it a cryptic edge?
    Thanks to all for brightening up a dull midlands day.

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      It was a difficult clue for which to provide a hint. I left the rest to the imagination.

      An interesting addendum. The act is named after Sacher-Masoch (1836–95), the Austrian novelist who described it.

  22. steve_the_beard
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    That was more of a challenge than I was expecting, but very pleasurable and a welcome distraction while sitting in a hospital queue…

    14A was a happy reminder of “Mending Wall”; is it just me, or does anyone else think that this poem should be read in a broad Yorkshire accent?

    Thanks to BD and RayT, thoughts to CS.

    • pommers
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Hospital queue? Not you as well . . .

      • steve_the_beard
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Just the usual oil change and MOT, nothing like as serious as you or CS…

        • pommers
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Phew! Glad to hear it!

  23. Sweet William
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    A grand day out at Marshside & Martin Mere, thousands of pink foot and a couple of peregrines + having to complete the puzzle before setting out and actually managed it. Must have tuned in to the Ray T wavelength or something twigged and enjoyed it. Had I not finished it early, the day would have been ruined worrying about it !

    Thank you Ray T and BD for your review. Tomorrow will no doubt bring me back to earth !

  24. paintedplank
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Good one today. A colleague and I finished it off in the staffroom after work. Had to guess at a few of them, the word that 14a sounded like was a new one for me. 27a was the best clue I thought, but annoyingly my colleague got it and I didn’t. Blast her!

  25. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Chuckles, chortles and laughs out loud. Loved it. We are such fans of RayT especially when he produces an offering like this. 9A was our last one in as we had noticed how well “escapes” fitted the checking letters and kept trying to parse it until we saw the error of our ways.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

    • Heno
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Escapes was the only word I could think of.

    • pommers
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      I too was up the escape route for a minute or so!

    • Kath
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      I agree with everything you have said.

  26. Heno
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Another great puzzle from Ray T. Got beaten by 1&9a, had to look them both up, couldn’t concentrate on the former because of the picture :-) Favourites were 7,8&19d the latter making me laugh out loud. Very entertaining was 3*/5* for me. Dull day in Central London today. Off to try the Toughie. Best wishes to CrypticSue.

  27. Franco
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    RayT is back to his best!

    4d – is quite disgusting!

    Is this a nice “Surface Reading?”

    • pommers
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I liked 4d! But I was looking for a toilet connection for a mo!

      • Kath
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        i was also looking for a loo somewhere.

        • Kath
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          i didn’t really quite mean that as it sounds!!! :smile:

  28. axe
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Ray T for a most enjoyable puzzle, and BD for the review.
    Sorry to read about CS’s impending surgery, may i wish her a full and speedy recovery.

  29. RayT
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Setter here…

    …with belated best wishes for the year to everybody. Very many thanks to BD for the review, and to all who took the time to leave a comment.


    • Kath
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      And a very belated happy new year to my favourite setter. You never fail to make me laugh. :smile:

  30. Little Dave
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Tremendous crossword that I managed to complete after a slow start on the Northern Line. Last in 9a. Love the photo for 1a. Lovely hair.

  31. Annidrum
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks BD couldn’t have done this without you today but I’m pleased that ( for some reason) I wasn’t able to see the answer within the brackets , therefore I can take all credit for completing it except for 1a
    and Mr A furnished me with that answer. A VERY naughty Ray T today !! Can I get inside my box now please? :smile:

  32. una
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Three hours extra at work and my brain, such as it is , fossilised, and as a consequence I simply couldn’t do it.

  33. Poppy
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    So glad to have finished this – must be in an odd headset as I struggled yet again. So a 3/2 from me. But many thanks to BD and the setter. Spent several hours in hospital myself today so send Special thoughts to CS & hope the two Ps have a restorative break over next few days. …

  34. Miffypops
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Lots of fun on this one after working all day and only attempting this whilst still working at night. South East corner got me so I resorted to the site. Usually I never visit until completion. Drained Drawn Tired Knackered and all to do again tomorrow (today) Will I even get to start?

  35. Roger
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I agree a tough one and couldn’t finish it in time available. So many thanks for the explanations and answers. I don;t agree with swam = float in 4d. To float is a static activity…very much so. Swimming is a very active activity.. not the same at all IMO…but I guess Chambers will bail out the setter ;-)