DT 27071 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27071

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27071

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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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

ARVE Error: need id and provider

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}

70 comments on “DT 27071

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

      1. 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

    1. 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

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

      1. 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!”

  9. 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.

    1. 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!!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 )

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

          1. 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?

            1. 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.

                1. 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!

  16. 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

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

    2. 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!

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 !

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.


  26. 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.

  27. 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:

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

  29. 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. …

  30. 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?

  31. 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 ;-)

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