DT 27077 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27077

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27077

Hints and tips by Tantalus (and Mrs T)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I received, in the middle of the night UK time, the following email from Tantalus.

“Finally we decided to do the crossword at night so that we could contribute to the hints – hope that you can publish as a small token of our thanks for the entertainment over the years. Mr & Mrs Tantalus, Boston.”

Our first opportunity to contribute, with a little humor (American humour). Snowy here in Boston, but at 34F it is thawing fast, normally temps are around 10F. Two stars twice it seems – some simple, some subtle. Favorites were 15 across and 16 down.”

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    A chart devised about origin of rheumatic cold (7)
{CATARRH} Nagrama (devised) of A CHART about R (origin of rheumatic). Clever reuse of rheumatic.

5a    People out  for traditional breakfast fare (7)
{KIPPERS} Double definition: Folk being out for the count or sleeping.

7u Old joke from Peter Williamson of Pangbourne (8)
{LEMONADE} Seven up is lemonade.

9a    Regular pair of educational settings? (7)
{UNIFORM} Take two educational settings, one higher (3) and one classroom (4) and add them together.

10a    Botanist’s first walk for pleasure to get prickly plant (7)
{BRAMBLE} Take a B (Botanist’s first) and a walk in the country (again and again) to get thorny bush.

11a    Titled figure heard with driver, say, in place of entertainment (9)
{NIGHTCLUB} Sounds like a person with a title, with a driver of the niblick variety.

12a    Old US VP taking in grand valley (5)
{GORGE} – Clinton’s VP around G(rand) [BD]

13a    Section in highly prestigious battle site (5)
{YPRES} – hidden (section) inside the clue [BD]

15a    A house study? (9)
{ASTROLOGY} The study of signs. My favorite (favourite).

17a    A padre is troubled about proceeds initially getting to vanish (9)
{DISAPPEAR} graneram 2(troubled) of A PADRE IS around P (Proceeds initially).

19a    Model in studio maybe creating difficulty (5)
{POSER} – a double definition [BD]

22a    Cease working in part of theatre (5)
{STALL} – another double definition [BD]

23a    Person touring university with revolutionary French composer in street (9)
{BOULEVARD} Take a person (3) around U with a reversed French composer (5) to make a name for a (French) street.

25a    Supplier of joint and bar associated with singer (7)
{BUTCHER} Another word for bar or except (3), with long nosed American female singer (not Barbara)

26a    Force one’s way into ground ruined around rear of district (7)
{INTRUDE} – an anagram (ground) of RUINED around the final letter (rear) of district

27a    Where one might raise small issue? (7)
{NURSERY} – a cryptic definition of a school for small children [BD]

28a    Set aside weapon carried by English vessel (7)
{EARMARK} – a weapon inside (carried by) E(nglish) and Noah’s vessel [BD]


1d    Relish small dwelling, mostly new, found in county borders (7)
{CHUTNEY} Inside CY (CountY borders) place a small shed with most of NEw for a pickled dressing.

2d    Activate theatre’s opening with theatrical employee (7)
{TRIGGER} The guy that pulls the ropes and booms at the theatre preceded by T (theater’s opening).

3d    Place to sit retained by hero ostentatiously (5)
{ROOST} The plans were hidden in the clue.

4d    Smell I may associate with dog reared close to home? Shame (9)
{HUMILIATE} Three letter word for smell (as in very pungent cheese), with I, a dog’s rear a verb meaning to dog reversed (reared) and the final letter (close) to homE.

5d    King getting dish brought up, a meat dish (5)
{KEBAB} Reverse a dish (as in one of BD’s hot girls) preceded by chess abbreviation for king.

6d    Quiet song by band for a toddlers’ institution (9)
{PLAYGROUP} Musical abbreviation for quiet with a song (3) and a musical band (5) for kindergarten like session (Webster).

7d    Doctor interrupting faculty activity getting ban (7)
{EMBARGO} insert abbr for doctor into faculty (senses)…. Didn’t like this one! Could it be an anagarm (doctor) a 5 letter word for interrupt with a… no! [A doctor inside a faculty of the body and activity or energy BD]

8d    Maybe, flat screen should be shifted by yard (7)
{SCENERY} – a flat is something slid or lowered onto the theatre stage – an anagram (shifted) of SCREEN followed by Y(ard) [BD]

14d    Tomb left in university church defended by doddery peers (9)
{SEPULCHRE} Put the letter L (left) in abbr for University and Church and surround with gramana of PEERS.

16d    Our quest when relaxing around island to find shade (9)
{TURQUOISE} Gramaan of OUR QUEST around I(sland) to get a chromatic shade.

17d    Bits strewn inside brown household receptacle (7)
{DUSTBIN} The letters of BITS inside a 3 letter word for brown to make a trash holder (according to Webster).

18d    Broadcast namely by striking figure with book coming out (7)
{SCATTER} Take someone who strikes something (like Babe Ruth), remove the B (book coming out) and place after abbr for “to wit” (namely)

20d    Utensil plus a tag not good for ordering (7)
{SPATULA} Mrs T’s fav: Nargama (ordering) of PLUS A TAG but without the G (good)

21d    Hillbilly concerned with dress around North (7)
{REDNECK} Two letter abbr for concerning with a synonym for dress (as in holly in the hall) all around N (north).

23d    Fruit in NW town picked up (5)
{BERRY} Champion Lad! A town ‘up North’ (near but west of tilsit) that sounds like (picked up) a fruit.

24d    Record time kept by upcoming Frenchman (5)
{ENTER} – T(ime) inside the reversal (upcoming) of a Frenchman like M Artois in ‘Allo ‘Allo! [BD]

Mr & Mrs T provided 22½ of the answers and I have added the rest. I hope you enjoyed their contributions. Pommers should be back in this slot soon.  BD

The Quick crossword pun: {mass} + {cur} + {aid} = {masquerade}

83 comments on “DT 27077

  1. Not helped by putting Geneology for 15ac. Soon put right though. Can’t think why a simple construct/charade at 28ac took me so long. Nice puzzle

  2. Took me slightly longer than 2* back page – I blame a combination of Mr CS’s breakfast chatter and left eye fog. Fairly average entertainment but then that is usual for a non Ray T Thursday. Thanks to the Mysteron, the Tantali and BD – I ‘see’ the joke now!!

    The Toughie takes a tiny tiny smidge longer than this to solve but I found it most entertaining.

    1. I enjoyed the outer Toughie clues, although I originally thought I was going to have to google the Jabberwocky or Edward Lear.

  3. I thought the 4d answer included a synonym of ‘to follow’ or ‘to dog’ and then reversed, as opposed a dog’s rear end…if you get what I mean. But, thanks to Mr and Mrs T for some amusing hints!

      1. Agreed, we couldn’t figure out what “associated with dog” meant but the penny has now dropped. (And thx for publishing our contribution – Mrs T and I are most grateful).

  4. I still don’t really get the answer for 15a. I guessed it was either that or Astronomy, but couldn’t work out either.

    1. The 12 divisions of the zodiac are known as houses. If you like I can sing you the song from the musical Hair about Aquarius – Mr CS wasn’t impressed!

      1. Wasn’t aware they were called houses. Us Sagittarians don’t believe in such nonsense.

        And CS, thanks but no thanks (for help with clue and offer to sing respectively).

      2. Enjoyed this. Although living with a (published) writer, I went straight (if in rather a twisted way) to the word ‘anthology’ for 15a! The true solution never occurred to me until I read CS’s offer…. So many thanks to the setter, to the Tantali, as well as to CS (& so pleased you’re getting on so well – hope the Vaseline vision soon clears). Feel free to sing :-)

        1. Must admit that Anthology was my first thought too. Changed my mind as I started writing it in

          1. Oh I’m so glad, Mary. I only found out yesterday that the house in the film (which is near my brother & sister-in-law) actually is a retirement home for former artistes! I’m booking myself in for time to come!! :-D

  5. Super puzzle today for me. Best clue as far as I was concerned was 5d. Many thx to the setter for restoring my confidence a little after yesterday’s failure. Very well written hints but I didn’t need them today.

  6. Thank you setter and Mr & Mrs T. for the review. A very enjoyable puzzle. Last in was 15a. My brand new BRB gave me the heavenly houses.

  7. Straightforward today my score*/***, must have been on the wavelength,favourites 15a and 23a,hope tomorrows is a bit more challanging as apparently i’m going to be snowed in!

  8. A good puzzle – some easy some amusing and some challenging. But although I had the answer an have read the hints, I stilll can’t get 18d.

      1. Oh that is interesting! That’s what I love about this site – you learn so much. Or maybe it’s just I don.’t know so much. Either way very enjoyable so thanks to all.

    1. I’m glad that someone has explained that, I was just about to post seeking an explanation, like a few others I have never heard of ‘sc’, so thanx for the explanation BD.

  9. A nice puzzle today. Got held up by putting Geneology at 15ac. I cannot think why such a simple construct/charade as 28 ac took me so long. Once it was in the south east corner crumbled beneath my pen. Job done.

  10. I don’t think that this was as difficult as I thought it was while I was doing it, if that makes any sense at all – blame the frozen brain! A bit less than 3* for difficulty and nearer 4* for enjoyment, I thought.
    I missed the double use of ‘rheumatic’ in 1a and made 16d tricky by reading the second word of the clue for 16d as ‘guest’ rather than ‘quest’ – should have gone to specsavers! Love their collie adverts.
    Lots of good clues – 5 and 15a and 5, 8, 16 (eventually) and 23d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron, Mr and Mrs T, and BD.
    Still very cold – only just above freezing here. Chilblain on thumb. :sad:

  11. Very enjoyable puzzle today, seemed to go in as puzzles should – get one, use that to solve the next. etc. I thought 16D was a wonderful anagram but I must admit that I struggled trying to remember who to spell 1A – reminds me of a letter I wrote home when I was at boarding school which caused my parents to ring up to check that I wasn’t being bullied by having a guitar rammed up my nose.

      1. There once was a school in Qatar
        Had a student with such bad catarrh
        He wrote to his parents
        with such spelling indifference
        They thought he’d inhaled a guitar

  12. Another day I found more difficult than I should have done, took ages and was still unsure of some of the word play when I eventually completed the grid. Not helped by missing a couple of anagram indicators.

    Many thanks to the Tantali and BD for the review, definitely needed for wordplay explanations.

    Thanks to setter for a bit of a tester.

  13. Thank you all for your kind words. And now I have my very own avatar so I can participate even after I have poisoned Mr T.

    The Tantali (nee Mrs T)

  14. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable crossword and to Tantalus + for an entertaining review.

  15. What a great crossword with some really elegant clues. Favourite 5 and 8. Thanks for the hint on 18d which I had wrong (starter)

  16. Hands up those who put, initially, geneology.
    There, almost everybody.
    Funny that, when the correct spelling is genealogy.
    But even spelt correctly, still the wrong answer.
    All good clean fun’
    Thanks setter and Tantalus.

  17. It would have been helpful to put “vice president” in 12a as few people in UK would be familiar with the abbreviation VP.

      1. Just realized I read that as VIP then got the correct person.
        Just shows what the brain wants to think.

        1. I did too – that makes it twice today that I’ve mis-read something. It really IS time I had my eyes tested.

          1. Until you mentioned it, I hadn’t realised I’d made the same mistake – & I had my eyes tested last week!

  18. afternoon Dave, thanks for hints, needed a couple to help me out, had to do this in two halves today, but still couldn’t complete it, I must be having a really thick day because I still don’t understand 7d?surely ‘ear’ isn’t ‘faculty’? I found the left hand side fairly easy but struggled with some of the right side, belated welcome back to sue, it sounds a pretty nasty ordeal, I hope it has worked for you, I have never heard of that procedure before.

    1. Hi Mary.

      One definition of “ear” is “an ability to recognize and appreciate sounds”, as in having an ear for music. So, that’s an aptitude, and therefore faculty :-)

        1. I once bought a CD containing recipes for cocktails, one of these cocktails was for Shandy – ‘One half measure of beer, one half measure of 7up, very popular with teenagers in the UK. Do not be surprised if the barkeep refers to 7up as Lemonade’


  19. Thanks to the setter & to The Tantali making their debut. Found this quite a nice puzzle with a few tricky clues. The only difficulties were self inflicted by not spelling 14d correctly, last in was 27a. Favourites were 9a &8d. Was 2*/3* for me. Nice morning in Central London, but four inches of snow forecast for tomorrow afternoon.

  20. I really liked this today. Although I saw the anagram in 16d I couldn’t work it out.D’OH!!
    & that left me struggling with 23a. Nice puzzle though. Thanks to Tantali for the hints & thanks also to the setter.

  21. I really liked this today. Although I saw that 16d was an anagram of our quest and I, I just couldn’t see it. Stupid old brain!!! That left me struggling with 23a. Nice puzzle though & thanks to setter & Tantali for the hints.

  22. Very enjoyable puzzle today from Mr Ron.

    Thanks, also to Tantalus – Blimey, you’re in the Big Red Book!

    Hope you will not be punished too severely for revealing so many secrets!

  23. An entertaining puzzle today indeed!

    My faves : 5a, 15a, 23a, 6d, 16d & 18d.

    Here in NL it is very cold indeed.

    I was interested to learn that The Tantali live in Boston MA as does my son.

    He has just sent me a magnificent basket of fruit for my verjaardag tomorrow – it came from Haarlem NL (not Harlem NY).

    Tomorrow I go out for dinner with my son-in-law, daughter and their twins to celebrate reaching my 90th year!

    1. Congratulations, Derek! I feel a bit like the little girl who, having just learned about the date lines & countries being ahead or behind our own time in the UK, told me that she was frightened the world might come to an end and so she had worked out that if she managed to find the tel. no. of someone living in Australia, she could telephone them each day in order to reassure herself that her day would safely continue…. (I don’t think she ever told her parents – she was around 6 years old – who wouldn’t have been thrilled for their phone bill if she’d ever managed that!). But I wanted to ask the rather silly question of ‘what’s it like having reached 90? Happy Birthday anyway :-)

      1. Hi Poppy!
        Tomorrow I shall be 89 thus entering my 90th. year!

        I suppose I am a lucky one as I am mentally very fit but physically not quite as good as I was say 10 years ago.

        One soldiers on to the end of the road!

        My mother-in-law once said “old age is dreadful – don’t do it ” but I did and while I appreciate what she meant we are all different so life goes on!

        I am still able to walk round the block to the local supermarket and the nearby shopping street for all the basics.

        One has always to keep cheerful!


        1. What a lovely response, Derek – thank you so much. And I appreciated your thoughts. I’ve liked the description “old age isn’t for wimps’, and that seems to resonate with your soldiering on (especially as I come from a long line of military men) … So very warmest of best wishes to you for an especially happy day tomorrow – and that basket of fruit sounds delicious!

    2. I think 90 is a lovely age,all the nonagenarians I know are so serene and relaxed. It sounds like a lovely celebration.Have fun !

      1. Sorry Una – I hate to disagree but my mother is 90 and neither serene nor relaxed. She nags me rather a lot! :sad:
        Derek sounds a completely different ‘kettle of fish’ which I’m sure, if he were still alive, my Dad would be. Happy birthday to you, Derek.
        Derek was also my Dad’s first name but, because his surname was Andrew, he was always called Andy.

        1. My mum is 87 and serene when she isn’t fretting. I was thinking more about the nonagenarians I meet socially, I guess they all successful men with resources. I expect their families might see another side, but that’s o.k. because I guess I am different with my family than with acquentences.I think being religious also helps, especially when you are old. In my case, my mother was always the sharpest knife in the canteen of cutlery and the edge being taken of is quite a relief.

          1. I’ll think about all that . . . I do sometimes wish that the edge of being the sharpest knife in the box could be taken off Mum. It would make her life, not to mention mine, a bit easier.

            1. i’d like to talk more but i don’t think this is the forum, I havn’t a clue how msn works but I’ll give it a try on saturday night .Remember everything is for the best !

  24. My only difficulties were 15a which I nearly inserted anthology but realised the parsing was at best tenuous and more likely non existent before the cent dropped and 18d where like most knew the answer from the first word but was not aware of the abbreviation of the abbreviation !
    Great effort from Mr and Mrs T , thanks. (Not sure about the limerick though)
    Happy 89th tomorrow Derek .

  25. Thanks to setter for a good workout, and to Tantali .Misspelling and lack of latin proving to be a handicap.Still don’t get 18d, despite all the hints.Is earmark really a synomyn for set aside ? liked nearly all the clues.Still a*** star.

    1. Una,

      Chambers: Earmark: vt to set aside or intend for a particular purpose; to put an earmark on.

      1. Which chambers is that because I’ve got to get myself one.Had a quick look at the toughie and quailled.I looked at the solutions, and was amazed that clues could be constructed like that! Amazing. So not a bhurtum.

        1. Franco means ‘The Chamber’s Dictionary’. It’s usually referred to here as BRB because it’s a Big Red Book. In theory all the answers in a crossword are in it.

          1. I have the chambers twentieth centuary dictionary,just an ordinary dictionary and published 30 years ago or more. Is there another dictionary for crosswords solvers ?

            1. The latest edition of Chambers is the 12th Edition! Be careful – it is very heavy!

              (“In more words than one” – what does that mean?)

  26. Lots of comments today! All done after a long day at work. No great challenges. No snow yet!

  27. Thanks to Mr and Mrs T for providing 22.5 of the hints, BD for the remainder and the setter for the puzzle. I just had a couple at the end that held me up briefly – pretty straightforward but good fun.

  28. Derek, my limited knowledge of wine has been hugely enlarged thanks to your comments, and what food to match . Best wishes on your Birthday and to your family, Andy

    1. Thank you Andy – I missed your comment yesterday!

      My late wife and I met in Geneva so we got to know about Swiss wines and the neighbouring region of Burgundy very thoroughly.

      Later we lived in France so added knowledge of other areas.

      We travelled widely on the planet and visited many other wine areas.

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