DT 27083 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27083

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27083

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Apologies for missing Monday, but we had another appointment at the vet. However it gave me a chance to blog this Ray T. production this morning, and good fun it was too.


7. Writer of rhymes, say, is Tennyson (8)
{ESSAYIST} – A writer of literary works is hidden between the words “rhymes, say is Tennyson”.

9. Stretched, say, getting conditioned (6)
{TAUGHT} – The definition is conditioned, and is a word that sounds like (say) taut.

10. Sink for doctor before surgery (4)
{DROP} – DR (doctor) in front of OP (surgery).

11. Anthem is played catching American fervour … (10)
{ENTHUSIASM} – An anagram (played) of ANTHEM IS round US.

12. … you can count on it! (6)
{ABACUS} – A manual counting device that consists of a frame with sliding counters on rods or grooves.

14. The plane crashed into jumbo (8)
{ELEPHANT} – An anagram (crashed) of THE PLANE is also a large pachyderm.

15. Small rebuke pinching parking spot (6)
{SPLASH} – S (small), then another word for a verbal attack (rebuke) with P (parking) inserted before it produces a blob of liquid.

17. Spreads front of silk pants (6)
{STREWS} – The first letter (front) of silk is followed by a word for close fitting trousers, usually made of tartan.

20. Climb a castle, destroyed after end of siege (8)
{ESCALATE} – An anagram (destroyed) of A CASTLE is placed after the last letter (end) of siege.

22. Cunning manipulating fault to steal run (6)
{ARTFUL} – An anagram (manipulating) of FAULT around R (run).

23. Supporter’s complaint about new player (10)
{BENEFACTOR} – A person who gives aid can be constructed from a slang term for a gripe or grouse, around N (new), which is then followed by another word for a theatrical performer.

24. Perhaps describing Chile pine? (4)
{LONG} – How you might describe Chile as a country, is also another word for yearn.

25. Stop embracing redhead and pucker (6)
{CREASE} – Take a word that means to put an end to, and place it around R (red head) to get another word for a fold or wrinkle.

26. Risk death, getting wind up (8)
{ENDANGER} – A word that means to expose to harm, can be made from a word for the termination of life, followed by a feeling of great annoyance.


1. Puts down behind gripping bed with sweetheart (8)
{ASCRIBES} – The definition in this case is “puts down”. Take a word for behind, as in bottom and place it around a child’s bed with E added (the middle letter of sweet).

2. Breath of wind over top of prairie (4)
{GASP} – A word for idle or boastful talk (or flatulence) is followed by the letter P, the first letter (top) of prairie.

3. Various ducks circling river (6)
{DIVERS} – A word that means several or sundry, is constructed from a word meaning to submerge under water around R (river).

4. Chest out, esteemed to include most brawny (8)
{STOUTEST} – A word that means strong in body or sturdy can be found hidden between the words “chest out esteemed”.

5. Penalty kick, taking one’s hard on team (10)
{PUNISHMENT} – PUNT (kick) around IS (ones) H (hard) on a crew of workers (team) for example.

6. Selected stockings cutting extremities from circulation (6)
{CHOSEN} – Another word for stockings or socks in placed inside the first and last letters (extremities) of circulation).

8. Noble bird was on top (6)
{TITLED} – An example of a type of bird (great, blue, coal etc) is placed above another word that means to have shown the way or been in front. Defintion, noble.

13. Uncovering all to clear security (10)
{COLLATERAL} – An anagram (uncovering) of ALL TO CLEAR.

16. Main constituent? (8)
{SEAWATER} – The sort of stuff that an ocean consists of.

18. Lavish show opening with Queen, plus Queen! (8)
{SQUANDER} – The first (opening) letter of show, followed by QU, another word for added to, then ER.

19. Get hot picture above article (6)
{SEETHE} – To boil or foam is to perceive with the eye, above a definite article.

21. Drink and blunder in embarrassed (6)
{SHERRY} – A fortified Spanish wine can me made from a word for a mistake inside another word for timid.

22. Wear down a supporter of French (6)
{ABRADE} – A, crosswordlands female supporter, and the general French word for of.

24. Covering nothing up … nothing! (4)
{LINO} – A type of floor covering is a three letter word for zero reversed (up) above O (nothing).

The Quick crossword pun: {worn} + {piece} = {War and Peace}

63 comments on “DT 27083

  1. Another good puzzle, loads of misdirection and some elegant clues, fell into a few traps but managed to extricate myself safely. 7&23a favourites.

    Thanks to Libellule for the review.

    Thanks to Ray T for a fun puzzle.

  2. Good morning Libelulle from a very white West Wales, it is so pretty to look at but we were forecast rain with all the snow clearing and we got another six inch fall of snow instead, apart from it looking pretty, it is so disruptive, I really do not like it at all! Anyway end of moan :-) I found todays crossword one of RayT easier ones and for once rate it easier than the 3 star rating, that doesn’t very often happen for me! I thought 18d and 24d clever clues but my favourite was 14a it just made me smile :-D, a few nice anagrams to get going and only minimal use of my electronic friends today, thanks for hints Libelulle, though I didn’t need to use them today

  3. Entertaining but very tough although that’s probably because I am still a Ray T tyro. Some lovely clues such as 15a and my fav 22d but thought 24a was very poor. Took me ages to see the hidden clues as there is no indicator that they are as such, bit mean I thought.
    Still that’s being picky, thx to Ray T whom I am beginning g to appreciate and to
    Libellule for explaining some of my answers (I wish all the hint writers were this clear and concise).

        1. I think it’s a little weak too Brian, but I think you’re supposed to read “of” as “from”, as in whisky of Scotland for example. If you read it as “from”, I think it’s a bit more credible.

        2. I meant to post this earlier, but got lost in Windows 8 issues for a while.
          of can mean from as Roland states… e.g.
          Derived or coming from; originating at or from e.g. customs of the South.
          Composed or made from e.g. a dress of silk
          Produced by; issuing from e.g. products of the vine.

    1. Brian,
      The indicator for 4d is “to include”, so if we parse the clue we get
      Che(st out est)eemed to include (hidden in the previous words) most brawny (defintion).

    2. Well Brian, I think that you are coming round as I did recently. This was a delightful puzzle and full of fun. Many thanks to RayT for a superb crossword and to Libellule for the clear hints which, as with Brian, helped to explain my answers

      1. Not me though collywobs, I enjoy the occasional one but I can safely say I will never be a convert!

        1. That’s a shame, Mary, because, once you understand his mindset, the puzzles get more manageable and they are enjoyable

            1. Mary,
              Seriously? I tend to find Rays clues, short and to the point aka Rufus, but harder to disentangle because they read very well. My 2c anyway.

  4. 1.5/3.5 for me today. Very enjoyable thank you Ray. I particularly liked the double Queen in 18d. Thanks to Libellule too.

    The Toughie isn’t particularly tough either so do give it a try.

  5. Smashing puzzle where I managed to skillfully avoid the hidden word in 7a for a while ,lots of favs and last one in 15a simply because I couldn’t,convince myself that lash was a rebuke .
    2* / 4* for me .
    Thanks yet again to both .

  6. Certainly easier than normal for a Ray T puzzle but very entertaining. No real problems today. Thanks to Ray T and to Libellule for the review.

  7. There’s a strange round yellow thing in the sky !!!

    Enjoyable puzzle today, I had a slightly (and probably wrong) solve of 15A – I thought Plas was a road or square in some language or other and that the small rebuke was SH – still got it right of course.

    Thought 18D was very clever indeed – 2 queens in one go.

  8. Agree with Mary re the rating and give it**/****,relatively straightforward for a Ray T, many intricate clues, ie 5d and 23a,liked 24a-remembered my geography-long live the Queen.

  9. Great puzzle, as always on alternate Thursdays. I did think that it was one of his easier ones and not as much innuendo as there sometimes is – certainly less than two weeks ago! A bit under 3* for difficulty and 4*+ for enjoyment for me.
    I needed the hint to explain 5d – didn’t know a punt was a kick – and took ages to spot the 7a hidden answer.
    I liked 14 and 23a and 2, 3, 18 and 22d.
    With thanks to Ray T and Libellule.

  10. Tricky in parts and needed quite a few hints today. Managed to get out today despite 8″ of snow.

    I always thought squander meant ‘to waste’

  11. Thank you Ray T – really enjoyed that and always look forward to your puzzles. Thank you Libellule: I needed to check with your review on a couple of answers to make sure I had them right.

  12. I agree with the *** and **** BD rating today.At first I thought this was going to be much tougher but with the help of the anagrams it all started to fall in to place. 3 d was last in but with hindsight I don’t know quite why. I got the two hidden clues before I realised they were hidden, so they must have been well disguised.. All in all a welcome distraction to my throbbing tooth after yesterdays root canal treatment. Many thanks to all.

    1. Oh dear – poor you. Hope that tooth (except I suppose it isn’t tooth any more – never did understand root canal stuff!) is better soon.

  13. Cat owners with a cat like ours will have appreciated the Matt cartoon today – as Mr CS said, you wouldn’t think that he (Matt) could get any better, but he surpasses himself daily.

    1. I love Matt. As mother of six cats, I can attest to their bolshiness. There are never two the same and they each have their quirks.

    2. :grin: Ours is similar but as she’s nineteen this year she gets away with most things.
      I loved the Matt last week when all the kerfuffle was going on about horse meat being in burgers. He is incredibly clever.

  14. Some really enjoyable clues today. Loved 14a, 3, 18 and 24d. Got stuck on 7a by thinking of ‘lyricist’ having missed the hidden word, like other folk. Thanks to all for distraction from the tennis. May have to save the crossword until after Murray/Federer tomorrow.

  15. Thanks to RayT and Libellule, enjoyable enough romp but I think clues like 14a don’t really belong in “grown-up crosswords”. Apologies to all who like these kind of clues.

  16. Fairly straightforward but I got stuck with 26 a, having stupidly put “loin” for 24 d on the first run-through.

  17. That was fun, even though (rather like a BRB eclair) rather short in duration. Easiest crossword of the week by far.

    Favourites were 6D and 16D, and (last one in) 23A.

    Thanks to RayT and Libellule.

  18. Finally finished! Started off briskly trotting, slowed to a walk, then inched forward with snails whiz zing past me before grinding to a halt! Really needed the hints – thank you to Libellule – (and other helpful comments in the blogs). So a 3.5 / 3 stars from me. But appreciation to the setter as well, not least for reminding me of the extraordinary variety of brain outlooks presented. Hope Mary and Roger in their respective areas have snowshoes. :-D

    1. It’s amazing Poppy I had to scrape between six and eight inches of snow off the car today but when I got into the town which is about two and a half miles away there was no sign of snow!

  19. Surperb puzzle.
    Lower half with some hesitation and pondering followed a slightly easier top half.
    Many thanks RayT and Libellule.

    1. I also found this a puzzle of 2 halves, but for me the starboard wing was a lot easier than the port.

  20. A lovely puzzle today. i am now quite a fan of Ray T and like to think than the Queen references are because he is a monarchist and nothing to do with the awful band of the same name. The quick crosswords with single word clues get me every time he sets them. I boldly entered four incorrect ( but obviously right in my view ) answers on the first read through today. Putting them right has made a right old mess of the finished crossword. it is illegible now. thanks Ray.

  21. I too started reasonably briskly, but slowed dramatically. Got there in the end with a great deal of persevation.***/*** for me

  22. Most enjoyable and I too appreciated the two Queens as well as the two nothings. Last one in was also 23a – often forget that particular variant of complaint. Not too sure why 12a is cryptic? With thanks to Libellule and RayT.

  23. Great crossword, over far too quickly. Was expecting some illustration from Libellule to some of the clues…

  24. Setter here…

    Many thanks to Libellule for the analysis, and to everybody who took the time to post a comment.
    All very much appreciated, as ever.


    1. Big Boab mentions 14a. Sorry if this seems either naive or dim but how and why is that schoolboy or smut or both?

      1. I agree that what makes Ray T puzzles fun is all his innuendo and smut but I still don’t see why 14a has either – I think I really am missing something here. :sad: Please could someone enlighten/educate me!

  25. We have a standing joke when we are sitting solving, that any time there is a clue starting with “E”, one of us will shout out ELEPHANT. (Can’t remember why and when we started this). Today was the time for the fellow to actually be in the room. Another great Thursday offering.
    Thanks RayT and Libellule.

  26. A very slow start, I thought for a while I might not get any.Then “enthusiasm” encouraged me. Needed hints for the bottom half.I agree with Libellule’s ratings. Thanks to Ray T and Libellule.

  27. Thanks to ray T and to Libellule for the review and hints. Another masterpiece from ray T, very enjoyable. Managed to complete the right hand side fairly comfortably, and was left with 9 unsolved on the left hand side, managed to get them all bar 3d which I got from the hints. Great misdirection, I could only think of the feathered pond dwellers! Was 3*/5* for me. Favourites were 1a, so well hidden. 14a, made me laugh out loud, had an image of an Elephant charging a Jumbo Jet :-) 17a, 1,18,24d. No Sun again in Central London.

  28. Did not like this. Particularly the Americanisms in 1d and 17a and very loose definition in 21d.

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