DT 27094 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27094

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27094

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A not difficult, and enjoyable puzzle from Jay (I think). Thanks to Jay.  A 2*/3* difficulty/enjoyment for me.

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 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.


1    Bad-tempered professional driver when rally’s entered with no friend (6)

{CRABBY} : [a professional driver;one who drives for a living, not a racing one] containing(when …’s entered) “rally” minus(with no) [friend;one on your side].


4    New branch not working film (8)

{OFFSHOOT} : [not working;not on] plus(with) [to film, with a camera].

10    Instrument from store regularly found in nuclear facility (9)

{RETRACTOR} : The 2nd and 4th letters of(regularly) STORE contained in(found in) [a nuclear facility;also that part of it where fission takes place].

Answer: Instrument used by surgeons.

11    Small and friendly crowd on the move (5)

{SWARM} : Abbrev. for “small” plus(and) [friendly;not aloof/cold].

Answer:  A crowd of flying insects, say.

12    May, perhaps, honour after British defeat (7)

{BLOSSOM} : Abbrev. for an honour granted to deserving Commonwealth citizens by the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth placed after(after) {abbrev. for “British” + [a defeat]}.

Answer: An example of which(perhaps) is the may (in short form).

13    First  to give authorisation (7)

{INITIAL} : Double defn: 2nd: To give authorisation, though not with your full signature.

14    Baffled by a wobbly seat (2,3)

{AT SEA} : A + anagram of(wobbly) SEAT.

15    India poetically evoked by one chap — that’s poor (8)

{INDIGENT} : The poetic name for India plus(by) Roman numeral for “one” + [a chap;the plural of which is usually found next to the “ladies”].

18    Top  bay in Wales (8)

{CARDIGAN} : 1st: An article of clothing for the top half of the body;a knitted sweater or jacket, named after an earl; and 2nd: A bay on the west coast of Wales.

Sexy Cardigan Sweater Knit V Neck Long Sleeves in Multiple Colors by sweaterslady

20    Picture bug not caught (5)

{INSET} : [a bug;any of the small animals with a segmented body, 3 pairs of legs, and perhaps 2 pairs of wings] minus(not) abbrev. for “caught” as in cricket notation.

Answer: A small picture put within the borders of a larger one.

23    Always there’s passion surrounding gold (7)

{FOREVER} : [passion;an intense excitement;in the literal sense, an indication that you’re sick] containing(surrounding) [in heraldry, the colour of or the metal gold].

25    Dish that’s a result of endless fiddle by artist? (7)

{RAVIOLI} : [a fiddle;an orchestral string instrument] minus its last letter(endless) placed after(by) [an artist;the post-nominal letters for a member of the Royal Academy of the Arts].

Answer: The Italian pasta dish.

26    Revelation from twelve-stone imps (5)

{ELVES} : Hidden in(Revelation from) “twelve-stone “.

27    Standard workers’ co-operative target ball (5,4)

{UNION JACK} : [a workers’ co-operative;a workers’ organisation to deal with management] + [a target ball in the game of bowls].

Answer: A standard;a flag, specifically the British national flag.

28    Left outside stewing in social isolation (8)

{SOLITUDE} : Anagram of(stewing) [abbrev. for “left” + OUTSIDE].

29    Put down average on limits of damage (6)

{DEMEAN} : [the average;the intermediate value of a set of numbers] placed after(on, in an across clue) the 1st and last letters of(limits of) “damage”.

Answer: To put down;to degrade;to humble.


1    Intellectual bore oddly covered in breakfast food (8)

{CEREBRAL} : The 1st and 3rd letters of(oddly) “bore” contained in(covered in) [a breakfast food;a processed grain].

2    Suits for military offensives (7)

{ACTIONS} : Double defn: 1st: Suits taken to the law courts for judgement.  (And no, we’re not talking sartorial contests.)

3    Musicians prohibited by audience chasing money (5,4)

{BRASS BAND} : Homophone of(by audience) [prohibited;barred, eg. narcotic substances] placed below(chasing) [slang for money].

5    Temptation on account of offer — study yield (9,5)

{FORBIDDEN FRUIT} : [on account of;because of] + [an offer;a quotation] + [a study;a secluded room] + [to yield;to bear results].

6    Unfinished vessel loaded with American food (5)

{SUSHI} : [a vessel;a marine craft] minus its last letter(Unfinished) containing(loaded with) [abbrev. for the American states collectively].


And if you’re concerned about hygiene, I’m told that the serving dishes(?) are given a good scrubbing before use.   (Nah, I just made that up.)

7    Fixed allowance under old address (7)

{ORATION} : [fixed allowance in times of shortage, eg. during war] placed below(under) abbrev. for “old”.

Answer: A spoken address;a speech.

8    A leaf originally used in unexciting Mexican dish (6)

{TAMALE} : { A + 1st letter of(originally) “leaf”} contained in(used in) [unexciting;a contrast to wild].

9    Putting one’s foot down developing drug on familiar territory (8,6)

{STAMPING GROUND} : [literally putting one’s foot down, especially by children throwing a tantrum] + anagram of(developing) DRUG ON.

Answer:  There are two possibles to the first part of the answer, both meaning the same, and both fitting the wordplay.

16    Given care after settling grudge (9)

{GRIEVANCE} : Anagram of(after settling) GIVEN CARE.

17    Affected by ruse employed by nurse (8)

{STRICKEN} : [a ruse;a scam] contained in(employed by) [formerly, an abbrev. for a state licensed nurse in the UK].

19    Contender after a bride’s second approach (7)

{ARRIVAL} : [a contender;one competing against you] placed after(after) { A + 2nd letter of(…’s second) “bride”}.

21    Charge for accommodating men in theatre (7)

{STORAGE} : [abbrev. for men who are non-commissioned;other ranks in the military] contained in(in) [the metonym for the theatre;the platform on which the performance takes place].

Answer: The charge;cost for accommodating;safekeeping of goods and such, eg. in a warehouse.

22    A female’s mainly short and sweet (6)

{AFTERS} : A + abbrev. for “female” + [short in speech or manner;curt] minus its last letter(mainly).

Answer: Dessert;what the last course of a normal meal is appropriately called.

24    Call for independence in view that’s incomplete (5)

{VISIT} : Abbrev. for “independence” contained in(in) [a view;a sight] minus its last letter(that’s incomplete).

Answer: To call on a person.

The Quick crossword pun: {havoc} + {hair} = {have a care}

47 comments on “DT 27094

  1. A gentle but enjoyable puzzle to solve. As usual from Jay, some nice surfaces; I particularly liked 11a.
    Thanks to him, and to scchua for the notes.

  2. Had decided on a **/*** before reading the blog, thanks Scchua for the entertaining pics,suchi will never be the same! I found todays puzzlevery entertyaining, liked27a and 9d,thought 18 across was going to be a horse!

  3. I think, Jezza, that this puzzle confirms the difference between the super solvers – such as you ! and the amateurs like me !

    I found it difficult to get going, but eventually managed to finish without hints. Last in was the SW corner where I had the answers but needed Scchua’s review to explain the wordplay. 28a I had the answer because it couldn’t be anything else, but failed to spot the anagram indicator. So I suppose it is possible to complete a puzzle more by luck than good management !

    Thank you Jay for the enjoyable challenge and Scchua for your much needed review – also of course for your usual tasteful selection of photos !

    1. I agree. While I did manage to finish, it was not without difficulty. Good puzzle, though, thanks to setter and scchua for pictures!

  4. Another nice untaxing puzzle today. I wasn’t 100% certain of 10A at first and as I doubted it, managed to delay myself in the NW corner. Never heard of 8D, but was obvious from the clue. Enjoyed 11A, 25A and my fave rave today 17D.

  5. Whilst getting the right answer to 1A, I couldn’t understand the ‘no friend’ element of the clue – Thanks to Scchua for explaining it. Also spent ages trying to find a synonym for ‘intellectual’ to go around ‘br’ in 1D (to give me ****bran) before realising that it needed to be the other way round. Isn’t that the second time we’ve had ‘tamale’ (8D) in the last few days?

    1. Nice to know that someone else other than me made the wrong assumption initially about bran in 1d! Sadly I mis-remembered the name for 8d to start with swapping the 3rd and 5th letters which held me up for a while with 11a and 13a – I hadn’t heard of this until a few days ago and I think it’s the third time ithas cropped up since then. Thanks very much to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle and to Scchua for the hints and pics.

  6. ** and *** from me too. A tad trickier than the last two days I feel but just as enjoyable. 5 d was very clever. For me the left side went in much quicker than the right for some reason. Regds to all.

  7. Got three quarters solved, and then completely stalled on the NW corner. Tried to find a way of fitting egg & heads very stupidly, & that seemed to set me off in all sorts of dead ends, inc. combats for 2d! So agree with Sweet William that the amateur I am needs loads of help too. So yet another thank you for this wonderful site (& yes,, I’m feeling bullish enough to even have a look at the Toughie later – how brave is that!!), as well as my thanks to the setter & Scchua (with happy memories of a Singapore gin sling on a visit a while ago).

    1. You are doing so well as a beginner. I worked out the other day that I’ve been doing these things for 60 plus years and, while i usually finish, I still get bogged down regularly. An easy peasy puzzle like yesterday is a rare event for me!

  8. A nice typical Jay to start my first day back at work – I still can’t see properly but am apparently fit to work mornings only with regular breaks from the computer. Thanks to Jay and scchua too.

  9. Most enjoyable and all solved apart from 2 and 12w and so thanks for those hints. Had standing ground for 9d which didn’t help.

    One minor niggle…..the spelling of cabbie is precisely that….rarely is it cabby.

    1. I have a copy of the COED to hand, and it gives “cabby” as the primary spelling, with “cabbie” as the variant.

  10. Very enjoyable and not too taxing – I really must find a Mexican restaurant to mug up on the various dishes so beloved of setters. Any decent ones in Devon?

  11. Very enjoyable crossword from Jay and a very entertaining review from scchua, my thanks to both.

  12. A very Jay puzzle – in other words should have started with the down clues but, as usual, forgot. I agree with 2* for difficulty but nearer 4* for enjoyment for me.
    I have to confess to looking up ‘gumpy’ to see if it could be a professional driver that I’d never heard of before – oh dear! I spent a while trying to make 10a a musical instrument. Didn’t know that a jack was a ball in bowls. Apart from those I didn’t have too many problems. I really enjoyed it very much.
    I liked lots of these clues – 1, 10, 14 and 28a and 1, 5, 9 and 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Might have a go at Toughie later on.

    1. I hadn’t heard of that meaning for jack either, Kath. Had a total brain cramp about standard meaning flag as well so I wanted to put in union hack! Couldn’t justify it in the least though!
      Thanks to scchua and Jay.

  13. I cannot believe the diff rating. I am unable to solve a single clue! For me 5 star for difficulty.

    1. Been through the labyrinth which is Scchas clues and have given up.
      Obviously not on the setters wavelength at all. Ah well you cant win them all.

  14. As usual on a Wednesday, two puzzles in one. First trying to solve the crossword, then trying to solve Scchua’s hints. Shouldn’t grumble, it all adds to the gaiety of life, especially with the miserable weather today in North Yorkshire

  15. Does anyone else have problems with the DT site and Chrome? Seems to be something to do with the cookies. If I go into manage exceptions and delete the telegraph cookies, then navigate to the DT crossword page, I get my login details filled in and click to login and away i go. Usually I have remember me set and thereon I used to go straight to the page. But now, after a few days I get an error message blocking access and the only way i can get back in is to laboriously go through deleting cookies all over again.

  16. That was fun; I’ll happily agree with the 2*/3* ratings.

    Thanks to Jay and scchua (especially for the nice photo of a cardy!) :-)

  17. Thank you Jay. On first readthrough of the across clues I had only solved one (14ac) After reading the down clues I had got the second half of 3d. On further readings it all fell nicely into place without help. Quite satisfying.

  18. Thanks to Jay & scchua. A very enjoyable puzzle. Started with 3d, finished with 22d, which is credited to my friend Tom. Was plain sailing until the last 6 clues. Was 3*/3*.Favourites were 5d and 18a. Now at the Battersea beer Festival, so the Toughie will be out of the question :-)

  19. Another typical, enjoyable Wednesday puzzle that flowed in smoothly but did take a bit of effort. Started off in the NW corner (as usual) and ended up back there again for the last couple of by-passed answers.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  20. Very gentle puzzle with lots of nice surface reading.

    Faves : 10a, 18a, 27a, 5d, 9d & 21d.

    Blue sky today with a mild northerly wind.
    Heavy snowfall last night but mostly gone except in shaded areas.

    Another six weeks to the Spring!

    Lamb chops for dinner.

  21. Really liked this puzzle because I am finally getting the hang of Jay’s “hidden in open view” type of clues.I gave in and sought help from scchua for the north east corner and was annoyed with myself to find “old chestnuts” in new disguise.Favorites were 10a,18a,and 16d and 12a. Thanks to Jay and scchua

  22. Impossible not to enjoy and be amused by this although I did not find it quite the picnic the majority seem to have .
    8d will be getting frequent flyer status at this rate .
    Favs 1a ,11a,5d .
    Thanks to Jay and Scchua

      1. Hmm. So is ‘cooking’ for example the definition for the ‘charge’ for preparing a meal?

  23. Found this much harder than usual. Not on right wavelength today though still enjoyable. Looking forward to Toughie as 9d was 1st clue I looked at and it made me smile.

  24. Late on parade, been servicing a Jabsco…Pommers can explain the terrors involved in that statement!

    First pass yielded one solution, then really had to grind out about 6 clues and then the rest fell into place, definitely a wavelength thing, nice puzzle though and enjoyable.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to setter.

    1. Well let’s hope that pommers turns up as I have no idea what you’re talking about – whatever it is I do hope that it was fun! Something to do with a boat, perhaps?

  25. Well, I really struggled with this one. Only got one clue before resorting to hints. 17d, can someone explain where the ‘e’ comes from. I thought the nurse registration was only two letters. Also, any more hints for 2d? Just can’t see it despite the hint.

    Thanks to all.

    1. If you want to see an answer just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the relevant clue (If you’re accessing the blog from a mobile device there is some advice on how to do this in the FAQ).

  26. Just spotted an icon on my tablet that when clicked gives me an overlay of the hints with the answers in. Didn’t know what it did before! So have 2d now.

    Thanks Andy and Gazza.

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