DT 27095 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27095

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27095

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa where we are in the midst of our annual winter celebration known as Winterlude.

Did you find the language a bit blue today – what with oaths, profanity and vulgarity. Not to mention a bit of bodice ripping and touching? Should you have any question about the authorship of today’s puzzle, a quick peek at the first and last clues will dispel any doubt. However, before the RayT-phobes exit the room, let me say that I found it to be rather gentle. This just may be the chance for those who are convinced that they can’t do a RayT puzzle to prove themselves wrong.

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 Bodices need ripping to contain one’s defiance (12)
{ DISOBEDIENCE } – an anagram (ripping) of the first two words of the clue containing the Roman numeral for one

9a Usual hamper containing nearly everything (9)
{ PREVALENT } – a word meaning to hinder (or even to avert) containing two thirds of a synonym for everything

10a From a habitat incorporating US city (5)
{ OMAHA } – a city in the American midwest famous for its stockyards (and the home of the TV dinner) is hidden in the first three words of the clue

11a Angel‘s harp’s played around end of life (6)
{ SERAPH } – an anagram (played) of HARPS containing the final letter of (lif)E

12a Support team which is behind (8)
{ BACKSIDE } – a charade of a synonym for help or support and another term for a team

13a Army without backing for decoration (6)
{ TASSEL } – another charade; this time we start with the usual Crosswordland volunteer army and follow up with a reversal (backing) of a word denoting without or minus

15a Ship carrying front of Red Ensign (8)
{ STREAMER } – I was sorely tempted to write in STANDARD on my first read through. Fortunately, I restrained myself. The ship in question would qualify to bear the initials SS (although they aren’t being displayed in this clue). To complete the solution, insert the first letter (front) of R(ed).

18a Vulgar ‘bleep’ in a broadcast (8)
{ PLEBEIAN } – vulgar in the sense of common, not profane; an anagram (broadcast) of BLEEP IN A

19a Composer with a name in German (6)
{ WAGNER } – I found this clue to be tricky and it was my last one in. I tried to make it simply a charade within a container. As it turns out, it is a bit more complicated than that, being a charade in which one of the components is a container. It is a charade of (1) W(ith), (2) A (from the clue) and (3) N(ame) contained in GER(man).

21a Disaster of town taking a hit (8)
{ CALAMITY } – a large town containing (taking) A (from the clue) and a slangy way of saying to hit or thrash

23a Toilet’s even unoccupied and free (6)
{ LOOSEN } – a British name for a toilet together with the S and the outer letters (unoccupied) of E(ve)N

26a Guides for chaps tackling top of Everest (5)
{ LEADS } – boys or youths containing (tackling) the first letter (top) of E(verest)

27a Marine‘s intense embracing a female (9)
{ SEAFARING } – the setter uses marine as an adjective rather than a noun; the solution is an adjective meaning intense (even burning) containing (embracing) A (from the clue) and F(emale)

28a Apathetic rude teen isn’t misbehaving (12)
{ UNINTERESTED } – if this teen isn’t misbehaving, he may be the only one in the puzzle who isn’t; an anagram (misbehaving) of RUDE TEEN ISNT


1d Down payment is returned in store (7)
{ DEPOSIT } – a reversal (returned) of IS contained in a synonym for warehouse

2d Sabbath outfit utter oaths (5)
{ SWEAR } – an abbreviation for Sabbath followed by clothes suitable for a specified purpose

3d Odds on the man framed by charge being profane (9)
{ BLASPHEME } – the final odds at the start of a race and a third person pronoun are all contained in (framed by) a verb meaning to assign responsibility when things go wrong

4d River Po’s opening leading to sea (4)
{ DEEP } – a literary term for the sea is formed from a river in Scotland (although I suspect Mary may beg to differ) and the first letter (opening) of the Italian river in the clue

5d Takes out former wife? Discretion’s about right (8)
{ EXTRACTS } – start with a short term for the former wife, then append a bit of diplomacy (not forgetting the S) and finally insert R(ight)

6d Look at. watch perhaps (5)
{ CLOCK } – a slangy term meaning to observe or notice someone is also what a watch is a small example of

7d Amulet of metal is manufactured (8)
{ TALISMAN } – … and hidden in the last three words of the clue

8d Take fast track for job? (6)
{ CAREER } – a verb meaning to proceed recklessly is also ironically a noun denoting one’s professional life

14d Has doled out great deal (8)
{ SHEDLOAD } – a euphemistic British expression for a large amount or number is an anagram of HAS DOLED; while the original version of this expression has made it across the Atlantic, that would seem not to be the case for the euphemism

16d Drink up, pain takes a time to develop (9)
{ ELABORATE } – a reversal (up) of a drink that one might imbibe at their local plus the sort of pain that may be sitting beside you at the bar (especially if you are 28a in what he has to say). Finish off by inserting A (from the clue) and T(ime)

17d Biased worker supporting political leader (8)
{ PARTISAN } – the first letter (leader) of P(olitical) is followed by (supported by in a down clue) someone who does skilled work with their hands

18d Cream the French relish (6)
{ PICKLE } – start with a verb meaning to select (in the clue, specifically the best part) and append the masculine singular form of the French definite article

20d Grass holding info turned up and welshed (7)
{ RENEGED } – a stalk of marsh grass containing (holding) a reversal (turned up) of a slang term for information

22d Old lady’s touching builder (5)
{ MASON } – an informal term for mother (together with the S) plus a preposition meaning touching or in contact with

24d Small bird capturing large support (5)
{ STILT } – a charade of S(mall) and a small songbird (known in North America as a chickadee) into which L(arge) is injected

25d Exceptional artist with rise of Queen (4)
{ RARE } – today RayT saves his signature clue to the end; the customary Crosswordland artist and a reversal (rise of) Her Majesty’s cipher

It was fun while it lasted, but was over quickly. Favourite clues include 1a (great way to start the puzzle), 12a (for the photo op), 18a, 23a (appeals to a North American who dislikes paying to use the loo), 28a, and 16d.

The Quick crossword pun: {sure} + {lore} + {combs} = {Sherlock Holmes}

69 comments on “DT 27095

  1. 19a was my downfall. He was the only one I could think of to fit the crossers but I could not work out why. Otherwise an enjoyable start to the day. anothing to be afraid of. Thanks to setter and to Falcon for the entertaining review.

  2. I agree with Falcon – over far too quickly for that amount of fun. Was slightly worried that the Queen wasn’t going to turn up, but there she was at the end! Thanks to Ray and Falcon

    Aoart from one clue which confused me and not being able to count which held up sorting out another, the Toughie didn’t take me that long either.

    Lovely and sunny here today if cold windy. Trouble is I am now back at work :(

  3. I found this a slightly trickier solve today, and my last three took almost as long as the rest of the puzzle.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Falcon for the review.

  4. A bit harder than **, more like *** for me and as usual with RayT lots and lots of fun. Normal 2 person solving should resume from tomorrow.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  5. As already mentioned I could work out who for 19a but not why exactly so thanks for that .I also found it closer to a 3* but good fun indeed .
    Thanks very much to both .

  6. I thought 19a was DANNER (Ann (a name) inside DER for German). Greg Danner is an American contempory composer

        1. I tried some of those options too before the penny dropped. By the way, there soon won’t be any pennies dropping in Canada as this week we began the process of phasing out the use of that coin.

          1. I heard about that – they’re going to round everything up. I’m surprised that here in the UK they haven’t decided to go along with a similar scheme to remove all coinage less than £100.00

            1. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that merchants are permitted to round everything up. In most cases, amounts of one or two cents are to be rounded down and amounts of three or four cents will be rounded up. However, a few major merchants have announced that they will round everything down. The change only applies to cash transactions. Sales on credit or debit cards will still be calculated to the penny. The penny is not yet in the grave and people are already writing obituaries for the nickel (five cent coin).

              1. It is now several years since we dropped the smaller coins, ie the 1c and 5c. Our smallest coin is now 10c but with electronic transactions they still apply to the exact last cent. The change did not shatter the world.

  7. Thank you Falcon for your review – and the usual interesting photos. For some reason I really enjoy Ray T puzzles ! His economical and accurate use of words make it possible for me to solve clues from the wordplay ( even 19a ! ) – something I can’t always do with other setters – like yesterday ! So, many thanks Ray T.

  8. I’m sure Ray T would have approved of Falcon’s clue ‘pics’,thanks for the wordplay in 19a,i had G in A-N,in the middle with W and ER on the outside-nearly there!,a **/*** for me today,very enjoyable ,long live the Queen!

  9. Found this easier than the usual Thursday offering. Like others, we found 19a hard to explain though it had to be the answer, so thanks to Falcon, not least for some interesting illustrations not found in Gray’s Anatomy, and Ray T.

  10. Was help up a while by not remembering how to spell 18A properly, most fell into place once I managed to correct it. As with a lot of others, I spotted 19A quickly but couldn’t really work out the word play (still thinking about that one). Other than that, was nice to see a bit of bad language and a delight to have some bodice ripping, long may it continue.

  11. Oh dear, Oh dear,
    Over rather quickly and I hadn’t even had breakfast!
    But thoroughly enjoyable, nonetheless.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon, great PWOAR graphics.

  12. Like Skempie, I was held up by the spelling of 18A but otherwise no real problem. Very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Falcon for the colorful hints and to the setter.

  13. More of a 3* for difficulty for me today and at least 4* for enjoyment – unmistakably Ray T. :grin:
    I also couldn’t work out why 19a was what it had to be and neither could I spell 18a. I got in a muddle with 1a too – I was sure that what I had was right but, somehow, just couldn’t get the right number of the right letters from anything – brain a bit slow today. 3d took a while to untangle.
    I liked 1, 12, 23 and 28a and 4, 6 and 18d.
    With thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  14. Had to do this in three hits today, couldn’t get into it at all, eventually ground it out though.

    Thanks for the review, needed to explain some word play…super pics.

    Thanks to the compiler for what I thought was a moderately difficult but amusing puzzle.

  15. I’m with Falcon on this one – I was yacking to a friend on the train and still put all of this in inside record time. Some lovely clues (well visualised by Falcon) and a lot of fun. Thanks RayT and Falcon himself.

    1. Falcon does seem to have graduated with honours from the Gazza school of blog illustrating!! :)

  16. Found it a lot trickier than 2* but a million times better than yesterday’s horror!
    Very enjoyable but don’t quite get 15a, what has that to do with an ensign and where us the indicator in 7d that it is a contained clue?
    Thx to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Falcon for the hints

    1. Hi Brian,

      Like you, I had some misgivings about an ensign being a streamer. Chambers (online) defines a streamer as a long thin flag (not exactly how I would think of an ensign). The bottom line is that they are both flags and, I suppose, one could loosely say that an ensign streams in the breeze — making it a streamer.

      As spindrift points out below, in 7d, the hidden word indicator is “of”.

      1. … you might say that the clue is a bit of a stretch. That is, if you stretch the ensign, it becomes a streamer.

  17. 15a is a ship with the letter R inserted after the first 2 letters
    7d I can only think “of” in the clue as an indicator for a hidden word

  18. A bit quiet here today. Mary seems to have disappeared again – don’t think she’s been around for a couple of days, or more. Hope she’s OK.

      1. Monday and Wednesday is cardiac rehab, Friday is acupuncture – don’t think we have had a doctor’s note for Tuesdays and Thursdays yet :)

  19. Great crossword and a fabulous review ( especially the pictures ), many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

  20. Agree with Kath’s assessment – I found this more of a 3* for difficulty today, but really enjoyed it (& felt SO stupid when I finally filled in the last few clues & found the answer was staring (or even glaring) me in the face – esp. 8d & 18d). But, oddly, didn’t struggle re the composer. So 4* for the fun.

    1. Sorry, got myself in a 18d, & completely forgot my manners… Many thanks to the setter, and to Falcon for helpful review.

  21. As Big Boab just wrote…

    Great crossword and a fabulous review ( especially the pictures ), many thanks to RayT and Falcon.


    How the devil could the Quick Crossword give me so much more trouble than the Cryptic???

    1. Yes – I agree with all three of you. I’ve done the back page cryptic and the Toughie and still haven’t finished the quickie. Might go back to it now.

  22. The star rating is about how long it takes the reviewer to solve, I gather.In my mind , the star rating is about whether or not I can solve nearly all of it.So I managed to squeeze an answer out of most clues, but it took ages. Made the “standard” mistake and misread clue for Wagner. Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  23. Found it a lot trickier than 2* but a million times better than yesterday’s horror!
    don’t quite get 15a, what has that to do with an ensign and where us the indicator in 7d that it is a contained clue?
    Thx to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Falcon for the hints

    1. 15a – think ‘flags’
      7d – we have had this discussion many times recently – one of the definitions of ‘of’ is among.

    2. Brian,

      See my reply to your “very similar” comment at 17 above. :smile:

      Your comment seems to be playing hide and seek, Earlier it appeared twice, with one immediately following the other. I replied to the second copy but I think someone must have deleted it orphaning my reply. I deleted my reply and attached it to the first copy of your comment. Now the second copy of your comment seems to have reappeared — or is it the third copy?

      1. Much apologies, I was using an iPhone and it kept saying that the comment could not be published although obviously it was. The gremlins of modern technology at work

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, but found it very difficult. Needed 5 hints to finish. Was 4*/4* for me. Think that yesterday’s beer Festival has addled my brain :-)

  25. Very enjoyable. What work does crypticsue do which allows so much space for crosswords and blogging?

    1. I believe the secret is that she is so proficient at solving crosswords that she doesn’t need much “space”. Reputedly, her skill at crosswords can make “grown men cry”.

        1. This question gets posed so often, perhaps crypticsue should ask Big Dave to add it to the FAQ.

    2. I have done more on the day blogging recently as I have been off work for four weeks – back on phased return to work from yesterday so will just be back to sharing the weekend puzzle reviews with young Gnomey , until, I would imagine, Good Friday when Gazza usually offers me that day’s Giovanni

      As for solving,its a combination of being a fast reader, experienced solver, getting into the office early to do the two DT puzzles before I have to start work and fitting in the other dailies during the day (mostly but not necessarily always in my own time!).

      As for making grown men cry – I have only personally witnessed the aftermath of one man’s sobbing at my ability to solve the DT crossword – anything else is just hearsay :)

  26. I found this 3+ difficult, and never did get 19a, not sure I even get it now. I must raise one objection: 14d is the most appalling slang. I did get it as recognised the anagram and had all the letters, so what else could it be? I googled it, so I knew it was correct, but what a horrible word! In any case, thanks to all for giving a good start to the day.

    1. Composer with a name in German (6)

      The definition is “composer”. The wordplay is a charade consisting of three components: W + A + G(N)ER.

      W is an abbreviation for “with”, A comes from the clue, N is an abbreviation for “name” and GER is an abbreviation for “German”.

      As for 14d, be thankful the setter chose to use the euphemism rather than the “raw” version of the expression.

  27. I agree with Falcon ‘s rating and found it surprisingly easy for a Ray T ,yet, like Brian I found yesterday ‘ s Jay ‘s virtually impossible while most people found it very easy! Thanks to Ray T & Falcon whose hints I only needed to explain 19a.

  28. What’s not to love about a Ray T on a Thursday? Excellent fare once again from the man. Thanks to he & to the penniless Falcon.

  29. Thank you Ray T and Falcon. A most enjoyable puzzle. If anyone would like another one with rather risqué overtones check out Orlando in today’s Guardian.

    1. This kind of comment says more about the person leaving the comment than it does about the clue.

      At least Rince (see next comment) explained, albeit incorrectly, why he didn’t like the clue.

      1. 19a was my last to parse, but I could parse the exact same answer in the “I” today – a recycled Hypnos, 4d,Owen’s mate snubbed fiddler and musical icon (6)

  30. 19a – I hate this type of clue where without warning the compiler expects you to know he has used the initial letters. Only gettable when you have run out of options and, IMHO that’s a bad clue.

    1. The setter cannot expect you to know that he has used initial letters without warning.

      In this clue W and N are accepted abbreviations for with and name respectively – both are documented in Chambers. Both abbreviations are used frequently in crosswords.

    2. Rince – you are missing the point. The setter is telling you exactly that but trying to disguise the face – I may not mean what I say but I must ALWAYS say what I mean.

      I see W(ith) A (from the clue) + N(ame) inserted into GER (abbreviation for German) because I ran through other possibilities (MIT EINE NAMEN is too long to make anything of!), I have been solving for a while and particularly solving RayT for a bit – he likes to use W(ith) A as a construction BECAUSE it is deceptive but valid and expects the solvers to be able to learn the rules.
      This is why this blog, amongst others, is so helpful.

Comments are closed.