DT 27102 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27102

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27102

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

It may be that I was being particularly dozy this morning but I found this puzzle quite difficult for a back-pager (especially 26a where the answer is obvious but I can’t understand the wordplay), so I’ll be interested in what you all have to say about it.
If you want to reveal an answer just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Company’s head of marketing, in place, working, and toeing the line (10)
{COMPLIANCE} – the abbreviation for company and the first letter of M(arketing) are followed by an anagram (working) of IN PLACE.

6a  Device that may use electricity (50A) (4)
{LAMP} – the Roman numeral for 50 and what A is an abbreviation for in the measurement of  electricity.

9a  Wants to be anything but diligent, start to finish (5)
{LACKS} – an adjective meaning the opposite of diligent with its first letter moved to the end.

10a  Pleasant old jokes that may be dished up (9)
{SWEETCORN} – this vegetable is a charade of an adjective meaning pleasant and a word used to describe hackneyed old jokes.

12a  Scottish location could get tribe rehoused after abandonment (5,8)
{OUTER HEBRIDES} – these islands are an anagram (after abandonment) of TRIBE REHOUSED.

14a  Be in place with English man of the people (8)
{PLEBEIAN} – string together a) the abbreviation for place, b) E(nglish) and c) a man’s name (usually clued as Scotsman) then insert BE.

15a  What was requested by Solomon or Norman? (6)
{WISDOM} – double definition.

17a  First indication of licentiousness, one having yearning to eat fruit (6)
{LITCHI} – Chambers lists five different acceptable spellings for this fruit, which must be some sort of record. For this variant we need the first letter of L(icentiousness) and I (one, in Roman numerals) with a yearning or craving inserted (to eat).

19a  This resort’s British? Absolutely correct! (8)
{BRIGHTON} – the whole clue is the definition here so this is a semi-all-in-one. B(ritish) is followed by an expression of enthusiastic agreement (5,2) to make a resort on the south coast.

21a  Thought and study at place of worship cut short at one — no turning back (13)
{CONTEMPLATION} – string together a) an archaic verb meaning to study or pore over, b) a place of worship without its final E (cut short), c) AT (from the clue), d) I (one in Roman numerals) and e) NO reversed (turning back).

24a  Drug that should be deeper in somehow hard to inject (9)
{EPHEDRINE} – an anagram (somehow) of DEEPER IN with H (hard, in classifications of pencils) inserted (to inject).

25a  Restraint that may pose problem for top man on board (5)
{CHECK} – a top man on the board is either the white or black king.

26a  Buss? She didn’t want one! (4)
{KISS} – I don’t understand the wordplay here. Buss is an obsolete spelling of bus so it’s perhaps saying that she (whoever she is) is not waiting for a bus but a smacker. If so it’s not very good, but I feel sure that there’s more to it than that – all suggestions welcome! [Thanks to Lynne and Lord Luvvaduck for pointing out that Buss is Frances Buss the educationalist – for the satirical poem about her, implying that she wasn’t keen on kissing, see Lord Luvvaduck’s comment.]

27a  Irritating notelets sent out by this writer (10)
{NETTLESOME} – an anagram (sent out) of NOTELETS is followed by how the setter (this writer) refers to himself.

Down Clues

1d  Dead fish in lake? Quite the opposite (4)
{COLD} – quite the opposite tells us to insert the abbreviation for lake in a type of fish.

2d  Bug to remain attached to top half of mike (7)
{MICROBE} – a verb to remain or stay follows (attached to) the first five letters of a ten-letter word for which mike is an abbreviation.

3d  Get in difficulty with yarn, one way or another (4,3,6)
{LOSE THE THREAD} – mislay your sewing material or forget what comes next in a story that you are telling.

4d  European and American in a train slightly confused (8)
{AUSTRIAN} – insert one of the abbreviations for American between A (from the clue) and an anagram (slightly confused) of TRAIN – only slightly confused because just one pair of letters are reversed.

5d  Page in Indian paper (5)
{CREPE} – P(age) gets inserted in a Native American.

7d  ‘Missed nothing’ — that’s admitted by keen journalist (7)
{AVOIDED} – the letter that looks like zero or nothing is inserted (admitted) in an adjective meaning keen and that’s followed by the usual senior journalist.

8d  What could be provided by nine thumps? Six, classically! (10)
{PUNISHMENT} – an anagram (what could be provided by) of NINE THUMPS classically took the form of ‘six of the best’.

11d  The smallest possible round trip (7,6)
{TURNING CIRCLE} – cryptic definition of the smallest space in which a vehicle can change direction without using reverse gear.

13d  Computer facility offering some magic pattern of lines (10)
{SPELLCHECK} – a charade of the sort of magic that Harry Potter might perform and a pattern of cross lines.

16d  Golden title put on books for decoration (8)
{ORNAMENT} – a title or caption of gold (2,4) precedes the books forming the latter part of the Bible. The word for gold is a noun not an adjective so I don’t understand why the clue has golden title rather than gold title.

18d  Fish in ditches, not river (7)
{TENCHES} – remove R(iver) from a word meaning ditches or channels. I’m not keen on the use of this plural (would we say cods or plaices?) – the BRB is non-committal on the subject but the ODE says the plural is ‘same’.

20d  Brown jelly-like substance on round fruit (7)
{TANGELO} – charade of a verb (or noun) meaning brown (on the beach, possibly), a jelly-like substance that may be used to fix hair in place and the letter that is round.

22d  Personal dignity of ‘catty’ group (5)
{PRIDE} – double definition, the ‘catty’ group being found, perhaps, in the Serengeti.

23d  Island broadcaster audibly received (4)
{SKYE} – this island sounds like (audibly received) a very expensive broadcaster.

My favourites today were 19a, 25a and 11d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SHELLED} + {RAKE} = {SHELDRAKE}

83 comments on “DT 27102

  1. Loved this. Especially 6 & 10a & 1d. Took too long over 7d. Many thanks to setter & Gazza – pnly one hint needed today!

  2. There is a poem about Miss Buss and Miss Bee (I think). They were two ladies who set up a school for girls and were quick strict and wore suits and ties rather like business women today.

  3. Still struggling, but 26a refers to the co-founder of Cheltenham Ladies’ College about whom a rhyme was written by one of their girls:

    Miss Buss and Miss Beale,
    Cupid’s darts do not feel.
    How different from us,
    Miss Beale and Miss Buss.

    1. Thanks LL – that sounds a convincing argument. Perhaps a little obscure though. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of Misses Buss or Beale, or the rhyme come to that.

      1. Neither was I, as I’d assumed the Kiss me Kate aspect as well. And although we played CLC at lacrosse (or cricket – can’t remember) I’d never heard that rhyme. It was too cold where I was on the south coast to think of anything except how to keep wrapped up in our cloaks during lessons – normally not permitted… Brrrrrrhrrrr…

    2. Mary Buss was the founder of Camden School for Girls in London, which is just up the road from me.

    1. Welcome to the blog Bob

      I think the problem was not with the definition but with the relevance (now explained) of the rest of the clue.

  4. Enjoyed this very much today. Probably ***/*** for me I think. I’m equally puzzled by the clue for 26a and look forward to hearing the reasoning. I initially wanted to enter EIRE (pron. AIRER) for 23d which would have made 25a tricky, which is what convinced me to look further North. Many thanks to GnG.

  5. More than one hint needed by me so I am pleased to see it is graded a four star.I particularly enjoyed 6a and 14a, and many others.I am beginning to appreciate this setter more than all the others .Thanks to Gazza for the hints.

  6. A very clever and enjoyable crossword – it kept me out of the sunshine for a little longer than I’d intended.

  7. I had a sense of deja vu – haven’t Plebeian and Wisdom both cropped up in the last couple of weeks?

  8. Apart from 26a, which I was unable to parse, the rest went in very nicely.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.

    Back to the second half of the toughie, with the whole of the right side complete, and the left side empty!

  9. Good morning gazza from a very sunny springlike West Wales, I found this one really tough today but did like 6a and 19a, I still don’t understand 26a even understanding that ‘buss’ is ‘kiss’ because who is ‘she’ and why didn’t she want one?? I agree with four star rating today for difficulty, thanks for hints gazza, wouldn’t have managed without them today, even with all the perservation in the world!

  10. Glad you gave this a 4* diff. I found it very hard, and had to go to hints for 13d and 26a, all the rest went in with a lot of thought.

    Thanks for the review, needed for answers and wordplay explanations.

    Thanks to the setter for a tough but fair puzzle, exempt 26a.

  11. The Don in fine form today – much more challenging than the last few Fridays! Much more enjoyable as well!

    You wait for hours for an explanation to 26a and then …

  12. First pass produced meagre pickings but once up and running thoroughly enjoyed apart from 18d .The commandant enlightened me re the meaning of 26a and confirmed she didn’t want to indulge either !
    3* / 4* for me .
    Thanks very much .

  13. You’ve got to appreciate Giovanni’s skill at setting clues with great surface readings and clever outcomes. Particularly liked1d for that. Plus there’s always the opportunity to learn some new obscure spelling or facet of general knowledge. Fantastic stuff, prob ***/**** for me. Thanks to all.

  14. I found this challenging today too, and needed some help to finish. Enjoyed it, though. I knew about the two Miss B’s and was amused to find one at 26a, but didn’t know the drug at 24a. Favourites were 19 and 24a. Many thanks to G&G.

    I’ve been away for a while and so send good wishes now for Pommers’ recovery, Cryptic Sue’s eyes and Mary’s health problems. :-)

      1. Well, I felt a bit like that when I checked in and read a few blogs back. You can all stop dropping now. :-)

    1. Thanks Franny – it’s only the one eye and that’s 3/4 back now although still blurry in the middle and quite sore at the end of a week’s phased return to work.

      When you think of all the people that visit the site, Pommers, I think three of us being hors de combat is a relatively small proportion of the whole.

      1. You are, of course correct, and as bad things are said to come in 3’s perhaps that will be all for a while :smile:

      2. I agree sue but two of you are VIPs in that you are bloggers and are essential to the site, so that is quite a large proportion of the blogging board :-)

  15. I’m SO glad that gazza gave this 4* for difficulty – I thought it was going to be just me! Oh dear! Total disaster! :sad:
    I started off badly, only getting about five answers on first read through. Then managed a few more. Having got 5 and 11d I spotted 10a – chestnuts – thereby making the rest of that corner absolutely impossible. :roll:
    I liked 12 and 19a and 1, 11 and 13d.
    With thanks to Giovanni (I think) and to gazza for the very much needed hints.
    Off now to hang head in shame – at least it’s sunny.

    1. I too put chestnuts in the first run through. Made much more sense than the solution – if only it had fitted with the checking letters :)

      1. Oh good – nice to know that I’m not the only one. Unfortunately it DID fit with the only two checking letters that I had in at the time, which meant that I didn’t have the sense to doubt it! :sad: Must learn to think again when one particular corner becomes impossible.

    2. Initially I had the same old chestnut ,until it became obvious that it couldn’t be.Just returned from a walk in Sandycove overlooking Dublin bay at its best.

  16. Phew. This took much longer than usual and I needed hints for four clues. Hung up by not being able to spell plebeian and for some reason found 27A more difficult than I should. I did get 26A but thought it a reference to Kiss Me Kate also. 13D stumped me, and I’m not convinced spellcheck is a facility. Thanks to Gazza for sorting me out, and to the setter for the brain exercise.

  17. Quick read through filled me with foreboding, but once i settled into it everything fell into place so i give it a ***/****, could’nt quite work out the wordplay in 2d,i was looking for a 5 letter word for remain after the first two letters of mike-thanks for the explanation Gazza, and other Bloggers for the wordplay in Buss; that was really obscure.

  18. 3*/3* for me – I have to say that 26a brought out the ‘Brian’ in me, if you know what I mean! Thanks to the two Gs for the usual Friday service.

    The Toughie is a ferocious beast of a thing – it took me twice as long as last week’s Elgar and that took long enough. Brave souls with time to spare will enjoy some very good d’oh moments if they are prepared to perservate and cogitate and then perservate some more.

    1. Oh I’m grateful for that warning, CS, as most unusually I’m in the minority this morning with the cryptic, as I’d given it a 1.5/4 rating, & felt so chuffed I set about the toughie immediately (having time off after hospital helps!!) & have ground to a depressed standstill… Perservation on order…

  19. 26a really obscure!
    18d – not sure of this fish – again rather obscure – barrel scraping maybe?

    1. I’m not sure that tench is that obscure. My argument was that the plural of tench is tench rather than tenches.

      1. I thought the same, but an internet search revealed that ‘tench’ and tenches’ are both acceptable collective nouns, so I considered the clue solved – even though I didn’t like it much. I now also know that my education was sadly lacking, in as much as I’ve never previously heard of Miss Buss or Miss Beale – like many others, I guess.

        1. At the risk of sounding pedantic I think that ‘tench’ and ‘tenches’ are plurals rather than collective nouns – really not trying to be difficult here . . . :smile:

  20. Buss = Kiss = x = a bad mark or a wrong answer. We all want ticks not xs. (I don’t think this has anything to do with it – but it has been fun trying)

  21. A very enjoyable crossword from Giovanni and a most entertaining review fro Gazza, took me a wee while just to get started then it all fell into place very easily.

  22. A late finish to this one today mainly as a result of writing ‘Chestnuts’ straight in for 10a. It seemed to fit nicely, was one of my first entries and succeeded in totally messing up the top half.
    Agree with the plural of Tench being Tench as I always understood it.

  23. Very very clever and enjoyable. Just the right amount of thinking required! Thanks to LL for the explanation of 26a. Favourite was 19a.
    Many thanks to G and G.

  24. Apart from the aforementioned Misses of Cheltenham I thought this was a great puzzle.
    Held up a bit by putting in CHESTNUTS for 10a, which I found fitted two of the checkers and so was convinced it was correct! Fortunately PUNISHMENT came to the rescue and then pommette sorted 10a with a big smile as she really loves the revolting stuff :grin:

    No real favs, just all-round good stuff so thanks to the two G’s, (and at least it’s good to know I was not alone on 26a!)

  25. I didn’t really like this one. Too may clues were of the type – find the answer first and decipher the clue later. Having already got the “K” I was sure that 26a must be “KATE” as “she” was the one (in Kiss me Kate) who didn’t want a BUSS (kiss). This then made 18d impossible. The reference to the poem is a reference too far for me.

    14a – got the answer but couldn’t unravel clue exactly. How is BE “in” place? – that would spell PBELEIAN. Clue would be better “Be after place with English man of the people”.

    7d – got AVOIDED but then assumed that the “nothing” in the clue was “VOID” and the journalist was A ED – though it wasn’t clear to me why an Editor was a “keen journalist” – I assumed that only keen journalists make it to editor. Your explanation makes more sense!

    16d OR is the heraldic term for the colour gold in coats of arms so perhaps it can be represented by gold or golden – just a suggestion.

    1. You can read 14a as ‘BE (goes) IN (a string consisting of) PLACE WITH ENGLISH (and) MAN …’.

  26. Thank you Giovanni for what, for me, was a difficult puzzle. For some unknown reason I managed to finish without hints. Obviously I was lucky in getting sweetcorn and avoiding the chestnuts route ! The SW corner took me ages. I finally put Kiss in without knowing why other than Buss = Kiss. I am not too sure whether I am any the wiser now in spite of all the discussion ! More luck than good management again I think. It is a relief to see that some others found it hard going as well. Thank you Gazza for your review.

  27. Can I give this a 10* for difficulty? I never did get 10a or 7d and needed hints, but now I have the answers I wonder why. I needed hints to know why 2d was what it was. I also found the spelling of 17d decidedly odd, but looked it up and found the variation. That poor fruit will have a personality disorder if it has any more names. Good puzzle, I love when they are challenging. Thanks to all

  28. Hm, I found this easier than Monday. Although I had to think and look up several words, you’ll probably know the ones. All the clues were there, if a bit obscure, whereas Monday was more of a punning game. Im not so sure that I like obscure poems and words, perhaps Im too lazy. Anyway thanks to all etc.
    Ps bought Sunday Times by mistake – could not do any of the prize crossword on first reading. Is that because its difficult or I’m not used to the setter?

    1. I’m sure that someone else will say this but if you click on ‘reply’ instead of writing another comment everything stays together – sorry – sure there is a better way of putting that but do hope that it makes sense.

  29. Well I ‘m glad it wasn’t just me who found this quite difficult. I can ‘t believe how long it took me to work out the anagram at 13a and I come from there! Thanks to Giovanni & gazza whose hints I surely needed today for quite a few.

  30. Thanks to the two G’s, what a super puzzle, on first read-through I only got a few answers, but eventually it all fell into place and I finished without the hints, but I couldn’t parse 2d, so was pleased to see Gazza’s explanation. I had heard of Miss Buss, but not Miss Beale, but as Buss=Kiss, I thought that must be the answer. Started with 6a, finished with 14a. Favourites were 15a and 5d. Was 3*/4* for me. Lovely afternoon in Central London had a good squelch over Parly Hill :-) Meltwater abounding.

  31. We also failed to parse 26a but got the rest done after considerable effort. 8d was our last in which is rather strange seeing it is an anagram. Perhaps because the definition is rather indirect and we were looking for a classical group of six. So, to summarise, challenging and fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. I too think this is a weak clue because it does not define the answer and relies too heavily on literary knowledge! But the blog-man is correct, explain youself clisco! My bugbear clue is 2d- “top half of mike” surely leads to “mi”? and for a long time now microphone has been abbreviated as “mic” so I think the reference is obsolete! However I thought that there were some great clues in this puzzle and it kept me busy for a while! loved 8d. thanks to all!

  32. Definitely a challenging puzzle today – I thought I was going to have to resort to hints, but I opted for a break instead and then managed to finish after remembering that there are a ridiculous number of ways to spell that fruit. Like almost everyone else, I couldn’t parse 26a, but at least I’m in good company. :-) Thanks to Lynne and LL for that explanation, Gazza for the review and Giovanni for a very satisfying solve.

  33. Spent a great day in the Harrogate sunshine so arrived here late. Great puzzle for me, delayed by putting chestnut for 10a and needed the blog explanation for 26a although the answer was obvious.
    Thanks as always to Gazza and the setter.

  34. Started doing Telegraph crossword about 40 years ago by doing it a day late and working backwards. Really appreciate Big Dave’s blog especially if I am feeling a bit lazy. Slow to get started today, definitely not on same wave length as compiler!

  35. THanks for the Buss explanation LL. I have not made much progress on the Toughie due to work getting in the way. I may have to play catchup on Sunday at this rate. Thanks to Giovanni and to gazza for the review.

  36. Solved this one late this evening as had family in for dinner so was occupied beforehand!

    Another nice puzzle from The Don.

    Faves : 6a, 15a, 19a, 25a, 3d, 13d, 20d & 23d.

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