DT 27106

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27106

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A bit more challenging than the usual Wednesday.  Thanks to setter, and if it’s Jay, he’s turned up the difficulty a notch or two on this one.  Therefore a 3-3.5* for both difficulty and enjoyment.

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.

4    Something that moves one’s spirit? (3,5)

{HIP FLASK} : Cryptic defn: What you might put your spirit/liquor in to move it about with you on your person.

8    Sort of pressure exerted by broadcasting address (6)

{TORQUE} : Homophone of(broadcasting) [an address;a lecture].

Answer: Think changing a flat tyre.


9    Hamlet’s liver? (8)

{VILLAGER} : Cryptic defn: One who lives in a hamlet (smaller than a town).

10    Cartridge for printed part of Sunday paper (8)

{MAGAZINE} : Double defn: 1st: In photography, a container/a cassette for a roll of film; and 2nd: An additional section of many Sunday newspapers – I’m not sure why “printed” is used here; maybe I’m missing something?

11    Expecting King George to have keen following (6)

{GRAVID} : [Abbrev. for George Rex;King George] placed before(to have … following) [keen;enthusiastic].

Answer: The technical term for expecting a baby. Think “heavy”.

12    No idea, but left in without snooker equipment (8)

{CLUELESS} : Abbrev. for “left” contained in(in) [describing a snooker player without a vital piece of equipment].

13    Almost arrived before one with only this to wear! (8)

{CAMISOLE} : [arrived, by having moved] minus its last letter(Almost) placed before(before) Roman numeral for “one” plus(with) [only;by itself/oneself].

16    Muscle-bound man with complaint going west of Madeira, say (8)

{BEEFCAKE} : [a complaint;a point of contention] placed before(going west of, in an across clue) [a sweet baked food, an example of which/say, is the Madeira, formerly served with Madeira wine, of course].


19    Ladies by lake in famous battle (8)

{WATERLOO} : [slang for the “Ladies”;the powder room] placed after(by) [a lake;a body or area of this liquid].

21    Raise with card winning (4,2)

{JACK UP} : [one of four court cards in a deck] + [winning;in a superior position].


23    Launch programme in such a work area (4-4)

{OPEN-PLAN} : [to launch;to establish for business or for public use, eg. a shop] + [a programme;a scheme or method for achieving an objective].

Answer: Descriptive of a certain type of office/work area.

24    Heavier than air machine making you go tar free? (8)

{AUTOGYRO} : Anagram of(free) YOU GO TAR.

25    Talk about the French holiday home (6)

{CHALET} : [to talk;to have an informal discussion] containing(about t) [the definite article “the” in French].

26    European on river studies a source of assistance (8)

{RECOURSE} : [Abbrev. for “European”] placed after( on ) [abbrev. for “river”] + [studies;a programme of instruction;a series of lectures/lessons, as in a college or university].

Answer:  A person or thing resorted to for help/assistance/protection.

1    Half of locums with friend in the area (7)

{LOCALLY} : First 3 letters of(Half of) “locums” plus(with) [a friend;someone on your side].

2    Adopt a defensive position for old-fashioned side on the field (6,3)

{SQUARE OFF} : [old-fashioned;how the younger generation describes the older one] + [one of the two sides/areas on a cricket field, to the left or right of the batsman when facing the bowler].

3    Conclude investigators drowned in river (6)

{DECIDE} : [Abbrev. for the investigative department of a police force] contained in(drowned in) [any one of the rivers with the same name in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Australia].

4    Be slightly unbalanced and resolve a case — how unorthodox (4,1,5,5)

{HAVE A SCREW LOOSE} : Anagram of(unorthodox) RESOLVE A CASE — HOW.

5    Offence caused by college male in lively environment (8)

{POLYGAMY} : [short for a college offering courses, especially vocational ones, at or below degree standard] + { [abbrev. for “male”] contained in(in) [lively;merry;also describing a sexual orientation] }.

6    Animal lair with no ventilation oppresses priest (5)

{LLAMA} : “lair” minus(with no) [ventilation;the atmosphere] placed above(oppresses, in a down clue) [a Tibetan priest].

7    Odds on Alice, possibly, must be exceptional (7)

{SPECIAL} : [abbrev. for the betting odds prevailing at the start of a horse race] placed above(on, in a down clue) anagram of(possibly) ALICE.

14    Drama underlying second promise to provide fencing (9)

{SWORDPLAY} : [drama performed on stage] placed below(underlying, in a down clue) { [abbrev. for “second” in time notation] + [what a person gives as a promise;an assurance] }.

15    Government financier‘s salary covered by working extra (8)

{TAXPAYER} : [salary;wage] contained in(covered by) anagram of(working) EXTRA.

Answer: You or I who, ultimately, pays for the cost of Government.

17    An area that’s rubbed out by age, of course (7)

{ERASURE} : [an age;a long period of time] + [the exclamation “of course!”;”definitely!”].

18    Found topless model worried about tiger! (7)

{LOCATED} : Anagram of(worried) “model” minus its first letter(topless) containing(about) [one of the family of animals to which the tiger belongs].  And how’s that for a surface reading!  (A capital “T” would have made it perfect.)


20    Ditch or river full of fish? Quite the contrary (6)

{TRENCH} : The converse of/quite the contrary of “river full of fish”, ie. [a freshwater food fish] containing(full of) [abbrev. for “river”].

22    City play up in knockout (5)

{KYOTO } : Reversal of(up) [to play with;to flirt with] contained in(in) [abbrev. for knockout, especially in boxing].

Answer: The former capital of Japan.

The Quick crossword pun: (pour} + {keep} + {highs} = {porky pies}


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    ***/**** for me today with some very enjoyable clues. 11a was a new word for me, but obvious from the wordplay. I thought 9a was brilliant. Many thanks to the setter and to Scchua for the review.

    The horrible weather has returned to London today :-(

  2. Only fools
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyable puzzle throughout .Faves 4a,8a and 21a .
    3 *\4* for me .
    Thanks very much .

  3. graham
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Found this a bit more taxing,I must admit to never comeing across the word gravid before seems I have led a sheltered life.Nice puzzle and enjoyable.

  4. Miffypops
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyable. This has delayed my start to the day mainly because I put Leg for Off at 2d. Thank you Jay. Well done Scchua for posting hints and tips.

  5. angel
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Good fun – agree with Scchua’s ***/***. Struggled a bit with 9a trying to think of something to do with the Prince of Denmark’s hepatic gland – obviously an intended double-entente! Thanks setter and hinter for an amusing breakfast accompaniment.

  6. neveracrossword
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Quite a challenge but v enjoyable. Hadn’t come across 11a before but Mrs n tells me that “prima gravida” is a lady expecting her first child.

    • una
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      If you are expecting your first child after the age of 26 you are called “elderly prima gravida”, I was quite insulted at the time.

  7. Sweet William
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    On the difficult side of difficult for me – certainly harder than recent puzzles, but good fun nonetheless – thank you Jay. On first reading only had 4 or 5 answers and thought that I would never make progress. The key seemed to be getting the anagram at 4d which got the ball rolling ! New word at 11a. Thank you Scchua for your review and usual tasteful photos. Which motoring organisation does the young lady work for ? The AA man never appears like that !

    • Only fools
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Prolixic beat Jay to it with 11a.It was in theNTSPP 10 days ago !

  8. Franny
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Definitely a challenge today, and the long clue at 4d divided the puzzle into two distinct halves. Thank goodness (and Jay) for that anagram. I got the right side before the left and needed a good deal of help with that. Having had babies, I did know ‘gravid’ and in fact that was first in. 9a was fun, and I also spent time wondering about the Prince of Denmark. I also liked 19a,14d and 22d, though I had the wrong Japanese city for a while which held me up. Many thanks to Jay and Scchua. :-)

  9. skempie
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Gravid first in for me – Terry Pratchett uses it as a disease (one of many) for Swamp Dragons. Very enjoyable fun today, 8A was good, 9A Excellent. Had Ship Yard in for 23A for a (very short) while and felt quite smug with it D’Oh.
    Gold and foggy down by yr in the Brizzle area. Roll on summer.

  10. bluenose
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    The clarification of clue solution was pathetic! Grossly overcomplicated – don’t try again.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      That’s a bit harsh

    • Franny
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      What clue are you referring to?

      • Collywobbles
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Bluenoses’ comments which we have every week and I don’t think that he is going to change. Don’t forget, he gave us ‘underlining the definition’

        • Collywobbles
          Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          without his help I would not have finished this one. 4* for me

    • skempie
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      I assume bluenose means the way sschua explains the clueing which isn’t to every one’s taste. Bad news bluenose, scchua does it likes this every week.

    • skempie
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Incidentally, if you got the crossword completed in the first place, you wouldn’t need to use the hints

  11. Alanca
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Tougher than usual but very good

  12. crypticsue
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Definitely trickier today 3*/3* and instead of starting with the downs, I think it was a start with the RH side, have two clues left to solve, move on to the Toughie and then return to finish off the backpager. Thanks to Jay and scchua. My favourites were 19a and 15d.

    The Toughie is a ‘wrong envelope’ puzzle – it took me less time than the backpager to sort out – why not give it a go

    We have sun in East Kent but the chilliest chilly wind brrrr!

    • lizwhiz1
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I also started with the RH side and worked my way round clockwise! Enjoyed the puzzle and will try the Toughie if you think I stand a chance! Sure is nippy here but at least its bright :)

  13. Beaver
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Think i had a good day as my rating is **/***,lots of enjoyable clues,liked 9a,penny dropped with the ‘v’,thanks for the interesting ‘pics’ Scchua,transfixed by 14a- looks painful.

  14. Jezza
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    2.5*/4* for me today. Apart from rushing into ‘square leg’ for 2d, no major problems today.
    Very enjoyable! Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

    Running late with the puzzles today; now for the toughie.

    • Jezza
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s a pangram today?

      • Ian
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, thinking it might be a pangram helped me with the top left as I still needed q and z at that point and was struggling otherwise. Nice to be stretched.

  15. Chris
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    No-one aged under about 100 uses the first word of 2d any more!

    • Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    • skempie
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Strange, I’m not 100 yet, but I used that word just the other day when I was hanging a picture. ‘Is it square’ I asked.

      • crypticsue
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


  16. Big Boab
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Crypticsue, this was a trifle harder than the toughie today, an enjoyable puzzle with one or two head scratchers. Thanks to Jay and to sschua for the excellent and entertaining review.

  17. SheilaP
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I have done 11 across twice without even knowing it. Thanks to setter & Hinter.

  18. Kath
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I found this very difficult – 4* for me but I have a valid excuse. Sister is staying – doesn’t even stop talking to breathe – my brain is scrambled and I feel like a piece of chewed string! :sad:
    I’ve never heard of 16a (and always forget that madeira is cake as well as wine and an island) or 24a but I did know 11a.
    I wasn’t sure whether the 4d long anagram included ‘and’ or ‘how’ but that became clear fairly quickly.
    Lots of good clues including 4, 9, 19 and 23a and 4, 5 and 15d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      If you can get the sister to take the dog for a walk for you, you could try the Toughie which isn’t as tough as this.

      • Kath
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Great minds think alike!! She (sister, not dog) has gone to see Mum at the moment but said that she would do afternoon walk when she gets back. Going up garden now (great antidote even if it is chilly) and then will have a look at Toughie. Thanks for both recommendations.

      • Brian
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Away at the moment but unfortunately the electronic DT doesn’t include the Toughie only this very difficult cryptic that will do as the Toughie for me!

        • Merusa
          Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Welcome back. We missed you

    • Merusa
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I did get 16a with difficulty but don’t think I’ve heard anyone use it in the last fifty years!

      • skempie
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Try Guards, Guards by Terry Pratchett (its also an excellent book)

  19. Heno
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and scchua. I found this quite tricky, got stuck on 2d and 8a,had to use the hints. Enjoyed it a lot. Was 3*/3*for m. Favourites were 4 & 13a and 7&17d. Late on parade today, had a walk from Kew to Richmond along the Thames, great weather in Central London.

  20. Merusa
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Never did get 8a or 2d, even with hints, had to look at answer. Very difficult. I did get 4d early on but it still didn’t help all that much. We had 20d just the other day, only without the “r”, when there was a discussion about plurals. I loved 9a. Thanks to all, and now I’ve managed to while away a goodly part of the day.

  21. Derek
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed solving this puzzle after nearly forgetting to pick up the DT from the shop this afternoon!

    Faves : 8a, 11a, 13a, 23a, 4d, 5d, 7d & 16d.

    Another blue sky day here in NL – the vapour trails from the aircraft are quite short so it must be quite warm up there too!

    Have you ever seen the day/night separator on the earth? I used to fly a lot from Seattle to Amsterdam starting in the evening – the course was northerly in daylight all the way but if you looked south you saw the black night area!
    Most people see same on the moon.

    • una
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Which people on the moon ?

      • Derek
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        The little green men Una!

    • andy
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I know what you refer to Derek, No blue sky here today, we are going back to winter, but receipt of a case of your last wine choice has brightened my day

  22. una
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Very tough start but then the momentum increased.I would never have got 24a without Gazza’s tip on on-line anagram solvers.Beef cake is also a new one .Enjoyable.Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  23. KiwiColin
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Flying solo again today as the other kiwi involved with 8 extras staying with us. Felt very clever to spot the PANGRAM. Agree that a little harder than usual. Good puzzle.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua

  24. Sarah F
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Difficult and stretching but worth every moment. Thanks to the setter, and for the hints which I found very helpful and easy to understand.

  25. Piglet
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one to notice it’s a pangram?

    • skempie
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      No, as proven by the comments in 14 above

  26. Piglet
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Just read back and realised I wasn’t the first. :)

  27. pommers
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I must have blogged too many Jay puzzles over the last year or so, and really got on his wavelength, as I didn’t think this was all that hard. IMHO this was the best Jay puzzle for at least 18 months and I just clicked the 5* enjoyment star!

    Lots of really good stuff but clear favourites for me were 4a and 9a – Hamlet’s liver indeed! – and I am one of those :grin: Also got a couple of 4a which I used to use when I was into clay pigeon shooting on a Sunday morning – I used to shoot AT them rather than shoot them, subtle difference but important :sad:

    Thanks a lot Jay – and also thanks to scchua.

    • skempie
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      You used to shoot at hip flasks? Hope they were empty

      • pommers
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t matter – would have missed anyway!

  28. Jay
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all for your comments, and to schuaa for the analysis. It’s often a matter of chance whether my crosswords are challenging or not, depending on the number of words which I’ve already clued various times ( I then have to find something different!). This is why you will also see occasional unusual words, which I try to treat in a straightforward way.

    • pommers
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jay, whatever it is you do, please just keep on doing it! Great fun on a Wednesday :grin: I miss the challenge sometimes!

  29. Filby
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Was progressing well until the NW corner held me up. Never stood a chance of getting 8a. As an engineer I would never have associated the answer with any sort of “pressure” – it is a twisting force. Even the hint wasn’t enough. 2d then fell into place and the hint for 16a finished it off.

    Also got 5d without understanding the clue entirely – thought that “male in a lively environment” must be the definition! “Offence” wasn’t the most obvious of definitions to me!

    Couldn’t believe that we were getting a TRENCH/TENCH clue again so soon. As soon as i saw “ditches and rivers” I wrote the answer in straight away.

    Overall an entertaining and challenging puzzle ***/***

    • pommers
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Filby
      Agree about 8a, which was one of my last in. I’m a “petrol-head” so understand torque, the more the merrier, but with the checkers there wasn’t really anything else to fit!

      Pommette got the “offence” – does that say something?

  30. Carmen
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Hubbie and I agreed with Kath on 4* for difficulty – more like a Toughie. We usually manage to finish the backpager unaided, two brains being better than one!, but had to *recourse* to Scchua’s tips to finish the NW corner of this one. Also, like Kath, forgot about Madeira being a cake as well as a wine or an island. Thanks to setter and tipper.