DT 27107

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27107

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja!  With my track record of spotting setters I’m keeping my big mouth shut on the subject, but I can guess who set this one!

Most of the mechanics of the puzzle are fairly straightforward but there are a couple of obscure words which had me scratching the head a little so I reckon 3* difficulty is about right.  Very enjoyable even though a bit lacking in innuendo!

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           Pulp song, with raw licks, ‘Common People’ (7,5)
{WORKING CLASS} – An anagram (pulp) of SONG with RAW LICKS.

8a           Breaks in rugby strip playing outside (7)
{IRRUPTS} – You need an anagram (playing) of STRIP and place it around (outside) the abbreviation for the fifteen-a-side version of rugby.

9a           Weapon‘s steady holding attention (7)
{FIREARM} – Take a word meaning steady or solid and insert (holding) a word for attention, as in listening.

11a         Parody from weirdo about a politician (7)
{LAMPOON} – Start with a weirdo or nutter and place him around (about) A (from the clue) and a politician.

12a         Relic, it seems, contains extracts (7)
{ELICITS} – The answer’s hidden in relic it seems.

13a         Measure bottling old wine (5)
{PINOT} – Insert (bottling) O(ld) into a measure, of beer perhaps.

14a        Blame former wife? Blow me!’, I scoffed (9)
{EXCORIATE} – This is a charade of the usual abbreviation for ex-wife or partner (2), a word meaning blow me or gosh (3), I (from the clue) and a word for scoffed, as in consumed. New word for me but the wordplay and checkers gave it away and the BRB confirmed.

16a         Club‘s managed by revolutionary in fashion (9)
{TRUNCHEON} – A policeman’s club to be precise. Take a word for managed and our favourite revolutionary and place them inside a slightly obscure word for fashion or style.  This word for fashion is from Latin via French and is only ever used in crosswords as far as I can see!

19a         One snaps segment preceding Queen (5)
{BITER} – A segment or small part followed by the usual abbreviation for Elizabeth Regina.

21a         A right pair’s accepting University’s tough (7)
{ARDUOUS} – Take A (from the clue), R(ight) and a word for pair’s (don’t forget the ‘s) and insert (accepting) a U(niversity).

23a         Muscle runs around ends of clavicle (7)
{TRICEPS} – Start with some runs, as in outings, and place them around CE (ends of ClaviclE). We had this same answer last week so I may as well use the same picture!

24a         Doctor fish, discharging last of milt (7)
{SURGEON} – This doctor, who prefers to be addressed as Mister, is a large fish with a T removed (discharging end of milT).

25a         Tart is a nuisance embracing mechanic (7)
{ARTISAN} – This mechanic is hiding in tart is a nuisance.

26a         Cameron’s land reforms provoking fireworks (5,7)
{ROMAN CANDLES} – An anagram (reforms) of CAMERONS LAND.


1d           Telegraph stringer? (7)
{WIREMAN} – Nothing to do with a stringer for the newspaper but a cryptic definition of a guy who strings telegraph cables, or any sort of electrical cable.  An American term which I’ve never come across before but the answer became a reasonable guess from the checkers.

2d           Kind of music opening creating harmony (7)
{RAPPORT} – A genre of modern music (?) followed by an opening, not ‘vent’ this time!

3d           Brains in cerebellum containing hollow (9)
{INSINCERE} – The answer’s hidden in (containing) brains in cerebellum.  I count that as the third hidden word in this puzzle and I always thought they were the speciality of Virgilius!

4d           Boss dropping right clanger (5)
{GAFFE} – A clanger as in mistake or social blunder. Take the R off the end of a boss or foreman (dropping Right).

5d           One found in pantry getting more overweight (7)
{LARDIER} – A slang term meaning ‘more overweight’ is an I (one) inserted into another word for pantry.

6d           A bird under good man showing energy (7)
{STAMINA} – Start with the usual good man and follow (under in a down clue) with A (from the clue) and one of the spellings of a bird which can talk.  Not a 100% sure that the answer really means energy, it’s more like ‘staying power’, but it’s near enough I guess.

7d           Swift people? (12)
{LILLIPUTIANS} – A cryptic definition of the little people in the book by Jonathan Swift.  Glad it wasn’t the big people, the Brob-wotsits, as I can’t spell them!

10d         Temper’s risen when mobile gives picture wrongly (12)
{MISREPRESENT} – An anagram (when mobile) of TEMPERS RISEN.

15d         Check for cheats on public transport (9)
{CONSTRAIN} – Some cheats or swindles followed by a type of public transport.

17d         A French Democrat therefore will get to suffer (7)
{UNDERGO} – To suffer as in to experience.  It’s a charade of the French indefinite article, D(emocrat) and the Latin word for therefore.

18d         Caught artist consuming crack, leading to disorder (7)
{CHOLERA} – This disorder or illness, which is often fatal, is C(aught) and the usual abbreviation for artist with a crack or space inserted (consuming).

19d         Boris possibly admitting Tory leader left city (7)
{BRISTOL} – This city is an anagram (possibly) of BORIS with a T (Tory leader) inserted (admitting) and then L(eft).

20d         They hold existence is sacred, truly sacred initially (7)
{THEISTS} – It’s the first letters (initially) of every other word in the clue.  I must be losing the plot as it took a while for the penny to drop on this one!

22d         ‘Best boy’ maybe in charge of sound? (5)
{SONIC} –The ‘Best Boy’ is the assistant to the senior electrician or to the key grip in a film crew but that’s irrelevant to this clue.  Here I think it’s an allusion to your male child followed by the usual abbreviation for ‘In Charge’.

Some good stuff here but my favourite was 20d.  How about you?

The Quick crossword pun: (ball} + {tea} + {more} = {Baltimore}


  1. Jewel
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Hurrah, finished it without too much trouble – now off to play tennis in chilly Surrey!

  2. mary
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Hola pommers, just a quick call in as I am off to accupuncture, I thought rather unusually that this was one of RayTs easier ones (I think it is him?) some clever clues today but nevertheless easier or not I still don’t like his crosswords that much for some reason, I know everyone will say 20d is an all in one but to me it just doesn’t have a definition, I know, ‘shut up Mary’ !! Hope you are all still getting the beautiful sunshine that we have this week, glorious weather, actually sat in the garden on Tuesday in a summer top doing the crossword and got sunburnt!!

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Thanks for blog pommers will read it through later when I have more time :-) Hope you are keeping well

      • Collywobbles
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Don’t shut up Mary. You are right and I am sure Brian will agree

        • mary
          Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink


    • Poppy
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      That sunshine & warmth sounds marvellous, Mary! I’m sitting indoors with my coat on, & Poppy on my lap as a hot water bottle! :-) but do hope you’re continuing to make good progress…

    • spindrift
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Have you moved to the Caribbean & not told us? Sunburnt? More like frostbite here in Middle England.

    • Heno
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      The word initially lets you know what to do.

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Well ok it wasn’t warm enough to sit out in today but still beautifully sunny outdoor weather :-)

  3. crypticsue
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Lovely easy Ray T for me – 1.5*/4* – thank you to him and Pommers too.

    The Toughie isn’t that tough today so give it a go.

    My final question is ‘why is Mary getting all the good weather?’ Summer tops – we’re still in thermal vests here! We have a wind straight from Siberia- I have come to work in the superwarm’ coat that is supposed to belong to No 1 son but I pinch it every time its cold as it is the warmest garment i know.

    • Colmce
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Mary is indeed blessed, my windchillometer is showing -2° at the moment, foray to Aldi postponed.

      • skempie
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Do you pronounce that wind-chill-o-meter or widnd-chillom-eter? Had a couple of really nice sunny days here in 19D, but has been dull, cold and overcast since the sun went down Tuesday.

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      The sunshine is still beaurtiful sue I am just about to check the ‘sitting out’ weather :-)

  4. Colmce
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Initial scan yielded two answers, followed by some protracted pencil sucking, then the penny dropped on 7d and the rest of the puzzle fell into place from that.
    Couple of new words for me but made clear by wordplay, all in all a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks Pommers for the review, and to the setter for an interesting start to the day.

  5. Only fools
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Only real problems were 8a and 14a which were new to me and will struggle to bring into everyday chat .
    Like you thought Why? For a while with 20d despite the obvious indicator .
    More likely to get chilblains than sunburn in North Yorkshire where it is currently a less than balmy 3C .
    2*\ 3.5 * for me .
    Thanks very much .

    • pommers
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Those were the two new words for me as well, although I think I may have come across 8a before in a crossword.

      20d – I first thought the final TS was from ‘truly sacred initially’ but for a few moments couldn’t see where the first five letters came from, D’OH! As I said, I think I’m losing the plot!

      • Catherine
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        14a is one if those words like “egregious” that I am never absolutely sure how to use!

        • skempie
          Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Always remember one of my English teachers trying to use egregiously and getting badly lost : went something like ‘He attacked him most eggy egridg egreed, sod it nastily’

  6. graham
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I found this quite tough today but eventualy managed to finish with no help,8 across was a new word for me and I liked 6D.

  7. Sweet William
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be a difficult Ray T to start with, but once under way things fell into place. Had the answer for 16a – but needed your review Pommers to confirm that “ton” was correct. Never heard that before. Also 19d seemed to be a “gimme” for Skempie ? As usual with a Ray T – for me – I was able to get quite a few answers from the wordplay rather than getting the answer and then trying to work out why. Thank you Ray T for an enjoyable start to the day and Pommers for your review.

    It is not sunbathing temperature here !

  8. Senf
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Finished about two thirds before lights out last night (problem area was mostly in the NW corner), and with some help from Pommers, thank you, just rattled off the rest this morning. The BRB was working overtime on this one – including on parts of clues. Favourite would be 14a.

  9. Phil
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    It’s a rare day when I complete both the Telegraph Crossword and the Toughie crossword. It must be my birthday. Oh, it is!

    • bifield
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Happy birthday Phil. May all your solving be that straightforward this year.

      • Phil
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Cheers bifield

    • mary
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday :-)

      • Phil
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary :)

    • Franny
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, happy birthday Phil, and well done! :-)

      • Poppy
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Seconded! :-)

  10. Domus
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Perfect puzzle for me. Hard but possible. Agree ***/****. All’s well and God is in his heaven.

  11. bifield
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Looked difficult at first glance but once I got stuck in it easily fell into place. Overall a nice puzzle for me. Thanks to setter and to Pommers for the hints which were not needed today.

  12. skempie
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Definitely a Ray T. Probably the easiest crossword of the week so far (IMH). First pass of the across clues left me with one answer and a severe case of trepidation. First pass of the down clues left me with 3 left and everything fell into place after that. As Sweet William said, 19D should have been a shoe-in for me but for some reason couldn’t see it for a while (well, maybe a whole minute D’OH). Really enjoyed 15D – quite simple but for some reason really hit my spots !

    • skempie
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Incidentally, heard this on the local radio station yesterday and felt I had to share :

      This food scare is really hitting home, Findus Lasagne is currently 2 for 1 in Tesco, last week it was 5 to 1 at Chepstow.

      • pommers
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink


    • bifield
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      I too am from 19d and I had to work out the anagram before I twigged.

  13. jezza
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Not the hardest of puzzles today, but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to RayT and to Pommers.
    As crypticsue says, the toughie is not that tough, and worth a go.

    The Guardian was beyond me today…. still.. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

  14. Beaver
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    About a ***/***, good job 7d was the small people i remember rather than their noisy neighbours whos name eludes me but begins with a ‘b’,Anyway found it straight forward and good fun,guessed 1d,was thinking of the Glen Campbell song,Thanks for the ‘picks’pommers-thought you might have had a hedgehog for 22d!

    • pommers
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Your wish is my command :grin:

  15. Up The Creek
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Another great puzzle from RayT with loads of misdirection. Having spent ages trying to fit ‘dent’ into 3d I nearly cried when I saw the hidden word – so i award this my favourite for today. Also liked 4 7 16 and 18.

    • Kath
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Me too with 3d.

      • Up The Creek
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Great minds!!

        • Kath
          Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          I fear you’re speaking only for yourself! Not my finest week, so far! :sad:

  16. Kath
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Yet again I found this difficult – seem to have said that almost every day this week so far. At least 3* for difficulty and probably a bit more.
    I enjoyed it, as I always do on Ray T Thursdays (definitely one of his, in my opinion) but I think he should go on a hunt for his naughty hat!
    I’ve never met 8a before and, although I did know 14a that’s not what I thought it meant – thought it was more to criticise in a really vicious way. I agree that 6d isn’t quite the same as energy.
    All the hidden-in-the-middle ones took me ages to find.
    I liked 11 and 26a and 4, 7, and 19d.
    With thanks to Ray T and pommers.
    Really cold. 2C with a beastly east wind. Sister still here (and still talking!) :sad:

    • pommers
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      21C and sunny here, I’ve been sitting outside all morning :grin:

      • Kath
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        I’d keep quiet if I were you otherwise there will be a few e-grenades flung in your direction.

  17. Big Boab
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to RayT for an enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to Pommers for the amusing review, the toughie is not too tough for anyone who would like to cut their teeth on the supposedly harder puzzles.

  18. Caroline
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Have finally finished a Telegraph crossword without looking at this blog! Did have to check the spelling of 8a though. My mind is focussed as I’m trying to blot out the thought of my younger son climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike (or scaffold pike as he calls it!) and Snowdon this weekend! He’s got his under-armour on though! Now I’m going to try the Toughie for the first time ever.

    • skempie
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Last year sometime, there was a report on TV about climbing the 3 peaks, they brought on an ‘expert’ who insisted on talking about Mount Nevis, Scaffold Pike and Snowdonia, your son obviously is perfectly correct in what he says. I wish him luck as I visited 2 of these mountains last year and can see the challenges involved.

      • skempie
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Actually, he referred to Mount Snowdonia, but when I tried to edit my bit, all I got was a database error message, so I went shopping (more stuff for a nice warm stew and a celeriac for some decent mash)

  19. Miffypops
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    One does not spell insincere beginning with inc, does one? One will never solve 8ac whilst it ends with a letter C, will one? Another well crafted crossword from Ray T It kept me interested and amused. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and tips which I refuse to look at except in very rare circumstances.

  20. neveracrossword
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I found this the easiest crossword I’ve tackled in the last few weeks. Must be the bracing east wind oxygenating the brain cells on the golf course (1*/3*).

  21. Poppy
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Award this 3/4 for entertainment, & thrilled I didn’t need the hints today, apart from checking afterwards – thank you Pommers. Struggled to fit in a techno film term for 22d & then the light bulb (old style) lit up. Enjoyed 11a, & was ruing my lack of Pulp song repertoire for 1a when the light bulb flashed on again… Will I be made to change to energy saver ones? Thanks to setter as well. Cold, cold, cold here in London outskirts!

  22. Filby
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Either I am getting better at these or they are getting easier (I suspect the latter). All went very smoothly until I gave up on a couple (12a, 3d) and resorted to the hints which told me they were both hidden words so should have been amongst the easiest to solve. Good fun, though

    23a – that muscle again!


  23. Derek
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle!

    Faves : 1a, 14a, 23a, 26a, 1d, 6d, 7d & 18d.

    Lovely blue sky all morning but now some clouds.

    Temperature still on the low side – the water on the top of a shed in the road behind is still iced!

  24. Catherine
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the puzzle this morning but got myself in trouble by putting “lineman” for 1d and also misreading the word breaks in 1a. Did you know that “pugilist” fits into the checking letters if you break the answer into 4/8! Finally saw what I had wrong in 1a and that gave me 1d.
    Thanks to Pommers and to the setter.

  25. Heno
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, started with2d, finished with 18d. Was 3*/4* for me. New word in 8a. Favourites were 9&14a and 3&7d. Dull and cold in Central London.

  26. stanXYZ
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I found this at the very easy end of RayT’s spectrum: disappointingly lacking in wit (but not in wisdom).

  27. una
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    As usual ,it took a while to get on the right wavelength,but still enjoyable. Favourite was 3d for its surface reading. Irrupts is a new one on me to mean break.Thanks to Ray T (?) and Pommers.

    • Franny
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      I think you’ll find that ‘irrupts’ here means breaks in rather than just break. :-)

      • Posted February 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Agreed – I’ve extended the underlining.

      • pommers
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        OK pedant. Perhaps you would like to do next week’s blog?

        • una
          Posted February 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Pommers, are you calling me a pedant ?

          • pommers
            Posted February 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            I think you’ll find my reply is nested under Franny’s comment.

        • Franny
          Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          Heaven forbid, Pommers! I was only trying to clarify things for Una, not meaning to be pedantic.

          • pommers
            Posted February 22, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            Sorry Franny. Caught me at a bad time due to much pain in a tooth. Lost another bloody filling – that’s two in nine days, think my mouth is falling apart! Just off to the dentist, again :sad:

      • una
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, that makes more sense.

  28. KiwiColin
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Another much appreciated fine puzzle from a great setter.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.
    PS. Our prolonged spell of superb summer weather continues. This summer is proving to be like the ones that one remembers (or mis-remembers) from childhood. Perhaps you will get one like this too when it is our turn for frosts.

  29. RayT
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Setter here…

    Many thanks to pommers for the review, and to all who left a comment. As I may have said before, all very much appreciated.


  30. Hrothgar
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Usual brilliance from RayT
    18d was a very naughty clue.
    Thanks, and to pommers.

  31. pommers
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    If you think 18d is a naughty clue you must have a mind as degenerate as mine :grin:

  32. Franny
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Bon soir from Geneva! It’s been cold and grey here today after a few gloriously sunny days with tulips beginning to sprout on my balcony. A tough puzzle today, I thought, but I managed to finish it in two widely-spaced goes and with a good deal of help. Three hidden words! And I’m so bad at finding them. Best for me were 14 and 16a and 3d. Many thanks to Ray T and Pommers. :-)