DT 27103

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27103

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

I don’t think I can improve on my comment on the day “Don’t think I have seen so many chestnuts grouped together for a very long time which made solving this puzzle a very straightforward experience”.

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           How ladies rode interests designated driver taken in drink (10)
SIDESADDLE –   SIDES (interests or factions) and follow with DD (the abbreviation for designated driver) inserted into ALE (drink).

6a           Experts regularly cut out pancreas (4)
ACES –   ‘cut out’ the regular or even letters of pAnCrEaS.

9a           One revolting bachelor in dance (5)
REBEL –  Insert B (bachelor) into a REEL (a lively highland or Irish dance).

10a         Limit Tory’s retinue (9)
CONSTRAIN –  CONS (Conservatives = Tory) and TRAIN (retinue)

12a         Walk clumsily after boot’s last seen in garbage (7)
TWADDLE  –   Follow the final letter of booT (boot’s last) with WADDLE (walk with short steps, swaying from side to side, like a duck) to get senseless or tedious uninteresting talk (garbage here meaning nonsense).

13a         Bucket containing small aromatic plant (5)
BASIL –   Insert S (small) into a BAIL (a bucket used to bail out water from a boat).

15a         What could produce fir cone (7)
CONIFER  –   Despite its defnite chestnut quality, I did like this one as a   FIR CONE does indeed produce a CONIFER, either rearranged as an anagram, or in real life as it contains the seeds to grow a new fir tree.

17a         Noblewoman of the French moving kings, queens, etc (7)
DUCHESS –  DU (the French word for of the) and CHESS (the game where you move kings and queens about a board).

19a         Excuse put forward before modern communications method (7)
PRETEXT –  PRE (before) and TEXT (modern communications method).

21a         Religious follower, a saint captivated by John Paul II perhaps (7)
APOSTLE –   You have to remember that, in addition to being misled by knowing that he was a Pope, John Paul II came from Poland so was also a POLE.   A (from the clue) and POLE into which is inserted the abbreviation for saint – ST.

22a         Top awards left in gallery (5)
GOLDS –   Simply insert L (left) into the GODS (the uppermost gallery of a theatre, just below the ceiling, which was frequently embellished with a representation of a mythological heaven).

24a         In the style of President neglecting first state (7)
ALABAMA –   A LA (in the style of ) [O]BAMA  (neglecting first tells you to remove the first letter from his surname).

27a         Hear a word broadcast as a tip for The Archers (9)
ARROWHEAD –  Misleading capital time – archers would have put an  ARROWHEAD on the tips of their arrow.   It’s an anagram (broadcast) of HEAR A WORD.

28a         Young creature found in pool (5)
KITTY –  A double definition –  a young cat or a pool or fund of money held in common.

29a         Plunder     alcoholic drink (4)
SACK –   …. Quickly followed by another double definition.   A verb meaning to plunder or pillage; the name of various dry white wines from Spain and the Canaries.

30a         Contribution to argument from page — won’t Henry get upset (10)
PENNYWORTH – An unsolicited remark expressing one’s opinion – P (page) followed by an anagram (get upset) of WONT HENRY.


1d           Chap perhaps giving rise to Love (4)
SORE – Here chap isn’t a man but an open crack or split in the skin.    A reversal (giving rise) of EROS (the God of Love).

2d           Posh girl‘s English yet enthralled by Italian poet (9)
DEBUTANTE –   Insert into Crosswordland’s favourite Italian poet – DANTE –  firstly E (English) and then BUT  (yet in the sense of however).

3d           South American sex appeal envelops line dance (5)
SALSA –   Here our setter reminds us that the letters SA can be either the abbreviation for South America or for  Sex Appeal.    Simply insert (envelops) L (line) between the two options.

4d           After end of year, old communist upset GCHQ worker perhaps (7)
DECODER –  DEC (December being the last month of the year) O (old) and a reversal (upset in a down clue) of RED (communist)

5d           Diesel manufactured including new source of oil (7)
LINSEED –   Include or insert N (new) into an anagram (manufactured) of DIESEL.

7d           Charles keeps nothing in disorderly state (5)
CHAOS –   Insert  O (keeps nothing) into a familiar way of referring to someone called Charles – CHAS.

8d           Aids to anonymity for celebrated girls (10)
SUNGLASSES –   SUNG (celebrated) and LASSES (girls).

11d         Early explorer of America brought back to company — this? (7)
TOBACCO-   A reversal of CABOT (one of the first explorers to find America) and CO (the abbreviation for company) –   Cabot is not credited with bringing tobacco to England – there are a number of other contenders for this dubious honour, but not apparently Sir Walter Raleigh, who just popularized it at Queen Elizabeth I’s court.

14d         Limit self-confidence in school tests — they take the blame (10)
SCAPEGOATS –   Insert into SATS (Scholastic Aptitude Tests)   CAP (limit) and EGO (self-confidence).

16d         Fine good-for-nothing comes up with delicate tool (7)
FRETSAW – A saw with a narrow blade and fine teeth used for fretwork or scrollwork)  – F (fine) followed by a reversal (comes up in a down clue) of a WASTER (good-for-nothing).

18d         Fan of old farm vehicle (9)
EXTRACTOR –   Don’t suppose it is really necessary to explain this really really old chestnut – but for the sake of completeness  it’s an EX (old) TRACTOR (farm vehicle).

20d         Net to provide security from sound circus apparatus (7)
TRAPEZE –   TRAP (net) followed by a homophone (sound)  of EASE (to provide security)

21d         Leave a group of musicians playing (7)
ABANDON –  A (from the clue) BAND (group of musicians) and ON (playing)

23d         Some profoundly rich piece of poetry (5)
LYRIC –   A hidden word  found in a piece of profoundLY RICh.

25d         Not level like famous gardens (5)
ASKEW –   AS (like) and KEW (the famous gardens).

26d         Monstrous yarn that’s historical originally? (4)
MYTH  –  ‘originally’ tells you to take the initial letters of Monstrous Yarn That’s Historical.

I think one can accept one or two chestnuts in the Saturday Prize puzzle,  but having had to suffer the excessive number of them in this puzzle twice over (as it was my turn to do the review), I was going to conclude with a grump.  However,  on Sunday afternoon my sister came round and commented that she had really enjoyed this crossword  as she was able to finish it because of thinking  ‘we’ve had that one before… now how did that work?’ so I have decided on this occasion to  reluctantly accept that a  long-time solver’s chestnut is a less experienced  solver’s helpful clue.

 I’m off back to Sundays for a couple of weeks where  fortunately for me the chance of  encountering a chestnut is much less likely.





  1. Poppy
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Sue. Especially as your sister’s comment was my experience too, so I appreciate your forebearance with my far less experienced solving! Thanks to setter also.

    • mary
      Posted February 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes I agree with your sister too sue :-)