DT 27112 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27112

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27112

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay, though not difficult. A 2-2.5* in difficulty, and 3* for enjoyment. Thanks Jay.

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.

1    Queen backed landlady becoming politician! (10)

{REPUBLICAN} : Reversal of(backed) [abbrev. for Elizabeth Regina;the Queen] + [a landlady, a counterpart of the landlord;owner of a watering hole].

Answer: With an initial capital letter, a politician of that particular Party.

6    Buckle quietly after fighting (4)

{WARP} : [abbrev. for the musical instruction to play quietly] placed after(after) [fighting;combat].

9    Prudish play on words about girl in film (7)

{PURITAN} : [a play on words – an example of which: “She dated a politician over the holidays but when she wrapped herself up as a present, he couldn’t cut through the red tape”] containing(about) [name of Julie Walters’ character in the film with Michael Caine, or the name of a former screen goddess].

Girls in Wrapping Paper 8 

10    Go without love, with girls getting visual aids (7)

{GLASSES} : “go” minus(without) [the letter that looks like zero, love in tennis scoring] plus(with) [girls;young women].

12    He’s now setting out terms of endearment (5,8)


14    Source of liquidity remains fluid in milk supplier (4,4)

{CASH FLOW} : { [the remains after incineration] + [abbrev. for “fluid”, eg. for fluid ounce] } contained in(in) [a milk- supplying animal].

15    Sort of bullet for people in case of terror (6)

{TRACER} : [a people of an ethnic stock] contained in(in) the 2 outermost letters of(case of) “terror”.

17    Women’s organisation call for the work of an electrician (6)

{WIRING} : [abbrev. for the British community-based women’s organisation] + [to call on the phone].


19    A member on line by toilet area gets light (4,4)

{LAVA LAMP} : { A + [abbrev. for a member of Parliament] } placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “line”] placed after(by, in an across clue) { short for [a toilet] + [abbrev. for “area”] }.

21    Brain surgery that’s required by astronaut? (6,7)

{ROCKET SCIENCE} : Cryptic defn: Figuratively, a term for a difficult subject, as “brain surgery” similarly is; literally the expertise that takes an astronaut there and back.

24    Blockage, but almost got by after motorway backed up (7)

{IMPASSE} : [got by;overtook] minus its last letter(almost) placed after(by) reversal of(backed up) [letters that look like the abbrev. for the English motorway running north-south].

25    Always the same gear? (7)

{UNIFORM} : Cryptic defn: Same apparel/gear worn by everyone without exception in the group.


26    Right hand clenches while disregarding danger (4)

{RASH} : [abbrev. for “right hand”] containing(clenches) [while;when;at the same time].

27    Newly-trained pet so clean and shiny? (10)

{OPALESCENT} : Anagram of(Newly-trained) PET SO CLEAN.

1    Knocked loudly, entranced (4)

{RAPT} : Homophone of(loudly) [knocked;struck, eg. a door with a quick blow,].

Defn: Nothing to do with doors, but in a trance.

2    Sentences prisoner finally, in stages (7)

{PHRASES} : Last letter of(finally) “prisoner” contained in(in) [stages;steps in a process of development].

Answer: In grammar, what sentences are made of.

3    Spread caresses for a clumsy person (13)

{BUTTERFINGERS} : [a particular food eaten as a spread on, say, bread] + [caresses, with one’s digits].


4    Firing it in going off without finishing (8)

{IGNITION} : Anagram of(off) “it in going” minus its last letter(without finishing).

5    A good ground halved trouble (5)

{AGGRO} : A + [abbrev. for “good”] + first 3 letters of(halved) “ground”.

Answer: Short for [an annoyance;a botheration].

7    Poison from caries treated with nitrogen (7)

{ARSENIC} : Anagram of(treated) { CARIES plus(with) [chemical symbol for the element nitrogen] }.

8    Note added by station hand (10)

{POSTSCRIPT} : [a station;a position to which, say, a sentry is assigned for duty] + [handwriting].

11    Tough, but Hansard, alas, is wrong (2,4,2,5)

{AS HARD AS NAILS} : Anagram of(wrong)HANSARD, ALAS, IS.

13    Activist from new aircrew room ejecting male (10)

{ECOWARRIOR} : Anagram of(new) “aircrew room” minus(ejecting) [abbrev. for “male”].

16    Usual practice with university learner pinching answer (8)

{HABITUAL} : [a practice;what is regularly done] plus(with) [abbrevs. for “university” and “learner”, respectively] containing(pinching) [abbrev. for “answer”].

18    Formulas for fixing prices inclusive of energy! (7)

{RECIPES} : Anagram of(fixing) PRICES containing(inclusive of) [abbrev. for “energy” in physics].

20    Phenomenal returns providing growth (7)

{ANEMONE} : Reversal of(returns) and hidden in(providing) “phenomenal”.


22    Expanse of blubber under lass’s rear (5)

{SWEEP} : [to blubber;to mourn;to lament] placed below(under, in a down clue) last letter of(…’s rear) “lass”.  Amusing surface image.

23    Bellies up in filth (4)

{SMUT} : Reversal of(up) [bellies, childishly, derived from “stomachs”].

The Quick crossword pun: (airer} + {parent} = {heir apparent}

91 comments on “DT 27112

    1. It helps when you ask questions like this if you clarify which online version – Telegraph Puzzles or the iPad one.

      I had no problems with TP.

      1. Thanks all, I’m in there now. It’s a blip that I get from time to time which I’m putting down to Orange.fr

          1. Not only that Mary but Ive finished my daily fix and before lunchtime, without help, except for a few explanations so, if Scchua is rating this at 2.5* I’ve raised my game. If it’s 2* I havn’t

    2. Just had a week in Spain where the I pad version crashed repeatedly when not near a WiFi signal. It has done it again today. If I could work out how to get the free access to just the puzzle I would cancel the I pad subscription right away. I am that annoyed with it at the moment!

  1. A few saucy clues from Jay this week. RayT seems to have been a bit restrained in his puzzles lately so perhaps it is Jay’s turn with these. 22d taking top spot. Glad there is no picture for this one. Lots of clever clues so we enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  2. Well the combination of no morning Mass today and the milk of magnesia sky here in Yateley allowed me a duvet morning and a chance to carry out my other Lenten observance. Lovely puzzle, several chuckles and the penny drop moments. Last one in was 22d I was stuck on Whales for some unknown reason…and it wasn’t 21a really, was it? Thanks to setter and Scchua hints not needed today, which is as well as I can’t quite get on his wavelength, I’m working on that and its getting clearer. Perhaps its the x’s and y’s,difficult sums were never my strong point, Coffee anyone?

  3. Good morning schuua, thanks for hints, must admit to using a couple today, though I think if I had perservated a little longer I would probably have managed without, almost put risk in at 26a, not that it would have affected the rest of the crossword, lots of clues I liked but no stand out favourites for me today, a 2 to 3 star for me, yet another lovely dry day here , must be almost two weeks now without any rain :-)

    1. Dry but cloudy in Bucks which is helping my golf course dry out nicely. Playing tomorrow so the Ray T will have to wait until later in the day. Not sure if I am anticipating it with hope or anticipation :-)

      1. It’s normally dread for me Brian :-D , although there have been a couple that I have coped with without too much help, I don’t know why really just not on the same wavelength or just don’t like the readings a lot of the time

      2. Hi Brian and Mary – didn’t we have Ray T last Thursday? If so it probably won’t be him tomorrow.

  4. Thanks again to all. A tad too easy today but that should encourage newcomers to cryptic crosswords and give a boost to those improving their skills. No time today for the toughie, I am off to lay one of our hedges. Here is hoping to a real challenge tomorrow from Ray T.

  5. Getting back into the swing of things now. Found this an excellent puzzle with some nice clues such as 21a and 19a. Last in was 4d which was a clue more complicated in the telling than in the answer. Not too difficult but I am grateful to Jay for setting one that I could do without the clues :-). Thx to Sccha for explaining the breakdown of 8d.

  6. I agree **/*** today. But, unlike Mary, I did put risk for 26a. When I checked Scchua’s hints to find out why this was the right answer, I found out it wasn’t!

    If I remember my grammar correctly from school (a long, long time ago!), phrases do not contain verbs but clauses and sentences do, so a phrase can be a part of a sentence, but phrases are not sentences.

    A very nice puzzle, so many thanks to the setter and to Scchua for the review.

    1. I think you are right RD but in Chambers big red book (BRB) one of the meanings of sentence given is: a group of two or more phrases forming a musical unit, so I guess in that way it is correct?

      1. Ah… Thanks Mary. I was thinking only of grammatical sentences. I know phrases can refer to words and music, but I was not aware of musical sentences. I defer to the BRB!

  7. This is turning out to be a strange week for me. Finished this one before lights out last night (although not as quickly as Tuesday’s puzzle), while Monday’s Rufus was a bit of a struggle. I would give this one **/*** – favourite clue 3d, I had to “stare” at it for quite a time before the penny dropped. So, having taking Pommers’ suggestion yesterday about looking at the Toughie, I will do the same today.

  8. 26A last one in. I pencilled in ‘risk’, but couldn’t justify it from the clue and needed Scchua’s hint.

  9. Thank you Jay for another enjoyable puzzle, and Scchua for your review and photos. It is a lovely day here in the grim North.

      1. A rare coincidence Kath ! One of our friends who is a fellow sufferer at the Reebok used to open the batting for Lancashire many years ago and they reckoned in those days that their season was approximately 2 matches shorter than anyone else’s due to lost days at Old Trafford ! Makes it extremely difficcult to win the county championship !

  10. No real problems here. Also considered RISK, but realised it was wrong. I thought 19A was rather a good clue. Still cold and grey here, but not quite as dark as yesterday (didn’t need the lights on to read the paper for a start).

  11. Got to the end but still rather bewildered as to why some of the answers were correct! Sensitive mouth excuse won’t work against poor Una’s far greater troubles :-( so special thanks to Scchua for clarifying my confusion! I just couldn’t work out why ‘risk’ was the answer to 26a – and of course it wasn’t, so I’ve learned another crossword abbreviation today, for hand. Need to open a new filing cabinet in my head, with an improved retrieval system. Thrilled to have a Goldfinch in the garden today.

    1. We had a goldcrest in the back garden last Sunday. Don’t often see them around here, they’re normally driven away by the chaffinches

  12. Fun puzzle that really flowed .Re 2d I prefer Schuua’s explanation eg .noun phrase plus verb phrase = sentence .
    Agree with rating .
    Thanks very much .

  13. Nearer a 3* for me today as I had trouble with a few of these. 4* enjoyment.
    It’s looking as if I’m the only twit who had trouble with 13 and 20d. I could see that 13d was an anagram but even with alternate letters just couldn’t do it. 20d pressed my blind spot button for hidden-in-the-middle type answers – even though I couldn’t justify it I had ‘awesome’ for ‘phenomenal’. I also managed to make 21a if not impossible certainly a bit tricky by dividing it 5, 8 instead of 6, 7 – that was OK once I noticed what I’d done. I blame all those silly mistakes on a VERY late night.
    My favourite clue was 3d. I also liked 12, 15, 25 (describes the way my sister drives perfectly) and 27a and 11 and 22d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    21a reminds me of something I heard on the radio recently “It’s not rocket science – it’s not even rocket salad!”
    Still cold, grey and beastly.

    1. Not the only one to struggle with 20a Kath I had to have schuua’s explaination for that one, it still doesn’t sit quite right with me, though I can understand it

    2. Hi Kath I had awesome for 20d as well. And no wonder I couldn’t parse it ! Let’s console ourselves by saying it was a very well hidden answer!

        1. Watch out for RayT Kath! He seems to me to be making a play for the title “King of the hidden word” in his last few puzzles.

          He had three in last Thursday’s puzzle and this yesterday:

          In printer’s, tell arbitrarily between Sun and Star? (12)

    3. Reminds me of a Mitchell and Webb sketch I saw once, they’re not my favourite comedy duo, but had a marvellous sketch set at a party where one is a Rocket Scientist and the other is a Brain Surgeon. Of course all the conversation was ‘Well its not rocket science is it’, ‘no, its brain surgery’ etc.

    4. You are not the only one having trouble with 13d. I never did get it, even knowing it was an anagram and using all anagram services available to me! Gizmo, etc., all said no anagrams found. It’s not a word I can say I’ve heard before

      1. I never got it either even with alternate letters in and knowing that it was an anagram and I HAVE heard the word before which is more worrying!! :sad:

      2. I’m usually good at anagrams too, but had to look this one up on the site ‘Anagram Solver’, which had it.

        1. Wierd! I’ve said before that I’m the worst anagram cracker in the world but I got this one right away!
          Use my technique – once you know the indicator and the fodder you must also know the definition, so treat it as a Quickie clue. Guess the answer and chack against the fodder. Works for me!

          1. None of that really helped with13d – all a bit weird but, even if I can’t do anagrams any more, I can at least still spell!! :smile:

  14. I agree with scchua’s rating. Never heard of a lava lamp – but it seemed more likely than a boga lamp! Thanks to Kath for her assistance a couple of days ago.

    1. So you didn’t have a preteen daughter about 10 years ago ,who’s existence could not be sustained unless she had one.

  15. Enjoyed this very much, needed help with 8d and 20d, in which I didn’t spot that there was a hidden word – but what a clever clue. Many thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  16. Well that was nice, even if some the answers went in without being 100% sure of the reasons why. Including Saturday’s, that’s four nice crosswords on the trot. Many thanks to Scchua and the setter. Strange yellow orb in the sky here in Birmingham – must go outside to investigate.

  17. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, but found it very difficult, needed 4 hints for 14a, 26a, 16d and 20d. Favourites were 1&17a. Was 4 */4*for me. Sun trying to come out in Central London.

  18. I don’t know how many Jay puzzles I’ve analysed for the blog but it must be well over 50 so I’m well on his wavelength. Probably because of that I found this one very easy and was looking at 1* or less until . . . . for reasons I can only put down to increasing senility or the onset of dementia, I completely stalled with only two left! 16d and 19a, must have stared at those two for twice as long as it took to solve the rest of the puzzle! Did you hear the clang as the penny dropped on 19a? I really think I am losing the plot, might have to take up Sudoku (not) :smile:

    Many thanks to Jay for the usual Wednesday fun and th scchua for the review.

  19. Another enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to scchua for the explanations – couldn’t see the hidden word in 29d – and to the setter.
    Snowing again here!

  20. Due to a change in my working arrangements crosswords will have to be done later in the day from now on. So I might not get the chance to contribute as often. Agree with the consensus today. Jolly good all round.

  21. Agreed with all, a highly entertaining puzzle all round, with the exception of 13d. I hate when I’m left with one word, would rather not get ten! I struggled with 4d until I realized I had written in an incorrect letter, spelling “sweet” as”sweee”, which completely threw me off. Thanks to all for my daily fix.

    1. Yes – so glad that someone else does that – you already had the ‘e’ in the middle so you carried on with the word . . . oh dear, not explaining this very well but I do what you did all the time when there are letters already in.

  22. We are quite surprised that nobody has commented on how like a RayT puzzle this one is. It has “Queen”, it has innuendo, it has short clues (only a couple stretch to 9 words). We think that Jay has been playing a little game with us.

    1. This is definitely Jay’s work. I may be the world’s worst at spotting setters but after blogging more than fifity of his puzzles I can spot them a mile away!

    2. I do see what you mean but 3d is SO Jay and one of the kind of clues that he excels at – I love them but not really Ray T, to me anyway.

    3. PS I liked your comment from yesterday about the blind elk. How’s about a blind elk with no legs – still no eyed deer! Boom boom! :smile: To quote gnomey (nothing from him for a while – hope that all is OK with him) I’ll get my coat . . .

      1. He commented at the weekend and on yesterday’s Beam Toughie.

        His job keeps him for long hours away from internet access, although saying that I have heard from him this week far more than for ages.

        It’s his turn to blog a Sunday and Saturday puzzle for tomorrow and Friday mornings while I have a ‘week off’ so you should be able to read quite a lot of his words of wisdom!

      2. Our other favourite one is what we call a comfort stop on a long car trip. It is called a ” no-nukes T-shirt” = peace top (3,4)

  23. Enjoyed solving this puzzle – I’ve had a few days off preparing my tax return documents.

    Faves : 14a, 19a, 21a, 3d, 11d & 20d.

    Steak frites and sla tonight with a drop of Cal Y Canto from Castile.

  24. The longer clues popped in nicely, habitual was the last one in without hints but needed hints for 5d,22d, and 20d.favorites were 3d and 23d.Springlike day today.

    1. Hi Una!

      Here in NL it was also a beautiful day – Let us hope that spring is at last on its way!

  25. I’m late checking in, as usual, and I did this this morning, but the day ran away with me. Anyway I found this a very satisfactory and amusing puzzle, and apart from being stumped by the anagram at 13d, had no great trouble solving it. The downs went in much easier than the acrosses at first, and I remembered Cryptic Sue’s advice always to begin with the downs on Wednesdays. I also put in ‘risk’ at 26a and was glad to have my mistake explained to me. So thank you, Jay, for the fun, and scchua for the explanations. :-)

    P.S. What is the picture after 7d? It looks horrible!

    1. Hi Franny, that’s what happens to your hair when you have arsenic poisoning, along with other horrble symptoms.

  26. I really enjoyed this and managed to zoom through it on the commute in. All done on the Circle Line.

  27. Very enjoyable for me. Felt very much on Jay’s wavelength. Left with a few. Woke up in the night to finish. Last two in 25a and 16d. Don’t ask me why! Like another contributor got some answers and then worked out why. Read the hints(thanks Schuaa) retrospectively. Then realised I had wrong last two letters for 4d. Explained why fund not good in 14a! Haven’t we had 1d recently?

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