DT 27118 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27118

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27118

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Quite straightforward today, with only a handful at the end taking a little longer.  A 2-2.5* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.  Thanks to Jay (at least I think it’s 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.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

1    This is Q1, isn’t it? (7,8)

{LEADING QUESTION} : Cryptic defn: The abbrev. “Q” in full, and 1 as in “first”. The whole clue is an example of the answer.

9    Animal‘s mistake, crossing one river (7)

{GIRAFFE} : [a mistake in a social setting, eg. a tactless remark] containing(crossing) { [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for “river”] }.

10    Show maturity, collared by quiet worker (7)

{PAGEANT} : [a measure of one’s maturity] contained in(collared by) { [abbrev. for the musical instruction to play quietly] + [a social insect, one of whose castes is the worker] }.

Defn: As a noun.

11    Dilapidated ancestral house (9)

{LANCASTER} : Anagram of(Dilapidated) ANCESTRAL.

Defn: A family, including ancestors and descendants, especially of royalty.


12    Good Queen Bess’s mole (4)

{PIER} : short for [good;religious] + [abbrev., from Latin, for Queen Elizabeth;Bess].

Defn: Not the creature, but a marine object.

Seaham pier

13    Professional American’s positive response with 12 unfinished (6)

{YUPPIE} : [how an American might indicate “yes”] plus(with) minus its last letter(unfinished).

Answer: What a hippie might have become next on getting older.

15    Go bottom and leg it (4,4)

{TURN TAIL} : [a go;a try in sequence, eg. in Monopoly] + [slang for the human bottom;if you had one, you’d be literally sitting on it].

Answer: To run away.

18    Standard bargains which you find at the greengrocer’s? (8)

{PARSNIPS} : [the standard, especially in golfing scores] + [an informal word for “bargains”;similar to “it’s a steal”].

19    Bird or other creature that might fly — with time! (6)

{PIGEON} : [a non-avian creature that might fly – if you wait long enough, like “when hell freezes over”] plus(with) [a very long period of time].

22    Pain caused by trapping horse’s head in crack (4)

{ACHE} : [initial letter of(…’s head) “horse”] contained in(trapping … in) [expert;crack as in a “crackshot”]

23    The cause of a dark look? (9)

{EYESHADOW} : Cryptic defn:  That which will make what you use to see/look with, appear/look dark.


26    Most of those people enjoy similar things (3,4)

{THE LIKE} : [those people;pronoun for third person plural] minus
its last letter(Most of) + [to enjoy;to take pleasure in].

27    The Yorkshire currency is a load of bother (7)

{TROUBLE} : [“the” in the Yorkshire dialect] + [a unit of currency, equal to 100 kopecks].

28    Moving on can revitalise conscription (8,7)


Answer: A scheme for citizens to compulsorily enlist in, for a time, their country’s governmental organisations, especially the military (including females in some countries).

1    Support friend in law (7)

{LEGALLY} : [a means of support, say, for humans, pianos, tables, etc.] + [a friend;someone on your side].

Answer: Within the bounds of the law.

2    A professional name for part of a stage (5)

{APRON} : + [short for “professional”] + [abbrev. for “name”].

3    Burning, losing a couple of thousand due to rising prices (9)

{INFLATION} : [a burning;the state of being burned;being on fire] minus(losing) { A + [the Roman numeral for a couple of;two thousand] }.

Answer: The state of an economy when prices of goods and services are continually rising.

4    People invited invest time in speculation (6)

{GUESTS} : [abbrev. for “time”] contained in(invest … in) [a speculation, made when you don’t have all the facts].

5    Some speed reduction can be part of fighter’s armoury (8)

{UPPERCUT} : [slang for “speed”, slang, in turn for a stimulant drug like amphetamine] + [a reduction;a snip].

Defn: The fighter most likely being a boxer.

6    Manifestation of good in evil? (4)

{SIGN} : [abbrev. for “good”] contained in(in) [an evil;any of 7 deadly ones].

7    Not moving prisoner outside a part of the UK (9)

{INANIMATE} : [a prisoner;a convict] containing(outside) [abbrev. for a part of the UK, site of The Troubles].

8    Racing certainty  with no airs (7)

{NATURAL} : Double defn: 1st: A sure thing to win a race; and 2nd: Without any affectations.

14    Something to write on page merchant prepared (9)

{PARCHMENT} : Anagram of(prepared) { [abbrev. for “page”] + MERCHANT }.

Defn: Material to write on if you lived long ago.

16    Live close by developing region with hub (9)

{NEIGHBOUR} : Anagram of(developing) { REGION plus(with) HUB }.

Answer: As a verb, compatible with the defn.

17    Insect that’s found in objects of limited value (8)

{EPHEMERA} : Double defn: 1st: A genus of insects so-called from their short adult lifespans; and 2nd: Objects of limited value because their value/purpose lasts for only a short time.

18    Carriage or stanhope redesigned without top (7)

{PHAETON} : Anagram of(redesigned) “stanhope” minus its initial letter(without top). And “stanhope” is, of course, another type of carriage.

Answer:  In addition to the answer, here are two horseless versions with the same name – one modern and another not so modern:


20    At the moment, present is not to be found (7)

{NOWHERE} : [at the present moment] + [a word to indicate you’re present during roll call].

21    Ties up in beds? (6)

{BERTHS} : Double defn: 1st: As with a marine craft, and sometimes dogs, too; and 2nd: Sleeping spaces found in means of transportation, including marine, making long journeys.


24    Knight on road from city abroad (5)

{DUBAI} : [to strike lightly with a sword, as the monarch might do to make you a knight] placed above(on, in a down clue) [letters that look like the designation for a major road in the UK, only part of it being of motorway standard].

Answer: In the Middle East.

25    Area of London with no drunk (4)

{WINO} : [letters that look like the postal code for an area of central London] plus(with) NO.

The Quick crossword pun: (freak} + {uppity} = {free cup of tea}

53 comments on “DT 27118

  1. Loved this, esp. 9a and 19a. Wasn’t sure about 13a. Many thanks to Scchua & setter.

    1. 13a irritated me at first because “12” had me thinking Roman numerals. It was only after I wrote in the Filofax-toting answer that I twigged on. In hindsight, I quite like the clue!

      1a led me astray briefly as I rushed in with “opening” for the first word. It soon became obvious this was wrong.

  2. Thank you Jay if it was you and Scchua for your review and photos. NE corner was last in – thought 19a rather good ! Many good clues which brought a smile ! A grim day up North but things are looking up at The Reebok – at last !

  3. By ‘eck 27a amused me, as did 19a

    I nearly bought a secondhand 18d- very underrated in my opinion!

    Thanks Scchua and Jay.

    **/*** for me

  4. Top half went in readily ,SE corner somewhat slower,then left with 25d and 26a which proved major blind spots until the pennies dropped .Good fun.
    3* / 3.5* for me .
    Thanks very much.

  5. No real problems today. Just needed a few hints for confirmation of my answers. 18d was also a horseless carriage, that is how I solved it. Thanks to setter and to Scchua for the review.

  6. Doesn’t 3D lose the letter ‘a’, as well as ‘mm’ – or am I missing something?

  7. **/**** for me today. Thanks very much to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle.

    I manged to get all the answers without hints, but needed Scchua’s review to understand why some were correct. I had never heard of a mole in the context of 12a, nor the slang in 5d for speed. I’m also lousy on my Yorkshire accents so the first letter of 27a was a mystery to me. Thanks Scchua for sorting everything out for me.

    1a was my favourite.

  8. Very enjoyable fare today. 1A went in straight away and has to be my favourite clue today. 20D was also very good and 27A would be quite a good clue, but as a true-blue southerner, I don’t think I’m allowed to like clues from oop north.

    Glad I didn’t stay up to watch the cricket last night.

    1. I agree with you about Northern clues, although I am one of those saddo Londoners who is a dyed in the wool Man U supporter. So, for me, watching the cricket last night would have been a pleasure in comparison with the football! What was the Everley Brothers’ song? Crying in the Rain?

  9. I shall have to go against the grain. I’m having a bad week. Monday puzzle – difficult but just possible. Tuesday – very difficult and needed hints. Today – too difficult even with hints. ****/* for me. Why have a puzzle called Toughie when there is this one on the back page?

    1. Apart from the real experts I think we all have bad weeks sometimes – maybe they do too! The problem is that once you realise you’re having one you’re then more likely to carry on with it – all to do with mind set, I reckon. The most important thing is not to get discouraged.

  10. Really got cracking after 1A went in which also was my favorite,wasted time on 25D but then looked in the mirror lol. A nice offering today and thaks to scchui for the review,time to crack open another bottle.

  11. Very enjoyable. Needed the hints for a couple of them. Never heard of the term natural as a racing cert so a new word for me! Not helped by having sheets put in for 21…oops. Favourites 18, 19

  12. Agree with the ***/*** rating, thanks Scchua for the. entertaining ‘pics’. Encountered trouble at t’mill generally in the se corner as the knight had’nt ‘ fallen’ and i wanted to put Delhi in for 24d,Anyway quite enjoyed the puzzle, liked 19a-for the avoidance of doubt,it was’nt a red card!

  13. I’d say 3*/4*. I always enjoy Jay’s puzzles but think that today would have been a good one to have remembered CS’s law (well, one of them anyway – I’m sure she probably has others) and started with the down clues.
    Very few answers went in on first read through of the across clues. Then got going quite well and ground to a complete halt in the bottom right corner – 23 and 27a and 17, 21 and 24d took me longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword. I didn’t know the ‘racy’ part of 8d.
    I liked 11, 19 and 23a and 6 and 20d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    When I rang my 90 year old Mum this morning to find out what shopping she needed she said that I’d have to hang on a minute as she had her hearing aid in so couldn’t hear me!? :roll:

    1. Hi Kath. As a relative newcomer to the cryptic crossword scene, that’s a new one on me. What is the logic of starting with the down clues?

      1. When it is a Jay Wednesday puzzle, the downs are more often than not more ‘instantly’ solveable than the acrosses Neither he or we know why.

        1. :grin:

          I love it! I obviously got lucky today (naively) starting with 1a as usual and, getting it fairly quickly, moved on the interlinking down clues starting from that answer.

            1. You need to ask your mother to remove her hearing aid and then you can get her to remind you when it is Wednesday.

              1. Hello to Rabbit Dave, Once on holiday my mate and I spent a fortnight choosing the next clue to answer by throwing darts at a board. For some reason 23ac or d was the last to go in.

                1. :-)

                  As one of a mathematical bent, and a keen darts player of old, I can’t tell you how much I liked that!


  14. Many thanks to Jay and to sschua for a most enjoyable crossword and entertaining review.

  15. Good crossword except for 26 across which I am not sure we have got right, I think the answer we have doesn’t sound like good English. Thanks to setter and hinter.

      1. That’s what we put, but it still doesn’t sound good to me. Thank you anyway, you can’t please all of the people all of the time!

  16. I have been heading for a fall for a while and here it came.. I put in Initial Question for 1ac. Eaglet at 19ac. Nightfall at 23ac Spelled 18d wrongly as I always do. Put M1 for the last two letters of 24d. Cooking on gas I thought. All sorted now, although 25d has me stumped. Thanks to Jay for leading me astray and scchua for the (unread) hints and tips. Hello to Rabbit Dave, Once on holiday my mate and I spent a fortnight choosing the next clue to answer by throwing darts at a board. For some reason 23ac or d was the last to go in.

  17. Very entertaining – a lot of easy clues, with a few toughies thrown in.

  18. Really liked this one. At first glance it looked absolutely impossible. The first clue I saw was “Good Queen Bess’s mole” which left me literally clueless. The rest weren’t much better but then I tried a hunch that the second half of 1a was “question” and then things started to fall into place. I ran up against my self-imposed time limit with three in the SW corner still to finish so resorted to hints although I think I might have completed unaided given time.

    I rate it **/****

  19. late getting started and must admit to have only solved 5 clues so far! Out again this evening so am probably not going to get much further, but never mind–there’s always tomorrow………..!!

  20. Many thanks scchua for an excellent review, and to all for your eagerly read comments

  21. Thanks again, Jay for the puzzle and for dropping by.

    I’ve amended my comment fo 18down, as there might have been confusion as to what I meant. Those cars were only a further hint to the answer

  22. Used some of the hints but all the answers made perfect sense. I didn’t know 13a ‘yeppie’ and 12a ‘pier’.
    Favourite clues were 18a and 15a.

  23. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. Enjoyed Found this very entertaining, but was beaten by 21d. Wouldn’t have got this in a million years. Favourites were 1,18,23a and 20&25d. Spent a nice afternoon at the Camden Beer Festival.

  24. Struggled hard and almost got there, but I found it really difficult.I saw “pier” in BRB but I didn’t know how it fitted the clue .The word play in24a eluded me.I got the solution to 7d but I didn’t think it matched the definition (and I still don’t).Thanks to Jay for a good workout after yesterday’s walk in the park.Thanks to Sschua.

  25. I’ve now lost track of which week we’re in (as well as having trouble remembering that it’s Wednesday and so should have started with the down clues!!) – is it Ray T tomorrow? I don’t think that we had one of his last week but could so easily be wrong. What does anyone else think?

      1. Oh good! :smile: Thanks – I didn’t think it was him last week.
        How is your eye getting on?

        1. The bubble has gone – hooray – it took ages for the last tiny bit to go. Now back to driving and have to go back to my proper working hours from Monday :( (Have quite enjoyed the afternoons away from work. ) Just have to wait for eye to get used to working properly and see what the consultant says on Tuesday week.

  26. Need new glasses , took me an age to get 1a as I read it as QI not Q1, new definition of mole but “gettable”. Thanks Jay and scchua

  27. I’m sorry Scchua, I must be far too stupid to understand the method of your explanations. So much punctuation just hurts my eyes and makes it all look like computer code. On the other hand it means that I am forced to think a bit harder.

    A tricky one for me and I have had to give up with three unanswered. I’ll no doubt kick myself when I collect the paper tomorrow!

  28. I think it is probably me – but I think some of the explanations were harder than the clues!

  29. Oh, how the Sun smiled upon us as I took my short lunchtime break and sped easily through the early clues, vanquishing them with a facility rarely seen upon this Earth, returning to my labours all too soon with but a small south-eastern corner remaining, to be completed during my evening leisure…

    And how at this midnight hour do I rain most vile and foul imprecations upon the head of The One Known As Jay, for the torture and toil which he has made me endure!

    Or… to put it another way… wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same…

    I swept through most of this crossword so easily, feeling really smug about some of them (the genus of that insect in 17D, for example; no problem, straight in) but I had to stop too early, leaving the SE corner, and when I returned to it I struggled HORRIBLY to complete it.

    So, I must salute Grand Master Jay, and also thank scchua for his most-excellent but unneeded (but gods, it was close!) commentary.

    I shall have my revenge! :-)

Comments are closed.