DT 27119 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27119

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27119

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where snow is piled high everywhere but it is finally beginning to feel like spring is just around the corner.

Today’s puzzle has all the earmarks of a RayT creation — a bit of innuendo and an appearance by Her Majesty. I enjoyed solving the puzzle but when it came to writing the review, I realized that there does seem to be a rather generous dose of anagrams and charades used in the puzzle.

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 Section with opinion containing usual Telegraph leader (11)
{ COMPARTMENT } — start with the type of opinion that you might express below on my review; then insert the (optimistically) usual result on a golf course together with the first letter (leader) of T(elegraph)

10a Character from a tale about cat’s head (5)
{ ALICE } — A (from the clue) and a fabulous story containing the first letter (head) of C(at) give us a young lady who had an encounter with a cat (following which, the cat could do nothing but grin)

11a Mistress can’t rouse fancy (9)
{ COURTESAN } — an anagram (fancy) of CAN’T ROUSE

12a Mark, abstract art genius (9)
{ SIGNATURE } — an anagram (abstract) of the final two words of the clue [a reference to Mark Rothko?]

13a Live, that is, around midnight in buff (5)
{ BEIGE } — a word sum of a synonym for live or exist and the abbreviation of the Latin phrase meaning that is wraps around the middle letter of (ni)G(ht)

14a Concern facing start of long year with resolution (6)
{ FIRMLY } — a business entity or concern followed by the first letter (start) of L(ong) and the abbreviation for year

16a Exotic leaves in ointment (8)
{ VASELINE } — an anagram (exotic) of LEAVES IN [How does one illustrate this? Perhaps some things are best left to the imagination!]

18a Massive company deficit facing almost everybody (8)
{ COLOSSAL } — a charade of a short form for company, a financial shortfall, and a synonym for everybody without its final letter (almost)

20a Gave lesson for ‘tense’ aloud (6)
{ TAUGHT } — the solution sounds like (aloud) a word meaning stretched tightly

23a Composition from compiler following article (5)
{ THEME } — how the compiler of the puzzle might objectively refer to himself after a definite article

24a Fundamentalist error is made embracing political violence (9)
{ TERRORISM } — hidden in the first five words of the clue

26a Manifest annoyance with United finally getting beat (9)
{ OVERTIRED } — a charade of a word meaning open to view, a synonym for anger or annoyance, and the final letter of (Unite)D [At the time that he must have compiled this puzzle, how could RayT have known the outcome of Tuesday’s football match?]

27a Strumpet flipped over accepting one’s quirk (5)
{ TRAIT } — reverse (flip over) an acidic young lass and insert the Roman numeral for one [In my day, I’ve encountered a lot of terms for a male member, but “quirk” is a new one!}

28a Teens caught in a social security spot (11)
{ ADOLESCENCE } — the cricket abbreviation for caught is contained in a charade of A (from the clue), a social security benefit, and the setting in which an event (for instance, a crime) takes place


2d Behind, to win, goal’s let in (5)
{ OWING } — a word meaning to be in arrears, financially, is hidden in (let in) TO WIN GOAL

3d Win pawn and bishop perhaps with trouble (7)
{ PREVAIL } — P(awn) plus an abbreviated title for a member of the clergy plus a verb meaning to cause health concerns

4d ‘Get Back‘, disc half finished over on rooftop? (6)
{ RECOUP } — perhaps to get back gambling losses through a streak of good luck; the first half of another word for a music disc, the cricket abbreviation for over and how an observer on the ground might describe your position on a rooftop [I believe that the Beatles actually did record some songs on the rooftop of the Apple Records studio.]

5d Computer device paused abnormally after flash (8)
{ MOUSEPAD } — an anagram (abnormally) of PAUSED following a brief British interval of time

6d Somebody‘s impotent perhaps (7)
{ NOTABLE } — if split (3,4) this would describe someone on whom the opportunity in 27a would be wasted [or perhaps it explains the lack of success of the lady at 11a]

7d Deceit by an official, it’s out of order (13)
{ FALSIFICATION } — an anagram (out of order) of AN OFFICIAL IT’S

8d A leap circling mid-air is ambitious (8)
{ ASPIRING } — A (from the clue) plus a synonym for leap wrapped around the middle letter of (a)I(r)

9d Disparage mates in duet badly covering Queen (13)
{ UNDERESTIMATE } — an anagram of MATES IN DUET surrounding Her Majesty’s cipher

15d Thankful about original woman wearing top (8)
{ RELIEVED } — a preposition meaning about or concerning precedes Adam’s helpmate embedded in a top (of a saucepan, for example)

17d Rustic prior has spoken (8)
{ PASTORAL } — a synonym for prior or previous followed by a word meaning spoken or taken through the mouth

19d Extracted first of silver that’s turned to liquid (7)
{ SMELTED } — a charade of the first letter of S(ilver) and a past participle meaning changed from a solid to a liquid

21d A job with laudable ends for missionary (7)
{ APOSTLE } — A (from the clue) plus another word for a job or position plus the first and last letters (ends) of L(audabl)E

22d They’re against empty puzzles with naughty content (6)
{ PRUDES } — remove the inner letters (empty) of P(uzzle)S and replace them with a synonym for vulgar or indecent to get a term for someone who might not appreciate the finely-crafted innuendo suffusing a certain setter’s creations

25d Israelite Sarah and Abraham created initially (5)
{ ISAAC } — the name of one of the progeny of this couple is formed by the initial letters of the first five words of the clue

My favourite clues include the long anagrams at 7d and 9d as well as 11a, 4d (image of the Fab Four on the rooftop) and 22d (a dig at the setter’s detractors, perchance?).

The Quick crossword pun: (plea} + {stay} + {shun} = {police station}

83 comments on “DT 27119

  1. Thank you Falcon for a very entertaining review of a very nice Ray T puzzle. I too wondered if 22d was a dig at the detractors. Lots of good clues but I particularly liked 10a. Thank you Ray for a very nice start to my Thursday morning solving.

    I enjoyed the solving of today’s toughie too – Kath and co should note that it is a Notabilis!

    1. I’m not sure I’ve ever tried a Notabilis so don’t know whether to interpret that as words of encouragement or a terrible warning!

      1. More of a warning – Notabilis does set at the tuogher end of the spectrum but you shold give it ago and see how you get on.

        1. Thanks – might have a go. It’s chucking it down here so not a day for doing anything outside. Glad the eye is better.

          1. Thanks all – definitely going to have a go later. Unfortunately my conscience has made me do something useful so cleaning windows at the moment. :sad: Nice to be able to see through them again though . . .

  2. Delighted to have completed this without needing hints, and enjoyed many of the clues, inc. 5 & 19d and 1and 10a. Interested by the ‘slant’ on 15d, as I wouldn’t normally interchange those two words, although I can see the sense of it. 26a last in as I got stuck with a football image (about which I know nothing, in spite of Mr P’s very first present to me when we were first courting of a coloured, and framed, photograph of Liverpool’s Captain). So that was my last clue in. Many thanks to the Setter (haven’t yet got either the experience or the courage to try and name them) and to Falcon for some amusing hints & pictures (but please don’t share any of your snow with us, unless we have some keen skiers in Scotland amongst our number!)

    1. Poppy, seeing your comments after I posted mine brought back to me the misery of Tuesday night, and, as an avid Man U fan, I can only castigate Falcon for spoiling an otherwise first rate review with such a shocking picture.

      I had hoped to take some solace this morning from the cricket, only to find that England performed abysmally on day 2 of the Test Match in New Zealand :-( Day 1 was so much better – no play due to rain!

    2. Ray T is not only one of my favourite setters but also one of the very few that I can almost always spot. For a start he usually does alternate Thursdays but he has lots of trademarks. The quick crossword always has single word clues and answers. His cryptic clues are short, usually no more than seven words. There is a reference to Queen in at least one of them – not sure if we’re talking about ER or the group here. He goes in for clues that, on the surface, sound terribly rude – they’re always the ones that make me laugh.

  3. **/*** for me today. As I need to go out soon I was delighted to see the review posted early today. Many thanks to you, Falcon, for such a humorous review and also for explaining why my answer for 17d was right. A nice piece of misdirection from the setter led me to think that “prior” pointed to the first six letters of my answer and I couldn’t understand at all how “has spoken” related to the last two letters.

    28a contains a nice ambiguity. Initially I quickly put in a homophone of the correct answer without checking the detailed wordplay. That made 25d impossible until the penny dropped.

    Is 5d really a device?

    Thanks very much to the setter for yet another excellent crossword. I am relatively new to cryptic crosswords, and I have nothing but admiration for the ingenuity of all the setters which keeps us all so royally entertained and challenged every day.

    1. I’m sure I wanted to write in the same word as you did at 28a – except it was precluded by 25d which I had already solved. Despite being so close to the correct solution, it took ages for me to spot it.

      As for 5d, I also wondered if it could properly be termed a device. Mine does have what is purported to be my family’s coat of arms inscribed on it – so perhaps its a heraldic device, if not a computer device.

      1. I’ve always referred to the touchpad on a laptop computer as a mousepad and the thing that you move the mouse around on as a mousemat, so perhaps it can be regarded as a device.

  4. A most enjoyable puzzle for me today. A couple had me scratching my head for a while, but the rest went in very nicely.
    I did wonder whether 19d was a semi & lit clue, or whether the definition was simply ‘extracted’.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Falcon.

    1. Re: “I did wonder whether 19d was a semi & lit clue”

      That thought also crossed my mind. However, since it seems to work perfectly well as a “regular” clue, I opted for that route.

  5. An enjoyable puzzle with the usual laughs.
    Thanks to Falcon for the review and to the setter.

    Slightly preoccupied today as my email acct has been hacked, apologies to anyone who got odd emails from me, hopefully now sorted.

  6. Some great clues today but spent more time on 19d and 26a than others for which I feel suitably thick .
    Absolute fave 22d .
    Thanks very much .

  7. I struggled on a few today and needed the excellent clues from falcon,loved the picture for 6D being a sparky it made me chuckle.This was more like a 3 for me but still a nice puzzle,thanks to falcon for a splendid review.

  8. Thank you Ray T, very enjoyable and Falcon for your review. SW corner last in for some reason. Started well with the anagrams and then got worse ! Tough one tonight BD ?

  9. Another great RayT puzzle. Lots of different clues with a few more anagrams than usual. Last in and favourite was 2 as Ray always seems to hide the answers so well. Also liked 5 6 10 11 etc etc so many! Wet Thursdays are so much better with a RayT!!

  10. Morning all hope to come back to this later after filling in only about 8 I have somewhere to be, finding it much more difficult than two star but that’s normal for me on a RayT day :-) , Sue have you taken my sunshine? gloomy and wet here today, never mind the daffodils are appreciating a drink :-)

    1. I know you’ll say it’s an ‘all in one’ but once again I think the definition in 25d is missing, Israelite is surely the definition and is here being used twice?

      1. Hi mary

        re 25d, Isaac was an Israelite, and the son of Sarah and Abraham, hence the whole clue provides the definition.

        1. Hi Jezza yes I know but to me the clue says: ‘ look for an Israelite, made up of the initial (first) letters of ‘Sarah and Abraham created’ which is the SAAC

      2. Hi Mary,

        Yes, as you say, it is an all-in-one clue.

        In most clues, you must split the clue into two parts as you are attempting to do, with one part being the definition and the other part being the wordplay.

        There are, however, a few exceptions to the rule (aren’t there always?).

        One exception is a cryptic definition. Since you are a great fan of Rufus (the acknowledged master of this genre), I am sure you require no further explanation of this type of clue.

        Another exception is an all-in-one clue (more formally known as an & lit. clue). In such a clue, the entire clue serves as the definition when read one way and also constitutes the wordplay when read another way.

        Let’s examine the wordplay first. In today’s example, the wordplay instructs us to take the initial letters of I(sraelite) S(arah) A(nd) A(braham) C(reated), which together spell ISAAC.

        Now for the definition. As Jezza states, Isaac was an Israelite and the firstborn (and only) child of Sarah and Abraham. [They got a late start on their family – he being 100 and she being “beyond childbearing years” when Isaac was born.] Thus the entire clue can be read as a somewhat cryptic way of saying ‘The eldest child of Sarah and Abraham’ which very clearly describes Isaac.

        If, as you suggest, the definition were merely “Israelite”, it would be a pretty vague description (not to say that we sometimes don’t encounter some of those).

        Now, if I can just convince you to embrace the all-in-one clue, my next task will be to convert you into a RayT fan.


        1. Hee Hee, thank you Falcon for taking the time and providing such a clear explaination, you can do your best but I’m making no promises ;-)

    2. I think i can speak for CS, we have not stolen your sun, it is precipitating down here in Kent.

  11. decided to finish this with Falcons help, thank you Falcon, at least a three star for me today, no real favourites but no real complaints either,some very clever clues, just not on same wavelength, only query 25d, see above

  12. Morning all – what a terrible day in New Zealand, oh well, England often start a test series badly.

    Fun solve today with no real problems (apart from briefly putting ECLAT in for 10A.

    Falcon, I don’t think 12A has anything to do with Mark Rothko – more the fact that in days of yore when most folks couldn’t write, they were asked to ‘make their mark’ when a signature was required, a phrase that is still often used in this day and age.

    Finally got some daffodils flowering (3 so far, 497 still to get their a**e in gear)

    1. From a cryptic analysis perspective, I agree whole-heartedly with your comment.

      My comment about Mark Rothko related to the surface reading of “abstract art genius”.

  13. On first read through not a lot happened and i knew it would be a bit of a grind,howeaver once a framework was in place ,it took about the normal time and so about a ***/*** for me,No new or obscure words at least,liked 10a and 4a-thanks Falcon for the ‘pics’-did the Beetles perform Get Back or Back in the USSR on the roof?.By the way, the picture in 12a is upside down!

    1. According to the account of the concert in Wikipedia, they performed “Get Back”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “One After 909”, and “Dig a Pony” — but not “Back in the USSR”.

      But seriously, Beaver, you — of all people — should not have misspelled Beatles :smile:

  14. Enjoyable work out, made easier, perhaps, by the many anagrams.
    No excuse, in my opinion , for not spotting and getting an anagram.
    Many thanks RayT and Falcon for the review.

  15. Cranked this one out in a bit longer than the usual time, found the long anagrams surprisingly hard, but no LOL moments for me. I can’t see how the answer for 5d is in any way a “device”, but perhaps this is where being an IT professional doesn’t help me…

  16. I’m just getting started but if the puzzle is truly 2* and RayT it is an oxymoron

      1. Actually, having had my first run through I feel that I should withdraw that remark

  17. 3* for difficulty for me because I got completely stuck in the top left corner. At least 4* for enjoyment.
    Like Falcon and CS I wondered if 22d was a bit of a dig at people who criticise some aspects of his crosswords!
    I was really on the look out for hidden-in-the-middle answers – I got 26a and thought that it was a sneaky one, and then completely missed 2d!!
    I was quite slow get 1a and needed the hint to explain 4d – so obvious now.
    I liked all four of the long answers round the outside and SO many of the others – too many to put them all down.
    A great crossword for a miserable grey wet morning so thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

    1. perhaps it was a direct hit at myself and Catherine who commented on his blatant sexism some time back? Amusing to think so.

        1. In that particular crossword there were a number of anti-women jokes which are usually only enjoyed by (some) men. Don’t men who persist in making such jokes always call objectors “prudes” ? I thought it was a clever clue though.

          1. I am not a prude and do not believe in sexism or prudism amongst women and I think that there should be legislation against it

          2. I’m sure that I’m about to be shot down in flames here but I do think that ‘sexism’ and ‘sexist’ are two very ‘PC’ terms generally used by women who have their own insecurities.

            1. Show me a woman who says she doesn’t have an insecurity and I’ll show you a liar.The kind of sexist jokes to which I object are those reminiscent “of carry on” films.I ask myself, why, when homophobia is unacceptable, racism is outre, and anti-semitism is not done, it is still o.k. to make references to women as “tarts” and so forth. hrothgar found a very “sexy “clue recently which wasn’t sexist.I am probably not expressing myself very well but ,personally I am tired of sexism.

  18. Really enjoyed this one. Challenging at times but still finished it in a good time. 10 is my favourite.

  19. I agree with Falcon’s rating. Re 12a, perhaps Skempie missed the pont. There seems to be a clever allusion to Mark Rothko (to fit in with the surface reading) but the answer means mark in the sense of signature.

  20. A very enjoyable crossword from RayT despite the anagrams and a most entertaining review from Falcon, thanks to both.

  21. Was this much easier than normal or am I getting the hang of a RayT I wonder. Whatever, I found it very enjoyable and even managed to finish before the clues. However, I did need to consult them for a couple of explanations for which I offer my thanks.

    1. I didn’t think that it was MUCH easier than normal although, for me, it definitely wasn’t as tricky as his sometimes are – you’re obviously winning with Ray T puzzles, Brian. Well done! See, I told you we’d convert you!! :smile:

  22. Super puzzle for a dull day. All went in pretty smoothly and I was feeling quite clever until I started the Toughie! Favourites were 7d and 26a (I follow United’s noisy neighbours!). Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  23. Thanks to Ray T and to falcon for the review and hints. Hooray, first completion of the week. A most enjoyable puzzle. Started with 17a, finished with 14a. Favourites were 10,13,16a and 5d. Was 3*/4* for me. Thought it was going to be really tough, but after some perservation it all fell into place. Drizzly in Central London.

  24. Lovely puzzle from Ray T which took ages because Mrs C-S wanted to get some jobs done. So an odd clue solved here and a couple more there. All enjoyable.

        1. Miffypops is nobodies factotum. He is nothing at all to do with Cryptic Sue. He runs a very nice pub in South Warwickshire in a village with six pubs. Mrs C-S is also known as Saint Sharon. So know you know.

      1. I’m glad you cleared that up Sue, as I may not have been the only one with that misapprehension – and there I was thinking how brilliant you had all that help :-) !

        1. My Mr CS does the number puzzles and is no use at all with cryptics – we do, however, do the Saturday GK puzzle together every week.

          I like the sound of Miffypops village – we only have one pub in our small village but it is very good.

          1. BD cover your ears, I did all the number puzzles in todays telegraph, but made an absolute canine breakfast of the “moderate” sudoku. I too like the sound of Miffyops village pub, a venue for sloggers and betters?

  25. Great puzzle today. Not many bumps to hold me up and managed to understand the “whys”. I feel quite chuffed, after struggling with a few puzzles recently. As with most, my fav was 10a. Cold with brilliant sunshine here. I just hope this is the last of the chill downs. Floridians love the cold weather in the winter, so why do they live here? All thanks to all for this Thursday’s entertainment.

  26. Is there any way of making the print on the site bigger? I don’t know if I’ve pressed something, but quite difficult to read the comments!

    A good puzzle, and just right for a grey, haar day here in Edinburgh– the Castle is completely hidden!

    1. Some browsers respond to Ctrl + to increase the font, Ctrl – to reduce it and Ctrl 0 to reset (hold the Ctrl key down and then depress the other key, which may also require the shift key to be held simultaneously).

  27. Setter here, with his thanks to Falcon for the review, and to all for your observations.


  28. I was going to say that I found this not to my taste at all for Brianite reasons and now he’s gone over to the other side !My worst puzzle this week. The lower half went in alright, but lots of blanks on top .Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  29. An enjoyable puzzle that we solved while sitting on the deck of our son’s place in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, looking out at the surf breaking on the reef a few hundred metres off-shore. Had spent the morning walking the steep track that crosses the island from one side to the other so felt we deserved the pleasure fof a RayT hot off the press.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  30. Lovely puzzle from Ray T, even tho’ the usual levels of innuendo were absent.
    No problems here, and I thank the larger number of anagram type clues for that. 14a was my last in.

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