DT 27130 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27130

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27130

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Quite straightforward and enjoyable.  A 1.5* difficulty/3* enjoyment for me.  Thanks to setter (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    Plague doctor in case (6)

{MOLEST} : [abbrev. for a medical doctor] + [in case, eg. “they used a safety rope, in case they should fall”].

Answer: To plague;to disturb.

4    One invested in different aspects showing literary style (8)

{ESCAPIST} : [Roman numeral for “one”] contained in(invested in) anagram of(different) ASPECTS.

Answer: A style of literature that diverts by immersing the reader in exotic situations or activities, away from the reader’s reality.

10    A new ice bar is planned, stocking nothing without oxygen (9)

{ANAEROBIC} : A + [abbrev. for “new”] + anagram of(is planned) ICE BAR containing(stocking) [the letter that looks like zero;nothing].

Answer: Without the presence or requiring the absence of oxygen, eg. describing some organisms that can survive without oxygen, or even die when oxygen is present.

11    The blood flowing through divine harpsichordists’ heart? (5)

{ICHOR} : The exactly central letters of(… heart) “harpsichordists”.

Answer: In Greek mythology, the fluid (blood?) that flows through the veins of gods (and goddesses too, I presume).

12    What a guy needs for security? (4,3)

{TENT PEG} : Cryptic defn: What fastens a rope that guides or holds steady;a guy.  Also a murderous weapon (far from security for the guy below).

13    Walk across Iran, oddly getting affable (7)

{AMIABLE} : [walk at a leisurely pace] containing(across) the 1st and 3rd letters of(oddly) “Iran”.

14    Example of Marvell heartlessly pinching poem (5)

{MODEL} : The 2 outermost letters of(heartlessly) “Marvell” containing(pinching, as in “taking” – usually unlawfully) [a lyric poem, expressive of enthusiastic emotion]. And Andrew Marvell was an English poet, of course.


15    Out of date, and only in to be destroyed (8)

{OBSOLETE} : [one and only] contained in(in) anagram of (destroyed) TO BE.

18    Cruel jibe, and fair since ignoring regulars (8)

{BARBARIC} : [a jibe;a pointed remark] plus(and) “fair since” minus its 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th letters(ignoring regulars).

20    Love following wind — getting great enjoyment (5)

{GUSTO} : [the letter that looks like zero;love in tennis scores] placed after(following) [a sudden strong blast of wind].

23    Foreign priest welcoming naughty dance (7)

{LAMBADA} : [a Tibetan priest] containing(welcoming) [naughty;in slang, perversely, good;excellent].

Answer:  The forbidden dance.


25    Severe warning issued for executing violent dictator (4,3)

{RIOT ACT} : Anagram of(violent) “dictator” minus its first letter(executing).

Answer: Idiomatically, this is read to someone as a severe warning.

26    Fur industry’s origin is an animal from the Americas (5)

{COATI} : [an item of clothing that could be made from fur] + first letter of(…’s origin) “industry”.


27    Person scorning lower socioeconomic groups needing rural transport (9)

{DETRACTOR} : [the two lowest socioeconomic groups in the UK per the National Readership Survey classification system] plus(needing) [a vehicle for work on a farm, including transportation].

28    Deposit requiring different mindset about energy (8)

{SEDIMENT} : Anagram of(different) MINDSET containing(about) [symbol for “energy” in physics].

29    Beautiful girls from US city with members outside hotel (6)

{NYMPHS} : [abbrev. for the city on the eastern seaboard of the USA] plus(with) [abbrev. for members of the House] containing(outside) [the letter represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet].

Answer:  To be found, not outside hotels, but in the woods.

1    Interval between neat changes in play without words (8)

{MEANTIME} : Anagram of(changes) NEAT contained in(in) [an act without dialogue].


2    Found out a lender is crooked (7)

{LEARNED} : Anagram of(is crooked) A LENDER.

3    Place for showing kit used by Aston Villa, say? (5,4)

{STRIP CLUB} : [distinctive kit;colours and patterns used by sporting teams] + [a sporting organisation, an example of which is Aston Villa in the English Premier League].

Answer: A place to watch performers showing themselves, in other words, taking off, rather than showing, kit.


5    US oil city cares about benefit (6,8)


Answer: A nation’s system for promoting the welfare of its population, including the provision of benefits.

6    Excuse from a politician (independent) (5)

{ALIBI} : A + [short for a politician from one of the parties in the current UK coalition government] + [abbrev. for “independent”, as might be seen on your ballot paper].

7    Occupy sailor absorbed by popular success (7)

{INHABIT} : [abbrev. for an able-bodied seaman;a sailor] contained in(absorbed by) { [popular;of current fashion] + [a success, commonly used for a song/movie/etc] }.

8    Old gaoler with no source of nutritious food (6)

{TURKEY} : [an old word for a jailor] minus(with no) initial letter of(source of) “nutritious”.  Was misdirected by “nutritious food”, and the answer was way down in my list of such food.

9    Sorry for ordering a boy up in a riot (1,3,4,6)

{I BEG YOUR PARDON} : Anagram of(in a riot) ORDERING A BOY UP. Fair misdirection with “ordering” not being an anagram indicator in this case.

Answer: Same expressed sentiment as “Excuse me”.

16    Host with a racy exterior — soldier long ago (9)

{LEGIONARY} : [a host;a great number;a large group] plus(with) A + the 2 outermost letters of(… exterior) “racy”.

Answer: A Roman soldier long ago.

17    Expense when stocking case of red apples (8)

{COSTARDS} : [an expense;the price paid] + [when, as in “he met me when I was leaving”] containing(stocking) the 2 outermost letters of(case of) “red”.

 , if you know your apples.

19    A Royal Marines orchestra gets help for swimmer (7)

{ARMBAND} : A + [abbrev. for Royal Marines] + [an orchestra;a group of musicians].

Answer: A worn swimming aid, usually for learners.

21    Begin drink, downing bitter (5,2)

{START UP} : [to drink, specifically, a little at a time] containing(downing) [bitter;possessing a harsh, sharp and acidic taste].

22    Son has no trousers (6)

{SLACKS} : [abbrev. for “son”] + [has no;is short of].

24    Accepted truth of a team with merit award (5)

{AXIOM} : A + [a team, in cricket or football, say] plus(with) [abbrev. for an award from the British monarch to selected citizens of the Commonwealth – and it comes with a medal too].

The Quick crossword pun: (Mars} + {Turk} + {lass} = {master class}

45 comments on “DT 27130

  1. I found this a strange puzzle – mostly very easy with a few clues that I found very obscure. My rating today is **/*

    I finally got all the answers except 11a which is a new word for me and I needed the review to understand why my answers for 8d, 16d and 17d were correct. Many thanks for your explanations, Scchua..

  2. Some obscure words today (I can almost hear complaints coming in from various directions about 17D).
    For some strange reason I wanted to put OKAPI in for 26A – strange that I got stuck in that corner for a while. 19D made me chuckle.

    Off for 10 days to sunny (I hope) even SWer, will check in as and when I can.

    1. How is life in the kitchen dept. We still have a Ladylove kitchen from the sixties. Not that I spend much time in there.

    2. I had to google 17d as it was new to me. I thought of okapi but that is an African animal so wiped it out of my mind and thought again

  3. Wow a few new words learnt today,I to would rate this as a **/*** 9D.took some brain power but eventualy all fell into place.Thanks to scchua for the review im now off to the fruit bowl to find a 17D and its a tad cold so im going to find a 26A to snuggle up to as the dog is covered in mud from his morning walk.

  4. Thank you to the setter as i found this an agreeable solve, but needed a few of the hints to explain why my answer was correct, esp. for 17d. So thanks to Scchua for excellent clarification as well as much appreciation for a fairer distribution of eye-candy pics to enjoy :-) ! Like Rabbit Dave, 11a was a new word for me, and as I love that sense of my boundaries being stretched a little with new words, new tastes, new information, I’m a happy bunny. . .

  5. 2*/4* for me today.
    As usual very few across answers to begin with then got going with the downs.
    I had a spot of bother in the top right corner – 4a was clearly an anagram and I just couldn’t get beyond ‘escapism’ – no excuses. 8d took ages to see as well.
    Got in a terrible muddle with 9d as nothing seemed to add up to the right number of letters for the fairly obvious answer so needed the hint for that.
    I knew that 26a was what it was but checked it in BRB, unfortunately for me and everyone around me – discovered that they are similar to raccoons so now can’t stop singing ‘Rocky Raccoon’! Oh dear!
    I liked 1 and 14a and 3 and 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Grey and foggy and 3C here.

  6. Solved nicely in bed before Mrs C-s ( not Cryptic Sue) Gave me a list of 5 Jobs and went off to her mothers. Favourite Clue (possibly ever) 11ac in the quickie

  7. Despite the descriptive noun for jailer being one of my favourite words spent far too long considering nutritious foods !26a a new word for me which I will probably
    remember for about 3 days .
    Decent puzzle I thought .2 * / 3. * for me .
    Thanks very much .

  8. Enjoyable if a wee bit on the easy side, thanks to Jay and to scchua for a very amusing review.

  9. A **/*** for me, i too joined the Ocapi club for a while until solving 22d, enjoyable clues , liked 25a for it’s clever wordplay, remembered the apple-there must be the basis for a clue involving custard! Thanks Scchua for the ‘pics’, what is our Rod wearing? and hope the dancers recover.

  10. Hi Scchua and thanks for the hints I just needed them to understand 11a today, a few obscure words as in 17d and 26a but otherwise I completed this whilst waiting to go into ‘rehab’ fav clues 22d and 3d, another lovely sunny morning here but looking a little bit greyer right now, a two star for me because of the 3 obscure words, well at least they were to me :-)

  11. Enjoyable puzzle – thank you Jay – relieved the tedium of the return rail journey from London. Had to leave 17d until we got home as I couldn’t get the answer on the train and then had to check the hints to see if my answer was right – so many thanks Scchua for your review. Wonderful evening at ROH last night.

    1. So glad you enjoyed Alice as its had rave reviews, so I was wondering how you both found it :-)

      1. Fabulous ! We only go about every 2 yrs with some friends who are members of ROH – so they can get good seats !. We are very much at the Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty end of ballet appreciation, so this was something adventurous for us. Lovely to see a story told in that form with modern choreography and special effects ! Apparently Cuthbertson should have been dancing Alice but Sarah Lamb has taken it on as C. is still injured. She must have been exhausted at the end as there were very few scenes where she did not appear. On the evening Bonelli replaced McRae and Mendizabal for Morera. All new dancers for us ! A wonderful place to visit when it is sold out – as it for every performance I believe.

  12. I found it a bit of a mixture, mostly straightforward but with a couple of hard ones. 17D was a tricky clue for a tricky word, I got it right, but needed the hint to see where a couple of the letters came from

    Also, for 18A, I would have expected “regulars” to refer to the even numbered letters, not the odd ones ?

    1. Some time ago I made exactly the same sort of comment about a clue like 18a and a helpful person (can’t remember who) said that regular can be every second or third or fourth, or whatever, as long as they are regular. I think I was getting mixed up with odds and evens. Sorry, that’s not expressed very well – hope you see what I mean.

      1. Always, for me, confusing.
        Sometimes it’s the even letter, sometimes it’s the odd letter.
        I don’t really understand what regular means in this context.
        But I presume regular means every, as you say, Kath, second or third or whatever.
        But, I try both ie odds and evens.
        And come up with the correct solution :)

      2. Thanks Kath, I’ve never thought of them like that, I only ever check odds and evens, will try to remember that tip.

      3. Thanks Hrothgar and John but I wasn’t clever enough to work that out for myself so it wasn’t my idea – it was just yet another thing that I have learned (?learnt) from this wonderful blog.

      4. The word “regular” comes from the Latin “regula” meaning rule.

        So, as long as there is a rule (maybe, start with the second letter and then take every third letter) then it is fair to describe it as “regular”.

        Hope that helps :-)

        Latin ‘O’ Level strikes again!

  13. No significant problems. A very pleasant solve with much clever surface reading.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  14. Many thanks Scchua, needed some help with a couple, and a few explanations too.

    Joining 17d and 26a virgin club, I can at least say I’ve learnt two things today!

  15. As usual with Jay there were a few to make me stop and pause but ultimately all went in in a very enjoyable fashion. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the entertaining review.

  16. Nice mix, some hard ,some easy, some in between.
    11a new word for me, couldn’t be anything else once the checking letters were in place.
    Thanks Jay and scchua.

  17. Not a difficult puzzle but rather overloaded with anagrams.

    Also with what I call knockout clues e.g. 18a – whenever I see the word regular I say “odds or evens?”

    Tomorrow is the start of Spring – yes I know all about nutation of the globe – so the actual equinox can vary over the next few days! The sap doesn’t seem to be rising in the woods across the road – we can only hope!

    11a and 24d should be dumped into Chaldea!

  18. Thanks to Jay and to scchua, found this quite enjoyable. Got beaten by 1a and 26a. Not my day, got caught in a blizzard on Grisedale Pike, lost my walking poles then spilt a drink at dinner. Was 2*/3*for me.

      1. Thanks Gnomethang, the drink was non alcoholic :-) Afraid the poles are lost in the Snow, but the upside is that the pair only cost £20.

  19. 3 star difficulty for me because I did not finish it. (Or should that be infinite difficulty)
    Stuck on Ichor, Costards and Coati
    Perhaps “Fur, possibly” may have helped at my level.

    1. Hi Bob. Those three words are well worth remembering in Crosswordland. The animals of the Americas abound (my favourite is the RATEL (honey badger).
      Fur for coat is pretty well known synonym in most dictionaries but I admit to missing it first time round the clues today.

  20. Gave this one up in disgust, at least a four star for difficulty on the right hand side. Mind you Scchas confusing hints do not help. Sorry I know he works hard to produce them but I dread the day he does the blog.
    Not my favourite I’m afraid. ****/* for me.

    1. Grumpy guts – I think that whether you like his hints or not, you should, out of courtesy, learn how to spell his name correctly – it’s scchua. As you say he works hard to produce the hints, as do all the people who do them every day, so ‘Thank you’ is probably appropriate too.

  21. At least I’m not alone in finding this far from straightforward. 3.5* for difficulty, 1.5* for enjoyment.
    4 obscure, unmemorable and instantly forgetable words.

    1. It’s the ‘obscure, unmemorable and instantly forgettable words’ that need to be put into the memory – today there were, for you, four – try to hang on to at least a couple of them – they will come up again.

      1. Absolutely, Kath. :-)

        ChrisH, perhaps I should start by renaming myself Steve_the_White_Beard to make this point…

        …but I greeted most of those answers you didn’t like as old friends that I haven’t seen for some time. I’ve earned those white hairs, so perhaps I’ve been at this a little longer than you?

        Honesty now forces me to explain that I wrote “most” because I only learned the derivation of “costermonger” in the last year or two, so one of those was greeted as a fairly new friend :-)

  22. Well…… I found this one to be more of 2 or 3 rather than a 1.5!
    Must be the damp weather here in Guernsey that’s effecting my spirits!

Comments are closed.