DT 27136 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27136

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27136

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A relaxing, enjoyable puzzle today. A 1*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment. Thanks to 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    Duty to chase wrong-sounding grammatical structure (6)

{SYNTAX} : [a duty;an impost paid to the government] placed after(to chase) homophone of(…-sounding) [a wrong;any one of the 7 deadly].

4    Block letters in Times covering the end of poverty (6)

{STYMIE} : Anagram of(letters in) TIMES containing(covering) the last letter of(the end of) “poverty”.

Answer: To hinder;to frustrate;to block.

8    What comes after washing at university? Forgetting line! (6,2)

{DRYING UP} : [what’s to be done after washing with all that fluid] + [participating in a university’s activities].

Answer: Said of an actor who’s forgotten his/her lines.


10    Married woman having to admit a complaint (6)

{MALADY} : { [abbrev. for “married”] + [a genteel term to refer to a woman] } containing(having to admit) A.

11    Noises from animal in converted stables (4)

{MEWS} : Double defn: 1st: Animal sounds from what you might keep as a pet; and 2nd: Former stables now used as people accommodation.


12    Giving reasons for an outing planned to include two hundred (10)

{ACCOUNTING} : Anagram of(planned) AN OUTING containing(to include) [Roman numeral for 200].

13    Unable to speak, one copper gets delayed by fashionable painting (12)

{INARTICULATE} : { [Roman numeral for 1) + [chemical symbol for the element, copper] + [delayed;after the scheduled time] } placed after(by) { [fashionable;trendy] + [collective noun for paintings and such] }.

16    Last minute gives time for refreshments (8,4)

{ELEVENTH HOUR} : Cryptic defn: The time when one would take a morning break from work.

Answer: Not exactly the last minute, as you still have 59 more in it.

20    Question English on drink from French island (10)

{MARTINIQUE} : [abbrev. for “question”] + [abbrev. for “English”] placed after(on) [an alcoholic cocktail, shaken not stirred if ordered by 007].

Answer: French island in the Caribbean.


21    A people‘s competition (4)

{RACE} : Double defn: 1st: Eg. the Chinese; and 2nd: A competitive track event.

22    Excellent exercise runs in advance (6)

{SUPERB} : { [abbrev. for “physical education”;exercise] + [abbrev. for cricketing runs] } contained in(in) [an advance payment of part of one’s salary/wages].

23    Gets level nevertheless with putt, dropping point (5,3)

{EVENS OUT} : [nevertheless;still, as in, “we trust you, but still/nevertheless, we need a deposit”] plus(with) “putt” minus(dropping) [abbrev. for “point”].

Answer: Becomes equal or balanced.

24    Made a home as requirement across street (6)

{NESTED} : [a requirement, as opposed to a wish] containing(across) [abbrev. for “street”].

25    Enemy failing to take west of zone is a catalyst (6)

{ENZYME} : Anagram of(failing) ENEMY containing(to take) the leftmost letter of(west of) “zone”.

Answer: One of any of the substances that facilitate/speed up your body’s chemical reactions.

1    Textile worker’s rank (8)

{SERGEANT} : [a woven textile, especially for clothing] + [a social insect, which might belong to the worker caste].

Answer: A rank in the police force, or a non-commissioned military rank.


2    New troubles mean arrests (5)

{NAILS} : [abbrev. for “new”] + [troubles, as in “you look like hell, what troubles you?”).

Answer: Arrests or seizes, commonly by the police.

3    Asian chap, a fellow I hang around (7)

{AFGHANI} : A + [abbrev. for “fellow”] + anagram of(around) I HANG.

5    Work ultimately missing from development of upmarket Japanese course (7)

{TEMPURA} : Anagram of(development of) “upmarket” minus the last letter of(ultimately missing) “work”.


6    Choppers initially used to exploit real power (4,5)

{MILK TEETH} : [to exploit;to take advantage of, eg. a cash cow] + [real power;figuratively the power to produce a desired effect, eg. if something hasn’t got these, it’s powerless].

Answer: Your initial set of choppers.

7    Finish transmitting without son (6)

{ENDING} : [transmitting, eg. a message] minus(without) [abbrev. for “son”].

9    Imagines Spanish that becomes attractive (11)

{PICTURESQUE} : [imagines;forms a mental visual representation] + [Spanish for “that”].

14    Radiation units finding information in damaged tensor (9)

{ROENTGENS} : [information] contained in(in) anagram of(damaged) TENSOR.

Answer: Units of measurement of radiation, named after the German physicist who discovered X-rays.

15    Point at which judge replaces pressure in flat tyre? (8)

{JUNCTURE} : [abbrev. for “judge”] replacing(replaces) [abbrev. for “pressure” in physics] in [a flat tyre, eg. one with a nail that’s pierced it].

Answer: A point of time.

17    Elevate East German city over the French (7)

{ENNOBLE} : [abbrev. for “east”] + reversal of(over, in a down clue) [former capital city of W.Germany] + [French for “the”].

Answer: To raise in degree, excellence, respect, dignity, etc.

18    Present wrapped in metal — where is it? (7)

{THEREIN} : [indicates presence in a roll call] contained in(wrapped in) [a metal element, used for making containers].

Answer: An answer to the question “where is it?” – in that place, thing, etc.

19    Planet‘s south leading a revolution (6)

{SATURN} : [abbrev. for “south”] placed above(leading, in a down clue) A + [one full revolution].

21    Out of practice but reliable without leader (5)

{RUSTY} : [reliable;loyal] minus its initial letter(without leader).

The Quick crossword pun: (pastis} + {eggs} + {hams} = {passed his exams}

77 comments on “DT 27136

  1. Hi Kath, if you’re there. Thanks for last week. Due to the time difference it was too late/too early for me to respond then.

  2. A jolly canter for a Wednesday and also a pangram. 1a 4a 2d didn’t click initially but all straightforward in the end. Thanks to setter.

      1. Hi crypticsue, late evening here. The J is in 15 down. I missed the pangram, though didn’t need to know that to finish the puzzle.

        1. So it is. Funny how you can’t see what you are looking at before you press ‘post comment’! I always miss pangrams and don’t talk to me about Ninas!!

          1. I thought exactly the same sue, thought… ‘now this would be a pangram, if there was a ‘j’ ‘ unfortunately I had it the wrong way round in15d! I always get those the wrong way round :-(

  3. All done. Plain sailing down south, a little choppy up in the north west today. No real faves but quite liked 13a. Thanks to Scchua and setter.

  4. My first read through revealed only two answers,amazing what a cup of tea can do! Slowly they started to fall into place last one in 13A. Liked 20A.& reckon i must be a bit 21D lol. In the end it was a nice offering and a big thanks to scchua for a top review.

  5. Morning, or should that be afternoon scchua?! We actually have sun and blue sky here in Kent today and two nice crosswords to match the day.

    Not such a tricky Jay as usual,, I thought, 1*/3* for me too. I did like 16a. Thank you to both of you for a nice start to my holiday Wednesday.

    I recommend the Petitjean toughie too.

  6. For once I am “stuck” I cannot get 1d and its bugging me. No offence but you can stick your hints and tips where the sun don’t shine today. I refuse to use them. I will get there hopefully. If not I will have a look tomorrow at todays grid. On the subject of the word “stuck” Why oh why do so many people ask me ” are you stuck” whilst I am merely enjoyably in the process of completion. No I don’t want them to “have a quick look” either. P**s off and leave me alone with my thoughts please. On a more positive note. I do like this site and the comments therein Ha ha (18d) and I do look at the hints occasionally but only after I have completed a crossword and never before. Thanks as usual to everybody – The hinters and tipsters – Big Dave for starting it – all who comment and make me smile – Leonard Cohen for singing to me this morning – hopefully he will sing to me all through my OU assignment today. best wishes to all.

    1. Here’s a hint anyway – for 1d, start with the textile (material) that featured in a clue yesterday.

  7. For me, this was the easiest puzzle in a while. Thanks, Scchua, for the hints although I didn’t need them today. I am emboldened to try the Toughie now.

  8. Wondered why I managed to finish this ! – then read the blog, so all is now clear. Good fun, thank you Jay, a pleasure to work through a puzzle without worrying whether I will finish it ! Thank you Scchua for your review and appropriate photos – tasteful as always.

  9. Nice easy day for me for a change! A lovely puzzle to start it with. Some fine clues. Agree with the BD rating but possibly edging towards **** for enjoyment. Many thanks to all.

  10. Except for 11a (one of those pesky 4 letter answers), finished before lights out last night. So, I would give it * or **/ *** – not sure knowing it was a pangram is any real help as I had got the ‘obscure’ letters (X and Z for example) early on. Favourite was 13a.

  11. Me again. Just wondering why my comments still always have a 15 minute time delay before they’re posted. Also, I’ve checked the box to be notified of follow up comments via e-mail a couple of times in the last few months and nothing’s appeared yet.

    1. I think You’ll find that the 15min countdown is the time within which you can edit your comment, and that It’s posted straight away.

  12. No crossword is ever a 1* for me although this one is only a tiny bit more, EVEN for me, and I would give it 4* for enjoyment – I really love Jay’s puzzles.
    25a would have been easier if I was better with east and west. :roll:
    Amazing what you learn when you look something up – I knew 4a but looked in BRB to see where it came from only to discover that apart from the meaning that it has in today’s crossword it is also a noun meaning a purblind person. Well then I had to look up purblind . . .
    Lots of really good clues – 1, 8, 11 and 20a and 6, 9, 14 and 15d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Very cold and snowing again . . .

  13. I don’t understand 5 down. Even with the answer provided, I can’t make sense of the clue……

    1. You are looking for a type of Japanese food – simply remove the last letter (uitimately missing) of worK from UPMAR[l]ET and then rearrange (develop[ment being the anagram indicator) the remaining letters.

    2. It is an anagram suggested by the word Development of “upmarket” without the last letter of the word work). Tempura is a food course from Japan. Hope that helps and welcome to the blog. Thanks for beating me to it CS

      1. Not your usual happy self today? Mrs M-P didn’t put out the socks marked ‘grumpy’ instead of Wednesday did she? :)

        1. Where to start, Where to start. She has gone to see her mother today as always on Mondays Wednesdays & Fridays. She has three mums and used to have three dads but sadly one passed away. If we start from that statement life can only get complicated. The socks are plain today. Thanks for your concern though. I cannot see why 1d took me so long today despite having all the intersecting letters. It now looks like a red and write clue. Roll on tomorrow. Not Ray Ts turn but usually a bit more challenging. A bit like life with Mrs M-P as you call her. Have fun. ( How do you stop the grated cheese falling into the toaster whilst making cheese on toast)?

              1. That’s made my day!! :grin:
                Grated cheese is always called ‘up and down cheese’ in our house – when elder daughter was little she was trying to explain what I did with the cheese and the grater.

  14. I enjoyed this one. As soon as I put in 25a I thought we could be on for a pangram but then I have thought that before and been disappointed. Lots of good clues but my favourite was 23a. Guessed right on 14d but I had to look it up to confirm I was right. **/**** for me. Sun shining here in Guildford (can’t last). Thanks Jay and scchua

  15. Pretty straightforward, I’ve gone for **/*** as 18d held me up for a while. I had spotted the pangram and found it helpful when I only had the Q left to get… Not sure I’d have got the 1D textile so quickly without the reminder of it from Monday’s clue.

  16. Thought I was going to struggle with this one but a bit of perservation got me going and it all fell nicely into place. Did like 1a, 28a, 14d and 15d esp 14d, nice to see a bit of science for a change. Didn’t need the clues today so didn’t have to struggle through Scchas Cryptics.
    Many Thx to the setter for a pleasant puzzle.

  17. I think this was Jay with the fluffiest slippers on of all time, but I did enjoy it.
    Thanks to him, and to scchua.

    Now for a late start on the toughie.

  18. Really enjoyable – especially liked 1d and 13a – got stuck on 14d trying to fit RAD or REL with anagram of tensor not sure Im going to for get Roentgens any time soon.

  19. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for a very enjoyable if gentle crossword and a very 9d review.

  20. Just when I thought I was getting good at these things it turns out to be the easiest on record! I am still trying to work out why some puzzles/clues are harder than others. If it is a bit of clever misdirection and when you see the answer it is obvious, then that’s OK for me. I don’t even mind the occasional obscure word. What I find frustrating is when I have analysed the clue correctly and I have identified the word(s) in the clue which represents the definition of the solution but the link between the “definition” and the solution is so obscure as to make it inscrutable. I am still smarting from the thought of “offence” as a definition of “polygamy”. No such problem here today, though, but I am sure with a little more thought the setter could have made the puzzle impossibly difficult and very little fun!

    */**** for me.

  21. I do think the difficulty rating is largely irrelevant with such a smooth,fair and very enjoyable puzzle .
    The review was as always interesting too .
    Thanks very much .

  22. After last night’s abysmal performance ,this helped to lighten the tone and as all seem to agree an enjoyable if untaxing romp;not heard of 5d but the clue was plain enough, got slightly confused with the painting medium, but apart from that minor blip, all fell into place; could’nt quite work out what Scchua’s pic was for 5d, looked a bit like a headless chicken lying on it’s back!

    1. Hi Beaver, I’ve added a clearer picture of tempura which is basically seafood – prawns, fish, squid, etc. and vegetables – okra, mushroom, eggplant, etc. deep fried in a light batter and dipped into a sauce. Hope that helps – don’t want you wondering about inscrutable Oriental food. ;-)

      1. I was in 2 minds about dinner tonight & now you’ve made my mind up. It’s going to be an Oriental feast!
        Mr Man’s Chinese restaurant has been booked!

  23. This was a piece of cake! Quite restored my confidence, and, what’s more, I knew all the words! I agree you can’t have this easy a puzzle every day, you need some from time to time to stretch the brain, but an easy-peasy one does chuff the soul. Thanks to setter and hinter (not needed, but thanks all the same).

    Now let’s see if this comment goes anywhere as so many just get lost in the ether after I’ve spent time trying to type on an iPad, not easy!!

  24. Hi schuua , thanks as usual for the hints, I didn’t need them today but didn’t find this as easy in the beginning as everyone else seems to have, once I got going it was fine, most readings ok and very little obscure general knowledge and words involved, fav clues 1a, 1d and 9d, lovely sunny dry day here but once again bitterly cold

  25. That was good fun today & I actually spotted the pangram so thanks to Jay & Scchua for the hints although I didn’t need them.

      1. I usually miss them, or what is worse, begin to think about it when I have a couple of the more unusual letters and then have forgotten by the end. Oh dear! Did spot it today, had forgotten until I couldn’t get 3d and then it came to my rescue. There’s a first time for everything.

  26. Can anyone explain to me why my comments sometimes fail but at other times go through?. This only happens when I’m using the Ipad.

    1. I think using an Ipad is very brave – such a small keyboard – just can’t do it – takes me ten minutes to type ten letters!

  27. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. Hooray a completion at last, so would agree with 1*/3*. Favourites were 13 & 20a. Last in was 21d. Dull day again in Central London, might get some sun tomorrow with any luck.

  28. Spotting the pangram was what stopped us putting the wrong first letter in for 15d. All fell into place smoothly and pleasantly.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  29. Lovely, a crossword with no obscure words in foreign languages as answers. Enjoyed all of this. Thanks to setter and blog – although (rarely for me) I didn’t need the hints today.

      1. Come on Kath – Grumpy Andrew hasn’t got one single grump in his comment today which is marvellous

        1. OK – perhaps I shouldn’t have pointed out the flaw in his comment and given him a reason to have a grump. Let’s hope that he doesn’t read it!

          1. Kath, attention to detail please, I didn’t object to the use of a foreign language (there’s more in the last bit of 17d too, which is fine if something of a crossword cliche), I objected to obscure foreign language, like that entr acte or whatever it was that appeared sur Lundi.

    1. Welcome Diamond Lights – that was straight in for me. Nice to see a science based answer as opposed to countless names of flowers.
      Thanks as well to Jay for the usual enjoyment factor – I tripped myself up on a coupple!.

  30. Some of it was really doable but not all of it,such as roentgens,even though I saw it on my anagram solver,but I had never heard of it.Thanks to Gazza and Jay.Sleet,snow,hail and sunshine by turns.I am absolutely sick of it.

    1. Roentgens and the alternative spelling come up often enough to make it worth remembering them. I’m sick of weather, full stop!!

    2. PS – . . . and it wasn’t gazza today, it was scchua but I shouldn’t think that either of them will mind.

      1. Deepest apologies to sschua .What the hell is wrong with me ? two consecuetive comment wrongly ascribed?And it has just started to hail/snow/sleet again.Must go for a good walk tomorrow ,regardless.

  31. I struggled today, surprisingly I found yesterday’s a lot easier, guess I was just having a good day. Managed to finish it though, thanks for the hints.

    1. Somebody wrote complaining that the crossword had become far too easy, and that he now habitually timed the running of his morning bath by the time it took him to complete it. A few days later, another letter supporting this view appeared. This correspondent used the solving of the crossword to time the boiling of his egg.
      After a pause of a week or so, P. G. Wodehouse wrote in: he had tried both the methods suggested, and now had a severe flooding problem and dozens of very hard-boiled eggs; but he still hadn’t finished the Times crossword.

  32. Have known for some time that I’m a bit strange. Often when others say it’s difficult I do it with not much bother. Today everybody says it was easy yet I could not finish it at all. Good job we’re not all the same.

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