DT 27142 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27142

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27142

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable puzzle from Jay.  Quite straightforward, with some nice surfaces.  A 1.5-2* difficulty/3* enjoyment for me.  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.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

1    Cool stall selling marine produce? (11)

{STANDOFFISH} : [a stall for displaying goods for sale] [a preposition for “carrying”][marine produce;catch of the day].

9    New arrival anticipating fine instrument (4,5)

{BABY GRAND} : [a new arrival to the family] placed before(anticipating) [fine;great].


10    Left murder victim to get tag (5)

{LABEL} : [abbrev. for “left”] + [the first murder victim, according to the Bible].

11    Limit speech when start is ignored (6)

{RATION} : [a formal speech] minus its initial letter(when start is ignored).

Answer: To limit distribution, eg. in times of shortage.

12    Various stores renovated in a day? (8)

{ASSORTED} : Anagram of(renovated) STORES contained in(in) { A + (abbrev. for “day”] }.

13    The bench  come to a decision (6)

{SETTLE} : Double defn.  2nd:  To reach an agreement.

15    Proper sort of pink flower (8)

{PRIMROSE} : [proper;strait-laced, as with the Victorians, seemingly] + [a shade;sort of pink colour].

18    Ignored by superior — what a blow! (8)

{UPPERCUT} : [ignored;snubbed] placed after(by, in an across clue) [superior;above you in, say, position].

An Uppercut is a punch in boxing, usually aimed at the chin. Samuel Elias is credited as creating this move, it can really damage your solar plexus.  

19    Nick is inside, lying for the most part (6)

{PRISON} : IS contained in(inside) [lying in a horizontal position] minus its last letter(for the most part).

Answer: For which “nick” is slang – where Nick might have found himself for lying in court. Nice surface.

21    Labour-saving item in the laboratory? Not really! (4,4)

{TEST TUBE} : Cryptic defn: I think the reference is to “in vitro” fertilisation, literally meaning “within the glass”, in the laboratory. One might think that was the end of it, but not really! The mother still has to go through labour. The only labour(?) saved is that of naturally implanting the sperm “in utero”.

23    Goes to get sheets (6)

{LEAVES} : Double defn: 2nd: The pages in a book.

26    Prickly plant covering son in blood (5)

{GORSE} : [abbrev. for “son”] contained in(covering … in) [blood from a wound, especially when coagulated].

27    Double first in archaeology — be keen on following fashion (9)

{LOOKALIKE} : { first letter of(first in) “archaeology” + [be keen on;prefer] } placed after(following) [a fashion;a distinctive style of dress].


28    Deposit forming at my new pond (4,7)

{DOWN PAYMENT} : Anagram of(forming) AT MY NEW POND.

1    Dormitory accommodation problem raised in reserves (7)

{SUBURBS} : Reversal of(raised) [a problem;a dilemma, as found in Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy] contained in(in) [reserves;short for those players sitting on the bench, in case…].

Defn: Residences in one area from where a large number of the people travel back and forth to work, eg. in the city, and where they sleep in – hence, by comparison, the place is referred to as a dormitory town.

2    Scope — a doctor needs it (5)

{AMBIT} : A + [abbrev. for a doctor;a Bachelor of Medicine] + IT. A very neat simple surface.

Answer: Not the type of scope to listen to or look into your body cavities.

3    Evidence of vicar needing money abroad to keep good company (3,6)

{DOG COLLAR} : [a unit of currency abroad, ie. outside the UK] containing(to keep) { [abbrev. for “good”] + [abbrev. for “company”;a business concern] }.

Answer: It would be prominently evident on a vicar.

4    Student lodging in gross accommodation (4)

{FLAT} : [symbol for a learner;student driver] contained in(lodging in) [gross;overweight]. Another nice surface.

Answer: A residence comprising of rooms entirely on one floor of a building.

5    Nudist worked on railway business (8)

{INDUSTRY} : Anagram of(worked) NUDIST placed above(on, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “railway”].

Answer: A branch of economic activity;business concerned with a specified product or service.

6    Lobby organisation’s initial greeting (5)

{HALLO} : [a lobby;a room serving as an entry area in a house or building] + initial letter of(…’s initial) “organisation”.

7    Spot small cottage around the west of Portugal (7)

{SPLODGE} : { [abbrev. for “small”] [a cottage;a small house, usually at the entrance to a large estate] } containing(around) the leftmost letter of(the west of) “Portugal”.

Answer: A large irregular spot or blot.

8    A gamble is taken over rises for people assisting in crime (8)

{ABETTORS} : A + [a gamble] placed above(is taken over, in a down clue) [rises;small hills].

14    Go after records in artistic production (8)

{TAPESTRY} : [a go;an attempt] placed after(in a down clue) [records;duplicates on an older type of audio-visual equipment].


16    Money-grabbing drunk clutching broken cane (9)

{MERCENARY} : [jolly;high, perhaps not so far as being drunk] containing(clutching) anagram of(broken) CANE.

17    Flounce downstairs after coat (8)

{FURBELOW} : [downstairs;at a lower level] placed after(in a down clue) [a coat, made of animal hair].


18    Out of bed, drunk and highly-strung (7)

{UPTIGHT} : [out of bed and about] + [really drunk this time].

Answer: To put it more concisely, anal.

20    Beginning northern climb (7)

{NASCENT} : [abbrev. for “northern”] + [a climb, eg. of Mount Everest].

22    Aspect of tyre trade in trouble (5)

{TREAD} : Anagram of(in trouble) TRADE.

24    Evil welcoming love’s expression (5)

{VOICE} : [an evil indulgence] containing(welcoming) [letter that looks like zero, love in tennis scores].

Defn: As in “to give expression to one’s emotions”.

25    Work under house band (4)

{HOOP} : [abbrev. for a musical composition;work] placed under(in a down clue) [abbrev. for “house”].

The Quick crossword pun: (ferric} + {aches} = {fairy cakes}

76 comments on “DT 27142

  1. Really enjoyed this puzzle, nicely clued and not overly difficult with some fun moments.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to the setter.

  2. **/***. I raced through the top half and struggled for a while with parts of the bottom half. 27a was my favourite and last one in as it took a long time for the penny to drop.

    Despite working out the answers, I needed the BRB to explain three new words for me: the type of bench in 13a; the alternative meaning of dormitory for 1d; and the answer for 17d.

    Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Scchua for the review. As you might imagine I very much like the picture of the rabbit for 17d.

        1. Miffypops, check out BD’s FAQs. There are a couple relating to avatars about a page down in the list.

          1. Why, Thank You Mr Dave. Looking for an avatar will surely beat writing 2,600 words for The OU. —— on reflection I wont bother, I would be changing it weekly, This week Bob Dylan, next week Tom Waits, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Amanda Palmer, I would never get any OU work done.

            1. Ah Miffypops, you’ve just listed my favourite artists but I don’t know Amanda Palmer.

  3. Thanks very much to Scchua for the review. Just could not get 1d mainly because I was fixed on the wrong end of the clue! Can now depart for a day walking in the Lakes with an unfogged brain.

  4. Really enjoyed this today. 2.5*/4* for me, I enjoyed the terse but consistent clues. Couldn’t work out why 21a was correct until I read the hint. Since I like bad puns, 1A was probably my favourite clue.

  5. This was a really. Nice brain tickler today,no real problems except 7D favorite clue was 1A thanks to the setter and scchua for the review.Still cold and blowy in the deep south but at least its not wet or have I spoke to soon!

  6. Thank you Jay, good fun, loved 1a and 3d. Thank you Scchua for your review and hints. I must admit to putting in the answer for 27a and then needing to check your review for the wordplay. Having done that, I apologize for being totally thick, but still don’t get it ! It obviously caused RD some amusement when the penny dropped. Can anyone please help my penny to drop ?? All ideas considered !

      LOOK (noun) is a fashion, a style of attire. “A” is the first letter of “archaelogy”. LIKE is to be keen on.

  7. Very nice, for the most part. Some lovely clues…1A, 18A 27A, 14D and 17D. Was I the only one who had the second letter of 6D wrong and thus couldn’t make any sense of the clue?

    Thanks to Scchua for the review and to Jay.

  8. Still don’t really get the explanation for 21a – I thought they used Petri dishes. Despite being being knocked off the back page by Skoda, an enjoyable crossword, thanks to Scchua and the setter.

  9. In early “in vitro” biological experiments, they used 21As as well as beakers and Petri dishes. So, later the results became known as 21A babies – I guess a more familiar equipment and attention-grabbing to the public than Petri dish babies or beaker babies.

  10. 21ac doesn’t work, The man has to labour in the first place (Think about it) and the lady has to go through labour at the end. Therefore no labour saving whatsoever.

      1. Agreed. Thank you. Thanks also for hinting and tipping. I make a point not to use them but occasionally have a look provoked by discussion here. I love a good wrestle with a good crossword but don’t really have time for the toughie most days. Roll on the holiday.

          1. I have just finished an essay but need to shorten it slightly to meet the word limit. Half an hour with the Toughie should focus my mind.. Now where has Saint Sharon tidied the paper away to?

        1. It’s a type of bench as illustrated – with a high back, and sometimes, storage space under the seat.

  11. The normal smooth puzzle from Jay. My only pause was with 24d, where I wanted the synonym to be VILE.
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

  12. Quite enjoyable today although I have to say I didn’t particularly like the answer to 7D – its a word used informally in this house, but can anyone really see it being used in the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (for instance).

    I thought 1A was a very clever clue and it was good to see 6D making an appearance.

  13. I started off thinking that this was a RayT puzzle because I went through all the across clues and only got 1answer. Then, when I started on the down clues the puzzle seemed to open up and I was able to finish it with a little help on a couple of clues from Scchua, for which many thanks. We have blue skies here today in the Languedoc but I seem to have a cold so it’s hot soup and wrap up warm while I watch crappy movies with Mrs C. on the tele

  14. Pleasure to read,solve and smile at
    Faves 1a,21a,27a,1d,7d ,17d.
    The review was fun too.Thanks.

  15. Thought I was going to enjoy this even with 17d but the bottom right defeated me.
    Needed the hints to finish. Shame it was so promising.
    Thx to Sccha whose clues are a little less cryptic today.
    For me it was a ***/**

  16. Mostly straightforward, but needed scchua’s help to understand the labour-saving reference in 21 a.

  17. Thanks to Jay for a lovely wee crossword and to scchua for a very enjoyable review.

    1. Oh – that worked! When I tried to send my original comment it told me to type something and that my comment would be put in the spam thingie – don’t understand. Am I doing something wrong? :sad:

      1. It happens to me from time to time. I write reams and it doesn’t go anywhere, so I give up at that point, but I have no idea why

  18. And your General Knowledge starter for ten…

    Who in 1980 released the single “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please”?

    Hint; see 7D

    1. It was splodgenessabounds – but that still doesn’t justify having a word in a cryptic crossword that is a measure of mashed potato

  19. Agree with today’s BD rating. Nothing contentious for me. Couple of new words but they were straight forward to work out. Many thanks to all.

  20. 1d got me – although of course some habitations are also known a dormitory town, especially if there is a direct transport link to a city or other place of large employment. Loved 4d also two clues for the price of one with ‘Student lodging’ or ‘Student accommodation’ and L for student(learner) lodged in FAT for gross.

  21. 1a and 17d were just lovely.
    Having spelt 8d incorrectly, I was left racking my brains for a 15a flower…….
    and I never did get the Shakespearean word for problem in 1d.
    Otherwise pretty enjoyable.
    Weather looking up! Can now go and sort a bunch of ISAs.

      1. Thanks Catherine and Merusa
        Just wrote loads, pressed ‘post comment’ and I get something that says I have to prove I’m a human and have been warned! :sad:

        1. Oh – now it worked again – think it might be a time thing – ie something quick and short seems to work but if I write a lot it doesn’t.

  22. I found some of this quite tricky – nearer 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I messed up 1a by making 4d ‘nest’ – it didn’t help too much with 9a either. I do know the difference between net and gross – just wasn’t thinking properly.
    I was slow to get 7d. 21a had to be what it was but I wasn’t too happy about it at the time and 27a also took a while.
    I liked 1 and 9a and 4 and 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Now to see if I can send this – have tried a few times with no luck.

    1. I’m not sure what sin you have committed, but you were intercepted by the spam filter, hence the “warning”. Don’t worry about it, it’s intended to deter rewl spammers!

      1. Thanks – I really am a human and whatever sin I’ve committed I’m really sorry!! And now, just to make things worse, I’ve sent another comment and so everyone will think that I’ve lost my marbles!! :oops:

  23. Very enjoyable crossword! Probably took more time than it should have but I will just have to be more efficient for the rest of the day.
    Many thanks to scchua and Jay.

  24. Really lovely crossword, though I did have to read scchua’s hints for the why of 21a … Very clever, indeed. I agree that 7d was a tad heavy but the hints assured me it was correct. Altogether a pretty good start to the day. Thanks to all, off to PT.

  25. Going to try for one last time.
    I thought this was quite tricky in places – 3* plus a bit for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I started off badly by making 4d ‘nest’ which did nothing for 1a and didn’t help much with 9a either. I do know the difference between net and gross – just wasn’t thinking properly!
    I was slow to get 7d and couldn’t quite see why 21a was what it was.
    I liked 1 and 9a and 4 (eventually) and 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

  26. An enjoyable, straightforward solve today.

    Faves : 10a, 13a, 18a, 27a, 1d, 7d, 16d & 18d.

    Weather here still on the cool side but the various long-term forecasts indicate very slow warming up! Some rain is also forecast so perhaps the sap will start rising at long last!

  27. I enjoyed that today and I finished all by myself except for 1d ,although I could see the word I couldn’t unravel the clue. I don’t think I had ever of them being dormitory towns. Having said that it is very possible that I have but have forgotten like much of what I ever knew. :sad:

  28. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I’m beginning to despair, only 1.5 * for difficulty and I struggled. Needed 6 hints to finish. Had never heard of 17d. Quite enjoyed the challenge, was 3*/2* for me. Favourites were 7d & 18a. Weather back to normal in Central London.

  29. A most enjoyable puzzle, and feel I did quite well, needing just a little bit of help to finish off.
    I liked 1a, 9a, 3d, 26a. I didn’t get the answer to 20d, as I had forgotten this word!
    Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  30. Hi schuua, thanks for the hints, late checking in today, although I did this outside in the sunshine earlier, it has been too nice a day to be on the computer, needed your help to finish i.e. 13a and 14d, although I had all the checking letters I couldn’t see them, fav clues today 19 & 3d, the sky is still gloriously blue here and has been since early this morning, there has not been a single cloud in the sky all day, a cold wind but beautiful in a sheltered spot in the garden, if only this is a sign of things to come!

    1. Hi Mary!

      Glad to see that you are still solving and blogging!
      Here in NL, we are still waiting for signs of Spring – it is exceptionally delayed this year.
      I am still wearing my Noorse sokken (wooly Norwegian socks) which says how cold it is!

  31. I decided to enjoy a short lie-in this morning, but horror of horrors, when I arrived down stairs I found that ‘t’other arf’ had all but finished todays crossword (fair play to her and all that ) and if she’d not put two letters wrong in 18 across, I’m sure she could have finished the remaining four clues without my butting in. Logic told us that the answer to 21 across just had to be what it was, but we needed Scchua’s interpretation to confirm that it could be nothing else. Thanks from us both for another enjoyable ‘crozzie’. By the way, I noticed the comment from Scchua, which begins, “Thanks to Jay ……..” How does one know exactly who the setter is on any given day? The Toughie has the name printed, but I’ve never noticed any clues to the ‘author’ of a back page crossword puzzle – even after forty years or more of solving – or trying to.

  32. A good fun puzzle again, No particular problems but lots of smlies,
    Thanks Jay and Scchua

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