DT 27139 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27139

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27139

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! The Saturday Mysteron gave us a reasonably straightforward puzzle that I found quite enjoyable.

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           Spread small amount of butter on middle of bread (4)
PATE – Take a small PAT of butter and place it before the middle letter of brEad.

3a           Cut we employed in 1960s style (5)
MOWED – WE from the clue inside MOD – a 60’s style but not that of a Rocker.

6a           Condition of jail? (4)
NICK – The first definition is the same as fettle (e.g. the car is in good nick for its age). The second is the slang term for a jail.

8a           Son cracks this puzzle’s ingenuity — hard challenge (5,6,4)
CROSS SWORDS WITH – S for Son inside a CROSSWORD (this puzzle). Then add WIT (ingenuity) and H for Hard (the abbreviation coming from pencil grading).

9a           Better trained mechanic (6)
FITTER – Two definitions, the first descriptive of a top athlete, the second a mechanic e.g. a pipe FITTER.

10a         What provides access in father’s game (8)
PASSPORT – A charade of PA’S SPORT (father’s game)

11a         Walk slowly past senior common room, or take off quickly? (8)
SCRAMBLE – SCR is the abbreviation of the Senior Common Room at a University Hall of Residence. Add AMBLE (walk slowly).

13a         Very good transport carrying salesman round (6)
SUPERB – A reversal of BUS (transport) containing REP (salesman, short for representative)

15a         Barker perhaps holding rubbish piece of sculpture (6)
STATUE – The lovely SUE Barker from A Question of Sport containing (holding) TAT for rubbish.

17a         and 19: Sitcom of old times — demure artist is being introduced (3,5,8)
YES PRIME MINISTER – A bit tricky to unravel – the definition is simply Sitcom not ‘Sitcom of old times’ (in fact there is currently a remake of it). ‘Of old times’ gives us YESTER. Into this we need to add PRIM (demure), Tracey EMIN (the artist) and IS from the clue. YES (PRIM) (EMIN) (IS) TER

19a         See 17
As above!

21a         Put in relief manager having backed me first (6)
EMBOSS – The BOSS (manager) with a reversal (backed) of ME in front (first).

22a         Ancient worker breaking into keg has drunk parting gift (6,9)
GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – OLDEN (ancient) and HAND (worker) inside a drunken anagram of HAS KEG – A good consistent surface reading and a well worked clue in my opinion.

23a         One securing    bank (4)
TIER – Two definitions – one who ties/secures and a bank in a theatre for example.

24a         He told tales of war in Resistance (5)
HOMER – HOME (in, not away) and R (resistance).

25a         Dope causes twitch? (4)  Newspaper Version: Stupid chap dried meat (4)
JERK – There were two clues as described above, one for the online version and one for the paper.
Online – Two definitions – a fool or twit in America and a twitch.
Newspaper – Two definitions – a similar twit and then a dry cured spicy strip of meat – particularly in South Africa


1d           One international sportsman comes up and punches those eschewing violence (9)
PACIFISTS – I for one and CAO (an international sportsman) reversed with FISTS for punches afterwards.

2d           Bit of rubbish collected by scrap dealer — Del Boy perhaps (7)
TROTTER – I think this clue divided people along an age line – those who remembered a TOTTER was a rag and bone man or scrap dealer and everyone else who is younger. If one adds the first bit of R(ubbish) then you get the surname of Delbert and Rodney from Peckham in the sitcom‘Only Fools and Horses’.

3d           Unhappy near fellow that’s skilful (9)
MISERABLE – A charade of MISER (near means mean or stingy) and ABLE (skilful/adept).

4d           Band breaking into small cry of delight (7)
WHOOPEE –  A HOOP (band) in WEE (Scots dalek for small)

5d           Swells debts with old money invested (5)
DUDES – Insert D (an old penny) into DUES (debts/subs).

6d           Snapper we employed here? (9)
NEWSPAPER – A nice semi-all-in-one. Use/employ the letters of SNAPPER WE to make the appropriate anagram of where a photographer might work.

7d           Tom’s hesitation stated repeatedly as one laying out fare (7)
CATERER – A male tom CAT followed by an iteration of ER (hesitation stated repeatedly).

12d         Accomplish with the German’s historic loss of civil rights (9)
ATTAINDER – A word I had to check on the day but the wordplay is clear enough – A charade of ATTAIN (accomplish) and DER – the male nominative article in German.

13d         Spurs need crazy supporter (9)
SUSPENDER  –  I know a couple of these (and I don’t mean BD!). A crazy anagram of SPURS NEED gives a supporter of a ladies stocking.

14d         Complaints over wood getting fungus (9)
BEEFSTEAK – A charade of BEEFS (complaints) and TEAK (a variety of wood).

16d         Oil changes after journey to see African city (7)
TRIPOLI – TRIPOLI – A nice chestnut to get you started. An anagram (changes) of OIL after a TRIP/journey.

17d         My radar is off beam (7)
YARDARM – Another lovely simple clue with a consistent nautical theme. An anagram (is off) of MY RADAR gives the beam or spar on a ship.

18d         Segregate island long after time (7)
ISOLATE – An abbreviation of I for Island followed by SO LATE (long after time).

20d         Fish making bad smell with head cut off (5)
TENCH – Remove the first letter from (s)TENCH/bad smell.

I’ll see you all in a couple of Thursday’s time for a Sunday review.