DT 27148 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27148

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27148

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good one from Jay. A little pause before completing the NW corner, but otherwise smooth sailing. So 2-2.5*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment.  Thanks 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    Unlucky recruiting right people being uncompromising (10)

{HARDLINERS} : [tough luck!;expression to sympathise with someone who’s unlucky] containing(recruiting) [abbrev. for “right”].

6    Cliff‘s award for picture dismissing love (4)

{SCAR} : [an annual American award for best film, and other bests in the movie industry] minus(dismissing) [the letter that looks like zero;love in tennis scores].

Answer: A geographical feature, not to be confused with Cliff Robertson, who actually did win a Best Actor award.

9    Crime issue on unprotected barn (5)

{ARSON} : [an issue;an offspring] plus(on) “barn” minus its two outermost letters(unprotected).

10    Top of division after bad-tempered victory is a bit of a blow! (9)

{CROSSWIND} : Initial letter of(Top of) “division” placed after(after) { [bad-tempered;angry] + [a victory] }.

Answer: An air current.

12    Bother at home with the ladies? (13)

{INCONVENIENCE} : [at home;not out] plus(with) [“the ladies”;another euphemism for the lav].


14    Give a bit, being generous (8)

{HANDSOME} : [to give;to pass over to someone] + [a bit of the total quantity].

Answer: Ample;considerable.

15    A hundred per student flat, without a key? (6)

{ATONAL} : A + [a hundred, eg. what you might do on your motorcycle] + [per;for each one] + [plate for a student driver].

Answer: A musical (or, rather, an unmusical) term.

17    Material that covers prime minister dismissing our Queen (6)

{THATCH} : [former British Prime Minister, RIP] minus(dismissing) [abbrev. for Queen Elizabeth].

19    Unmentionable people like this with nameless sons (2-3-3)

{SO-AND-SOS} : [like this;thus] + [with;in addition] + “sons” minus [abbrev. for “name”]( nameless).

21    Occasional story covering British elements in this (8,5)

{PERIODIC TABLE} : [occasional;recurring intermittently, eg. outbreaks of diseases] + [a story;a narrative] containing(covering) [abbrev. for “British”].

Answer: The “this” in the defn. However, the chemical elements occur at regular intervals here.

24    Make a small hole in fish, causing sensation (9)

{PRICKLING} : [to make a small hole, eg. with a needle] + [a species of elongated food fish].

25    A second state test (5)

{ASSAY} : A + [abbrev. for “second” in time notation] + [to state;to utter].

26    Grass forming part of meat-free diet (4)

{REED} : Hidden in(forming part of) “meat-free diet”.

27    Hippy girl’s entertainment? (5,5)

{BELLY DANCE} : Cryptic defn: Entertainment performed by a girl with big hips, though they need to be flexible too. Not to be confused with the male kind (is that possible?), and not to be confused with a girl from the 60’s counter-cultural movement.


1    Fool‘s house with a cross (4)

{HOAX} : [abbrev. for “house”] plus(with) A + [symbol for a cross, eg. as opposed to a tick].

Answer: To fool.

2    Language expressed by American head of state in Iran, possibly (7)

{RUSSIAN} : { [abbrev. for things American] + initial letter of(head of) “state” } contained in(in) anagram of(possibly) IRAN.

3    Grandfather, for example, getting notice after extended lawsuit (8,5)

{LONGCASE CLOCK} : [British slang for to see;to notice] placed below(after, in a down clue) { [extended in time or distance] [lawsuit] }.

Answer: Grandfather is used to describe this timepiece, which you would never be able to strap to your wrist.

4    Identity given to famous person in prison? (8)

{NICKNAME} : Cryptic defn: Whimsically, what [a famous person;a celebrity] in the [slang for prison] might be called in there.

5    Some consider honesty a flower (5)

{RHONE} : Hidden in(Some) “consider honesty”.

Answer: A flow-er.

7    Travel around Norway wearing feature hairstyle (7)

{CHIGNON} : { [to travel;to move] containing(around) [abbrev. for Norway] } contained in(wearing) [a feature of your face].


8    USSR-led Red revolutionary lacking direction (10)

{RUDDERLESS} : Anagram of(revolutionary) USSR-LED RED.

Answer: Lacking something that allows a craft to go in a chosen direction.

11    One runs round the room avoiding pig, heading for door (8,5)

{SKIRTING BOARD} : [avoiding;going round] + [a wild pig or an uncastrated male pig] + initial letter of(heading for) “door”.

13    Government report is pure nonsense on euro, oddly! (5,5)

{WHITE PAPER} : [pure;virginal, like newly fallen snow] + [nonsense;worthless drivel] placed above(on,in a down clue) 1st and 3rd letters of(oddly) “euro”. For or against joining the euro?

16    Country friend importing gold tower (8)

{PORTUGAL} : [friend;mate] containing(importing) { [in heraldry, gold or yellow] + [a specialised craft;a tow-er on water].

Answer: One of the PIGS.


18    Runs after first-class team boarding plane from here? (7)

{AIRSIDE} : { [abbrev. for “runs” in cricket notation] placed below(after, in a down clue) [letters that look like the highest rating;first-class] } + [a team in a contest].

Answer: The “here” in the defn. The part of an airport terminal past security checks, customs, passport control, etc.

20    Intervenes, seeing pace wrong (5,2)

{STEPS IN} : [a pace;a single movement when walking, say] + [a wrong, one of the seven deadly].

22    Victim ideally revealing compound (5)

{IMIDE} : Hidden in(revealing) “victim ideally”.

Answer: A compound derived from ammonia.

23    Instrument played by storyteller on the radio (4)

{LYRE} : Homophone of(on the radio) [a storyteller;a fibber].

Answer:  A babe magnet in the distant past and in the distant future :-) .


The Quick crossword pun: (seize} + {nails} = {sea snails}

43 comments on “DT 27148

  1. Agree with the ratings today. Fave clue was 6a for its neatness. Had to do some research for 7d. A nice start to the day. Fair weather for the start of the cricket season. Now, where did I leave that egg,!

  2. Remembered, I think CS’s view, that Jay’s downs are an easier starting place than across. Certainly like that for me today. On first reading score after the across clues was nil !

    Stuck at it and finished and a very enjoyable tussle as always. Thank you Jay and Scchua for your review and hints. More new words for me – again !

  3. Enjoyed all but the top left corner. 1d seems wrong, why the ‘s on the end of Fool. Surely that makes the tense of the answer wrong. Two super clues though in 27a and 10a. Must admit i had to look at the answer for 1d as couldn’t make head nor tail of Sccha’s hints (nothing new there).
    Thx to Jay for a pleasent crossword.

    1. Hi Brian,

      I think you are meant to read it as fool is house with a cross so the clue is telling you that the answer means fool and is made up of ho, a and x?

      I enjoyed today’s puzzle very much. Not too tough and really entertaining. Thanks to setter and Sichuan.

    1. That’s okay, Vigo. For a moment there, I thought your were related to Brain(more or less).

  4. My rating is */*** for a very enjoyable puzzle. The only help I needed today was with 7d, my last one in. This was provided immediately by Mrs RD as soon as I showed her the checking letters.

    Other than that, despite working out all the other answers, the specific meaning of 6a as a cliff was new for me, as was the first word of 3d. Needless to say the BRB provided the necessary enlightenment in both cases.

    There were a lot of very nice clues, with 4d, 12a, 17a and 21a my favourites. Luckily distant memories of organic chemistry at school came to my rescue for 22d. The only thing I don’t understand is the need for “flat” in the clue for 15a. The answer surely just means “without a key”.

    Many thanks as ever to the setter and also to Scchua for the review.

    1. The answer is ‘flat, without a key’ as in singing with no variation in the voice is flat

      1. ‘Without a key’ would have done fine on its own. ‘Atonal’ means a composition which has no connection with traditional tonality. ‘Flat’ means singing or playing below the note.
        Agreed, a lot of folk think atonality is discordant, disturbing, anarchic or confused. But to say atonal music is ‘flat’ meaning ‘monotonous’ is not really a clue.
        Imo :-) *

    2. It must have been a very comprehensive organic chemistry course, as I have consulted my old Organic Chemistry textbook, Morrison and Boyd,1183 pages long,and there is only one mention of imines, on page 740 . Amines are well known. Personally , I got it from the “hidden ” aspect and the checkers.

      1. Una, the answer is imide, not imine, but on reflection I think I learned about them at university not school…

        … but both were so long ago :-(

  5. Enjoyed 13d.

    7d was a new word for me and shouldn’t the abbreviation for Norway be “NO”, not “N” ? So I felt the clue was weak… otherwise 2*/3*

      1. The provenance was the ISO spec. as scchua noted.

        But I can now see that “N”, if the convention is for IVRs, is also fine. Thanks…

    1. True, the ISO3166 and the Internet Domain codes for Norway are both NO. But also, the International Vehicle Registration code (which predates those) is N. Both are used in crosswordland, so I think the setter is right.

      1. As far as I am aware, Internet Domain Names are not allowed in Telegraph crosswords, probably because they are, as yet, unsupported by Chambers

        1. Maybe not the Internet Domain codes, and maybe not in the Telegraph, but yesterday I blogged an FT puzzle which had the ISO3166 code for Tanzania (TZ), whose IVR code is EAT.

  6. Straightforward and enjoyable. 6A and 21A were joint favorites today. Got 13D straight away but it took a few minutes to work out the word play. Thanks to the setter and Scchua.

    Beautiful warm weather here in Southern Maryland for the last couple of days. Time to plan for bedding out.

  7. This week is moving along nicely. Todays puzzle took a bit more solving than yesterdays. Hopefully we will get a good workout tomorrow. &d and 19ac stumped me for some time. After looking at the pic accompanying 12ac I am beginning to worry about this Schuaa character. Thanks to all.

  8. Another excellent offering today. Had to check the spelling of 7D as its been some time since I had to worry about hairstyles. Thought 12A and 15A were superb clues.

    Right, off to listen to some cricket, pass the Zoider this way moi luver.

  9. I loved this one but seem to have found it a bit trickier than the rest of you. More of a 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment from me today.
    17a was my last one in and I got in a real pickle with that. I’m often surprised how something topical gets into crosswords – it seems to happen too often just to be coincidence – who knows?
    I’ve never heard of 22d – prefer to leave that kind of science to other members of the family – but saw it hiding in the middle and looked it up.
    My favourites include 12 and 19a and 3, 4, 5, 11 and 13d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Today’s dilemma is whether to garden – quite a nice day here – or have a go at the Beam Toughie. I probably won’t be able to do it but not sure I can resist at least trying.

    1. With a choice between a Beam puzzle and gardening surely the digging and delving would be a very poor second. You’ll love 25d,

    2. Think I’m going to take the gardening option and come back and finish this later.

      Have to admit I’ve found this much more difficult than I probably should have. My heart sinks when I cheat and come here earlier than I should to see that it’s been rated as a 2* and then find I still don’t quite understand some of scchua’s erudite explanations! It’s a good excuse to look at the pictures though. Thanks to scchua and (in advance) to Jay

  10. Agree that it was all plain sailing with another top-quality Wednesday puzzle. Lots of clever clues. Quite a coincidence that 17a should appear at this time as I image that the puzzle was submitted some time ago.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  11. Very enjoyable tussle.
    Too much time spent on the long words.
    Naughty (of me, that is)
    Many thanks Jay and scchua for the review..

  12. Thanks to Jay and sschua only needed help with 15a and 19a forgot TON = hundred (century) and couldnt work out why the last word was SOS. Very topical with 17a let the iron lady rust in peace (sorry)

  13. Very enjoyable – with only a brief glimpse of an anagram. We recently saw a belly dancer with musicians winding through the streets in Spain, as part of the Easter celebrations.

  14. I really enjoy a nice easy start to a crossword, as it encourages me,like hoax.Other great clues included 3d, 12a, and21a. I have the feeling some of the others clues are old reliables, but I don’t care as I haven’t been doing crosswords long enough to be irritated.Thanks to Jay and sschua.

  15. I loved it all, an enjoyable scamper with a few tantalising hold-ups. Faves too many to list, but particularly 7d, 11d, 18a.

    Lovely website, by the way; I consult it a lot. Grateful thanks to all the contributors.


  16. Very nice puzzle again from Jay although I have to admit it took me longer than **but certainly **** for enjoyment. Favouite clues were 3d&11d . Thanks to Jay & scchua whose hint I needed for 17a.

  17. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Very nice puzzle, managed it ok without the hints, but learnt 3 new words. 3d,7d which was last in and 22d. All were gettable from the wordplay. Favourites were 17 and 21a and 16d. Late blogging due to Ant spraying and then playing Squash. Not bad weather today in Central London.

  18. Thanks Jay and scchua – I got this late and it was the only puzzle that I solved today. After a slow and worried start I was very glad that I did.

  19. Got it all very quickly except for 7d. Mrs After10pm got it instantly. It’s obviously a woman’s clue!

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