DT 27155 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27155

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27155

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I really enjoyed this one. Ray T always manages to bring a smile to my face, even though 20 down is a bit of an old chestnut!

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    Criminal, brutal say, thrashed coppers (12)
{CONSTABULARY} – a three-letter criminal followed by an anagram (thrashed) of BRUTAL SAY

9a    Lackey‘s beginning to grovel after endless stress (9)
{UNDERLING} – the initial letter (beginning) of Grovel after a way of stressing, used here to stress a definition, without its final letter (endless)

10a    Diet includes energy meal (5)
{FEAST} – a diet or abstinence around E(nergy)

11a    Skill in order to follow British composer (6)
{BARTOK} – a skill followed by a two-letter word meaning in order and preceded by B(ritish)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Here, there, all around heavenly (8)
{ETHEREAL} – hidden (around) inside the clue

13a    Create bother on hospital department (6)
{ENTAIL} – a verb meaning to bother or trouble preceded by a hospital department

15a    Swine, English, keeping others standing (8)
{PRESTIGE} – a swine and E(nglish) around (keeping) others

18a    Perform vocally, keeping in character, making film (8)
{SHOOTING} – a verb meaning to perform vocally around (keeping in) a character or joker

19a    Cheated character in plot (6)
{BILKED} – character or type inside a plot for plants

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a    Eager to get maiden at ground (8)
{ANIMATED} – an anagram (ground) of MAIDEN AT

23a    Through girl oddly, a performance enhancer (6)
{VIAGRA} – a word meaning through followed by the odd letters of GiRl and the A from the clue

26a    Sailor also called in foreign port (5)
{OSAKA} – a two-letter abbreviation for a sailor (no, not that one!) followed by an abbreviation meaning also called

27a    Blatant over bust I fancy (9)
{OBTRUSIVE} – an anagram (fancy) of OVER BUST I

28a    Turning practically senile with hepatic disorder (12)
{ENCEPHALITIS} – an anagram (Turning) of most of (practically) SENIL(E) with HEPATIC


1d    End of sonic boom’s decay (7)
{CRUMBLE} – the final letter (end) of sonic followed by a boom or roar

2d    Passed up holding girl’s bottom (5)
{NADIR} – reverse (up in a down clue) a verb meaning passed or flowed around a girl’s name

3d    Radical mistake one’s found in empty threat (9)
{TERRORIST} – a mistake, I (one) and the S from ‘S inside T(rea)T with its inner letters removed (empty)

4d    Lure starts to bob and intrigue tench (4)
{BAIT} – the initial letters of (starts to) four words in the clue

5d    Bandage for first person seen with gun in draw (8)
{LIGATURE} – the first person pronoun and a type of gun inside a verb meaning to draw or entice

6d    Anger about fellow getting sack (5)
{RIFLE} – a verb meaning to anger around F(ellow) gives a verb meaning to sack

7d    Male state in charge of knight errant? (8)
{MAVERICK} – M(ale) followed by a verb meaning to state, the abbreviation for In Charge and K(night)

8d    Battle ensued engulfing Prime Minister (6)
{ATTLEE} – hidden (engulfing) inside the clue

14d    Hot current involves resistance (8)
{TROPICAL} – an adjective meaning current or up-to-date around (involves) R(esistance)

16d    Religious sanctimonious practice following Sabbath (9)
{SPIRITUAL} – a two-letter adjective meaning sanctimonious and a practice follow S(abbath)

17d    Stake put on gallop for fast runner (8)
{ANTELOPE} – a gambling stake followed by a verb meaning to gallop

18d    Dog in poster appearing in Crufts, say (6)
{SHADOW} – a two-letter poster inside the type of event of which Crufts is an example (say)

20d    Lingerie perhaps for parts of chest (7)
{DRAWERS} – a double definition – some lingerie and parts of a chest or cabinet

22d    Ace goes over net once more (5)
{AGAIN} – A(ce) followed by (goes over in a down clue) a verb meaning to net or profit

24d    Almost sick in stomach from conscience? (5)
{GUILT} – most of an adjective meaning sick in the stomach or shamefaced

25d    Superior Stetson raised in American state (4)
{UTAH} – a single-letter word for superior or posh followed by the reversal (raised in a down clue) of the type of headwear of which a Stetson is an example

See you tomorrow with the Toughie.

The Quick crossword pun: (honour} + {none} = {on and on}

68 comments on “DT 27155

  1. The queen had a funeral to go to yesterday so she couldn’t show up in today’s puzzle.

  2. **/*** 19a, which is a new word for me, held me up for quite a while and was my last one in. Many thanks to BD for the hints, which I needed only to explain how “character” leads to the middle part of 18a. Many thanks too to the setter for another very enjoyable puzzle. This has been a great week – so far!

  3. Finally back from Scotland, but with a brain scrambled by exhaustion & lack of cross-wording, so took a little while to get back into the swing of this. Very grateful to the setter & BD for needed help, but really enjoyed this. Liked. 11a and 7d in particular. Greetings to all.

    1. I thought you might have disappeared for good – glad that you haven’t. I hope the brain unscrambles itself soon. :smile:

      1. Thank you, Kath. I was rather surprised how much I missed you all … :-D hope you and yours are thriving

      1. That’s so kind of you, Mary and while Mr P and I were near Edinburgh we went to a super, privately owned, cinema in Newbattle Terrace. Big leather recliner armchairs and full surround sound. You and I would have enjoyed seeing ‘Quartet’ in comfort there – with snow all around outside! Hope you are doing really well :-D

  4. Ray T has taken pity on us as this (I am very please to say) doesn’t seem up to the challenging ones (for me, at least) over the last few weeks as I managed to solve it all without any help and in a decent time to boot. Even though I’ve been to 26a I hadn’t picked up on the fact that it was a port….doh! Very handy for some of the hints to clarify the solution in 18a and 2d. Favourites 23 17 and 18d. Thanks to Ray T and BD. Been an excellent week.

  5. Had to think hard about 19A – years and years since I’ve come across this word, but was very solvable. I thought 15A was very clever.

    Busy day today listening to Surrey getting thrashed (I hope)

    1. I went to the Oval yesterday, and, even as a life long Surrey supporter, I thoroughly enjoyed Petersen’s truly great innings for Somerset. It was a joy to watch. Dernbach bowled surprisingly well too. If the weather stays nice I might go back this afternoon.

        1. Since typing that three minutes ago, the drizzle here has developed into torrential rain with thunder and lightning. Welcome to the cricket season!

  6. Very typical of Ray T – everything I love about his crosswords was here, apart from the Queen. Probably nearer a 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I got 1a very quickly so that really got me off to a good start which always helps.
    26a took a while to understand – I always forget about the other kind of sailor and the ‘also called’ bit. I was slow to get 28a even though I knew it was an anagram, could see the letters that went into it AND had alternate letters already in. I’ve never heard the 19a word but eventually had a guess and looked it up. I know that 20d is, as BD says, a bit of an old chestnut, but it still makes me laugh.
    My favourites include 1, 12 and 27a and 4, 7, 8 (missed the hidden bit for ages) 16 and 20.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    Terribly windy here today but at least the sun is out – off to the garden.

      1. Oh dear! Now I’ll have to have a look and I really should be in the garden carrying on the war against the ground elder!

        1. Engaging in hostilities with an aged person who has already gone through the mill seems a little harsh…

  7. I found this very tricky today. Certainly **** for time, probably *** for enjoyment. I find the trickiest thing with this setter is the wordplay that tends to be more oblique than other setters. E.g. I thought that both of the “character”s present in the clues today were quite obscure, although I can see they’re quite valid.

  8. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle, and like others 19a was the last in ,as certainly a new word for me,i’m surprised there are any left after all these years . I think a **/**** is about right, many excellent clues and agree with Roger that it has indeed been an excellent week so far, also, like Skempie, thought 15a was very clever and the best clue for me.

  9. Took us quite a bit longer than ** time. Another of the rollicking fun puzzles that we have come to expect from this setter. Liked Miffypops explanation of why there is no queen in the clues. Sure that must be correct.
    Thanks RayT and BD.
    PS. KATH. In case you get to read this. You absolutely must have a look at the Toughie, particularly the SW corner. Certain that you will find it entertaining.

    1. Thanks Kiwis – probably wouldn’t have tried Toughie today but felt that I should! I wouldn’t have got that answer without your comment.

  10. It shows it’s all in the mind (maybe) , no queen, so no RayT but it turns out it is, I quite enjoyed this one and for a RayT found it relatively easy, still 2 to 3 star, no real favourite clue though and had put milked for 19a, never having heard of bilked

    1. No Queen but all his other trade marks are there. I’m not sure that I ever remember one of his without her (or them, never sure which).

  11. I would have finished sooner had I not early on put in Setter for 18D (A setter is a dog and the poster of the puzzle was the setter. Double def in my early morning mind). So I was held up in the SW corner until the penny dropped with a thud. Lovely puzzle altogether. Liked 7D and 23A was a chuckle moment. Thanks to Ray T. for the usual fun and to BD for the review.

  12. Thank you Ray T, enjoyable as usual, new words for me – and I found it difficult, but managed to finish. Liked 18d – quite a while before the penny dropped ! Thank you BD for your review and hints.

  13. RayT is being quite generous today.
    Perhaps I prefer it when he’s a bit harder.
    But I enjoy the grappling.
    Many thanks and to, of course, BD.

  14. Thanks to RayT for a lovely wee crossword, very enjoyable indeed. Thanks also to BD for the usual superb review.

  15. As usual an excellent thursday puzzle. 28a completely stumped me. Get Ears Nose & Throat to start 13a but couldn’t figure it without the hints, thanks BD. Had to read the hint for 15a a number of times before the penny dropped. Interesting use of ILK (19a). Reminds me of the quote about a land of Bilk & Money – although I cant remember who said it, although I think it referred to the American televangelists.

    1. I only knew Bilked from my naughty nephew who was named in the “In The Courts” section of our local newspaper fined for Bilking which we think was driving away without paying for petrol. he is a good lad now.

  16. Must be a Ray T, completely and utterly incomprehensible. Failed 100%. No clues answered at all. I find most of his crosswords totally unfathionable.
    *********/* for me. :-(

        1. Am I the only person who feels it very strange that a person who dislikes something so much
          keeps coming back for more ?.

  17. I couldn’t get started on this one, and even many of the hints left me baffled. I am obviously not on the same wavelength as RayT.

    1. The hints deliberately omit any words required for the wordplay that are not actually in the clue. This approach was evolved, via a series of requests from readers, in the formative months of the blog. The idea was to provide a “second chance” to solve the clue without being handed the information on a plate (in the style of certain other inferior blogs). If you would like further help, or more detailed analysis of any clues, then please ask for it here.

  18. Found this hard going today but when completed couldn’t really understand why I’d found it so hard just not on the Compilers wavelength I guess.

    Re: 23a, shouldn’t there be a + ‘ A’ at the end of your hint BD ?

    Thanx to Compiler and to BD. ****/** for me.

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle from Ray T!

    Faves : 9a, 11a, 15a, 26a, 28a, 2d, 5d, 7d, 16d & 19d.

    Magnificent sunshine today but a very strong wind to lower the feel!

      1. Yes wasn’t it . Very late to get to this but enjoyed it a lot ,usual slow start .
        But remembered 19a from the DT revelations re MP ‘s expenses which are dear to me and probably all our pockets .
        Gales for the last three days here but finally abating .
        Thanks to all .

  20. I always find RayT’s so eminently doable but the doability is so brilliantly concealed.
    If you get my drift……

  21. Great fun. Kept trying to put the letters PM somewhere in in 8 d before the penny dropped. Thought 15a very clever.

  22. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Lots of nice Aha! Moments and only one word (19 a) I needed to check Chambers for to make sure I hadn’t just invented it so I could claim to have finished the puzzle without hints! Thanks to setter and BD.

  23. Many thanks to BD for the dissection, and to everybody else for your observations.

    A very good evening to you all…


  24. Oh well, it had been going so well this week!

    I’m firmly in the needed all the help I could get camp…..

    Tthanks to Ray T for today’s challenge, and of course a huge thanks to BD for getting me to the finishing line!

  25. I can’t say I enjoyed it ,because I couldn’t do more than a third.Abysmal.My effort that is.I can’t see the day coming when I will be able to do it.So today Brian and I concur.I was really surprised that you all found it so easy.Yesterday’s toughie was much more doable.I honestly thought it was a wrong envelope day.Thanks to Ray T for raising the bar and BD for solutions.

    1. I don’t think anyone said it was easy, in fact I never find a Ray T puzzle easy, but they are normally solvable with a bit of perseverance and by looking at the the clues in a slightly different way to other setters. After a while, it is possible to get a bit more used to the way his clues are constructed and the puzzles do become a little easier. Following this blog helps, read the hints and use them to help you get your head around the constructs, we are all here to help.

      1. Thank you, I’ll make it my project to get to grips with Ray for the next six weeks and will not comment on him again unless I give up or conquer.

  26. This one took a long time to get going due to the usual excellent disguise in the wordplay. First half took 3 times as long as the second which was accompanied by much kicking of shins,
    Thanks to RayT as ever and BD for the review.

  27. Wot, no Queen!! RayT forgot his trademark today but still produced a most entertaining puzzle. As usual, with this setter, i missed the hidden word in 8 and this was last in. Favourites were 15 20 and 21 as they all gave me a giggle.

    1. The best way to spot a Ray T puzzle is to peek at the Quick crossword. If all of the clues and the answers are single words then the odds are that the cryptic is one of his.

  28. How do you determine the crossword setter, i.e Ray T , Giovanni etc?

    I thought it used to printed with the crossword.

  29. Brilliant Ray T puzzle and enjoyed the hints and comments. Did not need them but I had about 4 goes at it. Ray T has the ability to divide opinion like the late great Baroness Thatcher. I am not sure of the derivation of 19a but was a common word when I was bumming around the Magistrates’ Courts for making off without payment – usually a taxi fare. (Have re-read that sentence – I was not the bilker). My last one in was 17d which I got as soon as I wrote the checking letters and gaps down horizontally. Also had difficulty with 2d and 11a. Got the latter as soon as I had the former.

  30. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, got beaten by 15a,and got it from the hints. 19a was a new word for me, perhaps that’s why Bilko was so named? 1d was a pennydrop moment. Was 3*/4* for me. Favourites were 1&27a and 16,17,25d. Late blogging due to the Squash Tournament.

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