DT 27151 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27151

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27151

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The office lurgy was continuing to take its toll when I sat down to solve this puzzle last  Saturday morning and it is that I am going to blame for taking three times as long as I normally take  to solve  a Prize Puzzle.    I have based  the BD rating on  other solvers’ comments on the day as I felt that would be a fairer estimation of the difficulty level than basing it on my time taken!

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           Crossing duty makes you strike? (4)
TOLL –   A double definition clue –   the duty paid to cross a bridge such as that over the River Severn  (why do we have to pay to go into Wales but not to get out again?!) or the strike of a large bell.

3a           Local supporter right to the end (3)
BAR –    Move the R from the middle of BRA (crosswordland’s favourite supporter) to the end and you get a local hostelry.

5a           Dark image swine had inserted (6)
SHADOW –   Insert HAD from the clue into a SOW (female pig, swine).

8a           Motors reassembled in northern port (6)
TROMSO  – the  Norwegian city is an anagram (reassembled) of MOTORS.

9a           Better than normal, but not on course! (5,3)
ABOVE PAR –   Despite being decidedly below par while attempting this puzzle, even I got the reference to the fact that if you score above par on a golf course, you haven’t done very well.

10a         Shallow type in corner with old record (4-4)
SKIN-DEEP    Insert KIND (type) into SE (one corner of the compass, or indeed the crossword) and follow with EP (a 45 rpm record with two songs on each side – several of which take pride of place in my old record collection).

11a         Follow up returns — sure to get fluctuations (6)
PURSUE –   A reversal of UP followed by an anagram (to get fluctuations) of SURE.

12a         Get more outrageous puzzle (8)
BEWILDER – or, split 2, 6, get more wild or outrageous.

13a         Disapprove once or twice or four times about couple of universities (3-3)
TUT-TUT  –     Four Ts (times) with two Us (universities) inserted.

15a         Teased for being shabbily dressed (6)
RAGGED –  Treated to ridicule, banter or a scolding;   wearing torn or tattered clothes.

18a         Ripe and ready to be spiced up? (2,6)
IN SEASON –   An expression meaning ripe, ready and fit for use could mean that something was  marinating in a mixture of spices or herbs.

20a         Spasmodic attack almost complete (6)
FITFUL –   FIT (attack) and FUL[l] (almost all of the word full, complete).

21a         Miserly girl’s close call (4,4)
NEAR MISS –   NEAR (miserly, parsimonious) and MISS (girl).   Apparently  near means miserly because it is a ‘curious play on the word close (close-fisted) because what is close is NEAR!  (Thanks once again to my battered copy of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable).

23a         Animal, carnivore about to be caught by river in Yorkshire (8)
CREATURE –    Insert RE (about) into a CAT and finish with the Yorkshire River URE.

24a         It‘s not taken by one going straight (6)
DETOUR – A cryptic definition.

25a         I left with duet performing outside, lacking concentration (6)
DILUTE –   I (from the clue) and  L (left) inserted into an anagram (performing) of DUET.

26a         Jumper perhaps in receptacle taken back (3)
TOP –  A reversal (taken back) of a POT (receptacle) gives the description  of an item of clothing such as a jumper.

27a         Bed contains a blanket or fleece (4)
COAT –   Insert A (from the clue) into a COT (bed).


1d           Roman emperor‘s set of clothes turned up — toga initially needs taking in (5)
TITUS –    A reversal of SUIT (set of clothes) with T (toga initially) inserted.

2d           Bemoaning faulty alignment (9)
LAMENTING –   A faulty anagram of ALIGNMENT.

3d           Writers’ block? (7)
BOOKEND –  A cryptic definition of the sort of support a writer would use to stop his collection of books from falling over.

4d           Gather by harbour with men into reorganising, dividing again (15)
REAPPORTIONMENT –   REAP (gather) PORT (harbour) and an anagram (reorganising) of MEN INTO.

5d           Snap over fixed athletics event (4,3)
SHOT PUT –   SHOT and snap are both synonyms for a photo.  Follow SHOT with  PUT (fixed).

6d           I sped to exotic place (7)
DEPOSIT –   an exotic anagram of I SPED TO.

7d           Old deteriorating watermelon left out (4-5)
WORM-EATEN –   An anagram (deteriorating) of WATERME[l]ON once you have removed  L (left out).

12d         Brazen as one who’s had a close shave? (9)
BARE-FACED  –  An expression meaning  Impudent  (brazen) might also mean that you were  beardless.

14d         Emotionally shocking art reviewed with hesitation — a reflex reaction (9)
TRAUMATIC –   A reversal (reviewed) of ART, UM (a hesitation) A (from the clue) and  TIC (reflex reaction).

16d         Wake up to the facts in unfortunate telegram, unfinished (3,4)
GET REAL –    An anagram of almost all of the letters (unfinished) of TELEGRA[m]

17d         Escorted northwards over river to expel parasites (7)
DELOUSE –   A reversal (northwards) of LED (escorted) followed by the River OUSE.

19d         Finish the sitting (5,2)
STAND UP  – get out of the chair!

22d         Odds on one selling out fish (5)
SPRAT –   SP (starting price, odds on a particular bet) and RAT (traitor, one selling out).

Thanks to Cephas for a good Saturday workout.