DT 27166 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27166

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27166

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **+*/2Enjoyment ***

At the end, I was held back by 3 of the longer answers, so I’ll rate this a 2.5* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.  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.

1    Person in choir seeing offender losing name for good (6)

{SINGER} : [an offender, often in the religious sense] with [abbrev. for “name”] replaced by(losing … for …) [abbrev. for “good”].

4    Beast‘s protection — mostly by assent in Germany (6)

{JAGUAR} : [that which protects, eg. a soldier on duty] minus its last letter(mostly) placed after(by, in an across clue) [German for “yes”].

Here’s another hint:  Not the man….his car:

8    Expert on female wit gets one in hand (4,4)

{FACE CARD} : [an expert] placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “female”] + [a wit;an entertaining person].

Defn: One of those dealt out to a player in a game.

10    What’s more, small child stifles exclamation of disapproval (2,4)

{TO BOOT} : [a small child;a toddler] containing(stifles) [an exclamation of disapproval, sometimes accompanied by the throwing of things, in a theatre or stadium, say].

11    Tax frivolity, dismissing it (4)

{LEVY} : [frivolity;an inappropriate lack of seriousness] minus(dismissing) “it”.

12    Stay in with girl worried about cause of hoarseness (10)

{LARYNGITIS} : Anagram of(worried) { STAY IN plus(with) GIRL } .

Answer: An inflammation making your voice hoarse or even lost.

13    Studies fish by season (6,6)

{SUMMER SCHOOL} : [a collective noun for a large number of fish swimming together] placed after(by, in an across clue) [one of the 4 seasons].

Answer: Additional classes;studies when other students are usually enjoying their holidays.

16    Rum do, as her topic is a medical speciality (12)


Their own craft being practised on a group of these specialists.

20    Script given to broadcaster generating letters on air (10)

{SKYWRITING} : [script;the letters/characters put on paper] placed after(given to, in an across clue) [the brand name for a British TV broadcasting company – think NOTW].

Answer: Look up to see this.

21    Dislikes losing energy in top gear (4)

{HATS} : [dislikes intensely] minus(losing) [abbrev. for “energy” in physics].

Defn: Gear literally on the top.

22    Charm a beast of burden till dropping sick (6)

{AMULET} : A + [a hybrid beast of burden] + “till” minus(dropping) [sick].

Answer: For some, something to protect them from bad luck or evil spirits.

23    Put up with a disheartened reverend being an accepted model (8)

{STANDARD} : [to put up with;to tolerate] + A + “reverend” minus its all inner letters(disheartened).

24    Agreeable people finding sun in peninsular state? (3-3)

{YES-MEN} : [abbrev. for the sun] contained in(in) [a state in the Arabian Peninsula].

Answer: People self-servingly agreeable.

25    Manage to get away, using key copy (6)

{ESCAPE} : [short tag for one of the keys on your computer keyboard] + [to copy, as in “monkey see, monkey do”].

Answer: The word in full of what’s on your key.

1    Keep watch on small gate receipts away from home (5,3)

{STAKE OUT} : [abbrev. for “small”] + [gate receipts;total of the money collected, well, at the gate] + [away from home;not in].

2    Rising river in US city wanting attention (5)

{NEEDY} : Reversal of(Rising) [one of the rivers with the same name in Scotland, England and Wales] contained in(in) [abbrev. for the US city].

3    Modern entrepreneur is always protecting rear (1-6)

{E-TAILER} : [always, poetically, with an apostrophe] containing(protecting) [the rear end].

Defn: Modern, as in the digital age.

5    A strange notion of Salieri, for example (7)

{ANTONIO} : A + anagram of(strange) NOTION.

Answer: Salieri, the Italian composer, a contemporary of Mozart, and much maligned by the latter, was one of these;for example, by name.

6    Brunel did badly without restraints (9)

{UNBRIDLED} : Anagram of(badly) BRUNEL DID.

7    Novice is almost fleeced, with one taken in (6)

{ROOKIE} : [slang for fleeced;cheated] minus its last letter(almost) containing(with … taken in) [Roman numeral for 1].

9    Fails to protect single clergyman from Guides (11)

{DIRECTORIES} : [fails;stops to function] containing(to protect) { [Roman numeral for 1;single] + [a clergyman who has charge of a parish] } .

14    Dances for doctor working with escorts (9)

{MOONWALKS} : [abbrev. for a doctor] + [working;operating, like an appliance, say] plus(with) [escorts;accompanies on foot as in “I’ll accompany you home”].


And please don’t let him grow up whacko!

15    Working croft in diocese at no cost at all (4-4)

{SCOT-FREE} : Anagram of(Working) CROFT contained in(in) [a diocese;a jurisdiction of a bishop].

17    First line in the representation of Scotland (7)

{THISTLE} : [letters that look like the indication for the beginning unit;first of a series] + [abbrev. for “line”] } contained in(in) “the”.

18    A fellow with good name in Germany for people in Asia (7)

{AFGHANS} : A + [abbrev. for “fellow”] plus(with) [abbrev. for “good”] + [a common name in Germany].

19    To cream off pay with no answer is revealing (6)

{SKIMPY} : [to cream off, literally with milk, or figuratively with money collections] + “pay” minus(with no) [abbrev. for “answer”].

  Japanese swimwear

Could anything be any more revealing?  And how do you do the breast stroke (or any other stroke, for that matter) in that?

21    Foolhardy head turns up to trap monster (5)

{HYDRA} : Hidden in(to trap) reversal of(turns up) “foolhardy head”.

Answer: The many-headed mythological monster.

The Quick crossword pun: (Yukon} + {twin} = {you can’t win}

42 comments on “DT 27166

  1. It all went in for us without too many hiccoughs. 16a, although a pretty straightforward anagram needed quite a few checking letters before we saw it. Another top-quality puzzle on a Wednesday.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  2. 2.5*/3* for me too. I wasted too much time sorting out the longer anagrams early on, without any checking letters (I can never spell 16a correctly).
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

  3. I also slipped up with spelling 16a without checking off letters. Also had problem with 20a. I understand why it’s on air mislead one into looking for a homophobe but I think it’s doubly misleading as it makes the definition rather sketchy as I think one would always use in rather than on? Very enjoyable puzzle though. Thanks to setter and to scchua.

        1. I certainly didn’t mean homophobe!. I fear my predictive text has a pretty poor opinion of me. Please read as homophone!

  4. I was thinking this was going to be */*** until I ran into a few difficulties approaching the final hurdle. So **/*** for me today.

    I was convinced that 3d was either e-dealer or e-seller making 8a impossible :-(. Many thanks to Scchua for the hints, which I used to sort out 3d (which in turn allowed me to solve 8a). I also needed S’s explanation for the wordplay for 17d.

    Thanks too to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

    1. Having already got 8a the only thing I could come up with was ‘e-mailer’ – knew it wasn’t right!

  5. Not sure i understand today’s ratings but for me a two star. Only held up by 4a which I just could not see. Needed the hint for that one.
    Some excellent anagrams and best clue for me was 1a.
    Thx to the setter for getting me back on track after yesterday’s horror (well it was for me).
    Almost getting the hand of Scchas clues (come back Libellule, all is forgiven!)

    1. … but you still cannot spell his/her name. Aren’t they hints rather than clues?

  6. Very enjoyable today. Was held up for a while on 20A until 19D provided a way in. Managed to spell 16A correctly first time (although I will admit to putting the A and E in in light in case I had them the wrong way round).
    Intersting to see 24A in the cryptic and 1D in the quickie are so similar, has the compiler been on holiday recently?

  7. Very enjoyable, with enough difficult clues to make it a bit more of a challenge. I, too, was hung up for a while on 3D but I remembered that the answer had been in a puzzle not too long ago. 4A and 7D were the last ones in. Favorite was 9D. Thanks to the setter and to Scchua…though this early in my morning I could have done without the middle visual for 19D!

  8. Enjoyable on the whole but I agree with Vigo about 20a. I’d never heard of 3 down but it was evident from the clue.

    1. So you are not familiar with the world of digital marketing or e-commerce? Consider yourself lucky! The number of Young Turks I come across, “who are dedicated to improving the bottom line via e-tailer interface with the end user while on a steep learning curve”, beggars belief.

        1. Further, I originally put in e-vender, “ever” with “end” but realised that the spelling for vender is the American way

  9. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to sschua for a very entertaining review.

  10. Thanks for hints schuua couldn’t have finished without, I was stuck on 9d, 3d, and 4a sometimes I think I’m going backwards in my solving abilities, a three star difficulty at least for me today, had also never heard of 3d

  11. Sometimes it helps to do the Quickie before the Cryptic. Now off to attempt the Toughie. Bye!

  12. Coincidentally I’ve just bought a bespoke suit from an online company – does that make them an e-tailer or an e-tailor ?

    This would have been **/*** for me, but just crept into *** time due to getting stuck on 9d. I had written down 15 different types of clergyman before happening on the “Clergyman, correct, about, not about” one :)

    1. I would guess that if they specialised in turning lounge suits into formal suits, the could be called a re-tailer e-taylor e-tailer.

  13. I can only repeat what I wrote yesterday…

    My, that was over quickly! After an easier-than-par start to the week, what are the odds on a real stinker before the end???

  14. Started this much later than usual. I would give it 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I had ‘e-mailer’ for 3d but knew it was wrong. I think that Expat Chris is right and it has been in a fairly recent puzzle – 0/10 for memory.
    My last two were 4 and 20a. I could see that 4a was what it was but took ages to work out why, and even with alternate letters I didn’t have a single idea about 20a.
    I’ve never heard of ‘face cards’ having always called them ‘picture cards’ but the answer was clear.
    Needless to say I missed the hidden-in-the-middle and reversed bit of 21d but having the first and last letters made it easy.
    Lots of good clues – 10, 12 and 13a and 5, 6, 9 and 14d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Beautiful sunny day, and warm. Ought to do some planting but sitting in the sun and making a feeble attempt at the Beam Toughie sounds more appealing.

  15. Busy day, early meetings & conference calls, so didn’t start this till lunch time. Most went in without too much trouble once I got started. But I had trouble visualising 4a, got ARDICS as the end of 16a for some reason although figured the DO and not the IS was part of the anagram, thanks for the clue scchua and the picture for 14d. Couldn’t see DIES for Fails in 9d either although figured RECTOR in there somewhere.

    25a reminds me of “I’ve lost control, cant find a space, there is no escape – Must get a new keyboard”

    1. This is the first time that I’ve remembered ‘esc’ as being a key on the keyboard. I don’t know what it does and have never dared to press it in case I find out and wish I hadn’t! You can probably tell that I’m not great with computers.

      1. Sometimes having worked in the computer industry for over 40 years sometimes comes in handy.

  16. Many thanks to Jay for a lovely crossword which at first run through I thought was going to be difficult but turned out not to be. Thanks also to scchua and although I didn’t need the hints I needed the explanations for one or two.

  17. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Managed this ok in the end. An enjoyable solve, not too much trouble. Needed the hints to check my answers to 12a, missed the fact it was an anagram, 13a and 20a which I’d never heard of. Favourites were 14&17d. Last in was 25a, clever clue. Was 3*/4* for me. Managed another run this morning, going for the hattrick tomorrow. Nice and sunny today in Central London.

  18. Not proud of myself today – four answers missing before hints and I still haven’t heard of 3d, despite shopping online quite a lot…..
    No probs with 16a -there’s a reason for that! And I did love the picture hint!

    14d and 20a were so interdependent that I had to give up.
    Many thanks for the hints.

  19. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay.

    Faves : 4a, 13a, 20a, 3d, 9d & 14d.

    Must now finish washing the bedding etc. as my son has gone south to France.

  20. Thank you Jay and Scchua for your review and interesting photos. Managed to finish – after returning to cottage to use electronic help ! Not sure whether the continual taking out of letters and inserting others is my strong point, but got there in the end. Lovely day again in Suffolk: not used to all this sunshine.

  21. Have only just got round to finishing this after hours of getting a hollow arm a la Tony Hancock, so wished I’d taken it with me. Loved your double hint for 4a, and needed your help with a few others so many thanks Scchua. Never heard of 3d at all. Loving the sunshine & Mr P and Poppy Mark One managed not to fall into the Thames on their perambulation, which is a good thing. Thank you setter, also. A 2.5 / 3* for me.

      1. Google Tony Hancock and The Blood Donor Sketch – some of the best TV ever

  22. Very enjoyable and went in quite quickly until I started to tackle 13a and 9d but finally got there. 21d was far from a monster when I last studied I forty years ago, barely visible to the naked eye, but I suppose Jay is referring to the mythological one. I needed the hint with 8a. Thanks to Jay and scchua. Favorite was 10a.

    1. Insert between TH and E (‘the’ from the clue) IST (first) and L (line) to get the flower used to represent Scotland.

      1. Blimey not another JohnH!
        THanks to Jay for a good tussle and to scchua for the review.

  23. As one who has been doing the Telegraph crosswords since my sixth form days in the 1950s (with the occasional interruptions for such as girls!), I have always believed that calling an offering a “Toughie” should be more correctly named as “Inexpert Compiler”.

    I shall be ignoring Wednesdays in future.

Comments are closed.