DT 27178 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27178

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27178

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This was quite enjoyably easy.  So I’d give it a 2-1.5* 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    Leisure venues serving dish in kitchens? (7,6)

{BOWLING ALLEYS} : [serving dish, eg. for soup] + IN + [designated areas with kitchen facilities in a ship or plane]

9    Standard   song from Plant, say? (9)

{EVERGREEN} : Triple defn: 1st: A song that remains fresh through the years, perhaps an oldie but goodie; and 2nd: The title of a relatively new Streisand standard; and 3rd: Any type of plant with year-long foliage, in contrast to deciduous ones. I considered this a triple rather than a double definition, since “song” is tautological when applied to “standard” with this intended meaning.

Jay might be referring to this Plant frontman and either of these standards from the rock era.

10    Cheers for a multinational organisation employing detective (5)

{ADIEU} : { A + [abbrev. for a multinational organisation not a million miles from the UK] } containing(employing) [abbrev. for a detective rank in the police force].

Answer: A non-English word for goodbye or farewell.

11    Left in central London company, as agreed (5)

{WILCO} : [abbrev. for left] contained in(in) { [letters that look like the postcode for a Central London area] + [abbrev. for “company”] }.

Answer: In radio telephone communications, the condensed standard form/procedure word meaning “as agreed and consider it done”.

12    Crazy point put to teachers (4)

{NUTS} : [abbrev. for a compass point] placed after(put to, in an across clue) [abbrev. for the UK union of teachers].

13    Look after large city in Europe (4)

{OSLO} : [“Watch!” or “Behold!”] placed after(after) [abbrev. for larger than large, as found (or not found) in clothes shops, for example].

Oslo Norway - Vigeland Park sculpture 

15    Well-read Shakespearean king warned to avoid fight (7)

{LEARNED} : [Shakespearean king with 3 daughters] + “warnedminus(to avoid) [a fight;a conflict, sometimes of words and sometimes of the worlds].

17    Millions to be invested in joint stake in fertiliser (7)

{COMPOST} : [abbrev. for “millions”] contained in(to be invested in) { [prefix for something performed or formed jointly] + [a stake stuck into the ground] }.

Answer: Made by rotting vegetation.

18    Brought on popular Italian leader with daughter (7)

{INDUCED} : [popular;fashionable] + [from Italian, leader if with a lower case initial, or the former leading Italian fascist, if with a capital initial and preceded by Il] plus(with) [abbrev. for “daughter”].

Answer: Brought on, most commonly in the hospital maternity/labour ward.

20    Rock singer‘s accumulated knowledge with Garland (7)

{LORELEI} : [a group’s, eg. a culture’s, accumulated knowledge/learning handed down through generations] plus(with) [a garland of flowers].

21    Source of herbs in my American butter (4)

{GHEE} : First letter of(Source of) “herbs” contained in(in) [Americanism equivalent to the English “My!”].

Answer: Mostly used in Indian cuisine.

22    Invites a king on board (4)

{ASKS} : A + { [abbrev. for “king” in chess notation] contained in(on board a steamship, say) [abbrev. for a steamship] }.

23    Animal that falls short of being clever (5)

{SHREW} : [clever;cunning] minus its last letter(falls short of being).

Answer:  The one on the left is wild, and the one on the right needed taming.


26    Bird‘s car stolen from roundabout (5)

{OUSEL} : “car deleted from(stolen from) [a roundabout;a fairground attraction].

Photograph:Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones star in the film adaptation of Carousel (1956).

27    Stars generous with 26? (3,6)

{BIG DIPPER} : [generous;ample, euphemistically speaking] plus(with) [another name for the answer to 26across].

Answer: A starry constellation.

28    Showing a lack of favouritism, did entire sets in a medley (13)

{DISINTERESTED} : Anagram of(in a medley) DID ENTIRE SETS.


1    Meal with duke underpinning complaint (4,10)

{BEEF WELLINGTON} : [the name of a duke, famous for winning a significant battle, and for his boots] placed below(underpinning, in a down clue) [a complaint;a dispute].

Defn: A dish that might be the main course for a meal.


2    Turn around almost at the same time as the Spanish (5)

{WHEEL} : [happening at the same time as;just as, as in “just as she walked in”] minus
its last letter(almost) + [Spanish for “the”].

3    Perfectly OK at home — before fine and prison (2,4,4)

{IN GOOD NICK} : [at home;not out] placed above(before, in a down clue) [fine!;excellent!] plus(and) [British slang for “prison”]

4    Gathered there’s delight about article on Germany (7)

{GLEANED} : { [delight] containing(about) [one of the articles in English grammar] } placed above(on, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “Germany”].

5    One area avoided by poor nautical hothead (7)

{LUNATIC} : One of the [abbrev. for “area”]s deleted from(avoided by) anagram of(poor) “nautical “.

Answer: A person who is reckless or rash in action and manner.

6    Deliver a sermon, taking ages (4)

{ERAS} : Hidden in(… taking) “Deliver a sermon “.

7    Poor Ross, covered in pigfeed, gets a sponge (5,4)

{SWISS ROLL} : Anagram of(Poor) ROSS contained in(covered in) [wet pigfeed consisting mainly of kitchen waste].

Defn: A confectionery, not a washing implement.

8    Marvellous wood hut florist designed (3,2,4,5)

{OUT OF THIS WORLD} : Anagram of(designed) WOOD HUT FLORIST.

Answer: Heavenly!  Unless, of course, it’s taken literally.


14    What a journalist might say I have is telling! (10)

{IMPRESSIVE} : [what a journalist might say as an introduction, 2 words with an apostrophe] + [contracted form of “I have”]

Answer: Is telling;having a significant impact.

16    Tackled a Democrat fully clothed (9)

{ADDRESSED} : A + [abbrev. for a politician of the Democratic party] + [fully clothed].

Answer: Tackled, say, an issue.

19    Bits placed inside brown receptacle (7)

{DUSTBIN} : Anagram of(placed) BITS contained in(inside) [a dull greyish shade of brown]. At least, I think that’s the anagram indicator.

20    Dish or sink found in road (7)

{LASAGNE} : [to sink;to droop] contained in(found in) [a narrow road between buildings, say, except for the ones found in the answer to 1across].

Defn: A food preparation.


24    Engineers do better than turning up to transfer plant (5)

{REPOT} : [abbrev. for the engineering unit of the British army] + reversal of(turning up) [to do better than;to surpass]. By coincidence, this same answer was in yesterday’s FT crossword.

25    Unfortunately protected by political asylum (4)

{ALAS} : Hidden in(protected by) “political asylum“.

The Quick crossword pun: (aura} + {terse} = {otators}

76 comments on “DT 27178

  1. Thank goodness for the hints today, I either have total mental block or may be the only one finding this difficult today! Took me ages to get started and after several breaks gave up completely after only completing just over a quarter of it!! Obviously not on the same wavelength as the setter, so I have to give it a four star for difficulty, I wait in anticipation, for others to agree with the 2 star rating :-( , thanks schuua for the early blog, would have taken me all day I think!!

      1. One man’s (or, should I say, person’s) meat is another man’s poison! Sometimes I have found a puzzle extremely difficult which you and others have rated as relatively easy. It’s one of the many things that makes this blog so interesting.

        Keep perservating :-)

          1. Mary, I do hope you don’t mean goodbye! I think that “adieu” only means goodbye, but you can use “cheers” in a number of ways: thanks, goodbye, good health.

    1. I’m with Mary and Kath. I also found it very very hard to get going and, to be honest, by the end found it a bit of a drudge, I like to get in a few early answers…kind of spurs one on..puts one in a good frame of mind. Unfortunately this was not one of those!

      1. I only said that I thought it was quite difficult not that I didn’t enjoy it – I did!

  2. I enjoyed this one as it was not read and write but it made me think. Still an easy puzzle though. 1ac took some time and 3d in the quickie is a favourite word of mine. Ta to all.

  3. I was going to rate this most enjoyable puzzle as */*** but took ages to work out the last two in: 6d and 24d, so I’ll go for 1½ * for difficulty. Many thanks to the setter, and also to Scchua whose hint I needed to understand how 26a related to the answer for 27a.

    I also spent more time than necessary over 3d because of the typo in the paper spelling prison with two “n”s!

    My favourite today was the delightful 1a.

  4. Thank you Jay – I found this more difficult than your usual midweek puzzle. Like you Mary really struggled to get going. In particular with 1a. Went for Bowling alleys to start with but couldn’t get the wordplay so opted for “bowling greens”. Finally the penny dropped when having to address 5d ! Also having seen many dippers and the occasional ring ouzel ( RSPB Minsmere a couple of weeks ago ) I never knew that the dipper is also known as the “water ouzel”. Learning all the time on this site. Still remember that a knot is a sandpiper !! Got there in the end, so I suppose that I enjoyed the fight ! Thank you for your review Scchua – I think you have excelled yourself with your elegant but unusual photo at 8d.

    1. Can you believe I didn’t even notice the picture at 8d! Glad I ‘m not the only one that found it quite difficult today SW

    2. Yes 1a put me off course as I will be on one of the green variety this pm and I couldn’t make 5d fit ( also originally had considered fanatic which wasn’t even an anagram). Could never hack the alley variety……

      1. We have an alley variety opening very soon here, maybe just a bit late for me, bending isn’t great these days! Enjoy your green variety :-)

    3. I thought one of the photos for 8 down was repulsive…..I’ll leave you to guess which one.

      1. Exactly! Anything literally out of this world, not meeting our earthly notions, would be far from marvellous or heavenly, in fact, it would be downright repulsive, including the first picture. (In case you weren’t aware, those were fictional out-of-this-world aliens from Star Wars and Total Recall respectively.)

        1. I just assumed that the second picture must be Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six…

          HHGTTG, in case anyone thinks I’ve finally cracked :-)

            1. Well, in this case I’ll stick with the work of Douglas Adams, and you can enjoy Dick (Philip K, of course).

              “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” is a fine example of Dick’s work, I must agree!

              1. I’ve just been catching up on the majority of his works – astonishing!

                1. It’s interesting to note that all the people who like these pictures are men!! Strange that.

                  1. I don’t like the picture. I love the short story upon which the film was based.

                  2. I don’t like that picture either!

                    Now, I wonder why SheilaP assumes we’re men… :-)

  5. A cheerful crossword that brightened a ghastly day in N Yorks .If I had to pick a favourite it would be 7d .The dipper / water ousel is new to me too .
    Thanks very much to both setter and Scchua .

  6. Took a little while to get going today but once in, I really enjoyed it. Still not too sure about 21a. Ghee is certainly butter but gee for me, not when I was last in the States.
    Thx to all.

    1. PS how great o see the greatest number ever recorded given an airing on the Blog. They were a great live band. My sort of music!

      1. I’m a Zeppelin fan too, I was spellbound when I saw the DVD of their concert at the O2.

    2. Brian, “my!” can be used as an expression of surprise, in the same way that Americans might say “gee!”

      1. I’ve lived in the States for 34 years, and rarely do I hear anyone say gee!

    3. Hi Brian, Ghee is Indian butter. The way the clue works is my American =gee with H (source of herbs) inside it.

        1. It didn’t look like Brian had read the hint, I certainly didn’t, because I solved the clue, and put my version in, which coincided with yours. Apologies for any confusion, and for not reading the hints myself.

  7. I found this a tad harder today but managed it in the end after reading the word play on a couple of hints, couldnt get led zepp out of my head for 9A, really liked 1A.Thanks to scchua for the review.

  8. I also found this pretty tricky but what a lovely crossword for a thoroughly miserable day – Wednesdays are becoming one of my best crossword days. At least 3* for difficulty and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    I had far more trouble with the right side than the left. I was stupidly slow with several – 10, 17, 20 and 27a – not getting 8d for ages really didn’t help much at all.
    I liked all four long answers round the outside, even if they did take me ages. Also 21 and 26a and 3 (brilliant and made me laugh) and 9d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Wet and 7C in Oxford and it’s May. No garage roof so freezing cold house AND far too much to do today including dentist this afternoon. :sad:

      1. Thanks Mary – am home now and survived. If I’m completely honest it was only routine hygienist stuff but I’m such a wimp that even that is enough to make me go a bit wobbly! :roll:
        Good luck to you for tomorrow in case I’ve forgotten by then!

  9. Flying solo again today. All went together smoothly. Lots of good fun clues.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

    1. Even though your 20d was just a bit wrong I really liked it. I shouldn’t think that it helped much in the bottom right corner!

  10. I thought this was a good 2* ( i.e. at least) and as usual I tried to finish without looking at the hints. It looked a bit messy with a couple of crossings out, but I eventually got all of them except 26a which I had to look up as I’ve never heard of it.
    I shouldn’t have dithered on 1d as long as I did and must have trawled through all the dukes before landing on the most obvious ( if I had the first word already it would have been a cinch).

    I did like 20a and 15a a lot!

  11. Like Mary, I took a while to get started but then it was plain sailing until 6D, which took a while to spot. 20A was today’s favorite. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and to Scchua for the review.

    1. 6d was my last one in, too, took me ages t spot it. When you do get it, you wonder how you could have spent so much time over it. Dumbo.

  12. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I really enjoyed this one but found it a bit tricky. Started with 1d, finished with 9a. Struggled with 1a,2,6,24d, but got them in the end. Favourites were 1&27a, was 2*/4* for me. Sun was out in Central London ten minutes ago, but it’s gone now.

      1. If you look one way out of my office window, there is sun and blue sky, the other direction looks decidedly ominously black!

  13. Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to scchua for a most entertaining review. Micawbers toughie is worth a go at today, quite doable.

      1. Keep trying friend, some days they just click other days zilch, Mary has the perfect word “perservation”!

  14. Slow day for me today also – must be the weather or something, started quite well then stalled needed one or two hints to kick start the rest. Agree with some of the comments re: GHEE – most americans I’ve encountered never use GEE as an exclamation more likely the F-word, although the 1950’s 60’s TV imports from the states seem to have used the word to distraction at time ‘Happy Days’ etc.
    2/3* for difficulty & 3* enjoyment for me.

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed that today and didn’t find it too much of a struggle although having put the green variety in 1a to begin with held me up a little. Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment & sschua for the review.

  16. TOp quality puzzle from Jay only matched by the review. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  17. Today’s crossword was on my wavelength – completed it without resorting to hints or electronic help of any kind for the FIRST TIME EVER! Other days, I struggle when others find it easy. Just goes to show that the DT has something for everyone during the course of a week!

    1. Congratulations on your personal landmark!

      And to make you feel even better – I found it harder than most today :-)

    2. Well done from me too. I think lots of things go into whether you find a crossword easy or difficult. Perhaps the two most important are being on the same wave length as the setter and your general frame of mind. Well, that’s what they are for me anyway. Just keep reading this blog and you will learn so much so quickly. Good luck.

  18. I didn’t start until after golf and found it almost as taxing as the back nine, and the less said about that, the better!
    10a seems a little tenuous and I had not heard of 20a so needed the hints to confirm thoughts there. Favourites, 26, 27a and 1d and 7d, especially as Ross is my son’s name. Very interesting image there!
    Thanks to setter and scchua.

  19. Finished it so enjoyed it. Thanks for explanation of 9 and 15. Always learning, particularly from 20a which I guessed from the crossing letters and found quite interesting when I looked it up.!

  20. PS. Is there any way I can get the interactive crossword working on a nexus 10. Adobe flash player isn’t available.

  21. Really enjoyed this one **/**** for me. It all seemed to flow well with some clever clues.21a was good…

  22. Really enjoyed this. Off to Lord’s tomorrow so looking forward to 27,179.

  23. I really enjoyed this puzzle – it helped unscramble my head after studying Excel 2010 on night-shift!

  24. I did about 75% of this one. They’re either getting easier or I’m getting the hang of it.

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