DT 27184 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27184

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27184

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was quite easy (1.5-2* difficulty), and a 3* for enjoyment (short as it was).  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    Tiger, say, having a fit of bad temper — he’s a disaster! (11)

{CATASTROPHE} : [a big example of which is the tiger] plus(having) A [fit of bad temper;temper tantrum] + HE.  Reference to a certain Tiger, a disaster on the domestic front?

9    What may stop you shooting in exotic places around pole (4,3)

{LENS CAP} : Anagram of(exotic) PLACES containing(around) [abbrev. for one of the geographic poles].


That will stop you too.  Sweet revenge!

10    Runs home, disheartened with South American primate (6)

{RHESUS} : [abbrev. for “runs”, in cricket notation] + “home” minus its 2 inner letters(disheartened) plus(with) [abbrev. for “south”] + [abbrev. for things American].

Answer: A small primate, but not a clerical one.

12    Praise new ideologies dismissing ego (7)

{IDOLISE} : Anagram of(new) “ideologies” minus(dismissing) “ego”.

13    Brief description of unfashionable occupation (7)

{OUTLINE} : [out of, not in, fashion] + [an occupation;the field in which one works].

14    Look around back of hall and put a film on (5)

{GLAZE} : [to look long and fixedly] containing (around) the last letter of(back of) “hall”.


15    Prison sentence given to precocious chorus singer? (5,4)

{EARLY BIRD} : [slang for a prison sentence, derived from rhyming slang for “time”) placed after(given to, in an across clue) [precocious, as in “developing ahead of time”].

Answer: A non-human that sings in chorus with others; this one might wake you in the morning – whether you like it or not.

17    Measure applied to sensitive area in dance (9)

{QUICKSTEP} : [a measure;a specific action taken towards achieving a goal] placed after(applied to, in an across clue) [any area of living flesh that is sensitive to pain or touch, eg. around a healing wound].


So one of the above is not the dance in question, but, hey, the dancers look good.

20    One who’s left the country as a result of Old Father Time (5)

{EXPAT} : [prefix for “old” or “former” – think spouse or partner] + [an informal term for one’s father] + [abbrev. for “time”].

Answer: Short for one who’s left temporarily, say, to work.

22    Fill post — a quiet position in field (7)

{APPOINT} : A + [abbrev. for the musical direction to play quietly or softly] + [a fielding position in cricket].

24    Expression of sorrow mainly enveloping Scotsman (7)

{GRIMACE} : [deep sorrow, especially at the death of someone] minus its last letter(mainly) containing(enveloping) [prefix in the archetypal Scottish surname, derived from Celtic for “son of”]

25    Mischief-makers from team tucking into pastries (6)

{PIXIES} : [a term for a sporting team, from the Roman numerals for the number of members] contained in(tucking into) [baked food items with filling inside pastry].

26    Broadcaster exposed by comedian ten named (7)

{ANTENNA} : Hidden in(exposed by) “comedian ten named”.

Answer: An inanimate object used for broadcasting (and receiving) radio signals and the like.


27    Party worker lets out insects (4,7)

{STAG BEETLES} : [a type of party for males only] + [a social insect, one of whose castes is the worker] + anagram of(out) “lets”.

2    Record area — oddly rich source of honey (7)

{ARCHIVE} : [abbrev. for “area”] + 1st and 3rd letters of(oddly) “rich” + [source of honey;place where the social insects make it].

3    A time to give? Now! (2,7)

{AT PRESENT} : A + [abbrev. for “time”] + [to give a gift].

4    More or less below belt, ultimately? No, above it (5)

{TORSO} : [more or less, especially with reference to a number of things] placed below(below, in a down clue) last letter of(ultimately) “belt”.

Defn. and Answer: The human body above (not below) the belt, more or less, unless you’re wearing your belt around the tops of your thighs.


Could the belt be worn any lower?

5    Organising revolt, why broadcast in public? (7)

{OVERTLY} : Anagram of(Organising) { REVOLT + [letter that is a homophone of(broadcast) “why”] }

6    Harry? Bound to get out! (7)

{HOUDINI} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a Harry who used to let himself be bound so that he could escape, for show of course, not because he was a masochist (as far as I know).

7    In the jet set, maybe, with second one of four children in police force (6,5)

{FLYING SQUAD} : [an activity if you’re literally in the jet set] plus(with) [abbrev. for “second” in time notation] + [short form for one of a set of four children from the same pregnancy].

Answer: A small unit in the police force ready to move into action quickly.

8    Article left in Indian state or country (6)

{ANGOLA} : [in grammar, an indefinite article] + { [abbrev. for “left”] contained in(in) [a former Portuguese colony in India] }.

11    Pioneers in heavy metal and rock covering article (5,3,3)

{LEADS THE WAY} : [in chemistry, one of the heavy metal elements] plus(and) [to rock;to move from side to side] } containing(covering) [in grammar, the definite article].

Defn: As a verb. Not the likes of Alice Cooper, Deep Purple et al.

16    Obscene ruling covering half of pubs (9)

{REPUGNANT} : [descriptive of a reigning ruler] containing(covering) 2 out of 4 letters of(half of) “pubs”.

18    One married type’s distinctive influence (7)

{IMPRINT} : [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for “married”] + [to reproduce using pieces of type in a press or in a typewriter].

19    Cutting jack leaves hazard for articulated lorry (7)

{KNIFING} : “jack” deleted from(leaves) [a hazard for articulated lorries, in turn caused by hazardous road conditions].

Defn: … with a sharp implement.

20    Palestine ordered to release an apostle’s letter (7)

{EPISTLE} : Anagram of(ordered) “Palestine” minus(to release) “an”.

21    Flat areas east of Israel surrounded by troubles (6)

{PLAINS} : Extreme right letter of(east of) “Israel” contained in(surrounded by) [troubles;physical sufferings].

23    Army volunteers set off to get experience (5)

{TASTE} : [abbrev. for a volunteer unit of the British Army] + anagram of(off) SET.

The Quick crossword pun: (sigh} + {defects} = {side effects}


43 comments on “DT 27184

  1. Thank you Jay – a game of 2 halves for me LHS went in quite quickly but took a long time to sort RHS particularly NE corner. Thank you Scchua for your review – the scope for your tasteful photos was rather restricted today ! but you did have a go at 4d !

    1. I know. I looked unsuccessfully for some tasteful 25. Liz Hurley was in the movie with Christopher Lloyd at 26, but I couldn’t find a picture of them together.

  2. A good fun puzzle. Thought it was going to be a pangram but a thorough search of the grid revealed that one letter was missing. We decided that the setter, being a modest man, had left his own initial out. During the search we also had a quick glance to see if there were any lurking NINAs. Thought we had found one starting in the second row across, but it did not last long, so assumed that it must have been accidental. Gave us a chuckle anyway. Best clue 11d.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

    1. Given this up as a bad job, think its a a toughie that got away.
      Way above my abilities I’m afraid.

      1. I’m sure it’s not beyond your abilities Brian. We all have days like that, I know I do. It’s particularly galling when others say how easy it was… It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for me – I look at some puzzles and think I’m not going to enjoy this…

      2. I found it hard to get into but kept going and as soon as I got some answers, the checking letters helped to solve more clues. I found the downs easier than the acrosses. Don’t despair, tomorrow will be easier.

  3. Top went in quite easy for me, but I was slowed down by the bottom half until managing to spot 16D (I was quite pleased to work this one out), the rest fell into place quite easily after that .

    Is that a picture from My Favourite Martian in 26A? Seems to ring a bell.

    So does anyone know of any cheapish hotels in Antibes? need to start organising soon.

      1. I know what you mean – perhaps I should amend that to ‘relatively cheap’ hotels – I’m not intending to pay £400 per night when night 1 will be recovering from the journey, night 2 recovering from the stag night, night 3 recovering from the wedding and night 4 getting ready for the journey home.

        1. If you look up Booking .com you’ll find a good choice for early June some for £400 for 4 nights. I booked a short stay in 3 different hotels last summer and when the receptionist saw that I had booked threw them I got an immediate upgrade , free !

  4. This took me a little longer to complete than my normal Wednesday time.
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.

  5. For me the most enjoyable Wednesday puzzle for a while .If I had to pick a favourite 15a closely followed by 11d .
    Thanks very much to Jay and Scchua .

  6. A very good puzzle today – I stared at it for ages before I finally got going.

    10a was a bit convoluted – I was trying to think of a South American primate before the penny dropped. 7d and 27a gave me a feeling of achievement when I got them.

  7. Yes 2kiwis, i spent time puzzling where the J should be for the pangram! Was trying Jaguar for 10a (South American primate) which stumped me for a few answers in that area. Never mind, a fun test from Jay.

    1. Excellent offering to day, loved 1A & 11D my kind of music thanks scchua for one of my all time favourite songs im off now to do a bit of head banging.

  8. Yes, thanks Jay and Scchua (actually didn’t need you today!), this puzzle turned out to be not as difficult as it first appeared but nevertheless one or two answers went in without knowing whence they came.

  9. Well, I absolutely loved it.! Enough harder ones to make me ponder for a while and no disappointing clues. Too many ‘favorite’ contenders to pick out just one. And I got a personal mention!! A solid **** for enjoyment from me. Many thanks to Jay for a lovely puzzle and to Scchua for the review. I didn’t need your help today, but you’re always appreciated.

  10. To revisit yesterday’s comment…

    Hmm, a week that starts with three very simple cryptics. What does this presage?

  11. I agree with Expat Chris. Very enjoyable crossword today. Some lovely clues, 1a my favourite. Finished over a cup of coffee leaving the rest of the day for doing the VAT (on reflection maybe not such a great crossword). */**** Many thanks to Jay and Scchua

  12. Yes, a slight stretch but nothing too frustrating, a lot of very diverting synonyms and some clever ones ( what do you call it when words are frequently split apart)?
    I spent a bit too long on 11d, fruitlessly searching for a band, and could only admire the interruption of a nice synonym for rock.
    7d fun for those who remember the Sweeney!

    1. Oh dear – John Thaw again – any mention of him always makes me cry! :sad: He was so wonderful.

        1. Just back – totally knackered but what a wonderful day, and a wonderful crossword, so just had to ‘pop in’ to say so and then couldn’t resist making a few comments. :smile:

          1. I am so jealous ! I lived in London for a year and I thought I’d get to do all the wonderful things London has to offer. .I’m still waiting to get to Chelsea !

            1. It was absolutely wonderful – SO much to see – you can’t do all of it. This is the second year running that we have gone. It was very crowded today and very cold – last year was about the only warm day of the summer. Much as I don’t like cold weather I think that today was better for this kind of thing. Next year we have decided that we are going to go to the Malvern Flower Show instead. A change would be a good thing and it’s so close to where I grew up.

  13. Quite a quIrky little number today,i did enjoy it, going for a **/***.Did’nt really get the ‘quick’ part of 17a, is it from the quick and the dead? or just the explanation in Scchua’s Blog-thanks S .Smiled at quite a few like 19d and 1a- reminded me of ‘snagglepuss’-,exit stage right even’!

    1. The ‘quick’ in this case is the flesh below the skin as in ‘cut to the quick’ ie, a deep cut

  14. 1.5 to 2*/3* for me also. Filled this in during gaps in my schedule during the morning and a bit after lunch. Probably a good way to approach a crossword, since the mind seems to keep working on it while you are busy elsewhere.

    1. CS calls it ‘cogitation time’. She’s right (as if she always isn’t) as the brain seems capable of doing stuff even when you’re doing something else. It’s a bit like when you can’t quite remember the name of something or someone and as soon as you stop trying to remember it the word, or name, it just pops up.

  15. Thanks to Jay for a fun if untaxing crossword and to sschua for a very enjoyable review.

  16. Thank you Jay for a nicely balanced puzzle with some humour and misdirection. Thanks To Scchua for the hints (I did need a little help to get this done in the time allowed). Thought 1a was clever as was 15a. 27a was favourite. Took too long looking for a real heavy metal (as in periodic table) for 11d. Not sure I support your 1.5* difficulty – don’t think I’ve ever done one of those!

  17. I agree with Williamus that is harder than a 1.5*, nevertheless, very enjoyable.It took me a while to get into Jay’s wavelength, but worth it. I needed a tiny bit of help with 9a. Thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  18. Nice puzzle from Jay.

    Faves : 1a, 9a, 15a, 27a, 6d, 7d, 11d & 19d.

    Weather in NL still chilly with a blustery N wind. Apparently this is the coldest May since 1962!

    Steak and chips tonight to be accompanied with the second half of a Brouilly then rasps and cream.

  19. As others have commented I found ‘getting started’ very difficult but I kept at it and did finish on my own but it took a long time. I liked the clues and it was interesting but hard work. I had to refer to your explanations, Scchua, in quite a number of cases, for which, many thanks

  20. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Found this all very difficult, was about 6 short when I resorted to the hints. Not my day, for 19d thought of knives, knifed, but not knifing!! Would never have got 17a.Favourites were 1&9a and 6&7d. Was 3*/2* for me. Have given up talking about the weather :-)

  21. I spent quite a long time looking at it &thinking “I just can’t get on Jay’s wavelength today” but all of a sudden things started to fall into place. A bit of thinking outside the box was needed. Loved it . Thanks Jay & scchua for the review.

    1. Exactly the same for me. I reckon that I am more alive to the task of solving a crossword early in the day than I am when I leave it until the evening, as indeed I did today. 11 down was my last one in – could I work it out? could I heck! I finally asked my wife, who spotted it instantly (grrrrr) A most enjoyable offering indeed and some very ‘chuckle worthy’ clues/answers. Thanks to Jay – I finally did get on your wavelength.

  22. Well, lots to say today. Been to the Chelsea flower show and had the most lovely day with three wonderful friends – we have spent the day looking at amazing things and, perhaps more importantly, giggling our heads off. Arrived home at about 8.30 to supper already cooked by husband – feeling spoilt and really lucky.
    One of the first things we saw were cloth bags with a bright red rose on them (and a Telegraph inside) celebrating 100 years of the show being given away. Oh good, I thought, that’s sorted out the journey home in the coach this evening – I can occupy myself with the crossword.
    As always on Wednesdays I loved it. I did this one on the journey home, and, before anyone says that we’re not allowed to say how long a crossword takes us in case it discourages other solvers, I should perhaps point out that we did London to Oxford in the rush hour! However I also did it without any help from anything or anyone because I was on the coach. It’s always so good to know that when you have to work things out for yourself you can.
    I liked too many of these to pick out any in particular but my favourite has to be 1a.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

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