DT 27202 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27202

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27202

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An easy enjoyable puzzle from Jay.  I’d give it a 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.

1a    Discovered on site — not a terribly good basis for building (10,5)

{FOUNDATION STONE} : [discovered;unearthed] + anagram of(terribly) ON SITE — NOT A.

9a    Soldier from the States locked in pub is capable of reasoning (7)

{LOGICAL} : [abbrev. for a soldier in the US Army] contained in(locked in) [the pub near you which you frequent].

10a    What is to eat on the move? (7)

{TOASTIE} : Anagram of(on the move) IS TO EAT.

Answer: What you might eat on the go. A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue, where at least part, if not all, of the wordplay is also part of the defn.

11a    Downgrading journalist in fracas (9)

{REDUCTION} : [abbrev. for a journalist] contained in(in) [a fracas;a disturbance of the peace].

12a    A note added before end of judge’s recess (4)

{APSE} : A + [abbrev. for a note added;a written afterthought] placed before(before) last letter(end of) “judge”.

Answer: Nothing to do with court proceedings, more the other place of judgement (for some).

13a    Mother needing doctor when in old-style Indian city (6)

{MADRAS} : [familiar term for “mother”] plus(needing) [abbrev. for “doctor”] + [when;at the same time, as in “look around when you walk into the room”].

Answer: The former/old style proper name for an Indian city.  The name is also given to the patterned fabric:


15a    Onset of blocked sinuses ruined affair (8)

{BUSINESS} : First letter of(Onset of) “blocked” + anagram of(ruined) SINUSES.

Answer:  Like she said “There’s no _____ like show _____”:

18a    Area rejecting outsiders with hard-and-fast limit (8)

{RESTRICT} : “area” minus its 2 outermost letters(rejecting outsiders) plus(with) [hard-and-fast;inflexible].

19a    Believe  entry in ledger (6)

{CREDIT} : Double defn: 1st: To believe;to put trust in; and 2nd: An entry into one of the sides in an accounts ledger.

22a    Appearance in average broadcast (4)

{MIEN} : Homophone of(broadcast) [average of a number of quantities].

Answer: A person’s manner/appearance expressing personality or mood.

23a    Run down origin of iconic jar by study (9)

{DENIGRATE} : { First letter of(origin of) “iconic” + [to jar;to have an unpleasant or irritating effect] } placed after(by, in an across clue) [a room for quiet study;somewhere to retreat to]

26a    Pain in mouth mostly finding part of throat (7)

{TRACHEA} : [a pain in a part of your body] contained in(in) [somewhat rude slang for the mouth] minus
its last letter(mostly).

27a    Does a favour for forces (7)

{OBLIGES} : Double defn: 1st: Does a favour out of kindness; and 2nd: Forces one to do, as a duty, say.

28a    Doormen risk arms in order to create deception (5,3,7)


Answer: Literally, things used to create an illusion, especially in the theatre.  Figuratively, it’s what he uses:


1d    Almost complete century with spirit and support (7)

{FULCRUM} : [complete;to the utmost] minus its last letter(Almost) + [abbrev. for “century”] plus(with) [an alcoholic drink, favourite of pirates apparently].

Answer: A support, eg. for a see-saw.

2d    Strongly advised a bit of latitude, grudgingly turning up (5)

{URGED} : Hidden in(a bit of) reversal of(turning up) “latitude grudgingly”.

3d    Floor cleaner accepts one seat on board (9)

{DECKCHAIR} : [a floor, especially on a marine craft] + [British informal term for a cleaning lady] containing(accepts) [Roman numeral for “one”].

Answer: In use, not necessarily on board ship, but anywhere outdoors.  Is it mostly a ladies’ thing:  lying and sunbathing on these seats?


4d    Like to be free after tea, having no energy for film (6)

{TALKIE} : Anagram of(to be free) LIKE placed after(after) “tea” minus(having no) [abbrev. for “energy”, in physics].

Answer: A former term for a, then innovative, film, marking a milestone in the movie industry.  The first feature length movie of its kind:

5d    Flower providing a mouthful of food? (2-6)

{OX-TONGUE} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a food made of what was in an animal’s mouth, though of course, you could have a mouthful of it.

6d    Oddly, such a blood group shows evidence of skin healing (4)

{SCAB} : First and third letters of(Oddly) “such” + [one of the groups in the human blood classification system].

7d    Put so badly, study gets extended (9)

{OUTSPREAD} : Anagram of(badly) “put so” + [to study, especially a course at a university].

8d    Looks at covering lease and rings (7)

{EYELETS} : [looks at carefully or warily] containing(covering) [to lease out, especially a property].

Answer:  It’s in the clothes:


14d    Agents put up in flat ring criminal (9)

{DESPERADO} : Reversal of(put up, in a down clue) [short for people acting on your behalf, usually in sales agents] contained in(in) [flat;having lost its liveliness or taste, eg. a once fizzy drink] + [the letter that looks like a ring].

16d    A fighter is out of order (9)

{IRREGULAR} : Double defn: 1st: A fighter not in the established, formal army, eg. a partisan; and 2nd: Usually used with the prefix “highly”.

17d    Pollution I found in a cold outlet pipe (4,4)

{ACID RAIN} : I contained in(found in) { A + [abbrev. for “cold”] + [an outlet pipe, eg. that found at the bottom of your sink or bathtub].

18d    Devices for raising volume in endless relaxation (7)

{REMOTES} : Reversal of(raising, in a down clue) [a written volume;a book, usually large, heavy and learned] contained in(in) [relaxation;a break from work] minus
its last letter(endless). Another WIWD clue.

20d    Locks for systems externally in planes, for example (7)

{TRESSES} : The 2 outermost letters of(externally) “systems” contained in(in) [life forms, examples of which are “planes”].


21d    International bearing on criminal record for grass (6)

{INFORM} : [abbrev. for “international”] + [abbrev. for one of the compass bearings] placed above(on, in a down clue) [British slang for a criminal record].

Defn: What a criminal might do to a fellow criminal.

24d    Trouble in the past surrounding King George (5)

{AGGRO} : [in the past] containing(surrounding) [abbrev. for King George;from Latin Georgius Rex].

Answer: Short for an annoyance.

25d    Oxford, for example, beat it on the radio (4)

{SHOE} : Homophone of(on the radio) [beat it!;go away!].

Answer: An example/a model of which is the Oxford.

The Quick crossword pun: (aunt} + {surf} + {own} = {answerphone}

64 comments on “DT 27202

  1. ***/*** today. 4d, 16d (my last one in) and 21d took me as long as the rest of the puzzle, but I got there in the end without help.

    Is the apostrophe in 27a in the paper a misprint? The clue seems to work without it, and I can’t see why it is needed.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Scchua.

      1. Yes, CS. In my copy of the paper 27a says “Does a favour for’ forces”. It had me searching for all sorts of obscure possibilites!

          1. I’ve looked at it under a magnifying glass and it is defintely an apostrophe. My copy of today’s DT could be worth millions in years to come :smile:

            1. No apostrophe in my North London edition. As you said, you may have the newspaper equivalent of a Penny Black :-)

  2. No problems in this one, although I spent a few minutes parsing 18d.
    2*/4* for me. Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

    scchua – your 1.5* difficulty is showing as 3*

  3. No real problems, but 5D took some time and was the last one in. Liked 1D and 8D particularly. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review, despite the tedious nudes.

    1. Sorry and I hope you’ll get over your fatigue soon, but for the record, there’s a singular (semi-)nude, unless you’re bringing past blogs (I don’t know how many) into the picture.

  4. Harder than the last couple of days, and I didn’t find anything too enjoyable about it.. Just into *** time and ** for enjoyment. 21d was my last too

  5. Good Wednesday stuff once again. Just the right level of challenge for a mid-week puzzle. 5d and 10a the last two in and the parsing of 18d was a bit tricky. Took a while to work out where the definition ended and the wordplay started. (If that makes any sense).
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  6. I struggled a tad for some reason and had to resort to a few clues, guess im not on the same wave length as the setter.I certainly didnt find the nudes tedious if any thing they brightened up a dull day in the deep south.Thanks to scchua for the excellent review

  7. Agree with the rating as no ‘hold ups’, initially had ‘R’ as the last letter in 6d( Rhesus blood group system) then thought that ‘B’ might be better, both fit the clue and solution.enjoyed the solve, thanks Scchua for the pics

  8. 5D Gave me a little problem as I’ve never heard of it as a flower before (heard of Ox Eye though) it was solvable from the crossing letters however. Apart from that, a fairly steady solve , but not a write-in. I thought 28A a very good anagram and 17D and 18D very good clues indeed, however, my fave rave today has to be 20D.

  9. I always enjoy Jay puzzles but always find them a shade stiffer than Scchua’s rating .
    Last 2 22a and 18d .favourite 5d .
    Thanks Scchua and Jay .

  10. I slightly disagree with scchua today – enjoyable, yes – easy, no! Well, not for me anyway. At least 3* difficulty and 4* enjoyment.
    I took ages to get the 28a anagram. 5d was my last one – I’ve heard of ox-eye daisies but not ox-tongue. I was also slow to get 21d and 10a – trying to make an anagram out of the wrong letters is never a good idea. Spent far too long trying to justify Mumbai for 13a.
    I have a slight ‘issue’ with the picture for 3d – I don’t have any problem with the nudes, semi or otherwise, but I think that what they are sitting on are loungers not deckchairs – deckchairs, to me anyway, are the things with wooden frames that do their best to chop your fingers off when you sit down or get up and are not being very careful.
    I liked 1, 15 and 18a and 17 and 25d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    STILL cloudy and windy in Oxford, but much warmer.

    1. Yes, Kath, mea culpa. I was being a tad inaccurate there (I think I should have called them deck chairs). My comment should have been “Here are some examples of the answer that has evolved into more comfortable versions, incorporating some characteristics of a bed.” Consider the blog amended. And speaking of fingers getting chopped, here’s a funny story – I can’t vouch for its veracity, though, and I’m certainly not going to test whether it’s possible or not!

      1. Sounds terrible! :smile:
        The deck chairs that I’m thinking of had a wooden frame with a canvas back and seat (all in one piece) which was usually really brightly coloured and stripey – my parents had lots of them.

    2. I, too, put in Mumbai straight away, as in mum and mb, but of course, it’s dead wrong. Maybe I should have spent more time, like you, instead of rushing on and not being able to get 14d for ages.

  11. There aren’t any 3 downs on the sea-front today – decidedly dreich here. I agree with Kath about the loungers. The trouble with apostrophes is that they are for ever sneaking in where they shouldn’t be. **/*** for me.

      1. Had a long conversation with friends at my local bar recently when a sign emerged introducing summer menu’s. In fairness to the chalkboard writer menus looks wrong to me despite knowing….

  12. Enjoyable, thanks Jay, but definitely not easy puzzle today.Thanks to sschua for the hints, particularly 22a. I’d much prefer to be doing the crossword in a well known men’s outfitters in north west London while my husband chooses a new suit because he’s forgotten to bring his wedding suit. You absolutely couldn’t turn up in a sports jacket !

  13. A very enjoyable crossword from Jay and a highly entertaining review from sschua, my thanks to both.

  14. I only saw one nude here , sadly, and no out of place apostrophes in my newspaper.

  15. No too bad today only half a dozen in red (the ones I needed the hints to get) thanks scchua. Plenty of ‘of course’ moments. Particularly liked 9a. So 2/3* difficulty and 4* enjoyment. Thnx as always to the setter.

  16. How on earth could this possibly be a 1/2 star for officially, it is Toughie standard!
    For me it is 4/1 diff to enjoyment. An absolute horror.

  17. I thought this was fairly easy, same wavelength and all that. Just one thing, and I’ll probably be castigated for complaining, but I abhor words like 24d. It’s probably in Chambers, etc., but that is awful slang. I know English is a living language, words will die and others take their place, but when my generation are wafted away on the west wind, who’s going to try to protect the English language? ‘Nuff said. Thanks to all for a fun puzzle, sorry for the rant!

    1. I’m with you 100% there. I would hate to play Scrabble with someone who tries to get away with a word like 24d.

  18. Oh dear oh dear… I think my brain has gone a-sun-huntin’ as I really struggled with this one, and couldn’t seem to climb into the right mind-set at all. Thank you Scchua for much needed hints, and to the setter as well because the clues I did manage to answer were very enjoyable. Like Kath, spent far too much time in Mumbai. And even if I owned a 3d, it would have been blown away by now. And if nudes are on the menu, I’d prefer more gender equality :-) but am I just being grumpy?

      1. I do try my best when blogging the NTSPP puzzles on Saturdays – I did have a picture of a particularly nice ‘torso’ the other week.

          1. The NTSPP is only here, ie on BD’s blog, rather than in a paper. If you can read the hints and all the comments are you sure you can’t get it? I could be wrong, being a complete ‘techno-useless’ – it is in the bit at the right hand side and is usually there around mid-day on Saturdays.

            1. Oh! I thought it came in the DT but didn’t see it there. I’ll definitely have a look for it on Saturday. Thanks, look forward to it.

              1. If you go to the Crosswords tab at the top of the page, then click on NTSPP Puzzles, you can click on each one in turn and work through the ‘back catalogue’.

        1. You did indeed! And very tasteful it was, too. I didn’t mean to criticize scchua or anyone else for the unclad ladies.They certainly seem popular with the gentlemen. But I am an early riser (4:30 am my time, 9:30 UK time) and scchua is an early blogger. I am not at my best when confronted with Page 3 ladies early in the morning! Give me some Patrick Stewart and Paul Newman, Johnny Depp and Jude Law (dressed or undressed) and I’m a sweetie pie for the rest of the day. Is that too much to ask?

          1. I don’t disagree, but I, for one, have been very conscious of sexual bias, and, if you look, I think my past blogs bear this out. I may not have achieved 50/50 equality, but I have tried and will try to move in that direction. It depends on what set of anwers I’ve been dealt, and the availability of apt images, anonymous or not, bare or not, etc. – somehow, the guys are reluctant to flaunt what they have (or, more the case, what they don’t have). And another thing, understandably, it’s harder for me to empathise with what defines eye candy for the other half. That’s not to be dismissive, but is a statement of biological fact.

            1. I see your difficulty. I think eye candy for the ladies depends on one’s age group. I rather favor the older, sophisitcated, cerebral types with a twinkle in the eye. But I’ll settle for Depp or Law at a push! They have the twinkle. Others may think differently. But guys, no matter the age, appreciate the young “perky’ types so that’s a gimme. Just keep on doing what you’re doing, scchua. You’re OK in my book, love.

  19. Retrospectively not too difficult.
    Therein lies the setter’s skill.
    Last in, after far too long for me, 10a, brilliant clue.
    3d PWOAR!
    Many thanks to the setter and to scchua for the review.

  20. two and a half hour walk this morning in the fair Cheshire weather and must have oxygenated some brain cells as I really enjoyed this with little help. Thanks to Jay and scchua. Loved 28a, my second one in and also like 26a being of a medical mind.

  21. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Not my week, this week. Needed to look up 22a, then was able to finish with 18d. An enjoyable puzzle, I favourites were 10a and 20d. Was 2*/3* for me. Feels like March in Central London roll on Summer.

    1. I saw in the DT today that they are forecasting a MONTH of rain, and all I can do is obsess about Wimbledon. Oh dear, I hope you don’t all wash away.

      1. If that happens it could be worse than last year, and that was bad enough. At least a couple of the Wimbledon courts have roofs now!

  22. I’d be less than honest if I said I didn’t find this a bit of a war of attrition. In truth I only got it finished with a lot of help from Scchua (for which thanks) but more than made it enjoyable to do (if that makes sense). Plus a large does of “perservation” of course. My frustration was exacerbated by the 1.5* rating… I simply wouldn’t have got this done without help.

    No criticism of Jay’s puzzles, but I do seem to struggle with them more than I should. They’re well crafted and some of the word play is probably better (IMHO) than any other compiler here, but sometimes I just can’t see my way in. Frustration creeps in and my attention span shortens… perhaps I need to pace myself more and allow more time for these.

    As ever, thanks to Jay and Scchua

  23. It is odd about the Wednesday back page cryptic. I have sailed through the Toughie but this is proving a hard nut to crack. I am just not on the same wavelength. It seems to happen most Wednesdays. I suggest that anyone who has struggled with this has a go at the Toughie. They might be pleasantly surprised.

    1. It’s strange how we are all different. I can normally complete a Jay Puzzle ok, but I always struggle with Toughies, today’s Osmosis too.

  24. There is an amusing short film on crosswords on the gruaniad web site on crosswords. (hope I’m not sin-binned)

  25. A fine Jay puzzle – enough there to plug through steadily without rushing the answers in and time to smell the flowers too. Thanks to he, Scchua and Halle Berry in Swordfish.

  26. As a novice, I appreciate the (much-needed) help and the clues, but I have to say I found the nudes gratuitous and alienating, and I was glad to see in the comments that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. And no, occasionally throwing in some male torsos to even things up doesn’t change the overall context of a culture where women’s bodies are objectified everywhere, all the time. Even in blogs about crosswords, apparently.

    But I do appreciate the clues and the answers, so thank you for those. *tips hat*

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