DT 27203 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27203

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27203

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *****

One of Ray T’s best puzzles – and it’s easy to get into if you look carefully for entry points like the hidden words and anagrams. The clue which took me the longest to explain, and my favourite, is 15 across.

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    ‘Indiscretion‘, a nude’s memoir possibly (12)
{MISDEMEANOUR} – an anagram (possibly) of A NUDE’S MEMOIR

9a    Girl’s about to join twosome for shabbiness (9)
{DISREPAIR} – a charade of a two-letter girl’s name, the S from ‘S, a two-letter word meaning about and a twosome

10a    Armada from France shelter before start of Trafalgar (5)
{FLEET} – the IVR code for France followed by the sheltered side and the initial letter (start) of Trafalgar

11a    Moaning, losing head, is sickening (6)
{AILING} – drop the initial W (losing head) from a word meaning moaning

12a    Sorry criminal act receiving time (8)
{CONTRITE} – a three-letter criminal and an act or ceremony around (receiving) T(ime)

13a    Celebrates former wife before scheduled time to return (6)
{EXTOLS} – a former wife followed by the reversal (to return) of period of time available in a schedule

15a    Trouble-free in the East End? (8)
{WIFELESS} – trouble-free is how an East Ender might describe being without his trouble and strife, the rest of us would use the answer

18a    Leash may hurt little dog (8)
{SEALYHAM} – an anagram (hurt) of LEASH MAY

19a    ‘Duck Soup’, comedy often tickling everyone’s ribs initially (6)
{SCOTER} – this type of duck, a frequent visitor to Crosswordland, comes from the initial letters of six words in the clue

21a    Blabs in theatre consuming drink (8)
{ABSINTHE} – hidden (consuming) inside the clue

23a    Hothead‘s plan to take daughter roughly (6)
{MADCAP} – a plan or chart around D(aughter) and the two-letter Latin abbreviation for roughly or about

26a    Dad overturned china, creating outrage (5)
{APPAL} – a two-letter word for dad is reversed (overturned) followed by a china (china plate / mate)

27a    Names provided in taxonomic group (9)
{SPECIFIES} – a two-letter conjunction meaning provided inside the taxonomic group whose members can interbreed

28a    Antagonistic mongrel bit policeman (12)
{INCOMPATIBLE} – an anagram (mongrel) of BIT POLICEMAN


1d    Consider dropping team leader for referee (7)
{MEDIATE} – start with a verb meaning to consider or think about and drop the initial letter (leader) of Team

2d    Cowboy’s is a lariat containing rope fibre (5)
{SISAL} – hidden (containing) inside the clue

3d    English bird supported by partner for ever (9)
{ETERNALLY} – E(nglish) followed by a long-winged aquatic bird and a partner or friend

4d    First of ewes, female animal, producing cheese (4)
{EDAM} – the initial letter (first) of Ewes followed by a female animal

5d    Nitrogen and oxygen in frozen drug (8)
{NARCOTIC} – the chemical symbol for Nitrogen followed by the chemical symbol for Oxygen inside an adjective meaning frozen or extremely cold

6d    Out of shape Hollande’s a seizure (5)
{UNFIT} – the indefinite article, as spoken by French President Francois Hollande, followed by a seizure

7d    Compiler’s consumed by Queen, perhaps band (8)
{REGIMENT} – the abbreviated form of the compiler is, in the first person, inside a ruler, usually one invested with interim authority on behalf of another (Queen, perhaps)

8d    Controls  cattle (6)
{STEERS} – two definitions

14d    Flickering patterns seen in part of church (8)
{TRANSEPT} – an anagram (flickering) of PATTERNS

16d    Holy Communion from curate with his constituents (9)
{EUCHARIST} – an anagram (constituents) of CURATE with HIS

17d    Under raincoat the man’s flash shows virility (8)
{MACHISMO} – a three-letter word for a raincoat followed by the third person masculine possessive pronoun (the man’s) and a flash or brief period of time

18d    Good man with a lass, turning camp (6)
{STALAG} – the usual two-letter abbreviation for a good man followed by the A from the clue and the reversal (turning) of a lass

20d    Ready to accept old Stone’s comeback (7)
{RIPOSTE} – an adjective meaning ready around O(ld) and ST(one)

22d    Satiny, long revealing stocking (5)
{NYLON} – hidden (revealing) inside the clue

24d    Mount caught leg (5)
{CLIMB} – C(aught) followed by an arm

25d    Castle  guard (4)
{KEEP} – this double definition is a bit of an old chestnut

I’m slipping into my costume as Antony and will be back later with Cleo to review the Toughie by Ray T’s alter ego, Beam.

The Quick crossword pun: (yearn} + {gut} + {art} = {young at heart}

66 comments on “DT 27203

  1. Enjoyable fare today, one of Ray T’s easier puzzles (IMHO). 15A took a bit of thinking about despite having lived in the East End for a year or so. I thought 27A and 7D particularly clever clues. I now a few people have problems getting on Ray’s wavelength, hopefully this puzzle will suit even them.

  2. First rate! ***/**** rating from me.

    I wanted to put nicotine for 5d but held off for long enough to get some checking letters which showed me it was wrong.

    Many thanks to Ray T for an excellent puzzle and to BD for the hints, which I only needed to solve my last one in – which inevitably was 15a. And, having solved it with BD’s help, it is my favourite too.

    My only (very minor) quibble relates to 20d. Is it normal to use “stone” for ST?

    Off to the Oval now to watch England play Sri Lanka in the gathering gloom, hoping the rain will hold off.

    1. 20D – I puzzled over the ‘st’ as well, until I remembered the abbreviation for for a stone in weight.

      1. Shillings isn’t weight – it is money in the days when money was ‘proper’!!

        1. “Whatever his weight in pounds, shillings and ounces,
          He always seems bigger because of his bounces”
          Pooh talking about Tigger!

          I had an ancient great aunt in Australia and when they went over to decimal currency (whenever that was) she said that she wasn’t going shopping until the whole thing had blown over!

  3. I agree with skempie; definitely one of Ray T’s easier ones. No problem with 15a, my first thought was ‘divorced’, but I waited for the checking letters. Last one in was 17d, I wanted to fit HES, not HIS.
    No complaints from me, although not sure about the anagram indicator at 18a.
    2*/4* for me. Thanks to RayT, and to Big Dave.

  4. Good morning Dave, I thought this a rather easier one from RayT today and 15a was my last clue in, although still not a convert I really enjoyed this one, stupidly, in fact very stupidly putting ‘horse’ in at first for 2d!! I know, don’t ask!
    A few favourite clues too :-), nice to have a slightly different usage for ‘queen’ in 7d, though it did take me a while to see,
    apologies to Kath and Sue for taking too many days off, seems that when the weather’s not nice I have to catch up on everything I didn’t do and places I didn’t go when it was! Must prioritise
    Thanks for blog and hints Dave

  5. **/**** for me – the usual high quality from RayT. Thanks to him and to BD – 15a was my last in and favourite as well!

  6. Oh dear!
    I thought Thursday’s would be a ..er..er…um…Thursday puzzle.
    But, nevertheless, thoroughly enjoyed this, would, perhaps, take issue with 28a.
    Many thanks to RayT and to BD for the review.

  7. I am surprised to find this is a Ray T as I could both do it ( mostly) and enjoyed it. I needed hints for 15a, 7d, and 20d. Favourite 8d ! Thanks to both Ray T and Big Dave.

  8. I smiled my way through this. Lovely stuff. 15A was the last one in, and my runaway favorite. Many thanks to Ray T for such fun and to BD for the review. Dare I even look at the Toughie?

    1. Yes, do, its very entertaining and not the most difficult (although it does have a couple of ‘moments’)

      1. I’m finding the toughie, just that. Will have to persevate. Who is the setter today?

  9. All seems to hinge around 15a,wanted to put viceless but eventually the penny dropped, overall ** and **** as it was entertaining,been a good week so far, maybe not for Stuart Pierce and his clueless side! Liked 20d,thought for a while that it had something to do with the aging rockers.

  10. What’s happening? No RayT for a fortnight then 2 in a day! This was very entertaining as usual but I thought the hidden words were a bit easier than normal. Favourites were 5 15 and 28 but enjoyed the whole thing really. Now on to the Beamer.

  11. Completed this after the toughie so I suppose already on the wavelength .but what fun
    My favourite was 18d.
    Thanks to Ray T and BD .

  12. What a relief! Actually managed to get through most of this without the hints, apart from 7d 15a and 20d. So thank you BD (now dressed as Richard Burton, but without the need to buy loads of jewels??) and to Ray T for superb clues.

  13. Like many others I enjoyed this lovely RT offering today, 15A went in quickly but I struggled with 27A 20D was the last in, my favourite clue was 19A. Many thanks to both the setter and BD for the review, time to put the goggle box on & watch the cricket.

  14. A horrible grey, drizzly, windy morning so very grumpy to begin with. :sad: Then remembered it would probably be a Ray T day so cheered up! :smile:
    Much as I always enjoy his crosswords this was at least a 3* difficulty for me and 5* enjoyment.
    I did really badly on first read through of the across clues and only managed a couple of answers but then did much better with the downs and things began to improve – until I got to 15a and 8 and 18d which took me for ever – oh, and needless to say, completely missed the hidden 21a for far too long.
    I was slow to do the 28a anagram – I had alternate letters in and suddenly saw ‘inhospitable’ so decided it might not be an anagram after all and fiddled about trying to justify a wrong answer – got there in the end though.
    I liked 1, 15 (eventually) and 18a and 6, 14 and 22d. My favourite was 17d which made my day! :smile:
    With thanks to Ray T and BD – might have a go at the Toughie later on.

    1. I bring exciting news – we have had a whole two hours twenty mnutes of summer – I even took my jumper off.

      1. Is the nice weather making you feel (quickie pun) then?

        I’ve just realised that the quickie pun can be read two ways, and that I’d better say that I mean BD’s interpretation :-)

      2. Grump, grump, grump! All I can say is lucky old you – not that I begrudge anyone else any decent weather or anything like that.
        We have had grey skies with an occasional two seconds of sun, bits of drizzle and STILL a really strong wind. All the tall stuff in the garden is getting flattened. . . might cry soon. :sad:

  15. Absolute enjoyment. Like everyone else it seems, 15a was our last in as we were looking for a word from which we could drop an H at the beginning. The rest all flowed in very smoothly with lots of chuckles along the way. A great pipe-opener for the toughie.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  16. Superb crossword from a superb compiler and an excellent review from our leader ( it is hard however to get the thought of him in tights, as Antony, out of my mind) Many thanks to RayT and to BD.

    1. I don’t know how he got in there in the first place.. your mind, that is.. not the tights…. :)

  17. First rate puzzle today, really enjoyed it.
    He must have been feeling kind when he wrote this one. :-)
    Best clue for me was 6d, very clever.
    Thx to all.

      1. Language, TImothy! Surely what you mean is, why don’t you be a brave Brian and have a peep at the Toughie while you are on a Ray T roll? :)

        1. Ok had a go but couldn’t manage a single answer. All far too well hidden for me. But you never know until you try.

    1. Sorry meant to ask, I’m probably being thick here but what has 15a to do with East End?

      1. Trouble (and strife) is the Cockney / East End rhyming slang for wife.

        The proper way to using rhyming slang is to drop the rhyming word – apples for stairs, boat for face etc.

        1. Thx, sort of makes sense but certainly a very clever clue.
          It was the only one i needed the hint for so a good day for me.

  18. Excellent crossword. Filled the West half in easily with the exception of 18d and struggled a bit with the East half probably because I put divorced in for 15a! Also could not get 20d with out help. Favourite clue was 17d . Thanks as ever to setter and BD

  19. Agree with ratings. Favourite clue 16d. It never ceases to amaze me how anagrams can so often be made from related words. Needs a clever setter to put it together though. Thanks to all.

  20. Enjoyed this one and almost completed it without hints but ran out of time!
    I like his sense of humour – 17d, 18d, 1a on the slightly risqué side and 28a surface image of mongrel chomping at Dixons leg, a gem.
    Thanks to RayT and BD for the final hints.

  21. I rumbled 15a without difficulty but had to wrestle with one or two others. ***/**** for me. Bopara is smashing some boundaries at the end of the England innings.

  22. An excellent crossword, but I’m putting it in four-star-hard territory!

    My last one in as 15A (as it was for so many), because I did understand it had to do with Cockney use of language, but spent a very long time looking for a word with an inital aspirate that I could drop. Only very, very slowly did rhyming come to mind…

    So, kudos to RayT and thanks to BD.

  23. Blimey, a Thursday crossword that was fun. Nearly finished it, but was defeated by 15 and 20, and assumed 23 to be madcap but couldn’t see why.

    1. I am getting really worried now – two and three quarter hours of summer (its gone again now :( ) and you and Brian both enjoying a Ray T crossword. What is going on? :)

  24. Setter here…

    Many thanks to BD for the review, and to all who left a comment. It looks like I managed to please almost everybody today!


  25. I made a total pig’s ear of this. Galloped through the left-hand side like a horse with the bit between its teeth, then came to a screeching halt on the right. I eventually had to look at the answers for three and only got 15a with the hint. Wifeless?? Never, ever heard that expression before. There was no excuse for not getting 12a, 5d and 7d, good, very straightforward clues. Favourite: without a doubt 17d. Thanks to everyone.

  26. Lots of thunder and lightning already. Hail, winds, heavy rain predicted. Tornado warnings. Funnels sighted 20 miles further south. Time to batten down the hatches…

    1. I have been wondering about you since I saw the weather report this morning. The weather has gone mad. I also feel sorry for those poor people in Colorado. Keep safe and let us know tomorrow how you fared.

      1. Well, all we got was the thunder and lightning. Very large hail (golf ball size) a few miles south and some power lines down. But we escaped, thank goodness. Appreciate the good thoughts.

  27. 28a made me lol as did 17d. Thank you RayT for some brilliant IMHO surfaces today, and BD for review.

  28. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very good puzzle. Was beaten by 18a, new it was an anagram but had never heard of it. Needed 5 hints to finish. Was 3*/4* for me. Favourites were 21a and 17d the latter made me laugh out loud. Fed up with the weather in Central London.

  29. I liked this one, and I don’t usually gel with RayT at all, so that was an unexpected bonus for Thursday.

  30. For me definitely more entertaining than Wednesday’s offering although I did need you BD for 15a, 19a, 23a and 20d.

  31. I really enjoyed this & completed todays & yesterday while on a flight to the united states and was very pleased with myself as I had neither dictionary nor hints. Thanks to setters & hinters. I think it’s about 3am your time just now.

  32. After a dull day of meetings this was a welcome entertaining relief. So a belated thanks to Ray

  33. everyone seems happy with15a, but what does “wifeless” mean ? Or have I missed the point ? Needless to say, it was the only one I didn’t get.
    How does one find out who the setters are ? A lot of your respondents seem to know this Ray T. I always understood that each day of the week had a different setter, but the only one I ever heard mentioned by name was Roger Squires ( I think) from Ironbridge in my home county, who did (does?) Mondays..

    1. Welcome to the blog almo

      Wifeless simply means without a wife – cryptically trouble-free!

      There is some guidance on the setters in the FAQ

      The Quick crossword is always set by the same setter as the back-page puzzle. Have a look at the Quick crossword and you will see that all of the clues and the answers are single words – which almost invariable points to Ray T.

      1. Thank you, Big Dave. Yes, I am new to your splendid site. Could I make a little suggestion ? When you show an illustration of the answer and you hover over it , it shows the answer in words, which makes it too easy A good example is in yesterday’s DT 27204 (8a), a shows a picture of an Italian town(anon) but hovering shows it as Verona, yet the next clue (10a) still needs some work after you have told us another cryptic clue for it (broken into pieces) – I think you mean the answer to be “Housetop”, but is this really a legitimate word ??

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