DT 27206 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27206

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27206

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Libellule is tied up this morning (not in a 14a, I hope) so he and I doing a swap this week. I thought that this was a pleasant exercise from Rufus, but my anagram counter reached eleven and I reckon that’s enough for two puzzles, not just one. Do let us know what you thought.

As always the answers are cunningly concealed between the brackets under the clues; you need to highlight the gaps to reveal them.

Across Clues

1a  Loses wicket but doesn’t declare (5,2)
{PLAYS ON} – double definition, both cricket-related. One of the ways of losing your wicket is to hit the ball on to your stumps, and a side which doesn’t declare its innings closed continues batting.

5a  Whig can get involved in informal chat (7)
{CHINWAG} – an anagram (get involved) of WHIG CAN.

9a  Deck or dock (5)
{ORLOP} – OR (from the clue) followed by a verb to dock or crop. The answer is the lowest deck on a wooden sailing ship.

10a  Observer  Magazine (9)
{SPECTATOR} – double definition, the second a weekly political magazine.

11a  They hold the news cuttings together? (5,5)
{PAPER CLIPS} – gentle cryptic definition of what may be used to keep all your press cuttings from getting dispersed.

12a  Religious instruction’s wearing to a small group (4)
{TRIO} – the abbreviation for religious instruction is contained inside (wearing) TO.

14a  A case for arms limitation? (12)
{STRAITJACKET} – cryptic definition of a restrictive garment.

18a  Stewed pears now sold in ounces (4,8)
{SNOW LEOPARDS} – if you’ve never come across these feline ounces then you must be fairly new to cryptic crosswords. They are an anagram (stewed) of PEARS NOW SOLD.

21a  Yes! About to grab parking spot (4)
{ESPY} – an anagram (about) of YES contains (to grab) P(arking).

22a  The arms of formidable females (6-4)
{BATTLE-AXES} – double definition, the first being old hand weapons especially associated with the Vikings.

25a  Skinny artist who has designs on his clients (9)
{TATTOOIST} – cryptic definition. Skinny is describing what he works on rather than his physical appearance.

26a  Think of love and languish (5)
{OPINE} – the letter that looks like zero (love, in tennis scoring) followed by a verb to languish or yearn.

27a  Swell acting one’s seen in the theatre (7)
{SURGEON} – a swell or increase in the size of waves is followed by an adverb meaning acting or performing.

28a  Military  dance (7)
{LANCERS} – old cavalry soldiers or a dance for eight or sixteen couples.

Down Clues

1d  It helps an actor to have fun in small part (6)
{PROMPT} – a verb meaning to have fun or frolic goes inside the abbreviation for part.

2d  A Pole’s strangely showing a certain inclination (6)
{ASLOPE} – an archaic adverb meaning on an inclination or gradient comes from an anagram (strangely) of A POLE’S.

3d  Please try a new version, one at a time (10)
{SEPARATELY} – an anagram (new version) of PLEASE TRY A.

4d  Alan’s wrong to be nosy (5)
{NASAL} – nosy here means related to the nose rather than inquisitive. It’s an anagram (wrong) of ALAN’S.

5d  Shakespearean role may make actor leap about (9)
{CLEOPATRA} – for our fourth anagram in a row we have to play about with ACTOR LEAP.

6d  This nation’s rise and fall, in speech (4)
{INTO} – this (i.e. the answer) has to be followed by NATION to get the definition.

7d  Risk a wet capsizing to do sport (5-3)
{WATER-SKI} – after a brief diversion we’re back to the anagrams. This time we need to capsize RISK A WET.

8d  Assassinate or target revolutionary (8)
{GARROTTE} – … and this one’s a revolutionary version of OR TARGET.

13d  A family habit? (4-2-4)
{HAND-ME-DOWN} – cryptic definition of something passed from one child to the next (tough luck if you’re a boy and all your older siblings are girls).

15d  Love a girl, sadly not one to be embraced (9)
{ADORATION} – string together A (from the clue), a girl’s name and an anagram (sadly) of NOT embracing I (one in Roman numerals).

16d  Material not to be made light of? (8)
{ASBESTOS} – cryptic definition of material which is fire-resistant (i.e. you can’t set light to it) but which also has to be taken very seriously because of its dangers.

17d  Company lacking any true organising may benefit from one (8)
{COMPUTER} – a semi-all-in-one. Start with COMP(any) without the ‘any’ then add an anagram (organising) of TRUE.

19d  Remove from duty (6)
{EXCISE} – double definition, the duty being what’s imposed on alcohol and tobacco for example.

20d  Capital for a ship holding company (6)
{ASSETS} – A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for steamship contain (holding) a company or faction.

23d  Unqualified  to sum up (5)
{TOTAL} – double definition, the first an adjective meaning complete or without reservation.

24d  Roof party — I object below (4)
{DOME} – a festive party is followed (below, in a down clue) by the objective form of the pronoun I.

The clues which hit the spot for me were 6d, 13d and 16d. Which ones appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BUY} + {AWL} + {MEANS} = {BY ALL MEANS}

67 comments on “DT 27206

  1. */** for a gentle but pleasant start to the week, for which thanks to the setter. I would have rated this *** for enjoyment but having a third of the clues as anagrams/part anagrams was too many for my taste. I agree with you Gazza.

    9a had me reaching for the BRB to confirm that my answer was a real word. Although I came up with the explanation for the wordplay for 6d, I felt it was a bit unsatisfying as the answer is not directly clued. The answer for 16d was obvious, but I didn’t understand at all the wordplay for “not to be made light of?” Many thanks to Gazza for the enlightenment.

  2. Lots of old favourites in this puzzle. Nice to meet our old friend in 18a again, but the best for us was 9a. Remember many, many years ago being totally stumped by it in a cryptic. From this experience, somehow the word got so lodged in my mind, that when we were building an addition to our deck along the front of our house, at a lower level than the existing one, it was immediately called the 9a. Hence it is a word in regular use with us. One clue held us up longer than the whole rest of the puzzle and that was 6d. Have no idea why when we look at it now. Good fun puzzle, apart from the anagram count.
    Thanks Rufus and Gazza.

  3. Aaaagh! I made a basic error in assuming 1a was ‘Stays in’, once I realised my mistake it all fell into place.

    A very enjoyable puzzle with loads of anagrams.

  4. God morning Dave and thanks for the hints, I really needed a few of them to complete this, particularly in the bottom half, also although I put ‘into’ at 6d. there was no way I could see how until I read your explaination and even then I had to read it at least three times!!! I’m not sure about 25a, does ‘skinny’ mean relating to the skin? My two favourite clues today were 7a and 17d, at least a three star for me verging on four!

  5. I am too much of a fan of Rufus to dream of criticizing him, but after a few minutes I began to long for a clue that wasn’t an anagram. 6d stumped me ! And I never heard of 9a. There were many fabulous clues, hard to pick a favourite, but perhaps 22a, which I have no doubt is how I am referred to in some circles.
    Gazza ! 14a ! Your taste in blondes and your train of thought !Other than that, thanks to you and to Rufus.

    1. I also am a huge Rufus fan Una (I might have mentioned that once or twice) and I love the anagrams

      1. I look forward to Monday’s crossword because I know it’s going to be a Rufus. If a crossword had no anagrams I would probably find it very difficult to get “in”.What I adore about Rufus are his clever and amusing cryptic clues and double definitions such as 10a,11a,14a,22a. I think they are called charades- 17d and 26a were very neat.

  6. A mixed bag for me today; some i liked, some i didn’t. I’m sure opinion will be divided on 6d – not my favourite clue.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Gazza.

  7. This was a bit more than 2* difficulty for me as I got completely stuck on my last few answers, as usual on Mondays. I agree with the 3* for enjoyment.
    There were certainly quite a few anagrams but I like them, particularly when I get the right letters to make the anagram from ie NOT 15d which held me up for a while.
    1 across and 1d were my last two and I admitted defeat with 6d.
    8d had to be right but I was doubtful about the ‘assassinate’ bit – thought it meant bumping someone off but not necessarily a well known person.
    I don’t think that we’ve had 18a for a very long time.
    I liked 9 and 14a and 7, 13 and 24d. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Rufus and gazza.
    Grey and damp but quite warm and, best of all, the wind has stopped battering everything.

  8. Fine until i reached the SE corner where i really struggled,particularly with 13d-oh and 6d, so a ***/*** for me. Favouritres 18a and 22a.Thanks Gazza for the explanation to 16d,should have twigged,nice to see Miss O’ Brian again in the 15d pic-looks like it was taken from ‘A Taste Of Honey’ with Rita Tushingham-i could be wrong!

  9. This must have been quite a gentle puzzle today as we managed to do most of it without help. Having so many anagrams does make it a little easier, & once I understood 6 down by looking at the hints, I thought it was lovely. I wouldn’t have got it without the hint though, so thank you hinter & also setter of course. Another beautiful day in Northumberland, but it’s home tomorrow.

  10. Enjoyed this one. Top half went in quickly even after initial error at 1a, but lower half took much longer. 6d seemed obvious from first and third letters but the explanation had to come from the hint. Thanks to all concerned.

  11. Real Curates Egg for me, top half no problem, bottom half challenged me a little more.
    Quite an anagram fest today.
    Nice to see that cat used the other way round for a change.
    Best clue for me def 22a, the setter must have met my Ex!
    Thx to all.
    PS why the italics for 10a, is this a convention I am not aware of?

    1. What italics? If there any in 10a in the paper they have been lost by the time the puzzle got to the on-line site.

      1. In 10a in the paper, both words are in italics (if I was as clever as Kath, I would have put that word in italics too)

  12. When typing something with the name of a publication in it, or a book title or similar, it is common practice to use italics.

  13. Nothing to spoil my holiday with this crossword so I will leave it to the rain and the chilliness. Come on sunshine It is June you know.

  14. Knowingly almost nothing about cricket I thought I’d been very clever to think of ‘stays on’ for 1a, so no wonder I couldn’t get 1d either – d’oh! And I haven’t grasped why assassinate would describe garrotte in 8d, so would be grateful for anyone’s help with that, as I thought assassinate was more to do with specifically political murders whereas any victim could be garrotted – or am I raving (again)? Many thanks to the setter as well as to Gazza without whose help I would have been stuck on the last few to go in.

      1. Thank you Gazza for clarifying that. I’d made the mistake of looking up assassinate in my Oxford dictionary first, which defined it as a political act. So after following through your helpful link I then built up my strength to getting my BRB off its shelf – and now Bob is my uncle, so to speak. Those Thuggees sound quite something. I’m currently reading “Zero Degrees of Empathy – a new theory of human cruelty”… Heavy going but fascinating, & I reckon they would probably have fitted into the Type P category!! Thanks again.

        1. The word assassin comes to us from Arabic. Hashashin (takers of hashish) was the name given (by its enemies) to an Ismaili sect of Islam which lived in the mountains of what is now northern Iran in the 12th and 13th centuries. Its leader was said to have drugged his followers and trained them to carry out killings of his religious enemies, with the promise that any who were themselves killed in this holy pursuit would go straight to heaven.

          1. Blimey! Is this all stuff that you just somehow know or did you read up on it? As I know I’ve said many times before it’s amazing what you learn here! :smile:

            1. I studied Middle East history and the history of Islam as part of my degree course many moons ago. A lot of it I’ve forgotten but my history professor’s PhD thesis was on The Assassins so I remember that bit.

          2. Hi Gazza, funnily enough I learnt this from a Louis L’Amour book called the Walking Drum. Amazing where you can pick up little bits of information.

  15. Way too many anagrams which rather spoiled the puzzle for me, my thanks anyway to Rufus and to Gazza for the splendid review.

    1. I was just thinking the other day that this is the only blog I visit regularly that is quite balanced in terms of male/female.

      1. Yes more so than it used to be but I wouldn’t call us all quite balanced! (speaking personally of course) :-D

        1. As long as you really are only speaking for yourself (just having another little practice!)
          How’s your weather today?

          1. Not great but no wind or rain and a bit warmer it actually seems a bit brighter at the moment too

      2. But how do you know? I find it really difficult to tell who is which from the names, apart from the obvious ones. Several times I’ve assumed that someone is a he or a she only to be proved wrong much later.

  16. What about ‘skinny’ in 25a gazza, I can’t find it with any kind of meaning as ‘to do with the skin’ ?

    1. The first meaning in the BRB is ‘of or like skin’. It is a bit cryptic and perhaps the clue could have done with a question mark.

  17. Excellent start to the week. Anagrams bring them on, I love them. Got hung up on the bottom left corner and needed Gazzas’ prompts for which thanks. Tried to put a GH in the middle of 14a until I checked how it should be spelt. Thought 10a might be suplement until it realized the name of the magazine in question and the spelling was wrong too.

  18. The usual gentle start to the week from Rufus.

    Faves : 14a, 18a, 22a, 25a, 27a, 6d, 13d, 16d & 24d.

    Corn on the cob for lunch then fish tonight for dinner.

    The window-cleaner has been doing the windows with the long-pole water brush from ground level – it usually rains after his visit. He never does the opening windows that have external bars across the lower part to prevent children from falling out. I put high-level chain-locks on all my opening windows to prevent kids from fully opening them.

    1. Your meals always sound delicious Derek, I will be eating most unhealthily tonight, chicken and mushroom slices in pastry with charlotte potatos and peas and a big blob of butter on the peas and potatos!

      1. Thank you Mary!
        As i suffer from AF (atrial fibrillation), I have to be careful with my meals and vary them regularly. I have been on anticoagulants for years!

        1. I also have AF Derek but came off the warfarin as it didn’t agree with me I take asprin now, I suppose I should be more careful with my diet too!!!

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Gazza for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength at all. Needed 7 hints to finish. 9a was a new word for me. Didn’t know 28a was a dance. Didn’t like 6d. Quite enjoyed the struggle though. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/3* for me. Cloudy but warmer in Central London.

  20. I usually find Monday quite easy, and the top half was true to form, but I gave up today when I was firmly into **** time.

    I had about 10 missing in the bottom half, and couldn’t make progress without some more check letters to get into it.

    1. I was one of those “top half * bottom half ***” people today.
      I’d never come across ounces for cats, and am convinced 22a should be one word, not two.
      Never heard of 9a.
      Liked14a and 5a.

      1. Chambers, which is supposed to be the authority for Telegraph puzzles, has 22a hyphenated.
        Remember 9a because it will come up again.

  21. Top half a 1* except for that pesky 6d. Bottom half a lot more troublesome, but all in all a very pleasant start to the week. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza

  22. Mm, 6d – had to read the hints several times before the penny dropped. Now I think it was quite clever! Lots of anagrams and I tried to make an extra one of “love a girl” in 15d! Otherwise, a satisfying solve.

    1. Yes – so did I with 15d – that one took me ages to sort out. Please excuse my excuse for practicing, yet again, my new found ability at being able to do bold and italics! Hours of harmless fun! :smile:

  23. Good puzzle Rufus. Well done, up to your usual standard. Thanks for the hints Gazza, I needed a few

  24. I was so sure that 13d was “coat of arms” that I erased all the answers I had already put in that didn’t fit in with that. When I decided that 14a simply had to be what it was, I had to erase 13d and I never did get it and needed the hints. I also needed the hint for 6d. I wince every time I see a cricket clue but, thanks to anagrams, got the checking letters. Good puzzle, thanks to all

    1. Don’t you just hate it when you’re really sure of something and then something else comes along and makes you doubt it so you rub everything else out and then it all goes really wrong and you wish you’d stuck with all the original answers because they were right!! It happens to me all the time. Oh dear!! :smile:

  25. Top half OK but bottom half, apart from couple of clues, another story. Most anagrams don’t really fit my definition of cryptic. Nevertheless enjoyed some of today’s exercise. I haven’t come across 18a before and not sure about 27a so penny didn’t drop on 16d. Certainly would not have finished without Gazza hints today – thanks.

  26. Still can’t get 6down inspite of the help above – very frustrating when the only one you can’t get has 4 letters, two of which you have !! Somebody put me out of my misery please !!

  27. molto ta, Gazza – but I’m still confused (dot com!) – I understand intonation , as in speech, but does that really mean rise and fall ?

  28. thanks, Gazza, I have increased my knowledge of the language today – sorry to be so thick !

Comments are closed.