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DT 27214

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27214

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable solve from Jay.  Some long answers to either get you going or slow down your progress.  The SE corner was the last one in for me, because of which, I rate this a close-to-2* for difficulty, and 3* for enjoyment.  Thanks 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    Actor, do this and you’ll fail the audition? (10)

{UNDERSTUDY} : Cryptic defn: Whimsically, if you do [not enough] [to learn, say, your lines], you might fail your audition, especially if you’re an actor.

Answer: A sub player in the theatre.

6a    Tucked up with a graduate teacher (4)

{ABED} : A + [a degree possessed by a qualified teacher].

9a    Rat attached to end of cat’s foot (7)

{TROTTER} : [a rat, figuratively;a scoundrel] placed after(attached to) last letter of(end of …’s) “cat”.

And here’s a pictorial hint.

10a    Tramp proclaimed ill-defined harangue (7)

{VAGRANT} : Homophone of(proclaimed) [ill-defined;unclear] + [a loud, forceful, or angry speech;a harangue].

12a    Popular farmhouse on film becomes target area (8,5)

{SHOOTING RANGE} : [popular;in fashion] + [a farmhouse, derived from Latin for “grain”] placed after(on, in an across clue) [to film, say, a movie, or, well, a film].

Defn: Not where you target for, but where targets are to be found.

14a    Draw on evidence of engagement as opener (4,4)

{RING PULL} : [to draw;to attract] placed after(on, in an across clue) [evidence of an engagement].

Would you wear a blouse made of them?


15a    Device for lifting a large beast (6)

{JACKAL} : [a device for lifting, say, your car] + A + [abbrev. for “large”].

17a    Nick a car and set off (6)

{ARREST} : A + [abbrev. for a luxury car] plus(and) anagram of(off) SET.

19a    Person responsible for issue of paper? (8)

{GUARDIAN} : Double defn: 1st: Someone to be responsible for the welfare, etc. of children;issue; and 2nd: A daily newspaper.

21a    Want one state to adopt a platform, being ineffectual (13)

{LACKADAISICAL} : { [to want;to be in need of] + [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for a western American state] } containing(to adopt) { A + [a raised platform, eg. for speakers] }

24a    Tom might have  one for the road! (4-3)

{CAT’S-EYE} : Double defn: 1st: A non-human Tom will normally have a pair of these; and 2nd: One affixed to a road surface.

Answer:  Also these appropriately named gems.

25a    A meal out with daughter, and a walk through the trees (7)

{ALAMEDA} : A + anagram of(out) MEAL plus(with) [abbrev. for “daughter”] plus(and) A.

Answer: A path;a walk;a promenade lined with trees.

26a    Deposit one left in road (4)

{SILT} : { [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for “left”] } contained in(in) abbrev. for [a road, usually lined with buildings].

27a    Imagined volunteers changing sides, following supporter (10)

{FANTASISED} : { [abbrev. for the unit of volunteers in the British Army] + anagram of(changing) SIDES } placed after(following) [a supporter;a devotee, say, of a sport].


1d    Capable of leading the Open – initially! (2,2)

{UP TO} : [leading;ahead in score relative to the other side/competitors] + the first letters, respectively, of(initially) “the Open”.

2d    Calls for reform of prison after start of debate (5,2)

{DROPS IN} : Anagram of(reform) PRISON placed below(after, in a down clue) first letter of(start of) “debate”.

Defn: Calls on;visits.

3d    Foie gras paste is served in process of initiation (4,2,7)

{RITE OF PASSAGE} : Anagram of(is served) FOIE GRAS PASTE.


4d    Choke or accelerator (8)

{THROTTLE} : Double defn: 1st: To choke someone by the neck; and 2nd: Another name for your car accelerator.

5d    Name given to opera singer’s place of rest (5)

{DIVAN} : [abbrev. for name] placed below(given to, in a down clue) [a common noun for a distinguished female opera singer].

Defn: No, not a place of permanent rest.


7d    A non-conformist, Clegg is rumoured to support defeat (7)

{BEATNIK} : Homophone of(is rumoured) [shortened name for Clegg, the British DPM] placed below(to support, in a down clue) [to defeat].


8d    Party entitled to change sign here (6,4)

{DOTTED LINE} : [a party;a function] + anagram of(to change) “entitled”.

Defn: The “here” where you usually put your signature.

11d    Sit in carriage, being moved to see doctors (13)

{GERIATRICIANS} : Anagram of(being moved ) SIT IN CARRIAGE.

Answer: Specialist doctors for a segment of the population.

If not already, he’ll need one of them (answer to 11down) long before she does
…and he too

13d    Outside study, student ties up long hair (10)

{DREADLOCKS} : { [to study, especially a course at university] + abbrev. for [a student;a beginner] } contained in(Outside …) [ties up to a mooring, say, marine or spacecraft].

16d    Exposed well-dressed fool (8)

{OUTSMART} : [exposed;in the open air] + [well-dressed;dapper].

Defn: To fool.

18d    Engineers cutting short visit about IT performance (7)

{RECITAL} : [abbrev. for the Engineering unit in the British Army] + [a short visit] minus
its last letter(cutting short) containing(about) IT.

20d    Disease requiring peace and quiet? No way (7)

{ILLNESS} : [peace and quiet;calmness] minus(No) abbrev. for [a minor road;a way].

22d    Sloane Ranger backing shows venue (5)

{ARENA} : Hidden in(shows) reversal of(backing) “Sloane Ranger”.

23d    Naked and poor – that covers the start of life (4)

{BALD} : [poor;of low quality] containing(that covers) the first letter of(the start of) “life”.


The Quick crossword pun: (moats} + {heart} = {Mozart}

65 comments on “DT 27214

  1. 2*/4* for me. A very nice puzzle, with some lovely cluing and surfaces.
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

  2. A very enjoyable offering from jay with some splendid clues I liked 14A 19A 27A 3D was my favourite today, I agree with the ratings & many thanks to scchua for his excellent review.

  3. Another very enjoyable puzzle today which I completed again without hints. **/***

    My last two in and joint favourites (sorry, Kath) were 16d and 19a. 25a was a new word for me but the answer was obvious from the clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Scchua for his review.

    1. I had a problem with 25a, too, as I could only think of town in California, but I put it in anyway. Lucky it was right.

  4. Having failed to finish on Monday and Tuesday I set at this one determined not to be beaten. I have 23d and 25ac refusing to yield their secrets. Watch this space i will be back. An enjoyable addition to morning tea. Ta to all.

  5. A good fun puzzle to solve. Must mention that one of our team (I won’t admit which one) did want to put in a different word for a deposit for 26a that also started with S and ended with T. Perhaps she was thinking of dogs. Lots of chuckle inducing clues.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  6. After a couple of days of hanging around in garage workshops/post offices/banks/etc it was nice to actually have time to look at the crossword before 9pm!

    Have never heard of 25A but was quite solvable form the clue. It didn’t help that I nearly put Grauniad in for 19A either. Other than that, a quite fun, slightly tang solve. I reckon Jay is probably the only compiler that can get 21A and 12D in the same crossword and intersecting at that.

  7. 3d, 21a, 24a, 26a and11d were write -ins and nearly everything else was really hard work.When I stumbled upon the answer I was astonished . 16d would be a good example of that.Must get my wavelength tuner overhauled.Thanks to Jay for something quite different, for me.Thanks for your assistance, sschua.
    Favourite : 8d. also 25a which was so well clued that I got it without ever having heard of it.

  8. Although I understood the wordplay, I was totally stuck on finding the answer 19A and resorted to the hints, only to discover that I had slightly misspelled 11D! D’oh! Had I not done so, I would have been able to solve it unaided. Very enjoyable, with plenty of ‘likes’, particularly 21A and 13D. 25A was a new word. Many thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  9. Thank you Jay, enjoyable, new word at 25a and thanks to Scchua, needed to look at your hints for 17a and 23d to check my answers.

  10. Very enjoyable. I have Spanish class tonight and was pleased to learn a new word (25a).

  11. Enjoyed today’s crossword mainly using electronic hints where necessary. Not too often I’m glad to say. Had to look up 25 across, as that’s a new word for me. We don’t know any Spanish in our house I’m afraid, but I like languages & enjoy new words.Thank you setter & hinter.

  12. More of a 3* difficulty and 4* enjoyment for me today.
    Definitely a day to apply CS’s rule for Wednesdays and start with the down clues.
    I was slow with the last few – 19a and 16d. Also 25a which I’ve never met before or if I have I’ve forgotten it.
    I spent too long trying to make17a an anagram of ‘car’ and ‘set’ – always forget THAT car. I wanted 10a to begin with ‘im’ because I thought it was something that the tramp was saying about himself.
    Lots of really good clues – 6, 9 (even if it conjures up a nasty picture) and 15a and 1 and 20d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. Be thankful that Scchua did not find a picture to depict the clue for 9a!

      I was very slow too with 19a and 16d.

      1. Wanted to make 19a ‘newsagent’ but it would only fit if I put two letters in one space!
        As for a 9a picture . . . I’m totally irrationally terrified of rats. :sad:

        1. Mrs RD feels the same way about spiders, so I completely understand. I was astonished when we first met to find that a person could be reduced to a quivering wreck by a tiny creature, even one some distance away. Irrational yes, but very real. My role is humane disposal! I think that must be why she married me.

      2. Hi Rabbit Dave, I’ve added a pictorial for 9a, which even Kate wouldn’t mind! And, pigs’ [answer to 9a] are a delicacy (to me anyway), unlike rats – or cats. :-)

        1. Phew! I whizzed back up to the picture and then almost didn’t dare to look so just peeped out of one eye, and even that was half shut, just in case!

    2. I had no problem with ‘that car’ – the garage I was stuck at most of Monday specialises in top end cars and there were 5 if those cars there (along with 2 Jags (not Prescott), a Bentley and an Aston Martin

      1. I take my bike to a BMW bike dealership right next door to a Maclaren dealership (which also does “that car”)… :-)

    3. The trouble is that cars are yet another thing to add to my ever increasing list of ‘Kath can’t do’s’. Oh dear! :sad:

  13. Good puzzle today, though I did have to enlist the help of my gizmo once or twice. Like most of you, I had never heard of 25a before in that sense, and googling was not successful. I put it in anyway which enabled me to say I finished it. Thanks to all and scchua for review.

  14. Hi scchua thanks for the hints I needed them to finish off, as I had the wrong answer for 5d I couldn’t get 1a!
    I found this quite difficult in parts with some of the clues being over complicated but did have 3 favourites 4d, 14a, 24a,
    Completed in two separate sessions one before acupuncture and one after, now for Wimbledon, the sun has come out and it is a nice day :-)

    1. HOW many favourites?! :smile:
      I’d like to watch Wimbledon too but there is so much to do in the garden that I’m going to be strong minded and just watch a bit much later on.

    2. So many are getting injured and big seeds being eliminated. Just so long as we have players with enough oomph left to give a good final

      1. What a totally bizarre Wimbledon it is this year – don’t want to say too much in case others don’t know what has been going on.

  15. Phew, finally finished this but needed loads of help. And now it’s done, I can’t quite see why I made such heavy weather of it. Didn’t help that I wanted to put ‘overacting’ in for 1a! Appreciated Scchua’s hints, and esp. the pic for 9a. Don’t mind rats, but am a total wimp over spiders, so both Kath & Mrs RD have my sympathy. I tried to cure myself by walking through the insect house at London Zoo many years ago, but turned out that was definitely one of ‘Baldrick’s’ less cunning plans as I came out the other end having discovered there were larger & more (to me) horrendous spiders than I’d ever known about before. The huge bird-eating spider appeared to be wearing Doc Marten boots, but I may have been hallucinating by then…

    1. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you, or Mrs RD, that spiders don’t bite – they can, and do, trust me. In France two or three years ago we were staying with French brother and sister-in-law in their chaotic house in the Loire. My eldest niece and I were washing up after supper one evening. She yelled and pointed at the sink – there was a not very big spider in it – the window over the sink was open so I did what seemed, at the time, to be a good idea – pick it up and throw it out of the window. It bit – it really hurt – next morning hand was size of football and the following day I thought I might be about to die. I didn’t and, to prove it, I’m still here.

      1. Many thanks for the warning. Fortunately I have an ideal gizmo which keeps spiders and other unwelcome visitors at arm’s length. Some years ago I spotted a wonderful gadget in a mail order catalogue which is a small clear plastic box with a sliding lid attached to handle, which allows humane and bite-free eviction. I will be bereft when it eventually breaks as I have never seen the like before or since.

  16. Never heard of 25a (can we stick to English language answers please?) but apart from that this was good fun.

  17. I found this difficult in parts and some of the wordplay overcomplicated but finished in the end with help from Scchua, for which, many thanks. Definitely 3*/3* for me

  18. It’s the usual story for me Mondays Tuesdays no problem completed often without hints. Then Wednesday every week my first run through yields one or two answers or like today none at all.
    Then I turn to the hints and find it was very simple and I feel like a thicko
    I’ll now see if the hints offer any help

  19. For addicts , like me, you might like to know that there is a fabulous crossword by Brendan in the guardian.

  20. Found this hard going although I did manage to finish before golf this morning. Needed the hints to explain several n swears inc 12a which I just failed to see Grange for farmhouse. New word to me in 25a.
    Enjoyable if hard work. Thx to all concerned esp for the hint explanations

  21. Solved this while watching Wimbledon on the flat screen (can’t say “box” any more)!

    Faves : 12a, 19a, 21a, 25a, 3d, 7d, 8d & 20d.

    Back to the flat screen complete with G & T!

      1. Hi jezza!

        Tanqueray generally -now and again Bombay – but never Gordons as it is not what it used to be 20 years ago!

          1. My Dad was in the navy in WW2 – can’t remember where he was at the time but he asked for gin and lime and was given a glass full of gin and a lime!

    1. I am totally gutted … Federer out, beaten by someone whose name i’ve never heard of. There have been so many upsets, I am almost scared to watch any more Wimbledon.

      1. That’s cos the someone played so much better than Federer. It is very interesting with all the upsets. Much better than watching the same old people go through.

        1. Very, very true, but Roger is such a gent and so good to watch. I suppose the likes of Djokovich will win, not my favourite. He is always so cocky.

          1. You beat me to it – he is lovely, isn’t he! I’m so sorry he’s out and can’t help wondering how he feels this evening.

        2. I agree that he played better than Federer but I’m with Merusa about being gutted – Federer has such a lovely gentle face that he simply has to be a really nice person. I do also agree that it is going to be a very interesting Wimbledon though.
          Did you all see the Matt today? Having just watched the end of the Sharapova match it’s even better!

          1. Hi Kath!
            I too was sorry to see Roger beaten, Tennis is no longer what it used to be – it has become baseline bashing. Nadal was very good at this!
            They should make the tennis balls twice the size then it might become interesting once again!

      2. Gutted? Not me. It’s the way of things that new blood overtakes the veterans. I agree with CS on this. Fererer has had his share of success and it was well earned. But some have noticed that he is Mr. Nice Guy in success and not always gracious in defeat. He doesn’t always give full credit where it’s due. From what I am reading, today was one of those days. I am hoping that this will be Murray’s year. If the center court crowd gets behind him like it did at the Olympics, then I think he has a really good chance.

        1. I’ve never seen Federer being anything other than Mr Nice Guy in success OR failure. And anyway, I like his face – OK, so I’m such a girl!! :smile:
          As for Mr Grumpy Scot, well . . . :roll:

  22. Thanks to the setter and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, got beaten by 18a. Favourites were 21a and 5d. Was 3*/3* for me. Late blogging due to a 19 mile bike ride in the New Forest.

    1. Ooh, where in my old stomping ground are you. I i’m now in Peterborough but many years near Brockenhurst, most of family in Lymington or Burley. Oh youth, cycling through Sway and Tiptoe…

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