DT 27215 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27215

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27215

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I thought this was one of Ray T’s easier puzzles, and my only complaint is that it was over too quickly.

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    Ample bust isn’t, alas, endlessly disarrayed (11)
{SUBSTANTIAL} – an anagram (disarrayed) of BUST ISN’T ALA(S) without the final letter (endlessly)

9a    Falls once more backwards gripping a bar’s end (7)
{NIAGARA} – a word meaning once more reversed (backwards) around (gripping) the A from the clue and the final letter (end) of baR

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Refrain from believer keeping Sabbath (6)
{DESIST} – a believer around (keeping) S(abbath)

12a    Bent losing top, producing thrill (7)
{ENCHANT} – a bent or inclination without its initial letter P (losing top)

13a    New fans back before Queen sensation (7)
{STUNNER} – N(ew) and a colloquial word for fans or enthusiasts all reversed and followed by the Queen’s regnal cypher

14a    Initially intelligent? No alas, not exactly (5)
{INANE} – the initial letters of five words in the clue

15a    Traditional about girl, one with ring practically (9)
{CLASSICAL} – the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about followed by a girl, I (one) and most (practically) of a verb meaning to ring

17a    Opinion of pair as lap dancing (9)
{APPRAISAL} – an anagram (dancing) of PAIR AS LAP

20a    Small automobile with loud muffler (5)
{SCARF} – S(mall) followed by an automobile and the musical notation for loud

22a    Way to cover collapse for dish (7)
{LASAGNE} – a way or country road around (to cover) a collapse gives an Italian dish

24a    Form of jailbird facing spell (7)
{CONTOUR} – a three-letter jailbird followed by a spell of duty

25a    Stock and French cut of meat (6)
{FILLET} – a verb meaning to stock or supply followed by the French for and

26a    Stiffest challenge everybody’s taken (7)
{TALLEST} – a challenge or trial around (‘s / is taken) a word meaning everybody

27a    Goods vehicle shortly heads in for a change (11)
{MERCHANDISE} – a colloquial abbreviation (shortly) for a German motor vehicle followed by an anagram (for a change) of HEADS IN


2d    Not suspecting a Spanish conflict against English (7)
{UNAWARE} – a Spanish word for A followed by a conflict and E(nglish)

3d    Gladiator‘s struggle with whip raised unravels ends (9)
{SPARTACUS} – a verb meaning to struggle or box followed by the reversal of a three-letter word for a whip and the outer letters (ends) of UnravelS

4d    Range found in Patagonian desert (5)
{ANDES} – hidden (found) inside the clue

5d    ‘Time’ magazine’s absorbent sheets (7)
{TISSUES} – T(ime) followed by a magazine and the S from ‘S

6d    Poison found in medicine’s rapidly returned (7)
{ARSENIC} – hidden (found) and reversed (returned) inside the clue – a bit naughty using found as a hidden word indicator in two clues so close together

7d    Rubens’ ideal strangely not appealing (11)
{UNDESIRABLE} – an anagram (strangely) of RUBENS’ IDEAL

8d    Front shown by sporting body’s American agents (6)
{FASCIA} – football’s ruling body followed by the S from ‘S and the American espionage organisation

11d    Increase gas stifling old lag (11)
{PROLIFERATE} – a verb meaning to gas or chatter around () O(ld) and a prisoner (lag) who may never be released

16d    Local date drunk set aside (9)
{ALLOCATED} – an anagram (drunk) of Local date

18d    Stick about the compiler’s crosswords perhaps (7)
{PASTIME} – a verb meaning to stick or glue around “the compiler’s” in the first person

19d    Heavenly gal with nice bust (7)
{ANGELIC} – an anagram (bust) of GAL with NICE

20d    Runs from fire on board ship (7)
{SINGLES} – some runs in cricket are derived from a fire, the kind that often has a nook!, inside (on board) the usual abbreviation for a (steam)ship

21d    Adult, muscular, gave satisfaction (6)
{ATONED} – A(dult) followed by an adjective meaning muscular

23d    Run in next race (5)
{EXTRA} – this bonus run in cricket is hidden inside the clue

Writing the review meant that i enjoyed it all over again!

The Quick crossword pun: (war} + {tub} + {head} = {water bed}

88 comments on “DT 27215

  1. I agree with today’s assessment; a gentle */** and **** enjoyment.
    Last on in for me was 24a.

    Thanks to RayT, and to BD.

  2. I agree, for me this was a straightforward but extremely enjoyable puzzle. I’m plumping for */****

    Many thanks to Ray T amd to BD.

  3. 21D took me nearly as long as the rest of the crossword – just couldn’t think of the ‘muscular’ word – only excuse I can think is that my brain’s a bit addled after listening to Somerset’s performance against Australia yesterday (one of the strangest score-sheets I’ve ever seen). Other than that, this seemed a fairly straight forward puzzle although not a write in, more a gentle amble.
    Interesting that 3D has made another appearance.
    Nice wording on 19D

  4. I did get a bit hung up in the NW corner, with 12A and 8D the last two in, but they ended up at the top of my “likes” list. Thanks to Ray T. and Big Dave for the review, though i did complete without hints.

    I do (gently) question 26A, though. I can’t see how the answer relates to ‘stiffest.’

    1. My interpretation was that you can use “tall” in the sense of “difficult”, as in “it’s a tall order” = “it’s a stiff task”.

      1. Thank you RD for your explanation for 26 across…….I wouldn’t have thought of it myself, but it does sound right I think. We enjoyed today’s offering & just used the hints to do some checking. Thank you setter, hinter & RD.

      2. i was hung up on this as well. I knew it had to be correct, but why? Thanks for the explanation.

  5. Another really good puzzle – thanks to the reviewer for explaining 11d – ‘prate’ is a new word to me, and for explaining 27a – I had the word but didn’t understand the cryptic explanation ‘Merc’ + an anagram of ‘heads in’ – thanks again!

    I too feel a little dubious about 26a – the thing in my mind is a chef’s hat where the ‘stiffest’ is the ??????? – yes maybe!

  6. I am really enjoying this puzzle. It’s the best one that I have done for a long time. For those RayT doubters, Mary and Brian, I strongly suggest that you have a go at it

      1. I have finished my first RayT puzzle unassisted although I did have to refer to the hints for confirmation from time to time

  7. Not much to hold us up for long with this one. Good fun. Did a quick check to make sure that there are no more than 8 words per clue and everything found to be in order. Thanks RayT and BD.

  8. Thank you Ray T – enjoyable, held up in the SE corner. A while before I got the wordplay in 24a, 26a and 20d. Thank you BD for your review. The anagrams helped me to get started !

  9. I thought this was as good as alternate Thursdays always are although I agree that it was nothing like as tricky as he can be sometimes. I agree with BD’s rating.
    My last answer in was 21d. I nearly missed the hidden answer in 23d and 20d also took a while. I was slow to untangle 27a and 11d.
    I do hope that the clue for 18d doesn’t mean Ray T feels his crosswords get stick!
    I couldn’t possibly pick one favourite but I liked 1, 14 and 27a and 6, 7, 18 and 19d.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD – I think putting pictures of lasagne and steak on one page is really unfair – I’m now starving!

    1. How is’ hopalong’ doing Kath? Eldest son has broken scaphoid bone in wrist, feeling really sorry for himself, they have said it could take up to six months to heal although it is such a small bone!!

      1. Thanks for asking, Mary. Poor old Hopalong is still hopping, unfortunately. She went to fracture clinic on Monday hoping that the plaster would come off – it did – then they put another one on for another four weeks. Oh dear! On the plus side she is really being remarkably good tempered about it, so far!
        Sorry about your eldest son – those little tiny bones are often the trickiest, and most painful, when something happens to them. Hope that he feels a bit less sorry for himself soon.

  10. Finished, at last.Was this really a Ray T ? Didn’t see any “mad hat” clues.Thanks to setter and BD. Favourite : 18d.

    1. Definitely Ray T – it has all his trademarks. He has a ‘naughty hat’ – just occasionally he loses it! I think it’s Petitjean whose crosswords are easier to solve while wearing a ‘mad hat’!

  11. Very enjoyable and not too taxing. 12a was an excellent clue that was last in for me.

  12. Ray was easy on us today but it was still a great puzzle with many giggles. Thought 19 was brilliant with 9 not far behind. Soon as i see Queen on Thursday I know we are in for a treat.

    1. I knew that we were in for a treat as soon as I read the first clue – didn’t even need to go hunting for Queen.

  13. I agree Dave one of Ray T’ s easier ones today, thoroughly enjoyed it but not a convert yet last two in were21d and 24a and needed the blog for the explaination of 11d, Wimbledon now, I wonder how many injuries and ‘no players’ there will be today!

  14. Pretty easy, with just a couple of naughty diversionary tactics to prevent complacency.
    I too missed the easiest possible insert in 23d which held me up on 27a, but otherwise nice.

    What is it with these cricket clues? Different sports for a change please!

    1. I didn’t even see 23d until I got 27a. As for the cricket clues I think we just have to get used to them and remember as many ‘crickety’ terms as we can – we don’t need to know what they mean! :smile:
      Off to the garden.

      1. Ah well Kath, having scored for my father as a child, I am only too familiar with the terms.
        Is it just that there are so many of them in that particular sport, I wonder!

        Enjoy the garden! I’ve just been planting mange-tout in the mizzle…..

        1. Oh – sorry! I assumed that cricket was as much of a mystery to you as it is to me. Garden not very enjoyable – raining here now so have come in.

  15. Definitely quite a bit easier than usual from RayT, with a nice variety of clues, and some easier long ones giving areas from which to work outwards. **/***.5

  16. That’s a first for me – I found the quick crossword harder than the main one!

  17. Anyone else read the article in today’s Times on page 5 and raise an eyebrow at the journalist’s implication that the Telegraph solvers on this site are “unsavoury”?

    1. Apparently the article was about the research carried out at Buckingham University by Kathryn Friedlander and others. You may remember she asked on this site for volunteers, and a number of you very kindly offered.

      She wrote to me this morning to apologise for what was written in .the article, and to point out that those were the words of the reporter, not hers.

      She ended her email with “We’ve always been very grateful for the support we’ve received from your site and your solvers, and I was rather mortified when I read this. Hope you understand that we can’t always control the tone and content of wayward journalists!”.

    2. Unsavoury? That’s very rich, coming from someone prepared to work for News International and Rupert Murdoch.

    3. The article was headed “Crossword addicts enlisted to help science solve the ultimate puzzle”.

      In it, Tom Whipple wrote:

      ‘Dr Friedlander and her colleagues from the University of Buckingham recruited from the world’s finest crossword solvers: entrants to The Times Crossword Championship.’

      He then added:

      ‘They also needed less competent solvers to compare them against. Here she had to spread her net into less savoury territory. “we got some more ordinary solvers,” she said, “from websites where people discuss The Daily Telegraph crossword.”’

      What an *rseh*le! If this is the quality of journalism to be found in The Times then I’ll definitely stick to The Daily Telegraph.

      1. It definitely is of the quality of journalism found in any Murdoch media; the Times, Fox News, etc., etc. It’s all trash, best left alone to rot on it’s own.

    4. Has anyone got a copy they can post on here? I refuse to buy the paper since it was taken over by a bunch of crooks (IMHO)

      1. Going to see if a good friend who’s The US Bureau chief for the Times can get it for me. I refuse to pay the outrageous annual fee to acces their on-line version.

      2. The aforementioned have ‘purchased’ my internet provider! Damned cheek and never asked my permission either!!! . I’m dropping them as of 4th July (Independence day for Round Towers and the US of A) I might also leave them a message on my voicemail expressing my thoughts….

        1. I used to subscribe to their crossword club as I was addicted to the Saturday Jumbo, but I let my sub lapse in protest against everything Murdoch.

          1. And now they are ceasing to offer subscriptions to the Crossword Club and forcing everyone on to a full online subscription.

      1. If you feel like taking him to task in 140 characters or less, he has a twitter account @whippletom. You won’t be the first.

        1. I have already made an appropriate comment on Twitter ! not provoked any reaction yet !

      2. Hmmmm, I seem to recall that when Bletchley Park were recruiting for code-breakers during the last (serious) spat with Germany, they went for Telegraph Crossword people, not Times

      3. Just read it – what a prat. Nobody warned me that there was a picture of John Thaw and that always makes me cry! :sad:

      4. Many thanks BD.
        The lady in the cartoon looks like Osbert Lancaster’s Maudie Littlehampton.

      5. Thanks to Big Dave for that. The only thing worth reading in the whole article was the clue and as it’s only the crossword that’s worth reading in the paper it didn’t come as a surprise.

        What was it all about? Doesn’t seem to say anything meaningful, have any point to make and is probably just a page filler – about what we expect from The Times nowadays.

        The guy is obviously from Newark, a bit mixed up :grin:

    5. Just seen all this, I don’t think I will stoop to their level and comment at all, we all know how good we are :-)

  18. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I enjoyed this a lot, but must confess to using a bit of electronic help for 21d which was last in, had the structure correct, but just couldn’t think of the adjective. Favourites were 27a, 11&18d. Was 1*/3* for me. A bit overcast in Central London.

  19. Oh I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one to struggle with 21d. Even with the checking letters it took ages for the penny to drop. But thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle so thank you to the setter as well as to BD as I needed two hints to finish. Is it just me, or is it rather cold today? My first ever rose is looking a 13a, and is wonderfully fragrant. Greetings to all.

  20. A message for Peta.

    If you have left a comment on this site as Peta, and have an email address @aol.com – your account has been hacked.

  21. Excellent puzzle today, really enjoyed this one but I have some queries that someone may help other:
    12a what does Chan mean? I can see the Ent (bent minus the top) but why chan?
    26a why stiffest? I can see the wordplay but don’t get the clue
    Didn’t realise that an Ingle was a fire despite inglenook so something learned today.
    Two sporting clues and nothing religious, I really am being spoiled today :-)
    Thx to Ray T for a super puzzle and to BD for the hints.

    1. Brian

      It’s PENCHANT, a word meaning a bent, without the P (I did say in the hints that a P was to be dropped).

      The particular meaning of TALLEST was explored in earlier comments.

  22. Thanks BD and RayT for a most enjoyable puzzle, but would not give it just * for difficulty, it wasn’t easy by any means. I had eventually to resort to gizmo for 17a and 22a. Why? I have no idea as they are pretty straightforward. Just a blank brain.

    Now to Wimbledon to see today’s carnage.

  23. Very many thanks to BD as always for the dissection and to all who left a comment. Glad that most found it to their liking!


  24. Hi Big Dave ! I have a question which I hope you can answer.If you saw a clue in the DT 26961 (Rufus) and then saw the same clue, same words, in reverse order,and same answer, in the Guardian, today, 25985, would you think anything of it ?

    1. It does seem a bit strange. I know Orlando quite well, and he’s not one to knowingly borrow someone else’s clue.

      BTW the clue is

      Joy, Sue, Pearl, Dotty (8) – Rufus
      Dotty, Sue, Pearl, Joy (8) – Orlando

      1. Coincidences do happen. When scientific breakthroughs are made, usually several scientists are coming to the same conclusions ,at the same time, quite independently of each other. There are many examples, Bronsted and Lowry for instance.

        1. Both clue are anagrams. The definition is JOY, the indicator is DOTTY and the fodder is SUE PEARL. Works in both word orders.

        2. I think the definition is Joy. It is an anagram of Sue and Pearl and the anagram indicator is Dotty. All the capital letters are red herrings. Answer, I think, is pleasure.

        3. Damn! Last again! Everyone is so quick around here. Going to bed in a sulk now!! Only joking. :smile:
          Night night all.

    2. How do you know? Looking at the DT number (26961) at a very rough guess (really can’t be bothered to work out exactly) that must be about a year ago. Or have my numbers got completely scrambled?

      1. This clue is imprinted on my brain because it puzzled me so much that I googled it and found Big Dave’s Blog.At that time,September 3rd, I didn’t know that clues were ,in any order, “definition, clue, anagram indicator”.I thought “OMG I’ve ruined my fun , I’ll never have to ponder about clues again !” But it didn’t work out like that.

  25. A pleasant puzzle from Ray T.

    Faves : 9a, 13a, 22a, 3d, 11d & 20d.

    Now that Rafa and Roger are out of SW19 will Andy make it?

    1. Looking at Djokovic playing this afternoon, I don’t think so. The Joker is playing so well that I think he may just make it, but I hope not.

      1. I quite like him, not, of course, that I’ve ever met him! We watched the end of the match and he spent quite a while afterwards doing autographs for spectators, including quite a few young kids. When he was being interviewed the reporter asked him how he had perfected the quick ‘squiggle’. This was a new word to him and he obviously found it a bit of a mystery. Reminded me very much of a lovely Greek chap I worked with in the cardiac department. Whenever he heard a new word he tried to use it as many times as he could in a really short time – he always got it wrong and had all of us in hysterics.

  26. Oh Big Dave, imagine the pure joy
    when I found that I could read your
    blog with or without the answers
    showing. You’re even cleverer than
    I thought you were. Keep it up.

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