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DT 27220

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27220

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This was easier than it looked at first.   I’d give it slightly less than 2* for difficulty and 3* enjoyment.  Thanks to Jay for the usual enjoyable puzzle.

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    Studies a quiet run on credit (5,6)

{CRASH COURSE} : { A + [an interjection to “keep quiet!”] + [to run through, eg. blood through your veins] } placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “credit”].

Answer: A short intense period of study.

9a    Opener from county second team? (9)

{CORKSCREW} : [a certain county in Ireland] + [abbrev. for “second” in time notation] + [a team in a boat race, say].

Answer:  They come in various styles.


10a    Shrink from cold, getting more depressed with no hat (5)

{COWER} : [abbrev. for “cold”] plus(getting) [more depressed;further down than the reference level] minus its first letter(with no hat – this indicator works better for a down clue).

11a    Son rejected by new coolest cat (6)

{OCELOT} : [abbrev. for “son”] deleted from(rejected by) anagram of(new) “coolest”.


…. and the cat’s pretty too.

12a    Soldiers needing jig, say, to secure new heavy weaponry (8)

{ORDNANCE} : [abbrev. for all other soldiers not holding a commissioned rank] plus(needing) [an example of which/say, is the jig – not the type in a machine workshop] containing(to secure) [abbrev. for “new”]. A smooth surface.

13a    Extract allowable by right of licence (6)

{ELICIT} : [allowable;lawful] placed after(by, in an across clue) the rightmost letter of(right of) “licence”.

Defn: As a verb.

15a    Useless personnel from a musical stage, in parts? (4,4)

{DEAD WOOD} : [Name of a stagecoach in a screen and stage musical] divided(in parts).

The Hollywood musical version and the real thing:


18a    Classes of marine trained on board ship (8)

{SEMINARS} : Anagram of(trained) MARINE contained in(on board …) [abbrev. for a steamship].

19a    Agree to differ on millions being inadequate (6)

{MEAGRE} : Anagram of(to differ) AGREE placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “millions”].

21a    Take away some land on reserve (8)

{SUBTRACT} : [an expanse of land] placed after(on, in an across clue) [short for one on the bench, just in case he/she’s needed;a reserve].

23a    Pronouncement from investigators turning stomach (6)

{DICTUM} : Reversal of(turning) [abbrev. for the investigative department of a police force] + [a babyish word for “stomach”].

Answer: A pronouncement usually saying “thou shalt not ….”

26a    Finally losing tail in the hills of Africa (5)

{ATLAS} : [finally] minus its last letter(losing tail).

Answer: A range of hills (an understatement) in North Africa.

27a    Admirers left one covered by dodgy dossier (9)

{IDOLISERS} : { [abbrev. for “left”] + [Roman numeral for “one”] } contained in(covered by) anagram of(dodgy) DOSSIER.

28a    Singer‘s evening at home bit of a blow (11)

{NIGHTINGALE} : [latter part of the day;evening] + [at home;not out] + [a bit (another understatement) of wind;a blow].

1d    Ride around working for twister (7)

{CYCLONE} : [to ride on a vehicle powered by the rider’s leg muscles] containing(around) [working, eg. as with an appliance].

Answer: Another bit of a blow, but with a circular motion this time.

2d    Marry an ecologist, giving up name (5)

{AGREE} : [an;the indefinite article] + [an ecologist, especially a politician] minus(giving up) [abbrev. for “name”].

Defn: To match together/combine suitably, eg. wine and food. And that’s how almost all marriages start off with …..

3d    In short, a revolutionary must welcome independent academic (9)

{HISTORIAN} : Anagram of(revolutionary) IN SHORT, A containing(must welcome) [abbrev. for “independent”, eg. as with a politician].

Defn: As a noun.

4d    Blades or Owls against Reading, surprisingly taking the leaders (4)

{OARS} : The first letters, respectively, of(taking the leaders) “Owls against Reading, surprisingly”.

5d    Given compensation, considered taking in wife for good (8)

{REWARDED} : [considered;looked upon as, as in “he was considered a fool”] with [abbrev. for “wife”] replacing(taking in … for) [abbrev. for “good”].

6d    Old fool – one whose time is over (2-3)

{EX-CON} : [a prefix for “old”;once before] + [to fool;to trick].

Defn: Not lifetime, but time sentenced to.

7d    Signal left on board and stop (7)

{PORTEND} : [the left side on board, say, a ship facing the bow] plus(and) [to stop;to terminate].

8d    Penchant for separation, perhaps, in final performance (8)

{SWANSONG} : [an animal whose female is called a pen] + [a chant;a melody], reading the clue after dividing(for separation) “penchant” – never mind the resulting grammar.

Another hint:   You might call this a final performance:

14d    The compiler’s on phone, getting static (8)

{IMMOBILE} : [compiler’s;contraction of “compiler is” with crossword compilers referring to themselves in the 1st person] + [short for the phone almost everyone is carrying around nowadays].

16d    Eccentric initiated as expert in nutrition (9)

{DIETITIAN} : Anagram of(Eccentric) INITIATED.

If you are what you eat, and it’s really expert advice, will you look as healthy as them?  Perhaps?


17d    Turning into the wind across river, and following (8)

{TRACKING} : [nautical term for turning your craft into the wind direction] containing(across) [abbrev. for “river”].

18d    South American volunteers with popular support (7)

{SUSTAIN} : [abbrev. for “south”] + [abbrev. for things American] + [abbrev. for the British military unit comprising volunteers] plus(with) [popular;in fashion].

Defn: As a verb.

20d    Line dismissed by travelling salesmen as a group (2,5)

{EN MASSE} : [abbrev. for “line”] deleted from(dismissed by) anagram of(travelling) “salesmen”.

22d    Extract from legislature’s inquiry (5)

{RESIN} : Hidden in(from) “legislature’s inquiry”.

24d    Cheers supporting article and letter from abroad (5)

{THETA} : [short for a word of gratitude;cheers!] placed below(supporting, in a down clue) [the definite article].

Defn: A letter in a foreign language alphabet.

25d    Gun supplied by company officer (4)

{COLT} : [abbrev. for a company] + [abbrev. for a commissioned officer in the military].

Answer: Trademark name for a type of gun.  Also, in the plural form, the name of the American football team these pompom girls cheer for.

The Quick crossword pun: (toupee} + {once} + {weigh} = {to pay one’s way}

37 comments on “DT 27220

  1. I liked this one today. A couple of clues had me looking in the wrong direction, but i still got there in 2* time.
    Many thanks to Jay for the usual high quality puzzle, and to scchua for the review.

  2. Yet another one for me where three quarters went smoothly but I got held up in one corner; this time the NE, with the clever 7d my last one in. Lots of good clues with 9a my favourite, but 12a, 28a and 7d ran it close.

    Many thanks to Jay for an enjoyable and challenging puzzle, for which my rating is 2.5* difficulty; 3* enjoyment. Many thanks too to Scchua for the hints, which I needed in order to understand the wordplay for 8d.

  3. Finished but did not enjoy this puzzle at all, a real slog.
    At the risk of the opprobrium being heaped upon me, could someone explain the answer to 10a. The hint makes no sense to me at all, what does ‘ further down from the reference level’ mean?

    1. I might have used a preposition which is a little unclear – I’ve changed it from “from” to “than”. A synonym is required for “further down than the reference level”, or “below something else which serves as the reference level”.

    2. I agree ref the puzzle being a real slog today Brian, I put it down to having been AWOL for a few days again! I wouldn’t have finished without blog help, thanks scchua, with ref to 10a it just means something that is ‘lower’ in order than…without the first letter following the abbreviation for ‘cold’

        1. The wanderer returns! Your absence was noted and could be used in evidence at some later time! :smile:

          1. :oops: I think at one time I was the most prolific blogger on the site Kath, I think I can now safely hand that title over to you ;-) , I will be absent again here and there over the next few weeks if the promised heatwave arrives!

      1. Hi Mary, great to see you back. :-)
        With ref the clue, I understood it but not the hint but Scchua has explained it.

      2. Welcome back! Enjoy your breaks. I agree that this was very difficult and I was way off the setter’s mindset.

    3. Brian, know what you mean about risking opprobrium, I’ve been told to buy the Sun or get a dictionary for questioning a clue. Shame really, it puts you off posting a comment, unless it’s something like “I really enjoyed this today, and the weather’s lovely”.
      Anyway, didn’t know the reference in 15a so that stumped me, and knew the answer to 8d but could not see why. Another case of almost finishing but not quite.

      1. Come on, don’t lose heart. Some people are so naturally clever, they don’t seem to understand us slower creatures and don’t have the patience to try.

      2. I don’t think that anyone here ever puts anyone else off posting a comment unless it’s rude or in some other way unpleasant.
        Most people have a favourite setter, or two or three; most people have a setter, or two or three who they find difficult. I know that I’ve said it a million times before but it’s more to do with being on the right wave length, or not, than anything else.

        1. Maybe I didn’t put it well and I didn’t mean to criticise any comments by anyone here. Sometimes über-intelligent people find it difficult to understand why we of less intelligence find it difficult to understand what they find so easy. There are many different levels of competence, I have a very average IQ, but, as an example, I get a bit short when some of my thicker friends display their obtuseness.

        2. I have been put off posting recently and at the beginning of this week made a conscious decision not to post unless I really had something to say. What I dislike is the implicit separating of people into intelligent and not so intelligent, depending on how well one does on solving. And the condescending “Oh, this was not much more than an average back pager” comments from certain people on the toughie. It’s one-upmanship taken to an unpleasantly gloating level. Surely that is not what this site was intended to be about?

      3. As one of the less able solvers I have found this site very encouraging since I joined four years ago, I have come on in leaps and bounds in that time but still consider myself to be one of the less able solvers, needing books and electronic help most days, I feel I am able to say what I think most of the time without being discouraged but agree that sometimes disparaging remarks are made but don’t let that stop you , I think I am in the the minority probably when I say I cut my cryptic teeth on The Sun crossword, although I don’t do it any more I have to say that I always enjoyed their crosswords :-D, often I find that a clue I really like would be said by my brother to ‘belong in The Sun’ …too bad!

    4. Must say I thought 10a was very clever ad it works perfectly for me. No paper until Liverpool Street and finished by St James’ Park. Sorry BD if that it too clear in terms of solving time! I will take the rebuke if one is forthcoming. Great puzzle and best of the week so far. And well done to Andy Murray.

  4. How would setters manage without 11a and 25d ?
    Really enjoyable puzzle ,Liked 15a,8d and 14d and others .
    Thanks to Scchua and Jay for a quality review and crossword .

  5. Our favourite clue was 8d. We had put in the correct answer from the definition and checking letters and did not appreciate the clever word play until we went back to it when we had filled the grid. Good fun and not too taxing.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  6. Looked really tricky today, but once I got started, things sort of just fell into place. It took me a while to work out the word play for 8D but once I had, I decided this has to be the Clue Of The Day, 18D was rather clever too.

  7. I agree about this not being as difficult as it seemed to begin with. 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment for me.
    I got stuck for a while with several in the left side. I wanted to make 18d begin with ‘SA’ for South American and having put ‘trailing’ in for 17d didn’t do much for 21a.
    Was slow with 1a and nearly put ‘merge’ for 2d. I completely missed the anagram indicator in 3d. I thought 9a was going to be one of the dreaded ‘crickety’ terms – whenever I start to think like that it isn’t.
    Apart from those there weren’t too many problems.
    I liked 12 and 26a and 5, 6 and 8d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

  8. Initial scan provided two answers, despair set in, then wrinkled out the anagrams and all fell into place.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  9. I’m with Skempie on this, I thought at first it was going to be a bit of a stinker but after a few minutes contemplation it all fell into place, my thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable solve and to sschua for a most entertaining review.

  10. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. Hooray a completion at last, which reminds me of my last clue in 26a. Favourite was 6d. Was 2″/3* for me. Now at the Ealing Beer Festival. Nice puzzle from Jay.

  11. I’m with those who found it a slog, so not much fun.
    Clues clever, but a bit too clever…. 8d would be an example of that.

    Having said that, I thought 15a was very cute!

  12. I stared at 15a for a time with no result. Then the song just came into my head. Who could ever forget those immortal lines: “Here’s the man the sheriff watches , On his gun there’s 27 notches”? The problem now is getting the song OUT of my head.

  13. Been away for 3 weeks (Cyprus) so this being my first crossword for 22 days I looked at it with a little trepidation. Agree with scchuas’ opening statement ‘This was easier than it looked at first’. Once the fog cleared from my few remaining grey cells the clues/answers fell into place nicely. Best clue for me was 6d. Thanx to Compiler and to Scchua for his review which I always enjoy. **/**** rating for me. Liked the Quickie pun also. One satisfied customer today.

  14. Well, I seem to be in the minority as I was off wavelength in a big way. On the other hand, I did get most except the top left-hand corner, and got totally stuck there. I think this is the first puzzle that I’ve had six clues not done and needed hints to get. I did enjoy it but feel stupid not being able to complete for the answers are not that hard. What could have been easier than 1d, for instance?

    Oh well, maybe tomorrow I’ll have my thinking cap on. Thanks to all, back to Wimbledon where Murray is giving me heart attacks.

  15. I found this hard to begin with but slogged on correctly to the last in which was, to my shame, on reflection, 6d.
    Couldn’t have been an easier clue!
    Many thanks Jay and scchua.

  16. Needed hints for a lot of the top half today, so thanks for that. Definitely not on the samee wavelength of the setter here!

    1. I had the bottom half filled in with none in the top half. It always makes me smile when that sort of symmetry happens.

  17. I too found this a bit of a slog, (and the weather’s not too good, even in glorious Devon). Still, a little perservation saved the day.

  18. Really hard going but I managed to finish it with the help of BD’s Hints and Tips – it wasn’t helped by me spending the day at Wimbledon and indulging quite liberally in some Hospitality.

    Thanks to all.

  19. Finally got round to doing this and found it, for me, difficult. Managed to finish without hints but it has taken me ages. I don’t think I enjoyed it either ! Thank you Jay for the puzzle and Scchua for your usual comprehensive review and interesting photos.

  20. It seems that this puzzle was clued by somebody nicknamed “Jay”.

    I really do wish that the Telegraph would note the nickname of the compiler to avoid the waste of time and paper engendered by printing out an offering which contains a number of totally illogical clues!!

    I for one will be avoiding Wednesday in general and Jay in particular for the future.

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