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DT 27221

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27221

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Before solving 14 down I was pretty sure that Petitjean was today’s setter – after it I was certain! I thought this was a curate’s egg of a puzzle (good in parts).

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    Foreign article with early warning about split (6)
{CLEAVE} – a foreign definite article inside a schoolboy warning

5a    Suggest jazz fan checks maverick record company (8)
{INDICATE] – a fifties jazz fan inside (checks) a maverick record company

9a    Impractical fancy heel before one that’s conservative (10)
{IDEALISTIC} – a fancy followed by a verb meaning to heel, I (one) and C(onservative)

10a    Comb for one who’s gone thin? (4)
{RAKE} – two definitions

11a    In the house on the house? (4-4)
{RENT-FREE} – a cryptic definition of having accommodation that is provided on the house or for no charge

12a    A year taken over course of action could suggest inertia (6)
{APATHY} – the A from the clue and Y(ear) around a course of action

13a    Man, say, in Paisley predominantly (4)
{ISLE} – hidden (in) and over half of (predominantly) PaISLEy, this Man is the one in the Irish Sea

15a    Ace crew welcoming Clapton in US (8)
{AMERICAN} – A(ce) and a verb meaning to crew a ship around the first name of guitarist Clapton

18a    Level with Mafia boss, and yours truly may be sorry (6,2)
{PARDON ME} – level, as in a golf score, followed by a Mafia boss and the first person objective pronoun (yours truly)

19a    Thank you, thank you, and farewell (2-2)
{TA-TA} – a two-letter word meaning thank you, repeated

21a    Something said somewhere bringing one in for a top-level meeting (6)
{SUMMIT} – start with a dialect form (said somewhere) of something, then insert I in place of the A (one for a)

23a    Constantly importing ripe bananas, all returned as spare (8)
{REPRIEVE} – a word meaning constantly around (importing) an anagram (bananas) of RIPE, all reversed (returned)

25a    Element in a Q&A about university (4)
Newspaper version: Upstart interrupting Q&A after a drink (4)
{AQUA} – the A from the clue, Q and A around U(niversity)
The initial letter (start) of Up inside (interrupting) Q and A after the A from the clue drink

26a    Management requires author’s following to change sides initially (10)
{LEADERSHIP} – start with a word for those following a particular author and then replace the leading (initially) R(ight) with the opposite (change) side

27a    Fry (or similar) batter amply hot (8)
{POLYMATH} – Stephen Fry is an example (or similar) of a person whose knowledge covers a wide variety of subjects – an anagram (batter) of AMPLY HOT

28a    Fiat‘s ad-men carpeted regularly (6)
{DECREE} – the even letters (regularly) of two words in the clue


2d    Serve Indian dish elevated by lime peel (5)
{LADLE} – reverse (elevated in a down clue) an Indian dish and follow it with the outer letters (peel) of LimE

3d    Discrimination in hit parade after a fashion (9)
{APARTHEID} – an anagram (after a fashion) of HIT PARADE

4d    Unfamiliar regime for foreigner (6)
{ÉMIGRÉ} – an anagram (unfamiliar) of REGIME

5d    Popular article on Mrs Cameron, one’s ultimate inspiration all together (2,3,4,6)
{IN THE SAME BREATH} – a two-letter word meaning popular followed by the definite article, the abbreviated form of the first name of David Cameron’s wife, the final letter (ultimate) of onE and an inspiration or inhalation

6d    Peter out wanting run before date getting late (8)
{DECEASED} – a verb meaning to peter out without (wanting) the R(un) and followed by D(ate) gives a word meaning late in the sense of no longer alive

7d    Maniac Ricky making comeback will box roughly (5)
{CIRCA} – hidden (will box) and reversed (making comeback) inside the clue

8d    Perk up Spooner’s fish pie (4,5)
{TAKE HEART} – swap the initial letters, Spooner style, and this sounds like fish pie

14d    Three-chord wonders with same old same old? (6,3)
{STATUS QUO} – two definitions – a group that is particularly renowned for supposedly only knowing three chords and a Latin term meaning same old same old

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d    It’s ironic somehow about North wasting nothing essential (9)
{INTRINSIC} – an anagram (somehow) of IT’S IRONIC around N(orth) and without (wasting) O (nothing)

17d    Key international alliance semi-liable for Asia Minor (8)
{ANATOLIA} –a musical key followed by a four-letter acronym for an international alliance and the first half (semi) of LIAble – although the wordplay is fairly clear is this western peninsula of Asia, that forms the greater part of Turkey, fair material for a back-page puzzle?

20d    Open fancy drapes (6)
{SPREAD} – an anagram (fancy) of DRAPES

22d    Setter a gutless toady? That’s rich (5)
{MEATY} – the first person objective pronoun (second time today) followed by the A from the clue and ToadY without its inner letters (gutless)

24d    French behold endless electronic material (5)
{VOILE} – start with the French word for “behold!” {VOILA}, drop the final letter (endless) and then add E(lectronic)

Wot no US Independence day theme today?

The Quick crossword pun: (sloe} + {butt} + {shore} = {slow but sure}

59 comments on “DT 27221

  1. 6D had me completely stumped although I can’t really see why. Some ncie clues today with 23 and 27 being my favourites.

    14D reminded me of a quote on the radio today – ‘This new film about Status Quo should strike three chords with some people’

    Worth mentioning that I thought 19A in the Quickie was an excellent clue, probably worthy of being in a cryptic.

    1. Some time ago there was a new record by Sting and someone on the radio said that he’d released his song again. I thought it was a bit mean – I like him.

  2. Finished, but a real struggle ! Not particularly enjoyable for me. Have had to look at your hints BD to understand some answers that I had – albeit correct ones. 5d I am displaying my ignorance, in that having got the answer, and knowing the “cat” part of the answer, I am still struggling with the rest of the wordplay. If anyone has the patience to explain, I would be very grateful ! So many thanks BD for your review and to Petitjean whose puzzles always cause me problems. Back to yesterday’s puzzle now as I hadn’t time to look at that.

    1. Hi Sweet William. Independent record label commonly known as an Indie record label.

    2. SW, for 5a (not 5d) put CAT inside INDIE, which is an independent record label, so I suppose “maverick” could reasonably apply to it.

    3. Two answers are better than none, particularly when they say the same thing!

      1. Thanks chaps ! I am pretty clueless on General Knowledge – a sheltered life you know up in the grim North !

  3. Yet another puzzle where I found one quarter (this time the NW) much tougher than the other three. I was mildly disappointed with some of the clues, particularly 21a which I thought involved a dubious homophone.

    24d was a new word for me, as was the meaning of fiat in 28a. 1a was my last one in, and 26a my favourite.

    Rating today : 3* for difficulty; 2* for enjoyment.

    Many thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for his hints, which I needed to understand the wordplay for 9a.

  4. I thought this was quite tricky today, and some of the clues could quite easily have fitted into a toughie puzzle.
    3*/3* for me. Thanks to Petitjean, and to BD for the review.

  5. I found this one really difficult and had to use BD’s Hints and Tips extensively – I’ve still got a bit of a thick head from yesterday that might have something to do with it!

    Thanks to all.

  6. We had to work hard on this one. 4* time for us. Had guessed who was the probable setter so we were on the look-out for bizarre clues and we were not disappointed. Have ticked 27a as favourite. Good fun.
    Thanks Petitjean and BD.

  7. Found this really tough today although managed to finish without hints, albeit with lots of help from electronic friends and books, at least a three star for difficulty IMHO, some really contrived clues, some toughie ones and some easy ones, out of all that my favourites were 14d and 7a, never heard the word at 17d and didn’t like 21a very much, now for an easier afternoon, the sun is coming out and the tennis is on :-) , after tomorrow will be off in the van for a couple of days again, OK Kath? ;-)
    Thanks for hints today Dave, hope the sun is shining in your part of the world

    1. I agree with you about 21a, Mary.

      Good for you for remembering to get permission for absence in advance :-)

      … but, oh dear!, more than one favourite :-(

        1. Definitely but maybe, just this once, I’ll let you off – specially as you’ve redeemed yourself by giving us advance warning of absence. Have fun and hope the sun shines. Weather isn’t great here – quite warm but cloudy with just little patches of blue sky so far – really not enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers!

  8. I also found this really tricky but I persevered and needed only 2 hints in the end.I thought my difficulties lay in doing it too early in the morning when the frontal lobes were still on snooze ! Looking back over the clues and BD’s parsing , I would say it is an object lesson on how to do a cryptic crossword. No weird words , just read the clues very carefully, perhaps reading them aloud , in different ways, as suggested by the two Kiwis, sometime ago. Thanks to all concerned.
    Favourite :14d

  9. I thought this was brilliant but very difficult. It took me ages to even get started. 4* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I needed the hints to explain 6d and 9a. Missed the anagram indicator in 3d so that was my last answer and was slow with lots of others too.
    I’ve never heard of that meaning of fiat but answer was clear so looked it up – maybe yet another one to remember. I know there are lots of spellings of ‘dal’ but that’s one I didn’t know.
    I liked 11, 18, 21 and 27a and 5, 8 and 17d. My joint favourites were 14 and 22d.
    With thanks to Petitjean and BD.

    BD – the clue for 25a in the paper is “Upstart interrupting Q&A after a drink”.

  10. V enjoyable, with quirky clueing.

    Thanks to BD for the review.

    Thanks to Petitjean for providing my mornings entertainment.

  11. I’d give it ***/****


    1a. Alternative w.o. the first five words. C(about) LEAVE (split). Remember the 60s? Yes, I know it’s unbalanced….
    28a Didn’t know but clue led me to it.
    2d Alternative spelling of the Indian dish?
    6d Took blimmin ages
    8d. The spoonerism Hake Tart- sounds like some lovely lunch dish prepared by Letitia Cropley……tripe salad anyone?
    14d. Three chords – yes. But the RIGHT three chords. That takes talent!

  12. Not sure about this one but the presence of the greatest rock band of all in 14d made it for me!
    Not sure i get 1a, cave for schoolboy alarm, why?
    Disliked 21a intensely, thought it was sloppy.
    What was nice about this puzzle was although quite tough it always helped you along to the next section, probably a helpful grid.
    Thx to all.
    PS I always thought the French for behold was Voici, perhaps the French speakers could comment

    1. Brian, IMHO second greatest after the Rolling Stones (preferably the line up including the marvellous Mick Taylor – good to hear him again for a few of the numbers at Glastonbury).

      “Cave” is Latin for “beware”. Billy Bunter & co would often “keep cave” (pronounced “kay-vee”) – to keep a look out – when up to no good! Also you can sometimes see “cave canem” signs – meaning beware of the dog.

      With my very limited knowledge of French, I too always through “voici” was “behold”. I’m just going to check with a French friend and I’ll get back to you!

      1. The answer from a native French speaker (who is totally fluent in English too) is that both “voici” and “voila” could be used in the context of “behold”.

      2. Thx for that, I did five years of Latin and never came across this word and must admit never a fan of Billy Bunter, thought he was just a silly ass to use his phrase.

    2. The difference as far as I can gather between “voici” and “voila” is the same as between using “here” and “there”, or “this” and “that”. Although generally in spoken French they seem interchangeable. Typically one is closer, the other is further away e.g. Voici Paul, notre fils, et voila Sue, notre fille.

  13. Thanks to Pettijean and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Very difficult puzzle, was 4*/2* for me. Ten answers short, needed 3 hints and had to look 7 up. Completely baffling. Favourite was 14d. Never heard of 17&24d.

  14. A very fun puzzle, obviously a petitjean production given the music references (and Clapton again!). THanks to him and to BD

  15. At least a ***/*** today, took a long time to get there ;did like 14d clue,saw them a few years ago at Delamere Forest, much better in the flesh and didn’t miss a note! The year after Brian Ferry was on , but he had a’ huff’, and left in his jag without so much as a wave! went home to the pub. Next year it was Simply Red who were excellent. .Any way agree with BD that it was a bit of a curates egg,,certainly exercised the remaining brain.

    1. I was at the Quo concert enjoyed it much more than todays puzzle. Thought 28ac far too obscure

    2. I saw Quo many, many years ago (probably 73/74 ish), took me 4 years before I could listen to them on vinyl again (no CDs etc then).

      1. I’ve seen the Quo twice in the last two years at the O2 – they were excellent both times. Plenty of pony-tails, bald and greying heads about!

        They’re on there again doing they’re Bula Quo tour in December – I’ll be there!

        As for the Rolling Stones being the best – I saw the Glastonbury show on TV (or what the Beeb was allowed to broadcast!) and I thought they were terrible – mind you I’ve got a real downer on the BBC Glastonbury coverage and that might have coloured my opinion!

  16. Can you have a 10+ for difficulty? If so, that’s my rating. I still have clues unsolved, will go back to hints and have another try with their help. What I did get was fun but just lost heart after a while. No criticism of setter, just my thickness or ignorance. Never heard of Indie. Thanks BD for helping me out. Off to Wimbledon.

  17. I too thought this was a real fun puzzle ,with lots of smiles ,even though I was much delayed in the NW corner .17d was in my local pub quiz only last Sunday .
    Perhaps a chunter about 21a but suspect most if not all will have solved .
    Thanks to Petitjean and BD .

  18. I am glad that I gave up halfway through because I did not enjoy it at all. Many thanks BD for the hints which enabled me to complete it but, with some of the wordplay, I was none the wiser. ***/**** for difficulty and for enjoyment.

  19. Quite tough, I thought
    I do love Thursdays.
    Last in 1a and 2d, brilliant clues among many.
    Many thanks Petitjean and BD

    1. What I love about Thursdays (and Tuesdays) is their unpredictability. I really enjoy not knowing what to expect – sometimes they are really tough and you think you are never going to get anywhere and sometimes the opposite and then, just occasionally you think WED (Wrong Envelope Day) but not very often. I think it keeps us all on our toes.

  20. It has certainly given a lot of food for thought, as illustrated above.

    I found it incredibly tough, but got there, with the exception of 28a, where I managed to fit in “decked”, as my interpretation of “carpeted”!

  21. First post as a long term lurker. Mrs R educated me in the DT crossword, never forgiven her!

          1. Haha! That is great to know Dave!

            Brilliant service you provide for DT trainees by the way. My habit is not to start until 5.00pm, (BST), from my habit of meeting Mrs R for a drink after work when she would educate me in the secret world of cryptic clues. My grammer is not top drawer at times, (mainly post on a football site), so apologies in advance for any slips that will incur a *@##@** from you!

              1. Sorry. Feel like I should be on the naughty step already. Keyboard slip, honest guv.

                *reddens with shame*

                1. Welcome from me too. To do :oops: go to the top of BD’s page and go to FAQ and it will tell you how to do it. I love all the little faces – my current favourite is :roll: which I use far too often but it is so descriptive of how I feel if I’m cross with myself (or anyone else) for being dim.

  22. I would rate this at *** difficulty and **enjoyment. About three quarters went in ok but the remainder needed hints. A wide range of mental stretch from very easy, (19a) to 6d, 22a and 28a which stumped me. 17a was also a new word but got there once letters were in place.
    Thanks to setter and BD

    1. Just goes to show how different we all are – I love his crosswords. I think they’re really difficult but once you start to think with your ‘slightly mad hat’ on (can’t remember who started that expression but I think it’s pretty good) you get into it.

  23. The bottom half came fairly easily, but a few clues at the top were problematic for me – 6d, 7d, 1a, 10a.
    Much enjoyed solving 2d, 14d, 22d, 16d, 28a.

    Oh, and Dave, even if there’s no US theme surely 15a is at least a reference? I suppose we can’t really count 18a… :-)


  24. ****/** for me. Some rather far-fetched clues I thought. 8 clues to which I either had the answer or had it but didn’t know why – 1a, 5a, 9a, 26a, 27a, 2d, 6d, and 17d – hence thanks Dave for hints. Not much fun!

  25. I should have said “8 clues to which I either had NO answer or had it but …..” – apologies!

  26. most difficult ever !! last week I was patting myself on the back for doing my record time of 23 minutes (27215), but all I got on this one, before resorting to your excellent crib sheet, was a miserable 4 clues !

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