DT 27226 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27226

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27226

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *+*/2Enjoyment ***

I’d rate this slightly more than 1.5* for difficulty, only because of the bit more involved construction of a few of the answers; and 3* for enjoyment.  Thanks to 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    City doctor called in by domestic (6)

{MADRID} : [abbrev. for a doctor] contained in(called in by) [a domestic help].


5a    Attack one going to slaughter poor beast, losing head (8)

{LAMBASTE} : [the traditional young animal led to slaughter] + anagram of(poor) “beast” minus its first letter(losing head).

9a    Takes no comfort from pose on sketch (6,2)

{ROUGHS IT} : [to pose, like an artist’s model] placed after(on, in an across clue) [a sketch;a preliminary piece of artwork].

….well, just for a little bit.

10a    Kiss and cuddle and lounge about on top of sofa (6)

{SMOOCH} : [to lounge about;to loiter] placed after(on, in an across clue) first letter of(top of) “sofa”. Smooth surface.

11a    One who may chase England runs and declare (8)

{ENGRAVER} : [abbrev. for “England”] + [abbrev. for “runs” in cricket] plus(and) [to declare;to state positively].

Defn: Not a pursuer but a craftsman (or craftswoman) or an artist who might produce pieces like these:


12a    A dandy to boot (2,4)

{AS WELL} : A + [a dandy;a person fashionably dressed].

13a    Transfer files from unhappy boy full of love (8)

{DOWNLOAD} : [unhapply;feeling low] + [a boy] containing(full of) [the letter that looks like 0;love in tennis scores].

15a    Advantage of backing, say, given to editor (4)

{EDGE} : Reversal of(backing) [say;for example] placed after(given to, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “editor”].

17a    Always in the North – and South gets votes! (4)

{AYES} : [“always”, in the language of the country north of England] plus(and) [abbrev. for “south”].

19a    Gamble on first-class mark in exam for these characters (8)

{ALPHABET} : [a gamble;a wager] placed after(on, in an across clue) [the highest mark or grade attainable in an exam].

And these are all Greek to me:

20a    Not often right confronting a bank (6)

{RARELY} : [abbrev. for “right”] placed before(confronting) A + [to bank on;to depend on].

21a    Without phone, set off to get some things to write on (8)

{NOTELETS} : [without;having not] [abbrev. for “telephone”] + anagram of(off) SET.

22a    Flower  girl prepared to fight (6)

{AMAZON} : Double defn: 1st: Not plant life; and 2nd: With an upper-case initial, a mythological woman warrior; without, a girl with the same attributes.

The myth as represented on canvas and on film; and a real life example of what the word can now mean:


23a    Nothing doing during first part of play – only missing the second half! (8)

{INACTION} : [during a time period] [a part of a play] [Roman numeral for “one”, denoting “first”] + “only” minus its last 2 letters(missing the second half).

24a    Animal found in corner by hotel border (8)

{HEDGEHOG} : [to corner;to selfishly take more than one’s share] placed after(by, in an across clue) { [letter represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet] + [the border;the brink] }.

25a    Divorcee prompt to accept solicitor’s first defence (6)

{EXCUSE} : [informal term for a former wife;a divorcee] + [a prompt, especially to actors] containing(to accept) first letter of(…’s first) “solicitor”.

2d    End it on a high, ceremoniously chosen (8)

{ANOINTED} : Anagram of(high, as in “spoiled” eg. meat, or “drunk” eg. on drugs) END IT ON A.

3d    Rising skill of French in support of newspaper industry (3,5)

{RAG TRADE} : { Reversal of(Rising, in a down clue) [an attained or intuitive skill] + [French for “of”] } placed below(in support of, in a down clue) [a newspaper, especially one considered sensational, etc.].

Remember this sitcom about the industry?  And some actual workers in the industry:


4d    Face keeping a promise after second denial (9)

{DISAVOWAL} : [slang for “a face”] containing(keeping) { [A + promise;pledge] placed below(after, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “second” in time notation] }.

5d    Imagining a bit on the side? (7,8)

{LATERAL THINKING} : Cryptic defn: The mental process of looking at or solving problems not in the standard straightforward way, but off-centre – what crossword solvers have to do sometimes. Amusing surface: Lots of people can only fantasise about a bit on the side – and they do! (or don’t do – only imagine).

6d    Puzzled by birds that don’t fly into bed (7)

{BEMUSED} : [flightless birds from Australia] contained in(into) BED. The surface could be taken as slightly risqué.

7d    New novel penned by Stallone is careless and slipshod (8)

{SLOVENLY} : Anagram of(New) NOVEL contained in(penned by) [another nickname for the Italian Stallion].

8d    Levels of assistance mostly found in English studies (8)

{ECHELONS} : [assistance;aid] minus its last latter(mostly) contained in(found in) { [abbrev. for “English”] + [studies;examines carefully] }.

14d    A charge to include right touch judge (9)

{ARBITRATE} : A + [a charge, usually per unit] containing(to include) { [abbrev. for “right”] + [a touch of;not too much] }.

15d    Intrude, seeing heartless Etonian (cold fish) (8)

{ENCROACH} : “Etonian” minus all its inner letters(heartless) + [abbrev. for “cold”] + [a freshwater food fish].

16d    He loves his grub, work, and rum in order (8)

{GOURMAND} : [to work;to operate] + anagram of(in order) AND RUM.

Defn: In less euphemistic terms, a glutton.

17d    Duck out of hole in loft, being fit (8)

{ATHLETIC} : [the letter that looks like 0;a duck in cricket scores] deleted from(out of) “hole” contained in(in) [a loft;the space or room within the roof of a house].


18d    European proposals generating high feelings (8)

{EMOTIONS} : [abbrev. for “European”] + [proposals put forward in a meeting].

Answer: Feelings, often intense;high.

19d    No more by oneself pinching flags regularly (3,4)

{ALL GONE} : [by oneself;with no one else] containing(pinching) 2nd and 3rd letters of(regularly) “flags”.


The Quick crossword pun: (rumour} + {toyed} + {halve} + {writers} = {rheumatoid arthritis}

26 comments on “DT 27226

  1. Yet again today I completed three quarters smoothly, and got held up in one corner – this time the NW, with 2d my last one in. However, perseverance paid off and I managed to finish without help.

    Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Scchua for his review. My rating is 2.5* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. Lots of nice clues, with 5d my favourite. Nice to see the topical cricket reference in 11a with the Ashes starting today.

  2. Must learn to check my spelling more carefully – completely forgot 5a ends as it does, so made a mess of 8d. Thank you to the setter and thank you Scchua for helpful hints. Now I need to help paint Mr P’s writing Bothy. We’re surrounded by crowds trooping off to the Hampton Court Flower Show with police preventing parking for what seems like miles around…. But it’s all for a good cause :-)

  3. A lovely puzzle today. Normally I spot the river/flower – not today! A nice bit of misdirection from Jay.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua. 2*/4* for me.

    1. We seem to be in sync today, the river / flower caught me out as well.Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle today although my first read through only revealed one answer but they began to fall into place after a mug of tea, outstanding clue today has to be 5D followed by 19A. Many thanks to scchua for the review, I will now look forward to watching the test match on the box.

  5. Interesting to see ‘chase’ which caused so much discussion with this meaning last week, pop up again so soon. Everyone should be straight on to it this time. A good fun puzzle with a good range of clue types and, we thought, a decent standard of difficulty. A pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  6. A pleasure to solve ,lots of humourous and enjoyable clues.
    If I had to pick a favourite it would be 9a .
    Definite 4* for enjoyment for me .
    Thanks Jay and Scchua .

  7. For me Ghastly. Very tough and very little fun. Got 5 answers that I cannot understand even with the cryptic hints.
    Definitely not my week, yet to complete one unaided.
    All cloudy today so going to watch the cricket.

  8. Thanks for a fairly tricky puzzle, Jay. Considerably more than 2.5 stars, I thought . If I ever knew that meaning of “chase” (11a), I had forgotten .Also got by the flower. But I loved 12a and 5d . Thanks for your assistance, sschua.

  9. I have a problem with Jay, sometimes I can whistle through, this one though completely stumped me, only a third done before I had to revert to hints.
    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle which when I knew the answers shouldn’t have caused a problem.

  10. Enjoyable solve today, 22A took me a while to spot (I was distracted by a certain cricket match)(honest). My fave today is 11A but I did like 17A (but NAYS in at first, but soon spotted the correct word after getting 7D). The quickie pun is very good again today.

  11. Very enjoyable, though I did nod off half way through ( perhaps because I was playing golf at 7am). I was pleased to apply some 5d to get 5d.

  12. **/*** for me, I originally had 23A as the similar adjective ending in “VE”, as I’d translated “only” into “save” and taken half off that – although the clue does say second half, so it’s not actually a valid answer. That caused me a problem with 18d until I worked out the mistake. 5d was my favourite.

  13. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to sschua for a most amusing review.

  14. Favourite clue: 6d – raised a smile after a day during which I had a 2 hour wait at the hospital only to be told that I need more laser treatment on both eyes. On with the dance, let joy be unconfined!

  15. My heart sank when I started and got nowhere, then started to get a toe in the water in the lower half and worked from there. We needed a lot of 5d, especially for, example, 22a. I, too, had “nays” for 17a until I solved 7d. All in all, a very enjoyable solve when I got going.

    Thanks to all, though I didn’t need your hints scchua. I do remember the TV sitcom from 3d, must have been on when I lived at 21 Buckingham Street many moons ago. “Everybody ‘aht”

  16. A lovely puzzle – really enjoyed it – bit nearer 3* for difficulty and at least 4* for enjoyment from me.
    I did get into a terrible pickle in the top left corner which took about twice as long as the whole of the rest of the crossword.
    I couldn’t get 1, 9 or 11a for ages and completely missed the anagram indicator in 2d – have no-one to blame but myself. Anyway finished unaided in the end.
    I liked 10 and 24a and 6 and 17d. My favourite was 5d as lots of others have already said – what terrible minds we all have! :roll:
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Still very warm in Oxford but no sun today.

  17. I agree with Merusa. I couldn’t,t get anywhere to start with and I definitely needed your help. Thanks

  18. Late tackling this today, tackle being the operative word. Managed 3/4 without hints but thanks to Scchua for helping with the rest, Thanks too to Jay for enjoyable ***/*** puzzle

  19. Thank you Jay – found this quite tough, but managed to solve it sitting on Branscombe beach. A dip in the sea sharpened the brain and solved outstanding clues ! Thank you Scchua for your review.

  20. I solved this one but it was not easy – for some of the clues it was a question of memory.

  21. You use the word surface twice. You you give a definition of this usage as it’s new to me?

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