DT 27232

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27232

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Another enjoyable offering, with a similar difficulty level as last week, ie. 1.5*, though a couple at the end were trickier to parse than solve.  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    General bearing water in the east of England (6)

{BROADS} : [general;covering a wide scope] + [abbrev. for a bearing;direction].

Answer: A watery geographical feature in eastern England. Not to be confused with the (derogatory) slang for females.

4a    Concluded actors may be not very bright (8)

{OVERCAST} : [concluded;done with] + [actors, say, in a play or movie]. Nice surface, though mostly it’s the characters they play that are not very bright.


10a    Event at which Irish town mostly follows attempt on the radio (9)

{TRIATHLON} : [an Irish town on the Shannon river] minus its last letter(mostly) placed after(follows) homophone of(on the radio) [an attempt].

Answer: An athletic contest, usually gruelling.

11a    Support service by Britain (5)

{BRACE} : [a winning tennis serve;service] placed after(by) [abbrev. for “Britain”].

12a    Catch when covering hot pipes? (7)

{HOOKAHS} : [to catch, with a bent device] + [when, as in “when you drive on…”] containing(covering) [abbrev. for “hot”].

Answer:  Not to be confused with its homophone.

Used singularly or communally.


13a    Inexperienced army sadly left out of rudimentary training (7)

{UNTRIED} : Anagram of(… training) { “rudimentary” minus(left out of …) anagram of(sadly) “army” }.

14a    Son in row about exam after failure (5)

{RESIT} : [abbrev. for “son”] contained in(in) [a row, say, of seats in a stadium].

Defn: What one does after failing an exam. Amusing image of a mother haranguing a teacher after her son has failed an exam.

15a    Island church, with youths full of energy, rocks (3,5)

{ICE CUBES} : [abbrev. for “island”] + [abbrev. for the Church of England] plus(with) [inexperienced youths] containing(full of) [symbol for “energy”, in physics].

Defn: What you might have your liquor on.

18a    Daily aims to develop personal appeal (8)

{CHARISMA} : [short for a daily cleaning lady] + anagram of(… to develop) AIMS.

20a    Empty gesture welcomed by standard caller (5)

{PAGER} : “gesture” minus all its internal letters(Empty) contained in(welcomed by) [a standard;a norm – except, perhaps, when it comes to golf and merely mortal golfers].

Answer: A small electronic device; if not, one who calls for you, say, over the public address system.

23a    Outline cost initially, before working trip (7)

{CONTOUR} : First letter of(initially) “cost” placed before(before) [working;functioning, eg. an electrical appliance] + [a trip, especially for sightseeing].

Answer:  Sometimes enhanced (or not) by a 9 down.


25a    Devastated by popular works covering source of industry (2,5)

{IN RUINS} : [popular;fashionable] + [works;functions, eg. any mechanical device] containing(covering) first letter of(source of) “industry”.

26a    Encouragement having right for British to settle (5)

{ROOST} : [an encouragement;a lift-up, to, say, your morale] with [abbrev. for “right”] replacing(having … for) [abbrev. for “British”].

Defn: What birds do for the night – except the nocturnal ones of course.

27a    Flag’s back – make a speech and disappear (9)

{EVAPORATE} : Reversal of(back) [to flag;to lay flat slabs of stone on the ground]+ [to make a speech].

28a    Arrange to end her rule? (8)

{DETHRONE} : Anagram of(Arrange) TO END HER. A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with defn.) clue.

29a    Easy place to be wise? (6)

{STREET} : I think this is a double defn. 1st: [a place] used with “easy” in a phrase; and 2nd: [a place] used with “wise” in a phrase. I’d be absolutely sure of my answer if the clue had read “Place to be easy and wise?”


1d    A look around London commonly kills (8)

{BUTCHERS} : Cryptic defn: Rhyming slang;language used “commonly”, from around the East End of London, for “a look”.

2d    Zero common sense applied to motorway is threatening (7)

{OMINOUS} : { [letter that looks like 0] + [common sense, derived from the Greek] } containing(applied to, as, eg. a coat of paint) [name of the major English motorway].

3d    Knocker hauled up on hill (9)

{DETRACTOR} : Reversal of(up) [hauled;carried with effort] placed above(on, in a down clue) [a hill, especially a bare rocky one].

Answer: Someone to whom you might say “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it”.

5d    Guess Athens, say, should get finance for new business (7,7)

{VENTURE CAPITAL} : [to put forward a guess;to say something one can’t be certain about – though I thought, properly, the phrase is “to ___/hazard a guess”] + [a city, an example of which;say is Athens].

Answer: Seed money to set up a new business.

6d    Machine to steal books? (5)

{ROBOT} : [to steal] + [abbrev. for some books, collectively, in the bible].


7d    Greed of artist swallowed up by a weakness (7)

{AVARICE} : Reversal of(up) [post-nominal letters for a member of the Royal Academy of Arts] contained in(swallowed … by) { A + [a weakness;a failing in character or conduct].

8d    Weak ineffectual boys oppressed by those with no socks or trousers (6)

{TWEEDS} : [thin and feeble persons – I guess the clue specifies “boys” for the surface] placed below(oppressed by, in a down clue) “those” minus(with no) [leg coverings: socks, stockings and the like].

Answer: Garments, including trousers, made from a thick woollen coarse cloth.


9d    Smooth operator who might fix one’s credit card record? (7,7)

{PLASTIC SURGEON} : Cryptic defn: Reference to an informal term for a credit card.

Answer: An operator who might smooth out your wrinkles. And if he/she were operating out of, say, Harley Street, your credit card statement would definitely be fixed for the worse (or your pockets).

16d    Top hairdo in socially acceptable situation (9)

{UPPERMOST} : [a hairdo achieved by applying chemicals and heat, lasting for a long time, hence its name] contained in(in) { [socially acceptable;characteristic of the upper class, in Britain] + [a situation;a position of employment].

17d    The outlook for bent coppers tending to overlook conclusion (8)

{PROSPECT} : Anagram of(bent) COPPERS “tending” minus(to overlook) [conclusion;the finish).

19d    Paper distributed as a gift to the needy (7)

{HANDOUT} : Double defn: 1st: A free paper distributed, to the public or to those attending a meeting, lecture, etc.

21d    Expression of one married in holy state (7)

{GRIMACE} : [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for “married”] contained in(in) [the state of having divine protection or favour].


22d    Terrified by concern in case of scaffold (6)

{SCARED} : [concern for] contained in(in) the 2 outermost letters of(case of) “scaffold”.

24d    Animal‘s excessive energy on runs (5)

{OTTER} : [abbrev. for something, eg. behaviour, that’s extreme or outrageous] + [symbol for “energy”] placed above(on, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “runs” in cricket].

The Quick crossword pun: (hoar} + {sunk} + {heart} = {horse and cart}


  1. Colmce
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    18a anagram of aims following ” a lady what does” on a regular basis.

    In the main a gentle puzzle but with a few tricky moments. Very enjoyable.3* diff for me.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to the setter

    • scchua
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Sorry all round. Blog amended. Thanks for pointing out.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Good morning Scchua. Your hint for 18a is wrong. It should be a word for a daily (home help) followed by an anagram of AIMS.

    Even though I got the answers, I struggled with a lot of the wordplay particularly in the NE corner, and I needed your help to understand 13a, 29a (although I’m still not convinced of the parsing for this one), 8d, and 17d.

    I usually enjoy Jay’s puzzles very much but this one wasn’t to my taste today. My rating is ***/**

    Thanks to Jay and Scchua

    • scchua
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink


  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    17d, we think, is an anagram of coppers and t from tending. What is overlooked is the ‘ending’ part of tending, ie the conclusion.
    We thought this was a really good puzzle and at least average difficulty for a backpage puzzle and probably above that. Lots of clever clues that kept us chuckling.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

    • scchua
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Thanks 2Kiwis. Another round of apologies. Blog amended.

  4. Sweet William
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay. Always find your puzzles tricky but managed to get a few answers before checking the wordplay – which always helps. It seems like a bit of a fluke or bonus ! Thank you Scchua for your review and tastefully restrained photos !

  5. jackkt
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Must be a bit dim this morning as I can’t follow the explanation of 13ac. Can someone put it in simple terms for me please?

    • scchua
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Anagram of “rudi_ent_ _ _”. _ _ _ _ = Anagram of “army”. ie. above hint without the indicators which are shown in parentheses.

    • skempie
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      If you take the letters for ARMY from the word RUDIMENTARY, the letters you have left make an anagram meaning INEXPERIENCED

      • jackkt
        Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I think I’ll stick to the Times.

  6. skempie
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Took a while to get into today’s offering, but this is often the way with Jay’s puzzles for me. Felt that I was getting nowhere and then suddenly realised that I’d finished !!! Lots of nice clues today with probably 5D being my favourite.

    Looking forward to a visit from British Gas to get a new boiler sorted out – dead cheap in this weather – only costing four grand :(

  7. Beaver
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I found this about a ***/*** as I was a bit slow in the SE corner as I didn’t see the anagram for 17d, but thought the’ pro ‘ was ‘for’ and the rest of the explanation eluded me ,at least I had the right solution! Liked 29a and 15a.Had a ‘satnav’ moment yesterday ,attending a funeral ,due to meet at the Royal Oak Garstang, it took me to another Royal Oak 15 miles away and I entered the correct postcode-just made it, needed a few pints last night.

  8. Michael Watson
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Wednesday puzzle solved today for the first time for as long as I can remember Bit if a struggle though. Thanks to Jay and hints from scchua I think I deserve a drink

  9. Magmull
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    27,232. 8d. Surely “boys” should be “buoys”?

  10. Domus
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Come on – definitely 3* for difficulty but thanks for explanations.

  11. Graham
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I found this fairly easy bar a couple which I am grateful for the hints . Really liked 15A & 27A, many thanks to scchua for the excellent review & interesting pictures.

  12. Rosie G
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Also found this a bit of a struggle , probably ***/** today. Thanks to Jay tho for the mental stimulus and to Scchua for much needed hints. At least I finished it!

  13. Michael
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    A bit slow today, I found the clues particularly baffling and I’m afraid Scchua’s explanations didn’t help me much – which was entirely down to me having a bit of a thick head today.

    I’ve managed to struggle through to a conclusion but I didn’t enjoy it much!

  14. BigBoab
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable crossword and a very amusing review, thanks to the setter and sschua.

  15. Poppy
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed working through this – thanks setter. Needed Scchua’s hints to explain why 26a was correct – thanks Scchua (although you are usually more even-handed with the eye candy!). And completely misunderstood the clue for 8d, and ended with a y rather than an s. Put it down to having run out of 15a.

  16. angel
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    At first glance this seemed impossible but pressing on regardless and keeping a cool head – difficult in official “heatwave”! – I managed. Thanks to Jay and indeed to Scchua for hints which, as usual recently, were needed to explain some of my answers e.g. 13a, 20a & 8d where I had “Y” at end. ***/**.

  17. Kath
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    A lovely puzzle for a very hot (and increasingly cloudy and humid) Wednesday. 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment from me.
    I started off very slowly – as usual on Wednesdays should have started with the down clues – and then got going for a bit until I stopped completely before being able to do the last few.
    Last two answers, for some reason, were 8 and 21d.
    I liked 12, 28 and 29a and 2 and 9d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    What is it about hot weather that makes everyone drive very badly, and too fast, and cyclists do even more crazy things than usual? :roll:

    • Toni
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I always start with the down clues but found that didn’t help today

  18. Bluebird
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Was going well in NE with a few which I thought were ‘quick crossword’ synonym clues really, and the ‘cryptic’ components were just lip service. 5d is a good example of that. Even my other half got it and he can’t do crosswords.

    Then it got harder. Finally gave up and went to hints with 2 to go. Didn’t help when I insisted 14a was ” loser” which you can JUST about get away with with some crunching of re for ‘about’ and OL ( o level) ……..oh dear! Got it eventually.

    The only one I’m ashamed of not getting fir a while was 24d (easy).

    Otherwise, I’d say 2.5 * ( made up of some easies and some 4* devils). And 2* for enjoyment.

  19. Brian
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    What a dreary crossword. Very tough and with little or no fun apart perhaps for 9d.
    All just a bit of a slog.
    Now done (Thx to Scchua) but for me a ***/* rating.

    • Brian
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Still trying with Gravatar!

      • Merusa
        Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        It worked! Nice car

      • una
        Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

        How come, when I click on your gratavar , to have a better look, nothing happens ?

  20. Toni
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Liked 10a, 27a and 7d
    Was led astray by some clues so needed help today.

  21. Magmull
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for welcome BD – have stalked you all long time but, being computer illiterate had very little idea how to join in. Don’t really know what I did to-day, but hope it keeps on happening. Thought to-days very tricky – usual routine – collect papers and breakfast at 6, back to bed and don’t get up until Quick and Cryptic finished – usually about 8. Had to break the habit, or I’d still be abed. Cryptic finished with my coffee, but still can’t end the quick – “beat”? “devout” – “revolt” -?? I dunno. I’m wilting in Wilts

    • Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Try “defeat” – your “O” is incorrect.

  22. Magmull
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    BRILLO! I was positive I was right – a definite mistake. Can now R.I.P. – thanks

    • Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      If you click on “REPLY” it keeps the related items together on the same thread.

  23. Merusa
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this very tricky. I needed hints for the “why” of 6d, 13a and 26a. Got the wrong answer for 15a, where I put in “queen” as it was the only thing I could think of but no idea why. Wrong again! I never did get 8d and had to look it up; to tell the truth not sure I understand it even now. Otherwise, pretty straightforward, and the long answers were easy so I got something to work on. I have a 12a here that my uncle sent us from Shanghai in the 1920s.

    Thanks to setter and hinter, good workout.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Just revisited 8d and finally “got” it. Lordy, how complicated can you get?

  24. jezza
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Top left was where I finished up today. Thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.

  25. Derek
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    A gentle puzzle today.

    Faves : 1a, 12a, 20a, 29a, 1d, 5d, 6d & 9d.

    Weather still full summer here – my daughter and family are in Corsica where it is somewhat hotter!

    • Kath
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      In my very humble opinion Corsica is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We had four wonderful holidays there when our daughters were teenagers – I wonder if it is as lovely now as it was then – I do hope so. I’ve never swum or snorkelled in such clear clean sea – amazing. I envy your daughter and her family and hope that they are having the kind of holiday that we did, and enjoying it as much as we did.

  26. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    This was a slog, don’t recall reading anywhere in the colour brochure that you’d need to know the names of small Irish towns in order to be able to solve Telegraph crosswords. Actually, I got 10, it was just one of those annoying answers that had to be right but I couldn’t confirm it without using reference aids that I don’t carry on the train on my daily commute.

    • una
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      I really surprised myself by getting it immediately.

  27. Heno
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I enjoyed trying this but I wasn’t on Jay’s wavelength at all. I needed 7 of scchua’s excellent hints to finish. Was 4*/3* for me. Favourites were 1&6d. Can’t get used to the humidity now I’m back in the Smoke.

  28. Heno
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I thought that was a good clue, but you are correct that it required some knowledge of geography, but I would say that the town is quite well known.

    • Sweet William
      Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I was lucky here – it was one of the ones I fluked – getting the answer from the word “event” and then realising that the wordplay fitted. Must be quite oppressive in The Smoke ! Quite pleasant in the grim north !

  29. neveracrossword
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Even better by the sea in Devon! I was glad to see that many bloggers found this harder than scchua – I certainly did. But very enjoyable.

  30. una
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I found it quite a slog, heat and dust , I suppose.I thought some of the clues were very clunky, such as 8d and 17d.Thanks sschua for some much needed hints, and thanks to Jay.

  31. Mudflap
    Posted July 20, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Is there any possibilty than the DT might consider including the nickname of the author/compiler to avoid the waste of paper incurred by printing out some of the offerings?

    As a VERY long term devotee of the DT crosswords, I find that one or two of the modern compilers do not quite understand the concept of “cryptic”!

    Sorry, Jay, but I find that most of your clues are very much of the “3-2-1 Ted Rogers Dustybin” genre and are not for me.