DT 27240 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27240

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27240

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We’ve had some good back-page puzzles this week and today we have another enjoyable offering. Do leave a comment telling us how you fared.

If you want to reveal an answer just slide your cursor through the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Drink? Bobby goes to work after a litre (7)
{ALCOPOP} – an informal term for a police officer and an abbreviated artistic work go after A and L(itre).

5a  Stalemate that is restricting politician, twerp (7)
{IMPASSE} – the abbreviation for ‘that is’ contains (restricting) an elected politician and a twerp or fool.

9a  Like the modern computerised office  with bare walls? (9)
{PAPERLESS} – double definition, the first how we were promised computerised offices would be ever since I can remember (but which seems in most cases as far away as ever. How many offices do you know without a printer or photocopier?).

10a  Cook employed by bistro, a star (5)
{ROAST} – hidden (employed) by the clue.

11a  World of learning made to look silly, wonderful on the outside (7)
{ACADEME} – an anagram (to look silly) of MADE has an adjective meaning wonderful or first-class around it.

12a  See  film with Oscar-winning actor (7)
{LINCOLN} – double definition – a diocese (see) in England and a film for which Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar.

13a  Polite man’s not a silly fool (9)
{SIMPLETON} – an anagram (silly) of POLITE M(a)N’S without the A.

16a  That is the thing to enthral some of the French (2,3)
{ID EST} – this is the full latin phrase meaning ‘that is’ for which we normally use just the abbreviation (as in 5a above). An impersonal pronoun (the thing) contains (to enthral) a French word meaning ‘some of the’.

17a  Exclamation of surprise about identity revealed by woman post-match (5)
{WIDOW} – match here means marriage. An exclamation of surprise or admiration contains the abbreviation for identity.

18a  What’s handwritten diagram showing data for car? (9)
{AUTOGRAPH} – cryptically this could be a diagram containing data about a car. Whose is this? (answer at the bottom).

21a  Way of speaking of various characters in citadel (7)
{DIALECT} – an anagram (various characters) of CITADEL.

22a  River once more receding with rain reduced by half (7)
{NIAGARA} – reverse an adverb meaning once more and add just half of the word rain.

25a  Plant collections outside university (5)
{LOTUS} – collections or large amounts contain U(niversity).

26a  Deformed character, seemingly modern, needing love (9)
{QUASIMODO} – a charade of a prefix meaning seemingly or having the appearance of, the abbreviation for modern and the letter resembling zero or love. The bells, the bells …!

27a  Peculiar extent to which holy person must go (7)
{STRANGE} – an extent or reach is preceded (to which … must go) by the usual abbreviation for a holy person.

28a  Mum’s pet is a dog (7)
{MASTIFF} – a pet in this instance is a huff, i.e. a display of irritation or a fit of sulks. It’s preceded here by an affectionate term for mum and the ‘S.

Down Clues

1d  A chime from the belfry’s keeping quiet — requests being made (7)
{APPEALS} – string together A (from the clue), a chime from the belfry and the ‘S then insert the abbreviated musical instruction to play quietly.

2d  Copper and quiet old man getting together for a drink (5)
{CUPPA} – a charade (getting together) of the chemical symbol for copper, quiet (again, see previous hint) and an affectionate term for old man or father.

3d  Analyse astronomical distance without using speed of light (5)
{PARSE} – a unit of distance used in astronomy without the letter that stands for the speed of light (as used in Einstein’s famous equation).

4d  Stop gift, having had change of heart (7)
{PREVENT} – start with a gift, then replace its central S with a different letter (having had change of heart).

5d  Slight cut? Then get in something that could be injected (7)
{INSULIN} – a slight or abusive remark loses its final T (i.e. it’s cut) and that’s followed by IN (from the clue).

6d  Office assistant in tenanted property bringing up kids (9)
{PARENTING} – the abbreviation for an assistant in the office is followed by what someone living in a tenanted property is doing.

7d  Take off a grasping bishop in TV series (4,5)
{SOAP OPERA} – I thought at first that this was going to be the name of a specific TV series but the checking letters soon put me right. A verb to take off (like a bird or plane) and the A from the clue contain (grasping) a bishop (not any old bishop but the Bishop of Rome).

8d  On tops of collectors’ tables old money is put out (7)
{EXTINCT} – this is an adjective meaning put out, extinguished or no longer in existence. The prefix meaning old or former and a slang word for money are followed (on, in a down clue) by the top letters of C(ollectors’) T(ables).

14d  Threat maybe from this companion of Alice’s? (3,6)
{MAD HATTER} – a reverse anagram (i.e. the indicator and fodder are in the answer rather than the clue) which, when solved, will give you THREAT.

15d  Saloons we refurbished in period when few visitors would be expected (3,6)
{LOW SEASON} – an anagram (refurbished) of SALOONS WE gives us the quiet time of the year when holiday resorts, for example, are least busy. This phrase doesn’t seem to have made it into Chambers.

17d  Theologian in one part of the UK walks with swaying gait (7)
{WADDLES} – insert an academically-qualified theologian into part of the UK. Mary will enjoy this one.

18d  What could be quaint, coming to sale finally? (7)
{ANTIQUE} – a semi-all-in-one where the whole clue is the definition. It’s an anagram (could be) of QUAINT followed by the final letter of (sal)E.

19d  Cat carried around close in a pick-up (4,3)
{TONE ARM} – this pick-up is neither a vehicle nor someone approached for a casual relationship but what you used to (and may to this day) gently raise and lower on to your revolving 78 or 45. A male cat contains (carried around) an adjective meaning close.

20d  Guillotine done its job? Check! (4,3)
{HEAD OFF} – double definition, the first cryptic and somewhat macabre. The second is a phrasal verb meaning to check or intercept (in old Westerns the sheriff and posse would always announce their intention to **** *** the baddies at the pass).

23d  Stars come in view with sun sinking (5)
{ARIES} – a verb meaning to emerge or come into view has its S(un) sinking to the bottom (this construct only works for a down clue).

24d  Be ill, eating nothing — after which one is dressing (5)
{AIOLI} – a verb meaning to be ill or sickly contains (eating) the letter resembling nothing, then we finish with I (one in Roman numerals).

My favourite clues were 12a, 28a and 2d. Tell us what you liked.

Whose is that autograph? Couldn’t you read it? It’s Usain Bolt.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {TRACK} + {SHUN} = {TRACTION}

78 comments on “DT 27240

  1. A toughie for me today, and needed the tips, particularly for the north-west corner. One or two new words for me, so educational, even at my age (60)! Thanks as always for the explanation and tips.

  2. 2*/4* for me. No real difficulty to complete, but spent a little while justifying the last letter of 1d; I presume the S is simply a contraction of IS, ie A P PEAL (I)S.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  3. Agree, this has been a very good week for puzzles, and this one the icing on the cake.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to the setter.

  4. I found this puzzle like the curate’s egg with some really good clues (I particularly liked 14d) and some irritating ones.

    In the latter category were 12a, for which I didn’t put Lincoln because it seemed so implausible given the wording of the clue (even with Gazza’s explanation of “see” it still seems very weak to me); and 23d, which I thought must be Aries but I couldn’t see at all how it fitted the wordplay without Gazza’s help.

    I found the NE corner harder than the rest put together, and overall my rating is 3* for difficulty and a slightly disappointing 2* for enjoyment today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his excellent review.

      1. In that case my general knowledge is nil – a reflection of how the rest of my day has been! :sad:

  5. I found this generally fairly easy but had to revert to the clues for a couple of answers 12A 24D Many thanks to Gazza for some much needed help.

  6. See how I wasted time trying to fit Lo into the first part of 12a, & then “Diocese” – neither of which got me anywhere useful at all! So I’m grateful to Gazza for the hints to enable me to get the last three filled in. And also for the explanation of 19d, as I’d worked out the answer but had never heard of it. Thank you setter for a lot of fun.

  7. Very good – a couple of weird one’s though!

    19d – I got from the Cryptic explanation from the Blog but I have never heard off a **** *** – I’ve only known it as the ‘arm’.

    23d – again from the explanation – but I found it a bit clunky!

    Again – thanks to all concerned!

  8. 16ac and 8d to go. 2d had me bamboozled until 11ac went in and then it actually made me laugh. An easy week all round in Cryptic corner. The crossword editor must have felt sorry for us and so choose not to fry our brains. Ta to all. May you all get lots and lots of whatever it is you need.

        1. By the time I get up to look at the courgettes they’ll be marrows if this weekend is anything like I think it’s going to be.

  9. A mixed bag today, I felt. The bottom half went in quickly but I struggled with some of the top half. I liked 1a, 17a, 26a and 16a, but 3d, 8d and 12a left me baffled!
    Thanks to setter and reviewer nonetheless.

  10. Very enjoyable fare from The Don. I was held up in the NE corner as I was trying (like Poppy) to start 12A with LON but got back on track by finally spotting 8D and changing my approach to the word.

    Had some good news today, I’ve just won tickets to Bath Racecourse Cider Festival – an evening of racing (not really my thing, but the wife’s always wanted to go) followed by the cider festival with the Wurzels – all very West Country.

    Anyone help me out with 21D in the quickie – have all the checking letters and have no idea what the answer is (bloody word association crosswords, grrrrrrr)

    1. 21d – the permission is granted by a bishop to a priest to leave the diocese. Do you want to know the other 2 letters?

    2. 21d is permission for a pupil to be absent from school. It’s latin for ‘let him go’.

    3. There are only two types of Cider in the world. Sleeping Cider and Fighting Cider. They are often interchangeable. Be warned.

      1. Arr, we knows orl about zoider down by yur in Zummerzet, Oi been livin on it for the best part of thirty year. Actually, looks like I’ll be ding the driving in the first place and carrying the Mrs out in the second.

        1. Mr P thought heaven had arrived on earth when he was invited to be a judge at the Real Ale bash at Olympia a few years ago. I thought he might need to be brought home in a wheelbarrow. Turns out we were both wrong, but he did have a great time…

          1. Our village pub keeps a wheelbarrow handy – it has been used on more than one occasion but not by anyone related to me, I hasten to add :D

        2. Love that Somerset cider. Used to spend a lot of time in Compton Dundon, oh, happy days.

          1. Compton Dando you mean – can walk there from my house (good excuse to pop into the Compton for a quick one)

            1. Compton Dundon near Somerton. My friends lived in a house called Beacon View, on the other side of the hill looking towards Yeovil. The house was sold after they died, demolished and a house with every imaginable modern invention for heating/cooling. I would love to see it. It’s upside down, I believe, with entrance upstairs and bedrooms, etc. downstairs.

      2. What about ‘leg’ cider?

        That’s the sort of scrumpy where you feel fine sitting on the bar stool..then you get up to go home and nothing works below the knee. This is absolutely true.

        1. Not forgetting Scrambler Cider in which nobody can understand a word the cider drinker has spoken.

          1. That’s just people talking Zummerzet surely? Brings to mind when I lived in Bedford and my local managed to finally get Blackthorn installed (before it became a fizzy alco-pop), we had North West Indiana Rugby Club on tour and the came into my pub on their last evening. The biggest guy in their time came and sat next to me and asked what I felt he should drink, I suggested a nice pint of Abbott Ale to which he replied ‘I ain’t drinking none of that alligator p**s’ (nice turn of phrase) so I suggested Blackthorn. ‘What the hell is Blackthorn ?’ he asked ‘ A bit like your applejack but with a kick’ I replied. Half way through his third pint, he juust keeled over at the bar and collapsed at my feet to the great merriment of his team and all the Brits present.

  11. Thank you Giovanni – not one of my favourite puzzles. Struggled down the RH side and guessed at the answers for 12 a, 8d and 23d. So, many thanks for your explanations of the wordplay Gazza which I needed today.

  12. For some reason I found this easier than recent puzzles. Got stuck on 24d as this is not a spelling I was familiar with. 12a misleading as I am not familiar with ecclesiastical abbreviations like see. 2,3 and 4d had me stumped for quite a while, though 2d is obvious when the penny drops, 3d Is tricky in my book even though I knew the component parts.

  13. An enjoyable offering from my favourite setter. I struggled with 12a, guessing that the “see” part must be “lo”. I thought the only ecclesiastical see in crosswordland was Ely.

    1. A see is another name for a Bishopric (that’s not rude BTW), so every cathedral has a see associated with it

      1. I was once told that, to be designated a “city”, you had to have a cathedral, if you didn’t you were just a “town”. Is that still true?

        1. No, a city is created by royal charter; many UK ones do have cathedrals, but not necessarily.

          1. Preston is an example of a city with no cathedral and Aldershot is not a city but does have a cathedral.

        2. Somewhere in the very distant past I was also misled into thinking that a city had to have a cathedral !

          1. That’s not true either I’m afraid. Bath is definitely a city but has not got a cathedral (it has an abbey) and is not the county town of Somerset (Taunton is). It does have a royal charter however which is why it has a city.

  14. Best crossword of the week, I loved 5d and because I adore garlic mayo, 24d. My thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a very amusing review.

  15. Not as enjoyable as yesterday’s, but pretty good all the same.

    Everything bar two went in w.o. any help.

    But, although I got 3d, I had never heard of the distance word at all.
    I also didn’t ‘see’ see in12d, although the answer was obvious.
    And never heard the word in 23d.

    I’m a big fan of that garlic dressing.
    14d was just great!

      1. No, I know Aries, but I meant the ‘view’ word.
        I’ve got it since, because I mistakenly moved the S from the top instead of switching the last two letters, if that makes sense….

  16. A bit slow in starting today, but once on the wavelength was putting in the answers then working out why-happens sometimes for no apparent reason. Agree with the**/**** as diverse and entertaining clues. Liked 26a and 12a,assumed it was like Exeter etc, always have trouble spelling 24d, a bit like attol, athol, atoll? Saw the recent Alice in 3d which i thought worked rather well.

      1. Yes – Charles Laughton from ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ made in 1939 – one of his best – I loved him in ‘Hobson’s Choice’.

  17. Very enjoyable crossword as with help from the hinter we managed to finish it, so thank you very much Gazza, also, of course, the setter.

  18. Thanks to the two G’s. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very difficult, I completed the bottom half ok, but struggled with the top. Needed 5 hints to finish. Was 4*/4* for me. Favourites were 1&26a and 3d. A bit Cloudy in Central London. Could well be a waste of time looking at the Toughie :-)

  19. Finished, though I did have to look up the answer to 1a. I had all the letters but was sure I had something wrong, what sort of word was A-C-P-P?? I don’t think I’ll even file that one away for future reference. Like many others, I completely missed the reason for “see” in 12a and just wrote it in with fingers crossed. I thought they were all pretty clever (except 1a), and 19d, though a new word, was easy enough to work out and google for confirmation. Nice start to my day again, thanks to all.

  20. I enjoyed most of this but was stuck on 8d and 23d, getting the answers from the letters I had but needing the tips to explain why they were correct. Also had to look up “tone-arm” which was a new word to me. A good mental work-out nonetheless.

  21. I thought this was a great puzzle and managed to complete it unaided except for 19d , which I’d never heard of, but I needed the explanation for 12a (forgot about that ****** see again!) and 7d. Thanks to Giovanni & gazza. :smile:

  22. Grieves me to say but I thought this was a poor offering from the Don.
    Clues like 20d and 23d are weak and many are poorly constructed which is not like him at all.
    Usually everything you need to solve the clue is contained therein but not today.
    Still don’t understand 23d, what is Sarie? Or am I misconstruing the hint.

    1. – Stars being the defintion – there’s a constellation in there! The S in the verb just moves down one space!

      1. CS I was going to query the wordplay when I realised that the verb was Arise then you get Aries. I saw the constellation quickly but it taken me all day to get the wordplay,DOH!

      1. I said earlier on that I thought this clue was really clunky – glad to know I’m not the only one.

  23. I didn’t find this too demanding, although, like others I found 12a and 23d poor clues, the latter particularly so. Still, each to his/her own.
    Quite enjoyable, nonetheless.

  24. A rubbish day one way and another – trying to sort out my Mum took up most of it then made complete pig’s ear of crossword. :sad:
    With the benefit of hindsight having finished it, apart from 12a which was me being dim, I’d say 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. While I was doing it it was 5* difficulty.
    Bottom half was fine and top half was rather less so.
    I fell into every single little trap – far too many of them to write them all down. Oh dear, oh dear – not my day but definitely not the fault of the crossword.
    I did like lots of these clues – 26 and 28a and 2 and 5d. My favourite was 2d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza, and apologies to all for being so grumpy!
    Husband just come home – time for a glass of wine outside in the sun.

    1. Oh dear, more Mum problems. It’s so hard when she probably doesn’t mean to be difficult, but she’s probably aching in every joint and just not comfortable. I am sure we all feel sympathy for you, if that helps at all.

      1. Saint Sharon’s mum asked to be taken out of the nursing home. After two days alone and scared in her own bungalow and she has asked to go back in. I hope this time she can see it as a good thing. I hope all goes well for you Kath.

        1. My Mum caused me no end of problems in the last couple of years of her life but there’s not a day goes past when I don’t wish she was still with me – just count to ten and carry on, it’s all you can do!

          1. And you keep thinking, “I must tell Mum that” but there’s no Mum to tell any more. It happens to us all.

            1. I still think that about my Dad, the amount of times i’ve said, its OK i’ll ring him, he’ll tell you what’s wrong with that plant or allotment issue, brilliant gardener. Sorry Poppy, he would have got your tomatoes back on track. As Michael says, count to ten……

    2. Thanks so much to all of you – what a brilliant lot of people. Thanks also to BD for not minding, or at least not seeming to mind, about his crossword blog being hijacked every so often by other things.
      I do count to ten several times most days. What keeps me going is the thought that I’m doing exactly what my Dad would expect of me.

  25. Actually managed this one – which is a “first” for me lately” ! (am I getting past it or are they getting harder??) except for 19d, of which I have NEVER heard so, even though I had sort of worked it out, it didn’t make sense. Hence needed hints for that one and to explain several of the others,so many thanks Gazza. Thought 8d particularly convoluted, even though I got it!

  26. I really liked the “insulin” one – my favourite!

    Didn’t see the “See” one!

    (Elgar on duty on the “other page” – think I’ll give it a miss!)

  27. Late input from me as am suffering from a bad gout infection in my left hand! No alcohol permitted!

    Faves : 9a, 12a, 18a, 26a, 3d, 7d, 17d & 23d.

    Back to medication!

  28. This one took me over in to Saturday, not happy that other half started the prize without getting back to this. Finished now though but needed to consult Gazza on 18d and 16a. I don’t know my Latin. Even having read Gazza’s hint, I still don’t get the clue for 14d, answer was easy enough. Not a bad one all round once I got in to the compiler’s quirks.

Comments are closed.