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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27245

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

For me this was a very ordinary puzzle. Unless I’m mistaken there is a mistake in 9 across.

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    Present probably was oddly wide, outside paper being crumpled (7)
{WRAPPED} – what was probably done to a present is derived by putting the odd letters of WiDe outide an anagram (crumpled) of PAPER

5a    Made out tit, unfortunately, being swallowed by another bird (7)
{WRITTEN} – an anagram (unfortunately) of TIT inside (being swallowed by) another small bird

9a    Concerned with first bit of chalk, snooker player uses these spares (7)
Revised clue on website – Concerned with reaching last of reds, snooker player uses these to make recoveries (7)
{RESCUES} – a two-letter word meaning concerned with followed by S (I don’t see how this is first bit of chalk, unless you count to score as to chalk) and what a snooker player uses – was the last part intended to be C(halk) inside an anagram (snooker) of USES?  [This has now been revised online- see above.   BD]

10a    Take out former lover, getting caught in Italian restaurant (7)
{EXTRACT} – the usual former lover followed by C(aught) inside the four-letter short form of an Italian restaurant

11a    What Lady Godiva was on, bare — shock spread (9)
{HORSEBACK} – an anagram (spread) of BARE SHOCK

12a    Point both ways (5)
{REFER} – this verb meaning to point is a palindrome (reads the same both ways)

13a    Joanna‘s wine almost filled by adult (5)
{PIANO} – Joanna is a slang word for this musical instrument – most of a type of wine around A(dult)

15a    Call Cassius in revolt that’s driven us out of Rome? (9)
{CLASSICAL} – an anagram (in revolt) of CALL CASSI(US) after dropping (driven … out) US

17a    Mushrooms in furrows (9)
{INCREASES} – IN followed by some furrows

19a    Plant‘s small advantage (5)
{SEDGE} – S(mall) followed by an advantage

22a    Smallest break in sentence, in fact? (5)
{COMMA} – this is actually (in fact) the punctuation mark in the clue

23a    Fast food grub her ma cooked (9)
{HAMBURGER} – an anagram (cooked) of GRUB HER MA

25a    Upset as bride makes booby, perhaps (7)
{SEABIRD} – an anagram (upset) of AS BRIDE gives the type of creature of which a booby is an example (perhaps)

26a    Fisherman’s catch? Throw rest out (7)
{LOBSTER} – a verb meaning to throw ffn an anagram (out) of REST

27a    Regret holding European money for entourage (7)
{RETINUE} – a verb meaning to regret around (holding) E(uropean) and a slang word for money

28a    Figure beginning to diet — one with a little weight (7)
{DIAGRAM} – the initial letter (beginning) of Diet followed by I (one), the A from the clue and a little metric weight


1d    Argument about vessel’s treasure (7)
{WORSHIP} – an argument reversed (about) and followed by a sea-going vessel

2d    Country — not a large country (7)
{AUSTRIA} – start with ine country and drop the A from the clue and L(arge)

3d    Rest feet, by the sound of it (5)
{PAUSE} – sounds like the feet of a cat or dog

4d    Separates Germany and Italy’s viewpoints (9)
{DISTANCES} – the IVR codes for Germany and Italy followed by some viewpoints

5d    Crew at sea on King’s badly damaged ship (5)
{WRECK} – an anagram (at sea on) of CREW followed by K(ing)

6d    Between exams? No time for hobbies (9)
{INTERESTS} – a word meaning between followed by some exams without one of the T(ime)s

7d    Tuned car — Tiff’s transport (7)
{TRAFFIC} – an anagram (tuned) of CAR TIFF

8d    Native from old city in former African province (7)
{NATURAL} – the ancient Sumerian city inside a former African province

14d    Talk about exercises in action (9)
{OPERATION} – a talk around some Physical Exercises

16d    Came together and strolled around Sussex regularly (9)
{ASSEMBLED} – a verb meaning strolled around the odd letters (regularly) SuSsEx

17d    It should cut one’s fare (7)
{INCISOR} – a tooth used to cut food (fare)

18d    Act together to frame MP’s brief (7)
{COMPACT} – a verb meaning to act together around (to frame) MP

20d    At night it’s easy to spot and follow celebrity (7)
{DOGSTART} – this feature of the night sky comes from a charade of a verb meaning to follow and a celebrity

21d    A red mixed with spirit — it pulsates in one’s head (7)
{EARDRUM} – an anagram (mixed) of A RED followed by an alcoholic spirit

23d    Something perhaps in garden shed gets trapped (5)
{HEDGE} – hidden (trapped) inside the clue

24d    In darkness, Cuban dance queen moves (5)
{UMBRA} – start with a Cuban dance and move the Latin abbreviation for queen down three positions

Newer solvers will probably enjoy this more than the older ones, who have seen some of the constructs a few times before.

The Quick crossword pun: (castor} + {weigh} = {castaway}

73 comments on “DT-27245

  1. What a lovely morning and I’ve so enjoyed to-day’s cryptic – quite the best of the week in MHO. Tricky enough to get one thinking and then feeling satisfyingly smug when the answer pops up. The only clue I have issue with is 18D – unless I’ve got it wrong it’s funny to have “act” appearing in clue and answer and I can’t quite make it work. Probably I’m at fault. Shall have to wait for our talented solver’s help. Must get the washing machine going -can’t waste the sunshine.

    1. I wasn’t keen on co-act as an expression, but there you are. Did I miss something clever?

  2. Didn’t like 9A at all, it didn’t work for me – I can’t see that the answer really means ‘SPARES’ and I think the clue should be pointing to putting the beginning of CHALK inside and anagram of USES. Other than that, quite enjoyable although possibly a few too many anagrams for my liking I’ afraid.

    1. I agree skempie, apart from the clue not seeming to work, I don’t think rescues really means ‘spares’ either

      1. I don’t think spare means the same as rescue either Mary, Surely rescue means doing something after the act, whereas to spare something means doing it before, if you know what I mean.

    2. Wel, all the letters are there, but as Eric Morecambe said…..

      Re, then C as first bit of chalk, anagram of ‘uses’, mixed up. As well as cues being the thing snookerists use. If you spare someone you rescue them…

      A dog’s breakfast, but still……

      1. I think Eric said quite a lot, some of it memorable and most of it funny – what did he say about this?

    3. I consider that the connection is somewhat tenuous but I think it is supposed to spare as in the sense of a reprieve. The BRB has reprieve listed under spare and rescue listed under reprieve – as I said some what tenuous.

  3. Hi Dave I have been trying to puzzle out the workings of 9a for the last hour and am glad that you think it is a mistake as I do

  4. I quite enjoyed this apart from 9a, it doesn’t work whichever way you look at it, thanks for blog Dave I was eagerly awaiting your comment on 9a

  5. Finished before lights out last night, but not very enjoyable – I give it **/**. Some of the clues appear to be somewhat contrived; 9a for example in which I concluded it was the C and anagram of USES. And, is 20d a single word? Any astronomical experts available? Just about the only one I could pick as a favourite was 11a.

  6. I would say */**

    Couldn’t pick one clue that was particularly interesting. 11a was a neat anagram.

      1. Speaking as a retired dentist, yes it is a lateral incisor, but an unusual shot. It is taken from the biting edge and looking upwards (assuming it is an upper tooth). Thanks for the comments on 7a.

        1. Hi Michael
          You are, I think, commenting on BD’s amended pic above. I was commenting on the original which was either a (top) canine or a lower incisor with root intact. Teeth are weird on their own, aren’t they? (you probably wouldn’t say that, I imagine!!!)

    1. Don’t like teeth anyway – they make me go all funny. Actually, with apologies to Michael Watson, I think it’s probably dentists that make me go all funny! :sad:

  7. Thank you setter, found this on the hard side for me and fell into what I thought was a trap but no-one else seems to have – so its me being thick. My first answer for 4d was Dolomites. As time passed it became obvious that something was wrong and I managed to sort it out ! Thank you BD for your review – I agree with all the other comments about 9a – the wordplay just doesn’t seem to work to produce the obvious answer.

  8. I enjoyed this – as someone else has already said there was enough to confuse without being impossible. I’d say 2* difficulty and 3*/4* enjoyment.
    I agree with others about 9a being a bit odd – perhaps that’s why it was one of my last answers. I spent far too long trying to fit the wrong regular letters of Sussex into 16d. Now that I understand the relevance of the last bit of the clue for 22a I think it’s clever.
    I liked 26a and 3, 23 and 24d. My favourite was 11a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    PS Not quite sure what BD is implying when he talks about older solvers! :smile:

    1. I’m hoping he means people like me who have been solving for a long time – older in the sense of more experienced rather than ancient people :D

      1. Surely only people with experience & wisdom of life do cryptics. Do you think that’s what he meant?

    2. Think he means people who have been solving these for a long time Kath, can’t possibly mean us ;-)

  9. I was really pleased when I completed this puzzle as I couldn’t do any of it on first sweep.
    Don’t understand 5a or 24d but managed to get them

    1. My take on 5a is made out as in made out a cheque which equates to the cheque being written. Not quite as tenuous as 9a but close.

      1. Thanks a lot.
        People don’t use cheques any more so it’s an old fashioned clue but I remember them so I get it now

  10. Took us way too long to do – but that’s only because we are doing it online for a change as we are “on holiday” at the apartment getting it ready for guests.
    Delay caused by:
    1) Still getting used to new laptop keyboard (keep typing the wrong things as the spacing is slightly different from my old one)
    2) letters kept going in the wrong places in the grid.
    **/*** for us today though – and like everyone else think there’s something odd about 9a.
    Fave clues 11a and 23a.
    Hope you’re not all getting drowned now in the UK – weather forecast said sun but showers for you again today!
    Just to make you all jealous it’s HOT here so just off for a swim. :grin:

    1. It is 28 in our back garden – glorious day – first time for ages I have been glad of the breeze. Howver, I am jealous of the swim – just hoping the weather lasts while the family are down for the annual camp in the garden/beach fest.

      Update: Just checked and it is now 30 in the shade! Glad I am on holiday and notat work!

      1. 29.5C in the shade here – actually it’s pretty much all in the shade as, although it’s hot, it’s quite cloudy. Windy too – a hot wind. Trying to do stuff in the garden but keep being ‘woofled’ at by collie as she’s too hot but she’d rather be outside with me than inside where it’s cool! :roll:

        1. I’m sure we’re the same temp if not more, clear blue skies. Between work appointments Spent 30 minutes on a bus, or more accurately a sauna on wheels.

  11. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Took me ages, just couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength. Gave up in the end and had to use the hints for 17a and 1,2,3,4d. No real favourites, didn’t enjoy it at all. Was 4*/1* for me. Come on England, one very dubious decision just before lunch.

  12. My rating today is */**. I was only held up by 9a, trying to analyse the wordplay to confirm tthat my answer was right.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD

  13. I’m a bit confused about 16d – ‘Sussex regularly’ to me mean the even letters (2, 4 & 6) as opposed to the odd or irregular letters – am I wrong?

  14. Thank you for nice crossword. Spent a little time trying to make an edible mushroom out of 17a, but couldn’t think of one beginning with an I.

  15. Enjoyable enough but very gentle indeed (unlike the toughie),thanks to the setter and to BD for a very amusing review.

      1. I reset my Mobile phone browser, then when I put in my email address, auto-complete left out an “r”, so all my comments needed moderation and I lost my Chicken :-)
        All working now that Dave pointed out my error.

  16. Enjoyed this one and only needed hints for the “why” of 22a, really clever. I just went ahead and put 9a in as meaning “spares”, I couldn’t think of anything else even though it was pretty weak. Thanks all

  17. Found this one very hard going. Took two sessions. Needed the hint for 17a then the rest fell into place. For me ***/**.
    No favs today, just a bit of a slog.
    Thx to BD for the hint.

  18. I was in the “easy” camp for this one, but agree there were some weak clues. 18d is hardly even trying to be cryptic, is it ?

    1.5*/2.5* for me.

  19. The DT Puzzles Editor sends his apologies. 9a has been rewritten and now reads

    “Concerned with reaching last of reds, snooker player uses these to make recoveries (7)”

    1. Actually, I had the feeling that the editor started amending the clue and sort of forgot or got distracted and left half the old clue and half the new

        1. I bet you’re spot on there. Close to a wet kippering for someone, maybe kippers at dawn if it fell between two stools.

          1. I have had a very busy day today and have not tackled this crossword. I did look at 1ac on my new ipad (did i mention my new ipad) at about 6.00am but found 1ac so convoluted and cumbersome that I put down said ipad and got up and out and worked. Its not often that I leave a crossword but heigh ho.

    2. So RE (concerned with) S (last of reds) CUES (snooker player uses) meaning recoveries. I don’t know what all the fuss was about (unless the error only applied to the printed version).

      1. The error was in both versions, hence the change of clue for the on-line version and the apology in yesterday’s paper .

  20. Enjoyable puzzle.

    Faves : 1a, 13a, 22a, 25a, 2d, 4d, 20d & 24d.

    Word play for 9a was very wonky!

    Very hot today.

    Daughter and grandchildren came for afternoon tea and we played “Memory” – the card game. I never win!

    1. I used to play that with my daughter from the age of about five, (we called it turn-ups), she always won !

  21. I am quite ancient, in my childrens opinion, but I absolutely adored this puzzle.Thanks to setter and to Big Dave, especially for the explanation of 13a. I’m not too good on cockney slang.

  22. Managed most of it except northwest corner. Obviously I could have saved myself much time and frustration had I succumbed and consulted “the oracle” (BD) sooner so thank you for sorting 9a out. ***/**.

  23. Am a newcomer here but love this resource! Returning to it freuently at moment, bur hopefully less so in due course

  24. In today’s paper, under the grid with the solution of this crossword it says

    “There was a mistake in 9 Across. The wordplay gave the letter C when it should have given an S. Apologies to all solvers”

    1. Good to know sue, thanks, but what should the word instead of chalk have been then? Because the first bit of chalk is ‘c’ ???

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