DT 27250 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27250

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27250

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This is similar to last week’s puzzle:  1.5*/3* for difficulty/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    The result of engaging comedians? (6,2,4)

{BATTLE OF WITS} : Cryptic defn: What [comedians] might be involved/engaged in – a [contest], not physically, but with their comic skills.

9a    Frank to reveal son all right in prison (9)

{OUTSPOKEN} : [to reveal;to make public] + [abbrev. for “son”] + { [an expression for “all right”;”satisfactory”] contained in(in) [a short form for a prison, especially in North America] }.

10a    House needs work on wine store (5)

{BINGO} : [to work;to function, as with a car, say] placed after(on, in an across clue) [a storage place for bottled wine].

Answer: The game of chance in which you might shout “house!” to indicate you’ve won.

11a    Offender‘s secret on right of access (6)

{SINNER} : [secret;not revealed] placed after(on, in an across clue) rightmost letter of(right of) “access”.

12a    Highly-developed sub used without purpose (8)

{ADVANCED} : [a sub;a part of one’s wages given before it’s earned] + “used” minus(without) [purpose, as in “what’s the purpose of complaining?”].

13a    Millions invested in thin-sounding cure (6)

{REMEDY} : [abbrev. for “millions”] contained in(invested in) [thin-sounding;shrill, like the tone of, say, a clarinet].

15a    Hang around branch, gathering in great numbers (8)

{SWARMING} : [slang for to hang;to be executed by hanging] containing(around) [a branch, say, of an organisation].

18a    He trades off support for the crown (8)

{HEADREST} : Anagram of(off) HE TRADES.

Defn: An external support for the topmost part of your body.

19a    Settled engineers in old environment (6)

{AGREED} : [abbrev. for the engineering unit of the British Army] contained in(in … environment) [old;advanced in years].

Defn: That’s settled then, often with a handshake.

21a    A call for help, boxing top material considered hazardous (8)

{ASBESTOS} : A + [a well-known call for help;Mayday!] containing(boxing) [the top;the cream of the crop].

Answer: Material that is hazardous to your physical health.

23a    Left one wearing short dress to have fun and games (6)

{FROLIC} : { [abbrev. for “left”] + [Roman numeral for “one”] } contained in(wearing, as in putting something around you) [a dress for females, and perhaps some monks] minus
its last letter(short).

26a    Find the answer and clear missing sailor (5)

{SOLVE} : [to clear from guilt or blame, or if you really did sin, to pardon and excuse from punishment] minus(missing) [abbrev. for a sailor;a seaman].

27a    Starter‘s terrible irritation, missing beginning of race (9)

{INITIATOR} : Anagram of(terrible) “irritation” minus(missing) first letter of(beginning of) “race”.

Defn: Not to do with food.

28a    Limited accommodation for replacement stablehand? (8,4)

{STANDING ROOM} : [a replacement instead of the usual person] + [a stablehand who takes care of your horse].



1d    Surfer in river run over by tanker (7)

{BROWSER} : [abbrev. for “river”] contained in(run over by) [a tanker on wheels for transporting fuel].

Defn: Not on water. Amusing image.

2d    Giant metal container holding tar, mostly (5)

{TITAN} : [a metal container, named after what it’s usually made of] containing(holding) “tar” minus its last letter(mostly).

Answer:  Here’s one of them:

3d    I see what you mean! (3-6)

{LIP-READER} : Cryptic defn: Reference to one who “sees”, not hears, what you say, face to face.

4d    Duck when crossing east of cork trees (4)

{OAKS} : [letter representing a duck, nothing scored by a batsman in cricket] + [when, as in “when you walk through the door] containing(crossing) the rightmost letter of(east of) “cork”.

5d    Opportunity to employ daughter with new slowing of output (4-4)

{WIND-DOWN} : [an opportunity;a time period in which you could do something, not before nor after] containing(to employ) [abbrev. for “daughter”] placed above(with, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “new”].

6d    Bone up a little, covering Italy (5)

{TIBIA} : Reversal of(up) { A + [a little;a small part] } containing(covering) [the International Vehicle Registration code for Italy].

7d    One local, full of cold, is doing nothing (8)

{INACTIVE} : [Roman numeral for “one”] + [a local;one from this here parts] containing(full of) [abbrev. for “cold”].

8d    Food for sexy setter? (3,3)

{HOT DOG} : [generating sexual heat] + [an animal, an example of which;?, is a “setter”].

I don’t think they set crosswords:


14d    Food for team changing before dance (8)

{MEATBALL} : Anagram of(changing) “team” placed above(before, in a down clue) [a social occasion for people to dance – and other activities].

16d    Concerned with soldiers providing protection for the audience (9)

{REGARDING} : [abbrev. for the engineering unit of the British Army – again] + homophone of(for the audience) [providing protection, like a sentry is doing].

Defn: With reference to.

17d    Cameron, for example, once admitting second language (8)

{ESTONIAN} : [for example, David Cameron, who once attended a famous school – as did other top government officials, for which fact he’s been given some stick] containing(admitting) [abbrev. for “second” in time notation].

Answer: An East European language.

18d    Frost on case of satire gets gruff (6)

{HOARSE} : [not David, but frost;a deposit of ice crystals formed on the ground at below-freezing temperatures] placed above(on, in a down clue) the 2 outermost letters of(case of) “satire”.

20d    Proper behaviour of French company — odd! (7)

{DECORUM} : [French for “of”] + [abbrev. for “company”] + [odd;peculiar].

22d    Result of effort getting constituency to adopt women? (5)

{SWEAT} : [what you get when a constituency votes for you in an election] containing(to adopt) [abbrev. for “women”]. Cryptic defn: The physiological result of effort;hard work – has nothing to do with politics.

And neither does he, nor she:


but he does:

24d    Line on German chap’s game (5)

{LOTTO} : [abbrev. for “line”] placed above(on, in a down clue) [a typical name for a German chap].

25d    Revealing feminine apparel? (4)

{MINI} : Hidden in(Revealing) “feminine”.

Answer: And it is feminine apparel – or a car:


The Quick crossword pun: (suitor} + {farmer} = {suit of armour}

53 comments on “DT 27250

  1. Fun fun fun today. As you might have noticed, I enjoyed this offering immensely. I was held up on a few, but as checking letters fell into place, so did the answers – just the way crosswords should be IMHO. There were some very neat and clever clues today, but my favourite has to be 28A.

  2. Very hard and not much fun for me. Really disliked 10a, 8d and 16d especially.
    Did like 1a though it took me ages to see it.
    Too tough to be enjoyable for me.
    Thx to Scchua for the much needed hints.

    1. Agree totally with Brian. Too many clunky constructions and half-arsed charades. Not worth the time needed to complete it.

      1. Richard, you’ve changed your alias so your comment required moderation. Both aliases should now work.

  3. A really good crossword – I was stuck on 10a and 22d – thanks to the blog for helping me out.

  4. Thank you Jay – good fun. 28a reminded me of a recent clue – Virgilius on Sunday I think ? Thank you Scchua for your review – I needed your hint to explain my answer for 9a. Before I had the answer I could not help trying to fit “sub” into an anagram – without success of course ! Delightful photos as usual !

  5. I’d score difficulty a little higher, give it a 2. Did enjoy it but struggled with top half, particulary the NE corner but when 1d & 3d fell into place the rest followed quickly. Apart from 17d, it was the last sticking point for me, even though I had every other letter I just couldn’t get it. Then in my typical back to front approach I solved it from the bottom up, i – n has a limit range of options. It was the “Cameron” bit that was throwing me, I was trying to find a place for pm, which quite obviously didn’t fit. Some clues you just “see” the solution, it’s like general knowledge questions, if you know the answer, it’s easy, if not, well your stuffed. Thanks for the review and hints, didn’t need them today. Keep up the good work.

  6. That’s more like it. After two one star ratings I thought to-day’s much more fun. Took a tad longer but I enjoyed working out reasons for some clues even when I had the answer. Nearly took issue with the 2nd “D” in 12A and then the penny dropped (har har). Sneaky. No more procrastinating – must get the day under way. Keep at it one and all.

  7. Usual Wednesday fun – I really enjoyed this but found it tricky in places. 2*/3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I took a while to get started then did most of the bottom half fairly easily but still had almost nothing in the top half. I was very slow to get 1a which didn’t help. Eventually just had the top right corner empty and got into all kinds of a muddle with that – it took me longer than the whole of the rest of the puzzle – still hadn’t got the last word of 1a. I managed to convince myself that the definition in 6d was ‘bone up’ – ie read up on something – rather than just ‘bone’. Oh dear!! I didn’t know the word for tanker in 1d. Anyway, got there in the end.
    I liked 1 (eventually) and 26a and 8d. My favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. I’m obviously in good company. Must try to do NE, SW etc rather than the long winded top right corner and bottom left corner! I’m not very good at right and left but am marginally better at them than I am with points of the compass. :roll:

      1. I’m suffering from post family visit stress disorder – at least I think that’s what it is :) Just got to liven up to sort out what I am going to fit in my ‘Easy Jet’ regulation size bag for tomorrow morning.

        1. I haven’t tried easy-jet, but I and others have found that Ryan air lets you take the bag out but it is too big on the way back, and you have to fork out 35 euro.

          1. And Ryan air ditched my younger daughter in the south of France last summer simply announcing that there would be no more flights this evening . . . She was stranded in an unknown city on her own and left to make her own arrangements which she did. The following morning there were no flights except to Manchester so she got on one of those and then had to find her way from Manchester to London so as to be at work at 8.00am the following morning. She will never fly with them again.

          2. My friend won’t travel with Ryan Air either.

            I have a squishy bag belonging to Son No 2 which should fit the Easy Jet measuring device. The bag will have less in on the way back as it has several presents for young Alfie in it at the moment.

            Off to bed now as we have to be up at 4 :(

            See you all on Tuesday (once I get over having to get up even earlier than 4)

    2. Yes, me too. The bottom half just slipped in without much thought, then the top left-hand went in once I got 1a (which has to be favourite) but top right-hand was abysmal. I never did get 7d, 12a or 15a and had to use hint for answer.

  8. As most seem to agree it was fun today with lots of inventive clues ,about a **/*** for me. .Favourites were 28a,1a and 3d; was a tad slow with the wordplay for 1d, as had ‘ouse’ for the river ’till I realised a simple ‘r’ would suffice ! Thanks Scchua for the entertaining pics and Jay for the enjoyment.

  9. Gentle fun today from Jay, my thanks to him and to scchua for the amusing review, I particularly liked the cyclist.

  10. I agree with the hinter’s rating.

    Managed to finish with no more help than a pen, but I admit to being constipated in places and as I was away from my laptop, I couldn’t resort to any linguistic laxatives, so had to persevate!

    I just couldn’t fit the Ouse into 1d and had never heard of that lorry. Added to which, despite being a 1d myself, I couldn’t get away from thinking of the seaside version . Maybe it’s the weather?

  11. Hugely enjoyable after a slow start. 3d got me though got LIP but the second word eluded me so thanks for the clue. Otherwise lots of brilliant wordplay.

  12. For some reason took ages solving my last two – 15a & 22d, and once they were in couldn’t see why I’d made such a fuss! Loved 28a (more horses – and I so hoped Scchua would put in a hooved example :-) !) & 10a & 8d made me smile. Thank you setter for a super puzzle, and Scchua for hints. And after some of the comments, I’m tiptoeing over to the Aug. prize puzzle to try my rather shaky hand at it…. Ooer…

    1. I’ve been & as is usual for the MPP it is not for those faint of heart but it’s in the “to do” file for when summer comes to an end in just over 3 weeks time…

      1. Thanks, Spindrift. That’s encouraging, as after my first run I haven’t done too well, so obviously need to perseverate…

        1. I found it pretty tricky but just about managed it – it was about as difficult as I can cope with but if I can do it so can you. Good luck! :smile:

        2. As has been commented before on this site, sometimes you pick up a crossword and on first reading you think you’ve got no chance then after 24 hours you look at it again and you’re off like a stabbed rat.

          This happened today with yesterday’s Toughie – I came to a dead end last night and this morning, while waiting for my computer to decide if it was going to play nicely, I filled in the last 3 answers that had eluded me.

          As Mary would say keep persevating or perseverating as you would have it…

      1. Poppy and Merusa, I’ve got too much time on my hands, so I’ve added a horsey picture.

  13. I’m a fan of Jay and this didn’t disappoint. Although I got the answer for 12a I needed scchua to explain why the D should be added to the end of the word. Favourites were 15a, 23a, 28a, 20d. **/**** from me. Man thanks Jay & scchua

  14. Did this in fits and starts today, found some very easy clues and then battled. Felt 13a should have 2 Ms in it given the plural millions. I also thought that one of the words in 5d was ‘used’ so totally misled! However *** for enjoyment and thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the hints that I needed – 7! Loved 1a, 28a and especially 3d.

  15. This is my first visit to this site and it’s great. Although I still struggle to understand the “answers” I cannot, for the life of me, work out what the curly brackets mean. I’ve read and re-read the bit at the top which is supposed to describe what they mean, and I’ve showed it to a few people in the office, and none of us understands what they are intended to mean. They don’t seem to add anything at all to the hints – they’re just blank. Am I being thick? Can anyone explain? Sorry if this is considered to be off topic – just ignore me if it is..

    BTW – 28A is my favourite. I didn’t like some of the pointer words today (e.g. “for the audience” – never seen this before).

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Welcome Izzy – If you run your mouse over the curly brackets, the hidden solution to the clue is revealed.

      If you read the introduction to the blog (see the tabs at the top) and the FAQs, these should help you understand how the site works.

      “for the audience’ is quite a common homophone indicator.

      If you can’t find the answer to any of your questions in the tabs above, just ask, we are here to help.

      1. aah – thanks, Sue. I almost wish I hadn’t asked now – the temptation is too great.

        1. When I first found this site I also made the same error if that’s any consolation. Also,as I was a relative beginner, I made myself the promise that if I was stuck then I would only “sneak” the hints which had pictures.

          It is difficult to not let your mouse go hunting the others but self discipline will win the day as my old housemaster would say.

          Oh yes I nearly forgot – welcome to the best cruciverbalist site on the interweb thingamajig..

        2. I m sure you must have it by now, but on an iPad you have to press quite hard and hold the space between the brackets .

    2. Welcome Izzy. It will all fall into place eventually and it’s lots of fun and frustration getting there..

  16. I have just had a Eureka moment. I have never been able to access the answers in brackets when using the IPad. However if you highlight the space and then select ‘define’. you get the answer plus definition!

    1. Me too – I’ve never been able to access the answers using my IPad and voila – it’s a miracle!

    2. Well I never! I’ve just had my eureka moment too after months of using the I pad.
      Thanks Rosie G . :smile:

  17. What a nice puzzle today. I bit of a wrestle along the way and hardly any read and write clues. 12 across had to be what I was but it baffled me for ages. Thanks to Jay. Thanks to all.

  18. I had no problem with the bottom half but the top had me struggling. Then, 1a came to me in a flash and opened up the top left-hand corner. As ex-airline worker, I knew the name of the truck as they were common before underground refuelling. However, the top right-hand corner did me in, never getting three answers. Still, an enjoyable puzzle, thanks to all.

  19. Enjoyed the crossword and Scchua ‘s illustrations. 25d – have got the car but don’t wear the dress any more! Favourite clue 28a.

  20. I agree with CS and Kath that the NE corner was tough, and the south very doable. Favourite 1a. Thanks to Jay and sschua.

  21. We never did manage to parse 12a. That meaning of ‘sub’ (incidentally listed as 13th in BRB) was completely unknown to us. A good challenge and good fun.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  22. I’ve been out all day and only got around to the crossword this evening.

    **/*** for me for an enjoyable and amusing puzzle. Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review, which I needed to explain the wordplay for my answers for 1d (bowser was a new word for me) and 11a.

  23. 12a had me lost for an absolute age. Several hours later I had another look, then the penny dropped. 10a great for the misdirection. The non equine related pic in 28a has brought back unpleasant memories of the Tokyo rapid transit which I endured for 2 months commuting. Not nice when you suffer from claustrophobia. Many thanks to Jay and Scchua

  24. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. Was beaten by 10a & 7d. Didn’t understand the clues. Was 2*/3 * for me.

  25. Well finally done, found it hard but clues came n rushes. 5d was the last one entered, although it t was obvious what the answer was, I had an anagram of slowing plus n stuck in my head. Thanks for the explanation, window of opportunity.

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