DT 27255 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27255

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27255

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A pleasant if untaxing puzzle.

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.


7a    Distinctive clothing, note, I brought into special sports meeting (7)
{REGALIA} – the second note of the scale in sol-fa notation followed by I inside a sports meeting

9a    Petition about it after oil’s spilt (7)
{SOLICIT} – this verb meaning to petition id derived from the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about followed by IT and preceded by an anagram (spilt) of OIL’S

10a    Impish youngster, beginning to swagger, theatrically exaggerated (5)
{SCAMP} – the initial letter (beginning) of Swagger followed by an adjective meaning theatrically exaggerated

11a    Scriptwriter having tipple with performer right away (9)
{DRAMATIST} – a wee drop of the hard stuff followed by a performer without (away) the R(ight)

12a    Street band likes playing for idle amusement (4,3,8)
{BEER AND SKITTLES} – an anagram (playing) of STREET BAND LIKES

13a    Show about the climate (7)
{WEATHER} – a verb meaning to show or display around THE

16a    Judge  a person willing to provide a testimonial (7)
{REFEREE} – two definitions

19a    Realm of fantasy provided by castles in Spain? (5-6-4)
{CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND} – two ways of defining this fantasy world

23a    Take turns to change a ten, counterfeit (9)
{ALTERNATE} – a verb meaning to change followed by an anagram (counterfeit) of A TEN

24a    Ask compiler, ultimately, for puzzle (5)
{POSER} – a verb meaning to ask followed by the final letter (ultimately) of compileR

25a    Very serious  furthest from the centre (7)
{EXTREME} – two definitions

26a    Getting on one in crazy game (3,4)
{OLD MAID} – an adjective meaning getting on or elderly followed by I (one) inside an adjective meaning crazy


1d    Angry, beak finding weapon (8)
{CROSSBOW} – an adjective meaning angry followed by the front of a boat

2d    Hit and run, being negligent (8)
{SLAPDASH} – a verb meaning to hit followed by one meaning to run

3d    What may make CID honest? (6)
{CANDID} – split CID as (1,3,2)

4d    Adaptable electric current feeding factory (6)
{PLIANT} – the symbol that represents electric current inside (feeding) a factory

5d    German playwright‘s second terrifying work (8)
{SCHILLER} – S(econd) followed by a terrifying work of fiction

6d    Data acquiring university prestige (6)
{STATUS} – tabulated numerical facts around (acquiring university) U(niversity)

8d    Elegance shown by good people (5)
{GRACE} – G(ood) followed by a people or nation

9d    One following singular speaker (7)
{STALKER} – s(ingular) followed by a speaker

14d    Deserter in a potty situation (8)
{APOSTATE} – this person who has deserted their religion or principles is derived from the A from the clue, followed by a potty or gazunder and a situation

15d    Savoury dish produced by boy, eaten by libertine (7)
{ROULADE} – a boy inside a libertine or lecher

17d    Highwaymen following, so adopt changes (8)
{FOOTPADS} – f(ollowing) followed by an anagram (changes) of SO ADOPT changes

18d    Disgustingly loaded, having gold deposited — here? (2,6)
{EL DORADO} – an anagram (disgustingly) of LOADED around (having … deposited) the heraldic term for gold

19d    Yellow head of cage bird (6)
{CRAVEN} – an adjective meaning yellow or cowardly comes from the initial letter (head) of Cage followed by a bird

20d    County circle upset staff at first (6)
{DORSET} – a circle or group preceded by (at first) the reversal (upset in a down clue) of a staff

21d    To stay the course means working (4,2)
{KEEP ON} – means or subsistence followed by a two-letter word meaning working

22d    Some of what’s eaten on a cruise ship? (2,3)
{AT SEA} – hidden (some) inside the clue

Deep Threat hopes to be back in this slot next week.

The Quick crossword pun: (force} + {where} = {forswear}

69 comments on “DT 27255

  1. A pleasant puzzle that did not cause any significant delays. Actually took us a shorter time than yesterday’s Rufus. Getting the two long clues quickly helped.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

    1. According to the BRB, a beak was an iron projection on the bow of an ancient ship that was used to ram the opposition. I had not heard of it.

      1. A beak may be a projection on the bow of an old ship (trimarene etc), but it is ON the bow of a ship, it is not the bow of the ship. Beak to me means the pointy bit on a birds head, a nose, a headmaster or a magistrate. Having said that, the answer was pretty self evident having got 13A.

            1. Sam,
              You’ve changed your alias so your comments required moderation. Both old and new aliases should now work.

    2. I made it far too complicated by assuming beak was linked to the old Bow Street Runners & criminals being hauled up before the Beak. Told you I’d made it too complicated, so please don’t put me in Dunce’s Corner :-)

      1. I certainly wouldn’t put you in Dunce’s Corner, I thought your theory was very entertaining :-)

  2. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. No real problems although I was a bit slow starting. Last in was 5d. Favourites were 3&15d. Was 2*/2* for me. Off to GBBF later, so I’ll probably struggle tomorrow :-)

  3. A brief pause at 9a and 5d, otherwise a pleasant, gentle stroll. Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  4. Have we got different crosswords? This was really tough. First pass gave me two clues. Then slowly got the rest without too much BRB but what a struggle! Never heard of castles in spain meaning realm of fantasy.

    1. I have heard of castles in spain meaning fantasies, but not in many (say 40) years.As to the level of difficulty, you have to remember some people have been doing cryptics for decades. I’ve been (trying to ) solve for approx one year and I also found this hard.

      1. According to a recent article, it takes 1 year to learn how to do cryptic crosswords and 9 years to become an expert. Only 8 to go!

        1. In that case I rather disagree with the article – I think it takes a lot longer than nine years to become an expert – perhaps I’m just a slow learner! :sad:

        2. A bit like everything else in life … doesn’t matter how long you try …it’s just a matter of how good you are!

          I’ve spent many, many hours on the golf course … but I have never appeared on the Leaderboard!

        3. I would think that the estimation of years depends on how long you spend each day . I, on Cryptic Sue’s advice, try to do more than one cryptic crossword at least a few days a week. Also this site teaches you how to interpret clues , so that probably speeds up the process.I am reasonably able at most of Giovannis offerings and Virgillius,so I’m not that bad. I thought , but refrained until now from saying, that todays clues were a bit obscure and boring.

          1. Too obscure I agree. Nothing worse than getting the answer and then not understanding exactly why it is right

      2. I’ve been doing cryptics on and off for years – mainly on for the last three years or so since I found this blog as it’s much more fun than it was before – and I thought this was difficult. It’s all to do with whether or not you’re on the right wave length as so many people have said so many times before.

    2. To each his own. After a delightful solve yesterday, I have managed exactly three clues so far, 23a, 15d and 22d, and I’m now off to do something more constructive with my life. I am so totally off wavelength with this one, and I’ve been doing the DT crossword for approximately 60 years. I’m glad there are those who enjoy it, but not me.

  5. I found it very difficult to get on the compiler’s wavelength initially, then I suddenly raced through it and couldn’t work out what had held me up. I’m with Skempie re 1d and had never heard of “Castles in Spain” with this meaning. 26a last in and favorite. **/*** ignoring slow start.

  6. Slow start as per Roger above. Rapid finish. Only 14d gave me any problems as I wanted it to be an anagram despite the lack of a clear indicator. Ta to all

  7. Thank you setter – difficult for me, but managed to complete eventually. Slow to see the anagram at 12a. Thanks BD for the explanations ! This week looks like being a tough one ! What to do today with no Test match ?

  8. Really needed the hints today – thanks BD. enjoyed 10a and 2d, but had to look at the definition (by the way, BD, it’s so brilliant the way you’ve set your site up so we have the chance of trying to solve a clue with a hint first and hiding the solution! A great way to learn.) for 14d and it still took me ages to understand why… D’oh! Thank you setter for a real stretch.

  9. Untaxing !…I should cocoa, despite getting the long answers quickly really struggled to crack this one.

    Thanks to BD for the review and to the setter.

  10. Nice simple crossword today – I got the two long ones and I was away.

    The only one I don’t understand is 18d – ‘derived from the A from the clue, followed by a potty or gazunder and a situation’ – oh – as you were – I understand it now – very clever!

    Thanks to all!

  11. Finished before lights out last night, a little tricky but not very enjoyable so I would give it **/**. More oldies but goodies showing up (I think) – 16a for example. I agree with many of the comments above about the tenuous nature of some of the clues especially 19a. I would have thought a realm of fantasy in Spain was more like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. No real favourites but I did like 5d.

          1. After my post, I had the thought of Cristina Kirchner (president of Argentina) – based on the reports of a joint effort by Spain and Argentina to pursue Gibraltar and the Falklands at the UN. Strange, when some countries have problems at home they go on the offensive abroad.

  12. Lack of GK precludes me from making a suggestion ! I am sure someone else will have an appropriate answer !

  13. I had never heard of the answer to 17d as highwaymen, oh well you live and learn – but how to remember!

  14. Like others I couldn’t get into this to start with. Even when I did make progress I found it a bit dull after yesterday’s sparkling puzzle. Thanks to BD for the hint without which I would never have solved 14d. It’s years since I have heard the term gazunder, and BD’s reference to it made me smile. I have never come across po being used to mean a potty; I must have led a sheltered life.

    ***/** for me today.

  15. I’m in the ‘this was tricky’ camp. 3*+ for difficulty and probably the same for enjoyment.
    Very divided opinions today – some seemed to find it very straightforward and several others thought it was difficult.
    I was terribly slow to get going at all – only one across answer having read through all the across clues.
    I got the 12a anagram fairly quickly which helped me to get a few more. Couldn’t do 19a for ages – eventually got 17d (which I’ve never heard of) and then got 19a.
    If I felt like quibbling I would say that 15d doesn’t have to be savoury.
    I liked 12 and 26a and 2d. My favourite was 3d which I would never have got if we hadn’t had a clue along those lines fairly recently – a Sunday crossword, I think.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    Chaos here – outside painting (long overdue) – house is bristling with scaffolding – lots of people around. Just off to take down all my climbing roses etc! :sad:

    1. You are absolutely right Kath. One of the reasosn why I married Mrs RD was that she makes a raspberry 15d to die for :grin:

  16. Todays clues were a bit long winded for my liking, but a decent stirring of the old grey matter was called for to slay the beast.
    The brevity of some clues yesterday showed what can be done with the minimum of ink, (“cannibal” was a stonker).
    Thanks however to the setter & BD.

  17. Finished this puzzle with the usual help from the hints.Got 5 down no problem, knowing only 2 German playwrights & the other one didn’t have the right number of letters

  18. I stared at the puzzle for a good 15 minutes this morning without getting a single clue, then at lunch I got 12a in a blinding flash and the rest followed in double quick time, no help needed. I found it much easier than yesterday’s.

  19. In with the ‘this was very tricky’ group today – glad I was not the only one! Couldn’t get started (or finished) without help :).

  20. Extremely difficult, first pass gave no answers at all. At least a 3 if not. 4 star for difficulty for me. Will perservate.

    1. My dislike of this almost shows no bounds, where to start:
      10a Camp is gay not overacting which is ham
      19a what has it got to do with castles or Spain?
      3d Just an awful clue!
      4d why is I the symbol for electricity surely it is V or A
      14d never come across this word before
      15d How is a Roulade Savoury, what about Delias Cholcolate Roulade?
      All in all, for me a dreadful waste of time.
      Thx to BD for the hints.

      1. I agree with most of what you said, though not the way you said it,however I must point out that I is the symbol for electric current.V stands for potential difference and A stands for amps, the unit in which current is measured.

    2. I think lots of us found it difficult.
      10a BRB says theatrical
      19a The answer and castles in Spain mean unrealistic hopes
      3d Just a matter of opinion – I thought it was clever
      4d Even I know that ‘I’ is the symbol for electric current – I have to admit that I only know it from doing crosswords!
      14d is often in crosswords
      15d I agree with you
      Better luck tomorrow. :smile:

  21. I thought gazunder was a verb, being the opposite of “gazump”. You live and learn.

  22. Couldn’t comment earlier due to work but caught a few glimpses of comments, and muttered what would Brian make of this. Mostly I have to say I agree with him. Really sorry setter but I found this at least 3 * difficulty and a slog. Oh thanks to BD obviously.

    1. It’s very worrying when you are doing the crossword and at the same time thinking “”I wonder what Brian will think of this one?” I give in!

      1. I do that more often than not! Either that or look at the front page of the paper when it is nearly all photograph, and think Grumpy Andrew won’t like that.

        Seriously tragic, that’s me!

  23. I’ve just finished this one, right after doing yesterday’s Rufus puzzle a day late. Today’s really was a grind, a few new words and phrases for me. I’m going to try and drop ‘castles in Spain’ into a sentence tomorrow, shortly followed by gazunder :o)

      1. I hope my panning was not taken as a slur on our mystery setter, rather, it was frustration at my total thickness. I was so at sea with this one, can’t ever remember being so lost.

  24. 12a: Not sure I am keen on the gratuitous insult to those that play serious league skittles. Idle amusement indeed!

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