DT 27256 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27256

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27256

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I give this a 1.5*/3* rating, and there are some nice surface readings.  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    Victims of loose links (10)

{CASUALTIES} : [loose;not bound by formalities] + [links;connections].

6a    Prison record from the East covering start of action (4)

{GAOL} : Reversal of(from the East, in an across clue) [a record of events] containing(covering) the 1st letter of(start of) “action”.

10a    Legislation on parking agreements (5)

{PACTS} : [collectively, legislation passed by a parliament] placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “parking”].

11a    Dog, for example, during affectionate dressing-down (9)

{CARPETING} : [an example of which is a dog in the home] contained in(during) [affectionate;tender].

12a    The home designed by born monster (8)

{BEHEMOTH} : Anagram of(designed) THE HOME placed after(by, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “born”].

Answer: A monstrously huge person or thing.


13a    The principle of men being banned from apartment block (5)

{TENET} : “men” deleted from(being banned from) [a building divided into separate apartments, usually for rent].

15a    Marksmen executed demonstrators (7)

{ARCHERS} : [demonstrators;protestors on foot] minus its 1st letter(executed;beheaded).

Answer: Marksmen with an older weapon than a sniper rifle.  And if they had a theme tune, this would be it:

17a    Speak with authority of French demand (7)

{DECLAIM} : [French word for “of”] + [a demand for something as a right or due].

19a    Fellow worried about international criminal (7)

{LOWLIFE} : Anagram of(worried) FELLOW containing(about) [abbrev. for “international”].

Answer: A term for criminals in general.

21a    Strikingly unauthorised act, perhaps? (7)

{WILDCAT} : Cryptic defn: Referring to a work stoppage unauthorised by the union. And it could also be [unauthorised;beyond rules] + anagram of(perhaps) ACT. Nicely constructed.

And the answer could describe her too:

22a    Credit son getting correct marks (5)

{TICKS} : [British term for monetary credit granted] + [abbrev. for “son”].

Answer:  And also food for them:

24a    Suffering mainly attached to confined military headquarters (8)

{PENTAGON} : [extreme suffering;pain] minus its last letter(mainly) placed after(attached to, in an across clue) [confined;closed in].

Defn: Of the US military.

27a    Drugs coming from church beset by criminal actions (9)

{NARCOTICS} : [abbrev. for the Catholic Church] contained in(beset by) anagram of(criminal) ACTIONS.

28a    Put forward work at home before the end of June (5)

{OPINE} : [abbrev. for a musical work] + [at home] placed before(before) the last letter of(the end of) “June”.

Defn: To put forward what one thinks or believes.

29a    Great number  killed (4)

{SLEW} : Double defn: 1st: A large collection;a raft; and 2nd: Disposed of someone, with violence.

30a    Changing trains, chap gets bitter (10)

{ASTRINGENT} : Anagram of(Changing) TRAINS + [short for a chap, especially a well-mannered one].

1d    Do better than expected initially, finding something to wear (4)

{CAPE} : [to do better than;to go on top] + 1st letter of(initially) “expected”.

2d    Races around Washington, now dismissing new inviolate institution (6,3)

{SACRED COW} : Anagram of(around) RACES + [abbrev. for the federal area, as a short form for the capital of the USA] + “now” minus(dismissing) [abbrev. for “new”].

3d    Land in water after a passage (5)

{AISLE} : [a piece of land surrounded by water] placed below(after, in a down clue) A.

4d    Lots besieging terribly coy businessmen of great power (7)

{TYCOONS} : [lots;rafts;slews] containing(besieging) anagram of(terribly) COY.

5d    Her date goes and gets grounded (7)

{EARTHED} : Anagram of(goes off) HER DATE.

Defn: Eg. As an electrical appliance should be.

7d    Foreign article admitting fabrication (5)

{ALIEN} : [an article in grammar] containing(admitting) [a fabrication;an untrue story].

So who’s foreign?:


8d    To run away before one final check is valid (10)

{LEGITIMATE} : [informal term for “to run away”, or even walk] placed above(before, in a down clue) [Roman numeral for “one”] + [a final move;check in chess].

9d    Active moves covering right and left upright (8)

{VERTICAL} : Anagram of(moves) ACTIVE containing(covering) [abbrev. for “right”]+ [abbrev. for “left”]

14d    A few drops of the hard stuff? (10)

{HAILSTONES} : Cryptic defn: Reference to hard;solid stuff dropping from the sky in a shower.

16d    Discharge coming from Eastern embassy (8)

{EMISSION} : [abbrev. for “Eastern”] + [a permanent diplomatic office abroad].

18d    Hermit‘s answer – it must be found in new task (9)

{ANCHORITE} : [abbrev. for “answer”] + IT contained in(must be found in) { [abbrev. for “new”] + [a task, especially a tedious one] }.

20d    Voids member with links supporting Spain (7)

{EMPTIES} : { [abbrev. for a member of the House] plus(with) [links;connections – see 1across] } placed below(supporting, in a down clue) [the International Vehicle Registration code for Spain].

Defn: Makes a void; evacuates.

21d    House turns on Tory with no limits (7)

{WINDSOR} : [turns round and round] placed above(on, in a down clue) “Tory” minus
its 2 outermost letters(with no limits).

Answer: A royal House.  And these non-royals share the same (last) name.


23d    Remedy protecting independent physicist (5)

{CURIE} : [a remedy for, say, an illness] containing(protecting) [abbrev. for “independent”].

Answer: Take your pick: the woman was a chemist and physicist, and the man was a physicist; and they both were Nobel Prize winners.

25d    A wheat, perhaps, that has future growth potential? (5)

{ACORN} : A + [in English, any of various cereal plants, for example;perhaps wheat].

Answer: A little fruit that could grow into a mighty tree.

26d    Fellow trapped in the broken lift (4)

{HEFT} : [abbrev. for “fellow”, eg. of a Society] contained in(trapped in) anagram of(broken) THE.

Answer: To heave;to hoist.

The Quick crossword pun: (freak} + {hunt} + {tree} = {free country}

67 comments on “DT 27256

  1. Hi Schuua, thanks for the hints, though didn’t need them today, a two to three star for me, with two fav clues 8d and 25d, it’s a horrible rainy day here so I might just attempt the ‘toughie’

  2. Blimey, this seems more than 1.5* but I’m soldering on without reference to the hints – yet (I’d say 3* at this stage)

        1. Just finished with a big struggle but with much help from Scchua, for which many thanks. I enjoyed the clues, when I got them, but I would definitely give it 3*

  3. Good fun today. As per usual, the initial run through of the across clues yielded very few answers, but the downs came to the rescue (a bit like Stuart Broad). Also as per usual, some excellent, witty clues, I thought 19A was particularly clever.

    Keeps trying to rain here, must be because I finally got around to doing this quarter’s laundry. Harrumph !

  4. I am with Mary on the 2 – 3* difficulty but I am still tired from my 19 1/2 hour day yesterday and while I was trying to solve the crossword Mr CS and No 2 Son were discussing the cat very loudly in the background which made me write one solution in the wrong place which held me up a bit.

    Thanks to Jay and Scchua too.

    Mary should definitely try the Toughie, Left alone to solve it, it took me the same time as the back pager. We have a lovely sunny day here and so I am off to solve the rest of the days puzzles in the garden. Fans of Virgilius may wish to note that his alter ego Brendan is in today’s Guardian.

        1. Thanks for the tip about Brendan – always a treat. Weather here in West Bridgford is decidedly temperamental. One minute I’m in shorts the next I’m looking for my ganzy.

          1. If you’re looking for another, Loroso (Anax/Elkamere) is pretty good in the FT as well.

              1. Right! That’s enough thank you. I’ve got no chance of even starting to look as if I’m working what with you lot encouraging me to skive off. These will be printed off for later – yeah right, fat chance that’s going to happen.

  5. Enjoyed today’s although found the bottom half a bit tricky.
    Still don’t get 2d, see the anagram and the answer is obvious but how does dcow represent Washington?
    Two lovely clues I thought in 8d and 25d.
    Must apologise to all concerned for yesterday’s grumpy remarks, I had just taken my first antihistamine of the year and it always makes me grumpy!
    Thx to the setter and to Scchua for explaining 18d, a new word to me.

    1. Brian, It’s Washington …DC after the anagram of ‘races’ followed by ‘now’ without the ‘n’ i.e. dismissing new

  6. A lovely puzzle today. Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua.
    The toughie by RayT was very good too!
    Thanks also to crypticsue for pointing me towards Brendan in her comment above – just about to print that one off! :)

    1. Ooh a RayT toughie, in that case I won’t bother to try it, I find his back pagers hard enough!

  7. For me this fell into this week’s pattern of being rather more difficult than usual. Managed to finish it, but it has taken a long time. Thank you Jay for the challenge. 8d very clever and new word for me at 18d. Thanks to Scchua for your review. I guessed at 29a and needed your explanation. Lovely day here in NW – for the moment anyway !

    1. It’s just an all in one cryptic definition I think David with the few meaning more than one i.e. hailstones plural

  8. Wow – this was a tough one!

    On the first pass I managed to get 28a and that was it!

    The second time through I got a couple more but was really struggling – I had to resort to the blog to take it from there – thanks for that!

  9. A lovely puzzle – I found it easier than the last couple of days. I’d say 2-3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Very slow to get started – I seem to have said that almost every day recently.
    I completely missed the anagram indicators in 27a and 9d for ages.
    I didn’t know the first definition of 29a and spent far too long trying to make 30a an anagram of ‘trains’ and ‘chap’ which was just plain dim.
    I liked 19 and 21a and 8 and 14d. My favourite was 26a because of the mental picture.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    I have learnt today that when the house is covered in scaffolding and outside painting is being done it’s quite a good idea to pull bathroom blind and shut the door! :oops: and :roll:

    Might not be able to resist having a go at the Toughie to see if I can get a couple of answers.

    1. I too am a member of the dim club spending ages working on an anagram of “trains” and “chap”!

  10. I found this tough but enjoyable – ***/***

    I was unable to finish it because I had put hailstorms for 14d which made 27a impossible! Thanks to Scchua for the enlightenment.

    I had marked several clues as excellent and my final choice of favourite is a battle between 1a, 21a and 8d, with 21a winning the tie-breaker.

    Many thanks to Jay for a most rewarding challenge.

    1. Yes, I thought about that for 14d too but, luckily, didn’t put it in mainly because it felt a bit wrong, which it was, of course.

  11. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I was three short before resorting to the hints. I needed help on 1a, had no idea what Jay was getting at, 29a I’m very weak on double definitions, and 18d I’d forgotten this word. Enjoyed the tussle, favourites were 19a,2,8,21,25d. Was 2*/3* for me. GBBF was good last night, but the prices have gone up a lot. England playing the Auld Enemy tonight. Must get back to cooking my chilli before looking at the Toughie.

  12. I loved 8d
    Wished we had the toughie on ipad. :(
    Didn’t need the hints today but always read them anyway

          1. Toni,

            The Telegraph Toughie is right at the bottom of the British Puzzles list (you need to scroll down the list as it is not immediately visible on the screen).

            To access the Telegraph puzzles from the app you need to have entered your Telegraph Puzzles membership details in the Settings > Premium Memberships section of the app.

  13. Spent too long hunting for a nation of Jils (6a) with my alternative spelling of gaol :oops: & then tried to make 21a illicit in the same madness so was nowhere near solving 21d… sigh… But thanks to Scchua & setter for another work out. :-)

    1. Welcome to the blog novice

      Cope would be ok as the definition but it doesn’t match the wordplay which is CAP (do better than or surpass, as a verb) followed by the initial letter of E(xpected).

  14. A bit tricky today I thought, with some complicated clues. Can’t equate my answer to 29 across with the first definition…..probably have put the wrong word in, though it works well with killed.

  15. Enjoyable as usual, on a Wednesday . Missed the anagram indicator for 2d. Lots of good clues , including 8d and 14d.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle though 21a caused me a bit of a headache – otherwise it was good fun and just testing enough.

  17. Only mildly entertaining for me today ***/**. Needed one or two hints particularly 18d which wasn’t helped by my having ‘walkout’ for 21a so thanks Scchua.

  18. It was 3* diff for me.
    Took a long time to get 6 or so of the last 8 clues and two which I couldn’t get at all without help. Never heard of 18d and put shed for 29a…..ha, ha, which amused me but wasn’t strictly correct.
    I did like 8d and particularly 19a, one of those that took me ages because “fellow” is hardly ever an anagram.
    3* for enjoyment.
    Dull, dull day but I have plenty to do getting ready to go away. No posting next week!

  19. Just discovered this site today after months of toughing it out unaided!

    Got there today but 6a still irks me. I have the answer but doesn’t quite make sense to me. A explanation would be welcome :)

    1. Welcome to the blog Marky

      Feel free to ask for further explanations of the Weekday puzzles here in the comments.

      6a Prison record from the East covering start of action (4)
      A record is a LOG. Reverse it (from the east in an across clue) around the initial letter (start) of Action to get GAOL

  20. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!! A puzzle I can do and enjoy once more. Loved it, had to think but I was not floundering as I did yesterday. I had forgotten about the spelling of 6a, maybe I’ll start using that here and confuse everyone. Thank you all for restoring my faith in myself

  21. Oh [mild expletive]! Apologies to all and thanks to Marky for pointing it out and Dave for clarifying it. I have now corrected the omission in 6a in the blog (must be more careful in proofreading!).

  22. Good job I don’t get the Toughie in the Telegraph edition on the IPAD, because this was tough enough, thanks, and if I’m honest, more a chore than fun. Didn’t tackle it till this evening either, which made it hard to resist coming to this page before completion. Good to get some confirmation though, so thanks. Always enjoy the pictorial content too;)

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