DT 27257 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27257

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27257

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Some will find this tough, others, like me, easy. Pick of the day is definitely the pun in the Quick crossword!

There’s an important update at the end of the review for those trying to solve the newspaper version of today’s Toughie.

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    Nothing stopping mobile phone use providing reception for everyone (4,5)
{OPEN HOUSE} – O (nothing) inside (stopping) an anagram (mobile) of PHONE USE

8a    Demonstrated this stitch used in embroidery? (5)
{SATIN} – split as (3,2) this means demonstrated or protested

10a    Phoney conflict in the main? (3,3)
{COD WAR} – a three-letter word meaning phoney followed by a conflict

11a    Tires and emission systems (8)
{EXHAUSTS} – two definitions – a verb meaning tires and emission systems on a vehicle

12a    We are encouraged to like these  environmentalists (6)
{GREENS} – two definitions – the vegetables that children are encouraged to like and the environmentalists that we love to hate – does their MP realise that she probably does their cause more harm than good?

14a    Note  comment (6)
{REMARK} – another double definition!

16a    The opposite of legs being trim (4)
{SNIP} – the reversal (opposite) of a slang word for legs, especially those of a pretty girl

17a    Hum coming from adults welcoming return of easy listening (5)
{AROMA} – an A(dult) either side of the reversal of some easy listening music – “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” perhaps

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a    Side with running mate (4)
{TEAM} – an anagram (running) of MATE

19a    Turn air blue endlessly, resulting in sending-off (6)
{BURIAL} – an anagram (turn) of AIR and BLU€ without its final letter (endlessly) gives a sending-off for a deceased person

21a    Light dress with short sleeves originally (6)
{STROBE} – a dress or gown preceded by(with … originally) the outer letters (sleeves) of ShorT

24a    Interrupt  barber? (3,5)
{CUT SHORT} – yet another double definition – both verbs

26a    Cocktail is magic without vermouth (6)
{MOJITO} – a word, probably of African origin, meaning magic around the two-letter abbreviation for IT(alian vermouth, other vermouths are available!)

27a    Oasis embraced by chav endearingly (5)
{HAVEN} – hidden (embraced by) inside the clue

28a    Bullying‘s both right and good among corrupt matrons (9)
{STRONGARM} – R(ight) and G(ood) separately inside an anagram (corrupt) of MATRONS


1d    Bogus Foreign Office procedures arising (5)
{SPOOF} – the abbreviation of Foreign Office followed by some procedures all reversed (arising in a down clue)

2d    Sun presently lower — an early sign of spring? (8)
{SNOWDROP] – S(un) followed by a three-letter word meaning presently land a verb meaning to lower

3d    Beginning dressing for the audience (6)
{SOURCE} – sounds like (for the audience) a dressing served with food

4d    Man maybe using lipsalve regularly (4)
{ISLE} – the necessary capitalisation of Man is disguised by placing it at the start of the clue – the even letters (regularly) of lIpSaLvE

5d    Gap holiday before university with mother going topless! (6)
{VACUUM} – a three-letter word for a holiday followed by U(niversity) and 1 three-letter word for mother without the initial letter (topless)

6d    Hard work so I ran it past expert (9)
{HISTORIAN} – H(ard) followed by an anagram (work) of SO I RAN IT gives someone who is an expert on the past

9d    Doctor perhaps ignoring one pressure or another — he’ll work his way to the top (6)
{SHERPA} – an anagram (doctor) of (P)ERHAPS without one of the P(ressure)s gives a climber who earns his living by accompanying others

13d    Kisses and cuddles eventually working up good head of steam (5)
{SNOGS} – the final letter (eventually) of cuddleS followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of a two-letter word meaning working, G(ood) and the initial letter (head) of Steam

15d    New Bulgarian’s missed header overshadowing United debut (9)
{INAUGURAL} – an anagram (new) of (B)ULGARIAN without (missed) its initial letter (header) around (overshadowing) U(nited)

17d    Sailor left low about coming out completely (6)
{ABLOOM} – the usual sailor followed by L(eft) and the reversal (about) of a verb meaning to low like a cow

18d    ‘Time!’ Getting busy, jog drunk for beer mugs (4-4)
{TOBY-JUGS} – T(ime) followed by an anagram (drunk) of BUSY JOG – is Chambers the only place where this answer is hyphenated?

20d    We stand on this together (6)
{INSTEP} – a part of the foot could, if split (2,2), mean together

22d    Strict disciplinarian runs a place to sleep over (6)
{RAMROD} – R(uns) and the A from the clue followed by the reversal (over) of a place to sleep at, for example, a boarding school

23d    It’s clear introduction of traffic is choking Channel Island (5)
{STARK} – the initial letter () of Traffic inside (choking) a Channel Island where there is no motorised traffic

25d    Betting pool is drag (4)
{TOTE} – our final double definition – a system of betting in which the amount staked is divided among the winners in proportion to the size of their stake and a verb meaning to drag or carry

If you’re having difficulty with 25 down in the Toughie, it should read “Absurd sentimentality about antipodean nation (5)”.

The Quick crossword pun: (caw} + {beat} + {rows} + {suppress} = {Corby Trouser Press}

74 comments on “DT 27257

  1. Brilliant puzzle. Definitely 3*+ from one of the usual suspects. 24a and 26a brilliant clues. Thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to setter ?(RayT) and BD for the hints

      1. I don’t do the Quick crossword. What is the significance? However, I did notice there was no reference to the queen which, I presume, was a givaway. Either way it was a splendid puzzle. Do we know the setter

            1. A few years ago the late Steve Race used to do the Monday Quick crossword and Rufus the cryptic, but now the same setter always does both – it puts a few easily-earnt pounds into his pocket.

  2. Must say that the highlight of today was the quickie pun. Couldn’t really get into the cryptic today and thought a lot of the clues very contrived and pretty obscure (cod for phoney, mojo for magic).

  3. I made heavy work of the RHS of this puzzle then kicked myself because the solutions weren’t really that hard – just a few quirky elements of wordplay or definition. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  4. The top right was the last to complete for me today; once I got 5d, the rest fell into place. Thanks to setter, and to BD.
    I’m still smiling to myself about a couple in the toughie – well worth a look!

  5. I confess immediately to being in the “some will find this tough” camp ! Managed to complete apart from 17a. Even the hint didn’t help and I needed to consult BRB for a definition of “hum” and also “MOR” and I now understand it ! Thank you setter – many good clues, an enjoyable challenge. Thanks BD for your hints. The puzzles do seem to have a taken a tough turn this week.

  6. A good fun puzzle in our opinion with a few challenging clues to keep us head scratching for a reasonable time. It had a Shamus feel about it to us, but we have been wrong before.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.
    Dave. In the hint for 20d, think it should be split (2,4) not (2,2)

  7. You’re spot on, some will find this tough me included.

    Took absolutely ages to unravel and until the review uncertain about some of the word play.

    Thanks to BD for the review.

    Thanks to the setter, quick pun, inspired, laughed out loud when the penny finally dropped.

  8. I too strayed over the border into 3* territory today, partly because its my first day back after an exceedingly tiring but fun 2 weeks holiday and partly because I was a bit thick with regards to sorting out the NE corner. Thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

  9. I thought this was good but very difficult. At least 3* for difficulty and about 4* for enjoyment.
    I got 9d wrong to begin with and it stayed wrong for long enough to make 11 and 17a tricky, to say the least. I knew it was an anagram and had the right letters so I had ‘shaper’ – even looked it up in BRB and it made sense – well, it did for a while anyway. Oh dear, number one of the day. Eventually sorted that out.
    I’ve never heard of the first definition of 25d and also never heard of 22d with that meaning. I struggled with the 26a cocktail until I remembered the crossword language for vermouth and also remembered mojo.
    I needed the hint to explain the MOR of 17a and even then had to look it up. I also needed the hint to explain the T of 21a.
    Lots of very clever clues – just a pity that some of them were a bit on the clever side for me – it’s taken me a long time but so what – it’s raining.
    I liked 19a and 5 and 13d. My favourite was 8a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron (are people guessing who set this one?) and to BD.

    1. PS Will now have to have a go at the quick crossword to see what you’re all on about with the pun – I’m notoriously bad at getting the longer ones sometimes and end up walking around muttering for the rest of the day!

    2. Tote dat barge, lift dat bale, you get a little drunk and you lands in jail……..

      Also, Kath, do you not remember those canvas tote bags from the 70s?

    3. I’ve just realised you meant the betting definition, Kath, not the end one! Apologies…..

  10. Yes, I’m in the “This was a tough one” camp, but I did get there in the end, and there is a great feeling of satisfaction about that. I even understood why I got there, before coming to this page;)

  11. Yes, this was a tough one! 3* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment. Too many obscure references for my taste.

    For 15d, the answer is an adjective but “debut” can only be either a noun or a verb.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and BD.

  12. Another tricky one today. Although we got the answer to 17 across, I wouldn’t have known the meaning of MOR without help. Not my sort of music. The answer to 28 across is hyphenated in our dictionary, not that it matters really. Thank you setter & hinter.

  13. This floated my boat somewhat. It took lots of reads through with each one providing a single answer (or not). With a bit of tenacity it slowly submitted and allowed the odd answer through . I gave up with 17ac and 17d baffling me and found work to do. Ah work. I love it. Just sat down and 17ac jumped right out at me. 17d took a bit more time. What a lovely clue. my favourite this week I think. Ta to all.

  14. Definitely a curates egg for me. One or two quite contrived as mentioned above (COD, MOJO) – Vacuum for Gap. Otherwise enjoyable, enough anagrams to keep me happy. Thanks to BD & setter.

  15. Yes, it was a 3* for me too. A couple of word usages I’d never heard of (ramrod for a person)

    I’ve looked on this as a useful tutorial. Must try to remember that ‘doctor’ is also an anagram indicator, ‘without’ can mean around ( been caught there before) and ‘sleeves’ can mean edge letters (not seen that before).

    Never got 17d and was very unlikely to. One of those words that is technically correct and almost never actually said by anyone bar the romantic poets! Clever clue though.

  16. I don’t know why I even bother on a Thurs. I can never get it.
    Thanks for the help. Finished it eventually but didn’t enjoy it

  17. Disliked this one I’m afraid, far too difficult for me.
    10a why does cod mean phoney?
    17a why does Rom mean easy listening?
    1d why does ops mean procedures?
    Totally failed on 8a (never heard of ANY embroidery stitch), 21a, 9d, 13d and 17d.
    Come back Ray T, all is forgiven!

    1. I can help you a little, Brian – ROM, or reversed MOR is short for Middle of the Road.
      The Cod War with Iceland was a bit of a phoney war.
      Ops? Operations.
      Satin stitch is an embroidery stitch, though for ages I was trying to fit ‘Daisy’ in instead – Heaven knows why I did though!

      1. OPS = an abbreviation of Operations or procedures, both surgical and military. You can help Brian but buyimng him a decent dictionary would be better.

    2. Chambers gives, as its fourth entry for “cod”: a jest; a hoax; mock, sham, intended as a joke or take-off; but it does admit that its etymology is dubious (dictionary-speak for “we don’t know”)

    3. Also a ” cod” language would be a rough or poor attempt, e.g. Cod French ( franglais ) or cod Latin.

      Don’t lash yourself for not knowing embroidery stitches, Brian! I had to dredge through my cells for that. Still only came up with chain and satin……

  18. Brilliant is not a word that I would use to describe today’s puzzle. Some of the clues were far too contrived to make it enjoyable. It was only through pure bloody-mindedness that I stuck to it and completed it as I hate being beaten, so I refused to give up, but I can’t pretend that I found it one of the more enjoyable puzzles I’ve solved recently. As for that cocktail – dear oh dear! It’s not all negative comment from me though, as I loved 7 across, 6 down, 15 down and 20 down. Now for a browse through the instruction manual and to get my head round how to use my new Lumix camera. That really is a mindbender – for me at least it is.

  19. I enjoyed it very much, but I admit I gave in on the last few hard ones, such as 17d, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.When I saw the “h” for 9d and doctors was in the clue , I became convinced that Phd’s were involved.And for 21a I didn’t know that sleeves meant the two end letters of short. Still on the learning curve. Maybe it will take nine years. I really hope not. Thanks to the setter, I liked it and I learned something.Thanks also to Big Dave.

  20. Thanks, BD, for 8a. Totally eluded me, my embroidery knowledge obviously not quite up to scratch.

  21. I am definitely in the dunces camp today. I would never have got the first word of 10a, or the answer to 17a, though I did get 17d right away. I wanted to put hiatus in 5d and that threw me completely as I knew 11a had to be right. Quite a slog, didn’t like 13d, it’s slang isn’t it ? So many slang words are creeping in. Thanks, nevertheless, good work out.

  22. A bit of a slog today and I needed a bit of help from the blog – thanks for the help.

  23. I confess I had to give in (most unlike me). At least 4 clues eluded me, and having got the answers from the blog, I still don’t think ‘Ah, yes, I should have got that’. Others which I did contrive to work out, I was left thinking ‘Why did I bother?’

    ****/* for me I’m afraid.

  24. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. At the GBBF, still 10 s missing & struggling.

    1. Too difficult for me, had shaper for 9d,which didn’t help. Needed 6 hints to finish. Didn’t enjoy it at all.

      1. Me too for 9d – apart from me you’re the only one to confess to that. Even looked it up in BRB – it said something along the lines of a decisive leader who carries others along with their dynamism. Seemed OK to me at the time until it made other stuff impossible. :oops:

        1. If you read my comment , you would realise I didn’t even get that far,and made a complete “dances” of it.

          1. I did read your comment – I always read all the comments – not getting an answer is often preferable, not to mention more helpful, than getting one wrong.

  25. Didn’t really enjoy this one with a lot of obscure or contrived answers so I had to use the hints more than I would have liked. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  26. Me too in the dunces’s camp. And no way does “source” sound like “sauce”!! I did not enjoy this at all.

    1. “Source” sounds like “sauce” to me – perhaps it’s a regional thingie – where are you from?

    2. Annidrum, where are you?

      3d – “Source” definitely sounds like “Sauce” here in Norf London!

      1. . . . and in Oxford! However I can imagine that my lovely mother-in-law who was Scottish might haver pronounced the ‘R’ in ‘source’ a bit more.

          1. Greg Wallace has a particular pronunciation of “Sawce” that I can’t possibly spell ! – the sort that they occasionally have to carve with a knife on Masterchef !

    3. I just assumed it was the English thing of swallowing “r” and so I got it . Peculiarly, the same English people tend to pronounce my name “younar”, adding an “r” where there isn’t any, (and also putting in a “y” where there isn’t any).

      1. I think I would pronounce it Oona – never heard of your name pronounced any other way – what about Una Stubbs?

        1. I have been called Younar many times, even directly after introducing myself. But , so what ? I called my sister in law Patricia inadvertantly, even though she is known as Trish, boy, she didn’t like it (she’s a Londonah ).

  27. I would reply but I cant be bothered.Maybe I will.
    Too difficult for me.had 4 of thet usual subjects unsolved.
    I like the comments. Learnt a few things passed the time – not too much or I might have unearthed Satin. Still canst understand 17a. Cocktails! Who drinks them? Maybe youngsters on holiday.
    The only word I could think of was Juju.
    Ps Im sorry to say I didnt understand some of the hints. Pehaps a little more undersandimg of the solvers with less experience may be required.

    1. 17a hum here means a strong, usually, unpleasant smell. So you put between two As (A for Adult) a reversal of the abbreviation for Middle Of [the] Road music (return of ‘easy listening’).

    2. Sorry you didn’t understand the hints, but they are just that – hints. We try to allow a “second chance” to solve the puzzle, so don’t fully spell out all of the wordplay. If you want something more detailed then you can always look at the answers and/or ask for further help in the comments.

      If, for example, I had put a hum or smell is built up from ROM (MOR / Middle Of the Road / easy listening) reversed between A and A (two Adults) for 17 across that might have made it easier for you but would have spoilt the clue for many others.

  28. Having driven through heavy heavy rain to get to Warwickshire I spent less time counting the numerous red kites (I wasn’t driving Kath) than I did in struggling to solve this. So thank you BD for the hints which saved the late day. I struggled to work out why a dormer would be spelled dormAr -d’oh – until the penny dropped with a mighty clunk. Thank you setter for a big stretch for me.

  29. Completely stuck on 17d, but managed to get the rest without the hints although wasn’t (and am still not) really sure about 17a despite somehow getting the answer. Even the hint for 17d has me stumped. Will admit defeat even with four letters in place, but thanks for the hints!

    1. Just in case you read this as we’re now on Friday!
      17d The definition is ‘coming out completely’ (in the sense of flowering!) It is made up from the two letter abbreviation for a sailor often used in crosswords (ab) followed by the abbreviation for left. The last three letters (oom) are low, as in the noise a cow makes, turned upside down because of the ‘about’ in the clue. All that sounds very long-winded but, if you read it, hope it helps.

  30. Just loved the 4-word pun in the quick crossword! A few years ago I published a puzzle book which was crammed with such (2-word) puns and other word tricks. I won’t mention the title in case I’m not allowed to but it is still in print!

    Thanks again BD.

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