DT 27258 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27258

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27258

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***/****

The usual smooth offering from Giovanni requires a little bit of GK. Let us know how you fared.

To reveal an answer you’ll have to highlight what’s concealed between the brackets under the clue. If you’re solving on the move there is some help on how to do this in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  The old man has got hold of a wonderful cure (7)
{PANACEA} – an affectionate word for father (the old man) contains ‘a wonderful’ (2,3).

5a  Professional word of a particular type that conveys wisdom (7)
{PROVERB} – an abbreviation for professional followed by a part of speech.

9a  Fruit captured by capable monkey (5)
{LEMON} – hidden (captured) in the clue.

10a  Demure, needing to get with it, I have to be Methodist (9)
{PRIMITIVE} – this was a follower of one of the strands of Methodism until they converged with the Wesleyans and United Methodists in 1932. Start with an adjective meaning demure or prudish and add IT (from the clue) and the contracted form of ‘I have’.

11a  Legal document for vehicle (10)
{CONVEYANCE} – double definition, the first a legal document transferring ownership of a property.

12a  Word of defiance is a habit (4)
{WONT} – double definition, the first (complete with apostrophe) what a small child may say when refusing to do what he’s told.

14a  Style of building erect hair, cut unconventionally (12)
{ARCHITECTURE} – an anagram (unconventionally) of ERECT HAIR CUT.

18a  What you might see in prisoners’ exercise yard is compelling (12)
{CONSTRAINING} – split the answer (4,8) to get what you might see in a prison yard.

21a  Through listening, recognises dissident expressions (4)
{NOES} – this sounds like (through listening) a verb meaning recognises or has familiarity with.

22a  A unit briefly installed in summer (10)
{MILLIMETRE} – the brief way of writing this unit of length can be seen in suMMer.

25a  Unity of chaps evident in a salute (9)
{AGREEMENT} – another word for chaps gets inserted in A (from the clue) and a verb to salute or hail.

26a  Academic at ceremony may have this chicken (5)
{CAPON} – split as (3,2) for what an academic may have at a graduation ceremony.

27a  Strong American coin no longer used (7)
{SOLIDUS} – this old Roman coin comes from an adjective meaning strong or sturdy followed by an abbreviation for American.

28a  General flying in balloon (7)
{ENLARGE} – an anagram (flying) of GENERAL.

Down Clues

1d  Cops reduced — Yard’s course of action (6)
{POLICY} – drop the last letter (reduced) from a more formal word for cops and add Y(ard).

2d  Appointing an overthrown Lib Dem leader of yesteryear (6)
{NAMING} – reverse (overthrowing) AN and add the name by which the previous leader of the Lib Dems is known.

3d  Actor seen swirling round front of cinema — bless! (10)
{CONSECRATE} – an anagram (swirling) of ACTOR SEEN goes round the front letter of C(inema).

4d  Mountain with limited height, a first in a series (5)
{ALPHA} – a high mountain is followed by H(eight) limited to a single letter and A (from the clue).

5d  New Jersey location, place for prisoners, but not women (9)
{PRINCETON} – pretty easy for me but perhaps trickier for those living far from Devon. Start with a high place on Dartmoor which, in spite of its name, is not a town but just a village. Its main claim to fame is the forbidding presence of Dartmoor Prison. Now remove the W(omen) to leave the municipality in New Jersey which is home to one of the Ivy League universities.

6d  Dish of egg and greasy liquid served up (4)
{OLIO} – start with the letter that looks a bit (but not much) like an egg then reverse (served up, in a down clue) a greasy liquid. The result is a highly spiced stew of meat and vegetables originally from Spain.

7d  The last thing you’d expect an actor to say? (8)
{EPILOGUE} – … because it’s the final speech at the end of a play.

8d  Showed some sign of life with the food being passed round (8)
{BREATHED} – THE has some staple food placed around it.

13d  Cinema — cool, funny, cheap (10)
{ECONOMICAL} – an anagram (funny) of CINEMA COOL.

15d  Pomposity of the male saints going round each very small home (9)
{HEAVINESS} – a masculine pronoun (the male) and two abbreviated saints contain a) the abbreviation for each, b) a small rendition of V(ery) and c) an adverb meaning home.

16d  Terrible goings-on — Conservative in traditional Liberal footwear! (8)
{SCANDALS} – Liberals are traditionally depicted by their political opponents as having beards and wearing these items of footwear (including some of the men). Insert C(onservative).

17d  Mathematical value worked out by a girl, ten (8)
{INTEGRAL} – this is an anagram (worked out by) of A GIRL TEN (NB the answer is not triangle). I’ve really no idea what this actually means so I’ll have to quote the BRB definition: the value of the function of a variable whose differential coefficient is known. I hope that’s clear!

19d  Places to the north with men in a dazed state (6)
{STUPOR} – reverse (to the north, in a down clue) a verb meaning places, then add the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers (men).

20d  Irishman leading church meeting of a spooky nature (6)
{SEANCE} – an Irish forename precedes one of the abbreviations for church.

23d  Coffee time with others turning up all around (5)
{LATTE} – T(ime) with a latin phrase meaning ‘and others’ (2,2) reversed (turning up, in a down clue) around it.

24d  Psychiatrist’s not right to quarrel (4)
{FEUD} – drop the R (not right) from the name of probably the most famous psychiatrist.

The ones I liked best today were 10a, 22a and 16d. Do let us know what appealed to you.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {GNUS} + {SWARTHY} = {NEWSWORTHY}

54 comments on “DT 27258

  1. I must confess that 10a was unknown but easily done from the wordplay and 5d went in from checkers only – THanks for the elucidation, gazza and thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  2. We had worked out what we thought 5d should be and googled “Princetown prison”. We were amazed at the name that immediately popped up. We remembered the 2d guy from an earlier crossword so no probs there. Last to parse was 22a. So simple yet so clever. Have to give it top billing. Enjoyable elegance as ever.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  3. The couple that held me up were 5d and 12a. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.
    Making VERY slow progress with the toughie!

  4. After a couple of days without a daily fix of mental stimulation I got back on the saddle, I found this fairly tough going but got there on the end.really liked 2D as I had forgotten all about him 15D was a real stinker for me.Many thanks to gazza for his excellent review.Some funny wet stuff is falling from the sky here in the deep south.

  5. Another Friday, another cracker. As per usual, the Don delivers a fun puzzle with no real demons but some clever clues and some lovely answers. No real favourites today as they were all good IMHO.

    Rain has finally stopped and there’s a touch of sun on show, not sure how long it’ll last though as we’ve a terrible forcast for tomorrow.

  6. Very tough. First pass, just two, but perseverance paid off and not too much electronic/BRB help required…try to avoid this route if I can. I still don’t see 15D…I can see He V IN but saints?

    1. Roger it is HE around EA for Each then V for Very (being small/abbreviated) followed by IN for Home then add two SS for a couple of Saints – H (EA) (V) (IN) E + SS.
      Hope that helps.

  7. By far the hardest of what has been a diificult weeks’ crosswords for me. Never heard of 6d but got it from the wordplay and fell into the trap for 17d which held me up somewhat. Still don’t fully understand 15d (HE, V, IN, SS i understand but where does AE fit in ? Thought 22a was an excellent clue and therefore my clue of the day. All in all an enjoyable exercise so thanks to Compiler and Gazza for the review. ****/***

  8. I found this really difficult at the time – it’s one of those when I look at it all again and can’t see why I had problems, lots of them! 4* for both.
    I needed the hints to explain several – 1a (should have seen that) and 22a, and 5d – got in a muddle with the ‘not women’ bit and had wondered if the university was men only – oh dear! Dartmoor prison is a scary looking place – think I’ll be good! 15d took ages to untangle but did, eventually, manage that for myself. Whatever did we all do in pre-blog days when we didn’t understand an answer?
    I liked 12 and 26a and 7 and 20d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Rubbish weather – soggy grumpy collie, and Kath! :sad:

  9. 16d is in my opinion , the best clue.Heaviness for pompous ? I know it’s in BRB, but they are not synonimous in my mind. Defunct and long forgotten protestant sects ?Thank you Gazza for you hard work.

  10. Completed just over half before lights out last night and the rest before the first infusion of caffeine this morning. I did not find this too difficult or too enjoyable so I give 2.5*/2.5* and appreciate the review from Gazza to understand why/how some of the answers work. For example, I got 5d with the aid of the checking letters and knowing about NJ but the prison and women part was somewhat of a mystery. 15d must take the gold medal for contrivance; I like the way that Gazza has itemised each element. Thanks to the two Gs

  11. Excellent puzzle but VERY difficult.
    Never come across 10a or 6d before. 5a was a real challenge.
    Just do not get 15d at all. What saints (religious clues AGAIN) and where does the home come in.
    Apart from 15d, very enjoyable.
    Thx to the Don and to Gazza for the hints.

      1. Thx missed that. I see the construct but is this a new convention, using S for saint instead of St?

        1. S can be used for Saint. The Telegraph style book says the plural for saint should be abbreviated as SS (e.g. SS Peter and Paul).

    1. 15d took me ages to unravel too. My main mistake was thinking that the first two letters were ‘the male’ which made it trickier than it need have been.

  12. Found this one quite tough, 15d being the biggest problem, but as always it’s all in the question somewhere, more reverse engineering than usual.

    Good fun though.

    Thanks to the two Gs for an over breakfast entertainment.

  13. I would have said ** until I got to the SW, which I got to last, then I kept struggling and “toggling” between 15d and 27a. 15d could really only be what it was, but like others, I held back because I don’t think the synonym is very good…

    Obviously had to look up 27a, even with all the alternate letters.
    12a was masterly and Iliked 16d and 26a.
    Still I was pleased with myself for getting some of them – 6 and 23d.

    Sun out now – off to wash and clean cars. Daft or what? I have my reasons….

  14. I don’t particularly like answers that are some obscure meaning of a well known word only to be found in the BRB, so therefore 15 down is a no-no. Liked 16 down & some others & as usual greatly helped by the hinter so thank you Gazza, & setter.

  15. Thank you Giovanni, like the other puzzles this week – on the difficult side for me. Managed to finish though without hints, answers and further explanations unlike yesterday. Thank you Gazza for your comprehensive review – I did need to check 15d – though I thought that I had got the wordplay right. All good fun !

  16. A tough but very enjoyable puzzle today spoilt for me only by 15d, which , in my opinion, is unnecessarily complex and, like Una, I am not convinced that the answer is a synonym for pomposity whatever the BRB says. I couldn’t understand Gazza’s hint for this one, therefore many thanks to Gnomey for his enlightenment.

    Even though I eventually managed all the other answers, I was very grateful to Gazza for several explanations. Primiitve Methodists in 10a were a new concept for me, and I couldn’t get my head round the relevance of “summer” in 22a. Now i understand it, 22a gets my vote for favourite, although several others ran it very close.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for a lengthy but rewarding challenge, and to Gazza for his review.

    ****/**** for me. Without 15d, I would probably have gone for 5* for enjoyment.

  17. 15d threw me got the answer from the hints but could not equate heaviness with pomposity somehow, as well as the lags exercising.
    Im going to have to find a different online thesaurus as constaining = compelling was not listed in the one I use.
    Thanks Gazza for the hints.

  18. Thanks for the explanations Gazza. Like others I had 15d but could not parse it. And thanks for 22a also – the wordplay is glaringly obvious when you know what it is!
    Thanks Giovanni for another great Friday puzzle.

  19. 15d. Piece of cake. Homesteads. It came into my head and in it went. No wonder I took so long to finish this darned good puzzle. Thank you Giovanni. Lovely clueing as usual. At to all. See you on Monday.

  20. I liked 8d. I found the top half very straightforward but couldn’t do the bottom half at all.
    Thanks for the help.
    Does anyone know which crossword is the toughie on the crux ap?

  21. I had hautiness for 15d which fits the definition better than the correct answer, I just assumed that I couldn’t understand the wordplay… so that meant I couldn’t get 18a.

    Definitely felt a bit trickier than usual, although I’m away from home and doing them on the ipad at the moment, and I’m always happier with pen & paper !

  22. Well I’d forgotten how to spell the MM measurements, so that held me up – does anyone have a nifty little ‘trick’ for remembering when it’s er at the end, or when it’s re? Or am I just especially obtuse, or else affected by my times working in America, or else just potty? Anyway, all done now, and many thanks to Gazza and setter. 26a made me smile.

    1. Wikianswers says metre in English and meter in American – another example of two nations divided by a common language!

        1. True – one could argue that there is no such language as English, rather, it is a collection of words borrowed/stolen from other European languages. And, then English gets Americanised!

  23. I did struggle and I was grateful for the hints Gazza. I found some of the wordplay difficult to understand and that may be a matter of tuning in to Giovannis’ waveband

  24. Although I had the correct word in 15d I couldn’t work out why as I thought ,like Kath that “he” was for the male and I just couldn’t equate heaviness with pomposity . Other than that one and that I misspelt 22a I didn ‘t find it too difficult & thought it was a great puzzle and my favourite was 19 a. Thanks to Giovanni & to gazza.

  25. Thanks to the two G’s. As usual a very good puzzle from Giovanni, which I enjoyed but found really difficult, needed 5 hints for 10a, always struggle with religious clues, had no idea that Methodist meant primitive. 12a I always struggle with double definitions. 4d couldn’t see the mountain for the range :-) 5d didn’t realise the location of the Devon town. 15d couldn’t equate pomposity with heaviness. Favourites were 18a & 16d. Was 4*/3* for me. Looking forward to a normal drink tonight after 2 sessions at GBBF this week. No point looking at the Toughie.

    1. No such thing as a normal drink on a friday night. Not in my book anyway. Glad you enjoyed TGBBF. I see a Buff Orpington as your gravatar. We are looking for a quality young Buff Orpington cockerel to replace the one foxy took.

      1. Good point re Friday night drink :-) Had some superb beers from around the country and beyond, this week. I don’t think my Avatar would be up to the job, a bit lacking in dimensions :-)

  26. Not as hard as *** but i still needed help with 18a and 22a. Good redirection in several clues.

  27. Usual Giovanni fare!

    Faves : 10a, 12a, 26a, 5d, 20d & 22d.

    Weather in NL is still very summery – we could do with some rain!

  28. Very, very difficult. The top half went in nicely but struggled with the bottom half. I did get 22a, miracle, don’t know why it came to me and has to be my favourite, but had too many that I had to use the hints and far too many I had to look at the answers. Never herd of 27a, will file that one away. Thanks to setter and double thanks to hinter, without you I would still be tearing my hair out.

  29. Husband is now working again which has given me a few minutes to ruminate about today’s crossword.
    I ended up thinking about how wonderful it is, and how lucky we all are, to have this blog – so many brilliant, knowledgable and helpful people giving up their time to help and teach the rest of us. I’m not going to name individual people for fear of leaving someone out!
    However, I did think that it must be so much nicer for the blogger/hinter of the day when loads of people need the hints to explain or get an answer – like today – so many of us were completely stuffed with 15d, and a couple of others.
    I do sometimes feel a bit sorry for CS and gnomey who put lots of effort into their reviews of the Saturday and Sunday puzzles and then there are very few comments, let alone thanks.
    Anyway – that’s enough of my rambling – just thanks again to BD et al. SO much appreciated. :smile: to all of you.

    1. Kath, we use the hints every day & wouldn’t be able to complete the crossword without them because we’re not very good at cryptics, although we usually understand the answers with their help, so we certainly appreciate the efforts of all the clever people who write the crosswords & the hinters who hint.

    2. Thanks Kath. To be fair to gazza ,who has been consistently pushing out top quality reviews from the inception of this blog, I added a rather precise wordplay at 15d, and gazza withdrew his further hint having seen my full explanation. Sometimes you find that what is straightforward to you is less so to others when solving/blogging. I added the heavy-handed approach as I thought it was a bit tricky myself.
      The thing to realise was that the HE was not continuous but was surrounding another bit of wordplay but it is difficult to get away from the thought.

    3. Well said and thank you for that, Kath. I’ve had a few rough days when I felt completely underwater, without the blog I would never have known the answers and why.

    4. Sterling words that woman! Without this blog I’d still be doing dot to dots,word searches and spot the differences.

    5. Well said Kath. I echo what you said. I’ve needed lots of hints this week, this site is brilliant.

  30. For the average Telegraph crossworder like me (ie finish 60 to 70% of them without help) this one was just beyond the pale. Finally gave up at 2.30pm and consulted your excellent site. When I looked at some of the answers they were so obscure I resented having spent my time trying to get them. This was definitely one for the the crossword nerds. (Of whom by the way I am quite jealous!)

  31. 6d: O for egg? Come off it! Worked out 27a but hadn’t heard of that before and 24d quite stumped me but so simple when explained. Agree 15d was a stinker, knew the answer and the elements but had trouble joining the dots. Enjoyed 22a

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