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DT 27262

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27262

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Having been held up in the SW corner (by an unfamiliar slang word, and a word that I considered and discarded because it didn’t fit the checking letters, according to my misspelling), I’d rate this 2*/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    Part of theatre for cleric worried by attire (5,6)

{DRESS CIRCLE} : Anagram of(worried) CLERIC placed after(by, in an across clue) [attire;something you might wear].

9a    Stopped protecting the setter, and made improvements (7)

{EMENDED} : [stopped;finished] containing(protecting) [1st person pronoun signifying the setter].

10a    Accommodate. force (6)

{OBLIGE} : Double defn: 1st: To accommodate by voluntarily doing a service or favour for someone; and 2nd: To force;to bind or constrain someone to do something, maybe even a service or favour – an offer one can’t refuse.

12a    This city within city that’s constant? (7)

{ETERNAL} : Cryptic defn: With capital letters, another name for a European capital city. The clue doesn’t seem right, as the answer in the grid is another name for a city containing or outside (not within) another smaller City. Or, is the question mark meant to denote the reverse?

13a    Complain a look gets cow cross (7)

{BEEFALO} : [to complain;to bring up a contentious issue] + A + [an interjection to look!].

Answer: A hybrid;a cross species partly of cattle.

14a    American blokes investing energy in flops (5)

{DUDES} : [symbol for “energy” in physics] contained in(investing … in) [flops;failures, eg. bombs that fail to detonate).

Answer: American slang for “guys”.

15a    Toast, bed and drink (7,2)

{BOTTOMS UP} : [bed, say, of a river] plus(and) [to drink, slowly].


17a    Courier, or person in train, having me for father (9)

{MESSENGER} : [person in a train, or even, a bus, a taxi, etc.] with “ME” replacing(having … for) [a familiar term for “father”].

20a    Just brilliant, losing head! (5)

{RIGHT} : [brilliant;shining strongly] minus its 1st letter(losing head).

22a    Nothing is found in pictures but insects (7)

{IMAGOES} : [the letter representing 0;nothing] contained in(is found in) [pictures;reproductions of persons, objects, etc.].

Answer: Insects in their sexually mature adult stage.

24a    One of three allowed on excursion (7)

{TRIPLET} : [allowed;gave permission] placed after(on, in an across clue) [an excursion;a tour].

25a    Join coppers, missing nothing in pursuit of son (6)

{SPLICE} : { [collectively, coppers in uniform as well as plainclothes;the fuzz] minus(missing) [the letter representing 0;nothing] } placed after(in pursuit of;goes after, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “son”].

26a    Accommodation for busy workers (7)

{BEEHIVE} : Cryptic defn: Where busy workers dwell in colonies.

27a    Practical Greens seen to be troubled (11)

{COMMONSENSE} : [greens;public fields, mainly associated with villages] + anagram of(to be troubled) SEEN.

Answer: As an adjective.


2d    Nonsense surrounding study on small beavers, for example (7)

{RODENTS} : { [nonsense;rubbish] containing(surrounding) [a study room;a place to retreat to] } placed above(on, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “small”].

Answer: A (zoological) order of mammals, examples of which are the beavers, small and large.

…those dam beavers!

3d    Burden on reserve’s attachment to bike (9)

{SADDLEBAG} : [to burden with;to encumber with] placed above(on, in a down clue) [to reserve or get the right to do or to have something, as in “he came in early to reserve the best seat in the house”.

4d    Thoroughly search around middle of Don Valley (5)

{COOMB} : [to thoroughly search, as with a fine-toothed implement] containing(around) the middle letter of(middle of) “Don”.

5d    Finished up accepting story in stand-out work (7)

{RELIEVO} : Reversal of(up, in a down clue) [state of having been done;finished] containing(accepting)[a story;a fiction].

Answer: A sculptured work of shapes carved on a surface so as to stand out above the surrounding background.

6d    Record Germany’s positive response on case of mass stoppages (3,4)

{LOG JAMS} : [a record of events] + [a positive response in German] placed above(on, in a down clue) the 2 outermost letters of(case of) “mass”.

…this one is not due to beavers.

7d    Remained confused after supporter’s deception (11)

{LEGERDEMAIN} : Anagram of(confused) REMAINED placed below(after, in a down clue) [one of a pair that supports your torso].

Answer: A deception;a sleight of hand, like what a conjurer does.

8d    Saw both sides of bridge maintained (6)

{BEHELD} : The 2 outermost letters of(both sides of) “bridge” + [maintained, say, one’s position against opposition].

Answer: Saw;looked at.

11d    Tricky problems for osteopath to put right (3,8)

{HOT POTATOES} : Anagram of(put right) OSTEOPATH TO.

Defn: Not bones, but tubers that are liable to burn when handled, used figuratively.

16d    It should be under the record (9)

{TURNTABLE} : Cryptic defn: That which supports a spinning record disc.

Have a listen while you’re thinking about it:

18d    Cleaner‘s familiar fizzy drink (7)

{SHAMPOO} : Double defn: 1st: A liquid for cleansing; and 2nd: Slang, humorously, for a fizzy;bubbly drink.


19d    Selfishness of work in different times (7)

{EGOTISM} : [to work;to function, like a car does] contained in(in) anagram of(different) “times”.

20d    Answer found in additions to contract for corporate attackers (7)

{RAIDERS} : [abbrev. for “answer”] contained in(found in) [additional clauses to a contract].

But these ones are not the corporate type:


21d    French impudence since dropping the odds (6)

{GALLIC} : [impudence;audacity;insolence] + minus(dropping) the 1st and 3rd letters of(the odds) “since”.

23d    Gangster never holding back (5)

{STERN} : Hidden in(holding) “Gangster never “.

The Quick crossword pun: (Windsor} + {furze} = {windsurfers}

59 comments on “DT 27262

  1. Thank you Jay – new words, and good fun as always. RHS seemed a bit easier than LHS and in particular SW corner. Needed your explanation Schuua for 18d. Had the answer but as quite often happens, had no idea why ! So many thanks for your review and interesting photos !

  2. As ever on a Wednesday, a fun puzzle, but not too easy. Have never heard of 13A but the answer looked fairy obvious and a quick goggle gave it the OK. 27A – I’ve never seen this as an 11 letter word, only ever as (7,5).

    Busy day today – cricket until 1ish, then lunch, cricket, tea, cricket, a beer or two, will I be able to last the day out?

  3. Another educational puzzle, which I could not have completed without use of reference material. Two or three new words there. Mrs Smith knew the slang word for 18d. She is my inspiration so often!

  4. ***/**. Also had problems with SW corner so grateful for Scchua help on 22a (new to me) and 18d – bubbly, champers or sherbet perhaps but surely shampoo never!

    1. I did know this humourous slang for champagne. As I wrote it in this morning, I did say to myself that a lot of people wouldn’t like it and I wasn’t wrong.

  5. Hi Schuua, thanks for the blog, finished without today but two new words for me 7d and 5d, had to look them both up, had put sodapop in for 18d! which held me up a while,

    I still don’t understand 12a, Rome is the Eternal city and the Vatican City is inside that so the clue seems to be wrong as you suggest??

    Apart from that an enjoyable crossword two to three star for me, with lots of good readings but no stand out favourite

    Paperwork in for leave of absence for next few days Kath…

    1. I agree that 12a is confusing. Could it be read ‘city within city’ as one entity meaning Rome since it could be said that Rome was a city within city if you look at its totality?

  6. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A fun puzzle from Jay, most enjoyable. I had no problems until the end. I was missing 12a,14a & 8d, guessed 12a which was correct, but I still don’t understand It having read the hint.. Then put dukes for 14a, Dukes of Hazard, and bedeck for 8d. New words for 5d and 13a, managed to dredge up the answer to 7d from the depths of memory. Altogether a very entertaining puzzle. Favourites were 13&25a, the former made me laugh. Was 3*/3* for me.

  7. Normal service resumed after yesterday’s disappointment. My rating today is a bit over 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. This was a challenging puzzle with lots of excellent clues but no stand out favourite today.

    Unfortunately one of the only two clarifications I needed was for 12d and I am not sure I am any the wiser after reading Scchua’s hint where he seems to admit to some confusion himself. I had never come across the slang meaning of shampoo so I needed Scchua’s hint for 18d which was my last one in.

    13a and 5d were new words for me but easily solvable from the wordplays.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to Scchua for his review.

  8. As often happens with this compiler, I was never quite on Jay’s wavelength, so could not have finished without 6 or 8 hints. Never heard of 5d or 13a which didn’t help. 3*/1* for me.

    1. Hi Big Boab, do you have any idea how 12a worked? i don’t understand the hint, any help would be most welcome.

      1. I took it to be “The Eternal City” ie ( Vatican) with the city outside, a terrible clue as of course the eternal city is Rome not the Vatican.

  9. I thought 27 across was made up of 2 words. Never heard of 7 down though one can understand it from its French origins, & if I’ve got the correct answer for 22across, I’ve only ever heard it used in the singular. Interesting puzzle, thank you setter & hinter.

  10. Can anyone clarify 12a in simple terms, I understand what schuua is saying but he doesn’t seem to think the clue is right either, sue?????

    1. Beats the you know what out of me too. I only solved 12a from looking up constant in the BRB.

    2. I think the clue only works (as Roger says above) if you accept that the whole of Rome is ‘a city within a city’. I suppose it’s a bit like describing a sausage as ‘meat within a skin’ or a Russian matroyoshka doll as ‘dolls within a doll’ but it’s rather a dubious clue IMHO.

      1. 12a – Maybe we should ask for a ruling from the Vatican as to whether this is a fair clue!

        I’m sure their answer would be infallible! Mea Culpa!

  11. **/*** for me, didn’t quite finish it before I got on the plane, and also needed to check some unknown words.

  12. Managed four answers then gave up in disgust!
    So far above my level of competence as to be out of sight.
    Obviously my own fault for asking for an easier one yesterday.

  13. Very entertaing puzzle from Jay – many thanks!

    Re 12a : The Vatican is the real Eternal City so I think the fodder is OK.

    We have had a few bucketfuls of rain lately but the weather has gone back to summer again!

  14. I liked this puzzle, there you go, wavelength again. I agree, 12a is dubious, and 5d was new to me, easy enough to work out and google. I thought the plural of 22a was just the addition of an “s” but referring to the dictionary shows it can also have an “e”. Thanks to setter and scchua but didn’t need hints today.

  15. Setter here – . Re 12 Across, the confusion has arisen because of my own incompetence in failing to check the definition of the “Eternal city”. I had mistakenly taken it to be the Vatican. My apologies to all, and thanks for comments

    1. No need for apologies! You gave us such a fun workout, much appreciated and we thank you.

    2. Thanks Jay I really enjoyed the puzzle. Re 12a across, sorry I’m so dim, but even if the Vatican was the eternal city, how should the clue have worked ?

      1. Hi Heno

        If the Vatican was the Eternal city it would be “This city” (ie eternal) within another city (ie Rome) with the def as constant.

        Hope that made sense – I’m a bit out of practice.

        1. Thanks Pommers, i understand that the definition is constant=eternal, but I don’t understand city within a smaller city.

    3. Thanks Jay. We can stop our head-scratching now. You are forgiven already. We really appreciate and enjoy your puzzles every Wednesday.

    4. No need to apologise Jay, even a master can slip up once in a while! Apart from that it was the usual “Wednesday Wizardry” and very enjoyable. Many thanks from me and pommette. Made for a good lunchtime!

  16. Apart from not knowing the creature in 13a, I really enjoyed tussling with this today. Thank you setter, for a fine work out. And thanks Scchua, too, for usual helpful hints. In sunny Warwickshire at present with some rather feeble attempts to rain, and gazing at an early ruby wedding anniversary present of a red rose by that name with the most fabulous scent….. And no doubt “shampoo” might be on the menu in due course (although that is my least favourite name for my most favourite drink!)

    1. Enjoy your celebrations! I am also very partial to a touch of bubbly but, with a beer income, I usually have to settle for Prosecco or domestic from California. Have fun.

      1. Thank you, Merusa – we will, especially as the due date isn’t until December, but it’s fun to practice!

  17. Struggled at first in noisy evening pub, but got there except for 13 d which I had never heard of. Very entertaining never the less. Thanks to Jay and Scchua for hints.
    Apologies to Gazza for sudden change of name yesterday. I wasn’t sure how to do it properly, but thanks for sorting it.

  18. Never on the right wavelength with this setter and complicated further by the hints which are just about another puzzle to me. A good workout after a long while but little enjoyment.

  19. I solved most of this yesterday in Skibbereen and Skull in west Cork, without any electronic aides or indeed your good selves.Under those circumstances, I found it pretty tough, although “eternal” went in easily, I made the same mistake as Jay.Thanks to all concerned.

  20. How often are the answers to these crosswords incorrect? There was an example in this crossword at 22A. According to the OED and the Chambers English dictionary the plural of IMAGO is IMAGINES or IMAGOS (American English)

    1. Welcome to the blog RobinS.
      According to Chambers (version 11) valid plurals are IMAGINES, IMAGOS or IMAGOES.

      1. That’s interesting. Is the Chambers (v11) the definitive dictionary for Telegraph crosswords then?

        1. Chambers is the definitive dictionary for the Telegraph. There is a later version than version 11 but I’m too mean to have bought it yet.

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