DT 27263 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27263

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27263

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another one for the Ray T fans.

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    For each error the compiler’s tolerant (10)
{PERMISSIVE} – a word meaning for each followed by an error and a word meaning “the first person has” (the compiler’s)

6a    Lover‘s knot, it’s said (4)
{BEAU} – sounds like (it’s said) a knot

9a    One providing security in the main? (10)
{COASTGUARD} – a cryptic definition of a member of an organization with responsibility for, among other things, preventing smuggling

10a    Macho man‘s twosome’s back without sweetheart (4)
{STUD} – reverse a twosome and the S from ‘S and then drop (without) the E (swEet-heart)

12a    Reportedly keep hidden inflatable toy (4)
{LILO®} – sounds like a phrasal verb meaning to keep hidden or go into hiding (3,3)

13a    Shop say protecting press right to the end! (9)
{STATIONER} – put a verb meaning to say around (protecting) a verb meaning to press then move the R(ight) to the end of the word

15a    Former partner, abusive in tried case, forced out (8)
{EXTRUDED} – the usual two-letter word for a former partner followed by an adjective meaning , abusive inside the outer letters (case) of TrieD

16a    Optimistic club chasing trophy, losing head (6)
{UPBEAT} – a verb meaning to club preceded (chasing) a trophy without (losing) its initial letter (head)

18a    Upright corroded by time (6)
{TRUSTY} – an adjective meaning corroded preceded by T(ime)

20a    Balanced and level in endless farce (8)
{COMPARED} – a three-letter word meaning level inside most of (endless) a farce

23a    Rising politician entrapped by one cruising (9)
{IMPROVING} – the usual politician is sandwiched between (entrapped) I (one) and a verb meaning cruising

24a    Try seen in international event (4)
{TEST} – two definitions

26a    Exercise question follows start of term (4)
{TASK} – a verb meaning to question preceded by (follows) the initial letter (start) of Term

27a    Prudent to claim foul after drop (10)
{DIPLOMATIC} – an anagram (foul) of TO CLAIM follows (after) a drop

28a    Fabulous woman finished by love (4)
{DIDO} – a verb meaning finished followed by O (love)

29a    Dares to be different taking hard quality paper (10)
{BROADSHEET} – an anagram (different) of DARES TO BE around (taking) H(ard)


1d    Bond‘s exploit trailing Q’s predecessor (4)
{PACT} – an exploit preceded by (trailing) the letter that comes before (predecessor) Q in the alphabet

2d    One’s down-to-earth and on a roll (7)
{REALIST} – a two-letter word meaning on or concerning followed by the A from the clue and a roll

3d    Doctor in unit performing birth (12)
{INTRODUCTION} – an anagram (performing) of DOCTOR IN UNIT

4d    Silences bands covering Queen (8)
{SQUASHES} – bands that are worn round the waist or over the shoulder around QU(een) – I bet I wasn’t the only one who tried to fit ER into this one!

5d    It’s said some discover ballet… (6)
{VERBAL} – hidden (some) inside the clue

7d    …understanding some indecent entertainment (7)
{ENTENTE} – same again!

8d    Consider too little Cruise’s replacement? (10)
{UNDERSTUDY} – as a verb this could mean to consider too little, but as a noun it is someone who provides cover for a more famous actor, like Tom Cruise

11d    Animals in river bank charm endlessly (12)
{HIPPOPOTAMUS} – a three-letter word meaning in or trendy followed by an Italian river, a bank used when playing cards for money and most of (endlessly) a verb meaning to charm – the plural of this animal can be spelt the same as the singular although there are other options

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d    Confidential secret with dirt spread (10)
{RESTRICTED} – an anagram (spread) of SECRET with DIRT

17d    Man with igloo melting in country (8)
{MONGOLIAN} – an anagram (melting) of MAN with IGLOO

19d    Natural nude’s unveiled around ends of piano (7)
{UNPOSED} – an anagram (unveiled) of NUDE’S around the outer letters (ends) of PianO

21d    Repetitive performance around stage getting prize (7)
{ROSETTE} – a repetitive performance around a stage or scene

22d    More spruce from island in stream over river (6)
{TIDIER} – I(sland) inside a stream or current and followed by R(iver)

25d    Sing originally, supported by jazz fan? (4)
{SCAT} – the initial letter (originally) of Sing followed (supported) by a jazz fan gives a type of singing popular with jazz fans

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Elkamere has given us a more Anax-like Toughie today – why not have a go?

The Quick crossword pun: (serve} + {aunties} = {Cervantes}

45 comments on “DT 27263

  1. Thank you Ray T – finished but needed your explanations of wordplay BD for 1a, 13a and 11d. Very unsatisfactory to get the answers and not being able to unravel the wordplay. They did seem a bit tricky ! Many thanks BD for the review.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this ,although by no means easy.Lots of brilliant clues, the homophones stud out, 6a and 12a, as i usually find homophones difficult. I also appreciated the hidden clues. In fact I liked it all.Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave.

  3. Perseverance pays off! I did not do myself any favours for putting in ‘undersized’ for 8d…well, it is valid given Cruise’s stature (how anyone thinks he could play Jack Reacher is beyond me) !

    Thanks for the explanation of 4d.

    1. My initial thought was that Cruise’s replacement was Keith Urban (Nicole Kidman’s new husband).

    2. Exactly Roger. As a huge Jack Reacher fan I refuse to watch the film! Don’t you think Lee Child himself looks more like Jack Reacher??

  4. Reasonably simple today although a couple of your explanations helped….awaiting help with toughie now….started off easy but has come to a drastic halt!!

  5. ****/****. Really enjoyed this and started at a good pace but then hit the buffers and needed hints for several including 1a, 5d, and 25 d. Thanks BD and Ray T. Yes I too was trying to put ER into 4d!

  6. Bit late this morning – was on a mission of mercy for my father-in-law.

    Good fun today as is usual with Ray T. 3 or 4 in after the first pass of the across clues, a few more from the downs and then things started falling into place. Lilo and Dido in the same puzzle, pity there were no computing clues or dwarf clues – could have had Gigo and Hiho too :-)

  7. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Needed the hints for 13 & 20a and 11&21d. Favourites were 12a and 4d, the latter a great bit of misdirecrion that had me looking for “er”. Was 3*/4* for me. Wish the rain would stop so we can get some Cricket.

  8. Thanks to RayT for the very enjoyable and relatively easy crossword, just right for a midweek jaunt, thanks also to our leader for a most amusing review.

  9. OK people, ‘fess up; who else was convinced that 28A was a reference to the story of Hero and Leander, and therefore completely fouled up the SW corner for the next half hour?

      1. Dido (in the Aeneid)
        The queen and founder of Carthage, who fell in love with the shipwrecked Aeneas and killed herself when he deserted her.

        Hero (Greek Mythology)
        A priestess of Aphrodite at Sestos on the European shore of the Hellespont, whose lover Leander, a youth of Abydos on the opposite shore, swam the strait nightly to visit her. One stormy night he was drowned and Hero in grief threw herself into the sea.

        1. That is the most succinct history lesson I’ve ever seen. Got it all in just a few lines. Now, that is talent.

  10. For me the best puzzle of the week by miles.
    Some very clever clues as well as some very tricky ones.
    Even with the hint i cold not get 24a without help and missed the anagram indicator (foul) in 27a. Still not quite sure why Beau is a lover, surely it means Dandy as in Beau Brummell.
    But loved 12a and 1d.
    Many Thx to Ray T and to BD for today’s offering.

    1. ‘Beau’ is simply French for beautiful (or handsome), so it can be applied to dandies like Brummel, or to a boyfriend or suitor with whom a girl is smitten.

      1. Hmm, I always thought the French for beautiful was Belle and the French for handsome as Beau. Neither of whom means lover.

        1. They’re masculine/feminine variants of the same word, so which one you use depends on the gender of what’s being described. In English, as Skempie says below, beau has been used as an alternative for boyfriend for centuries.

    2. s fas as I know, a boyfriend/suitor/swain etc has always been known as a beau – certainly since Jane Austen’s time so at least 350 years.

  11. I found this tough. I also put Hero for 28a. I couldn’t have done it without your hints – thank you.

  12. I loved this again today, even though it was on the tough side. Yes, I tried putting ER in 4d and Hero in 28a, but changed when I got the answers to 14d and 19d. I needed the hints to know the why of 11d and 13a. Very clever puzzle, great clues, thank you all.

  13. Another fine offering by RayT. More anagrams than normal but also some really good clues including 1d 12 15 [great surface] and 29. Favourite was 6 which was the last one in with much gnashing of teeth.

  14. Crosswords piling up, they will be I hope a much needed distraction from a family golden wedding, horribly interrupting a bank holiday weekend.. Anyways, back on shift in 1/2 hour at the Peterborough beer fest,

  15. Setter here with thanks to BD for the decryption and thanks to all for your comments.


  16. I HATE The thursday telegraph crossword. The compiler and I must be so very different I am never going get it

    1. Welcome to the blog Tim

      That’s what Brian used to say – see his earlier comment today!

      Stick with us and we’ll try to show you how it’s done.

  17. We were away at a family gathering so our usual solving routine was somewhat disrupted. Did, however manage to find time for this one (just can’t resist the allure of a RayT) and found it all slotted in with a full measure of enjoyment as usual.
    Thanks RayT and BD

  18. Brilliant stuff so thanks to Ray T! I liked 9a but . . .

    The piccy is wrong. It’s nothing to do with the coastguard at all. It’s a “Severn Class” boat of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Specifically this one (17-05) is called “Pride of the Humber” and usually based in Hull. Cost over £2M and there are 35 of them around the coast of the UK so please send a few pence to the RNLI as it’s all funded by voluntary donations. This is a bit of a rant but I get fed up of people mixing up the Coastguard (military) with the RNLI (charity).

    If you want to know about this class of boat see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severn-class_lifeboat .

  19. Completely faded to a stop with this one, so horribly out of step with most of you. Also fell into the ER and Hero trap on top of it all, so feeling a bit discouraged as I thought I was learning a little about the setter’s mind set – but today’s experience definitely refuted that. But thank you to both anyway, and hope I’ll improve tomorrow….

    1. Hi Poppy

      Don’t worry – honest, we all get it wrong sometimes!

      Pommette and I thought long about HERO too, seems to fit the clue (‘ish). We also had the ER in 4d until the checkers proved it impossible and the penny finally dropped.

      Such is cryptics?

  20. I found this quite a challenge – some patches very slow to solve, and 2d, 9a and 4d simply wouldn’t come. But it was good firm-but-fair stuff.
    I particularly liked the two clues in which the clue-surface gave a cheeky extra hint/confirmation of the answer: the fictional classical heroine of 28a was indeed ‘finished [off] by love’, and you could say that 13a really does its best to protect what is left of the printing industry. Brilliant setting throughout.
    Many thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for filling in the frustrating whats and whys.

  21. I found this very difficult indeed – after hours of struggling and consulting dictionaries, there were still a couple I couldn’t get – and I needed BD’s explanations for a few. I’d got COMPOSED for 20A (for some reason I can’t now understand), which meant that I couldn’t get 21D. At least I didn’t fall into the Hero/Dido trap, although I did try to fit ER into 4D. The highlight for me was listening to Flanders and Swann singing the Hippopotamus Song – thank you Big Dave! And thank you Ray T – I can occasionally do your puzzles!

  22. Absolutely brilliant! ***/**** for me. Too many great clues to pick a favourite. My only complaint is that I didn’t get a chance to get started on this tough but most enjoyable challenge until the early hours of this morning.

    Everything gradually fell into place. The only two things that threw me slightly were that for 10d I didn’t know that duet could mean a twosome, I thought it only meant a perfomance by two people; and I wasn’t aware that 11d was usable as both singular and plural. The BRB put me wise on both of those.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD.

  23. Sorry for late query re 11d but can’t find reference to ‘hippopotamus’ being plural form anywhere. By the way blog is great help.

  24. A cracking puzle that I have only just gotten round to. I thought that 2d was beautifully succinct and deceptive.
    Thanks to RayT and to BD.

  25. Well I’m only a week late but just had to comment on another wonderful puzzle from one of my favourite setters.
    I did this on husband’s iPad, which is a bit of a challenge in itself, and no access to the hints.
    I was completely stuck on trying to understand why 11d was what it obviously was – I got the river (that one again) and I got the endlessly charm but the rest of it was a complete mystery to me. This really makes me appreciate the blog – it’s not until you’re without it that you really wonder how you ever did without it. Actually that’s not true – I appreciate it every day!
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.

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