DT 27264 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27264

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27264

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

It’s Friday so it must be Giovanni. I thought that this was one of his more straightforward puzzles – do let us know what you thought.

If you can’t get an answer and my hint doesn’t help, you can reveal all by highlighting the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Become attached to Heather making wild animal noises? (8)
{GROWLING} – a verb to become (as in ‘to **** angry’) is followed by a type of heather. The capitalisation of heather is an attempt to misdirect.

6a  In drunken sets a female should be most cautious (6)
{SAFEST} – A and F(emale) go inside an anagram (drunken) of SETS.

9a  Male I would want to become, certainly not a huge fellow! (6)
{MIDGET} – M(ale) and the contracted form of ‘I would’ want the addition of a verb meaning to become.

10a  Metamorphosing larvae in plant (8)
{VALERIAN} – an anagram (metamorphosing) of LARVAE IN.

11a  Put off vehicles I had returned by foot finally (8)
{DISTRACT} – load-carrying vehicles are followed by the contracted form of ‘I had’ then that’s all reversed (returned) and completed with the final letter of (foo)T.

12a  Composer wandering about in Harlem (6)
{MAHLER} – an anagram (wandering about) of HARLEM.

13a  Seaman having time tucked into eel supplied by market trader (12)
{COSTERMONGER} – the abbreviation for an ordinary seaman and a period of time get inserted in a large eel.

16a  Female workers in a mess, untidy — their hair needing to be tied up? (12)
{SEAMSTRESSES} – ‘needing to be tied up’ is just an instruction that the two elements of the wordplay have to be joined together. Those two elements are a) an anagram (untidy) of A MESS and b) a word for locks of hair.

19a  Genius — one character at the end being hospitalised it seems (6)
{WIZARD} – I (one, in Roman numerals) and the final character in our alphabet are admitted to a hospital room.

21a  Indiscriminate  action of cleaner (8)
{SWEEPING} – double definition, the first an adjective meaning indiscriminate or all-embracing.

23a  Accommodation for many women must be so large, I fancy (8)
{SERAGLIO} – an anagram (fancy) of SO LARGE I produces the women’s quarters in a Muslim palace.

24a  One gets good toilets in particular huts (6)
{IGLOOS} – I (one) is followed by G(ood) and an informal word for toilets.

25a  Wine initially served around lunchtime? That’s the way things are (2,2,2)
{AS IT IS} – a sparkling Italian wine followed by the initial letter of S(erved) containing the hour at which many people stop for lunch.

26a  Soldier returning to old city is enthralled by exquisite bit of sculpture (8)
{FIGURINE} – an American soldier reversed (returning) and the usual old Biblical city are contained in (enthralled by) an adjective meaning exquisite or top-notch.

Down Clues

2d  Artist is at home — a bit of a fruitcake? (6)
{RAISIN} – a simple charade of the abbreviation for a successful artist, IS (from the clue) and an adverb meaning at home.

3d  The isle that sounds snow-covered? (5)
{WIGHT} – the island sounds like the colour of snow.

4d  International trains diverted going from A to B (2,7)
{IN TRANSIT} – an abbreviation of international is followed by an anagram (diverted) of TRAINS.

5d  Music in very old books lodged in passage into building (7)
{GAVOTTE} – I thought that this was just an old dance but apparently it can also be the music for said dance. Insert V(ery) and the old books of the Bible into a type of entrance (passage into building).

6d  More than one US location offering cooked meals (5)
{SALEM} – an anagram (cooked) of MEALS. There are many places in the USA with this name but the most famous is the one in Massachusetts where the witch trials were held.

7d  Use binoculars to see these  little old things with wrens on? (9)
{FARTHINGS} – if split (3,6) you might use binoculars to see them clearly but the main definition relates to small pre-decimal coins with a little bird on the back. Since the coins were no longer legal tender after 1960 do you think this is a bit unfair for younger solvers?

8d  Drudge looking very hot exuded liquid from mouth (8)
{SLAVERED} – a drudge or lackey is followed by the colour you get if you are very hot.

13d  Fellow in bed holding club is disposed to fight (9)
{COMBATANT} – this is a bit like a Russian doll. The outside layer is a child’s bed, then inside that we have a male person (fellow) and inside that a wooden club.

14d  Completely understanding mother, good person with energy, joining circle (9)
{MASTERING} – string together a) an affectionate word for mother, b) the abbreviation for a good and holy person, c) E(nergy) and d) a circle or band.

15d  Editor served up drinks for people resolving an issue (8)
{DECIDERS} – reverse (served up, in a down clue) the abbreviation for editor and add some alcoholic drinks.

17d  Sounds like the Cockney chap’s unfriendly? Cool it! (4,3)
{EASE OFF} – Cockneys are known, especially in crosswords, to drop their leading aitches so start with what sounds like a Cockney’s rendition of he’s. Now add an informal adjective meaning unfriendly or distant.

18d  Like many a library book, see, carried by old granny (2,4)
{ON LOAN} – an old word meaning see! or behold! is contained in (carried by) O(ld) and an affectionate term for granny.

20d  Part of Yorkshire offering the ultimate in grand beers (5)
{DALES} – the ultimate letter of (gran)D is followed by beers.

22d  Chum with hesitancy in speech is not so bright (5)
{PALER} – a chum or mate with a short word of hesitation.

My favourites (I think I’m safe enough today – Kath’s away) were 19a and 2d. Let us know which ones appealed to you.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {THYME} + {PEACE} = {TIMEPIECE}

49 comments on “DT 27264

  1. Are you sure it is Giovanni as I found this remarkably easy in comparison to other Friday’s.

  2. That’s three great puzzles in a row! I’m giving this one 2.5* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. I was on track for less than 2* difficulty but got held up slightly in the SW corner.

    Lots of splendid clues, with 19a my favourite. 13d was a bit unusual, at least in my limited experience, of an insertion within an insertion, and I wasn’t wholly confident about where the get came from in the wordplay for 9a without the as usual excellent hints. I suppose get = become is OK, but it’s not something that I would normally have considered. I like Gazza’s Russian Doll analogy for 13d!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Gazza.

  3. Thank you Giovanni, enjoyed the puzzle and determined not to be beaten by the wordplay today. Having put the answer in for 13a, it did take me a while to unravel. New word at 23a to continue my education as was the answer to 6d. Thanks Gazza for the review and hints.

  4. Gazza, we think you could extend your unfairness comment on 7d to include those on the other side of the world too. We got it though without any problems. Interesting to conjecture how else it could be clued considering the first 4 letters of the answer. An enjoyable Friday solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

        1. Gazzas puzzles are always good for a bit of Ray T ish-ness. Trouble is there aren’t enough of them – which is a small hint that I don’t seem to have tested one for a while.

    1. I too am too young to remember 7d but thought clueing was great-only sent this when I realised I could say I was too young-doesn’t happen a lot these days ;-)

      1. When I were a lad … my bus fare to school was “A penny 3 Farthings”!

        There wasn’t a School Run back then … ‘appen as not!

    2. I am not too young, but I do have a bracelet made up of farthings, which I don’t wear as it makes too much racket

  5. A couple that held me up today. It did not held that I had the wrong anagram at 6d; SELMA is in California and Alabama.
    Last one in was 15d.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

  6. All done and dusted over two cups of tea this morning Was there ever a simpler charade than 14d? I’ve three to do from yesterdays puzzle but was out all day. Thanks to all. Have a nice weekend.

    1. Children’s party charades, yes, understood, but what are “charades” in a crossword context? I’ve never been able to discover. Enlightenment would be much appreciated!

      1. Have a read of the FAQ page (tab above) as it explains charades and all sorts of other crossword constructions.

        Basically a crossword one is the same as a party one – one bit of wordplay plus another and then another leads to the solution.

  7. I found it at the easier end of the Giovanni spectrum but wondered if that was because I was solving it over a leisurely breakfast on a day off. Thanks to both the Gs.

    I do recommend the Elgar Toughie – it is a proper Friday Toughie, but ignore all the ‘what the heck’ clues and focus on the smaller words which will then help you work out what he is on about in the rest.

    1. I would strongly recommend solving this Toughie on paper rather than interactively – most people will need a lot of space to work out the wordplay.

      1. That is very, very true. Can hardly read the printed-out page through all the workings-out. Fun though.

  8. Thanks to the two G’s. A very enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni, some great wordplay. Managed this without any problems, but had to think a lot. Favourites were 19a & 7&18d. Was 2*/4* for me. Might have a peek at the Toughie later. Come on England, but looks like rain tomorrow.

  9. For me the DT have kept the best until last. Superb puzzle from the Master.
    Funny week, started off really difficult and finished much easier I’m glad to say.
    Best clue for me was def 7d, a real smiler but they were all good.
    Thx to the Don for the great puzzle and to Gazza for explaining bits of 11a and 13a.

    1. Agreed. A fine puzzle to end the week and far better than yesterdays’ which I found very difficult. Thanks to the Don and to Gazza for the hints which I mainly used for confirmation. SW Corner gave me some problems

  10. Thought this was going to be tougher than it actually was. Some of the clues seemed a bit long-winded, but eventually fell out ‘in the wash’.
    Got completely the wrong answer to 16a to start with, which didn’t help the cause! Must be the humidity.

    Have a good weekend, all.

  11. I remember my sister and I trying to spend a couple of farthings a week or so after they stopped being legal tender. I think we managed to get a fruit sald or a flying saucer!

  12. Really enjoyed this, as usual on a Friday. I just have a hesitation about 7d as ‘things’ appears in the clue and the answer, which I thought was a bit of a no-no?
    Still, thanks to all.

  13. If farthing is too recherché for “youf”, how will they find doubloons or pieces of eight?

    1. Welcome to the blog Philip.
      It was the fact that there was nothing to indicate a coin other than the wren reference which nobody under 50 would probably remember.

  14. Lots of good clues and a satisfying solve. Agree with Gazza about the difficulty of younger solvers and 7d. To have seen the coin and know it had a wren on one side, you would need to be at least in your late fifties. 13a also might not be known to the younger generation, although perhaps the word is still used in London.
    A very enjoyable puzzle nevertheless. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  15. The usual enjoyable Friday fare from Giovanni!

    My favourite clue was 7d.
    I still have a jar full of these which my late wife and I used with the children when teaching them to play card games for cash!

    I also have another jar full of Dutch dubbeltjies (10-cent coins of the guilder period) which were similarly used!
    Happy days of yore!

    Still no end to the summery weather here in NL!

  16. Great crossword, loved it all. The last one in was 19a and has to be a favourite, so, so clever. In Jamaica we had a quattie, worth a penny ha’penny, but that went the way of the farthing too. Was doubtful about “grow” meaning become attached, but it didn’t really make much difference. Thanks to all for super start to the day.

    1. “Grow” doesn’t come from “become attached” but just from “become” as in “he grew angry / he became angry”. The “attached to” just links the two parts of the wordplay, i.e. GROW attached to LING makes GROWLING.

  17. Most enjoyable puzzle completed in AM & PM sessions, 3*/4* for me.
    23a a new word, we don’t talk much about women’s accommodation in this house. Got really confused by 8d, “exude” meaning “sweat” and connection between
    “drudge ” and “sweat” led me astray. Thanks Gazza, hints got me back on track , thanks also Giovanni for keeping me out of mischief.

  18. Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Some brilliant clues eg 13a and 14d.
    Tended, though, to fit in words first, then saw that they fitted the clue.
    Many thanks, Giovanni and Gazza for the review.

  19. What a late comment – only nearly a week late so what the hell!
    Did this on husband’s iPad with no access to hints or comments and was completely defeated by 19a (spent far too long trying to justify ‘inward”) and 15d – no excuses there.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza – oh, and by the way, the ‘favourites police’ are watching, even if a bit on the late side!

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