DT 27268 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27268

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27268

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Scchua is off for several weeks, including a visit to the UK. Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay, perhaps not as difficult as some of his recent ones.

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    Room for alterations to rear in fast car (6)
{GARRET} – an anagram (alterations) of REAR inside the 2 letters which can designate a fast car

5a    Potentially save time in attempt, resulting in farce (8)
{TRAVESTY} – an anagram (Potentially) of SAVE and T(ime) inside an attempt

9a    Widely-dispersed fliers turned back following breather (3-5)
{FAR-FLUNG} – reverse (turned back) the armed service for fliers then F(ollowing) and a part of the body used in breathing (not the nose!)

10a    Pants for instructions (6)
{BRIEFS} – two definitions –the first being underwear

11a    So there is a group of singers (4,4)
{TAKE THAT} – two definitions – an exclamation meaning “so there” and a male group that recently reformed

12a    Win over Germany is a romp, oddly (6)
{DISARM} – the IVR code for Germany followed by IS A and the odd letters of RoMp

13a    Complete house enveloped in depression (8)
{THOROUGH} – HO(use) inside a depression

15a    Without love seems vacant (4)
{LESS} – two words in the clue without their inner letters (vacant)

17a    Means of settling energy regulations (4)
{CODE} – a means of paying for goods when they arrive followed by E(nergy)

19a    Blessed with time for female domestic (8)
{INTERNAL} – start with an adjective meaning blessed or damned and inset a T(ime) in place of the F(emale)

20a    Declines scent returned by daughter (6)
{DROOPS} – a scent or trail reversed (returned) and preceded by D(aughter)

21a    New side lost by a shot, and suffered terribly (8)
{AGONISED} – N(ew) followed by an anagram (lost) of SIDE and preceded by the A from the clue and a shot or attempt

22a    Represent the performance of one who sells tickets on account (3,3)
{ACT OUT} – a ticket seller preceded by the abbreviation of AC(count)

23a    Dish of fish making awful reek spread across border (8)
{KEDGEREE} – an anagram (awful) of REEK around (spread across) a border

24a    Nameless presenter chasing team for access here (4,4)
{SIDE DOOR} – a presenter or giver without the N (nameless) preceded by (chasing) a team

25a    Stand firm, switching the last two exams (6)
{RESITS} – start with a verb meaning to stand firm and switch the last two letters


2d    A trolley loaded with beer? Quite the reverse for this menu! (1,2,5)
{À LA CARTE} – instead of putting the A from the clue and a trolley around (loaded with) some beer, do it the other way around (quite the reverse)

3d    Sends back fellow student in secret manoeuvring (8)
{REFLECTS} – F(ellow) and the letter that represents a student inside an anagram (manoeuvring) of SECRET

4d    Little drink for a score in America? (9)
{TOUCHDOWN} – a small amount followed by a verb meaning to drink gives a score in American Football

5d    Performer who must toe the line? (9,6)
{TIGHTROPE WALKER} – a cryptic definition of a circus performer

6d    Put a coat on and disappear across river (7)
{VARNISH} – a verb meaning to disappear around (across) a R(iver)

7d    Stupidly chose Iran, forgetting hotel’s setting (8)
{SCENARIO} – an anagram (stupidly) of C(H)OSE IRAN without (forgetting) the H(otel)

8d    Old house, last of eight in the old park (8)
{YOSEMITE} – O(ld), a type of suburban house and the final letter of eighT inside the old word for “the”

14d    Sort of tea that goes with bangers? (9)
{GUNPOWDER} – two definitions – a type of green China tea and an explosive

15d    Left, with married buffoon, for the continent, say (8)
{LANDMASS} – L(eft) followed by a word meaning with, M(arried) and a buffoon

16d    Talked at length, accepting the end of summer produced new growth (8)
{SPROUTED} – a verb meaning talked at length around (accepting) the final letter (end) of summeR

17d    Worked miracles for people demanding rights (8)
{CLAIMERS} – an anagram (worked) of MIRACLES

18d    Politically reject if lacking in self-deceit (8)
{DESELECT} – an anagram (curious) of SELF-DECEIT without (lacking) the I and F

19d    Seize contents of limp batter (7)
{IMPOUND} – the inner letters (contents) of lIMp followed by a verb meaning to batter or thump

I’ll be out all afternoon, weather providing, at Hampton Court Castle (not the Palace), which is in Herefordshire.

The Quick crossword pun: (clash} + {nick} + {off} = {Kalashnikov}

56 comments on “DT 27268

  1. We found this one quite tricky. Actually took us longer than the Toughie today. Got held up mainly in the NW corner with 11a and 4d the last two to yield. Perhaps if we had both heard of the singing group it might have helped. Good clues, good fun, no complaints.
    Thanks Jay and BD.

  2. Maybe it was just me, but I really struggled today, just couldn’t get onto Jay’s wavelength. Even once I’d finished I got the feeling that I was missing something. I thought 8D to be quite contrived, it was fairly obvious what the answer was once the checking letters were in (especially as its been in the news recently), but it took ages to work out all the little bits to figure out why it was right.
    Having said that, I thought 11A was very clever and 23A was excellent.

  3. Thank you Jay – too hard for me. Have spent ages and given up and gone for 2 hints 18d and 25a to put me out of my agony. To measure my solving time today , I would not be looking at a couple of stations on the Circle Line – more like 2 full circuits of same ! + a bit.
    Many thanks BD for your help and explanations.

  4. Not on this setter’s wavelength at all. I think it is simply a matter of personal taste. For example a clue like 7d Stupidly chose Iran, forgetting hotel’s setting with the explanation “an anagram (stupidly) of C(H)OSE IRAN without (forgetting) the H(otel)” drives me up the wall as it feels too contrived. This appears to be the setter’s general style which I personally find annoying rather than clever. The Take That clue I got but with a feeling of ‘surely not’ rather than pleasure. Many others, however, enjoy his style and their views are equally valid, horses for courses I think. Thanks to the setter and for the hints

  5. A better puzzle than yesterdays which belonged in The Beano but still a tad too easy. If The Toughie appeared on my ipad I would start with that rather than The Cryptic. Ray T tomorrow I think so hopefully a full on fight with blood sweat and beers. Bring It on Ray T.

    1. Miffypops, if you subscribe to the Telegraph Puzzles website (just £30 odd pa) instead of the Telegraph online, and then get the Crux app for your ipad, you get all the crosswords.

      1. Thanks Ian but I am a publican. I cannot afford £30 as I have to give all of my spare money to The Taxman, The Bank and the Wife in that order.

        1. I subscribed to Telegraph online for a while, but at £10 per month it was way more expensive than the puzzle site, plus i realised I wasn’t reading most of the paper, so changing was a no brainer. The Crux app also puts the Independent and many more (free) crosswords together. It’s brill!

  6. This was a curate’s egg of a puzzle today for me. It was mostly enjoyable but in my opinion not up to Jay’s usual excellent standard, with a few clues which I found rather unsatisfactory.

    For 19a, even though BD is implying that blessed means damned, surely it an antonym not a synonym for infernal?

    I’ve never heard of either spoor for 20a (the BRB describes this as “a track, esp of a hunted animal”, which I think is a bit of a stretch for scent) or the type of tea in 14d (not even in the BRB [!] but I did find it using Google).

    I agree with Skempie, 8d is a bit contrived.

    My rating today is ***/** with 2d my favourite. Many thanks to Jay and to BD for his review.

  7. Back from 2 weeks in Skiathos to what I thought was quite a difficult puzzle-worthy of a ***/****,I did enjoy it, some very clever wordplay, all the tricks of the trade by Jay today! the tea in 14d was new to me, must have been grown on a ‘plot’. Thanks BD for the clue clarification.

  8. Super puzzle and explanations – but as usual BD you mark too softly. It’s a *** difficulty for us humans.

    1. Ah yes, but you always say puzzles are easy when us lesser mortals are struggling a bit.

      1. I don’t ever remember saying puzzles were ‘easy’-buy the sun if you want easy! ;-)

        as Chris Tarrant says ‘it’s only easy if you know the answer…’

  9. Nice crossword rather spoiled by the SW corner. Even the sites definition of 15d gives it as two words not one and 15a and 20a were much too tough for me at least. Shame because the rest of it was lovely. Best clue for me was 11a, very clever and surprisingly modern for the DT crossword :-)
    Thx to BD for the answers to 15a and 20a which couldn’t even get with the hints :-(

  10. Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. An enjoyable but difficult puzzle for me. Had five left at the end, managed to get 19a & 14d from the checkers, needed Dave’s explanations to see why. Then had penny drop moments with 4d & 11a. Was beaten by 10a, I often don’t see double definitions. Was 3*/3* for me. There was a new word contained in 20a,and a new meaning in 14d. Favourites were 11a & 4d. Nice day for a walk in Central London.

  11. Well I for one enjoy trying to get on different wavelengths and I really appreciate and relish the challenge of different kinds of clue and style of the various setters. Laughed out loud at 11a. **/*** for me. Cheers all round.

  12. I think my brain has recovered from last week’s sleep deprivation and alcohol surfeit. I did it with help on only a couple.

    [I give it a 2.5 and 3 for enjoyment.]

    Plus another 3 or 4 where I got them (filled in letters) but didn’t “get them” (understand why till afterwards). For this latter, I would include 8d and 21a (where I got the side anagram, but forgot that new can be N and not just an anagram indicator. )

    Not much impressed with 17 and 18d words – technically OK, but not much used, I would think.

    I really liked 20a, even though it was one of those which I filled before seeing the reversed word, which I was familiar with, but didn’t root out beforehand. Root out, see what I did there? Pigs, truffles … no? Veg, not animal … I’ll get my coat, then.

  13. We rather enjoyed this puzzle, & with a bit of help from the hinter for explanations etc. managed to finish it reasonably easily. Thank you setter & of course, hinter. When we’re on holiday without WiFi, we have a real struggle to complete the crosswords.

  14. I enjoyed this one very much. Thanks to Jay for a quality puzzle, and to BD for the review.

  15. We got back from France yesterday but are still at the stage of not knowing who we are or where we live – that’s my excuse for having a bit of a battle with this one. I would give it 3*/4*.
    I couldn’t do 4d at all and eventually gave in and got it from the hint – I wouldn’t have managed it for myself in a million years.
    Likewise with 11a which I even had to look at the answer for – I could see that it was going to be something along those lines but ‘up yours’ didn’t seem to fit – a clever clue though.
    I’ve never heard of the 14d tea but eventually got it from the checking letters.
    I liked 10a and 5d. My favourite was 11a, even if I couldn’t do it.
    With thanks to Jay and BD.
    Now to see how far back I can go with the blogs for the last week – did crosswords on husband’s iPad but no access to hints and didn’t understand Ray T’s ‘hippopotamus’ – maybe it was wrong.

      1. Well it won’t be quiet now! :smile:
        How long has Mary been away and did she make sure that we knew she was going rather than just going AWOL again?

        1. She filled in the proper forms – the special green ones for holidays in Wales. She said ‘a few days’ but who knows what that means with Mary :D

          1. Yes – you are, as always, quite right. Who knows what a few days could mean with Mary. What I want to know is if the special green forms for holidays in Wales have a red dragon on them – everything else seems to have one!

      1. Pet lamb number two is fine, thank you. She’s out of plaster so is now more of a ‘hobble along’ than a ‘hopalong’! Her main complaint at the weekend in France was the mother and father (and probably all four grandparents too) of a hangover on Sunday after her cousin’s wedding on the Saturday – I have to say that she was in a pretty sorry state – oh dear! :sad:

  16. First read through only gave me one clue. Put to one side
    Carried on in this vein for a while. So I was overjoyed to actually finish but with 5 question marks
    So its thanks to BD for explanations.
    And a note to myself to check spellings.
    Having finished; it ramped up my enjoyment factor to 3* with difficulty 3*

  17. I really enjoy Jay’s style of clueing.

    I often find myself staring blankly at Rufus’s Cryptic Definitions and Double Definitions … but with Jay “The Clues are there!” as David Frost used to say!

    1. ps. Thanks to Jay and … BD – Double Duty (in the absence of scchua?) Much appreciated!

    2. I agree with you – I battle with Rufus (well, his crosswords anyway) but always love Jay’s puzzles.

  18. While I finished this, I had no idea of the whys of 11a, 19a and 14d, so thanks BD for the enlightenment. Good puzzle, nevertheless, even if a little on the complex side, always good to get the brain working out. Thanks to all.

  19. Ref 19a, I can find no reference to infernal meaning blessed; and is damned really a synonym for blessed? Certainly, I would rather be the latter than the former.

  20. blessed is euphemistic for blasted and blasted means damned so … When the boys were little, Mr CS used to use blessed instead of other ‘naughty’ words he might of used when something went wrong.

  21. Thought this puzzle not up to Jay’s usual standard.

    First in was 5d.

    Didn’t know the 11a group but the rest was rather average.

    Steak, frites & sla (slaw) + 2 veg tonight for dinner with Sancerre rouge then strawbs + cream.

    Still very sunny here in NL.

  22. Thanks Jay for a great puzzle – fun but difficult enough to be a challenge. Completely baffled at first but returned over the day and gradually completed and then needed BD to explain several of my answers! Lacked solution for 10a so put in ‘orders’ (didn’t matter!), never heard of 11a or 14d – one lives and learns!

  23. Yes, Kath, that was my lovely garden in East Anglia whence I reluctantly relocated and downsized about a year ago to a smaller house and garden in W. Sussex. It’s a relief not to have the work and worry of a large property but I do miss the open space. Anyway garden photos like this provide so many good memories.

    1. It’s stunning – I’m sure you miss it and the open space – I certainly would, but how lovely to have the good memories.

    2. Wow that is a garden, but they are hard work to maintain for sure. I have a terraced garden now, no grass just pots and baskets and that is enough when you work full time and have two dogs….

  24. I certainly found this blessedly tricky, and , apart from the anagrams , it felt like guessing a lot of the time, (such as Take That).Thanks to Big Dave for all his help and to Jay.

  25. 3 clues on the first across pass. Loads more after the Downs. Loads of fun and a great Jay puzzle. Thanks to him and to BD

  26. Romped through an easy toughie and ground to a halt half way through this. Agree with the 2 kiwis.

  27. The shame, the utter ignominy, even after finishing the toughie and a suitably themed Indy puzzle I still failed on 11a, my lodger came in, saw the blanks and then uttered, well it’s **** **** obviously, how did you not get that? No answer really :)

  28. Most enjoyable so thanks to Jay .Lovely misdirection in 19a and the toughie took me twice as long so in the minority yet again .Thanks to BD and hope the visit went well .

  29. My response yesterday doesn’t seem to show but, yes, Kath, that WAS my garden but have recently “downsized” so do miss it.

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