DT 27276

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27276

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

No religious references at all (Brian will be pleased) but a good solid puzzle from Giovanni. Let us know how you got on.

To reveal an answer you’ll need to highlight what’s in the gap between the curly brackets under the clue. If you’re using a mobile device there is some help on how to do this in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  Opportunity to get fish — one paid at this gate (8)
{TURNPIKE} – what one used to pay here was a toll. An opportunity or chance is followed by a freshwater fish.

5a  A maiden locked in hut, disgraced (6)
{SHAMED} – insert A and the abbreviation for a maiden 16a in a sort of hut.

9a  What has flower going over it? (5,3)
{RIVER BED} – fairly gentle cryptic definition. As so often in Crosswordland flower here is something that flows rather than something that grows.

10a  Copper going about in charge of part of UK — easy task? (6)
{PICNIC} – we need three two-character abbreviations here. On the outside (going about) is a police officer and in the middle are a) in charge and b) part of the UK.

12a  Zoologist learning somewhere down under (6)
{LORENZ} – this Austrian zoologist comes from learning which has been passed down through the generations followed by the abbreviation of a country down under (well, it’s down under to most of us, but it won’t be to a pair of our regular commenters).

13a  Gained by act with little right in it and felt doubt (8)
{WONDERED} – a verb meaning gained or acquired followed by an act or feat with the abbreviation for right inside it.

15a  Greets special soldiers with musical instrument’s introduction (7)
{SALUTES} – the special soldiers who dare to win contain an old stringed musical instrument.

16a  Series of deliveries  at an end (4)
{OVER} – double definition. The series usually (but not always) comprises six deliveries.

20a  American journalist may be exhausted (4)
{USED} – abbreviations for American and a senior journalist.

21a  Surprise when celebrity is found to have carried bomb around (7)
{STAGGER} – a celebrity containing (is found to have carried) the reverse (around) of a slang term for a bomb or mine.

25a  Woman who does hair — a wild weedy type! (8)
{CHARLOCK} – I didn’t know this word for a yellow-flowered cornfield weed but the wordplay is precise. Start with a ‘woman who does’ (like Mrs Mopp in ITMA) and add a strand of hair.

26a  Animal hunted in excavated area (6)
{QUARRY} – double definition, the second an area excavated to provide aggregate or building materials, for example.

28a  Girl by river building that’s been added on (6)
{ANNEXE} – a charade of a girl’s name and a Devon river.

29a  African city airport given makeover, full of energy (8)
{PRETORIA} – an anagram (given makeover) of AIRPORT containing (full of) E(nergy).

30a  Make a mistake and trip (6)
{ERRAND} – a verb to make a mistake plus AND (given to us in the clue).

31a  Learners in hospital department restricted by bosses (8)
{STUDENTS} – the usual hospital department is contained inside (restricted by) bosses or knobs.

Down Clues

1d  The unending stream that brings excitement (6)
{THRILL} – TH(e) without its end letter is followed by a small stream.

2d  Rangers? Some other football team! (6)
{ROVERS} – double definition, the second being part of the name of football teams such as Blackburn or Doncaster.

3d  Dad has charge as befits one in his position (8)
{PARENTAL} – an affectionate term for dad is followed by a recurring charge for the hire of something.

4d  Characters from Stoke, energetic and enthusiastic (4)
{KEEN} – hidden (characters from) in the clue.

6d  Cut is harsh, one admitted, having nothing (6)
{HAIRDO} – insert I (one in Roman numerals) into a synonym for harsh or severe and append the letter that resembles zero or nothing.

7d  Take action when silly gran gets stuck in shrub (8)
{MANGROVE} – a verb meaning to take action or take measures with an anagram (silly) of GRAN stuck inside it.

8d  ‘Morse’ may be intelligible to such folk (8)
{DECODERS} – these people may be able to understand and translate Morse code (or they may be clever enough to work out ‘who dun it’ in an episode of the well-known detective series).

11d  Old female set up to rule in another country (7)
{FOREIGN} – start with the abbreviations for old and female. Now reverse them (set up, in a down clue) and add a verb to rule.

14d  Fair play, only with cold formality? (7)
{JUSTICE} – an adverb meaning only or barely is followed by a coldness of manner.

17d  Acquire  grip? (8)
{PURCHASE} – double definition, the second meaning grip or firm contact.

18d  See servant tear about, almost doing nothing afterwards (8)
{RETAINER} – an anagram (about) of TEAR is followed (afterwards) by an adjective meaning doing nothing or disinclined to move without its final T (almost).

19d  Target landing in grass, being shot down (8)
{REBUTTED} – a target in archery or shooting is inserted in a type of grass.

22d  Light yellow bog with loose content (6)
{FLAXEN} – a bog or marsh with an adjective meaning loose or slack inside.

23d  Test is dull — minimal scoring! (3,3)
{DRY RUN} – string together an adjective meaning dull or boring and the minimal amount by which a batsman may add to his score.

24d  Sort of road through defile (6)
{BYPASS} – a preposition meaning through or as a result of is followed by a defile or ravine.

27d  It’s dry nevertheless above and below river (4)
{BRUT} – this is a description of wine. A conjunction meaning nevertheless or yet goes around (above and below, in a down clue) R(iver).

My preferences today were 25a, 6d and 11d. What did you like?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PANNED} + {AURA} = {PANDORA}



  1. jezza
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    A nice puzzle today, and a pangram as well, if i’m not mistaken. Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.
    3*/4* for me.
    With the toughie done, i’ll have to find something else to keep me busy until home time!

    • Kath
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Pipped at the post, again! :sad: One day I will be the first to comment.

    • Michael
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Where’s the Pangram?

      • gazza
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        A pangram in this context means that the completed grid contains at least one occurrence of every letter of the alphabet. I was the only solver who failed to spot it apparently (par for the course for me :D ).

        • Kath
          Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Sorry gazza – pipped at the post for the second time today.

      • Kath
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        I don’t want to sound patronising but your question leads me to think that maybe you don’t know what a pangram is. It’s a crossword that has every letter of the alphabet in it. In theory it’s not a bad idea to start to think that it could be one when some of the more unusual letters (Z, Q, X, B, J) turn up – in practice I nearly always forget to do that. Just occasionally it can help with the last couple of answers.

  2. Kath
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    So far I’m the first for the first time – won’t be by the time I’ve written this! I agree with 3*/3*. And I spotted the pangram, also for the first time ever!
    I didn’t have too much trouble with this apart from a few in the top right corner.
    I’ve never heard of the weed – must be one of the few that we don’t have in our garden. I’d also never heard of the zoologist.
    I liked 25a and 8 and 23d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    We have a big star beside 12a as our favourite of course. We had also to look up the plant for 25a but very clearly clued. And we picked that it was a PANGRAM. Quite challenging and a lot of fun. Nice to be mentioned both in the puzzle and the review.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    No walk in the park, but I completed without hints. Enjoyable, and loved 25A and 19D. Thanks, Giovanni and Gazza. However, I do not understand the “part of the UK” in 10A.

    • gazza
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      NI (Northern Ireland).

      • Expat Chris
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        D’oh! Thanks Gazza and Ian

    • Ian
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Part of the UK is the NI bit of the clue. Northern Ireland.

  5. Graham
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I messed up 12A trying to fit darwin which seemed to fit with the clue but hey ho. At least this was a lot stiffer than yesterday’s & agree with the ratings. Many thanks to the setter & to Gazza for putting me right.its grey & murky here in the deep south compared to yesterday’s scorcher. Wishing all a good weekend.

    • gazza
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I can see that zoologist and ‘somewhere down under’ would point to Darwin, but how did you justify the ‘learning’?

  6. Michael
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Wow – what a tough one, I found this really hard going and needed the blog extensively.

    10a with it’s triple abbreviations was very clever.

    25a is a new word to me also.


    • Roger
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      You’re not alone, Michael….I also found this one tough. Not helped by putting in Darwin for 12a

    • Merusa
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Definitely not alone. I really needed help with many clues. Some I never got at all and others I got the answer but had no idea why. I guess I’m just thick today.

  7. Ian
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    **/*** for me with usual Giovanni GK words which are fair because the clueing is precise. Not sure about 18d though, where does ‘see’ fit in the clue?

    • gazza
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I think it just makes the surface a bit smoother. If you correctly work out the wordplay you’ll see or find a servant.

      • Ian
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I think so. Just a bit clumsy for Giovanni. Didn’t spoil the enjoyment though. Thanks to all.

  8. Franny
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if radio therapy is fuddling my brain, but I found this very difficult today. I also tried to put in Darwin at 12a and would never have thought of Lorenz, had never heard of the weed and didn’t like the clue for 6d. I needed masses of help and many of the hints, but send thanks as always to G&G.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Franny, my thoughts are with you as you go through radiotherapy. I’ve been there myself for BC. Keep smiling!

    • Merusa
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Second that. I found myself so deathly tired all the time, it was brain numbing. This, too, shall pass, just get lots of rest.

      • Franny
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Thanks to both of you for your kind messages. I am keeping cheerful, but have the energy of a slug. :-)

        • Expat Chris
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

          That’s OK. Be a slug. Everything else can wait. It’s just stuff. The house needs dusting? So what? That’s not important. You are. Focus on you first. Get this over and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

  9. skempie
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    As with most, I’d never heard of the weed, but was an easy enough solve, likewise the botanist. Was I the only one who upon seeing the checking letters of 14D ( _U_T_C_ ) wanted to put BUTTOCK in ?

    • neveracrossword
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      My first thought was FUTTOCK.

  10. Beaver
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    A **/*** for me, appears from the comments that I had a good day unlike Mr Murray . Apart from 25a where I wanted to put charlady all fell into place -new weed for me too .Thanks Gazza for the picks , nice to see Mr Sheen again ,watched him many times at Oulton Park-used to arrive by helicopter (him not me).

  11. BigBoab
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword from Giovanni and a very entertaining review from Gazza, thanks to both.

  12. crypticsue
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    The usual service from both the Gs so thank you to them.

    The Osmosis toughie is toughish but good. If you want simpler fun, I can highly recommend the Paul in today’s Guardian. Not that tricky once you spot the obvious but some splendid clues throughout.

  13. Brian
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Would be churlish to give this puzzle anything from me except 5 stars for enjoyment :-)
    It took two sittings, the second to do the NE corner but well worth it.
    And you are right Gazza, very grateful for the dearth of religious references.
    So many great clues it is almost invidious to select one but if I had to it would be 21a, eggs were what we called grenades in the Army.
    And two new terms, a biologist that I always thought was a physicist and 25a.
    Many Thx to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Gazza for the hints but not needed today.
    See you all in a week as off to Sardinia in the morning to give Mrs B a much needed break.

    • gazza
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      So, are you leaving Mrs B at home? :D

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


    • Kath
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Don’t listen to them, Brian – I think gazza and CS are both being really mean, even if they could have a point!
      Have a lovely holiday – we’ve never been to Sardinia but it’s so close to Corsica, which is wonderful, that it can’t be very different.

      • Brian
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Thx Kath, nice to know i have at least one friendly response.

    • Physicist
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      There were several scientists called Lorenz: Konrad, a Nobel Prize-winning zoologist; George, a mathematician and meteorologist who worked in chaos theory; and Hendrik, physicist who worked in relativity theory and after whom the Lorentz contraction is named.

      • Brian
        Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Ah that explains it, Thx

  14. stanXYZ
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Missed the Pangram … Enjoyed the puzzle … especially 6d – the Hairdo One.

    (Giovanni’s Quick Crosswords are always pangrams – I think.)

    Thanks to G&G!

  15. angel
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    **/*** Managed without hints but needed much Encyclopaedic reference e.g. zoologist and weed. Delayed by trying to fit CU into 10a. Thanks Giovanni.

  16. Merusa
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Very difficult one today. Thanks for the entertainment, nevertheless.

  17. Jii B
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    First time I had heard of a pangram – will look out for one in future! Apart from 25a, which I eventually got from from the letters and the Chambers Word Wizard, I managed today, slowly but on my own. I enjoyed the exercise so thanks to Giovanni.

  18. Poppy
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Really really glad of the hints today – thanks Gazza. And enjoyed the Setter’s clues – thanks. My favourite has to be 12a, as I adored King Solomon’s Ring by Konrad Lorenz with his descriptions of his pet raven flying upside down just for the sheer hell of it. It started me off on a lasting respect for the animal kingdom and the way their intelligence is so often either unrecognised or under-rated. Nuff of the rant. Triffid tomatoes are rather pompously delivering one enormous ripe tomato per day. It’s going to take ages to get to the end at this rate. Greetings to all. And I’m another who didn’t spot the pangram…. Sigh … Still so far to go on this crossword lark to catch most of you up. But I’m enjoying the journey :-)

  19. Heno
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the two G’s, not one of my favourite puzzles. I found this a real slog, needed the hints for 14&18d. No real favourites. Was 3*/2* for me. Too wet to walk today, so went shopping in Carlisle. Hope England brighten up the day later, but I’m not holding my breath :-)

  20. Sweet William
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Trying to do this in the car on the way up to Lochearnhead – all too much for me and needed hints to progress to get it finished before dinner. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza in particular for rescuing me !

  21. Outnumbered
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Found this hard… Eventually gave up in bottom right and resorted to hints for the last three. Might have done better if I’d spotted the Pangram and looked for where the Q had to go.

  22. Catnap
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable ***/**** for me. Particularly liked 12a, 25a, 6d, 7d, 14d & 22d. Big thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the hints. 12a takes me back to my childhood, so I knew of that person. I got 25a from the wordplay but then checked it out in the dictionary. Nice sounding new word for daily vocab?!