DT 27276 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27276

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27276

Hints and tips by Gazza

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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.

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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).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

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

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

46 comments on “DT 27276

  1. 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!

      1. 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 ).

      2. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  6. 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.


    1. 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. **/*** 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?

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

  8. 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.

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

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

        1. 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. 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 ?

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

  12. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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 :-)

  18. 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 :-)

  19. 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 !

  20. 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.

  21. 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?!

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