DT 27286 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27286

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27286

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja.  I must have been in just the right mood this morning as this was my quickest solve for quite a while.  It was very enjoyable while it lasted but Sir Bradley would have been nowhere near the 10 mile mark!

I forgot last week but this week the clues I liked most are in blue.

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           Impetus given by financial set-up covering hotel (6)
{THRUST} – You need a word for a type of fund and put it around (covering) an H(otel).

4a           Especially lovable possibly after answer (5,3)
{ABOVE ALL} – Start with A(nswer) and follow with an anagram (possibly) of LOVABLE.

10a         Urgent note given to press and TV after one married (9)
{IMMEDIATE} – This is a charade but the clue gives you the elements in reverse order!  Start with I (one) and M(arried) and after them put a word to describe TV and newspapers (a polite one!) and finally the 7th note of the sol-fa scale.

11a         Genuine male domain (5)
{REALM} – A synonym for genuine followed by M(ale).

12a         Mother is French and runs international experts (7)
{MAESTRI} – A charade of the usual mother, IS in French, R(uns) and I(nternational).

13a         Does without love — and small fortune (7)
{DESTINY} – Fortune as in fate. Take the O out of DoES (without love)and follow with another word for small.

14a         Entertainer needing a plant (5)
{HOSTA} – Someone who is entertaining, throwing a party perhaps, with an A (from the clue).  Must be easy if I can get a horticultural clue without resorting to an Investigoogle!

15a         More than eight draws gets you a naughty time (8)
{NINETIES} – One more than eight and some draws gives you a decade known as the Naughty one.

18a         Society that might make Spooner’s chef weep? (4,4)
{BOOK CLUB} – Switch the first letters of this society and you’ll get a word for a chef and a word for weep.  I’m not usually keen on Spooner clues but this one’s not too bad.

20a         Tag left on the first person to be killed (5)
{LABEL} – L(eft) and the first guy to be killed in the bible.  I always thing that ‘on’ should mean after but I guess in an across clue it can mean either end.

23a         White gold plating pound pieces (7)
{ALBUMEN} – White as in the white of an egg.  You need the chemical symbol for gold around (plating) an avoirdupois pound and then some pieces, on a chess board perhaps.

25a         Area outside house for caterer to cook (7)
{TERRACE} – An anagram (to cook) of CATERER gives an outside area where you might put your BBQ!

26a         Coach tour in chaos around west of Torquay (5)
{TUTOR} – An anagram (in chaos) of TOUR placed around a T (the west of Torquay) gives a coach, or teacher.

27a         The chase that’s on for handy cure to be developed? (3,3,3)
{HUE AND CRY} – An anagram (to be developed) of HANDY CURE.

28a         Leave before final whistle, for example, not fully committed (4-4)
{PART TIME} – A word for leave or go followed by the final whistle, or the bell in the pub,  gives a phrase for not fully committed, to a job perhaps.

29a         Top bunk occupied by the man third in class (6)
{BEHEAD} – This is top as in execute.  Start with a bunk and insert the third person singular (the man) and an A (third in clAss)


1d           Wins one in ruff with hearts voided (8)
{TRIUMPHS} – Start with another word for ruff in a game of cards and insert an I (one in).  Follow with HS (H(eart)S voided).

2d           There’s no interest initially in new primrose onesies (7)
{ROMPERS} –A onesie is a one piece suit worn by an adult and these are one piece suits worn by babies. An anagram (new) of PRIMROSE but without the I (no Interest initially).  Apparantly in New Zealand they are worn by schoolgirls for games and gymnastics – the mind boggles!

3d           Team on course to create a diversion (9)
{SIDETRACK} – Start with another word for a team and place it before (on in a down clue) a word for course or direction.

5d           Study, say, covered by B ‘n’ B giving livelihood (5-3-6)
{BREAD AND BUTTER} – This is a phrase meaning livelihood.  You need a word for to study and a word meaning say or speak and place a B at the start of each (covered by).  I’m not convinced by this clue. Where does the middle word come from?

6d           Source of illness in Queen Victoria — American bug (5)
{VIRUS} – Put an I (source of Illness) into the letters for Queen Victoria and follow with the letters for American and you get a bug, which is a source of illness!.

7d           Sin of a vicar going wrong with end of service (7)
{AVARICE} – One of the deadly sins is an anagram (going wrong) A VICAR and then an E (end of servicE).

8d           Broadcast ‘Smiley’s People’ (US) (6)
{LIMEYS} – These people are what the Americans call us.  They’re an anagram (broadcast) of SMILEYS.

9d           Country music? (8,6)
{NATIONAL ANTHEM} – Cryptic def of the music of a country.  I got a bit fed up with hearing the Spanish one last Sunday afternoon!  Spaniards won all three motor bike races and then the triathlon!

16d         Ability to resist Spanish cheer in dreamlike state (9)
{TOLERANCE} – Put the usual Spanish cheer into a word for a dreamlike state, from hypnosis perhaps.

17d         Favourite Oxbridge sportsman watched (4-4)
{BLUE EYED} – A word describing an Oxbridge sportsman, I can never remember which is light and which is dark, followed by a word for watched or looked at.

19d         Old river tribe lost craft (7)
{ORBITER} – This craft is a space craft.  It’s O(ld), R(iver) and then an anagram (lost) of TRIBE.

21d         Tennessee woman almost turned white (7)
{BLANCHE} – For all I know this might be the favourite woman’s name in the state of Tennessee but I think it’s actually a reference to the leading character in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams.  It’s a word for turned white without its last letter (almost).

22d         Computer circuit ranking above all others (6)
{LAPTOP} – This is the type of computer that I’m using to write this blog.  It’s a circuit of a racetrack followed by a word for above all others or highest.

24d         Value some consumer items (5)
{MERIT} – The answer is hidden (some)  in consumer items

Some nice clues with well concealed definitions but best for me were 28a and 8d.  Unfortunately a bit thin on photo opportunities!

The Quick crossword pun: (annoy} + {foreign} + {aye} = {an eye for an eye}

63 comments on “DT 27286

  1. I’m on a similar wavelength to Pommers for this gentle but amusing and very enjoyable puzzle today, which had the additional merit of being on the back page with no spurious attachments at the front. My rating is */****

    19d was my last one in, mainly because it was the last one I got to having worked clockwise from the NW.

    I marked 15a, 1d, 5d and 9d as excellent clues, with 1d winning the vote as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Pommers.

  2. The two long ones down went in all too easily. Spooner should be banned from crossword land. When this was solved I managed to finish crossword 27173. A great puzzle with 7d and8d so clever they eluded me for months. Off to see more of Bonny Scotland and to tackle the seafood plotter at EE-Usk in Oban. Oysters, Langoustines, Lobster, Crab, Mussels,Scallop, ……Heaven. At to all.. See you later

    1. Actually, once I unblocked, I found completion much faster and easier but there are some very clever clues leading to an enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to Pommers for the help and to Jay for a very entertaining crossword. Now it’s nearly lunchtime and I will have to paint the volets

  3. Pommers, I took the “and” in 5d to be derived from the & in B&B leading to Read covered by “B” and Utter covered by “and B”

    In the paper it is printed as B&B but my parsing (if it’s correct!) works equally with B ‘n’ B.

  4. Pommers, the rompers that used to be worn by schoolgirls for games and gymnastics were voluminous shorts with elasticised leg openings, a bit like the old doublet of Walter Raleigh et al. Not the onesies that are the trend in pyjamas these days. Think this is a case of a word having different meanings in different places. cf jandals/thongs/flip-flops.
    A good fun puzzle that seems to have taken us a bit longer than it did you. Lots of good clues.
    Thanks Jay and Pommers.

    1. I had a similar mind boggling moment when a Canadian colleague told me her husband wore suspenders! We call them braces. I managed to complete this enjoyable puzzle quickly with no help. A very rare occurrence

      1. I could well be wrong and the higher authority is not out of bed yet, but I think that, in NZ-speak, bloomers and rompers are very similar with bloomers used for undergarment and rompers when worn as an outer garment.

        1. Does this mean you can romp in your bloomers and then bloom in your rompers? The mind is beginning to boggle again – I’ll get me coat!

  5. Thank you Jay, not too hard and therefore allows time to do other things today ! In 5d like Rabbit Dave at 4 above I assumed that the “and” came from the “&” in the paper version ?? and therefore it seemed to work OK. Thanks Pommers for your review – I hope that you are fully recovered from your health problems of a few months back.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle today with few problems (apart from the fact that all I really know about gardening is what grass looks like and the difference between trees, flowers and beans). Some very good cluing (as is usual on a Wednesday) with 5D probably being my favourite and there being many close seconds.

      1. Ah, thank you for that. I had “Martian” – must now work on 4 down. Keeps me out of mischief anyway.

  7. Finished. A brilliant puzzle with some clever clues. Is 25a a picture of your terrace, Pommers? I like the BBQ

  8. I’m with Pommers – a piece of cake today but very entertaining. */****. Liked 12a and 18a. Many thanks Jay.

  9. Many thanks to Jay, who continues to produce high quality puzzles week after week, and to pommers for the review.

      1. Thanks Kath. A quiet evening in with the family, although with my nearly 3 year-old daughter and 7 year-old son, it will be anything but quiet! At least I have a bottle of Champagne in the fridge to anaesthetise being used as a trampoline by both of them later on! :)

  10. Agree with Pommers , A */****, seems to have most solvers approval .Remembered Miss Du Bois for 21d-is the pic Vivian Lee? saw the play at The Gateway Chester many moons ago

  11. Like most of the above I found this fun but it was done a little too quickly. In fact on a par with the last two days. Last in for me was 29a. Sun coming out in east Hertfordshire so a welcome change from recent rain. Thanks to The Setter and for the interesting comments above.

  12. It must be a * star for difficulty since I managed to solve without any electronic assistance, but still in my longish, by your standards, time.I have been trying to do without assistance fo the past while and I haven’t always succeeded, but I have enjoyed it far more.
    My poor old hosta has suffered greatly despite buying and putting in place the quite expensive deterent.
    Last one in was 29a, and my favourite due to lovely clueing, once I understood “top”.Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    1. P.S I thought it was the Australians who called the British Limeys after Cooks insistance that sailors take limes as part of their diet to prevent scurvy.

      1. Definately the Yanks but you’ve got the reason right. Thought the Ozzies called us Poms but what my name has to do with it I haven’t a clue!

  13. Really enjoyed the puzzle today. Like others did not find it too difficult. I put that down to its being so well and entertainingly clued. Particularly liked 2d as I have a new grandson and know all about onesies! Also liked 5d – made me smile.
    Thanks to Pommers (good to have you back) and to the setter.

  14. Not too difficult though the top left corner gave me most trouble. I was stuck on 21a, having exhausted (as I thought) all connections to “Tennessee” when the answer came in a blinding flash – they sometimes do !! Thank you Jay but I didn’t need Pommers’ help today.

  15. Another enjoyable puzzle today. Easy-peasy but clever and entertaining. Can’t single out any in particular as liked so many, but would give mention to 15a, 18a and 21d. All good fun, thank you Pommers but didn’t need your hints today, and to Jay.

  16. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers for the review and hints. I thought I was in the zone today, had no trouble at all, but I’ve been brought down to earth as Pommers gave it one star for difficulty :-) Still, it was most enjoyable, favourites were 5d and 18a, Spoonerisms always make me laugh. Last in was 22a, which was very well clued. No walk today, as I’ve just come back from the dentist. Black clouds in the sky now in Central London. Was 1*/4* for me lots of fun clues.

  17. Today has NOT gone according to plan. I didn’t actually have one but that’s not the point as it would have been all the same if I had! :sad:
    However, I loved this crossword – the best part of the whole day so far. 1* difficulty and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    I’m obviously in the minority here but, like Heno, Spoonerisms always make me laugh.
    The only two that held me up briefly were 29a and 21d. Also 26a as I don’t know east from west! :roll:
    I liked 12 and 14a and 2 and 17d. My favourite was either 18 or 29a.
    With thanks to Jay and pommers.
    Off now to find out what else can go wrong today – or should I try the Toughie, in which case that probably provides an answer to the first bit of this sentence.

    1. Oh, dear, I hope the rest of the day is better. I, too, love spoonerisms, but that one did hold me up a bit.

  18. Thank you Jay for a lovely entertaining puzzle & thank you Pommers for the hint for 29a & for explaining who Blanche was. I have seen the film at least twice & clips from it umpteen times but had quite forgotten her name!

  19. Another brilliant puzzle at least for me. Personally I love the spoonerisms but I realise they are an acquired taste.
    Thx to the setter for the crossword and to Pommers for the hints but not needed today.

  20. Hi Guys

    Sorry I’ve not been around today but we went to our mate’s place this morning so the Technical Director could sort out some problem with his web site. As pommette won’t accept cash from a friend he offered to take us out for a bite of lunch. Didn’t get home until 10 mins ago – yes it was a splendid lunch!

    Few things to pick up on:-
    – Happy birthday to Jezza
    – Yes, completely recovered from illness and still off the weed :grin:. Put on 6kg in weight though :sad:
    – Glad you all seem to agree with the */**** rating
    – No,it isn’t my terrace – I should be so lucky! :grin:
    – Can’t say I remembered the name of the Tennessee girl but guessed it was the Williams and not the state that was intended so a bit of Wiki soon sorted that out.

    And now I’m off to the weekly quiz so back about 2200BST. It’s a busy life I lead

  21. All present and correct by lights out last night – in fact I’m getting a little concerned because I’ve taken to staying up after 12 o’clock, printing the crossword off, and having a go at it in bed – I feel I’m getting a little obsessive.

    It’s all good fun and that but maybe I’ll stick to waiting for the paper to be delivered in the morning.

    This was a very enjoyable crossword – my only query was the use of the word ‘plating’ in 23a, I suppose in this context it means surrounding but it wasn’t obvious to me – but then again I am a bit slow!

    Been out playing golf and then down the pub – hence the late posting.

  22. Not much to add, very busy at present so commenting when all has been said. Thank you to Jay and Pommers whose hints I did need to parse 1 clue, not saying, suitably D’oh bruised :)

  23. Won the quiz! Not bad as I think I might be a bit pissed, as I said it was a splendid lunch :grin:

    Going to bed now so g’night all. Might be back next week but I think Scchua may be back in the chair again.

    1. Good on ya my son, hopefully BD will find a slot for you, you’ll have noticed from all the comments how much we’ve all missed you :)

  24. pommers: at least you don’t have to sing along to the Spanish thingy.

    Thanks for the clues – that one was driving me bonkers.

  25. Too hot to sleep so I’ve put the AC on in the bedroom for a bit and come back for a look here. Surprised none of you hawkeyes haven’t mentioned it but tI’ve just noticed a mistake in my hint for 8d :sad: It’s nothing to do with Yanks, Ozzies or scurvy but something very simple – you tell me!

    1. We picked it. It is “us” as in you and me. (except it is not us) The american bit is misdirection. While you’re still awake you might as well look at the Toughie in 20 mins. It’s Dada. Goodie. :)

      1. The simple mistake is the anagram fodder doesn’t include the second S, it’s just SMILEY, d’oh!.
        The US is critical because it defines the people as us Brits (not Kiwis) and also it’s what the US people call us. I thought it was quite clever.

        Much as I like Dada/Paul/Mudd/Punk the Toughie will have wait until tomorrow as it’s now 0100CEST, I’m pissed and the bedroom will have cooled down by now – probably need the duvet!

  26. It took me a long time to get onto Jay’s wavelength. :sad: Once I did, though, the crossword went fairly quickly. I needed your explanation for 15a, Pommers. Many delightful clues, including 18a, 29a, 1d, 17d, and 21d. Enjoyment ****. Many thanks to Jay and to Pommers. Belated Happy Birthday, Jezza!

  27. I got put of bed for a late night snack because I couldn’t sleep (interview today), so I tackled the crossword whilst snacking…. took me all of ****** max. Had to double check the plant one but the word play was so simple, it had to be right.
    Monday’s got a single *, I found this one way, way easier.

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