DT 27287 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27287

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27287

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Here’s the Ray T puzzle we were expecting last week.  I thought this one was easier than usual, but just as much fun.

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    Confused tabby’s followed around (11)
{COMPLICATED} – the type of animal of which tabby is an example inside a verb meaning followed or agreed

9a    Cover one undressed catching cold oddly (7)
{INCLUDE} – I (one) and an adjective meaning undressed around (catching) the odd letters CoLd

10a    Tried hard recipe in oven (6)
{STROVE} – R(ecipe) inside an oven

12a    Heartless captains capturing state ships (7)
{CUTTERS} – CaptainS without their inner letters (heartless) around a verb meaning to state

13a    Unusually clean licence ends for motor’s cover (7)
{NACELLE} – an anagram (unusually) of CLEAN followed by the outer letters (ends) of LicencE

14a    Rough copper replacing one in squad (5)
{UNCUT} – start with a squad of soldiers and replace the I (one) with the chemical symbol for copper

15a    Nearly time, heads back for club (9)
{NIGHTSPOT} – a adverb meaning nearly followed by T(ime) and the reversal (back) of a verb meaning heads or commands

17a    Shock receiving endless stir in judgement (9)
{APPRAISAL} – a verb meaning to shock around most of (endless) a verb meaning to stir or excite

20a    Daily Mail’s opening creating fascination (5)
{CHARM} – a daily cleaner followed by the initial letter (opening) of Mail

22a    Seedy as could be getting tried (7)
{ESSAYED} – an anagram (could be) of SEEDY AS

24a    Caught fly producing temper (7)
{CHASTEN} – C(aught) followed by a verb meaning to fly or rush

25a    Queen’s University is not commonly old-fashioned (6)
{QUAINT} – Q(ueen) and U(niversity) followed by a common way of saying “is not”

26a    Seen in water, it reaches land (7)
{ERITREA} – hidden (seen in) inside the clue

27a    Sharp exercise needs web classification (11)
{PENETRATING} – some Physical Exercise followed by another word for a web and a classification

We have visitors today, so the downs will be along as quickly as I can.


2d           Work by Updike initially fast, becoming rich (7)
{OPULENT} – a two-letter musical work followed by the initial letter of Updike and a period of fasting

3d           Rough sorts embracing hot birds (9)
{PHEASANTS} – some rough country dwellers around (embracing) H(ot)

4d           Writer of one’s biography written up (5)
{IBSEN} – hidden (of) and reversed (written up in a down clue) inside the clue

5d           Tree providing copra it turned out (7)
{APRICOT} – an anagram (turned out) of COPRA IT

6d           Cover record penning novel arrangement (7)
{ENVELOP} – a four-track record around (penning) an anagram (arrangement) of NOVEL

7d           After nightclub ‘Posh’ went mad, getting down? (11)
{DISCOURAGED] – start with a nightclub and follow it with the letter that represents posh and a verb meaning went mad

8d           American state with cold upside-down tart (6)
{ACETIC} – A(merican) followed by the reversal (upside-down) of a verb meaning to state and C(old)

11d         Reference to ailment is revolting (11)
{TESTIMONIAL} – an anagram (revolting) of TO AILMENT IS

16d         Clubs on break after midnight with early bird (9)
{GOLDCREST} – C(lubs) followed by a break and preceded by the middle letter of niGht and an adjective meaning early or ancient

18d         Way between two rivers finding bearing (7)
{POSTURE} – the abbreviation of a way or road is sandwiched between an Italian river and an English one

19d         Eat in my mess whenever you like! (7)
{ANYTIME} – an anagram (mess) of EAT IN MY

20d         Audibly sea creature possesses a right trumpeting sound (7)
{CLARION} – put what sounds like a sea creature around the A from the clue and R(ight)

21d         Seeing that bird’s behind (6)
{ASTERN} – a two-letter word meaning “seeing that” followed by a seabird

23d         Set without the compiler’s check (5)
{DETER} – start with a word meaning to set or establish and drop the four-letter word meaning the compiler’s/of the compiler from the end

Sorry at least one of you was too impatient to wait for the rest of the hints, and thanks to the rest of you.

The Quick crossword pun: (mess} + {hush} + {meet} = {Messerschmitt}

78 comments on “DT 27287

  1. Err – what about the Down clues?

    Ah well – I always thought it was too much to ask!

    I found this one quite difficult and had ro resort to ‘Answerbank’ (shock horror!) for a couple of clues – sorry!

  2. We found this one quite tricky. It took us about the time that it usually takes us for a Beam Toughie. And we enjoyed every moment of it.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  3. Excellent puzzle today, certainly not easy and (IMHO) not for the faint hearted, I had several D’Oh moments after sitting staring at blank squares for what felt like an age. 16D took a while to parse although I guessed the answer quite early on (my second favourite clue today) while 27A (today’s favourite) was sitting there with every other letter filled in when I think I had an epiphany and now doesn’t look half as scary.

      1. According to Wikipedia (Ariel 10pt, the font of all knowledge) :

        Parsing or syntactic analysis is the process of analysing a string of symbols, either in natural language or in computer languages, according to the rules of a formal grammar. The term parsing comes from Latin pars (ōrātiōnis), meaning part (of speech).[1][2]
        The term has slightly different meanings in different branches of linguistics and computer science. Traditional sentence parsing is often performed as a method of understanding the exact meaning of a sentence, sometimes with the aid of devices such as sentence diagrams. It usually emphasizes the importance of grammatical divisions such as subject and predicate.
        Within computational linguistics the term is used to refer to the formal analysis by computer of a sentence or other string of words into its constituents, resulting in a parse tree showing their syntactic relation to each other, which may also contain semantic and other information.
        The term is also used in psycholinguistics when describing language comprehension. In this context, parsing refers to the way that human beings analyze a sentence or phrase (in spoken language or text) “in terms of grammatical constituents, identifying the parts of speech, syntactic relations, etc.” [2] This term is especially common when discussing what linguistic cues help speakers to interpret garden-path sentences.
        Within computer science, the term is used in the analysis of computer languages, referring to the syntactic analysis of the input code into its component parts in order to facilitate the writing of compilers and interpreters.

        The Americanisations in the explanation are not mine. And as its International Talk Like A Pirate Day, Arrrr that be telling ye.

  4. Great puzzle – gave my rapidly diminishing leetle grey cells a good work out. Would have finished sooner, but spent quite a bit of time trying to justify “constipated” for 1 across. Fortunately the penny dropped eventually.

      1. Har har – I was afraid somebody would make that connection – but to the pure all things are pure ain’t they?

  5. I made a couple of clumsy mistakes, which made it more of a challenge to finish, but at least it made the enjoyment last a little longer! Many thanks to RayT, and to Big Dave.
    3*/4* for me today.

  6. A peach of a puzzle. A real fight from beginning to end. Ray T at his best. This took a lot longer than usual but was enjoyable at every step along the way. Thank you Ray T. Thank you Big Dave. Thank you everybody who posts. Thank you EE Usk restaurant in Oban for one of my top five meals ever yesterday.

    1. Sounds like you like seafood ! – If you are going over to Mull try Café Fish in Tobermory – Fish restaurant of the year. They have their own trawler which lands next to the restaurant on the quay.

    2. Another good seafood place is the Oyster Inn, Connel if you can ever get there when its open. Last time we were there, the restaurant only opened in the evening, but its quite nice in the bar next door too

      1. We have passed The Oyster Inn on our travels but not stopped. We may make it tomorrow night. Yesterday’s seafood platter included Mussels. 3 Langoustine. 2 Oysters. 1 Scallop. Smoked Salmon. A huge Crab Claw. Salad. Croutons and Marie Rose sauce. I am still smiling at the thought.

      2. Mr P and I used to stay at a real butt ‘n ben cottage on the back road between Connel and Oban (single track). Had to draw water from a spring and gather wood for the fire and trim the paraffin lamps for light at night but oh! they were happy times, and our Irish Wolfhound learned to bark (occasionally) with a Scottish accent :-)

        1. I had to look up “but n’ ben”, sounds fun for youngsters! I went camping one year, in the ’60s, near Ullapool, nearly froze to death as we had to bathe up the hill in the burn. Gave us very hearty appetites.

  7. ***/**** for me today for an extremely enjoyable and challenging puzzle. Like Skempie 27a was my last one in and it took me ages before it penetrated my thick skull. 17a also took me a while to get from “endless stir” to “rais”.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD.

  8. A very enjoyable challenge, 1a and 27a particularly. Thank you Ray T. Thank you BD for your hints.

  9. Going for a**/**** today , most seemed pleased ,some convoluted wordplay like 16d but the usual clever crossword overall-liked 27a and admired the nerve of 20d!

  10. My word. Another toughie I thought until you get going.
    27a rather special.
    Stil a bit perplexed over 24a. Where does then n come from?

  11. Slow start for me on this one and slower finish on bottom right corner. Thanks for explaining 16a. Perhaps fly is ‘hasten’ Jon?

  12. Gosh I’m exhausted. I always find Thursday’s difficult but managed most of it without help. South east corner was the killer. The bird was not in my Bradford and I got the break and the early the wrong way round.penny dropped eventually.
    Thanks to both.

  13. ***/**** for me. I think I’m finding RayT’s puzzles easier now that I’ve done a few of them and have learnt some of his usual tricks. Definitely the best of the week so far.

    Only slightly disappointed that he didn’t have fielder as one of the many “cover”s contained in it :)

    1. I very pleased that he didn’t – I assume we’re talking cricket here and that always defeats me, along with lots of other things.

  14. Didn’t get a single clue on the train from MK – London. I’ve completed them in that time before. (Thanks usually to Railtrack and not so unexpected delays) Hard for me this morning. Having read some tips I’ll hope to complete on my return.

  15. I found this one pretty tricky – perhaps I’m out of practice having not had a Ray T for four weeks (I think) – withdrawal symptoms have now gone though. 3*/4* from me today.
    Lots of these have caused problems and lots of head scratching and a fair bit of swearing too but I’ve finally finished it.
    I was slow to get 1a and 7d which didn’t help me to get started.
    I got 16d from the checking letters but untangling it all took a very long time. I’ve either never met 13a before or, more likely, have forgotten it.
    I liked most of these – my favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    Raining – going to have a go at the Toughie.

  16. Oh dear, Ray T back to his most devious. Managed three answers then lost the will to live. At least a ****/* for me. Won’t tell you Mrs Bs comment.
    Roll on tomorrow’s Giovanni.

  17. Really enjoyed a marathon tussle with this puzzle, and came out bloodied and bowed – thank you to the setter, though, for a terrific workout. And huge thanks to BD, yet again for saving my reason (Mr P might question that assessment) over quite a few not least explaining why 16d was correct (I was just delighted I found the right bird so quickly)! Anyone else having to get their heating on?

    1. We’ve had a fire the last few evenings. The chimney was swept on Monday – I was too chicken to risk it before that having had a chimney fire several years ago which was extremely scarey.

      1. We had a lovely open fire until a couple of years ago, when we replaced it with a coal effect gas fire which thankfully has done away with the need to have the chimney swept and clearing away all the cinders and soot. And it gives much better heat control.

        But I do miss the open fire…

        1. Our house is an old farmhouse which has an ingle nook fireplace in the sitting room – we are just outside the Oxford smokeless zone so can burn wood – I love it! I don’t care how much work it is – I would hate to live in a house without a proper fire. Anyway if you burn wood there are no cinders and it only needs emptying every few days.

  18. A bit of a workout but certainly do-able. Lots of good clues, I won’t even begin to choose a favourite. 13a was a new word for me but google confirmed it. Try as I would, I could not get the “why” of 16d, thanks to BD for the other meaning of “early”, don’t think that would have come to me in a month of Sundays. Thanks to all for my morning’s entertainment.

  19. I did notice that Goldcrest was not one of the birds listed in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary. Strange as it is not an uncommon bird. His friend the Firecrest is missing as well ! The puzzle seemed to revolve around covers, birds and clubs !

    1. RayT usually puts in a bird or two, one way or another. I have seen many goldcrests this year but it is a long time since I have seen a firecrest. With thanks to RayT and BD for a most enjoyable workout and analysis.

  20. Enjoyed this one from Ray!

    Faves : 13a, 14a, 16d & 21d.

    Damp here in NL.

    Steak, frites & sla(w) for dinner with a drop of Vacqueyras.

    Not the cabbage variety! Pure Dutch!

  21. I really do like to have a good go
    A day sans DT is a terrible low.
    But Ray T is the pits – can’t “do” him for toffee,
    Makes me so cross I drink far too much coffee;
    Then I feel weird, which puts me in a fog
    Though I resist, and resist, going on to the blog.
    In the end, though – you’ve guessed it –
    That mouse there – I’ve pressed it!
    To-day no exception – as usual, I cheated
    And found consolation in that others had bleated
    They felt much the same – so it isn’t just me?
    For “difficulty” rating, I can feel that it’s “we”?
    So thank you BD for keeping me sane
    But Mr. RT just causes me pain!

    1. I was about to say “fantastic doggerel” but then was a bit worried that it might be more than that!! Whatever – love it, even though I don’t agree with the sentiments! I am Ray T’s number one fan.

  22. Yes,quite challenging & I don’t think the old brain was up to a workout ,so heavily relied on BD ‘s hints, thanks.

  23. Yes indeed Ray T has given us a tough work-out today. Long time since I have needed as many hints (so, as ever,thanks BD for those – how could anyone criticise the work of your blog?) – hence didn’t really enjoy it. Would never have sorted 27a without help. ****/** for me.

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very good and enjoyable puzzle, but very difficult for me. Managed to struggle through and complete three quarters of it. Got stuck in the NW corner. Needed the hints for 9a, I could only think of occlude. 3&8d used hints. Had to look up 1a & 7d. Got 22a wrong had assayed instead of essayed, which made 7d impossible. Enjoyed the struggle, favourites were 13a, reminded me of Star Trek, and 20d. Was 4*/4 * for me. Hoping for some nice walking weather in Central London.

  25. Yet again the Toughie has strayed in to the back page. I have no problem with you guys who like a cerebral workout but that is exactly why there is the Toughie. The back page should never in my opinion offer puzzles this difficult. Most of us just do not have the time to devote to these complex word puzzles or indeed very little enthusiasm for them.
    Still had two really excellent ones this week on Monday and Wednesday.

    1. I’m not sure if it was Toughie standard, although I did find it difficult. Perhaps it was because we haven’t had a Ray T for a month, and I’m out of practice. I think it was definitely a back pager. I do attempt the Toughies as well as the back pagers, and they always take me longer. I also find Giovanni tends to take me longer than a Ray T.

      1. I agree with almost everything you’ve said. The only thing that I’m not so sure about is a Giovanni taking longer than a Ray T. I used to find the Friday crosswords the most difficult (apart from Sundays which I just couldn’t do at all) but I can now usually do Fridays, apart from the little piglet three or four weeks ago.

    2. Yet again it’s all to do with wave length, Brian. I don’t think this was Toughie standard as I know that, in general, I can’t do them and I did manage this one. I found it quite a challenge even though I love Ray T crosswords.

  26. Most enjoyable puzzle from the Master. Struggled a bit with SE corner and 16 [devious] was the last one in. Also liked 1 4 12 14 26 and 27. Thanks to RayT for making a wet Thursday a little brighter.

  27. Smashing puzzle ,enjoyed yesterday’s too,Favourite 13 a because the quality of the clue enabled me to enter a (for me ) new word with confidence .Disappointed in not understanding the correct answer for 23 d without BD ‘s assistance so thanks to himself and of course RayT .

  28. More like a 3* for us! Pommette was muttering something about ‘tricky little rascal’ and I can only agree, for once. However, much fun when it all suddenly fell into place!

    Many thanks to Ray and BD

  29. I really didn’t enjoy this one. It’s so easy to make a puzzle difficult (for me, at least) just make the synonyms obscure. C = clubs?; hasten = fly?; apricot = tree (why not fruit?); raise = stir? I prefer puzzles where the difficulty is in the parsing. So its ****/* for me.

  30. A big treat to have a RayT crossword again! :grin: It was thoroughly enjoyable **** and quite challenging. I had a mental block re 24. :oops: and needed to look at the answer! (Perhaps the word ‘hasten’ has ceased to exist in my vocab?!) Although I had 19d correct, I needed your explanation for that, Big Dave. So, a very big thank you to RayT for all the enjoyment his puzzles bring; and an equally big thank you to Big Dave for all his ever excellent explanations, and for this splendid site.
    Apologies for this very late posting. Mr Catnap’s PC crashed and needs to be completely formatted (sic) and everything reloaded. Restoring from the backup was a wash-out. :mad:

  31. Had great fun with this but needed app on my phone for 3 of them. I just do not understand 23 down apart from the fact that check=deter. Can’t fathom the rest of the clue at all.

Comments are closed.