DT 27288 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27288

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27288

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Giovanni is in benevolent mood today. Not only are at least three of the four long answers pretty easy to get but all the 3-letter answers (which are often the trickiest) have two letters checked and very straightforward wordplay. However, as we always say, just because it’s not too difficult doesn’t mean that it’s not enjoyable and I enjoyed this one. Do let us know your views.

If you are still stuck for an answer after reading the hints just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

6a  Habit that many educated youngsters will acquire? (6,7)
{SCHOOL UNIFORM} – cryptic definition. Habit here means clothing and you need to read educated youngsters as ‘youngsters being educated’.

8a  Very small one with wise appearance (6)
{VISAGE} – string together the abbreviation (small) of V(ery), the Roman numeral for one and an adjective meaning wise.

9a  President needing cutback certain to make strong demand (8)
{PRESSURE} – an abbreviation (needing cutback) for president is followed by an adjective meaning certain.

10a  Low state of gloom that doesn’t end (3)
{MOO} – a word for a state of gloom or low spirits without its final D.

11a  After a meal seem not half relaxed (2,4)
{AT EASE} – bring together A (from the clue), an afternoon meal and just half of the word seem.

12a  Boss in location across US/Canada border (8)
{SUPERIOR} – double definition, the second being the largest of the Great Lakes of North America.

14a  Drink when international organisation’s taken on board France? (7)
{ANATOLE} – in the surface France appears to be the SS France, one of the great transatlantic liners, but as the definition it’s the surname of a French poet and novelist and what we want is his forename. Put the abbreviation of a powerful Western defence organisation inside (taken on board) an alcoholic drink.

16a  Badger editor being installed to establish fundamental principles (7)
{BEDROCK} – another word for a badger has the abbreviation for editor installed inside it.

20a  Stubborn and awkward bod you ultimately esteem (8)
{OBDURATE} – string together an anagram (awkward) of BOD, the ultimate letter of (yo)U and a verb to esteem or hold in high regard.

23a  Come to rest  somewhere in Yorkshire (6)
{SETTLE} – double definition, the second the name of a town in North Yorkshire which is at the southern end of a very scenic stretch of railway which reaches Carlisle in the North.

24a  Trim and quaintly pleasing, almost (3)
{CUT} – drop the final letter from an adjective meaning quaintly pleasing.

25a  Permit drink after exam success (8)
{PASSPORT} – an alcoholic drink comes after the successful result of an exam.

26a  Timber shed maybe at back of court (6)
{WOODEN} – what a shed could be an example of follows (at back of) a verb to court.

27a  Sweet stuff cathedral cook concocted (4,9)
{DARK CHOCOLATE} – an anagram (concocted) of CATHEDRAL COOK.

Down Clues

1d  Bird of unusual shape landing on insect (8)
{PHEASANT} – an anagram (unusual) of SHAPE followed by (landing on, in a down clue) an insect.

2d  Fertiliser that Mother couldn’t bring from cupboard (8)
{BONEMEAL} – split this as (4,4) to get what the elderly dog owner couldn’t supply, according to the nursery rhyme.

3d  Letters being sent from distant station? (7)
{OUTPOST} – if split as (3,4) this could describe letters to be sent.

4d  Find out something from small piece about European Union (4,2)
{WISE UP} – a word for a small amount (of hair or smoke, for example) contains the abbreviation for the European Union.

5d  Cat — one in deep thought about nothing? (6)
{MOUSER} – someone deep in contemplation contains the letter that resembles zero or nothing.

6d  One may be seen running round the room (8,5)
{SKIRTING BOARD} – cryptic definition of something running around the room at the bottom of the walls.

7d  One going round Scottish island, say, after tricky term in Oxford establishment (6,7)
{MERTON COLLEGE} – ONE (given to us in the clue) contains the name of an island west of Mull in the Inner Hebrides and the abbreviation of ‘say’ or for example. Before all that we need an anagram (tricky) of TERM.

13d  Eastern identity conveyed in religious festival (3)
{EID} – the name for a festival in Islam (the most well-known being the one celebrated at the end of Ramadan) comes from E(astern) followed by the abbreviation for identity.

15d  Get round on a river — using this? (3)
{OAR} – a semi-all-in-one. Put the round letter in front of (on, in a down clue) A and R(iver).

17d  Film actor from the Orient given deal? (8)
{EASTWOOD} – a charade of another word for Orient and what deal is an example of.

18d  Grand horse race needs new starter — that’s reasonable (8)
{RATIONAL} – even if you know nothing about horseracing you’ll have heard of this ‘Grand’ race held every year at Aintree. It needs a new starter which means that you have to change the first letter.

19d  Division in religious organisation — then no one turns up (7)
{SECTION} – a religious group (often one which has split from a larger organisation) is followed by the reversal (turns up) of NO and the Roman numeral for one.

21d  Last thing you will need — silly nurse not knowing what to do? (6)
{UNSURE} – the word ‘you’ requires three letters but we’re told that it’s the last one that’s needed here. Add an anagram (silly) of NURSE.

22d  French fashion taken on board by star without delay (2,4)
{AT ONCE} – a word from French meaning fashion or the latest thing goes inside (taken on board, used for the second time – see 14a) a star or expert. If you didn’t know the word for fashion file it away because it crops up on a regular basis.

There are some good clues here. The ones I liked best are 14a, 2d and 17d – how about you?

I’m now off to lock horns with Elgar – I may be some time!

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BRAKING} + {GNUS} = {BREAKING NEWS}


57 comments on “DT 27288

  1. Another great offering from The Don. 14A held me up for quite some time as I was trying to use UN as the International Organisation and also thought for quite a while that the definition was a drink. Luckily a blinding flash of inspiration pointed me in the right direction (actually, it was spotting a beer bottle which popped ALE into my head).
    Some very nice anagrams today, I thought 27A (again) was particularly clever.

    Nice to see the write up on Roger Squires (Rufus) in today’s paper.

    1. Yes, I really enjoyed the article and the half dozen brilliant examples of his clues :smile:

      Good to see that the Guinness Book of World Records has dropped its ageism policy!

  2. Rating was more 2 stars for difficulty for me as I struggled with 14a. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle on this rather gloomy day. Might give the Toughie a go. Thanks for hints and tips.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering having missed the two previous days papers as was ripping out leyandi trees & erecting fencing for my mother. Favourite clue was 7D with 17D a close second. Many thanks to Gazza for the review.

  4. 1*/3.5* for me today.

    This was a straightforward solve with all four long clues being “read the clue and write the answer” for me. Nevertheless, apart from the obscure (to me) 14a, which was my last one in, I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle. Although the wordplay for 14a was clear, I had to Google my answer to see why it was right. But, in truth, that’s only because I’ve never heard of that particular individual.

    I marked lots of clues as excellent: 16a, 2d, 5d, 6d and 18d, with 2d getting my vote for today’s favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

  5. A lovely puzzle but more like 3* for difficulty for me and 4* for enjoyment.
    I think that I would have gone for 2* difficulty but for 14a and the untangling of why 7d was what it had to be, both of which took a while – quite a while! The first word of 4d caused a spot of bother too.
    I thought the whole crossword was going to be tricky when I first started it – I only had about five answers having read all the across clues but did better with the downs.
    I really liked the four little three letter answers even though I often find the short answers difficult.
    I also liked the four long ones round the outside. My favourite was 2d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Going to give the Toughie a VERY wide berth!

  6. Enjoyable and straightforward – I thought 14a was the standout for being truly obscure. I think he could have written the clue as ending in “Frenchman ?” to make it fairer and more in line with the rest of the puzzle.


      1. I know – but the answer is also a name that might be indicative of a Frenchman in general rather than that one in particular, and it makes the clue simpler to parse with that change.

    1. 1d today is yesterday’s 3d.

      I am not a pheasant plucker, I’m a pheasant plucker’s son.
      I am only plucking pheasants ’till the pheasant plucker comes.

    2. I think we had 11a very recently too – maybe not yesterday but I’m pretty sure we’ve had it somewhere this week.

  7. Hello all

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one, though needed two hints (2d and 5d) even with most of the letters put in. (Doh!)
    Thanks Gazza, never would’ve guessed 5d in a thousand years. The rest took around ** minutes.
    14a was my fave clue,

  8. 14 across is one of the most ridiculous clues I have ever seen. France could have meant anything. We worked out the word, but couldn’t make the connection until resorting to Gazza’s explanation – thanks Gazza :-) Loved the rest of the crossword which we breezed through.

  9. Really enjoyable puzzle but still don’t understand 22a. What is this word for fashion?
    For me it made up for yesterday’s problems.
    Thx to the Don for an excellent puzzle and to Gazza for the hints even tho I didn’t understand the one for 22a.
    Did like the article in today’s DT about Roger Squires esp the quote
    “He aims to entertain readers rather than frustrate them with fiendishly difficult clues”
    TOP MAN,

  10. Thanks to the two G’s, a very entertaining puzzle, that beat me all ends up. What I could do was done very quickly, but I was left four short before resorting to Gazza’s excellent hints. Managed to get 4&5d from the hints, would never have thought of either. Had to look up 2d, as I didn’t know the gist of the nursery rhyme. Also looked up 14a, I’ve never heard of him!! Very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 16a by a mile. Was 3*/3* for me. The Sun seems to have gone on holiday in central London.

    1. When our daughters were little and we were reading nursery rhymes to them our elder one got the wrong end of the stick. The ending of Old Mother Hubbard is “When she got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor doggie had none”. Pet lamb number one used to think it was “When she got there there was a bear in the cupboard etc etc” so now whenever we’re running a bit low and need to do a shop we always say “there’s a bear in the cupboard”! Silly, I know, but it still makes us laugh.

  11. Apart from 14a, I agree that for a Friday it was generally straightforward with a hint of lateral thinking required-as for 5d.Like Gazza for 14a, I erroneously thought of the liner S.S France and U.N. for the international ‘bit’, easy when you know the answer !About a **/***followed by *** for me..

  12. That railway journey looks like it is very spectacular. I am planning on walking Hadrian’s Wall next year so maybe we’ll get the train back? Thanks to G&G for a very pleasant puzzle and review on a sunny Friday.

  13. Sorry, nothing to do with this puzzle, but can anyone tell me why Cryptic Sue is password protecting her hints?

    1. Cryptic Sue is as mystified as the rest of you. I have emailed BD (who set the blog up for me) to see if he knows why.

    2. How do I get a password? I’ve used this site most days for a long time but never been asked for a password before. I keep struggling, can usually cope with the back pager but rarely finish the Toughie without help, and when it’s an Elgar, alot of help!

      1. Welcome to the blog Frank.
        It’s an ill wind, etc. – you’ve now delurked so I hope that you’ll now be commenting on a regular basis.
        BD has fixed the problem on the Toughie blog, so no password is required.

  14. Loved 2d and like many others struggled with 14a
    Otherwise like Kath I only got a few to start with, then pennies start to drop. I usually have the same opinions as Kath anyway.
    Thanks to both.

  15. This wasn’t easy but got there in the end. Most clues were write-ins but then others were trickier. I, also, was held up by 14a, wanting to use UN, but then I tumbled. Write 100 lines: Always remember to use a different point of view. Had to google the Yorkshire town, and I needed the hints for the why of 7d, very convoluted. Thanks to the two Gs for hints and clues, very enjoyable.

  16. 5d got me and although got answer to 14a couldn’t make sense of the wordplay . As always a love ly puzzle from Giovanni & thanks to gazza for the explanations.

  17. For a Friday this was very straight-forward but I confess to failing to get 14a which I was convinced was a drink and thet UN featured. Clearly not the case! Not wishing to sound a bad sport I thought the clue was a little weak. 20a is one of my favourite words and 1d is one of the regulars (in fact second day on the trot). Looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge as I am taking my sons to Lord’s for the one day final. Come on Notts!

  18. Thank you DG, not your most difficult puzzle. Had the answer for 14a from the wordplay – but it is perhaps not the greatest clue ever written ? Thanks Gazza for your review. A pleasant day on Anglesey looking for waders – and not finding many !

      1. Will do – first stop tomorrow. Saw a couple flying over and calling this afternoon, but not good views

  19. Nothing in this one to hold us up for long. We even got the Yorkshire geography without the need for Google. Think we must have seen it before in a crossword. Enjoyable throughout. A good warm-up jog before tackling the Elgar.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  20. Not as easy as all that for me but finally made it! ***/**. We often seem to get repeat solutions and clues within short period; e.g. 11a, 1d, 18d. Is this a coincidence, I wonder, or is there some cross-referencing between setters for some reason?

  21. Another excellent Giovanni puzzle! **** enjoyment for me. I needed your hint for 4d, Gazza. I thought 14a was a super clue. Others I especially liked were 10a, 16a, 2d, and 5d. Re 10a. Is there not a double meaning here? ‘Low’ is also the sound cattle make … or am I way off the mark :?: Appreciative thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

Comments are closed.