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DT 27292

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27292

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *+*/2Enjoyment ***

The usual Wednesday fare to ease me back into Crosswordland.  1.5*/3* for me.  Thanks to Jay.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{ } are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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    Music bars putting time into releases (6)

{STAVES} : [abbrev. for “time”] contained in(putting … into) [releases from;frees from, as in “releases from slavery”).

Defn: Not where you go to drink and listen.

5a    Restrain Spooner’s intrepid horse (4,4)

{HOLD BACK} : Spoonerism of [intrepid] [an old worn-out horse].

9a    Pigheadedness a sign in recent changes (13)

{INTRANSIGENCE} : Anagram of(changes) A SIGN IN RECENT.

10a    Altercation around till, ignoring the last knife (8)

{STILETTO} : [an altercation;a brief heated argument (3-2)] containing(around) “till” minus its last letter (ignoring the last).

She’s got a pair of them – potentially dangerous to men:

11a    Shrewd, pinching joker’s last crack (6)

{CRANNY} : [shrewd;knowing, especially in one’s business] containing(pinching) the last letter of(…’s last) “joker”.

12a    Sign for car by empty garage (6)

{GEMINI} : [iconic British car model] placed after(by, in an across clue) “garage” minus its inner letters(empty).

Defn: Depicted by a pair of heavenly twins:


14a    Screamed, stifling cry of pain, and showing signs of age (8)

{YELLOWED} : [screamed, as if in pain or to attract attention] containing(stifling) [a cry of pain].

Answer: Eg. the pages of an old book.

Are these showing signs of age?


16a    Country-dweller‘s problem time accepted by Queen Victoria (8)

{VILLAGER} : { [a problem, causing suffering and trouble] + [a long time period] } contained in(accepted by) [abbrev. for Queen Victoria, in Latin].

19a    Part of Europe rumoured to produce thick oil (6)

{GREASE} : Homophone of(rumoured) [a Mediterranean part of Europe].

21a    Working by sight is exactly right (4,2)

{SPOT ON} : [working, as with an electrical appliance] placed after(by, in an across clue) [to sight;to notice].

23a    Annoyed, but different in the sack! (8)

{BOTHERED} : [different from;something else] contained in(in) [called the “sack” in slang, as in “hit the sack at the end of the day”]. A slightly risqué surface.

25a    Modern developments to theatre — a soft time (5-2-3-3)

{STATE-OF-THE-ART} : Anagram of(developments toTHEATRE — A SOFT + [abbrev. for “time”].

26a    Character witnesses for whistle-blowers (8)

{REFEREES} : Double defn: 2nd: Not figuratively like Assange, but literally.

27a    Miserable wages around Ulster — useless! (6)

{PALTRY} : [wages for a worker] containing(around) “Ulster” minus(…less) “use”.

Answer: Miserably little – so as to be useless!

2d    Plant list newly included in article (7)

{THISTLE} : Anagram of(newly) LIST contained in(included in) [one of the articles in grammar].

3d    Important source of toxin kept in glass container (5)

{VITAL} : The first letter of(source of) “toxin” contained in(kept in) [a small glass container for liquids].

4d    Shocking line included in beginning (9)

{STARTLING} : [abbrev. for “line”] contained in(included in) [beginning;commencing].

5d    Is Conservative support for hospital dead and buried? (7)

{HISTORY} : { IS + [short for a Conservative Party member] } placed below(support for, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “hospital”].

Answer: As in “You’re ….. like a beat up car!”

6d    Look over soldier with cold reasoning (5)

{LOGIC} : [look, as in “…. and behold”] placed above(over, in a down clue) [abbrev. for an American soldier] plus(with) [abbrev. for “cold”].

7d    Indian city‘s report on a developing role (9)

{BANGALORE} : [a loud sound;report, say, of an explosion] placed above(on, in a down clue) A + anagram of(developing) ROLE.


8d    Spare last of coppers in church to provide absolution (7)

{CLEANSE} : { [spare;thin, like some people] + the last letter of(last of) “coppers” } contained in(in) [abbrev. for the Church of England].

13d    I will taunt about adult being uncomfortable (3,2,4)

{ILL AT EASE} : { [contraction of “I will”] + [to taunt;to bait] } containing(about) [abbrev. for “adult”].

15d    Vessel resolving his plight (9)

{LIGHTSHIP} : Anagram of(resolving) HIS PLIGHT.

17d    Motorway backed up — almost overtook, but no way forward (7)

{IMPASSE} : Reversal of(backed up) [the north-south motorway in England] + [overtook;got by another vehicle, like on the motorway] minus its last letter(almost).

Answer: A stand-off.

18d    Unexpected refusals from enthusiasts supporting soldiers (7)

{REBUFFS} : [enthusiasts;those keen about something or other] placed below(supporting, in a down clue) [abbrev. for the engineering branch of the British Army].

20d    Army officer trapped in very steep refuge (7)

{SHELTER} : [abbrev. for a commissioned army officer] contained in(trapped in) [very steep;perpendicular, like a cliff face].

22d    Relative‘s pleasant, full of energy (5)

{NIECE} : [pleasant;agreeable;attractive] containing(full of) [abbrev. for “energy” in physics].

24d    Communication thrown back by Parliament (5)

{EMAIL} : Hidden in reversal of(thrown back by) “Parliament”.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {UNDIES} + {HIRER} + {BULLS} = {UNDESIRABLES}

52 comments on “DT 27292

  1. A couple to think about in an otherwise straightforward, and enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.
    I also liked the other puzzle by Notabilis.

  2. Thank you Jay, not too hard, but good fun. Last in 24d and 27a. Had the answers but took a while to get the wordplay. Thank you Scchua, welcome back and thank you for your tasteful choice of photos as usual !

  3. All safely tucked up in their beds, a nice gentle romp only held up by getting 19A round the wrong way I put the country instead of the lubricant.Thanks to jay & scchua for the review, favourite has to be 12A with 7D a close second.

  4. This was a really enjoyable and not too taxing exercise today for which many thanks to Jay. I made same mistake as Graham with 19a and so had problem with 20d. Had to resort to Chambers for 11a. Fear we may not be let off so lightly for rest of week until it comes to Saturday prize puzzle! **/**** for me.

  5. I think I’d say 1*/4*. In other words a very enjoyable crossword and I didn’t have any trouble – quite a rarity for me.
    I’d never heard of the 15d boat but it couldn’t have been anything else. My last two were 27a and 24d.
    I liked 23 and 27a and 3 and 17d. My favourite was 5a – really like Spoonerisms.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua – hope that you’ve had a good trip.
    I’ve got the worst cold that I’ve had for years – feel like a piece of chewed string. :sad:

    1. Don’t you remember Shoestring Kath? In the opening credits John Nettles runs down some steps (which aren’t there) to a restaurant in Bristol Harbour made from a converted 15D).

        1. Thank you folks for the repartee, it made me laugh out loud. More please…..I enjoyed the puzzle too. Thank you setter & hinter.

  6. Straightforward, but it took me a while to work out the wordplay for 27a. */** for me. I don’t think some of scchua’s illustrations would be allowed on the London underground.

    1. Well, I don’t know about that; see:







      Need I go on? You were probably heads down on your mobile device and missed them.

      But whatever, here’s a piece of advice in order to solve your problem: stop, or don’t start, waving your device about on the London Underground – or anywhere else for that matter. Someone might just do this to your device:
      http://www.standard.co.uk/news/bus-shelter-bikini-ads-covered-with-paint-in-censorship-attacks-6479036.html. There are a lot of nutters around.

  7. Finished before lights out last night, even with several ‘domestic’ interruptions to sort out IT problems. No real problems but very enjoyable, I must have been right on Jay’s wavelength for this one. A couple of ‘oldies but goodies’ sneaking in – 16a and 26a.

  8. No real problems except for the bottom right because of putting the country in for 19A (looking at the clue again, it is still pointing at the answer being the country). Sorted out when I solved 20D. Did anyone else think of Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons when solving 14A ?

  9. 27ac is a great clue. I want to get the toughie onto ipads. If you use an ipad load The Daily telegraph press the * at the bottom left of the screen and a screen appears with a feedback link. If enough of us do this often enough and ask for The Toughie we may well get it online. Power To The People, especially The Tooting Popular Front. Oh by the way, Ta to all as usual.

    1. I agree on 27a – a really well constructed clue. At first, I got hung up on it being something to do with Ulster the place rather the actual use of some of the letters from the word. Good fun.

  10. A lovely pleasant jog, some items almost falling in by themselves, which is always good if it makes me get up earlier…..

    I loved 27a too.

    Isn’t it funny that we rarely use 11a without its little partner word? ( if you see what I mean?)

    1. Now you mention it, it is. I am sure that I have never heard someone say that they had searched every 11a when looking for a lost item, it is always the three word compound noun.

      1. Thats because if you search the 11a’s and still dont find what you are looking for you have to try the ****s as well.

  11. Like Skempie I’d put the country in for 19a, so was nowhere close to solving 28d… And, in spite of being cast in a play as the village idiot (was slightly unnerved by gaining a small fan base – unnerved by fans, not small – which made me wonder whether I’d found my true calling in life) took forever and a day to fill in 16a. 5a was a lol and definitely my favourite. Thank you setter and Scchua.

  12. Everyone seems jolly today after a not too taxing enjoyable crossword, liked the 5a spoonerism a la Kath and wordplay of 27a.Thanks to Scchua for the pics-is that Diane Stiletto in 12a?

    1. If you mean 10a, I don’t know, as the pic was uncaptioned. As far as I know the only common thing with the answer are the shoes.

  13. Really liked this until I got to 24d, what a ghastly clue. Absolutely no indication that the answer was contained in Parliament.
    Apart from that, no real problems after I realised that 19a wanted the oil not the country!
    Thx to the setter for a good puzzle except for the above.

    1. 24d “… Absolutely no indication…”? What’s “thrown back by” then?
      19a Once you’ve got 20d, 19a falls in place. And there are only 2 possibilities for you to test out while looking for answers to 20d. And that’s why it’s called a crossword.
      Don’t think those are valid grounds to qualify your thx to the setter.

  14. I really enjoyed this but like so many others put the country in for 19a so 20d was my last one in. Love the spoonerisms, and loved 12a, 27a, my first one in, and thought 24d was rather neat.

    After a busy summer and little time for crosswords I have been glad of some of the recent straightforward crosswords. Thanks to Jay and Scchua. Bring on winter with a cosy fire and a crossword

  15. Pleasant puzzle from Jay comme d’habitude!

    Faves : 5a, 14a, 25a, 27a, 7d, 8d, 18d & 24d.

    Weather here in NL rather warmish for late September.

    Groetjes allemaal!

  16. Like several others, I put the country instead of the oil for 19a, hence 20d was the last in. On re-reading the clue, there’s no question that the oil was intended. Loved the whole puzzle, especially the spoonerisms; like Kath, I love those. I liked 5d best, I think. Thanks to setter and scchua for the review, though not needed today.

  17. Quite an easy one today although I got stuck on a couple and needed your help Scchua, for which thanks very much and thanks to Jay for a fine puzzle

    1. I’d wondered that too, Derek, but then I grew up in a forces’ family. Do hope new boiler installation goes well for you tomorrow :-)

  18. Enjoyed this. Thanks to both, just unpacked new gas tumble dryer and it’s dented so will have to go back. I was so excited too and my husband had just taken the old one out.:(

    1. The country is in mourning. The races have totally dominated life in NZ for the last few weeks. We have all been glued to our TV sets every morning, always hoping for the David beating Goliath victory that looked so inevitable. However it was not to be.
      Oh well, such is life.

      1. A certain Mr Ainsley didn’t help your cause, 9 8, who’d have (and I wish I had) gone to the bookies and predicted that……..

      1. It seems that the new technology that was installed half way through, that automatically trims the craft to keep it up on the foils, improved the boat’s performance just enough to give it the edge. That is the story we are hearing here anyway.

        1. Probably right, but this stuff isn’t sailing as I know it! If my 32ft yacht exceeded 8 knots it was getting a bit OTT! I did once get 12kn surfing down a big wave but the thing was very nearly out of control.

          This was sailing like F1 is driving or MotoGP is riding a bike!

        2. But you gotta admit it makes fantastic TV viewing! How those guys control those boats (?) is amazing. Shame the underdog didn’t win this time but that’s life.

  19. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Very nice crossword. Was about 6 short. Was at the St Alban’s beer festival, so unable to comment further. Have a nice evening all :-)

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword . I also much enjoyed reading through Scchua’s very good hints and tips, which I did not need. Like several others, I put the country into 19a, but realised my error when I got to 20d. 27a and 24d were my last two in because it took a while for the penny to drop! Doh! :oops: 5a was my fave. :grin:

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