DT 27294 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27294

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27294

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a pleasant puzzle from Giovanni today. Do let us know how you got on.
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Across Clues

1a  Returning soldiers will go here  the wrong way round (4,2,5)
{BACK TO FRONT} – double definition. The Daily Mirror used a wartime headline about General Montgomery returning by air to the battleground (‘Monty Flies **** ** *****’) which may have confused its readers.

7a  Stuff at sea — it floats around (7)
{SATIATE} – an anagram (floats around) of AT SEA IT.

8a  Boys and tot featuring in stories (7)
{LADDIES} – a verb meaning to tot goes inside some fabricated stories.

10a  Restriction certainly needed for cover again (8)
{REINSURE} – a charade of a restriction or curb and an adverb meaning certainly.

11a  Return to base and make an impression (2,4)
{GO HOME} – double definition, the second relating to how a remark, for example, can impress itself on the mind of the person addressed.

13a  Seaweed carried by coastal gatherers (4)
{ALGA} – hidden in the clue.

14a  I am brought into English establishment for assessment (10)
{ESTIMATION} – insert the contracted form of ‘I am’ into E(nglish) and an establishment or post.

16a  Blasted trick discovered by someone on the paper (10)
{CONFOUNDED} – string together a trick or hoax, a synonym for discovered and the abbreviation for a top journalist.

18a  Run into street? Careful! (4)
{WARY} – insert the cricketing abbreviation for run into what street is an example of.

21a  Word of prayer choking army officer in expression of grief (6)
{LAMENT} – a word normally used at the end of a prayer goes inside (choking, i.e. stopping up) the abbreviation for an army officer.

22a  Aggressive style of Scot — the male’s male, nothing more! (8)
{MACHISMO} – a charade of a common prefix in Scottish names, a possessive adjective (the male’s), M(ale) and the letter that resembles zero or nothing.

24a  Sort of growth that could bring elation (7)
{TOENAIL} – an anagram (could bring) of ELATION.

25a  Not ‘urt — or partially limbless? (7)
{UNARMED} – this is how someone who drops his aitches may pronounce a word meaning not hurt.

26a  What you may see in these conditions in a flash! (5,6)
{SPLIT SECOND} – the second word is visible in the clue and the first word indicates that it’s not wholly contained within a single word.

Down Clues

1d  In dry home in secure environment (7)
{BATTING} – the well-disguised definition relates to cricket. Insert the abbreviation for dry or teetotal and a word meaning at home inside a verb to secure or get one’s hands on.

2d  In the auditorium gets hold of a few words (6)
{CLAUSE} – ‘in the auditorium’ is one way of indicating a homophone, so the answer sounds like gets hold of or seizes.

3d  Ignore this stupid speculating (10)
{THEORISING} – an anagram (stupid) of IGNORE THIS.

4d  What shepherd has  to close down (4)
{FOLD} – double definition, the second a verb meaning to go out of business or become insolvent.

5d  Fussy person losing heart would moan terribly (3,5)
{OLD WOMAN} – an anagram (terribly) of WO(u)LD without the letter at its heart and MOAN. Although I’ve picked the first two words as the definition, the whole clue could describe the answer, making it a semi-all-in-one.

6d  After journey I look up a city in Africa (7)
{TRIPOLI} – a journey or excursion is followed by the reversal (up, in a down clue) of I and an old word meaning look or behold.

7d  Knight going out with no care still (3,8)
{SIR LANCELOT} – an anagram (going out with?) of NO CARE STILL.

9d  Demonic killer with wrongly directed longing, outwardly amiable — strange! (7,4)
{SWEENEY TODD} – reverse (wrongly directed) a synonym for a longing or craving and around it (outwardly) put an adjective meaning amiable or good-natured. Finally add an adjective meaning strange or weird. This is another one where the whole clue could define the answer. Is anyone having a meat pie for lunch?

12d  I utter real drivel — it gets published (10)
{LITERATURE} – an anagram (drivel) of I UTTER REAL.

15d  Crop bound to be found in county (8)
{CORNWALL} – this minor county in the South West is a charade of a cereal crop and a verb to bound (i.e. set bounds to) or surround.

17d  Book 4 — or maybe 1,2,3! (7)
{NUMBERS} – double definition, 4 being the position that this book has in the Old Testament.

19d  Understood to be fake (7)
{ASSUMED} – double definition, the second meaning fake or invented (a false name, for example).

20d  Inferior collection displayed in company (6)
{CHEAPO} – a collection or pile goes inside the abbreviation for company.

23d  Conspiracy in bed? (4)
{PLOT} – double definition. The bed is not somewhere to nod off but somewhere to plant your roses.

The clues I liked best were 1d (for the d’oh when the definition became apparent), 5d and 9d. Let us know which ones took your fancy.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {FLOW} + {TILLER} = {FLOTILLA}

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75 comments on “DT 27294

        1. I finally tumbled when I got the last three letters of the second word, which means “strange” . Don’t know if that helps

          1. Probably not, but then we don’t know how long your day lasts and whether the Saintly Sharon actually allowed you to sit there all day muttering or made you serve pints and be generally landlordish, in addition to your other domestic duties. :)

            1. I assembled my new lawn scarifier which I will drag along behind my little tractor mower. Watch out big field. i am coming to get you.

  1. Some really good clues in this one. Took us a while to pick the definition in 1d and thought the word-play for 26a was very clever . An enjoyable solve with just about the right level of difficulty for a Friday back-pager.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  2. I was on a roll until 25A where stupidly I put in armless oh well never mind we got there eventually.Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review best clue today was 22A.

    1. Join the armless club, it works perfectly with the wordplay in the clue. I bet there are lots of us in this club if we only admit it.

      1. Just for once I wasn’t in the ‘wrong answer’ club – I often am but when I am I do always admit to it. See later comment! :roll:

    2. I am in that club too – HR are having a MacMillan cake sale – I’ll go and get another bit of cake on behalf of all of us.

      1. I didn’t fall for armless but my first thought for 11a (luckily I didn’t write it in) was ‘go down’ which sort of works for both definitions.

            1. It definitely wasn’t – the right balance of everything. The head of HR has passed on the recipe so I’ll see what Mr CS thinks.

  3. Great crossword but I too struggled with 9d mainly ‘cos I had 11a wrong. 1d also fooled me. So many thanks to Giovanni (?) and Gazza. ***/***.

  4. Very enjoyable puzzle today, but I think I have a bit of an issue with 11a. To make an impression is surely to hit home, not go home. Apart from that, I found it testing to just the right degree and very entertaining. Many thanks to the two Gs.

  5. Finished in reasonable time, but needed Gazza’s hint to see why 26a was what it was. And then I had to read it several times before the penny dropped. Clever. Thanks to all.

  6. No real problems in this one; last one in was 9d. Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    The toughie is most gentle for a Friday, but my favourite puzzle today is Paul in the Graun.

  7. Am Ii the only one who fell into the trap of 7 across? I was convinced the answer was flotsam….conning myself that the M was short for Main (ie sea) even though it was at the end of the word and the clue suggested the M should be inside the word…but we pressed on. Then when we got the R in Sir started looking for For and Far and even maybe Fur for 7d…..oh how we struggled!

    But still a very enjoyable crossword although I thought the second definition of 11a a bit tenuous.

    1. Hi Roger, no you’re not! I put flotsam in first too. Although I couldn’t parse it, it seemed too obvious for it not to be correct. However when it became clear that 7d was going to begin with S, I quickly realised the error of my ways.
      As above, I agree with you ref 11a.

    2. I thought about flotsam too but wasn’t sure enough – the missing ‘M’ stopped me from writing it in and then it was fairly obvious that 7d had to begin with an ‘S’.

      1. Flotsam was my first thought for that one too. A clever use of Floats as an anagram indicator which has six of the seven letters in flotsam.

  8. Thank you Giovanni, good fun. Thank you Gazza for your review and hints. Although I had the answer for 26a and have studied the hint, being totally thick, I am still totally bemused !

  9. Nice puzzle apart of course from 1d which completely defeated us.
    Did like 8a which also took a while to see. Shame about 1d, somewhat spoiled the whole for us.
    Thx to Giovanni and to Gazza for explaining 1d.

  10. Just to say thanks to the setter and Gazza. After 4 years I’m now getting the hang of things. Not in Big Daves league yet though.
    Ps. BRB?

  11. I agree with 3*/3*.
    I’ve either made or almost made SO many mistakes with this one that at one point I nearly stopped and went away to see if it was all better when I came back to it.
    I thought about ‘flotsam’ for 7a but, luckily, didn’t put it in. My first thought for 1a, but for no good reason, was ‘left to right’ – didn’t write that in either.
    After those two near disasters things improved for a while until I was left with 11 and 18a and 9d. Then I had a flash of inspiration (?) and thought 11a had to be ‘go down’ – well, ‘base’ is the bottom of something so ‘down’ and if something has made an impression it could be said to ‘go down in history’!! Oh dear!! Eventually got 9d which meant I couldn’t do 11a at all.
    Not my finest day.
    I liked 16 and 22a and 1 and 5d. My favourite was 12d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

  12. Not keen on 11a but otherwise the usual splendid Friday puzzle.

    FLOTSAM could work for 7a if you view the clue as a not very cryptic definition of stuff that floats around on the sea. The real construct is better of course.

    Favs were 1d and 26a Thanks to the 2 G’s.

  13. I was slow start g but got on a roll. Weird as it might sound, it took me ages to get 18a, had to use the thesaurus for street, liked 24 and8

  14. I agree with *** for difficulty but would give it at least **** for enjoyment. “Armless” really held me up for a long time. Some went in with absolutely no idea why, 1d to the forefront with 11a a close second. I also sweated it out with 9d but getting the last three letters in the second word helped me out there. Last one in was 11a, written in expecting to be wrong. Thanks to all for enjoyable start to the day.

  15. Thanks to the two G’s. A very enjoyable puzzle, I must have been in the zone for a change, found this very straightforward. The only problem was putting “shut” for 4d, which was my first one in, but getting 1a put me back on track. Favourites were 25a & 7,23d. Last in was 2d. Was 2*/4* for me. Stitches out today, so was able to have a bike ride. Sun has gone now in Central London.

    1. Where in central London are you? I used to live at 21 Buckingham Street near Charing Cross, so central and just loved it. Richard Burton (not the actor, the explorer) translated his books in “rooms in Buckingham Street” and I used to fantasise that it was in my flat. Lots of fun days.

      1. Oh Merusa, what a super place to have been in (sorry, split inf.)! Not too far from Charing Cross Road & wonderful second hand bookshops ( did you ever read 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff?). I used to be in Catherine Place very close to Buckingham Palace. But too far from Foyles for my taste…

        1. Yes, it was a super place, in the 1960s. A friend’s father owned the building with offices and the little flat at the top. He knew I was only temporarily in UK and I only stayed five years. I read 84 Charing Cross Road, loved it, and I also have another book she wrote called “Q’s Legacy.”

  16. We found this a bit tricky today, but managed to complete it with lots of help from gazza for which many thanks. Also thanks of course to the setter too.

  17. A very enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni, today. No obscure words!

    Solved this on the top deck of a Clapham Omnibus. No Dictionary required!

  18. Not one of Giovanni’s tougher jobs.
    I started late on this one as the plumber had to come again to get the hot water on in one half of my double apartment – took him two hours – there was a leak at one radiator!
    Glad that we are having an Indian Summer here in NL as I have to leave the windows open all night to dry out the carpeting which is laid on a concrete floor.

    Faves : 1a, 22a, 26a, 1d, 9d & 15d.

    Lamb chops for dinner.

  19. Couldn’t get 9d for ages. But 1a was my first in. Also thought of flotsam but happily didn’t write it in. Does anyone else have a favourite pencil with which they do the crosswords or does that just point out how pathetic I might be? Thank you setter for the fun, and Gazza for the help.

    1. Hi Poppy!

      The plumber had to come again today as one half of my flat was still without hot water. He spent two hours and finally discovered that a radiator was leaking and mended it. Then all became normal once more.
      These computerised systems are troublesome to oldstagers!

      I shall celebrate with a bottle of pink champagne (Billecart Salmon) when my daughter gets home!

  20. A very clever puzzle and thoroughly enjoyable. I think that this is the first 3* that I have completed without help although I did need to refer to the hints quite a number of times for affirmation of my answers. Many thanks for that Gazza and to the Don for the puzzle. Does anybody know when Mary is coming back?

    1. Not sure when Mary is back but I think it must be soon. When she filled in the ‘required paper work’ I seem to remember registering that she would be back just before we go away. We are off to Suffolk for a week on Wednesday – a little cottage which is ‘dog friendly’ so our collie is coming with us. It is very near my best cousin so we will be able to see lots of her and her lovely husband but still be independent. I just can’t wait to ditch all responsibilities – feeling very bogged down at the moment. :sad:

  21. Had meat pie for lunch – perhaps why I got 9d without difficulty. I scored a duck with 1d unfortunately and resorted to peeping at the hint.

  22. I wonder Merusa if you are referring to the Benjamin Marks who owned the bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road and whose son, Leo (a close friend of Helen Hanff) was Chief Cryptographer of SOE during the War. Interestingly, as a teenager, Leo (born 1920) had earned pocket compiling The Times Cryptic crossword.

    1. Hi Una certainly I was thinking of this particular shop. It was Benjamin Marks. And I loved son Leo Marks’ book Between Silk and Cyanide.

  23. I found this a very entertaining puzzle. :grin: I managed to complete it without hints and without using any printed or electronic helps! I saw the double definition in 1a, but didn’t know about Monty. Similarly, I had the right answer to 26a, but didn’t pick up on the additional meaning of ‘split’ referring to the answer not being contained in a single word. That is very cryptic! So one needs to know the answer to understand the clue? I also started off with ‘armless’ but fortunately didn’t stay with it. 15d was my last in — took a while for the penny to drop re ‘bound’. Lots of faves — 1d, 2d, 7d, 9d, 12d and 17d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  24. Hello Poppy and Merusa. Between Silk & Cyanamide is indeed a good read but not surprisingly does contain elements of poetic/historical licence!

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