DT 27317 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27317

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27317

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather continues to be unseasonably warm. I found this a bit of a mixture. Some real “gimmes” but also some rather obscure definitions. I’ll be interested in your opinions.  As usual the ones like like 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.


5a           Sally and Harry originally are small parts (6)
{SHARES} – The first letters (originally) of Sally and Harry followed by ARE (from the clue) and then an S(mall).

8a           Virgin Trains’ pie not a crumble (8)
{PRISTINE} – Anagram (crumble) of TRAINS PIE but without the A (not A).

9a           Doctor Who always just the same (7)
{HOWEVER} – Anagram (doctor) of WHO followed by a word for always.

10a         Marvellous making use of change in purse (5)
{SUPER} – Anagram (making use of change in) of PURSE

11a         Chase after stinkers — a kind of fungus (9)
{TOADSTOOL} –Chase as in carve out, a piece of leather perhaps, placed after some stinkers or cads.

13a         Executed last of tasks before time’s called (6,2)
{STRUNG UP} – Executed as in hung! Start with S (last of taskS), then T(ime) and then a phrase meaning called on the telephone (4,2).

14a         Shun champ found with illegal tablets (6)
{ESCHEW} –Nothing to do with drug taking athletes! It’s an abbreviation for an illegal drug (don’t forget the S as it’s plural) followed by a word for champ, with the teeth.

17a         Health resort in southern Pennsylvania (3)
{SPA} –This health resort, Bath for example, is S(outhern) followed by the abbreviation for Pennsylvania.

19a         Banks of earth eroded making work (3)
{ART} – A work as in a painting or piece of sculpture.  Remove the first and last letters (banks eroded) from (e)ART(h).

20a         Pass English courses with low grade (6)
{ELAPSE} – Pass as in time passes. A charade of E(nglish), some circuits of a race course and then a low exam grade.

23a         Dreadfully sick after one mushroom — they can be deadly in the wrong hands (3,5)
{ICE PICKS} –Leon Trotsky would certainly agree these can be deadly in the wrong hands! Start with I (one), then another word for a mushroom and then an anagram (dreadfully) of SICK and then split it all (3,4). This one raised a smile, what a splendid definition!

26a         Austria and Thailand once popular — or most of Turkey (4,5)
{ASIA MINOR} – Take the IVR code for Austria followed by the old name (once) for Thailand, the usual 2 letters for popular and then OR (from the clue) and split the result (4,5).

28a         What Edith Piaf regretted about piano’s age (5)
{RIPEN} – Age as a verb.  What Edith Piaf sang about regretting with a P(iano) inserted.

29a         Fellow whose wife is sadly late (7)
{WIDOWER} – A not very cryptic definition of a man whose wife has died.

30a         Modest about one’s discipline (8)
{CHASTISE} – IS (ones) inserted into a word meaning modest or virginal.

31a         Horrified husband’s gripped by stove’s temperature (6)
{AGHAST} – Insert (gripped by) an H(usband) into some range cookers followed by T(emperature)


1d           Son blocks unwanted email then second starts (6)
{SPASMS} – Insert (blocks) an S(on) into some junk email and follow with S(econd).

2d           John Lennon for one left melody first (7)
{AIRPORT} –John Lennon is the name of one of these in Liverpool (it used to be called Speke). Its left on a boat with another word for a melody placed first.

3d           Bald head can be severe condition (9)
{STARKNESS} – Severe condition as in austerity.  Take a word for bald, as in unadorned, and follow with the usual crosswordland head or headland.

4d           Demonstration rearranged by university at the designated place (2,4)
{IN SITU} – Take a word for a type of demonstration (3,2) and reverse the order of the words (rearranged) and follow with U(niversity).  Is it just me or is this verging on being a secondary anagram?

5d           Did hero’s treatment get more slapdash? (8)
{SHODDIER} – Anagram (treatment) of DID HEROS.

6d           Decline not in short representative (5)
{AGENT} – A word for decline or get older followed by the abbreviated (in short) way of writing NOT, as in didn’t.

7d           Sties are blots on the landscape (8)
{EYESORES} – Double definition.  I’ve resisted an illustration for this one, feeling slightly queasy after checking out images on Google!

12d         Settle old vacant plot (3)
{OPT} – Settle as in choose.  It’s O(ld) followed by PT (vacant P(lo)T).

15d         Latest worry involving work pressure (4,5)
{STOP PRESS} – The latest news is a word for worry or emphasise with the usual work and P(ressure) inserted (involving).

16d         ‘Doris’ (she writes) below book dedication (8)
{BLESSING} – Start with B(ook) and follow (below in a down clue) with the surname of a Doris who won the Nobel prize in literature in 2007.

18d         Architectural feature mapped — I’m enthralled somewhat (8)
{PEDIMENT} – This architectural feature is hidden (somewhat) in MAPPED I’M ENTHRALLED

21d         Briton’s oddly brief history (3)
{BIO} – The odd letters of BrItOn give an abbreviation of someone’s life story.

22d         Doubting Thomas, Charlie and Penny are among names revived (7)
{SCEPTIC} – Take a word meaning names and reverse it (revived?). Then insert C(harlie) and P(enny).

24d         Mini Minors may be parked here? (6)
{CRECHE} – Cryptic definition of somewhere you can leave or “park” very small children.

25d         Depressed with range of knowledge shown by tabloid (6)
{SUNKEN} – A tabloid newspaper followed by your range of knowledge

27d         Savour run by Farah back among amateurs (5)
{AROMA} – Take R(un) and a reversal (back) of the nickname of the double Olympic gold medallist and insert between two a’s (Amateurs).

I’ve not been very lavish with the blue today but favourite has to be 23a.

The Quick crossword pun: {Indie} + {Nile} = {in denial}

62 comments on “DT 27317

  1. Lovely. best of the week so far and a bit of a tussle all round. 24d ha Ha Ha. thanks to all, especially the setter.

  2. 2.5* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment today.

    I agree with Pommers, I found most of this firmly in 2* territory for difficulty, but 3d and 13a held me up for a long time. I needed the hints to understand the wordplay for 22d. Thank you Pommers.

    I marked 8a, 9a, 28a, and 24d as excellent with 23a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron.

  3. What ho Pommers! Eyup meduck from a crisp but sunny day here in Middle England. I agree with Miffypops that this is the best puzzle so far this week, that is if you don’t count Sunday as the first day of the week.

    Thank you very strong for the review – any idea who the setter is?

    1. Sorry, no idea who the setter is and I’m not going to hazard a guess because I’d almost certainly be wrong!

      1. I enjoyed this.
        A nice mixture of clues, some to make you think, some write ins and some slightly mad hat general knowledge and humour.

  4. Hola pommers from a nice sunny West Wales at the moment, I found this one tough today, a three star for me and would not have finished it despite lots of perservation (I was up early) without your hints, gratias, there were a few clues I liked but no stand out favourite for me today,

  5. Lots of good fun clues. No major hold-ups. Enjoyed 23a best of all.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Pommers.

  6. Thank you setter, pleased to be able to finish this one. A game of 2 halves for me – or rather 2 sides finding LH much harder than the RH. Thanks Pommers for your review and hints – I agree – some rather obscure clues !

  7. For some reason I was held up in the top left corner for a while, then everything just seemed to fall into place. No real favourite today, but I thought 23A and 24D were very clever and amusing.

    Bright sunshine again here today (2nd day running) so I’ve temporarily stopped work the new Ark.

  8. Agree with Pommers that today’s is a’ bit of a curates egg’ still not sure about the ‘tool’ bit of 11a even after the explanation,26a ok when I remembered Yul Brynner and 23a re the demise of Mr T, certainly entertaining and I agree with a **/***

  9. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, found it a bit quirky. No problems until last one in, 25d. Knew it began with sun, but couldn’t ken ken :-) Favourite was 26a. Sun’s out now in Central London.

  10. Agree a bit of a curate’s egg. Some were a write-in but enough challenging ones to make it enjoyable. I think there is a bit missing in hint 26a…..in popular?

  11. I enjoyed this – agree with 2* for difficulty and 3*+ for enjoyment – maybe a bit closer to 4*.
    For some reason 6d was my last one in – thought the definition was decline. I made 26a more difficult than it needed to be by splitting it 5,4 instead of the right way round – can’t blame anyone but myself for that. I needed BRB to understand why 11a was what it was.
    I thought there were some really good clues and it’s going to be tough confining myself to just one favourite.
    I liked 9, 23 and 28a and 4d. I think my favourite was 13a but I’m reserving the right to change my mind!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and pommers – nice to have you back again, pommers.
    I might have to have a go at the Toughie for obvious reasons!

    1. As Mrs RD frequently tells me, the female of the species always has the right to change her mind :wink:

    2. Having read your last sentence and at the risk of incurring the wrath of BD, can I just say ‘be afraid, be very afraid’!!

      1. Thanks for the warning – I might just have a little peep out of one (half closed) eye – there again I might just go and cut the grass.

  12. I’ve just finished my first pass through and there are some very strange clues in this crossword. It’s looking at least 3* territory but I’m off for my second pass

    1. I do it in passes too simultaneously with the quickie. todays took a lot more passes than normal but i really enjoyed it.

      1. I am persevering Miffy but it is becoming a struggle. It makes me think of the old days when I felt that RayT’s puzzles were impenetrable and I still do.

      2. I haven’t finished the quickie yet, struggling with the NW corner. Finished this one without help… Third one this week if you count Saturday… Very happy :)

  13. A mixed puzzle today. Favourites 11a, 23a & 24d. Beautiful day here in Hampshire. Thanks to Pommers.

    1. I agree with you sheepdog!
      The regular past tense of hang is hung, which would be used in most instances – and certainly for all the past tenses of the ones below:
      * To pay attention to – I hang on your every word.
      * To hold on tightly – My daughter is hanging onto my skirt.
      * A way of doing something – She couldn’t get the hang of it.
      * To be oppressive – a cloud of gloom hangs over him.

      However, there is one exception and that is when it comes to hanging someone by the neck. In this case the past tense is hanged which means killed by hanging

  14. My (ken) was sadly lacking today having never heard of the term, I should have paid more attention whilst at school! This was a very enjoyable offering with a variety of clues.Thanks to pommers for the review.

  15. Is anyone else having trouble with the quick crossword? I think I’ve made a complete pig’s ear of it and am now completely stuck with most of the top left corner.

    1. No! Quite quick for me!

      But I am struggling with the Toughie!

      I sincerely hope that the general consensus is NOT that it is not really tough!

        1. I am still struggling with the quickie and finding The Toughie quite tough which I suppose i am meant to. it is one of Ray Ts though and I am a fan. Also I am still collecting walnuts. Even the squirrels are bored.

          1. Miffypops————-just realised that I am not the only one to struggle! I’ll try to race you to the finishing post

          2. I’ve now given up on the quickie with four gaps – think I must have got something wrong. Doing surprisingly well on Toughie, for me anyway. By that I mean I’ve got enough answers to make me keep going, for a while at least..

              1. I’d got one wrong and was just plain dim about the rest – thanks for putting me out of my misery.

                1. Thanks a lot.
                  I had “huge” for 7a which rather hindered me. I’d have never got indie. I sometimes don’t get the pun so it doesn’t always help.

                  1. I’d never have got indie either and I had diminish for 2d. As for 10a I didn’t think of that kind of plot – was thinking of the scheming kind. :roll:

  16. We enjoyed the puzzle today. Thank you to the setter also thank you Pommers for the nice straight forward hints. Glad to see you back. We always need some ( & sometimes quite a lot) of help & to be able to understand the hints is good.

  17. Is it just me, or is the quick well nigh impossible to-day? I don’t ever remember being so stuck before. Got the pun – like it – but even my ‘normous thesaurus seems unable to fill in the gaps. Enjoyed the cryptic and didn’t need hints there, but I suppose I shall have to keep batting away with what to-day has become the slow. Oh well, good for ze leetle grey cells I suppose.

  18. Thank you Pommers for hints which helped me understand why some of my answers were correct. But I didn’t help myself by putting cradle in for 24d, so the SE corner was my last area to complete. Wasted a bit of time trying to use a zero in 28a too. Thank you setter for a super puzzle well worth the tussle. 9a made me smile :-)

  19. Super puzzle today, no real favourites as there are so many good ones. I needed the hints to know the “why” of 14a and 6d, having led a sheltered life as regards illegal drugs, I had no idea what the “e” stood for and, once again, I forgot the other meaning of champ! I knew my answer had to be correct, what else could it be? Anyway, thanks to setter and Pommers for the enlightenment.

    1. Hi Merusa

      E for Ecstacy is worth remembering as it comes up quite regularly. Along with H for Heroin

  20. Finished at the second attempt but didn’t like it much apart from 28a, 2d and 27d. I found 19a, 11a, 14a, 6d and 27d rather horrid clues.
    Why should aroma be savour, why is age decline (this is just insulting)’, why are Toads stinkers and what a dreadful anagram indicator in 10a
    All in all, not my favourite. Many Thx to Pommers for explaining the answers.

    1. I wasn’t quite sure about the aroma/savour bit either, Brian – had to look up savour in BRB. As far as toads being stinkers is concerned a toad is an unpleasant person ie a stinker – nothing to do with ponging!

    2. You don’t like the word ‘change’ as an anagram indicator? Can you suggest some other word that might have been used and which might fit the clue as well as ‘change’ does?

  21. Late today for various reasons.

    A solid **\*** from me.

    I liked 7 down a lot, but shouldn’t it be styes? That odd spelling held me up for a while as I was convinced there had to be some anagram using sties.

    I also liked 24 and 27 and, especially 23…… Memories of early 70s Trotskyism.

  22. I agree with Pommers remarks at the top, a nice mixture and not too hard.I also share his taste in “likes” although I would include 16d, being a fan of hers. 6d was last for me too, Kath !
    Thanks Pommers and setter.

  23. I seem to struggle with clues where is a mixture of a clue and an anagram. they are very difficult and this puzzle contained a number of them

  24. ***/** for me. Needed Pommers’ help with 2d and 13a. Favourites 24d and 28a – je regrette beaucoup that I could not be at the Piaf 50th Anniversary Tribute by Edith Loiseau at Horsham Capitol this evening – perhaps the Albert Hall on November 3rd instead.

  25. Thoroughly enjoyable, so **** for me. :smile: Joint faves 23a and 28a. Many other entertaining clues, including 11a, 16d, and 24d. Much appreciated your lucid hints, Pommers, although I did not need them.
    Many thanks both to setter and to Pommers.

Comments are closed.