DT 27322 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27322

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27322

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Another quite enjoyable, solid puzzle from Jay.  1.5*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment.  Thanks 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    Scientists’ aspiration is up — more potential for development (9,6)

{PERPETUAL MOTION} : Anagram of(for development) UP — MORE POTENTIAL.

Answer: A scientific aspiration that would violate the laws of physics.

9a    New business set back by famous face (5-2)

{START-UP} : Reversal of(back) SET placed after(by, in an across clue) [a famous face;a celebrity].

Defn:  … like those dot.com companies at once.

10a    Observed how plain the cake was! (7)

{NOTICED} : Cryptic defn: A cake without any trimmings (3,4), would be a plain one, unlike these:

11a    Pronouncement from church on complete article (9)

{UTTERANCE} : [abbrev. for the Church of England] placed after(on, in an across clue) { [complete;total, as in “a total fool”] + [an article in grammar] }.

12a    Liveliness of bar Nixon regularly frequented (4)

{BRIO} : The 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th letters of(regularly frequented) “bar Nixon”.

Answer: From Italian. When paired with “con”, a musical direction to play with liveliness.

13a    Work hard on a new catchphrase (6)

{SLOGAN} : [to work hard, and, often, long as well] plus(on) A + [abbrev. for “new”].

Got milk?


15a    Musical phrase about fine female artist’s undesirable people (4-4)

{RIFF-RAFF} : [a melodic phrase mostly in popular music and jazz] containing(about) { [abbrev. for “fine”] + [abbrev. for “female”] + [postnominal letters for a member of the Royal Academy;an artist] }.

18a    Soldiers best dress for workplace (8)

{REFINERY} : [abbrev. for the engineering branch of the British Army] + [collective term for elaborate and showy dressing].

19a    What’s left after fine programme is cut short? (3,3)

{FAG END} : [abbrev. for “fine”] + [a programme of topics for a meeting] minus its last letter(cut short).

That’s right, put it in her, er, hat.

22a    Charge for small hotel after game (4)

{RUSH} : { [abbrev. for “small”] + [abbrev. for “hotel”] } placed after(after) [abbrev. for the sport often played at Twickenham].

Remember him?:

23a    Politician says piece (9)

{STATESMAN} : [says, formally] + [any piece on the chessboard].

26a    Run down mountain full of need (7)

{BLACKEN} : [a mountain, in Scottish] containing(full of) [without, and hence needing].

Defn: …. eg. one’s reputation.

27a    Italy’s getting into mixing of blue and green energy source (7)

{BIOFUEL} : [abbrev. for “Italy”] contained in(getting into) anagram of(mixing)OF BLUE.

28a    Racing to convert soft-spoken Right (3,5,2,5)

{THE SPORT OF KINGS} : Anagram of(to convert) SOFT-SPOKEN RIGHT.


1d    50 per cent of potential covers amount for these creatures (7)

{POSSUMS} : 1st 4 letters out of 8 of(50 per cent of) [potential;could be] containing(covers) [an amount, eg. of money].

Here’s one, whose kind is famed for playing dead:

2d    Respond, about to suppress part of drama (5)

{REACT} : [abbrev. for “with reference to”;about] placed above(to suppress, as in “to crack down on”, in a down clue) [a part of a play].

3d    Consider action initially in restructuring internet (9)

{ENTERTAIN} : 1st letter of(initially) “action” contained in(in) anagram of(restructuring)INTERNET.

Defn: … eg. thoughts of being this or that.

4d    High-pitched sound under pump regularly increasing (6)

{UPPING} : [a high-pitched sound – think sonar] placed below(under, in a down clue) 2nd and 4th letters of(regularly) “pump”.

Defn: … eg. as retailers do with prices.

5d    Hang about — that’s ladies’ underwear! (8)

{LINGERIE} : [hang about;be slow in leaving] + [abbrev. for “id est”;that is].

6d    Curse track showing love for Portugal (4)

{OATH} : [a track, especially a narrow one] with [the letter representing 0;love in tennis scores] replacing(for) [abbrev. for “Portugal”].

Defn: As a noun.

7d    Triumph, say, in natural surroundings personified (9)

{INCARNATE} : [an example;say, of what was produced by Triumph] contained in(in … surroundings) [natural;inborn].

8d    Terribly fond of holding son, goes to sleep (4,3)

{NODS OFF} : Anagram of(Terribly) { FOND OF + [abbrev. for “son”] }.

14d    Hide cause of BT failing (9)

{OBFUSCATE} : Anagram of(failing) CAUSE OF BT.

Defn:  … by obscuring, by darkening, or by confusing.


16d    Set up Labour’s underlying structure? (9)

{FRAMEWORK} : [labour;toil] placed below(…’s underlying, in a down clue) [a structure that gives shape or support].

17d    Person wanting to be in good nick? (8)

{PRISONER} : Cryptic defn: One who, if given the choice, would want to be in a good jail;nick in slang, and yet, while there, might not be in good nick;in good condition.

18d    Food that might entice an American coin collector? (7)

{RAREBIT} : Cryptic defn: A small coin, especially in North America, which a numismatist would be enticed to add to add to his/her collection (4,3).

20d    Daughter approaches swings (7)

{DANGLES} : [abbrev. for “daughter”] + [approaches;points of view from different directions].

21d    Primate mostly eating root of marram grass (6)

{BAMBOO} : [any of a genus of primates with an elongated muzzle, and sometimes red at the other end, see below] minus its last letter(mostly) containing(eating) 1st letter of(root of) “marram”. These primates eat grasses, and marram is also a grass.

24d    Regret love affair in France without a name (5)

{MOURN} : [a love affair from French] minus(without) “a” + [abbrev. for “name”].

25d    Bound to drink around the end of week (4)

{SKIP} : [to drink in small mouthfuls] containing(around) the last letter of(the end of) “week”.

Remember his name?:

The Quick crossword pun: (mare} + {see} + {bow} + {coo} = {merci beaucoup}

54 comments on “DT 27322

  1. There were a couple of late questions last week which I couldn’t respond to. I’m wasn’t ignoring them, rather, because of the different time zones, I read them only in the morning after. I am reminded also, that since the clocks where most of you are, have been wound back this last weekend, it now means that I won’t be able to respond to even more late questions. But I’m sure they won’t go unanswered, thanks to others.

  2. There was a late comment last week that I got to in the morning. I’m mindful of not starting an endless discussion, but I’d like to make a couple of points.

    It is of course one’s prerogative to be offended and/or sad and/or whatever. Just as it’s my prerogative (and preference) to perceive the beauty in all of nature, in the countless combinations of both physical and spiritual forms. Where relevant, and where I can, I would show, too, the beauty of spirit. Don’t get me wrong: I’m as much against porn and its effect on immature minds, as the next person, but that is a horse of a different colour.

    And I’m not here to change the world – not even anyone’s mind in that regard.

    Lastly, an (old) story to cheer some, and make others even sadder:
    A person is being tested with the Rorschach ink blots. The tester starts with the first blot.
    Tester: “Tell me what are you reminded of when you see this”.
    Testee: “I think of ………..” (A sexual activity in explicit and lurid detail)
    Tester: “And this” (the second blot)
    Testee: “I think of ……..” (More of the same).
    This goes on with the other ink blots, until finally:
    Tester (exasperated): “You know what’s wrong with you? You’re obsessed with sex!”
    Testee (offended and indignant): “What do you mean? Me obsessed?! Who’s the one showing me the dirty pictures?!”
    Okay, so they’re not ink blots, but, for sure, they’re not dirty (not even ugly) pictures.

  3. Wow – I found this one really tough.

    I think I’ve done it but I’m having to check my answers to see if they’re right and to get some explanations.

    Thanks for that.

  4. A steady solve for me…until 21D. I just couldn’t see it, and a big D’oh moment when I read the hint! Loved 14D simply because it’s a favorite word of mine. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review.

  5. Very tough but I eventually got there but very little fun, just a damned hard slog.
    Still don’t get the suppress in 2d and I must say I thought 6d and 1d horrid clues, both very clumsy. At first I didn’t like 18d but it has grown on me. On the up side I did like 10a and 13a.

    1. Sorry, my carelessness. It should be “suppress”=placed above, in a down clue. Blog corrected.

  6. Fairly straightforward and completed comfortably before lights out last night (even with one hour less solving time this week) – **/** for me. Favourite 14d.

  7. A real feeling of satisfaction solving this very enjoyable puzzle. Not helped by having reply as my first solution for 2d…it does work, trust me!

    Thanks to the setter and sschua. I should add that I always look forward to the art.

    1. Yes, it does work. With my choice of two answers, I waited to get letters before deciding which.

    2. Hi Roger, Merusa and Toni,
      I’m not doubting any of you but could someone explain to a bear of very little brain how reply works for 2d?

      1. Respond: about (re) to suppress part of drama (ply) … play without the “a” as part of drama. I’m no expert at explaining!

      2. Strictly, reply does not work as the answer for 2d. The general rule is that if the setter wants you to remove a letter from a word, he must tell you which letter to remove – headless, decapitated, lead free to remove the first, endless, brief, etc to remove the last letter, heartless to remove the middle letter, etc.

        In 2d down, part of drama does not tell you to remove a specific letter so as clue get PLY from PLAY it would be considered unfair.

        1. Wow! That’s very specific. If only setters were always fair.
          Should win you a place in pedants’ corner if your lucky, but no cake. :)

  8. This was definitely a case of solving one clue at a time to see where it led. I was held up on 7D for a fair while as I immediately thought of motorbikes and couldn’t get them out of my head. Nice to see 14D – a word that should be used much more in my opinion. I thought the two big anagrams were excellent, but my favourite today has to be 18D – must be the Welsh blood in me.

  9. Some of the clues a little bit too hard for me (1d and 11a), and I’m in a hurry as well , so that didn’t help.The rest of it was lovely.Thanks to Jay and scchua although I can’t get my head around your explanation of 11a.I don’t expect to be on line later, so if there is a response to this, I’m not being rude.

    1. Una, 11a: complete=utter eg. utter rubbish + an=article in grammar + ce=church of england. Except that the clue reads “church on” (and not “on church”), so “on” is interpreted as “ce” to be added at the end of {complete article}, the curly brackets used as per my explanation.

  10. For some reason I found this really tricky but I can’t see why now. 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I read through all the across clues and didn’t even get one answer – decided that it was going to be a day when CS’s Wednesday rule was going to come into operation but didn’t do much better with the down clues to begin with.
    I didn’t get the two long answers – 1 and 28a – for ages even though I could see that they were anagrams.
    I think that I’m just having a dim day!
    Looking at it all again now there were some good clues – 1 and 13a and 5 and 14d. My favourite was 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Now I’m being dim again because I can’t remember the word for a word that sounds like what it means. Whatever it is I think 14d is one!

    1. Kath – are you trying to think of onomatopoeia? I wonder if that has ever appeared in a crossword.

        1. Thanks Andy. But, give me a clue, how did the clue read? (I am supposed to be working right now). Thanks again.

          1. all it says is not very helpful!
            18. ONOMATOPOEIA – ON (on) + OM (order) + AT (at) + OP (work) + {A (article) + IE (that is) + O (old)} backwards

            and folk complain about scchua….

            1. Tanks Andy. I was staring at onomatopoeia over my lunch to see if the letters cold be used to construct a (meaningful) phrase that could be used in an anagram clue – no luck so far.

    2. Really sorry for mentioning the word that I couldn’t remember! I didn’t mean to cause any angst!!

  11. Puzzle of the week so far for me. No real difficulty, although I spent a while on 4d, my last in.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the comments (and the joke).

  12. Good, light-hearted fun – thanks Jay. Having spent 40 happy years of my life living near Newmarket had no problem with 28a; among several other entertaining clues I also liked 10a and 18a. **/*** for me.

  13. Would a kind person who has today’s newspaper please tell me who set the toughie, so I can decide if I am going to look at it? The online site does not have it showing today.

  14. We thought this was quite tricky today, & it required a lot of crossing outs & changing things to finally finish. I must say scchua, that I take my hat off to you if you can find spiritual & physical beauty in the picture for 21d. I’m afraid we are not so high minded, we just thought it was quite funny. Thank you to the setter & to the hinter.

    1. I wouldn’t describe myself as “high-minded”. Sometimes, all that’s required is to wonder and ask the right questions in order to appreciate nature’s beauty and its workings: how did that red bottom come about and why? And yes, I too found it funny as well – I find that things may be beautiful, funny, etc. all at the same time.

  15. It’s been commented on many times but it still never fails to amaze me how some people find a puzzle easy which I find really hard and vice versa. After two days of 1* difficulty puzzles for me and just as I was foolishly thinking I must be getting better, I just couldn’t get onto Jay’s wavelength today and found this a real struggle. My rating is 3.5* for difficulty and 2.5* for enjoyment.

    I put in the answer to 17d but, apart from the “nick” bit, even with Scchua’s hint I still don’t understand the wordplay. I also needed Scchua’s help for 21d and 24d, for which many thanks, and thanks too to Jay..

    1. All to do with wave lengths. I found it difficult today too so you’re not alone, and I’m glad that I’m not either.
      There are no catches to 17d or, if there are, I’ve missed them. Good nick can mean in a generally good state and also a really nice prison, if there’s any such thing.

  16. Great puzzle, very enjoyable. Needed the hint for the “why” of 6d, otherwise just good fun. It did need some thought but that just added to the enjoyment. Thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  17. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but quite tricky puzzle. Managed to complete it in two sittings, was left with 1a & the NE corner. Once I realised 1a was an anagram, I solved It and all fell into place. Favourite was 1a for it’s superb misdirection, when the grid was clear, I thought the answer might be breathing spaces. Was 3*/4* for me. Too much moisture on the bay window roof earlier, couldn’t get the pigeon spikes to stick, so like this puzzle, it will be done in two settings.

  18. If it’s any consolation to those who found this a trifle difficult, the Online Telegraph gave it ***** for difficulty. As a puzzle plodder I nearly gave it a miss but surprised myself by getting most clues without help when I usually struggle with *** and over.
    The ratings are an endless source of fascination but from other postings it seems that a lot of our brains have good days or bad days and click into the setters or don’t, hence the impossibility of getting the rating right for everyone.
    I really enjoyed this one. Thanks to setter and scchua for hints.

    1. Where do you find the rating for the online version? I download for the DT website and I don’t see it.

  19. Thank you Jay. It has taken us all day today to finish this – on and off whilst driving up to Bath. We found it very difficult and one of Jay’s harder puzzles. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints and the usual tasteful photos !

  20. I thought this was quite difficult, at least ***, and not particularly enjoyable, it seemed devoid of wit. Too much word-snipping.

    I’d also dispute that the answer to 1A is a Scientist’s aspiration. All Scientists know it’s not possible so would never have it as an aspiration…

  21. First pass only seven in but persevered until only three left so needed the hints.
    Very enjoyable.
    Thanks to both

  22. Lovely Jay puzzle – ta muchly. Done mostly by my visitor – mostly him as I kept my gob shut for once and let him get on with it, I just filled in the odd gaps at the end – he done good for an admited novice :grin:

    @Kath above – My mate got only 3 across clues on first pass but then 9 downs. Opened it up a tad :smile:

    Thanks to Jay for a great puzzle that was just about the right standard for my friend.

    1. I had 3 across clues on first reading, and for quite a while that was all. Was in serious panic mode having done the Toughie and Guarniad first :) Hope you and Pommette fairing well

  23. Thank you,Schuua for responding to my comment-I didn’t think anyone would read it, tucked away as it was! (OCT.24th, page 2, not 3! ) I am sure the editors of the Sun and all ladsmags would advance the same point of view as yourself! I am sad to see such pictures in the DT (or its blog) because I thought it was a cut above those periodicals. No, not dirty, just smutty. A question-does porn only have an effect on immature minds?

  24. Thought this a very good puzzle indeed, and gave **** for enjoyment. :grin: It was completed without Scchua’s lovely hints, which I did, however, find enlightening. I had not heard of the ‘musical phrase’ in 15a; I needed an explanation for 22a; and I needed reminding of that meaning of ‘piece’ in 23a. Being able to check my parsing with such ‘hints and tips’ is something I always find invaluable. :smile:
    Appreciative thanks to you both, Jay and Scchua.

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