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DT 27328

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27328

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An enjoyable puzzle from Jay, to whom thanks. A 1.5*/3* rating from me.

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    In awe of deserter returning on board ship with transport (4-6)

{STAR-STRUCK} : Reversal of(returning) [a deserter, its kind said to be the first to leave a sinking ship] contained in(on board) [abbrev. for a steamship] plus(with) [a form of transport;a lorry].

6a    Priest left with a degree (4)

{LAMA} : [abbrev. for “left”] plus(with) A + [an academic degree, at a higher level than a Bachelor’s].

9a    Phones Mafia and lies badly (7)

{MOBILES} : [paired with “The”, a name for the American Mafia] plus(and) anagram of(badly) LIES.

This good idea should be legislated:

10a    Be left in the air, floundering with no answer (7)

{INHERIT} : Anagram of(floundering) “in the air” minus(with no) [abbrev. for “answer”].

Defn: … something by someone who’s left.

12a    Heritage organisation found in New Testament, originally? (8,5)

{NATIONAL TRUST} : Defn: … in the UK, whose initials(originally) are the same as the abbrev. for the”New Testament”.

14a    Put straight by requirement to accept a return of profit (8)

{NEATENED} : [a requirement;a pre-condition that has to be met] containing(to accept) reversal of(return of) [a profit;a gain after all deductions have been made].

15a    Time in prison – that is what golfer wants (6)

{BIRDIE} : [slang for a prison term, shortened from rhyming slang for “time”] + [abbrev. for Latin for “that is”].

Defn: A score for a hole that’s better than par.

Here’s another hint if you remember the musical.

17a    Smooth Nick’s naked and dry (6)

{IRONIC} : [to smooth, usually with an implement of the same name] + “Nick” minus its 2 outermost letters(…’s naked).

Defn: Said of humour or wit.

19a    Fork out if new bus is red (8)

{DISBURSE} : Anagram of(new) BUS IS RED.

Defn: …., eg. money.

21a    Minister accommodating family was worried about learner’s working rule (10,3)

{PARKINSON’S LAW} : [a minister;a parish priest, especially in the Church of England] containing(accommodating) [family;relatives collectively] + anagram of(worried) WAS containing(about) [abbrev. for “learner”].

Defn: A principle about the work environment, named after the former British civil servant who first articulated it. Corollaries to the rule include:

If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.

Data expands to fill the space available for storage.

Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity.

24a    Ground-breaking tracks reversing across motorway (7)

{SEMINAL} : Reversal of(reversing) [tracks;paths, especially in the countryside] containing(across) [the north-south motorway in England].

25a    Tools for putting rollers initially into driers (7)

{TROWELS} : The 1st letter of(initially) “rollers” contained in(into) [pieces of cloth for drying or covering, eg. bodies].


26a    Conned by academic with bearing (4)

{DONE} : [an academic, eg. a tutor in a university] plus(with) [abbrev. for one of the main compass bearings].

27a    Police wrong about unhappy little lad? No – the other way round! (4,2,4)

{BOYS IN BLUE} : [a wrong, especially morally] contained in(about … No – the other way round) [an unhappy little lad, as in the nursery rhyme].

Dressed in the right colour, but he’s definitely not in the Force:


1d    House mite’s home here? (4)

{SEMI} : Hidden in(…’s;contraction of “has”) “house mite”.

Defn: Short for a type of house, built in pairs, in which is home, yours and mites.

2d    One area under Britain is another country (7)

{ALBANIA} : { [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for “area”] } placed below(under, in a down clue) [the Welsh, Cornish and Breton equivalent of the name, once, for Great Britain]. OR The former Latinised name for Scotland, an area included under Britain.

3d    Result of votes on divorce? (5,8)

{SPLIT DECISION} : Double defn: 1st: A tally of votes that is not unanimous, especially in boxing; and 2nd: Cryptically, what either one or both of a couple makes before proceeding to divorce;separate.

4d    Fixed – sorted out after regime lost heart (8)

{RESTORED} : Anagram of(out) SORTED placed below(after, in a down clue) “regime” minus its 4 inner letters(lost heart).

5d    The majority of talk is about home country (5)

{CHINA} : [to talk, especially informally] minus its last letter(The majority of) containing(is about) [at home].

 Zhang Yuqi

7d    Silver bullet stuck on bottom (7)

{AGROUND} : [chemical symbol for the element silver] + [a bullet;a piece of ammunition].

Defn: … of the hull.

8d    Contrasts execution of Danes impounding church levies (10)

{ANTITHESES} : “Danes” minus its 1st letter(execution of) containing(impounding) [church levies, originally a tenth of what you make].

Defn: Those things which is are in direct contrast;in opposition.

11d    It holds basket below inflation when it’s rising (3-3,7)

{HOT-AIR BALLOON} : Cryptic defn: Craft with a basket under a gas-inflated container that causes it to rise.

The world’s most powerful vacuum cleaner?

13d    Unwilling to be sick (10)

{INDISPOSED} : Double defn: 1st: Disinclined;averse to; and 2nd: Mildly sick.

16d    Ringing can fool American (8)

{TINNITUS} : [a can;a container, usually of metal] + [a fool;a twit] + [an abbrev. for things American].

Defn: … in one’s ear or ears not caused by an external sound, but by a medical condition.

18d    Stroke for timeless sailors in sultanate (7)

{OARSMAN} : { [informal word for “sailors”] minus(…-less) [abbrev. for “time”) } containing(in) [name of a country in the Middle East, which is a sultanate].

Answer: Any one of the crew rowing a boat, of which the one nearest the stern is called the stroke.

20d    Sort of treatment for green wood (3,4)

{RAW DEAL} : [green;inexperienced] + [a plank of softwood timber].

Defn: … which is unfair.

22d    Barrage balloons finally seen on Oval ground (5)

{SALVO} : The last letter of(finally) “balloons” placed above(seen on, in a down clue) anagram of(ground) OVAL.

Defn: … of missiles, eg. from artillery.

23d    Man, say, caught by his legs (4)

{ISLE} : Hidden in(caught by) “his legs”.

Answer: An example of which;say, is Man, in the Irish Sea.

The Quick crossword pun: (want} + {dons} + {hoop} = {won ton soup}

57 comments on “DT 27328

  1. Very enjoyable and hints not needed today. I didn’t think much of 12A as a clue. Loved 8D, though. Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review.

  2. Thank you Jay, another enjoyable puzzle with some tricky clues. Thanks Scchua for your review, hints and unusually restrained but beautiful photos ! Agree with EP above re 12a.

  3. This was a fairly gentle offering from jay.Agree with the ratings from scchua and as usual some nice pictures, many thanks for the review.

  4. I thought this was very good; as always with Jay, the surface reading is very smooth.
    Thanks to him, and to scchua for the review.

  5. I found this was fairly straightforward. I finished all but 1d before lights out last night, and the answer for that one came to me before my eyes shut. A simple clue, I tried to make a lot more of. Thanks to Jay, it’s not very often I complete one of his puzzles without too many problems. So, I give this one **/****

  6. This was one of those that I found tricky while I was doing it and now can’t see why. 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I was slow to get going at all but eventually had just a few answers that took ages – 10 and 21a and 8d.
    I still don’t really understand 12a.
    I liked 15, 21 and 26a and 13 and 16d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Yesterday was our eldest daughter’s birthday so we’re off to London this evening to meet up with all of them for dinner. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      1. Hi Kath – can you put me out of my misery then please? Apart from the initial letters being NT, I don’t see why the answer to 12a is what it is.

          1. Thanks Sue – I know what the answer is/has to be. It’s just that apart from the initial letters being NT, I don’t see what else the clue’s supposed to be telling me. And if it’s just that those are the initial letters, it seems a particularly poor clue – or am I missing something?

            1. Both the New Testament and the National Trust are commonly (perhaps even mostly) refered to as “The NT”.

              I thought it an excellent clue. :-)

              1. Hmm…..well we’ll have to differ I’m afraid Steve. A bid of no trumps in various card games is also abbreviated to NT, but I wouldn’t expect that to point me toward the National Trust either, or the New Testament for that matter. Thanks to Jay whose puzzle was very enjoyable except for 12a, and to Scchua who always seems able to make the answer more complicated than the question! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                  1. OK, I give up. In future if we are given a general description (eg. aircraft carrier) and nothing else other than the initial letters of the words required for the answer (eg. A,R), I’ll consider that a complete cryptic clue and think it perfectly reasonable that the answer is Ark Royal.

  7. A very nice romp through this excellent puzzle whilst waiting for the bonfire clear up team to arrive. Steve The Beard will be pleased to know that all three large gazebos survived intact. the first responders didn’t have to, and the marshalls had very little to do. It looks like we will be giving out fair chunk of money to Long Itchington’s youth organisations and about 1,500 people left the premises with a smile on their faces. Ta to all as usual. i am off to clear up.

    1. Steve_the_beard is indeed pleased. :-)

      Was this an event in the Long Itch in Warwickshire, not far from Bishop’s Itch?

      If so, you might know Fillongley in the north of the county; that’s where we were last night!

      1. Yes Long Itchington Warwickshire. There is not much of Warwickshire I don’t know Steve. I hope your event went as well as ours.

  8. Probably the fastest I’ve finished a Wednesday crossword for quite a while, but no less enjoyable for all that.

    I must say, I quite enjoyed 12A – a bit different to other clues but fairly obvious I thought. I’m really torn between two as to which my favourite is today, but on reflection, I feel 16D has to come second to the wonderful 8D.

    Latest back page score : Daily Advertiser 3 : Crossword 0

  9. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay, I didn’t notice a single anagram, but counted four partial ones. 23d was in yesterday’s Toughie. Didn’t need the hints today, must have been on the right wavelength. Favourites were 25a & 27a. Last in was 21a. Was 2*/4* for me. Raining again in Central London. Off to the Toughie while the mood lasts. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  10. Really struggled with this one, three star for difficulty for me and very little enjoyment I’m afraid. Really disliked 10a, 5d and 8d and could someone please explain to me 27a (sorry Saccha but your explanation makes little sense to me).
    Also isn’t the explanation for 2d wrong? The old name was Albion not Alban.

    1. Wiki says :

      The term first appears in classical texts as Ἀλβίων or Ἀλουΐων (in Ptolemy’s writings in Greek), later as Albion in Latin documents. Historically, the term refers to Britain as a whole and is ultimately based on the Indo-European root for “white”.[1] It later came to be used by Gaelic speakers in the form of Alba (dative Albainn, genitive Albann, now obsolete) as the name given to the former kingdom of the Picts which had by the time of its first usage with this meaning, expanded around the time of king Causantín mac Áeda (Constantine II, 943-952). The region Breadalbane (Bràghad Albann, the upper part of “Alba”) takes its name from it as well.

      As for 27a : Unhappy lad = Blue Boy, put this round the other way (Boy Blue) and insert a ‘wrong’ ie sin

    2. The indicator “about” equates to “containing”, but if it’s “No – the other way round” then it equates to “contained in”.

      Here is the wiki link explaining how it got from Albion to Alban: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion

      Saccha? – that’s a new one to add to the collection.

  11. Another doable crossword with only a tiny little bit of help from Scchua. I’m telling a tiny little lie actually, because we needed more than a little help, but just not quite as much as usual. Thank you to all concerned. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  12. I suspect that was my quickest one ever…

    I liked 3d.
    21a did have a construction if you wanted to look for it. The trouble is it was too obvious once you had the second word and the synonym for family…

    2* for enjoyment.


  13. A really enjoyable puzzle from Jay – as usual!

    However, I was surprised that “balloon” appeared in both the clue for 22d and in the solution for 11d. An oversight or was it intentional?

    Favourite was 12a – the solution was obvious but the reasoning less so!

  14. **/**** (always give 4 stars if I complete the grid) – it’s always nice when 1a goes in straight away – I’ve lost count of the number of times I have to work from the bottom because I just don’t see the 1st clue, but not today!

  15. This started out easy but I struggled with the bottom left-hand corner; enjoyable nonetheless. Last one in was 21a, why? Heaven knows, it was so easy. Thanks to Jay and scchua for our hints, not needed today but always pleasant reading.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  16. I have never made any comments to this blog in the past. Didn’t need the hints today, but I always enjoy looking at sschua’s hints, He uses more brackets than anyone who ever had to suffer 2 years of ‘O’ Level Maths. At times his profligate use of brackets is more amusing than the Matt cartoon. My Eng. Lit. teacher used to say that the use of brackets indicated an inability to organise one’s thoughts, structure one’s language and punctuate correctly. Far be it from me to comment. Keep going sschua, convoluted bracketting is a rare art, you are a master of it.They make everything far more twisted and coiled than any cryptic clue in the puzzle.

    1. Welcome to the blog roger.
      We have an existing commenter who uses Roger as his handle, so it would avoid potential confusion if you could choose a different alias or append extra character(s) to this one.

    2. Ah! I see where your problem is: instead of reading the hints as they are intended to be, you are LOOKING at them! And, of course, you haven’t twigged that I’m not writing literature here. And it would be too much to expect you to notice that the brackets, the italics, and the colour (as explained at the bottom of the preamble) serve to structure and organise the significance of the various elements in the clues. Convoluted? Only if one can’t grasp elementary maths.

  17. I loved this. Didn’t need the hints although it took me a while to tune in.
    Favourite 14a
    Thanks to both.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  18. Today I did half before going to my art class, comong home the rest is no clearer so this is one of the rare days I give uphttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. How differently we all think. I’ll remember this when you next give a * rating to a puzzle I feel is a ****!

  19. Been busy much of the day and unable to give much time to today’s puzzle, so struggled rather, and used the hints/answers to work back the reasoning! Obviously not on wavelength today, but heigh-ho, there’s always another day!
    Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  20. Oh dear scchua, sorry I rattled you. Rest easy, I don’t have a problem, read again, I look to your multi-bracketted hints for amusement, fun. I agree completely, your hints do not provide a literate example of English. I have read and digested your explanations – nice after thoughts following the bracketsOh and don’t worry about my elementary maths. Only a 2.1 at a moderate red brick – still that was a lot of years ago. Keep bracketting

    1. Thanks for changing your alias, rogerd.
      It’s useful to click the ‘reply’ button when adding to an existing thread (as I’ve done here). That ensures that related comments are kept together.

  21. Very late start for me today, I’m going for a rating of 2*/3*.

    This was good fun, with the SW corner taking me slightly longer than the other three corners together.
    For 2d I thought ”Alban” referred specifically to Scotland, but when I checked the BRB it says it refers to “Britain, especially Scotland”!

    But why, oh why, is there no apostrophe in the enumeration for 21d? Should Jay be sent to the naughty corner or should I be sent to the pedants’ corner (although I do actually have a permanent seat there) or both?

    The one thing I don’t understand today is why “DO” means “academic” in 26a.

    Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable puzzle and to Scchua for the hints.

      1. Ruth, you are absolutely right! Thank you for putting me out of my misery.

        Having decided correctly that the answer meant conned, I wrongly assumed that the bearing (compass direction) was NE preceded by a two letter word for academic.

        In fact the compass bearing is E and it is preceded by a three letter word for academic!

      2. The “e” is the bearing, as in north, south, east, west, attached to the don, the academic

  22. I didn’t find this one bit easy but struggled on and got there in the end with a bit of help from Scchua, or Saccha as he may prefer to be known.Apart from 12a, I think 11d is barely cryptic. I liked 13d and 16d amoung many others.Thanks to all concerned.

  23. Many thanks Jay, this was a terrific puzzle – best for ages. Let’s have more of the same! Much enjoyment plus considerable exercise for the old grey matter. Took a while to get going but in retrospect can’t imagine why. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gifInteresting to see wide variety of opinions above which shows the diversity of our wavelengths. ***/****.

  24. Usual quality puzzle from Jay for which many thanks and same to Scchua for the concise analysis .favourite probably 27a but much to like .

  25. I really liked this puzzle and gave it **** for enjoyment. Many enjoyable clues, and I particularly liked 21a, 8d and 20d. Super hints and review to match the subject, Scchua.
    Big thanks to you both, Jay and Scchua.


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