DT 27335 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27335

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27335

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Maybe a bit easier than usual, but still a typical Ray T puzzle.

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    Despotic Italian rat to broadcast (12)
{TOTALITARIAN} – an anagram (broadcast) of ITALIAN RAT TO

9a    On the right bearing, sailor turned off reportedly (9)
{STARBOARD} – a compass bearing followed by a three-letter sailor and what sounds like (reportedly) an adjective meaning turned off or fed up

10a    Get to every single redhead first (5)
{REACH} – a word meaning every single preceded by (first) the initial letter (head) of Red

11a    Food for city animal’s den (6)
{ÉCLAIR} – to get this item of food, defined by Chambers as “a cake, long in shape but short in duration”, the postcode of the City of London is followed by an animal’s den

12a    Charming provincial embracing London leader (8)
{PLEASANT} – a provincial or rustic around (embracing) the initial letter (leader) of London

13a    Underground vehicle taken back with awful Yank initially (6)
{SUBWAY} – a public service vehicle is reversed (taken back) and followed by the initial letters of three words in the clue

15a    Sluggishness at work? (8)
{INACTION} – split as (2,6) this means at work

18a    A strike revolt over in slaughterhouse (8)
{ABATTOIR} – the A from the clue and a verb meaning to strike or hit followed by the reversal (over) of a revolt

19a    One removes writing by Queen after ages (6)
{ERASER} – the Queen’s regnal cipher preceded by some long periods of time (ages)

21a    Concrete is turned over in barrel, big, naturally (8)
{TANGIBLE} –hidden (in) and reversed (turned over) inside the clue

23a    ‘Get Back‘ is gone from precious compilation (6)
{RECOUP} – drop IS from an anagram (compilation) of PREC(I)OU(S)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a    Ladders containing last of big steps (5)
{RUNGS} – ladders, like those in stockings, around the final letter (last) of biG

27a    Brave daughter missing some female relatives? (9)
{DAUNTLESS} – D(aughter) followed by an adjective indicating a lack of elderly female relatives

28a    Excess remnant with piece in shreds (12)
{INTEMPERANCE} – an anagram (in shreds) of REMNANT with PIECE


1d    They conduct examinations of graduates, tersely (7)
{TESTERS} – hidden (of) inside the clue

2d    Dog‘s behind when taking run (5)
{TRAIL} – this verb meaning to dog is derived from a word meaning behind around R(un)

3d    Oil from car, until changed, black inside (9)
{LUBRICANT} – an anagram (changed) of CAR UNTIL around (with … inside) B(lack)

4d    Confine water source, restricting river (4)
{TRAP} – the source of water inside a house around (restricting) R(iver)

5d    Give in, accepting affair’s suggestive (8)
{REDOLENT} – a verb meaning to give in around an affair or function

6d    Tenor in vocal solo entrances (5)
{ATRIA} – T(enor) inside an operatic vocal solo

7d    Whims to produce silver in metamorphoses (8)
{VAGARIES} – the chemical symbol for silver inside a verb meaning metamorphoses or changes

8d    Pale while having sex (6)
{WHITEN} – a word meaning while around (having) a two-letter word for sex

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d    Beam end coming down hitting head (8)
{BRAINING} – the initial letter of Beam, Ray T’s Toughie alter ego, followed by the coming down of water from clouds

16d    Get in after fish and chips (9)
{CARPENTER} – a verb meaning to get in after a fish gives this worker who is colloquially call chips

17d    Man perhaps almost taken in trick move (8)
{DISLODGE} – start with the most of the type of land of which Man, in the Irish Sea, is an example (perhaps) and insert inside (taken in) a trick or ruse

18d    Habit‘s a passion needing to keep sober (6)
{ATTIRE} – the A from the clue and passion or rage around (needing to keep) the two-letter abbreviation meaning sober

20d    Letter I posted including reply (7)
{RIPOSTE} – hidden (including) inside the clue

22d    Cribs enabling to comprehend foreign author (5)
{IBSEN} – also hidden (to comprehend) inside the clue!

24d    Old container circling English main (5)
{OCEAN} – O(ld) and a container around (circling) E(nglish)

25d    Bounce backside on piano (4)
{BUMP} a slang word for the backside followed by P(iano)

The four hidden word clues mean that there are plenty of ways into this puzzle. Anagram count is four, as opposed to eleven yesterday.

The Quick crossword pun: (pry} + {fit} + {high} = {private eye}

61 comments on “DT 27335

  1. Nice offering from Ray T today. Took me a while to decide if 28A was an anagram and which words were required to solve it but soon dropped into place. I was quite chuffed today when I looked at 1A and spotted it straight away http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    Oooo we’ve leapt into the lead today Daiy Advertiser 1: Crossword 3 can it be that the Powers That Be have finally seen the light?

  2. Morning Dave I quite liked this one today but needed help in the top right corner so a three star for me, I thought 17d was quite a ‘toughie’ , also I thought ‘atria’ were enclosed spaces not entrances? I did actually have a favourite clue today 23a, bright windy day here, leaves blowing everywhere but still a lot of colour in the garden, out for lunch with friend now back later :-)

    1. A Roman atrium was an entrance hall or courtyard; in English it can also mean the covered portico of a church, apparently.

  3. Rating 2.5*/5*! What a wonderful week so far, with today’s puzzle being the cream of the crop!

    For me this was brilliant in every possible way: the right level of difficulty, beautiful surface readings, lots of humour.

    Too many great clues to list them all, but 16d just edged out 21a as my favourite.

    My last one in was 17d which took me a lot longer than any of the others to solve and pushed my difficulty rating up half a notch from 2*.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD for his review.

  4. This definitely took me longer than usual. Last three in were 7D 21A and 17D and I really had to think hard. Spent a while trying to justify pass for 25D, too! In the end, 21D and 17 down were favorites….along with 25D. Many thanks to Ray T, and to BD for the review and the trip down memory lane with the video.

  5. Another great crossword. I agree with 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    The four hidden-in-the-middle answers may be an easy way into the puzzle for most people – I still always miss them, specially when they’re reversed or are over two lines in the clue.
    14d was my last answer – couldn’t see it and even when I did I wasn’t sure why ‘B’ was an end. I suppose it is one end but it looks like a beginning to me.
    Apart from 14d and most of the hidden answers I didn’t have too much trouble – are Ray T’s crosswords getting easier?
    I liked 9 and 23a and 6 and 25d. My favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    I’ve had more trouble with the quick crossword today – couldn’t get the pun for ages and was about to ask for help with 11a and 4d but have just seen them.

  6. I only realised 21a was a hidden word after reading the blog. 17d was one that baffled me, I had the word but couldn’t work out the ‘parsing’ .

    Thanks – a really good puzzle!

  7. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Super stuff as usual from Ray T, lots of innuendo, great fun. Was 2*/4* for me. Last in was 17d, which took a while. Was held up a little bit in the SW corner. Favourite was 16d, but a lot of great clues. Sun has gone in now in Central London. Might try the Toughie now, I hope it’s easier than yesterday’s. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  8. 2*/4* for me too. Last one in for me was 14d.
    Many thanks to RayT for the entertainment, and to Big Dave for the comments.

  9. Glad all seemed to enjoy the puzzle, and I agree with the BD enjoyment **** rating .Not sure about the difficulty as it was done in ** time but I thought that the ‘difficulty’ of the clues was ***. I know it’s personal but how do the reviewers decide on the difficulty rating BD ? Favourite like Heno 16d,

    1. I’m sure we all have different ways of doing it, but I apply a formula to my solving time on Telegraph Puzzles, and adjust it for interruptions etc. As I have said many times before, it’s only intended as a guide in much the same way as Sudoku puzzles are rated Gentle, Moderate, Tough and Diabolical.

      1. Nothing to do with today’s crossword, but how do the setters of Sudoku puzzles make them Gentle, Moderate, Tough and Diabolical? Or does a computer do it?

        I always find the Monday “Gentle” Killer Sudoku far more difficult than the Friday “Diabolical”!

        1. That’s what Mr CS usually finds. We have a fair division of puzzles in our house, I do the ‘words’, he does the numbers’ but we do share duties with the large Saturday GK puzzle.

          1. I share the Saturday GK puzzle with Mr Google … sometimes he’s no help at all!

            (But, not very often!)

            Many, many years ago the Guardian used to set a very difficult GK quiz for the Easter (or) Xmas holidays – I suppose that’s a thing of the past!

            It was always more fun searching through books & encyclopaedias!

            (My first attempt at spelling encyclopedia was wrong!)

            Regards, Miserable Old Git!

        2. I think the sudokus are rated by the ease at which you get started (after all, they’re all pretty easy when there’s only 1 outstanding number). If you can fill a fair proportion in by saying ‘its in that column and that row’, that’s rate easy, if there are only a few, then the rating is moderate, if there’s only 1 then the rating is tough and if none at all, then the rating is diblibobical. They’re also rated diblibobical if there is only one number that can be fitted in on the first pass I believe. For some reason, I tend to find the Moderate and Hard ones easier to do – I end to rush the easy ones and make mistakes.

          1. Me too with the easy or gentle sudokus – I almost always screw them up – don’t know why. I find the moderate and tough fine, usually, and don’t even try the diabolical because right at the end there’s always that bit where you have to guess and I don’t see the point – surely it should be possible to work it out through logic or there’s just no point.

            1. One thing about Sudokus …

              … if you get stuck on the crossword …

              … 5 minutes on the Sudoku … then return to the crossword and (sometimes) all will become clear. The Brain works in mysterious ways!

              1. If I get stuck on the crossword a cup of coffee and a wander up the garden, pulling up weeds or hanging out washing as I go, usually works wonders. I agree that the brain (or even the Brian) works in mysterious ways.

            2. You should never have to guess. There’s a good book that helps you with advanced techniques. I’ve got it but I can,t find it. I’ll keep looking. I know I’ll look on Amazon. Wait a sec.

              1. . . . but right at the end of the really tricky sudokus you do have to guess. My sister calls it hypothesising but that, to me at least, is just a highfaluting way of saying guess – she can’t do cryptics at all and justifies her inability by saying that it’s all formulaic and she just hasn’t quite worked out the formulae yet . . .

            3. It’s called “mastering sudoku week by week”
              By Paul Stephens.
              Tell Santa or Father Christmas depending where you live.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

              1. I get all my games through Steam (I might be 56, but I’m an avid computer gamer – always have been), they have an excellent Sudoku game which trains you as you do them. Doesn’t always help mind you (having said that, you can plug in your own puzzle and get it to give you hints although often it says it is unsolvable !)

                  1. Yes, its Zen of Sudoku, but I’ve never tried it on Ipad – only use steam on the PC, not sure if Steam is available on Ipad

  10. Usual time for a Ray T for me. Thanks to him for a nice start to Thursday and to BD for the explanations.

    I agree with Jezza’s thoughts on the Toughie.

  11. Quick solve for me which is very unusual for a Thursday. Had a good week, hardly any help. None today.
    Thanks to bothhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  12. Fav. today is 27 across, quite a funny word I think. Needed a bit of help as usual, for which thank you BD & the setter too of course. I like the emoticons, but because I can’t hover, I just have to guess at their meanings which means entirely the wrong impression may be given to the one I’m intending.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  13. 27a is also the name of several Royal Navy warships, the most famous of which had a starring role in “Pirates of the Caribbean” – end of trivia for today.

  14. Well, I did finish but got stuck with still a few to go and had to resort to gizmo to bail me out. Prefer not to use it if I can but today I could not get 21a without it, and after all that had to get the “why” from BD. It was a good workout for me but enjoyable nevertheless. Favourite? 27a. Thanks to all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        1. Lord, how cum I didn’t recognise him? How soon we forget, even though I was only seven when the war ended!

  15. Well I managed to finish it with some help from the hints, would never have got 21a, 7d or 27d in a month of Sundays! Did like 23a and 27a though.
    All I can say is thank The Lord for anagrams :-)
    Thx to BD for the invaluable hints.

  16. Thank you Ray T, never easy for me ! but got there in the end. Thanks BD for the review and hints. For some reason 14d seemed to be a rather unattractive word !

  17. I managed quite a lot unaided , which is unusual for me with a Ray T, but it was stilll hard work , so three star difficulty for me . Putting in “snags” as in ladders in tights didn’t help.Thanks, Dave for your help there. Favourites are 7d and 27a.

  18. Our statement of “Oh goody a RayT” as we sat down with this puzzle, was fully justified again. 17d was also our last one in. Good fun.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  19. Not crossword related : on the front page of the Telegraph today, Camilla’s remarks on Charles “Hopeless, annoying, exhausting”- pretty much applies to most spouses , I think, and specifically Miffytops.

    1. No – not to mine or Miffypops – mine is pretty good (most of the time) and as for Miffypops I think he just likes to wind up the feminists and cause a bit of rumpus, which he does very successfully. I love it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  20. Lovely crossword with good mix of easier and fun clues, and others that were more difficult. Thanks to Ray T, and Big Dave.

  21. Well, thought I was never going to get started but eventually managed to complete without hints. Liked 16d and not much else! Hence I’m afraid I disagree with you Big Dave ****/**.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  22. Setter here, with many thanks to BD and to everybody who left a comment. As I may have said before, all very much appreciated!


    1. Thanks for popping in Ray. I notice you regularly say hello. Much appreciated.

      Even though you make me think really, really hard most, no, all, weeks!

  23. A bitty day today. Three left to do at 7d 14 d and 21ac but off to the theatre now. A good puzzle though. Ta to all.

  24. Always look forward to RayT puzzles, and enjoyed this immensely, giving it ****. I thought the concealment of the hidden clues was excellent. Fave clues were 27a and 16d. Big Dave’s lovely clear hints were not needed until afterwards. I was unsure where the first letter, for ‘city’, in 11a came from! Now I know and shall remember! Otherwise I had no queries.
    Big thanks to both RayT and Big Dave.

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