DT27341 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27341

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where Winter seems to have arrived while I was in the UK last week. At least it’s sunny even if a bit chilly.  I enjoyed this puzzle but, while writing the review, I got the impression it shouldn’t have taken as long to solve as it did! As usual the ones I like most are in blue, quite a lot of it today!

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           Strips off article back in bed? (6)
{ASLEEP} – Take a word for strips off, clothes or the skin of an apple perhaps, follow with the indefinite article and then reverse (back) the lot.

5a           Obliged really to confine basket case (8)
{INDEBTED} – A word for really or certainly with BT (BaskeT case) inserted.  This was my last in and is responsible for the third difficulty star. For some reason it took ages for the penny to drop on what is the definitiion.

9a           Improves following terribly acute burns (10)
{CAUTERISES} – Start with an anagram (terribly) of acute and follow with a word for improves or goes up.

10a         Soaked taking on hard grind (4)
{WHET} – Grind as in sharpen a blade perhaps. A word for soaked or moist and insert H(ard)

11a         Submerge to catch large fish (8)
{FLOUNDER} – Insert L(arge) into a word meaning submerge or sink and you get a fish.  It may be a bit of a chestnut but I like it!.

12a         Time with grass inside for mistakes (6)
{ERRATA} – One of the usual times with a word for to grass on someone inserted  (inside). Another chestnut methinks!

13a         Singer Gaga making comeback … (4)
{DIVA} – You need a word for enthusiastic or gaga about something and reverse it (making comeback).

15a         … song, crazy chick covering Queen single (8)
{MADRIGAL} – A song from Henry VIII’s time.  Take a word for crazy (3) followed by a girl (3) and between them insert (covering) R(egina) and I (one).

18a         Funny man‘s about average with old content (8)
{COMEDIAN} – A one letter  abbreviation for about followed by a word for average  as in middle and insert O(ld).

19a         Mine includes mid-evening drink (4)
{PINT} – Insert N (mid- eveNing) into a mine to get a drink of beer.

21a         Rugby club endlessly rough (6)
{RUSTIC} – Abbreviation for a form of rugby followed by a club without its last letter (endlessly). I spent a while on this one trying to think of a rugby club which I could take the end off, which was exactly what the setter intended!

23a         Metaphor is maybe conveying proverb (8)
{APHORISM} – It’s hidden (conveying) in metaphor is maybe.

25a         Naked apart from burlesque ending (4)
{BARE} – A word for ‘apart from’ followed by E (burlesquE ending).  I’ve resisted the temptation . . . !

26a         First using mouth to swallow one drink (10)
{ORIGINALLY} – Take a word for using  your mouth, to take a medicine perhaps) and insert (to swallow) I (one) and a drink

27a         Feeling that is not heartless after broadcast (8)
{SENTIENT} – Feeling as an adjective as in alive or aware.  Take the usual letters for ‘that is’ and then NT (N(o)T heartless) and place them after a word for broadcast.

28a         Respect sweetheart before engagement’s over (6)
{ESTEEM} – E (swEet heart) followed by some engagements, for fox hunting maybe, but they’re reversed (over).


2d           Hold up  kiosk (5)
{STALL} – Double definition, the second is the sort of kiosk you may find in a market.

3d           Train engine’s first to run about on time (9)
{ENTOURAGE} – A train as in a following. Start with E (Engines first) and follow with an anagram (about) of TO RUN and place that lot on a long time.

4d           Send up giving stick in benefit (6)
{PARODY} – Place a stick (3) in a benefit you may get from working.

5d           Fan must start in line to see musician (15)
{INSTRUMENTALIST} – An anagram (fan) of MUST START IN LINE.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen FAN used as an anagram indicator before!

6d           Girl’s rear in trousers ends giving bulges (8)
{DISTENDS} – A shortened girl’s name (don’t forget the S) followed by a word for rear as in final part inserted into TS (TrouserS ends).  Seems a bit odd having the word for REAR also appearing in the clue! If I never again see ‘GIRL’ used to clue thesetwo letters it will be too soon!

7d           Shady place for bender? (5)
{BOWER}- Double definition, the second slightly cryptic.

8d           Irritation indeed seen within damaged retina (9)
{EYESTRAIN} –You need a word for indeed or showing agreement and insert into an anagram (damaged) of RETINA.

14d         Inject syringe’s centre and roughly clean out (9)
{INOCULATE} – “Syringe’s centre” is, of course, the letter I, follow it with an anagram (roughly) of CLEAN OUT.

16d         Noted compiler’s left a note, oddly (9)
{IMPORTANT} – This is a charade of how the compiler might say “he is”, left on a yacht, A (from the clue) and the odd letters (oddly) from NoTe.

17d         Make public record on waste (8)
{DISCLOSE} – A record followed by a word for to waste.

20d         Holy place seeing religious leader bathed in glow (6)
{SHRINE} – R (Religious leader) inserted into a word for to glow, as a light bulb maybe.

22d         Newspaper with article on crime (5)
{THEFT} – The pink paper with an article placed before (on in a down clue).

24d         Crack one found around top of vase (5)
{SOLVE} – Crack as in what you want to do to this clue! A word for one or alone placed around V (top of Vase).

Anagrams aren’t my favourite clues but this time I’ll make an exception for 5d.

The Quick crossword pun: (lower} + {slain} = {Lois Lane}

66 comments on “DT27341

  1. Many thanks Ray T – if it was you ! I really enjoyed that. It was just at the right level of difficulty for me. Any harder and I wouldn’t have time to go out for lunch and do all the other stuff ! So many good clues IMHO. Thanks Pommers for your review and hints and appropriate photos.

    1. Definitely a Ray T today – very clever clues, mention of Queen and single word clues in the quickie, not to mention that it seemed easier to start a the bottom and work up

      1. Aren’t the other trademarks of Ray T a bit of innuendo, and no more than 8 words in any clue, both of which also apply today? And it’s Thursday!

        1. Yep – that’s what you get for staying up half the night watching crickethttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif brain working but memory in neutral.

  2. Nearly the first to post today. I was first on page two yesterday which was a stinker for me. Thank you Ray T or a great puzzle today. Very tricky and yeilding only one or two answers with each pass.
    Every clue a favourite. (Sorry Kath) Roll on tomorrow. ta to all.

  3. Wonderful!! 3*/5* for me today.

    On my first pass I managed only two answers in the top half (including 5d with its unusual anagram indicator) but I completed the bottom half. Eventually 13a was my last one in. My page was littered with asterisks showing the clues I really enjoyed, with 15a & 8d being outstanding.

    Thanks to Ray T for a really enjoyable and amusing challenge and to Pommers for his hints.

    1. P.S. Good news / bad news …

      Hooray – the back page crosswords are on the back page today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      Boo – no italics for the quick crossword pun http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          1. They don’t use italics on the ipad version at all which has led me to hours of trying to sort a two word pun and only realising when I include the third or fourth word

            1. When I first started doing Telegraph crosswords, the pun in the Quickie was not signalled at all, even in the solutions. Then, as now, it was usually two words but occasionally more. One Christmas it slowly dawned on me that all the across clues formed the first few lines of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (I think it started OLE TILL TOWN…). At some point they decided to signal the pun with italics, even when it was just two clues, but later settled on the current policy of using italics only when more than two clues are needed (although they sometimes forget). The spelling-out of the pun in the solution next day is a relatively recent development.

  4. Did anyone else put in Tina for 13a? Seems to fit the clue almost as well. We enjoyed this alot. Thanks to the setter and reviewer.

    1. Like your thinking Babs, but no way of ignoring the reversal.
      Believe me I reversed through a lot of singers and words for ‘away with fairies’ before the downs made it clear.

      Still only think of Gaga as brainless ( the word, not the songstress).
      Gagging – now that’s more like avid.

        1. Hadn’t thought of that but it does almost work! The BRB has ‘gaga’ as specifically due to age and senility rather than a nit who could be any age.
          To mean enthusiastic it needs to be followed by something like ‘about’ or ‘over’ so perhaps the clue isn’t 100% fair, and there is the false capitalisation as well . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  5. Took a while to get going in the NW corner, thought 2d was stand ie hold up or Kiosk, then all fell into place quickly so overall a **/*** for me today, seemed to be on the wave length ,even after watching the start of the ashes ,no need for any reviews today! Thought it was Mr T when the queen was mentioned in passing.

  6. 3*/4* for me today. The right side went in without any problems, but the remainder required a bit more thought.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to pommers for the review.

  7. Very enjoyable today with almost all clues in the running to be a favourite. I was held up for a while in the NW corner until 1A popped into the old noggin (should have realised as I didn’t get a lot last night – too busy watching Mr Broad do hos stuff).

    After much soul searching, have to give the Fave Rave to 18A today with the excellent 5D coming in a very close second.

    Don’t forget, comments are still welcome on Tell The Telegraph regarding the adverts on the back page (think I’m turning this into a crusade here).

  8. Too hard for me. I’m giving up. At least 4*. I’m reverting to my previous assessment of RayT puzzles. What do you think Brian?

    1. Hi collywobs I found this quite tough today too, perservation in vast amounts needed!! It took me three sittings and help from my electronic friends and pommers – thanks pommers – to finish it, I can’t say I had more than one favourite clue, not even to annoy Kath ;-) because I didn’t have one :-)
      Lovely sunny day here but windy and quite cold

        1. I do pommers and I am an instrumentalist of sorts! but I just didn’t like the clue…sorry :-( , nice to see around again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. You are right Mary. I’ve just got in and I’ll give it another try. Weather here today is the same as yours, sunny, a bit cold and thankfully that damn Tranmontane wind has dropped

    2. Well I agree it was tough but surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I know I had to sit down as well!

  9. Persever, collywobbles, persevere. I used to tear my hair out with Ray T’s puzzles but now I seem to be on his wavelength. Mind you, not easy. I did begin to think that I was onto an ‘abandonner’ as it did take me a while to get going but then it all sort of clicked. Fabulous crossword, Ray T…many thanks.

  10. Have to agree with the others.

    Not easy, so it’s always 3 or 4* fir enjoyment if I manage to finish without help, especially when the first run through the across clues was looking ghastly. I often don’t start with the NW corner anyway.
    Kath, they were all favourites, and all at the top of the class!
    8d and 12a my last ones in even though they weren’t the hardest……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  11. Very pleasant puzzle from Ray T!

    Very good clues – can’t pick a favourite!

    Marvellous sunshine here in NL today but rather cold.

  12. I thought this was trickier than Ray T’s crosswords have been recently. I agree with 3* and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    I wasn’t expecting it to be one of his today – am I losing my marbles – I thought we had him last week? It would suit me if we had him every week so I’m not complaining.
    I’ve never seen fan used as an anagram indicator before. It’s not in my crossword dictionary as one but I thought it was clever – a fan would blow things around a bit.
    I was terribly slow to get going – seem to have said that every day this week so far. I got there in the end.
    I tried to make 9a an anagram of the last two words in the clue so that held me up for ages. 1a and 4d were my last two.
    I liked too many of these clues to write them all down. My favourite was 6d.
    With thanks to Ray T and pommers – glad to see you again.
    The number of people having more than one favourite today HAS been noted, as have their names . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    1. I’ve looked in umpteen Crossword sites this afternoon and can find no mention of ‘Fan’ as a Anagram Indicator – maybe the Setter made it up? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      1. It is in the list of anagram indicators in the ‘Wordgame Companion’ section in the middle of the 12th Edition of Chambers Dictionary.

        1. I agree with you! Splendid!
          I only said I’d never seen it used before, but I probably have but have forgot it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      2. Right – I’ve checked out the BRB and there’s something like 1100 words listed as Anagram Indicators – including ‘Fan’ – Doh!

  13. Phew! I think my brain has gone on holiday without me as I really struggled to complete this, although not sure why. Thank you so much Pommers for rescuing me again. Made the mistake of linking large and fish in 11a so thought flounder must be wrong d’oh… But thank you to setter for some hard work.

  14. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. Good to see you back in the chair Pommers. A super puzzle from Ray T as usual. I was on the point of giving up, as the first read-through only yielded 5 answers. I gradually chipped away at it, and was left with 8d and 28a. On the former I knew it was an anagram of inertia and something. Had E_E_TRAIN, but just couldn’t see it ( pun intended ) so I resorted to electronic help, doh! The latter was last in. Favourite was 6d, very risque. Was 3*/4* for me. Sun out now in Central London.

  15. Cannot possibly be a Ray T as I thoroughly enjoyed it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif
    Took ages to start but Thx to the anagram at 14d I found a way in and then it all came together. Last in was 9a which was difficult but I did like 15a and my favourite was 8d.
    Thx to whosoever was the setter and to Pommers for the hint to 9a.

  16. I did manage to finish, with much help from google, gizmo and whatever else I could lay my hands on. I like a good workout and this certainly provided it, and a lot of fun clues. Thanks to RayT if, indeed, he is the setter, and to pommers for entertaining review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  17. I have a new policy for solving RayT puzzles as I do a thorough search for hidden words and I am pleased to say that 23 was my first solve. I hav e been caught out so many times in the past. Favourite today was the wonderful 8d which was my last one in with a loud guffaw. Also liked 3 5a 5d 6 14 15 19 25 …. the list goes on. Thank you Ray for warming a rather chilly day.

  18. What a pleasant surprise. A really good RayT puzzle when we we not expecting it and the delight of having Pommers back in the reviewing chair. Our cup runneth over.
    Thanks RayT and Pommers.

  19. A very pleasant puzzle today.Though I often got the answer without understanding why, such as 23a.If I can solve a Ray T ,it must be easy. Thanks to all concerned.

  20. What a great week we are having! At the start this looked totally forbidding but then pennies began to drop and after a few hours’ break completion was finally achieved without having to resort to hints. Too many great clues to mention but I certainly go along with all of Pommers’ favourites and more. Thank you Ray T for today’s terrific entertainment. ****/****.

  21. I just can’t believe anyone doubted that it was a Ray T production – I know that we weren’t expecting it to be but even so . . . .

  22. Any of you guys watched the first series of Dr Who tonight? All 4 episodes were shown back-to-back on BBC4.
    Wierd, spooky and not fit for kids is all I can say, and how did it carry on for 50 years after that appalling start – Ah, Daleks in series 2 http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Going to bed now.

  23. Oh, I did enjoy this hugely! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Didn’t need Pommers’ excellent hints. To begin with, I had the wrong ending for 26a, but realised my error when I tried to fit in 24d! Fave clue was 15a, closely followed by 13a and 5d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    Big thanks to both RayT and Pommers.

  24. Came round to doing this one very late (In bygone days there must have been beachcombers in the Pitcairns who’d find a DT & Morning Post crossword in a bottle, ten years after it appeared…so I feel I’m rather in this tradition.)
    At 5a I gave an involuntary shrug of surprise that the DT allowed its lexicographers to proclaim that BT was indeed a ‘basket case’ – something we all know, but are usually too polite to mention.
    The penny dropped much later. :-)

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