DT 27346 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27346

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27346

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today’s hints have been hastily prepared as I was unable to get today’s puzzle to Scchua in time. The usual pleasant solve from Jay.

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    Worst ring women give (6)
{BESTOW} – it’s a strange quirk of the English language that two words that usually mean the opposite of each other can, in a certain context, mean the same – a verb meaning to worst or defeat followed by the ring-shaped letter and W(omen)

5a    Came across a number, say — a figure of speech (8)
{METAPHOR} – a verb meaning came across or encountered followed by the A from the clue and what sounds like (say) a number

9a    Target set when following races at sea (8)
{REGATTAS} – an anagram (set) of TARGET followed by a word meaning when

10a    Major part of seductive woman’s refrain (6)
{MANTRA} – most (major part) of a seductive woman gives a refrain used to aid meditation

11a    Away kit is better (8)
{OUTSTRIP} – a word meaning away followed by some sporting kit

12a    Still on board for this game? (6)
{SEVENS} – an adverb meaning still or yet inside the usual SteamShip (on board)

13a    Strait-laced girl’s flower? (8)
{PRIMROSE} – a charade of an adjective meaning strait-laced and a girl’s name

15a    Bother doctor with a temperature (4)
{DRAT} – this exclamation which is similar to bother! comes from the abbreviation for doctor followed by the A from the clue and T(emperature)

17a    Where sweat appears from soldiers during exercises? (4)
{PORE} – ordinary soldiers inside some Physical Exercises

19a    Pass on cost of assault by engineers (8)
{RECHARGE} – an assault preceded by the Royal Engineers

20a    Depressing feature of car for chicks? (6)
{CLUTCH} – two definitions

21a    No marines join forces, by and large (8)
{NORMALLY} – NO followed by the abbreviation of the Royal Marines and a verb meaning to join forces

22a    Disease spread by case of pleural fever (6)
{PLAGUE} – the outer letters (case) of PleuraL followed by a fever

23a    Unhealthy, dismissing origins of all raging madness (8)
{INSANITY} – start with an adjective meaning unhealthy or unhygienic and drop (dismissing) the initial letters (origins) of All Raging

24a    Where seats are available for those standing (8)
{ELECTION} – a cryptic definition of a ballot for seats in a legislature

25a    Stifle study covering a politician (6)
{DAMPEN} – a study around (covering) the A from the clue and a politician who has been successful in a 24 across


2d    One who’s left with a will? (8)
{EXECUTOR} – a cryptic definition of a person appointed to see a will carried into effect

3d    Part of church with intricate patterns (8)
{TRANSEPT} – an anagram (intricate) of patterns

4d    Planning a rest in extensive riverbank (9)
{WATERSIDE} – an anagram (planning) of A REST inside an adjective meaning extensive

5d    Motorway signs finishing — fear poor understanding (15)
{MISAPPREHENSION} – the two-letter abbreviation for the motorway that runs from London to Leeds followed by the final letter (finishing) of signS and a word meaning fear

6d    The world of learning made difficult in a church (7)
{ACADEME} – an anagram (difficult) of MADE inside the Church of England

7d    Success — the girl’s almost top up to now (8)
{HITHERTO} – a charade of a success, a possessive pronoun meaning of the girl (the girl’s) and most of TOp

8d    Make do with raised kerb (8)
{ROADSIDE} – an anagram (make) of DO with RAISED

14d    Shocked by teacher valued in hearing (9)
{SURPRISED} – sounds like (in hearing) a male teacher followed by an adjective meaning valued or treasured

15d    Follower‘s punishment not popular (8)
{DISCIPLE} – start with a punishment and drop (not) IN (popular)

16d    Precise bill put in front of minister (8)
{ACCURATE} – a two-letter abbreviation for a bill followed by a church minister

17d    Disheartened people stood for election with miners each year (3,5)
{PER ANNUM} – PeoplE without their inner letters (disheartened) followed by a verb meaning stood for election and the abbreviation of the miners’ union

18d    Way boxing permit is a risky game (8)
{ROULETTE} – a way or course around (boxing) a verb meaning to permit or allow

19d    Relate  possible action when votes are checked (7)
{RECOUNT} – two definitions – to relate a story and what might happen in an election if the vote is very close

There’s a bit of a mini-theme today!

The Quick crossword pun: (pass} + {chair} + {eyes} = {pasteurise}

65 comments on “DT 27346

  1. Another goodie from Jay today. 12A (which is my favourite today) held me up for a while as I had SENET stuck in my head and couldn’t budge it.

    Well done BD – busy couple of weeks for you.

  2. A couple in the top right held me up in an otherwise gentle and enjoyable puzzle.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to BD for the review.

  3. Enjoyable but tough I thought. Loved 13a and 21a but didn’t much care for 14d.
    Still don’t understand 23a. Got the answer from the checking letters and the second bit if the clue but why unhealthy? Don’t get BDs hint for this one.
    Thx to the setter and to BD for explaining 7d, now I see the success!

  4. 2.5*/3* today.

    I was well inside my 2* time until I got very held up with my last two in – 8d and 10a – although with hindsight it’s difficult to see why they took me so long.

    I’m glad I remembered that “worst” can mean “best”, which thankfully cropped up not too long ago.

    Many thanks to Jay for proving that it is possible to set an enjoyable and amusing challenge without a single obscure word. Thanks too to BD for his review.

  5. Quite a tough one today – I got a bit mixed up in the NW corner by putting ‘Testator’ in 2d, it took me ages to see my error and sort it out!

    A very good puzzle – I really enjoyed it!

    Off for a game of Golf – a bit damp and cold – how I love it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. My first thought for 2d was “Testator” too, but fortunately for me I solved 11d without looking at the checking letters which showed me the error of my ways.

  6. Thank you Jay, enjoyable and all seemed well until the last 3 in the NE corner, which took me ages. As I appeared to be doing nothing Mrs SW insisted that I finish off my Christmas cake prep – the last bit with all the beating, folding and stuff. Thanks BD for your review. I feel fortunate that we get the newspaper delivered and haven’t had all the hassle which so many others have had during the last few days. You deserve a well earned rest !

  7. I was definitely on the right wave length – 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I got a bit held up in the top right corner – 10 and 12a and 7 and 8d – but apart from those I didn’t have any problems and didn’t even have to start with the down clues.
    I liked 10 and 13a. My favourite was 15a – what a good clue.
    With thanks to Jay for the lovely crossword and to BD for all his work.
    A couple of days ago I made me promise myself that I wouldn’t even look at Toughies until I was a better organised with Christmas stuff but it’s a Beam . . .

    On a non-crossword topic does anyone know where the expression teaching grandmothers to suck eggs comes from? I was talking to Pet Lamb Number One last night and it came up – haven’t a clue where it came from – daughter’s main question is why would they want to anyway!

    1. was told that it was because a grandmother (in olden days of yore) was likely to have lost her teeth and could therefore only deal with foodstuffs in a liquid state, hence the eggs had to be sucked. Or I might have dreamt that in a previous life.

      1. That was about the best that daughter could come up with too, although her grandmother (my 91 year old Mum) does still have one tooth left!

  8. With the DT website only offering access to today’s puzzles, is there any way I can get hold of yesterday’s cryptic puzzle?

  9. We found today’s puzzle really difficult & had to resort to the hints even to get started, so definitely not on the setters wavelength at all. Nothing wrong with the clues, we just couldn’t even pick out the anagrams. Anyway we’ve finished now so thank you setter & of course BD.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  10. Overall not enjoying this week’s offerings as much as last week’s and this one from Jay no exception. Got there in the end but needed reasons for 1a and 10a. ***/**. My goodness what a star you are BD – always there for us and indeed to pick up any “pieces”. A standing ovation from me! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  11. It was OK, I was also last in with the NE corner (10 and 8). Liked 7 and 15 down and 22a.

    I’m feeling dense today, and I still don’t understand 10a. I got as far as the structure w.o. help and got the answer, but was hoping your hint would explain, BD, and I still don’t get it. Nothing to do with either mantis or siren…… What have I forgotten?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. Oh, thank you Sue.
        I don’t think I would ever have thought of that in this context – man eater maybe. I only think of mantrap as one of those anti-poacher deviceshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  12. I also loved this! I did need electronic help for a couple but, by and large, had no trouble. I didn’t get the mantrap bit, so thanks to CS.

    Now that the quick crossword comes as a package with the cryptic, I tried my hand at it … I have notoriously failed dismally in the past. Well, miracles today, I completed it and loved the pun. I should rest on my laurels now and retire, can’t imagine that I’ll have success two days in a row.

    Thanks to Jay and BD for all your help. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. I often have trouble with the quick crossword – haven’t looked at today’s yet but have just finished Toughie – this is not what I should be doing but it’s more fun! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  13. I think I’ve stumbled into a wormhole. Went to the Telegraph’s ‘oops we’re broken’ page to get today’s crossword, and seem to have been given tomorrow’s. 27,347.

    Is there any way to get access to today’s, while I see if I can find a fusion home energy reactor to get me back to Wednesday?

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. It has made us very happy. Have printed them out just now. Nice to have Thursday’s puzzles on Thursday morning (for us) instead of having to wait until 7.30pm as we have been lately. Cheers.

        1. You got me confused there for a moment as I have to work a day behind. Shame they can’t work out a way to get the actual day’s cryptic available as early as the normal system. Must make life extra hard for all the ‘Hinters’ as well.

          Anyone any idea what the problem with their IT is? They are being remarkably coy.

  14. Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Just like Monday’s puzzle for me. Found it quite straightforward until I was 4 missing in NE corner, had to get them all from the hints, even missed the anagram in 8d, duh! Was 3*/3* for me. Favourite was 5a. Managed to get the flashing done on the roof at last.

      1. I wondered if anyone would rise to the bait. Thank you for your reply http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif I must stress now that I was referring to building materials.

  15. Nice puzzle. For some strange reason our last in was the long 5d. 10a gave us bit of cogitation too. We wondered what bits of Matahari we should be using for a while. Good fun.
    Thanks Jay and BD.

  16. As a recent convert to The Telegraph crossword I am beginning to get to understand the logic behind the answers . However still don’t understand the abbreviation for soldiers as in 17a. Help !!

    1. Welcome Compo to both the blog and the start of a long addiction to the DT crossword.

      OR (Other Ranks – or the ordinary (not officers) soldiers in the army. Remember it because it will come up again and again and again ….

        1. I agree with RE, RA and TA but you’ve completely lost me in the middle of the toast and eggs – although I can think of worse places to be lost.

          1. It was a clue that stumped us a long time ago when the soldiers were the thin strips of toast for dipping in boiled eggs. We used to call them that too when we were kids so kicked ourselves that we hadn’t twigged the answer. :)

            1. Of course – how dim can I be? My lot always called them ‘eggy and dippers’ (don’t know where that came from – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me) so I’m afraid the soldiers got a bit lost. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif
              I wouldn’t mind betting that they will come again really soon and then I’ll be thanking you for reminding me.

  17. A pleasant puzzle from Jay once again

    Faves : 5a, 12a, 21a, 7d, 16d & 17d.

    Yesterday, I said I was solving Aracauria’s puzzles from WW2 onwards and somebody said this was false memory on my part – he was correct – I started with Araucaria when I lived in Wembley which was after the war! At my age (nearly 90) some memories get rather rusty!

    Steak, frites and sla again for dinner with Rioja.

    1. Derek Araucarias first in the Guarniad was 1958, reproduced today in the paper. I’m not doing very well at all

  18. I got Xwrd 27347 when I clicked on the DT link at what would have been 5 pm UK time Wednesday. What happened to 27346? Can anyone let me have it. Thanks.

      1. I wish there could be some communication when they change the system and an update on the website from the DT Xwd people. They have our email addresses. How hard would it be to do a group email as companies do here in the States when they have an issue? We do, after all, pay for this subscription.

        Thank you for the mail Dave:)

          1. Yes,thank you and just finished it. Hopefully DT will get things sorted so I don’t have to bother you again. At least I have Thursday’s already.

  19. I’m most probably being very thick but, although I got it, despite BD’s hints I STILL don’t understand the “workings” behind 10a. Perhaps that’s because the only seductive woman I can think of is a Siren. Help, please!
    But, I did do it and finish it without hints, which doesn’t happen very often recently!! and my favourite was 5a – really tickled me, that one.

    1. CS explained 10a further up the comments but I’ll do it again as you’ve clearly skimmed over them – the definition is refrain as in something repeated over and over again. The seductive woman is a ‘mantrap’ so take the last letter off and you have a ‘mantra’.
      With apologies to CS.

      1. Slight exaggeration to call my work an ‘explanation’. I just wrote the ‘source’ word.

  20. I won’t be focusing on puzzles until later today, but had to pop in to wish a HAPPY THANKSGIVING for tomorrow to Merusa, Tantalus and all other fellow solvers on this side of pond.

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans. We are going to a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday – some close friends of ours are American – I know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow (ie Thursday) but I’m not sure if it’s as simple as the last Thursday in November or if it’s a bit more complicated like Easter which I can never get my head round – all to do with the number of full moons after something else – oh dear!
      St Giles Fair in Oxford is another example – lots of people think it’s on the first Monday in September – what lots of them don’t know is that there has to have been a Sunday in September first – ie if Monday is the 1st September the fair, which effectively closes the whole of the centre of Oxford, isn’t until 8th September.
      I digress . . .

      1. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. It’so a statute in law or something. I read it on the Internet yesterday http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      2. Thanksgiving is wonderful, Kath. Family, food and football (though I don’t do the football bit). No commecialism. No gifts. Just turkey and all the family about you, and giving thanks for your blessings. I think more Americans travel home for Thanksgiving than they do for Christmas. I can’t give up Christmas as my favorite time of year but I can understand why Americans love Thanksgiving so much. I hope you get pumpkin pie at your friend’s feast! I dearly love pumpkin pie. Tell them Happy Thanksgiving from Southern Maryland, place of one of the early settlements.

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