DT 27353 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27353

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27353

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Once again Ray T stretches our minds with this enjoyable 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    Grub with rice all part boiled (11)
{CATERPILLAR} – the kind of grub that may be eaten during a bushtucker trial comes from an anagram (boiled) of RICE ALL PART

10a    Bloke’s retaining sweetheart from agency (5)
{MEANS} – a bloke and the S from ‘S around () the middle letter (heart) of swEet gives an agency or way to an end

11a    Chest perhaps, or ancient bust (9)
{CONTAINER} – an anagram (bust) of OR ANCIENT

12a    Send home former husband with sex in exchange (9)
{EXTRADITE} – the usual former partner is followed by a two-letter word for sex inside an exchange or barter

13a    First of elite joining crack outfit (5)
{EQUIP} – the initial letter (first) of Elite followed by a crack or joke

14a    Tent top’s tips pronounced (6)
{TEEPEE} – how the outer letters (tips) of ToP are pronounced

16a    French resort’s about couple showing fine points (8)
{NICETIES} – a resort on the French Riviera and the S from ‘S around a verb meaning to couple or join

18a    Place of record concerning soldiers shot (8)
{REGISTRY} – a two-letter word meaning concerning followed by some US soldiers and a shot or attempt

20a    Astonished expression following a river’s highest point (6)
{APOGEE} – an astonished expression follows the A from the clue and an Italian river (the one that Gnomey used to think was in China!)

23a    Trouble about gangs getting rudely obnoxious initially (5)
{AGGRO} – the initial letters of five words in the clue

24a    Small and weak admitting run’s gruelling (9)
{STRENUOUS} – S(mall) followed by an adjective meaning weak or insubstantial around R(un)

26a    Runaway daughter in end is all upset (9)
{LANDSLIDE} – D(aughter) inside an anagram (upset) of END IS ALL

27a    Crammed for school, say (5)
{EATEN} – this verb meaning crammed or stuffed with food sounds like a famous public school

28a    Time taken by ferryman, strangely, accepting silver in pieces (11)
{FRAGMENTARY} – T(ime) placed inside (taken by) an anagram (strangely) of FERRYMAN and then around (accepting) the chemical symbol for silver


2d    Hamlet is in bits (5)
{APART} – split as (1,4) this describes Hamlet, or Ophelia, or Laertes, or even Rosencrantz or Guildenstern

3d    Warne ran sneakily up holding catch (7)
{ENSNARE} – hidden (holding) and reversed (up in a down clue) inside the clue

4d    Party leader in charge of endlessly pleasant outing (6)
{PICNIC} – the initial letter (leader) of Party followed by the abbreviation for In Charge and most (endlessly) of an adjective meaning pleasant

5d    Take your time over ends of intimate frillies (8)
{LINGERIE} – a verb meaning to take one’s time followed by the outer letters (ends) of IntimatE

6d    Redeemed, a Cantabrigian embracing return of university life (7)
{ACADEME} – hidden (embracing) and reversed (return) inside the clue

7d    Untroubled compiler’s cheeky ‘Blue bra undone’ (13)
{IMPERTURBABLE} – the two-letter abbreviated form of “the compiler is” followed by an adjective meaning cheeky and an anagram (undone) of BLUE BRA

8d    Solid finale with ‘Posh’ leading group (8)
{ENDURING} – a finale followed by the letter that represents posh and a group

9d    Vital to keep body attractive (13)
{PREPOSSESSING} – an adjective meaning vital or important around a body of men, perhaps pursuing an outlaw

15d    Taking part and winning (8)
{ENGAGING} – two definitions – a verb meaning taking part or becoming involved and an adjective meaning winning or attractive

17d    Becoming corroded under carbon coating (8)
{CRUSTING} – a verb meaning becoming corroded preceded by (under in a down clue) the chemical symbol for carbon

19d    Sopranos unfortunately lacking a godfather (7)
{SPONSOR} – an anagram (unfortunately) of SOPR(A)NOS without (lacking) the A

21d    Sarcastic chap supports double entendre (7)
{PUNGENT} – a posh chap preceded by (supports in a down clue) a double entendre or play on words

22d    Reportedly budding author (6)
{GREENE} – sounds like an adjective meaning budding or flourishing

25d    Fur possibly extravagant crowning Queen (5)
{OTTER} – the three-letter abbreviation meaning extravagant or excessive followed by the regnal cipher for the Queen

I’m posting this early as I will be out for most of the morning.

The Quick crossword pun: (pier} + {steers} = {pierced ears}

61 comments on “DT 27353

  1. Where did you get today’s crossword? I can only get yesterdays pdf. The whole thing is a mess.

  2. So we have the answers before we have the puzzle.Good old DT and very good BD… perhaps we’re supposed to look at the answer, work out the clue and then invent the grid?. I’d stupidly printed off what I thought was todays puzzle, but was in fact yesterdays. Not very green of me, Look before I print from now on, methinks.

        1. You can’t buy the paper unless you live in the UK which many subscriber (I assume ex patriots like me) do.

        2. I could buy the paper but it’s about a 15km round trip to the nearest shop that sells UK papers and it costs about €4.50 for something I don’t read. I suppose if I went on my bike the exercise would be good but I object to the price. It’s printed in Madrid so why so expensive? It’s not as though it’s come over by air in business class!

          1. Hola Pommers, Clearly you have bought the DT more recently than I. I imagine the price is some function of set-up cost divided by quantity printed. The DT circulation is over 550,00 in the UK and, I guess, less than 100,000 in Spain.

        3. If I lived in the UK, I would buy the paper. Here in Spain, it costs about €3.50 per day, and arrives at the (very distant) shop some time after 10am. The DT Puzzle site is a welcome link for elderly expats but this one becomes quite disgruntled when his breakfast is spoiled for lack of what he’s paid for.

          1. Only as far as across the Atlantic. “You’re lucky”,
            as the “Three Yorkshiremen” would say. :)

          2. Me too. But the good news is that it’s warm and sunny here. I hope the weather doesn’t cause too much damage in Britain.

            The bad news is that my printer is broken so the pdf version is of no real help! So until the DT Site is up and running (or buy a new printer) it’s a real pain in the *****!. At least I can still view Big Dave’s wonderful site!

            The good news is that I’ve now found a TV Channel covering the Caribbean that is showing the Ashes. But the bad news is that the Aussies looked pretty settled on the first day of the second test.

            Hey, Life’s ups and downs.

  3. I managed to solve only 2 clues on first reading but then slowly filled the grid from SW to NE. 14a made me smile once the penny dropped and I haven’t heard 21d as a synonym of sarcastic before. ***/*** for me. Thanks to the setter and BD.
    The Android app is delivering the puzzle but the solution grid is half hidden.

  4. I get the paper version so no problems there. A slow start for me today but once I got started it all slotted into place.. Thanks to Ray t and to Big Dave for the review.

  5. Excellent – as ever!

    My rating is 2*/4* with all the usual wonderful Ray T elements. I managed the first three quarters surprisingly quickly but got a bit held up in the SE corner, with 27a my last one in. Like Tyke, I hadn’t come across 21d as meaning sarcastic.

    14a was my favourite, with 2d a close second.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD.

    1. I could just say that I agree with absolutely everything you have said and leave it at that, but I probably won’t . . .

  6. My fiendish plan to find the hidden words first has worked again. i have really got you sussed, RayT. The puzzle was great as usual with many innuendos and few anagrams. So many good clues, 1 3 6 7 8 16 19 26 28 – are there any left? It really makes my day when we have a Thursday RayT. On to the Toughie – who is Sparks?

    1. Could you possibly tell me your fiendish plan, please? They’re usually the ones that defeat me, or at least cause trouble. I got today’s without any problems but not yesterday’s.

      1. Hello Kath. I have been beaten by RayT’s hidden words so often that I now look through all the clues to find them first. Some are so ingenious that they take a lot of finding. Once I have the hidden clues it gives a good chance of working out other clues as I have letters to work with. Fiendish – eh?

        1. Very cunning plan – so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel. Will definitely try next time we have one of his.

  7. Forced to say I thoroughly enjoyed that! Only clue that I didn’t like was 9d, posse/body? Not sure at all. But nit picking. Best clue for me was def 14a, just my type of clue. Buts lots of nice clues today I thought.
    Either Ray T is giving us some easier, if so I thank you or I am beginning to get the hang of them, possibly!
    Thx to Ray T and to BD for explaining 9d.

    1. A convert, at last – I’m really pleased – well done. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif See, I’ve been telling you for ages that he’s brilliant.

      1. Yes I do realise that a posse is a group of men, just don’t think much of it as a clue. However, apart from that it was excellent http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  8. Ouch! Missed the hidden word in 3D and to my shame just couldn’t see 14A. Nevertheless, thoroughly enjoyable and the usual Ray T. fun. Many thanks to him and BD.

  9. Wonderful, as usual. I agree with BD’s difficulty rating but would give it nearly 5* for enjoyment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    I was a bit held up in the bottom right corner but not very seriously. I didn’t know that meaning of 21d and until I got that one I couldn’t do 20a and then I remembered Gnomey’s river – I wouldn’t have mentioned it but BD already has! 27a was my last one.
    I’m glad that Ray T has gone back to anagrams – the last few of his crosswords have had either none or very few and I find them a good way of getting off to if not a flying start then at least a start.
    I liked 1 and 23a and 9d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Ray and BD.
    Dare I have a look at the Toughie – I’ve never tried one by Sparks and don’t know what to expect from him (or her).

    1. I have made such an effort not to tease Gnomey about his river that I don’t ‘see’ it straight away when it turns up in a clue.

      The Toughie seems to have forgotten that it’s Thursday – Bufo will be pleased to have something a lot less easy than usual!!

      1. I’ve got used to that river and I’m guessing it is second only to the Initial R in clues?
        Trent must be quite common too?

        I did like 20a and felt pleased with myself when I got ithttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  10. Many thanks to Ray T for a super puzzle, and to BD for the review.
    A day off work means i’ll have to catch up with the toughie tomorrow.

  11. I love his puzzles, mainly because they are slightly 24a, but you usually end up completing in the end, which is satisfying.

    7d was great wasn’t it?
    I also liked 16, 18 and 28a.

    Is it windy everywhere?

    1. It’s certainly very windy in Oxford and, according to the forecasters, we weren’t meant to be getting it so I hate to think what it’s like further north and east. It feels cold too although the thermometer disagrees with me.

  12. I enjoyed this too when, eventually, the link was updated.

    I received an email this morning from Telegraph Media Group, apologising (again) and announcing that they have refunded a month’s worth of subscription. The message below was from WorldPay (or whatever they’re called…) confirming that that has been done. I assume they will do this for all and that it’s not just because I’m a member of the Awkward Squad?

    Ominously, there was no indication in the email of when normal service might be restored…..

  13. Best of the week so far a ***/**** for me ,very testing after ashes watching! wasn’t sure on my reasoning for the solution for 14a, it sounded like TE ( the top of Tent ) then the sword shaped like a ‘tip or point (EPEE), thanks BD for the simple explanation, excellent long peripheral clues , especially 9d.Well done Mr T.

  14. We have every season in 20 minute cycles today, but mainly windy and cold here in Blairgowrie.
    **/*** for difficulty for me today due to a few that just would not come to me.
    *** for fun though. Thanks to RayT and BigD

  15. Great fun once again from Jay and a terrific review from BD, many thanks to both. We have had rain, hail, snow, high winds and bright sunshine in the last couple of hours up here in Kirkcaldy.

  16. Thank you Ray T – one of your harder puzzles, for me at any rate. Thanks BD for the review, hints and delicate interpretation of 5d. Spent a quiet morning on the M60 taking our guest back to Cheshire. A lorry had overturned on Barton bridge closing the motorway ! Wish I had taken the paper with me !

  17. Finally got time to have a look at this and it was well worth the wait! Splendid stuff!

    Favourite was 9d. Oh, and the Chinese river :lol: **/**** from us. Not a cloud in the sky here and 20C at three o’clock this afternoon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Thanks to RayT and BD

  18. Geoffrey Trease fits at 22d. A very very entertaining puzzle from Ray t. I salute you sir. Thanks to all.

  19. Another entertaining puzzle, but not easy by any means. I needed the hint to know why for 9d and 10a, hadn’t thought of that alternative meaning for agency. I always remember the river Po as I used to be a great fan of the Don Camillo books from yoinks ago. Loved 14a, how clever is that. Thanks to RayT for puzzle and BD for the explanations. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. P.s. It took a long time to see the upside down hidden word in 3d. Warne was a cricketer, no?? I thought I was going to have to find some obscure cricketing term!

      1. Yes – I have to confess that I thought he was a footballer but you’re probably right – all I could think of was his christian name which, for some reason, is in my head and I think it’s Shane so tried to do something with that for far too long. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  20. A wonderful puzzle .I’m furious with myself for needing a hint for16a, and I found 7d a bit of a struggle, but very satisfying when I finally got there.Thanks to Ray T and to BD, of course.

  21. Really enjoyed it and managed to sail through without major delays. We did the usual clue word count, as we do with RayT puzzles, and were shocked to discover that 28a has NINE words, one over the self-imposed limit. What is the world coming to!!
    Lots of chuckles, great fun.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  22. A bit late on parade today to say thanks to BD and to all who left a comment. I’m glad most of you enjoyed it.


      1. Oh, my! I just checked the weather forecast. Snow and freezing rain….that means a run on milk, bread and toilet paper at the supermarket! Me, I’ll be stocking up on the essentials like wine and scotch.

  23. Did fairly poorly on this after a good start, and got totally stuck. I needed a couple of hints in the end, 24a 14a.

    I had TREECE for 22d which I think works nearly as well as the real answer.

    21d is a very RayT obscure definition…

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Ray T. Just needed the hints for 2d & 10a. Favourites were 14a & 5d. Was 3*/4* for me. Hope everyone is safe during the high winds.

  25. I started well, then got bogged down, needed a few hints today, not quite on RayT’s wavelength yet although no problems with run throughs. The clues all seemed logical but I struggled with the synonyms such as that for agency (10a). Will need to up the Omega 3 intake.

  26. I always find RayT’s puzzles a great delight, and this was no exception.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif Joint fave clues were 20a and 7d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif I used four of your excellent hints, Big Dave — for 16a, 24a, 9d and 21d. I seem to have had a mental block where these were concerned.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    Thank you both, RayT and Big Dave.

  27. Took me two days to finish it without hints, although I had to retort to BD for explanations of answers for 9 & 14.

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