DT 27358

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27358

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was over far too quickly. I enjoyed it while it lasted, but I thought 21 across was a bit weak.

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    Mountains of fruit with no end of ouzo (6)
{RANGES} – some fruit without the final letter (end) of ouzO

5a    Run away after writer gets girl (8)
{PENELOPE} – a verb meaning to run away, perhaps to get married, after a writing implement

9a    Perfect — only price tag on article (4,3,6)
{JUST THE TICKET} – an adverb meaning only followed by a price tag which is preceded by (on in an across clue) the definite article

10a    Notice ballot includes accountant and lawyer (8)
{ADVOCATE}- a two-letter notice followed by a ballot around a Scottish accountant

11a    Provides personnel for music bars (6)
{STAFFS} – two definitions – the second definition is often spelt differently

12a    Student doctor with independent family from Italy (6)
{MEDICI} – a student doctor followed by I(ndependent)

14a    Private hospital in unlikely municipal building (4,4)
{TOWN HALL} – a word meaning private or personal and H(ospital) inside an adjective meaning unlikely, as in an unlikely story

16a    About a Boy editor made a logical case (8)
{REASONED} – a two-letter word meaning about followed by the A from the clue, a boy and ED(itor)

19a    Doing an appraisal on a sailor (6)
{RATING} – two definitions

21a    Building viewing figures here? (6)
{CINEMA} – a sort of cryptic definition of a building in which motion pictures are viewed

23a    Scupper flying boats with a case of gelignite (8)
{SABOTAGE} – an anagram (flying) of BOATS followed by the A from the clue and the outer letters (case) of GelignitE

25a    Activity disturbing men at internet? (13)
{ENTERTAINMENT} – an anagram (disturbing) of MEN AT INTERNET

26a    Reduction of French credit facility? (8)
{DECREASE} – the French for of followed by CR(edit) and a word meaning facility or effortlessness

27a    Chicken crossing a road? Hurry (6)
{HASTEN} – a female chicken around the A from the clue and the abbreviation for a road


2d    Value a daughter on recorder (7)
{ADJUDGE} – the A from the clue followed by D(aughter) and a recorder or person appointed to try accused persons

3d    Relish leave to cover American president’s last letter (5)
{GUSTO} – a two-letter verb meaning to leave around a two-letter abbreviation for American and the final (last) letter of presidenT

4d    It’s out in a tricky spot (9)
{SITUATION} – an anagram (tricky) of IT’S OUT IN A

5d    Hand over  here (7)
{PRESENT} – two definitions

6d    Fixes trouble between partners at bridge (5)
{NAILS} – trouble between two of the compass points which represent bridge partners

7d    Fancy a go straight away (4,1,4)
{LIKE A SHOT} – a verb meaning to fancy followed by the A from the clue and a go or try

8d    Wretched colliery providing fuel regularly (7)
{PITIFUL} – a three-letter word for a colliery followed by a two-letter word meaning provided or with the proviso and the even letters (regularly) of fUeL

13d    Policeman quietly infiltrating fashionable zone (9)
{INSPECTOR} – the musical notation for quietly inside a two-letter word meaning fashionable and a zone

15d    Requirement for craftsmen and women fixing broken central heating (9)
{WORKBENCH} – W(omen) followed by an anagram () of (fixing) of BROKEN and the abbreviation of Central Heating

17d    I heard about horrible curse (4,3)
{EVIL EYE} – a word that sounds like (heard) I around an adjective meaning horrible or unpleasant

18d    Fresh ideas on case of sample in scrapie for example (7)
{DISEASE} – an anagram (fresh) of IDEAS followed by the outer letters (case) of SamplE

20d    Almost secure cover for retiring (7)
{NIGHTIE} – a charade an adverb meaning almost and a verb meaning to secure gives something word in bed

22d    Vessel with two areas full of terrible rot (5)
{AORTA} – A(rea) A(rea) (two areas) around (full of) an anagram (terrible) of ROT

24d    Woods runs into golf supporters! (5)
{TREES} – R(uns) inside supporters for golf balls

Scchua is away for a couple of weeks, but will be back on Christmas Day (is it really only two weeks to go?).

The Quick crossword pun: (Quito} + {thud} + {awe} = {key to the door}



  1. Sweet William
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay if it was you – enjoyable and at the easier end of your scale. Thanks BD for the review, hints and photos.

  2. Senf
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Very straightforward, finished before lights out, with no real stand out favourites. Life is better now that the PDF substitute is available soon after midnight UK time.

  3. Michael
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I logged onto the Telegraph Puzzle site just after Midnight last night and was able to print off todays puzzle – I did send an email to the Telegraph suggesting they make the puzzle available at Midnight, but I can’t claim credit for this improvement – maybe the Telegraph has woken up at last! (They still haven’t acknowledged my request for a refund)

    Anyway, it meant I could have a good go at this one before lights out – I stared at it for ages without success. It was only when I got 25a that things started to happen – I finally went to sleep with only 12a outstanding and was able to use my Wordsearch program this morning to put me out of my misery.

    A really enjoyable puzzle.

    Golf curtailed today by fog – there’s a big backlog at my club and if you can’t get out by 12 you can’t finish in the daylight – it doesn’t look good!


    • Vince
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I received a month’s subscription refund, last week, after complaining about the poor service we’re currently receiving.

    • Michael
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I’ve received an email this afternoon from the Telegraph apologising for the outage and confirming the refund. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Nigel
        Posted December 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Do you happen to have the e-mail address that you can complain to?
        This has been going on for too long.

  4. Graham
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    All done & dusted, I quite liked 21A but it takes all sorts, many thanks to the setter
    And BD for the review.Its a nice cold crisp sunny morning in southampton.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  5. Collywobbles
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Does anybody know how I can make the pdf download larger because I have trouble seeing it. I am happy to get rid of the quick crossword and yesterdays’ solution

  6. Brian
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Took a while to break into but ok from then on, very enjoyable.
    Don’t quite get 12a, why should a medic be a learner doctor? All doctors are medics esp in the Forces. A learner doctor would be a House Officer or even a medical student although my medical friends tell me they never stop learning! :-)
    Thx to all particularly BD for explaining several of the clues for which I had answers but had not fully grasped (14a, 16a, and 20d).

    • Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you should write to Chambers:

      ▶ noun
      * A physician (rare)
      * A medical student (informal)

      The definition in the ODE is broader:

      ▶ noun
      * Informal, chiefly Brit. a medical practitioner or student.

      • Brian
        Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        A case of the wider use of a word supplanting its original meaning perhaps. But I have to say in this the BRB is wrong, no medical student would ever be considered a medic anywhere in the medical profession. I speak from long and hard won personal experience!

        • Kath
          Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Having worked in hospitals on and off ever since I was eighteen I have to tell you that you’re wrong. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Expat Chris
        Posted December 12, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

        This is one of those “only in the UK” things. In the US, a medic, particlularly in the armed forces, is considered to be a qualified medical practitioner to some certifiable level. Personally, I would never consider a student. to be a qualified practitioner. So, I agree with Brian on this. The BRB may be the crossword bible but I don’t consider it the last word on everything.

        • Jess
          Posted December 12, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          It’s a British newspaper! Another case of two nations divided by a common language.

          • Posted December 12, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            Welcome to the blog Jess

            To be fair to the setter, because Chambers is the Telegraph’s “dictionary of choice” he is expected to use it to source the definitions in his clues.

    • Michael
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      The BRB says ‘medic’ is an informal word for a Medical Student!

    • Kath
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m not nit picking but House Officers are qualified doctors but in their first year – ie pre registration. A bit like NQT’s – Newly Qualified Teachers.

  7. Miffypops
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    A pleasant outing but onlya minor distraction to the mornings duties. This weeks puzzles have all been on the simple side. Hopefully we will ave a Ray T or one of Mister Rons to test us tomorrow and a grand workout from The Don on Friday. Ta to all

  8. Roland
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The easiest (inside) back pager I can remember. One left unanswered after first pass (21a) which then went in immediately with the aid of the checking letters. I understand that the crossword has to cater for all tastes, abilities etc but this was over far too quickly for me. I’d have to give it about */3 for difficulty (or 0.333* if you prefer) and ** for enjoyment, as you can’t fully enjoy or appreciate anything that’s over that quickly! Thanks anyway to the setter, and to BD for the review.

  9. skempie
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Like BD, I thought 21A was rather weak which is a pity as I thought the rest of the puzzle was excellent. Particularly liked 15D.

  10. neveracrossword
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    At least there will be plenty of time to do other things today!

  11. outnumbered
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    1* for me as well today, 21a the last one in. Not the greatest cryptic def. ever, but certainly not the worst.

  12. Dick
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Nothing here to upset me too much. I don’t want a crossword that’s going to dominate the day so this fitted well and provided a bit of 25a, all one needs, surely. Now I can get on with the five things I need to do to keep doing crosswords (front page lead story).

  13. BigBoab
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant but far too simple crossword and an amusing review, thanks to the setter and to BD.

  14. Kath
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 1* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. I thought it was definitely one of Jay’s more straightforward crosswords.
    I thought there were some good clues but didn’t like 21a very much – it was my last one in but that’s not why I didn’t like it – just didn’t.
    Really no major hold-ups today and it isn’t often that I have the chance to say that.
    I liked 9 and 27a and 7 and 15d. My favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Jay and BD.
    Cold, grey and still foggy in Oxford. Just wondering if I dare try the Toughie. Off now to find tissue to dry eyes because of 13d picture. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      The toughie is well worth a go. Blue sky and sunny and lovely in East Kent.

      • Kath
        Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Sue – just about to have a go at the Toughie. The sun is doing its best here now but it’s still very cold.
        Perhaps now that it’s proper winter we need a little shivery face as well as all the others that we have to choose from – we’ll certainly need one when BD turns the snow on! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          It is not proper winter yet. It is quite mild here in South Warwickshire only 40 miles away

          • Kath
            Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            It’s 4C in Oxford – I call that pretty nippy, or am I just being a weedy girl? I’m probably saying this to the wrong person here – I expect you’ll find lots of really energetic jobs for me to go and do so that I warm up!!

            • Miffypops
              Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

              Yes Kath. Work is good for you and it helps settle the mind. 4c is shirt and jacket weather.

              • Kath
                Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

                You just wait until BD switches the snow on – I bet it won’t be long now – I’m starting to look for it every day now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                • Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

                  Especially for you!

                  • Kath
                    Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

                    Thank you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

                  • skempie
                    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink


  15. SheilaP
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, all you clever clogs, we didn’t find it at all easy, & needed help from the hints. Too many bits from this & that for me. Still you can’t please everyone all of the time, & we have finished it. Anyway, thank you BD & the setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    • Dick
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Just like a school exam. There were always those who had finished with happy smiling faces, barely disguising a certain smugness. It’s the toughie for them! And if they’ve finished that too, well, next stop Eggheads, perish the thought!

  16. Merusa
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the fan camp, loved it, very 25a. I understand some wanting more challenging puzzles, which are also fun, but sometimes you slog for hours trying to solve and don’t get anything else done! I needed an explanation for 14a, but apart from that, all fell into place nicely. I agree with BD’s ratings, and thank you Jay.


  17. stanXYZ
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I always enjoy the Wednesday puzzle from Jay. A lot easier than usual today but just as entertaining!

    Another Thank You to BD in the absence of scchua!

    (Has scchua filled in all the necessary paperwork or just gone AWOL?)

  18. Heno
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Agree with BD, especially as 21a ruined this week’s 100% completion rate, needed the hint, humbug! Didn’t find the rest of it at all easy. Was 3*/3* for me. Favourite was 5a, which I haven’t seen for a while. Did this puzzle by the lake watching the wild fowl.

  19. AlisonS
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I tried to get yesterday’s (Tues) crossword rather late (c23.30) and they’d already changed it for today’s, so I mailed Telegraph Enquiries and asked them to send me yesterday’s pdf. I’ve just heard back from them and they’ve helpfully sent me the link to ‘Today’s puzzles’ – completely missed the point, or what? On the plus side, they have now refunded me a month’s fee, which I suspect they wouldn’t have done otherwise!

    Does anyone have yesterday’s crosswords, please?

  20. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Nice gentle puzzle that did not take very long.
    Just to make you all jealous, our summer seems to have kicked in now. Mid 20s most days, shorts and sandals, Pohutukawa trees just coming into bloom for Christmas, long sunny evenings for beach walks.
    Thanks Jay and BD.

    • Merusa
      Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      I googled your pohutukawa trees and they are glorious. The flower is different but they remind me of our Royal Poinciana trees here in Florida and Jamaica. Same colour, same shape and same splendour. Wish I could see them!

  21. Angel
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t sail through this either. In fact first read through produced nil return, as is often the case, however pressed on regardless and eventually managed to complete without hints. Thanks Jay and I agree with BD and others on 21a. ***/**. Several testing cryptic clues with bridge partners making their umpteenth appearance but few lighter moments. Cold, foggy a.m. in Horsham but sunshine later although not far above freezing most of day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  22. Toni
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    */***for me.
    Thanks to both

  23. Una
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, thanks Jay, and thanks to BD as well, as for some reason, 20 down eluded me.It’s hard to pick a favourite, perhaps 15d or 1a.

  24. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I agree with BD’s ratings and comments.

    I have been out all day and only got to this late. I found it more or less “read and write” for the second day running, but still enjoyable.

    Many thanks to Jay and to BD.

  25. Catnap
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    This may not have been one of Jay’s most difficult, but I found it none the less enjoyable for that. */**** from me.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Fave clue was 12a, and I also liked 17d and 22d. Like others, I didn’t much care for 21a.
    Many thanks to Jay. Super hints, Big Dave, for which many thanks although I didn’t need them.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  26. Sean Hibbs
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Being Thick re 8d – got the answer but could not work it backwards, I am not understanding the concept of even (regular) letters of fUeL – Please advise

    • gazza
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Sean.
      Regularly here means the even letters (i.e. letters 2 and 4) from the word fuel. There’s more information and examples of this construct in Big Dave’s Crossword Guide (which can be accessed from the FAQ) – see here.