DT 27359 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27359

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27359

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The usual excellence from the Thursday Tormentor. Immaculate clues, a signature appearance from the Queen but only a hint of innuendo.

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    Advent prayer almost organised by Church (10)
{APPEARANCE} – most of a prayer or entreaty followed by a three-letter verb meaning organised and the Church of England

6a    Information a little back to front (4)
{DATA} – the A from the clue and a small amount all reversed (back to front)

9a    Bit of stuff found in immorality? Grand! (10)
{SMATTERING} – some stuff or material inside a three-letter word for immorality and followed by G(rand)

10a    Hand‘s good, holding spades (4)
{FIST} – a word meaning good or healthy around (holding) S(pades)

12a    Cretin foolishly taking dope (4)
{INFO} – hidden (taking) inside the clue

13a    Above top of pate’s growing less (9)
{PRECEDING} – the initial letter (top) of Pate followed by a verb meaning growing less

15a    University sensitive about good French name (8)
{SORBONNE} – an adjective meaning sensitive around the French for good and N(ame)

16a    Stretched, one hears, getting disciplined (6)
{TAUGHT} – sounds like (one hears) an adjective meaning stretched

18a    Timid female wearing a sack (6)
{AFRAID} – F(emale) inside (wearing) the A from the clue and a verb meaning to sack or pillage

20a    Govern party with comrade keeping popular (8)
{DOMINATE} – a two-letter party and a comrade around (keeping) a two-letter adjective meaning popular or current

23a    Tackle part embracing old lady for performance (9)
{RIGMAROLE} – some tackle or equipment and a part in a play around the old lady or mother

24a    One out of shape, losing heart (4)
{UNIT} – drop the middle letter (losing heart) from an adjective meaning out of shape or unhealthy

26a    Singer left before ‘Posh’, twice! (4)
{LULU} – L(eft) followed by the single-letter which represents posh, then the same again (twice)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a    Disparaging past Socialist turned Conservative (10)
{DEROGATORY} – three-letter words for past and Socialist reversed (turned) and followed by a Conservative

28a    Starts to exchange useless, redundant old currency? (4)
{EURO} – the initial letters of four words in the clue

29a    Rake produces neater edge perhaps (10)
{DEGENERATE} – this rake or scoundrel is an anagram (perhaps) of NEATER EDGE


1d    Transgression without leader in section of church (4)
{APSE} – drop the initial letter from a transgression or sin of omission

2d    Less decorated praline confection (7)
{PLAINER} – an anagram (confection) of PRALINE

3d    Massive, Queen in action almost endlessly wild (12)
{ASTRONOMICAL} – the Latin abbreviation for Queen inside an anagram (wild) of ACTION with most of (endlessly) ALMOS(T)

4d    Drug for operation complicated, deprived of oxygen once (8)
{ATROPINE} – an anagram (complicated) of (O)PERATION without (deprived of) one instance of the chemical symbol for Oxygen

5d    Transport criminal incredibly lacking right (6)
{CONVEY} – a three-letter word for a criminal followed by an adverb meaning incredibly or extremely without (lacking) the R(ight)

7d    Helping to hold bay’s head in stable (7)
{ABIDING} – a verb meaning helping around the initial letter (head) of Bay

8d    Completely  nude? (10)
{ALTOGETHER} – two definitions

11d    Repeat of cup tie at ‘Real’ broadcast (12)
{RECAPITULATE} – an anagram (broadcast) of CUP TIE AT REAL

14d    Paid seller exorbitantly for some footwear (10)
{ESPADRILLES} – an anagram (exorbitantly) of PAID SELLER gives this rope-soled shoe that is so popular in Crosswordland

17d    Between France and England US state’s already settled (8)
{FOREGONE} – the IVR code for France and the single-letter abbreviation for England with a US state inside (between)

19d    Professional soldier‘s orderly (7)
{REGULAR} – two definitions – a professional soldier and an adjective meaning orderly

21d    Song about unending region in US state (7)
{ARIZONA} – an operatic song around most of (unending) a region or sector

22d    Present company’s first to get stick (6)
{COHERE} – an adverb meaning present or in this place preceded by CO(mpany)

25d    Build up hunky exterior with exercise (4)
{HYPE} – the outer letters (exterior) of HunkY followed by some Physical Exercises

I enjoyed that!

The Quick crossword pun: (know} + {hulk} + {hard} = {Noël Coward}

55 comments on “DT 27359

  1. ‘ee that were ‘ard Ray T ! Thank you for the hours of mental torture ! Delighted to have finished this one. Thanks for the review and hints BD. Off for the next Christmas lunch !

  2. hooray, I’ve managed to get to the blog today, although I’ve done the crosswords each day I haven’t managed to find time to get here!!!!! it’s a wonder Kath hasn’t asked where my papers are :-)
    I found this one of RayTs’ easier puzzles today, although I still needed help from electronic friends and perservation to see me through, though no favourite clue, I did quite enjoy it

    1. If you hadn’t turned up today I was going to ask if anyone had seen the required paper work – last time I did that it was just that I’d missed your appearances so I was going to be a bit careful! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. I struggled a bit with this one but got there in the end. Definitely an enjoyable interlude before we go shopping yet again. Thanks to setter and to Big Dave.

  4. BD, you are incredible. Talk about working overtime on this blog. Well done and thank you so much for all your efforts. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    I wasn’t anticipating a Ray T puzzle again today as we had one last Thursday, so this was an unexpected pleasure. My rating is 3.5*/4* for a tough but really enjoyable puzzle.

    I completed about half quite quickly but then had to work very hard on the rest. The cunning 12a was my last one in. 8a was my favourite – simple but devious!

    4d was a new word for me but it couldn’t be anything else given the anagram fodder and checking letters. I hadn’t previously considered that stable could be a synonym for 7d, but on reflection I can see it makes sense.

    Many thanks to Ray T – great stuff!

  5. I didn’t find this particularly easy guess im not on the same wavelength today. No real favorites & would put it in 3 territory for difficulty, thanks to BD for the much needed hints

  6. Despite trying to spell 8d with two L’s, I managed to romp through this one in 1* time. Many thanks to Ray T for a most enjoyable puzzle worthy of at least 4*, and to Big Dave for another excellent review.

  7. I agree with 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment – I thought we could have done with a few more risque clues, but maybe that’s just me!
    I wasn’t expecting a Ray T this week because we had one last Thursday – at least I think we did – but it didn’t take very long to twig.
    I was quite slow to get started and didn’t have many answers from reading all the across clues through once but then got going and I ended up only having trouble with a few, mainly in the top left corner.
    1a and 3d both took a while to untangle, and I was slow with 5d.
    I liked SO many of these that I couldn’t possibly put them all down but they include 9 and 18a and 7 and 8d. I thought 17d was really clever.
    With thanks to Ray T (and a very happy Christmas to him in advance in case we don’t ‘see’ him again before then) and to BD.
    It seems to have stopped snowing!

      1. It usually ‘snows’ on the blog at this time of year skempie, I think it did start yesterday but seems to have stopped today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          1. I liked it yesterday – now I’m going to have to be patient which isn’t something that I’m known for.
            I wonder if nagging and moaning and whinging would have any effect . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  8. Very enjoyable fare from Mr T today despite the lack of risqueness. First read through of the across clues yielded two answers for me, and they were the last two! Luckily the downs provided a few more and from thereon in it was a case of solve a clue, see what crossing letters that gives to solve the next, etc.

    Favourite for me today was 17D – a marvellous clue.

    Christmas shopping all but done now – just need to buy some peanuts Why can’t we get the hot sweaty ones in a tin like we used to have when I was a sprog??

  9. A very enjoyable one today – I managed to get it finished by lights out last night apart from 10a – I had a bit of a blind spot about that one and when I finally got it I felt a complete fool!

    Thanks for the review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  10. A tough one for me and as yet cannot finish 13a, 20a, 23a & 17d. I don’t use any aids and only look at the hints after I have gone as far as I can with the puzzle. Spent a long time getting this far. Some great clues and a real test for me. Liked 8d. Will come back to it later this evening to confirm with BD’s decode – for which, many thanks as ever.

    This has been the mental equivalent of a nice juicy bone. Lovely. (If I were a dog, that is). Thanks Ray T.

  11. Another hard one for us today though we’ve managed to finish it with much assistance from BD again, for which many thanks. It certainly is a wavelength thing with these crosswords, but onwards & upwards I optimistically say. Thank you to the setter whom so ever he or she is. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. It’s Ray T, normally no clue longer than 8 words, a reference to Queen, Ray’s Favourite group, and all single word clues in the quick puzzle.

    2. . . . and single word answers, not just the clues, in the quick crossword and usually at least one clue that sounds really rude, if you happen to have that kind of mind – they’re always the ones that make me laugh. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  12. 9ac 4d & 5d to go. Thanks to Ray T for this truly tight puzzle. I am working on it ( When I am not banking, paying wages, dismantling the old kitchen, etc etc.)

  13. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Ray T as
    usual. I found this quite straightforward until I hit a brick wall with three left to solve. Needed the hints for 1a, 3&5d. Just couldn’t figure any of them out. Had to look up 5d. Favourite was 17d. Sunny today in Central London. Was 3*/4* for me.

  14. I parsed 6a slightly differently. A TAD and then move the D to the front (back to front). Works both ways but I wonder which RayT intended. Interesting 8d, exactly the same, was in Dante’s FT on Monday last week!

    Anyway, an enjoyable puzzle so thanks to RayT and BD.

    1. I noticed that too , about 8d.I thought it was the “good memory factor “, that the crossword analysts referred to, was finally kicking in. Although ,a week and a half isn’t long.Good clues stand the test of time and repetition.

  15. Bingo Pingo. A truly great puzzle. Almost every clue was a test and a tease. Not helped by putting Absolutely at 8d and having a spelling error elsewhere. The quickie pun is very nice too.Thank you Ray T and thank you Big Dave. I hope you are feeling warmer today Kath. Its been T Shirt weather here in South Warks.

    1. Yes, thanks – much warmer today mainly down to cooking – have made bread, blinis, mince pies and a monster casserole (I mean a big casserole rather than made from any kind of monster!)
      Going back to your earlier comment which I’ve only just seen I can’t help wondering if now is a good time to be dismantling your kitchen! What has Saint Sharon got to say about it? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  16. Struggled more with this one than last weeks but enjoyed it on the whole with a couple of great clues 18a and 17d. Didn’t understand why 13a says above, shouldn’t it be before and what has taught got to do with disciplined?
    Needed help with 5d and 8d so Thx to BD for that. Gradually getting the hang of Ray Ts puzzles at least at this level.

    1. Under discipline BRB says, among other things, to train; to educate. I’m glad you’re getting the hang of his puzzles. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  17. Good puzzle, really made me sweat to solve it. I got there in the end but had to have some help from gizmo. One niggle, I would have said that 13a is more “before” rather than “above”, but before I get BRB quotes, I acknowledge in advance that I am probably wrong! I wonder how many younger folk will remember Lulu. Favourite? I would have to give that to 8d. Thank you Dave, and kudos to RayT for a great crossword.


    1. Further, I checked the dictionary and it says “preceding, coming before in time, place, rank…” , etc. There it is, I am dead wrong! Hanging head in shame!

  18. Very much enjoyed the puzzle today. I particularly liked 9a and 17d. The first free morning I’ve had this week and a great puzzle to solve!
    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD for the blog.

  19. We too were pleasantly surprised to find a RayT again this week. Good to see that the word count on the clues is back to normal. Lots of fun throughout. Think we would award the favourite prize to the absolutely excruciating pun in the quickie. We both sat there chanting out loud the three words of the fodder for quite some time before the penny dropped. Really good fun.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

    1. Yesterday we sent off an email to the Telegraph enquiries address, complaining about the site still being down and within 24 hours had received back a letter of apology and a refund of one month’s subscription which was much appreciated. It seems like “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”, so, if you are a subscriber, get your email away. :)

      1. I asked them if it was necessary to write and complain or would they be giving the refund to all subscribers. They didn’t answer the question, but did say I would see the refund within a few days. So I suspect you are right that you do need to ask.

        1. I’ve had the email from Worldpay saying the months subscription has been refunded – it took them a while but they seem to be getting themselves together.

          Even making the Crosswords available from about midnight! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          1. I’ve just received the princely sum of £2.99 as recompense. I’ve probably spent that on paper & printer ink over the last fortnight. Whatever they are doing let’s hope the time being taken to fix the glitch delivers an absolutely whizbang new site. Yeah, right.


  20. Late again…

    A triple whammy in Paris today with an early morning rail strike, followed later by a signal failure, followed by a bomb scare this evening.

    Anyway, many thanks to BD for all his sterling work, and to all who left a comment.


  21. Great fun and satisfying to finish, a good mental workout. An unsung hero among the clues, I thought, was 28a – it must be the Little Englander in me…

    1. Not just little Englanders share your opinion.Think Spain, Portugal, Greece,Italy, Ireland…..but it’s very good for…Germany.

  22. Whipped through this in xxxxxxxxx and then spent xxxxxx staring at 9a before a large glass of post-work oloroso lubricated the cells into action. Didn’t need your tips today BD, but I always like to read though them anyway. You are, undoubtedly, a star

    1. Tstrummer. It is a convention on this site that we refrain from mentioning solving times. We are a very mixed ability bunch.
      There also seems to be slight error in the hint for 9a. The word for immorality that surrounds the word for stuff, is a three-letter word. (Not two-letter as it says in the hint).

  23. I love RayT puzzles and it was a great pleasure to have this.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Excellent clues. My fave was 8d, and Big Dave, your illustration for this is delightful.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif I also liked many other clues, including 13a, 15a, 26a, and 28a, just to mention a few of the ones I marked!
    Many thanks, RayT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif Much appreciation for your lovely clear hints, Big Dave, which I didn’t need but nonetheless value greatly.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    (I am having difficulty with writing this comment. My computer keeps freezing — and I don’t believe it’s got anything to do with this site. For some strange reason, don’t think I’ll call in the DT puzzles IT team…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif)

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