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DT 27363

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27363

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

This is a very straightforward puzzle which should leave plenty of time for Christmas shopping. As always, a comment from you would be very welcome.

If you want to reveal an answer just highlight the hidden text between the brackets under the clue. If you’re using a mobile device there are some hints on how to do this in the FAQ.

NB. Those who downloaded the Toughie earlier from the online site and got 1102 by Kcit should return and download the one currently available (1109 by Notabilis) since this is the “official” one (the one that’s in the paper and the one that Big Dave will be reviewing today).

Across Clues

1a  Fly into a rage at failure to find sandal (4-4)
{FLIP-FLOP} – an informal verb to fly into a rage or ‘lose it’ is followed by a failure.

6a  Unconventional  exit (3-3)
{WAY-OUT} – double definition, the second information that you might see on a door or sign (though it would normally have a space in place of the hyphen).

9a  Ugly mob after nervous pal – coolness is required (6)
{APLOMB} – an anagram (ugly) of MOB follows an anagram (nervous) of PAL.

10a  Church with a candid clergyman (8)
{CHAPLAIN} – an abbreviation for church is followed by A (from the clue) and an adjective meaning candid or without subtlety.

11a  Delicacy got from fair goes off (4,4)
{FOIE GRAS} – this delicacy (not one that I’d want to eat because of the way it’s produced) is an anagram (off) of FAIR GOES.

12a  Female let down in the prime of life (6)
{FLOWER} – this word is used to mean the finest or most vigorous period of life. Start with F(emale) and add a verb to let down or put down.

13a  Transfer duke speedily (4,4,4)
{HAND OVER FIST} – a phrasal verb to transfer manually (4,4) followed by what duke is a slang term for.

16a  Dread  arrest (12)
{APPREHENSION} – double definition.

19a  Sexy Italian breaking heart? The reverse (6)
{EROTIC} – insert (breaking) the abbreviation for Italian into a synonym for heart or kernel, then reverse it all.

21a  Leave out sailor’s fish (8)
{SKIPJACK} – a charade of a verb to leave out or omit and one of the many informal terms for a sailor.

23a  Priggish girl, 12 (8)
{PRIMROSE} – the definition here is the answer to 12a. An adjective meaning priggish or puritanical is followed by a girl’s name.

24a  Support reportedly required by Austria’s first capital city (6)
{ANKARA} – this sounds like (reportedly) something that provides support or stability followed by the first letter of A(ustria).

25a  Mistreated a book, second-hand (6)
{ABUSED} – string together A (from the clue), B(ook) and an adjective meaning second-hand.

26a  Conjectures made by right-wingers entertaining ambassador (8)
{THEORIES} – supporters of a right-wing party in the UK contain (entertaining) the abbreviation for the title awarded to an ambassador.

Down Clues

2d  Scoundrel after drink for pet (6)
{LAPDOG} – a scoundrel or contemptible person comes after a verb to drink (in the manner of the answer).

3d  Examine top of posh gown (5)
{PROBE} – the first (top) letter of P(osh) followed by another word for gown.

4d  It may be difficult to get out of bra, thinly fashioned (9)
{LABYRINTH} – an anagram (fashioned) of BRA THINLY.

5d  Constable I included as very good painter (7)
{PICASSO} – insert I inside the abbreviation for a Police Constable, then add AS (from the clue) and a short word that can mean very good. This also works with the definition being ‘good painter’ and the short word at the end of wordplay just meaning ‘very’, but I prefer the first explanation.

6d  Conflict involving hospital and fellow in dock (5)
{WHARF} – armed conflict contains H(ospital) and that’s all followed by F(ellow).

7d  A tuna in foil, newly cooked (9)
{YELLOWFIN} – an anagram (cooked) of FOIL NEWLY.

8d  All that is acceptable in revolutionary rhyme (8)
{UNIVERSE} – start with the letter used to mean privileged or posh (and therefore socially acceptable) then reverse (revolutionary) IN and finish with a bit of rhyme or poetry.

13d  Novel had to contain right dates (4,5)
{HARD TIMES} – HAD (from the clue) contains R(ight), then add another word for dates.

14d  Murder in the Spanish Main – it involved Drake, ultimately (9)
{ELIMINATE} – string together a) ‘the’ (masculine version) in Spanish, b) an anagram (involved) of MAIN IT and c) the ultimate letter of (Drak)E.

15d  Adam, apparently, had one  piece of pork (5,3)
{SPARE RIB} – double definition, the first relating to the bit of Adam from which Eve was created according to Genesis.

17d  Budding early in north, with a pleasant smell (7)
{NASCENT} – the first (early) letter of N(orth) is followed by A and a pleasant smell.

18d  Few panic catching cold (6)
{SCARCE} – a panic or fright containing (catching) C(old).

20d  Social set boast over duke (5)
{CROWD} – a verb to boast or brag followed by (over, in a down clue) D(uke).

23d  Card  trickster (5)
{JOKER} – double definition, the card being the sort used in some forms of poker, for example.

My favourite (only one today) was 1a. Do let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HOARSE} + {MEET} = {HORSEMEAT}

49 comments on “DT 27363

  1. It’s rather fun when the next day’s edition flops on the electronic doormat shortly after 1am for a late night challenge. Lateral thinking seems a tad easier late in the day. Managed Tuesday’s in a straight run with 19a and 8d the last to fill. 13a – I am sure is correct but not sure of the wordplay. A */*** for me and I know that I can crack on with things straight away without a very looong brekkie/coffee in the morning.

    1. 13A is simps – Transfer = hand over, Duke = fist (as in Put your Dukes up – very popular when I was a sproglet back in the 50s and 60s)

      1. Thank you Skempie and for the fuller explanation further in the blog. It now does ring the faintest of bells. I would not have seen that meaning – I was too hung up on the ‘D’ (for Duke) which is used in the answer.
        It’s a long while since I had to ‘put up my dukes’ – last time was with my mother.

  2. Enjoyable, but untaxing today, a bit heavy on Fishes and Flowers though. Nothing really stood out as a favourite today, but I felt quite smug when the SE corner finally fell into place (a lot of stuff was written in very lightly indeed).

  3. I agree, very straightforward and easily completed before lights out last night. I would give this */** – favourite 21a, but no really good standouts.

  4. 1* time for me too. Nothing too exciting, but as always, thanks to the setter. Many thanks to Gazza also for the review.

    Back to toughie 1109 (not sure where the ones after 1101 have gone to!), which is a little bit of a struggle for me for a Tuesday.

    1. There was a bit of a cock-up on the publishing front which led to the Notabilis appearing by mistake, but that’s now become today’s official Toughie.

      1. Printed the toughie quite early this morning and got 1102 by Kcit now it’s reverted to 1109 by Notabilis………….ho hum!]
        Enjoyed today’s offering **/** for me, thanks Mr Mysteron and Gazza

      2. The question is do I keep the print off of Toughie 1102 on the basis it could turn up at some time or do I dump it? At the bottom it mentions a “Centenary Toughie” to be published near to Christmas as number 1106!

        I give up,my head’s starting to hurt & I’ve lost the will to battle with the muppets who are running the DT site. As my old Gran used to say they couldn’t organise a p#ss-up in a brewery without somebody getting drowned.

  5. All done without too much fuss courtesy of being on a very delayed Crosscountry train between Birmingham and Totnes en route to visit the outlaws. Glorious day here (Taunton-ish). I enjoyed this one… chuckled at 1a and learned a new word for me for the tuna. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza

  6. I managed to finish without referring to the hints, but would put it in the **/*** category only because I hate christmas shopping. As with gazza I also liked 1A with 13A a close second.Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  7. I’m obviously off the Tuesday setter’s wavelength as, lke last week, I found this quite tricky. I needed to look up one of the fish. **/**

  8. 1*/2* puzzle for me today, which was pretty much “read and write”.

    I wasn’t familiar with the meaning of duke in 13a but the answer was obvious, and I was momentarily thrown by 15d as my first thought was apple pie, which sort of fitted with Adam and pork! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    My favourite is a toss up between 14d and 15d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

    1. For 13a, Chambers Crossword Dictionary shows the slang version for duke. I thinks it’s more of an Americanism, especially in old movies, of someone being challenged to put “their dukes up” when being challenged to a confrontation.

      1. The consensus on the derivation of dukes for fists (though I don’t find it terribly convincing) is that it comes from rhyming slang – Duke of Yorks = forks and hence fingers.

        1. Having spent all my working life based in the East End, I am usually on much firmer ground with Cockney Rhyming slang than I am with American slang, but I was only aware of Duke (of Kent) in the singular as rhyming slang for rent.

          I agree with you Gazza that shifting the plural from Dukes to Yorks and then equating “forks” = “fingers” = “fist” seems a bit of a stretch.

          1. From ‘The Phrase Finder’ :

            Put up your dukes

            more like this…
            …other phrases about:
            Conflict and crime
            Parts of the body

            Put up your fists and prepare to fight.


            The ‘dukes’ are the hands or fists. There doesn’t appear to be any obvious connection between ‘dukes’ and ‘fists’ so, before we get to ‘put up your dukes’, we need an explanation of how the two words came to be linked. The use of ‘dukes’ meaning ‘hands’ is first referred to in print in the mid 19th century, in both England and the USA. The American soldier Samuel E. Chamberlain used it in his memoir My Confession, Recollections of a Rogue, circa 1859:

            I landed a stinger on his “potatoe trap” with my left “duke,” drawing the “Claret” and “sending him to grass.”

            put up your dukesThe most commonly repeated suggestion as to how ‘dukes’ came to mean ‘fists’ is that it derives from the Cockney rhyming slang – Duke of Yorks = forks = fingers/hands.

            At first sight this seems rather unlikely as the link between forks and fingers is hardly intuitive. There is a clear connection though – ‘forks’ had been a slang term for ‘fingers/hands’ since the 18th century. It is recorded as slang for ‘pickpocket’ in Nathan Bailey’s, Etymological English Dictionary, 1737:

            “FORK, a Pick-pocket. Lets Fork him; Let us pick that Man’s Pocket. It is done by thrusting the Fingers, strait, stiff, open and very quick into the Pocket, and so closing them, hook what can be held between them.”

            The term ‘fork-out’, meaning ‘pay money’, comes from the same source and is recorded by 1831.

            The earliest citation that I can find in print of the expression ‘put up your dukes’ is in John C. Hotten’s Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words, 1874, and this also supports the ‘forks’ = ‘fingers’ notion:

            “Dooks, or dukes, the hands, originally modification of the rhyming slang ‘Duke of Yorks,’ forks = fingers, hands… The word is in very common use among low folk. ‘Put up your dooks’ is a kind of invitation to fight.”

            Alternatively, it is sometimes suggested that ‘dukes’ is of Romany origin. This belief comes from the Romany word ‘dookin’, meaning fortune telling or palmistry. H. Brandon, the editor of Poverty, Mendicity and Crime, 1839, lists this meaning in the book’s glossary:

            “Dookin – fortune telling.”

            The palmistry association does link ‘dookin’ with hands, but, that aside, the evidence to support the Romany source is lacking.

  9. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. Very straightforward, favourite was 13a. Was 1*/2* for me. Xmas shopping done, so on to the Toughie!

  10. I agree this was straightforward but I really enjoyed it. 1* or 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment, even though I’m in a terrible strop today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    I have to confess that I had ‘flip-flap’ for 1a. The ‘fly’ was the ‘flip’ and the rage was the ‘flap’ and I’m not sure how I sorted out the ‘failure’ in my head! Oh dear, but at least it didn’t screw up anything else even if it was wrong.
    No other problems.
    I thought there were some good clues even if it was quite fishy. I agree about not eating 11a because of how it’s made.
    I liked 1, 9 and 24a and 7d. My favourite was 21a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    We need a couple of new windows. They were measured several weeks ago and the guys rang yesterday, while I was out, to see if it was OK to start today. Husband, in his wisdom, (?) said yes. He is now away until tomorrow evening, it’s eight days before Christmas, from Sunday onwards we have a big houseful and I’m now surrounded by mess, muddle and people! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  11. Thank you setter, new fishy words for me at 7d and 21a. All good fun. Thanks Gazza for the review.

  12. I enjoyed this puzzle though I had to think about 24a. The answer, from my letters, was obviously “Ankara” but I struggled with the reference to support until I realised that the “a” from Austria came at the end and not the beginning – Duh!! As for “dukes” meaning fists. I think this was fairly common slang in the early 19th century – certainly I came across it in the books of Jeffery Farnol – though there are several explanations for its derivation. **/***

  13. I’ve never heard of dukes meaning fists, & it sounds like an Americanism to me. I have heard of the fishes & flowers though, so we finished the puzzle with some assistance in the SE corner, mainly because my better half had put knave instead of joker which would have been good…..but wrong. Thank you setter & Gazza. Nice weather here today, but wild & woolly tomorrow apparently.

  14. Agree with a */**, initially thought 13a might have had something to do with John Wayne ,but also remembered-put up your dukes- which I thought arose from the era of bare knuckle fighting-maybe not.,6a reminded me of the hippie exit-way out man !Had a bit of time on my hands so watched The Great Labowski-what a Dude..

  15. No problems today, loved it. Yes, I agree lots of fish and flowers. 11a should be banned, I tend to be a little opinionated about food, so just ignore me. Thanks to setter and Gazza for review, and Skempie for our lesson re dukes. I always love to read about the history of words.


  16. Nice to see 1a crop up again. This time we knew what was being talked about. We call the same things “Jandals” and the Aussies call them “thongs”. But I think we have had all that discussion before. We knew both of the tuna from time spent in the Pacific and have actually caught both types. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.
    We now have a bonus solve this morning as we down-loaded and solved the Kcit toughie yesterday and only found out about the error this morning (our time). Have to be careful to avoid peeping at the review for the Notabilis though.

        1. I’m not sure how you’ve managed to read this blog for so long without realising that we provide the anagram indicator in brackets after the word ‘anagram’. So the hint for 14d contains:
          anagram (involved) of MAIN IT

  17. I had “hand over fast”, because of “speedily”.I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the correct answer meaning transfer.I live and learn,I suppose.Otherwise , a very nice puzzle, as most Tuesdays seem to be, for me anyway.Thanks to setter and Gazza.

    1. The definition for 13a (underlined in the clue as usual) is ‘speedily’. Hand over fist (originally used for sailors pulling on a rope) means speedily. So it’s hand over (i.e. transfer) + fist (duke).

  18. Very enjoyable if not too taxing crossword and a very enjoyable review, thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  19. Thanks Mr. Ron – you provided great fun today with goodly supply of light-hearted but mildly challenging clues. Filled 5d without fathoming why so thanks Gazza for that. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  20. Oh woe and misery me. December 18th and some hiccup with the Telegraph – have had to have the Times. O.K. for reading but I CAN’T do the crossword. What shall I do without my daily brain stretch? Does it appear anywhere on the web? (not my brain!) I AM a subscriber. Oh dear, what a start to a dark drab day.

      1. Oh thank you SOOO much! I’d never have discovered that on my own. You have made an extremely old little lady very happy. I now shan’t have to spend the entire afternoon sewing up a knitted teddy for a great grandchild – the hardest thing I have ever had to do. You’ve made my day. Have a great Christmas.

  21. Only discovered this site recently as I get back into solving Cryptic Crosswords and I have to say it’s brilliant. Many thanks to Big Dave!!
    I was amazed to do Monday’s crossword pretty easily, but like someone else mentioned, I wasn’t on the same wavelength with Tuesday’s and felt some of the clues were terrible. 19a and 24a in particular.

    1. Welcome to the blog Phil. Now that you’ve found us I hope that we’ll hear from you on a regular basis.

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