DT 27365

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27365

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Apart from 13 down this was a write-in, leaving me plenty of time to get ready for a coffee morning.

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    Around middle of board puts kings and queens here? (7)
{PALACES} – a verb meaning puts around the middle letter of boArd

5a    Flower‘s dropping, overrun by returning crowd (7)
{BLOSSOM} – dropping or forfeiture inside (overrun by) the reversal (returning) of a crowd

9a    Crease knight’s cloth (5)
{LINEN} – a crease followed by the chess notation for a knight

10a    Fake qualification left out (9)
{IMITATION} – drop the initial L(eft) from a qualification or shortcoming

11a    Really hot nuts, say (10)
{THOROUGHLY} – an anagram (nuts) of HOT followed by an adverb meaning say or approximately

12a    Small hole for capturing animals — this might be released from the trap (4)
{SPIT} – S(mall) followed by a hole for capturing animals –trap here is a slang word for the mouth

14a    Fellow switched future car brand (12)
{MANUFACTURER} – a fellow followed by an anagram (switched) of FUTURE CAR

18a    Engineer cut iron cost with new building (12)
{CONSTRUCTION} – an anagram (engineer) of CUT IRON COST with N(ew)

21a    Farm  register (4)
{TILL} – two definitions

22a    In new fashion, dump tie? Ill bred (10)
{MULTIPLIED} – an anagram (in new fashion) of DUMP TIE ILL

25a    Almost everyone is in one country or another (9)
{AUSTRALIA} – most of a word meaning everyone inside the name of a country gives a different country

26a    In French, starts to nag us, implying boredom (5)
{ENNUI} – the French for in followed by the initial letters of (starts to) three words in the clue

27a    Daughter is to perform in show (7)
{DISPLAY} – D(aughter) followed by IS and a verb meaning to perform

28a    Reset PC to correct after‑image? (7)
{SPECTRE} – an anagram (to correct) of RESET PC – what do you think of the definition?


1d    Well-mannered coppers with time for first of complaints (6)
{POLITE} – start with some coppers or boys in blue and insert T(ime) in place of the initial letter (first) of Complaints

2d    Where Boris Johnson might be eccentric, embracing leaders in New Delhi (6)
{LONDON} – an eccentric or simple-minded person around (embracing) the initial letters of (leaders in) New Delhi

3d    Letters from prisoners upsetting to nans (10)
{CONSONANTS} – some prisoners followed by an anagram (upsetting) of TO NANS

4d    Talk about Western type of jazz (5)
{SWING} – a verb meaning to talk or betray around W(estern)

5d    Excellent fish ain’t at sea! (9)
{BRILLIANT} – a fish followed by an anagram (at sea) of AIN’T

6d    Casanova love-nest taking shape (4)
{OVAL} – hidden (taking) inside the clue

7d    Footwear for those who fall over? (8)
{SLIPPERS} – could be those who fall over on the ice

8d    About ready? (8)
{MONETARY} – concerning cash

13d    Feeling blue? (10)
{ATMOSPHERE} – the pervading mood of a situation – my last one, and I’m still not happy about it (does that mean that I’m feeling blue?)

15d    Any Lulu moves captivating American, surprisingly (9)
{UNUSUALLY} – an anagram (moves) of ANY LULU around (captivating) the two-letter abbreviation for American

16d    Country clubs? Lad’s not excited about that (8)
{SCOTLAND} – C(lubs) inside (about that) an anagram (excited) of LAD’S NOT

17d    Criticism in article lay badly with sibling (8)
{ANALYSIS} – the two-letter indefinite article followed by an anagram (badly) of LAY and the abbreviated form of a female sibling

19d    10 American soldiers lifted seal (6)
{SIGNET} – 10 as a word followed by some American soldiers, all reversed (lifted in a down clue)

20d    Failing to follow advertisement’s counsel (6)
{ADVICE} – a failing after (to follow) AD(vertisement)

23d    Catches bugs around river (5)
{TRAPS} – a verb meaning bugs a telephone around R(iver)

24d    Type of exam — enters for a laugh (4)
{ORAL) – hidden (enters) inside the clue

Great puzzle for those who love anagrams!

The Quick crossword pun: (teller} + {storey} = {tell a story}



  1. Michael
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward this morning but really good fun!

    Today’s Crossword was not available last night at midnight – I kept trying until about quarter past and gave it up as a bad job. This outage of The Daily Telegraph Puzzles site is getting beyond a joke, what on earth can the problem be? It baffles me!

    • Merusa
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      It’ snot only baffling but is getting really annoyinghttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        IPad’s correction of it’ snot is applicable, is it not?

  2. Dick
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The early bird got the table first this morning and I was left to pick up the crumbs, one of which, 13d, had me baffled. Still has, even though I have it now with your help. I just don’t get the reference.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Dick, I took it as a double definition. Feeling = atmosphere, and the Earth’s atmosphere appears blue to us.

      • Bluebird
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the great blue yonder……

  3. Timbo
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thought 13d ok
    Blue: as in “shot into the blue” and mood

    • gazza
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Timbo.

  4. Sweet William
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter – not too difficult. Thanks BD for your review. No excuse now – off to Morrisons………!

  5. Dave Hartley
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    13 Down. Blue as in “into the blue”, blue sky, atmosphere I believe.

    • gazza
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Dave.

  6. Droolie
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I thought 13d was a double definition, rather than single.

    • gazza
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      You’ve omitted a “1” from the email address you’ve used before. I’ve edited it back in for you – let me know if I shouldn’t have!

      • Droolie
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Sorry – I seem to alternate between two addresses when writing here, and can never remember which one I used last time. Both work but go to slightly different inboxes.

  7. skempie
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    No big problems, but there are a couple of clues I didn’t really like – 8D : I just don’t think this works at all, perhaps if the clue were ABOUT READIES it might be OK, as it is, I was only able to solve it by trial and error trying to decide what letters could fit; 13D : probably just about works as a double definition, but feels a bit tenuous to my mind. Other than that, some quite nice cluing and some very good anagrams.

    Very good concert last night with Steeleye Span doing some numbers from their new album and some old classics – they managed to get the whole crown singing along to All Around My Hat. Very interesting drive home after though with some rather large fluddles to get around, luckily no trees down.

    • lostboy
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      ….aka “All Around Mike Batt”…….

      13d, Boo, Hiss (it’s Panto season)

  8. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Rating 2.5*/3.5* I enjoyed this puzzle today even though I thought there were too many full and partial anagrams. I found parts of it easy and parts much tougher.

    It took me quite a while after getting the answer to 11a to unravel the wordplay, and, even though I got the right answer for 12a, I needed BD’s explanation to understand the parsing.

    22a fooled me initially as I saw immediately it was an anagram but it was only some time later I realised that “in new fashion” was the anagram indicator and not the definition :oops:

    It’s probably the pedant in me coming to the fore, but I thought the wordplay for 16d seemed a bit clumsy because “that” (singular) is referring to “clubs” (plural). However, I suppose the logic is that “that” is actually referring to “C” as the singular abbreviation for clubs.

    Clues I particularly liked were 1a, 22a, 28a, 8d, and 13d with 11a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and as ever to the tireless BD.

    P.S. BD – I think the definition for 28a is OK. A spectre could be considered as a vision from the after-life.

  9. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    In the words of Monty Python…

    … and now for something completely different

    Did anyone else see John Halpern on BBC news this morning promoting his book The Centenary of the Crossword? He said that people wishing to start on cryptic crosswords should either buy puzzle magazines or the Daily Telegraph as these were at the easier end of the cryptic spectrum. Do we agree?!

    • pommers
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I do agree, but there’s more to it than the DT just being at the easier end of the spectrum.

      I think that what’s important is that you know more-or-less what you’re going to get from the DT as the variation between the hardest and easiest puzzles is much less than other papers, apart from the occasional one that gets labelled as a “wrong envelope day”!. Maybe that’s because the DT has the Toughie to publish it’s harder puzzles, which is a luxury that the Graun, FT and Indy don’t have.

      The Graun daily cryptic difficulty range runs from the Monday Rufus (same as DT) to Enigmatist on a Friday which is usually harder than his Elgar Toughies. Same applies to the FT and Indy.

  10. John
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Feeling blue? Atmosphere is a poor answer. Not happyhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    • gazza
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog john.

  11. Bluebird
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Nothing very exciting or fun, but I didn’t find it THAT straightforward.

    Two or three long anagrams which took me a few minutes to get and some synonyms which I just didn’t see. 23d – I just didn’t think of that meaning of bugs……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    2 to 2.5 for me then.

  12. Hrothgar
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Because I’m psyched up to expect Thursday to be hard, I invariably find Thursday hard.
    This one, especially.
    But got there unaided in the end, spent too long on 8d, and 11a (only after getting the checking letters)
    Not happy with 13d.
    Many thanks to the setter for the struggle, and to BD.

  13. Collywobbles
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I think that the definition for 28a is rubbish and I’ve made a mistake in 28a so I have to write over the wrong letters which messes up the presentation. When, oh when, will the site return to normality. This really is too much and putting the problem right can’t be that difficult

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I liked 28a

      • neveracrossword
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        So did I. I had respect for this anagram.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink


      • Steve_the_beard
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Me too.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      It was too easy!

  14. mary
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hello everyone I’ve actually managed to pop in today, I really shouldn’t have joined so many things just before Christmas, it’s not half interfering with my ‘crossword life’ !!!!! Thanks for blog Dave, I did need your help for 8d and 12a just couldn’t see those Duh!!! I quite enjoyed this one a two to three star for me, but no favourite clue,

    • spindrift
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      At last – some of us were starting to get a bit worried as to your whereabouts.

      • mary
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully in the New Year crossword life will return to normal :-)

  15. crypticsue
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Fairly typically straightforward Thursday Mysteron – thank you to him and to BD too.

    Had an email from A.N.Other this morning with the subject ‘Another c***k up!” Somewhat confused, I opened the message to read ‘Owing to an editorial error, the cryptic crossword has appeared on the back page” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

    • spindrift
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Was it last Saturday’s paper where the front, second, inside back page and the back page went straight from the front door to the recycling box?

      What a bloody waste of resources – it made me decide not to buy that brand of perfume for Mrs S this Christmas!

    • skempie
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink


    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      After I recovered from the shock this morning, I looked out of my lounge window just in time to see a pig fly past…

      • stanXYZ
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Rabbit Dave,

        Only one pig flying past … I always thought that they flew in formation.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      It should be on the back page. That is it’s rightful place and it makes it easier to fold the paper. However, for us poor people who have to print from a pdf this is a very stressful time and I think that those responsible should give an estimate of the future downtime

  16. Expat Chris
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Wll, I liked it all, especially 13D, which was my last one in and a D’oh moment. Many thanks to the setter, and once again to BD for service above and beyond.

  17. Beaver
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    At first glance it looked difficult, but the answers just went in without thinking so have to reluctantly agree with the BD rating, thought I was having a good day! liked 28a and 13d last in ,which seemed to be the general case . Thanks BD for the pics-liked the bear.

  18. Toni
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Isaw the crossword man this morning and thought” oh no” and it’s Thursday, my worst day but… I got 20 clues on my first pass before realising it’s probably a different setter.
    On a different note does anybody think it’s become mandatory to include “elastic” as an answer in the quick?

  19. Toni
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Finished it now. Needed help with 8d and 12 across. Just on the wrong wavelength.
    Thanks to both

  20. mary
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    No snow here yet thank goodness I don’t know how well my little Smart car will cope with snow and ice!!!!

  21. BigBoab
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Fun crossword and great review, thanks to the setter and to BD.

  22. pommers
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Finally got around to doing this one over a late lunch (again). Agree with BD about it being a write in and guess which was our last in? Actually it was 5a because we sort of forgot about it until we thought we’d finished but we did need all the checkers to get the dreaded 13d!

    Like Mary I rather hope things get back to normal after the hols.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  23. SheilaP
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was very difficult, & although we managed to finish it, we needed quite a bit of help. I hate bits of answers being anagrams & all those sort of fussy clues, but that’s because I find them hard. Anyway thank you BD again & to the setter of course.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  24. Kath
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    On first quick look I thought this was going to be difficult – I got very few across answers but did lots more the downs. 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I put 13d in mainly because it worked with all the letters I had – not very keen on it.
    8d was my last one and I only got that when I finally saw 12a – I thought both of those were clever and 12a did make me laugh.
    I needed the hint to understand 11a.
    I liked 10 and 25a and 8 and 23d. My favourite was 12a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Off to stack logs now.

  25. Heno
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I found this quite tricky in places, and was beaten by 8&13d. Didn’t like 13d at all, perhaps it could be blue for blue sky sort of equals atmosphere ? Was 3*/2* for me.

  26. Tmdess
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi everyone, from snowy Boston, Mass!

    Could someone please explain 8D to me? I think I’m probably overthinking it!

    • pommers
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      READY or READIES is a UK slang term for cash, ie money. So the answer is a word meaning “about, or having to do with, money”.

  27. Brian
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Another one of those that the experts find easy. I thought it was a 4 star difficult. Managed just 7 answers and the rest are a complete mystery!

    • Brian
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Could I make a plea to whoever is doing the hints when there is a clue such as 21a, could we possibly have a hint rather than just ‘double definition’ which we had already worked out?

      • Sweet William
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Look out Brian – I can hear the pedant’s footsteps approaching…………….!

      • stanXYZ
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Brian, I don’t often agree with your comments, but today I do.

        ” two definitions” is not much of a hint.

      • pommers
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Pommette was stuck on 21a untili I told her it was a cash register.

  28. Merusa
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    On first read I thought I was going to fail miserably, but the downs went in a little easier for me, and then I was off. I needed help for the why of some, 11a and 13d for instance. I put in 12a but had no idea why, “trap” with that meaning must be Britspeak. Overall entertaining but I found it more difficult than most. Thanks BD for your review and explanations.

  29. Compo
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Managed it all with the exception of 8d. Very poor of me in view of my previous occupation. Thanks BD

    • gazza
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Your comment needed moderation because you’re using a different email address from your last one. Both should now work (but they will generate different avatars).

  30. Angel
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    At least today we’re in the right place. Have never liked Chanel (No. 5 or any other) and am not persuaded now – obviously I’m not alone but presumably some people are swayed, No wonder its price is prohibitive if cost of that kind of exorbitant advertising has to be supported. Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this puzzle by no means a write-in however got there in the end almost without hints but needed guidance on 8d. Thanks BD for your unfailing devotion to the task. Overall not really a barrel of laughs hence ***/*.

  31. Miffypops
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    A read and write day today which I do not expect on a Thursday. !2ac 8d and 13d do not float my boat at all. There were a few I put in before reading the clue because they fit the checking letters – where is the fight in that. The last kitchen unitis out. Now for the rebuild. First though a meal at a seafood restaurant with Saint Sharon, my beautiful daughter and her husband and by big brother who is over from Australia (25ac) ta to all. See you tomorrow.

  32. Little Dave
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I zipped through this but confess to having missed 8d. 26a must be one of the most common answers! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  33. Una
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    The top right hand corner was certainly a write -in , as were some of the lower clues.I can’t see any definition in14a, I didn’t like the anagram constructs of 16d and18a.So , like Brian and others I didn’t find it all that easy.I liked 13a.Thanks to setter and BD.

  34. slartibartfast
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I did not like 13d. It should be possible to get an answer to any clue without any checking letters, I’d be supprised if anyone managed that with 13d

    • Una
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I did.But there were a number that I didn’t , 14a for example even with 5 checking letters.

  35. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    We find it quite interesting that the comments are generally much more negative when people do not know who the setter is. We wonder if the editorial staff at the DT notice this. Nothing in this puzzle held us up for long but a pretty satisfactory enjoyment factor.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

    • Una
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Good observation.Especially when the setter tends to look in and comment himself (or herself).

  36. jg
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it about time that clues relying on Australia and Austria were declared obsolete.

  37. Kath
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Request time off tomorrow! All has not gone according to plan today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    Earlier on sparks and flashes were seen coming from an ‘electricky thingie’ – I’ve been told it’s called a transformer – which is in the garden of a neighbour – it’s all tangled up in a tree. We will be without electricity for the foreseeable future – great! i’m making light of it but it is actually quite scary – apparently nobody should go near the tree or onto the ground around it because we could be electrocuted. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

    • andy
      Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink


      • andy
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        Oh Kath, I’m dealing with the aftermath of Cynth being let off a lead, no no no no. Just got back from the family whose rabbit she thought was dinner, they thought it was their daughters Christmas present. Bugger.

        • Merusa
          Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Oh dear, oh dear! How awful for you.

  38. Terryfromslough
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Well I have been really struggling with this all evg & after help with the anagrams still have only one solved in north west, so about to get help from here.

  39. Tstrummer
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Got all of this without trouble until I came to 12a. Had to come here for hint and still don’t quite get it. Is this a slang word for mouth that has passed me by all these years in polite company? 28a is a perfectly good clue, by the way, unlike 8d. So thanks to BD for all you do

  40. Geoff marbella
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I was travelling yesterday and so could not print the crossword, is there a way to get a PDF? got todays from the pitiful DT web site – trust all the subscribers will be compensated wit a longggg extension of their membership

  41. Geoff marbella
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I do gracias. Now soon as I can find an adapter for my Spanish plug into UK 3 pin I am good to go – why is it never easy……..

  42. Cornishpasty
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I had to see the hint to get13d and was so annoyed when I got it. We used to use that word to describe the situation when my paternal grandmothers was annoyed with us.