DT 27370 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27370

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27370

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Boxing Day brings us a crossword which will definitely please both those people fed up with Christmas-themed puzzles and fans of Ray T.   What it will do for the rest of the solvers, I am sure we will find out from their comments in due course!

Across Clues

1a           Word for down and out but not finished (12)
{MONOSYLLABLE}   Down and out are examples of this segment of speech uttered by a single effort of the voice; finished has more than one such segment.

8a           Ended topless intimacy, caught in streak (7)
{EXTINCT}  Ended, no longer existing – remove the first letter (topless) from some intimacy and insert the abbreviation for caught into a slight tinge of colour (streak).


9a           Fixed, absorbing first of drugs, to get tranquillised (7)
{SEATED}   Insert the first letter of drugs into fixed or settled.

11a         Man sleeping rough around island produces papers (7)
{DOSSIER}  Insert the abbreviation for island into a rough sleeper.

12a         Body concerned with electricity supply (7)
{REMAINS}  That which is left, a corpse.   The two letters meaning about and the electrical supply system.

13a         Initially individual things, each making stories (5)
{ITEMS}  The initial letters of Individual Thing Each Making Stories (in the papers!)

14a         Hollow found in grains in cereal (9)
{INSINCERE}  An adjective meaning hollow in the sense of hypocritical is found in graINS IN CEREal.

16a         Revoltingly sickens at sleaze (9)
{TACKINESS}  An anagram (revoltingly) of SICKENS AT.

19a         Hoods for cold birds (5)
{COWLS}   The abbreviation for cold and some nocturnal predatory birds.


21a         Go abroad missing grand Dubai? (7)
{EMIRATE}   Omit  the G (missing grand) from a verb meaning to move permanently to another country and you get an Islamist state of which Dubai is an example, hence the ?

23a         Following cool former wife, play loose (7)
{INEXACT}   Loose in the sense of imprecise –   The two letter word used to mean fashionable (cool), the informal way of referring to a previous wife, and a verb meaning to play, eg on the stage.

24a         Greedy hawk almost approaching salmon, say (7)
{SELFISH}   Despite the nice surface reading, the hawk here is a verb meaning to carry around for sale so you need almost all of a synonym for hawk followed by a water-living invertebrate of which the salmon is an example (say).

25a         Sort of paint over in one second (7)
{IMPASTO}   Thickly applied pigment –   Follow I (one) with an informal abbreviation for a short period of time, into which has been inserted an adjective meaning gone, ended.


26a         Sublime rapture taking seconds, then new depression (12)
{TRANSCENDENT}  Insert the abbreviation for seconds into an ecstatic state (rapture) and then follow with the abbreviation for new and a hollow or depression.


1d           Girl embracing a tense European artist (7)
{MATISSE}  Insert A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for tense into a title given to a young lady (girl) and finish with the abbreviation for European.

2d           Spoils musical surrounded by nudes’ ends (7)
{NANNIES} Spoils in the sense of overprotects –   Insert the musical about an orphan girl into the ends of NudeS.


3d           A stunner I fancy is moody (9)
{SATURNINE}   An adjective meaning moody or gloomy is obtained from an anagram (fancy)of A STUNNER I.

4d           Queen after large, very large failure (5)
{LOSERWell she had to be in here somewhere!   The Queen’s regnal cipher goes after the abbreviation for large and the two letters signifying outsize (very large).

5d           Stomach sailor and crew holding party (7)
{ABDOMEN}   An abbreviated sailor, a party and another way of referring to the crew of a ship.


6d           Where one may go in dodgy Reliant (7)
{LATRINE}  Somewhere to pass water (go) in a campsite or barracks is an anagram (dodgy) of RELIANT.

7d           She aids with term’s reorganising (12)
{HEADMISTRESS}   An anagram (reorganizing) of SHE AIDS and TERMS.

10d         Relief from pain in doses unfortunately taking time (12)
{DISPENSATION}  An anagram (unfortunately) of PAIN IN DOSES with T inserted (taking time).

15d         Little    doubt? (9)
{SUSPICION}  Double definition – a slight quantity or minute trace;  mistrust.

17d         Horror film’s sick heartless evildoer beneath church (7)
{CHILLER}  The sort of film that may make you shiver –   The abbreviation for church, an adjective meaning sick and the outside letters (heartless)of evildoer.

18d         Foreign national stood with Scotsman supporting independence originally (7)
{IRANIAN}   The initial letter (originally)of Independence is supported or followed by the past participle of a verb meaning to stand as an election candidate and a man’s name,  which  I presume originated in Scotland as crossword setters tend to use it when they need a Scotsman at the end of a solution.

19d         Could start old car that is something economical (7)
{CHEAPIE}   The initial letter (start) of could, a dilapidated old motor car, and the two letter abbreviation meaning that is.

20d         Nameless person seen in straw hat, sitting (7)
{WHATSIT} A way of indicating someone whose name one cannot be bothered to  recall is seen hidden in straW  HAT SITting.

22d         Moral principles of English, largely broad (5)
(ETHIC)   The abbreviation for English followed by almost all (largely) of an adjective meaning broad.

Season’s Greetings and thank you once again to Ray T for another year’s worth of puzzles.

I’m off now to see what the Toughie has in store before a ‘splosh’ round the marsh with my friend and her dog  (it is still very very wet here) and then back to make the Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak.   Have a good day everyone.


Today’s Quickie Pun: {SWORE} + {MUFF} + {FLIES} = (SWARM OF FLIESWell I did say Ray wasn’t in festive mode!!

41 comments on “DT 27370

  1. Good morning, a beautiful day in Dover, bright blue sky and water like a mill pond.

    Always enjoy RayT puzzles, this one seemed a bit easier than his normal offering.
    It would have fallen into place much quicker if I hadn’t mistyped 15d, which made the bottom of the puzzle insoluble. Once sorted with a few dohs and laughs all done!

    Thanks CS for the excellent review.

    Thanks to RayT for an entertaining start to my day.

    Now onto the double toughie which owing to a surfeit of alcohol didn’t get a look in yesterday.

  2. Finished but I thought this was back to the bad old days of a Ray T, absolutely dreadful! The only faintly pleasant clue was 6d, the rest is best consigned with the remains of the turkey!
    Sorry forgot to thank CS but I have to say I thought the hint for 8a was more cryptic than the clue :-)

    1. Brian, your comments always bring a smile to my face: –

      But how do you grade the crosswords?

      Is “Absolutely Dreadful” better or worse than “Horrid”?

  3. Ray T at his best, not too hard. Many clues have asterisks beside them: 20d and 14a for near invisibility,7d not sure what to call it, logical anagram ?4d and 12a and 24a simple but brilliant.Thanks to CS for the blog, and RayT for the puzzle.

  4. Merry Christmas to Brian. i can see how happy he is from here in S Warks where it is sunny. The calm before the storm methinks. Vintage motorcycle day today. Great Crossword from the master. I have a small problem to sort top left but no time just now to sort it out. 6d does not start with the I that I have there. Thanks to all Bye for now .

  5. Thank you Ray T, and compliments of the season to you. I struggled with this, but finished eventually and needed a couple of explanations from you CS to decode my answer ! You were certainly up and about early – many thanks for your review and hints and dedication during the year. I had a look at the Guardian puzzle yesterday and now realise why I enjoy the DT Cryptic.

  6. I really enjoyed this today, got it finished but couldnt understand the word play for 1a. Thanks CS for pointing out the obvious and for a great review.

  7. Beautiful day in East Devon. A brisk walk to the seafront and back to see the Boxing Day swim prepared me well for this challenge. I thought 1a was a peach.

  8. Excellent puzzle from Ray T. Thanks to he & to CS.Favourite clue has to be 7d. Now for the Toughie.. Tomorrow’s Toughie is the one that escaped temporarily from the asylum last week. I wonder if they’ll get the site fixed before the New Year as it’s now 34 days since it crashed.

  9. Well we got there in the end, but I have to say found 1a pretty much impenetrable. Fitted a word to the letters and then retrofitted the clue. Not an ideal start.

    Thanks for the tips, it’s always good to know backup is available!

  10. A great puzzle – thank you Mr Ray T. What a sublime clue that is 1a. Managed to complete with no help but thanks to Crypicsue (you are right the Christmas Pudding is in danger of being over-egged) for your stalwart efforts; always nice to confirm a few answers. Now it’s sunny outside and there is a very welcoming pub half an hour’s country walk away. Well, what would you do? – btw, does anyone know if there is a rehab facility somewhere in the country for crossword addicts?

  11. Thank you CS for your necessary help, & to the setter of course. Lovely Boxing Day here in Scarborough. Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas Day.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  12. Thanks to RayT and Crypticsue, a very enjoyable wee solve to blow the cobwebs away from my pickled brain and a lovely review.

  13. An enjoyable puzzle. Thank you for the hints. 1ac made me smile but when the logic dawned it turned out to be a well constructed clue. Thanks again.

  14. Oh, no! I scrolled down on the DT puzzle link, not paying attention to the dates, and printed out and solved tomorrow’s puzzle(27371) today!! It may have been because of the early (3 am for me) hour, or bleary eyes from too little sleep, but I swear that was the only cryptic posted at the time. Nothing to do tomorrow now but the double toughie I didn’t have time for yesterday. Why would they post a puzzle a day early?

    On to today’s puzzle now…

    1. They gave us three days puzzles so that some poor soul at Telegraph Towers doesn’t have to interrupt their Chirstmas break to put up the pdfs. They have been there like that since Tuesday

      1. I understand that. Perhaps taking five minutes to log on from home to post on the correct day is too advanced for the DT. I’m just double grumpy because having done tomorrow’s today, I also caught sight of the answers to the Ray T since they’re on the same page so my enjoyment today is shot to pieces.

        1. See Una’s reply to me below. I think she meant it for you. Hope it’ snot too cold up with you.

          1. I wish the autocorrect would not ALWAYS change it’s not to it’ snot. I try to remember to check but sometimes forget. In any case Chris, forgive me, it was not intentional

        2. Dear Expat Chris
          As many readers and subscribers might not want to interrupt their family Christmas to download puzzles on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Dec 27, I thought it would be helpful if we made all the puzzles available for all three days, so that people would only have to access them on one occasion.
          Also, a lot of work went into the Christmas Day puzzles and I didn’t want them to be available only on a day when most people would not be logging on.
          It was a very complicated line-up of puzzles to set up on Christmas morning but it seemed a good idea at the time.

          1. Thanks Phil in the time available I have really enjoyed them all although struggled a wee bit with one of the toughies !
            Best wishes to all setters ,bloggers ,and all who comment ,!

    2. Sorry Expat Chris, the recommendation for the Guardian’s Chifonie was intended for you, and anybody else who would like a pleasant solve.
      Are Mary and Kath having a riotous christmas or are they without power ? I hope it’s the former.

      1. Thanks for the thought. We have power (rather obviously since I can do this) but see later comment . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  15. As usual with RayT, first read brought groans, but as I got a few in, then the rest followed. I did need CS’s hints to confirm a few answers … great job, methinks CS. On reading the DT today with all the flooding in Kent, I wonder how you are faring and, hopefully, not underwater. Thanks to RayT as well, good mental exercise. Favourite has to be 1a, very clever.

  16. Thanks to Ray T and to crypticSue for the review and hints. A super puzzle, favourite was 6d. Was 3*/3. for me.

  17. Good stuff once again. 1a was one of the last few in, a very clever clue. An absolute groan inducing pun in the quickie too. Word count totally in order despite the clue for 18d taking up three lines. Lots of fun.
    Thanks RayT and CS.

  18. Setter here, with many thanks to CS for the review and to everybody who left a comment. Many thanks also to BD and the team for their work during the past year, and I wish you all a very happy New Year.


  19. Thanks for the hints – they were needed today, maybe my brain is addled with too much Xmas alcohol? Thanks Ray T – great to see you have left a comment :).

  20. We are SO over-peopled. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    We’ve had several people here since Sunday – today we were briefly down to us, our daughters and eldest daughter’s partner – then my sister arrived! Tomorrow seven more ‘grownies’ come plus our one year old great-nephew. I’m knackered.
    Anyway, onto the crossword. I finally managed to get a look at it at about 5.00pm but it was quite difficult to concentrate – wrong time of day and people around.
    I got the wrong ending for 1a even though I couldn’t explain it. That made 6d tricky. I missed 14a – oh dear – they always catch me out.
    I enjoyed it but not as much as I would have done if I’d been able to do it in peace and quiet at the kitchen table – my problem, nothing to do with the crossword!
    Lots of good clues, as usual.
    With thanks to Ray T and CS.

    1. Glad to hear that you haven’t been suffering a power cut or worse a flood.Your absense has been conspicuous.Anyway, all the hubbub at yours means you have lots of puzzles to look forward to. Dada’s “toughie” is excellent.Best wishes !

  21. As a RayT fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this, giving it ****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif 1a was definitely my fave, but I liked lots of other clues, including 24a, 1d, 2d, and 6d. I thought 14a was cleverly hidden! I managed without your excellent hints, Crypticsue. (Btw, there’s a ‘d’ missing from the answer to 9a.)
    Many thanks to RayT for all his super puzzles. And much appreciation, Crypticsue, for all your invaluable elucidations.

    (I am having great difficulty leaving comments.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Firefox keeps freezing, Adobe flash keeps crashing, laptop also keeps freezing and huffing and puffing. Battery gone dead! Is the bug attacking the DT site contagious????! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif)

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