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DT 27374

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27374

Hints and tips by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

The Tuesday Mysteron has provided us with a straightforward crossword for the final backpager of 2013 – anagram fans will love  it but it had a few too many ‘old friends’ for me.

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.


5a           Like a Romantic poet of an earlier age — strange irony in that (7)
{BYRONIC}  An anagram (strange) of IRONY inserted into the two letters used to indicate a much earlier time in man’s history.


7a           Light weight for a wild cat (5)
{OUNCE}   Oh no!  Not that cat again!    A sixteenth of a pound or Crosswordland’s favourite  wild cat.  If there were as many sightings in the wild as there are in crosswords, I don’t think it would be on the endangered list!

9a           Start meal, first drop of ale included (6)
{LAUNCH}   Include the first letter (drop) of Ale in the midday meal.

10a         Equestrian reportedly caught before winning trophy (5,3)
{RYDER CUP}   A homophone (reportedly) of an equestrian, the abbreviation for caught in cricket scores and an adverb meaning ahead in scoring (winning).

Ryder Cup

11a         Diversion embarrassed the woman with band (3,7)
{RED HERRING}  The colour you are if embarrassed, the female possessive pronoun and a simple band.

red herring

13a         Parking skill character’s shown (4)
{PART}   The abbreviation for parking plus a practical skill.

14a         Group of undesirables regularly goes abroad (6,7)
{ROGUES GALLERY}  An anagram (abroad) of REGULARLY GOES.

16a         Young woman sneaking into film is sixteen (4)
{MISS}  A young lady has sneaked into filM IS Sixteen.

17a         Opinion given in short testimonial, freely (10)
{ESTIMATION}  An anagram (freely) of TESTIMONIAL, once you have removed the last letter as indicated by ‘short’.

19a         American involved kept secret (2,6)
{IN CAMERA}  And another anagram – this time an involved AMERICAN.

20a         New marker is strict (6)
{NARROW} The abbreviation for New and a particular shape of marker.

22a         Refuse to sleep across river (5)
{DROSS}  Waste matter originally from melting metals.   Insert the abbreviation for river into a verb meaning to go to sleep.

23a         Back nag that comes in last, commonly (7)
{ENDORSE}  Split 3, 4, this might be how someone who didn’t sound their H’s (commonly) might refer to the nag that’s finishing in  last place.


1d           Smooth things out in golf club (4)
{IRON}   Double definition.

2d           Managing care home, initially (2,6)
{IN CHARGE}   Initially tells you to start with the two-letter word meaning at home  which should be followed with another word for care or custody.

3d           Keen on pet food from a stand? (3,3)
{HOT DOG}  An adjective meaning keen or sought after followed by a household pet.

hot dog

4d           Mason’s beginning to enter unexpectedly repentant defendant’s plea? (10)
{ENTRAPMENT}   Insert the initial (beginning) letter of Mason into an anagram (unexpectedly) of REPENTANT.

5d           Hardy book getting extravagant praise (5)
{BRAVE}  Hardy in the sense of daring –   The abbreviation for book followed by an informal term for extravagant praise.

6d           Business from upper-class customers from Surrey, say, poorly rated (8,5)
{CARRIAGE TRADE}  Misleading capital time –  here a  surrey is a type of horse drawn vehicle which should be followed by yet another anagram (poorly) of RATED.


8d           Head of embassy has question about king for royal attendant (7)
{EQUERRY}   Follow the head of Embassy with a question which has  the Latin abbreviation for king inserted.

12d         Sharp temper in peak tourist period (4,6)
{HIGH SEASON}  Sharp in the sense of shrill and a verb meaning to bring into suitable condition (temper).

14d         Was monarch pelted, as stated? (7)
{REIGNED}  A homophone (as stated) of one of the definitions of  pelted.

15d         Article in French newspaper promoting drink (8)
{LEMONADE}   Insert the English indefinite article into a well-known French newspaper.


17d         Very moving verse heading start of obituary (4,2)
{EVER SO}   An anagram (moving) of VERSE, heading or going before the start of Obituary.

18d         Ring precinct for gas (5)
{OZONE}   The letter that looks like a ring followed by a precinct or region.

21d         Uncommon poison copper overlooked (4)
{RARE}   Omit the chemical symbol for copper from a paralysing poison.

Thanks to the Mysteron for a nice straightforward puzzle to solve and review.   Happy New Year to you and to everyone else – bloggers, setters, solvers and lurkers  too.

I have taken over Gazza’s Tuesday spot so that he can have the fun of enjoying today’s Micawber end-of-year Toughie twice over.   Do have a go – they are always one of the highlights of the Toughie-solving calendar.

The Quick crossword pun: (wether} + {vain} = {weather vane}

38 comments on “DT 27374

  1. Middle of the road puzzle, not too tricky but medium for enjoyment.
    Did like 23a. Thx to the Mysteron and to CS for explaining 2d and 6d.
    Off now to cook for 14 for tonight. A Happy New Year to all on the Blog esp BD for all the hard work he puts in.

  2. Even I noticed a lot of ‘old friends’ in this puzzle, that and the preponderance of anagrams made it an easy solve for me.

    Thanks to CS for a text book review…although it wasn’t needed today.

    Thanks to the Mysteron.

    Toughie printed for this afternoon.

  3. Thank you setter. Must be me – struggling again. Finished without hints, but rather like yesterday, not sure whether it was a lot of fun ! Thanks CS for your review hints and photos.

  4. Thanks to the setter and to crypticSue for the review and hints. No sparkle in this at all. I fell at the last 5d, thought it was a Thomas Hardy book, so needed the hint for that. No favorite, was 2*/2* for me. Off to play squash now. Happy New Year to all. Extra thanks to BD for all his work on this wonderful site. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. Thanks to all for your kind words yesterday. I found today’s effort quite gentle until taking a bit of time over the last three in. 5ac 5d and 6d. I agree about the old chestnuts but I do not mind an abundance of anagrams provided the indicators are new, difficult to recognise or just downright clever. I particularly liked the misdirection at 5d which I assume led to some people googling the novels of Thomas Hardy. Thanks to crypticsue (with apologies for hi-jacking her blog) and thanks to The Mysteron for setting it.

  6. The baby slopes of cryptic solving. .What with the grid, the old chestnuts and the obviousness of some of the clues, I think this is the least challenging puzzle I have ever attempted. I did like it, but over too soon , let’s say.Though at times it felt as if some senior , experienced setter was asked to write an easy one for those dolts at the DT.( I’ll pay for this hubris tomorrow, no doubt.)
    Hippo Birdie to me today.Prime number lacking significance.
    Thanks CS and setter.

    1. All prime numbers are significant. Were that not so, then there would be a smallest insignificant prime number, which would make it significant. :-)

      Happy Bidet to you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. 1*/2.5* for me . I agree with CS that there were too many familiar clues. The answer to 20a was the same as the answer to 24a yesterday.

  8. 1.5*/*** as I needed to look up 5d, otherwise… Well, it may have had a few old saws, but at least there were no clerics in it.

    The Toughie is great fun today if this was over too soon.

  9. I agree with the 1* for difficulty but I enjoyed it more than others seem to have done so far – probably a bit nearer 4*.
    I like anagrams but didn’t think that there were more than usual or more than ‘allowed’, however many that is – can’t remember although I should know by now.
    I agree that there were quite a few answers that I’ve seen before but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy them again, or that I can always do them – oh dear.
    I didn’t have any major hold-ups although I’ve never heard of 6d or that meaning of 4d. I didn’t know that 10a was spelt with a Y.
    I liked 10 and 23a and 5 and 21d. My favourite was 14a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and CS.
    Happy New Year and thanks to BD for all his work in keeping this brilliant blog up and running – also, of course, to all the clever people who provide us lesser mortals with endless help and encouragement by giving up their time to do the hints. It really is appreciated SO much. I’m going to shut up now as this is beginning to sound like the kind of speech that I associate with the Oscars!
    Having awarded myself a day off I’m going to try the Toughie.

    1. One more thing – Happy New Year to all the people who write comments too – it would be no fun at all being here on my own!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  10. Broadly agree with you all. I found it took me quite a bit longer because I kept falling asleep over it after being up all night. I would say **/**. Like 5d even after writing in the answer, I am saying to myself “I can’t recall that Hardy novel”. Nice. Thanks for the amusing hints Mrs CS and to the setter.
    A Happy New Year to you all when it arrives.

  11. That’s more like it! Even if there was a fair number of oldies I enjoyed this brief workout. Funny how golf and cricket make such regular appearances – c for caught particularly! Thanks Mr. Ron for rounding off the old year so nicely and to Cryptic Sue for your pertinent hints which I always enjoy reading even after the event. **/***. Bonne Année a tous and vielen Dank for much entertainment and comradeship over 2013.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  12. Thanks to the setter for a simple but reasonably enjoyable end to the year and to Crypticsue for the usual superb review. A Guid New Year tae yin and a’ and mony may ye hae.

  13. Just in case I don’t make it back later here’s wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year, oh, and mucho happy crosswording http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  14. Thank you to the setter & to Cryptic Sue for her help. All Best Wishes for 2014 to everyone. See you next year. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

  15. Enjoyed this offering. Happy New Year to all, all that’s best for 2014. Thanks to setter and CS for her review and to all who take the time to help us in crosswordland, with special mention to Big Dave.

  16. Good afternoon fellow solvers. An enjoyable stroll during my commute home and my favourite was 23a. The final puzzle of 2013 successfully tackled. Many thanks to all the setters for making my journeys on trains and tubes bearable. And to BD of course.

    Happy New Year to one and all. Time for a glass of port.


  17. As I said when I first found this site, something definitely went “click”.
    Many thanks for all your efforts.
    BD, it’s time you took over the whole DT caboodle. Mike Harding got the heave-ho from the Beeb a year ago, set up his own folk show on the net and has developed a completely new interface between himself and his listeners.
    Now all I need is a bit more practice with the clawhammer picking, then get the USB keyboard working and … more time, I suppose.
    A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you all.

  18. Gentle but enjoyable (agree */***) and 23a brought a grin.

    Hope you all have a great New Year when it comes – must have already done so for the 2 Kiwis – how’s 2014 looking from over there – any instant “good news”?

    1. Yep, we are into our 2014 with an absolutely brilliant summer morning here. Looking forward to a barefoot stroll along the beach very soon. Now that has to qualify as “good news” even though we both missed out on featuring in The Honours List again this year. :)

  19. Like everyone else it seems, we enjoyed it, but not for long.
    Happy New Year everyone.
    Thanks Mr Ron and CS.

  20. 1*/3* for me today. Like Kath, I had never heard of the expression in 6d. Other than this, I found this straightforward but enjoyable.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to CS.

    Happy New Year to everyone, and particular thanks to BD and his team for this brilliant site.

  21. Easy-peasy but a bit of fun – very especially the last ‘orse one :lol: :lol:

    Surely the rest home for retired crossword clues will have to build an extension to accommodate this lot! Anyway, nice to see old friends :grin:

    Thanks to the setter and CS. See y’all next year.

  22. Something of a relief after yesterday’s nightmare, although over too quickly, and to my eye, too much black on the grid. 23a was the stand out for me. Thanks to CS for explaining 6d, even if the answer was clear from the checking letters.

  23. Enjoyable, except for 2d which I thought was a rubbish clue; “Initially tells you to start with a 2 letter word meaning at home ” ????? Which “should be followed by a word for care or custody” ?????? To me that stretches the cryptic element to the ridiculous. Only my opinion of course. Thanx to CT for the review. Happy new year to all.

  24. I agree about 2d – still don’t understand the hint given above, OK “in” means home, then CH for care home, but what on earth does “arge” mean. I got the answer and hoped this forum would give me a reason for the answer !!

    1. The definition is ‘managing’ IN does indeed mean home and CHARGE means care or custody. Initially is just there to tell you that the word meaning home goes before the word meaning care.

  25. I came across this by accident when I only had 3 answers. Since I am a complete beginner I have no ‘old friends’ at all and I was surprised by the number of anagrams. Thanks to the help I am only puzzled over 2 and a half clues and I dare say that I will get those eventually. Thanks again.

    1. Welcome Abby. Now that you have found us, I hope you will visit us frequently. We are (well I think so anyway) a friendly bunch who have all had our crosswording lives transformed since the day we accidently ‘found’ Big Dave and his blog.

  26. Mrs T asked: is there a Mrs Ron? Time for me to get out the old folks home brochures. Anyway, thx to Mr Ron and Mrs GT (CS) for an enjoyable romp with old friends. HNY

    1. Welcome from me too. This is a brilliant blog – everyone is friendly and helpful. You will learn lots very quickly – if/when you don’t understand something all you have to do is ask and someone will come running to the rescue usually within minutes.
      By the way when you are responding to a comment if you click on ‘reply’ it keeps all the relevant stuff together.
      Good luck and do come back. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

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