DT 27376 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27376

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27376

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

The week of easy puzzles continues! At least it does 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.


6a    Reviewed, I had a drab year, awful time (3,4,3)
{BAD HAIR DAY} – an anagram (reviewed) of I HAD A DRAB Y(ear) gives every woman’s nightmare

8a    Old boy with extremely obscure source of notes (4)
{OBOE} – the abbreviation for Old Boy followed by the outer letters (extremely) of ObscurE

9a    One giving delivery in a stall? (9)
{CHORISTER} – a cryptic definition of someone who sings in church

11a    Some mighty keen Yorkshireman (4)
{TYKE} – hidden (some) inside the clue

12a    Item for all to see in party (3)
{DUO} – this item is two people who are having a romantic relationship – put the certificate designating a film that people of any age are allowed to see inside a two-letter word for a party

13a    Hitchcock film  having a terrible reputation? (9)
{NOTORIOUS} – two rather obvious definitions, the first being a classic 1946 film starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman

16a    A tip from fantasist in castle, perhaps (4)
{FORT} – split as (1,2,1) this building, which could be (perhaps) a castle, offers a choice of either outer letter (tip) from FantasisT

17a    Partake in half-hearted duelling possibly (7)
{INDULGE} – an anagram (possibly) of DUEL(L)ING after either of the middle two letters has been removed (half-hearted)

18a    Deny policeman broadcast to catch a vandal principally (7)
{DISAVOW} – a plain-clothes policemen followed by a verb meaning to broadcast or scatter around (to catch) the A from the clue and the initial letter (principally) of Vandal

20a    Flipping sting in small fly (4)
{GNAT} – reverse (flipping) a sting or piquancy

21a    Reportedly, disturb stupid Arab leader’s territory (9)
{SHEIKHDOM} – this sounds like (reportedly) a verb meaning to disturb or unsettle followed by an adjective meaning stupid

23a    Ready for attack (3)
{FIT} – two definitions – ready or able and an attack or seizure

24a    Source of fare information? (4)
{MENU} – a cryptic definition of a list of dishes that may be ordered in a restaurant

25a    Being prepared, Frenchman takes in varied aid by ship (9)
{READINESS} – a forename like that of M Artois, the French café owner in ‘Allo ‘Allo!, around (takes in) an anagram (varied) of AID and followed by Crosswordland’s usual ship

29a    Top NY Times employee, say, not got directly (4)
{USED} – split as (2,2) this could be a top employee of the NY Times

30a    Small state lot cope, I fancy, being crowd controllers (4,6)
{RIOT POLICE} – the abbreviation for a small US state followed by an anagram (fancy) of LOT COPE I


1d    Powder left in keeping of upstanding Persian maybe (4)
{TALC} – L(eft) inside (in keeping of) the reversal (upstanding) of an animal of which a Persian is an example (maybe)

2d    Regular characters seen in posh limo in a state (4)
{OHIO} – the even (regular) letters (characters) of two words in the clue

3d    Take main route over part of UK in small car (4)
{MINI} – the designation of the UK’s main motorway followed by the abbreviation for a part of the UK (but not a part of GB)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    European way of speaking not caught in copy of work (7)
{EDITION} – E(uropean) followed by a way of speaking without (not) the C(aught)

5d    Latin crook more unsettled in a changing environment? (6,4)
{LOCKER ROOM} – an anagram (unsettled) of L(atin) CROOK MORE

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d    Garden attracting criticism? That’s standard (9)
{YARDSTICK} – a four-letter word for a garden followed by (attracting) some criticism

8d    How one might feed dog lacking in control (3,2,4)
{OUT OF HAND} – this could be how one might feed a dog

10d    Space limited for young skipper (3)
{ROO} – some space without its final letter (limited) gives a young skipper, or maybe Skippy!

13d    Down-to-earth hearing perhaps after November in middle of day (2-8)
{NO-NONSENSE} – a faculty of which hearing is an example (perhaps) preceded by the letter represented by November in the NATO Phonetic alphabet inside the middle of the day

14d    Reserved money is bound, we hear, to attract amusing daughter (5,4)
{TRUST FUND} – what sounds like (we hear) a verb meaning bound or tied followed by an adjective meaning amusing and D(aughter)

15d    Medic showing point, right, piercing bottom (9)
{REGISTRAR} – the point or general meaning and R(ight) inside (piercing) the bottom or rump

19d    Timeless band turning up soon in ME country (7)
{LEBANON} – a band worn round the waist without the T(ime) and reversed (turning up in a down clue) followed by a word meaning soon

22d    Layer in earth entrenched (3)
{HEN} – this layer of eggs is hidden inside the clue

26d    Game is pretty devoid of content (1-3)
{I-SPY} – IS followed by P(rett)Y without its inner letters (devoid of content)

27d    Fish found in bottoms of boats with head removed (4)
{EELS} – to get these fish drop (removed) the initial letter (head) from the bottoms of boats

28d    Dismiss  traditional wine (4)
{SACK} – two definitions – to dismiss from a job and the old name of various dry white wines from Spain and the Canaries

Many thanks to the other bloggers, particularly crypticsue, who gave me such an easy ride over Christmas and the New Year.

The Quick crossword pun: (true} + {bad} + {awe} = {troubadour}

40 comments on “DT 27376

  1. One of those puzzles that I struggled with but couldn’t really see why. Although I finished it I needed an explanation of 12a, 16a, 21a and 19d.
    Needed Google to identify the Hitchcock movie and liked 6a but not 7d which contained a horrible Americanism. Lots of rather contrived and somewhat clumsy clues today.
    For me it was a **/**. Thx to BD for the hints.

      1. Not the complete answer, just the first four letters. This is what the average American calls what the British call a garden. A garden in the US tends to refer to a vegeatable plot. I don’t think it’s horrible, just different.

  2. Agree with the ratings, 6A was my standout clue with 30A a close second.Nice weather here in the deep south makes a change.Just off to meet an estate agents round at my late mothers place all part & parcel of probate.Many thanks to the setter & BD http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.giffor the review.

  3. There is a problem with 21a, the answer you have given is 8 letters long and my answer, the same as yours also contains a “h”.Like Brian I had to google the hitchcock film. the last one iwas 6a, and 6d took me an age as well. I liked all of the down clues , although 19d took a while to crack, as I failed to understand the significance of ME. Thanks to Ray T (?), and Big Dave.

    1. Definitely not Ray T – it doesn’t have any of his trademarks and we had one of his last week, I think.

      1. PS 21a is nine letters and does have an H in it. It’s an alternative spelling according to BRB.

          1. Hello – thanks for pointing that out – I misinterpreted her comment.
            Happy new year to you and four leggeds.

  4. I enjoyed this one. I agree with 1* difficulty (maybe a little bit more because I couldn’t see why 16a was what it was) but nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never heard of the Hitchcock film but the answer was obvious once I had a few letters in.
    I liked 6a and 8, 10 (did anyone see any of a programme called Kangaroo Dundee? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif) and 27d. My favourite was 21a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    It seems to have stopped raining, at last. Cold but at least bright, sunny and dry in Oxford.

      1. Yes – an odd bod but pretty odd life I suppose. I just loved the little baby roos jumping head first into their pillow-cases.

  5. Morning to all. It is a good one too in N E Hants – at least for now…
    Most of this grid filled from the bottom up when the paper quietly arrived on my iPad just after 1am. The rest completed in the proper ‘morning’ with coffee. From 11a, I surmise that the setter is not from Yorkshire. I liked 5d as a clue and will award that one my ‘Fav’ for the day. Last in were 17a and 14d. Least fav was 29a because of the last half of the clue. 12a was a bit odd.
    Needed the assistance of a dictionary for the last two but otherwise I’d rate it **/***
    Thanks, BD for shedding light on 16a.

  6. It seems 2014 is off to a gently taxing start with another fun run. Thanks to whomever (setter) and to BD for yet more of your entertaining hints and illustrations. You always seem able to come up with such appropriate illustrations. I had not previously listened properly to words of 5d hint but will probably now have song on my mind for rest of day! Liked 9a, 13d and 14d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif

  7. Thank you setter. I think I am out on my own here – I found it difficult and not much fun. Having finished it, the clues all seemed fair, so it must be me struggling after overindulgence over a prolonged festive period. Thanks BD for your review, hints and photos. You must be pleased with your team’s start to the New Year !

  8. Took a while to get going, but enjoyable. Thank you to the setter & to BD. Almost springlike here today, if a little cold. Not so good tomorrow apparently. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  9. I really enjoyed this today. A good start to the year completing with no help. I did however need the wordplay explaining for a couple. Thanks to the boss for the review.

  10. I’m with Sweet William here. I found the clues rather devious, but probably fair. Got there in the end butno particularly enjoyable.

    Too much Christmas left-overs fuddling the brain I fear.

  11. This to me was a niggler at first but eventually turned into a puzzler which overall I enjoyed. I like clues which make me smile, 30A did this. Got a bit sticky with 21A for a while but it was sorted. I am beginning to get involved with this pastime as I have got myself a BRB! Many thanks as usual to BD for the blog.

  12. My rating is 2*/2* for a puzzle which I found slightly uninspiring.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD for his excellent review and hints which I needed to understand the wordplay for 16a and the obscure (to me) reference to a US state code in 30a.

  13. I enjoyed this but would give it ** for difficulty. I didn’t get 19d and needed the hint. I had the correct answers for 16a and 12a but needed the explanation. Many clever clues, favourite has to be 21a. Thanks to setter and to BD for much-needed hints.


  14. A few that took a bit of head scratching to parse, but nothing that held us up for long. Pleasant enough entertainment.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

  15. I thought this was easy until I hit the sw corner. Definitely not 1* for me, because I needed the blog to explain 16a (why are 4-letter answers so hard?) and I do not like 29a. Why “top”? And I am struggling with the “not got directly”. None of the clues were favourites, but that is par for the course for a non-RT Thursday (not that I can do those easily, but there’s usually at least one gem in there)

  16. “not got directly” would be used as oppossed to first hand.”Top”, the top of the list of employees at the Times or any other newspaper,NY= american. I thought it was a beautiful clue. Looking back, I liked this crossword a lot and hope he or she sets again.

    1. Thanks Una. A bit late replying, but I still think “top” is superfluous, given the presence of the “say”, which would cover “ed”, “hack” or any of the newspaper employee standards. And “not got directly” for “used” I think has more going against it than for it. I like the idea of the clue, I just don’t like this embodiment.

  17. Thanks to Mr Ron & to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I found a bit tricky in places. Was 3*/3* for me. Favourites were 5&13d.I thought the small state in 30a was a bit obscure, even though I got it. Lovely day in Central London, but 3 days of rain forecast, such is Winter.

  18. Found this more taxing than it should have been, but that’s because I’m listening to England having a rather good spell in the final, pointless Test. Hard to concentrate when Geoffrey’s chunteriing away. Thanks to BD for the explanation for 16a, which I got but couldn’t see why.

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