DT 27380

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27380

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We have a pretty straightforward puzzle today, but with some interesting anagram indicators. Do provide a comment giving us your take on it.

If you want to see an answer you’ll have to highlight what’s concealed in the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Very thin peer given gum (10)
{MATCHSTICK} – a charade of a peer or equal and a verb to gum or glue.

6a  Married? He’s crazy to become engaged! (4)
{MESH} – M(arried) followed by an anagram (crazy) of HE’S.

10a  Exposed, a king in retreat heading west (5)
{NAKED} – insert A and the chess abbreviation for king in a retreat or lair which is reversed (heading west, in an across clue).

11a  One byword abroad for an extremely talented young man (3,6)
{BOY WONDER} – an anagram (abroad) of ONE BYWORD. Holy smokes!

12a  County set eating pigeons hotel left out (8)
{SOMERSET} – SET (from the clue) containing (eating) racing pigeons without the letter that Hotel stands for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

13a  Stand in calm lake (5)
{EASEL} – a verb to calm followed by L(ake).

15a  Fire out of control around North? No, a conflagration (7)
{INFERNO} – we start with an anagram (out of control) of FIRE containing N(orth) then we finish with NO (from the clue).

17a  Greek in series causes annoyance (7)
{CHAGRIN} – insert one of the abbreviations for Greek into a series or sequence.

18a  Excited seeing Sterne’s first book (7)
{GENESIS} – an anagram (excited) of SEEING followed by the first letter of S(terne).

21a  Conservative, one departing in a chopper (7)
{CLEAVER} – C(onservative) followed by someone departing.

23a  Flower expert losing face (5)
{ASTER} – an expert or ace without the first letter (face, i.e. front part).

24a  Scheme to mislead summit (8)
{CONSPIRE} – a slang verb to mislead or swindle followed by a summit or upper part (especially that of a church).

27a  Blind mice, perhaps to her, seem unsettling (9)
{THREESOME} – an anagram (unsettling) of TO HER SEEM. The reference is, of course, to the group of rodents detailed in the nursery rhyme.

28a  Strange invention covered by article (5)
{ALIEN} – an invention or fabrication is contained inside the indefinite article.

29a  Function of burger bun, it’s said (4)
{ROLE} – this sounds like what your cooked burger may come with (no – not a health warning!).

30a  Technocrat ordered outdoor garment (6,4)
{TRENCH COAT} – an anagram (ordered) of TECHNOCRAT.

Down Clues

1d  French painter trimmed long hair (4)
{MANE} – a nineteenth-century French painter without his final T (trimmed).

2d  Make it  fly (4,3)
{TAKE OFF} – two meanings (although the first is just an extension of the second). The first phrase is used of a business which enjoys a significant improvement.

3d  Stall close to Spanish border (5)
{HEDGE} – the closing letter of (Spanis)H followed by a border.

4d  Sauce boat cracked when curry initially poured in (7)
{TABASCO} – an anagram (cracked) of BOAT with a synonym for ‘as’ and the initial letter of C(urry) inserted.

5d  Hidden tomb, under which one’s cold (7)
{CRYPTIC} – start with an underground room often used as a burial place and follow this (under, in a down clue) with I (one) and C(old).

7d  Recipient of product sold ensured special delivery (3-4)
{END-USER} – an anagram (special delivery) of ENSURED.

8d  Bad luck coming across resistance from uncompromising types (10)
{HARDLINERS} – an expression of sympathy for someone’s bad luck (4,5) containing the abbreviation for electrical resistance.

9d  Adore material supplied by Cavalier poet (8)
{LOVELACE} – this is a seventeenth century English poet who fought for the Royalist side during the Civil War and was imprisoned for his pains. His name is a charade of a verb to adore and a delicate fabric.

14d  Captain supporting call for MC (10)
{RINGMASTER} – in the surface reading MC is a decoration for gallantry but as the definition here it’s the abbreviation for master of ceremonies. A ship’s captain follows (supporting, in a down clue) a verb to call or phone.

16d  Kept back, being shy (8)
{RESERVED} – double definition, the first meaning kept back for a future need.

19d  Everyday occasion, ultimately, at Russian river (7)
{NATURAL} – this is an adjective meaning everyday or commonplace. The ultimate letter of (occasio)N is followed by AT from the clue and a Russian river.

20d  Help for victim? Sounds like it (7)
{SUCCOUR} – this sounds an informal word for a gullible victim or dupe.

21d  Business  interest (7)
{CONCERN} – double definition, the first a business or company.

22d  Taken in by advert, I google film (7)
{VERTIGO} – concealed (taken in) by the clue.

25d  Soft, every single fruit (5)
{PEACH} – the musical abbreviation meaning soft is followed by an adjective meaning every single.

26d  Ring  sandpiper (4)
{KNOT} – two meanings, the first a ring or cluster and the second a small bird which frequents coastal areas.

None of the clues really stood out for me but I quite liked 6a and 7d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HIGH} + {DOUBT} = {HIDEOUT}



  1. Sweet William
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter – another enjoyable puzzle about my level of difficulty ! Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. I do remember 26d from a previous puzzle and was amazed to find that one bird visits our shores in the winter from the frozen North and the other in the summer from Africa – and they of the same species. I hear the sound of pedant’s footsteps approaching – I’m off !

  2. Bluebird
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Didn’t know the sandpiper and not in the article I looked up. Otherwise a pleasant start to the day, despite dentist looming…

    I always think 30a is one word?

  3. Jezza
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I quite liked this one; favourite clue for me, 18a. Thanks to setter, and to gazza for the review.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    This was “read and write” for me today apart from 26a, which was my last one in. I’d never heard of that name for a sandpiper before. My rating is <1*/2*.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron & Gazza.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I meant 26d, of course :oops:

  5. Collywobbles
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I struggled with this one at first but, then, it just seemed to open up and became easier to finish off. 26d needed a bit of work with BRB. Thanks to Gazza for the hints and to whomever the setter was

  6. skempie
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable fare today and (IMHO) more satisfying than yesterday’s read/write offering as it needed a bit of brain work to get it finished. particularly liked 14D.

    Incidentally, did anyone find it somewhat ironic that the Russian research vessel that got stuck in the ice in Antarctica was there to investigate Global Warming – I notice that this fact has not been mentioned on the BBC. One in the eye for Al Gore I would say.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Global warming is really a misnomer and should be called climate change, which is what Al Gore preached. Harsher winters and hotter summers.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        And Al Gore predicted in 1999 that the polar ice caps would have disappeared!

  7. Michael
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I definitely found this quite challenging, 14d was a stinker but I got it from the cross letters and then justified it to myself.

    The sandpiper was a new one on me – I’ll have to store that in the memory banks – I bet it’s a regular in cryptics!

    It’s really wet here – I saw a bloke down the road building an Ark – golf very unlikely this week!

  8. Colmce
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Nice straight forward honest puzzle.
    Remembered the 26d.

    Thanks for the review Gazza .

    Thanks to setter.

  9. njm
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Another pretty straightforward puzzle today. Like several others, 26d was one of my last in, because although I knew the sandpiper/knot combination, I found it hard to regard ring and knot as synonymous! No particular favorites, 2*/3* rating for me. Thanks to compiler and Gazza.
    Does anyone know when they’re going to get the site sorted out?

    • gazza
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      April 1st ?

      • pommers
        Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink


        • Merusa
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink


          • Annidrum
            Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            On the 12th of?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  10. pommers
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Quite a pleasant solve but nothing special. */*** from me.

    Re the sandpiper, it’s worth remembering. Gazza’s hint says “a small bird which frequents coastal areas”, he could have added “and crosswords”. :lol:

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  11. WhirredPLAY
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I put ringleader in 14d and that stumped me for a while before I finally realised my error .. fav clue today is 5d

  12. Kath
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    1*/3* for me today.
    The only one that really held me up at all was the sandpiper, which was silly because I’ve been ‘had’ by him before.
    I’ve never heard of the poet but it wasn’t difficult to guess and look him up.
    I originally tried to make 27a an anagram of ‘blind mice’ but it became clear pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to work.
    I liked 21 and 30a and 5 and 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    It’s not a bad day now but first thing this morning there was torrential rain, strong wind and the kind of hail that hurt – collie not happy. We could have picked a better time to have a few new windows.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  13. Graham Wall
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I liked this but it took me an age to find the underbelly and really get into it. Once in I was on a roll but found14D a challenge; however once solved it did make me smile. I did need the hints today, thanks to Gazza for them and the picture illustrating 30A. I was very slow off the mark so would rate it 3*/4*

  14. Expat Chris
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    On my own again, then, because I didn’t think much of this one. I finished without hints, even 26D, but I would rate it low on my personal enjoyment scale. Thanks go to Gazza for the review.

    -15 Celcius here today at 7:30 am.

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Can’t remember exactly where you are but that sounds pretty nippy.

      • Senf
        Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Kath – I am in Delaware, and it is -13 C, -21 C with wind chill, but it will back up to +15 C at the weekend – crazy weather!

        • Merusa
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          It’s even chilly here in Miami, around 40F; my house was built before air conditioning so is designed to keep cool, 40 outside basically means 40 inside as well.

          • Una
            Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            Sounds awful, and you probably don’t have winter woollies, living in Florida.

          • pommers
            Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            Spanish houses are the same! Ours is a consistent 4 or 5C cooler inside than out. Great in summer but not so good in winter.

            • Annidrum
              Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

              D’acuerdo Pommers!

  15. Clarky
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable diversion from the task of chopping up the Christmas tree.
    I liked 20d. Seemed appropriate for volunteering. See above.

  16. Senf
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    It was a pleasant surprise to find that the substitute PDF was posted shortly after midnight UK time. So, I was able to complete most of it before lights out last night, with plenty of support from the Chambers Crossword Dictionary – 9d and 26d for example, and some holes left in the NE corner that went in fairly easily this morning. A good feeling that the polar vortex over here has not affected the grey matter. While, I did not any help from Gazza for solving, I did need some confirmation that I had got the correct answer – thanks for that. No real stand out favourites – I will give this one **/**. Thanks again to Gazza and the setter.

  17. BigBoab
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    1*/1* for me, I didn’t enjoy this at all but you can’t please all the people all the time, thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a lovely review. The toughie by Shamus today is about the same level as this and is worth a go by any toughie neophytes.

    • Sweet William
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I have had to look up “neophyte” in BRB BigBoab ! It seems that I qualify immediately for an attempt at the Toughie. I have had the occasional look at a Toughie – and I think the expression is “way above my pay grade”. If I can get the paper back from Mrs SW I might have another try. If you don’t hear from me again, you will no what has happened !

      • Sweet William
        Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Finished – but with hints !

  18. Angel
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza (not needed today). For me no really exceptional clues. As a DT cruciverbalist 5d of course came easily to mind. Torrential rain last night and again this morning so after this turned to Quickie and now stuck half way through Toughie however sun currently shines so things are looking up and I might even venture out for a constitutional. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      I’m stuck about half way through Toughie too and sun’s shining here – might go out for a while and come back to it a bit later.

  19. SheilaP
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be really difficult, & it did take quite a while to get going, but once we got 1across ( with help from Gazza) we managed to finish the rest. I didn’t like 7 down, but have heard of the bird in 26 down. However I have difficulty thinking of a knot & a ring having the same meaning. Many thanks to the setter, & to Gazza.

  20. Heno
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable, but not too difficult puzzle. My only hold up was 26d, which was last in, realised it was a double definition, my New Year’s Resolution is to get better at them, and got there in the end. Was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 1a, took a while for the penny to drop. Off to the Squash Tournament later.

  21. Merusa
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I was right on wavelength today, had no problems. Even 26d was easy to guess and my dictionary confirmed it. Favourite was 9d. Thanks to setter and Gazza for review, though not needed today.

  22. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    We had most trouble with parsing 26d. We know the bird as it is found among the migratory species that visit out estuary but struggled to justify ring = knot. Eventually decided that it must be the appearance on a knot on a plank of wood. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      I think that knot = ring in the sense of a small tightly-packed group (e.g. there was a knot of people around the exhibit).

      • KiwiColin
        Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        I had thought of that and then rejected it on the grounds that knot implies something irregular while ring implies something regular in structure. However the appearance of a knot on a plank is certainly that of a regular ring. That was the way my mind went.
        As it was a Mr Ron, we will probably never know what he/she had in mind. Thanks for the reply Gazza.

  23. Una
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    27a was my last one in, I had the right anagram fodder but I didn’t connect the clue with the answer until I remembered the full title of the rhymn.I found the puzzle hardish, mostly due to a fluey feeling coming on.Favourite 18a. Thanks to the setter for some different clues and to Gazza for an interesting review. (How did he resist 10a as picture fodder ?).

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I wondered about 10a too! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
      I do hope that you haven’t caught ‘eflu’ from Mary who is absent today. Hope that you and Mary both feel better soon.

  24. Annidrum
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Here was I blaming the DT puzzle site for unreadable printouts from the pdfs and discovered today that was I needed was new ink in the printer.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    I didn’t know the bird and needed a hint or two from gazza. Thanks o him & setter.

  25. Little Dave
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    All done despite almost growing webbed feet in the rainy commute. Last in 26d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif