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DT 27381

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27381

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *+*/2Enjoyment ***

A straightforward one from Jay. A bit short of 1.5* for difficulty, with a 3* for enjoyment (short as it was). Thanks Jay.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{} are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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    County towns ultimately chasing personnel (6)

{STAFFS} : Last letter of(ultimately) “towns” placed after(chasing after) [personnel;collectively, the people working in an organisation].

Defn: Abbreviation for an English county – and where they bred a certain kind of mean dogs, naturally named after the county.

4a    Vulnerable zone wiped out after removing leader (4,4)

{WIDE OPEN} : Anagram of(out) { “zone wiped” minus its 1st letter(after removing leader) }.

10a    End without a king – one died, with authority usurped (9)

{DETHRONED} : [the ultimate end] minus(without) “A ” + [abbrev. for the Latin for “king”] + ONE + [abbrev. for “died”].

Defn: Describing a king with his authority usurped.

11a    Perennial insolence by trade union (5)

{TULIP} : [insolence;cheek, or thereabouts, physically] placed after(by, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “trade union”].

Defn: … of the flowering kind – you never know where they’ll pop up next.

12a    Set store by mother becoming expert (7)

{MAESTRO} : Anagram of(Set) STORE placed after(by, in an across clue) [informal term for one’s mother].

13a    Desire to follow Scottish Premier League’s extravagant cash spending (7)

{SPLURGE} : [a desire;an inner drive] placed after(to follow) [abbrev. for the Scottish Premier League].

14a    They shouldn’t be picked for front parts of aircraft (5)

{NOSES} : Double defn: 1st: … especially in public; and 2nd: …, bulbous in shape.

15a    Leave M protected by Bond, not fully committed (4-4)

{PART-TIME} : [to leave;to get away from] + { M contained in(protected by) [a bond;a connection] }.

18a    Parasite struggling war poet married (8)

{TAPEWORM} : Anagram of(struggling) WAR POET + [abbrev. for “married”].

Defn: … usually found in the gut.

20a    Trouble since accommodating King George (5)

{AGGRO} : [since;of a time past] containing(accommodating) [abbrev. for the Latin for King George].

Defn: Slang and short form for [trouble that someone causes you, ranging from irritation to violence].

23a    Indonesian island welcoming English from Bangladesh (7)

{BENGALI} : [an Indonesian resort island] containing(welcoming) [abbrev. for “English”].

Defn: Person or things that could, but not necessarily, be from Bangladesh. They could also be from a part of eastern India, adjacent to Bangladesh.


25a    Developing source of arum in new perfume (7)

{NASCENT} : 1st letter of(source of) “arum” contained in(in) { [abbrev. for “new”] + [a perfume;an aroma] }.

26a    Ring shop selling food on the way back, drunk (5)

{OILED} : [the letter resembling a ring] + reversal of(on the way back) [short for a shop selling ready-to-eat food, especially imported ones].

Defn: Slang for being drunk after consuming lots of alcohol – or, in the literal sense:


27a    The kid ran off without being told (2,3,4)

{IN THE DARK} : Anagram of(off) THE KID RAN.

28a    Banter is sick when getting on! (8)

{BADINAGE} : [sick;not in good condition] + [when;during, eg. “during the day”] + [getting on;to advance in years].

29a    The end of chess coach’s riddle (6)

{STRAIN} : Last letter of(The end of) “chess” + [to coach;to instruct].

Defn: To put through a coarse sieve.


1d    Advise dim entrepreneur holding deposit (8)

{SEDIMENT} : Hidden in(holding) “Advise dim entrepreneur”.

Defn: …, but not of the monetary kind.

2d    Ingenuous, with no feelings for a cockney (7)

{ARTLESS} : Cockney pronunciation for [with no feelings;devoid of compassion].

3d    Sample teas varying in strength (9)

{FORETASTE} : Anagram of(varying) TEAS contained in(in) [strength;something one excels in].

5d    Promiscuous daughter is put in frame (14)

{INDISCRIMINATE} : { [abbrev. for “daughter”] + IS } contained in(put in) [to frame;to implicate, something you might do to yourself if you don’t keep your mouth shut].

6d    Proclaim one-time fortune turning up (5)

{EXTOL} : [prefix indicating one-time;formerly] + reversal of(turning up) [one’s fortune in life;one’s fate].

Defn: To praise.

7d    Edge up on serious traveller (7)

{PILGRIM} : Reversal of(up, in a down clue) [the edge;the part that surrounds an orifice] placed above(on, in a down clue) [serious;harsh in manner or appearance].

Chaucer and his pilgrims, picture, image, illustration

8d    Niece loses heart – that’s a relief for her brother (6)

{NEPHEW} : “niece” minus its inner letters(loses heart) + [an expression of relief, eg. after a close call].

9d    Obstinate bunch come both unprotected and hopeful (14)

{UNCOMPROMISING} : Inner letters, respectively, of(unprotected;unguarded at the flanks) “bunch come” plus(and) [hopeful;showing potential].

16d    Passing tennis shot, following return of skill (9)

{TRANSIENT} : Anagram of(shot) TENNIS placed below(following,in a down clue) reversal of(return of) [a skill;a knack for].

17d    Hide from onset of this during terrible soaking (8)

{GOATSKIN} : 1st letter of(onset of) “this” contained in(during) anagram of(terrible) SOAKING.

Defn: Outer covering.

19d    Girl with hat is a leech, for example (7)

{ANNELID} : [a girl’s name] plus(with) [a hat;a cover].

Answer: The group of wormlike organisms, of which a leech is an example.

21d    Reagan planned to seize diamonds from an island in the Caribbean (7)

{GRENADA} : Anagram of(planned) REAGAN containing(to seize) [abbrev. for the suit of diamonds in card games]. The USA under Reagan did seize the whole island, militarily.

22d    Soak up the sailor’s world! (6)

{ABSORB} : [abbrev. for an able-bodied seaman;a sailor]‘S + [a term for the earth;the world, from its spherical shape].

24d    Extra charge for university lecturer after a day (3-2)

{ADD-ON} : [a university lecturer, not to mention an Italian Godfather] placed below(after, in a down clue) { A + [abbrev. for “day”] }

The Quick crossword pun: (undies} + {hirer} + {balls} = {undesirables}

42 comments on “DT 27381

  1. I found this a little more challenging than Schhua – mainly since I missed the indicator for 4a and was stuck in the NE corner. An entertaining start to the day, though. **/***.

  2. One of those where I didn’t get many on the initial read through, then worked out from there using the checking letters that I had, but no major holdups… so **/*** for me.

  3. Agree with’ njm ‘on a **/*** rating and’ outnumbered’ on the first read through , fell into place once a few solutions went in, did’nt help when I misread 2d as ‘ingenious’- never mind !Thanks to Jay and Scchua for the best puzzle and pics so far this week-liked 10a and 9d.

  4. I had to use my ‘wordsearch’ program quite extensively particular for 5d and 9d – I always think of this as a bit sneaky – but hey, any port in a storm!

    Thanks for the review which explained a couple of my answers.

    1. I don’t consider it cheating. I use my gizmo at the end when I’m really stuck, better than not finishing at all.

  5. Enjoyable solve today – not too taxing, but definitely not a write-in. No real favourites as they all felt pretty good today.

    Was thinking about finally getting some laundry done today, but have just heard its due to rain AGAIN !!!!

  6. Thank you Jay. I found it difficult to get started, but once I had the two long down clues things fell into place. Lots of clever clues – good fun ! Thanks Scchua for your review and hints and most conservative photos !

    1. Hi Sweet William, the 2nd photo for 11across doesn’t display on my iPad. Did that happen to you (assuming you’re using an iPad).

      1. It wasn’t on my work computer but (unfortunately for me) it has appeared on my home one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  7. No problems today. No favorites either, but I did enjoy it. 21D was clever. Thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  8. I must be right on Jay’s wavelength ‘cos this was more-or-less a write in. Some nice clues though (10a and 14a for example) so */**** from me.

    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  9. My cup of tea, thanks Jay. Hints not needed but there was some other “cheating”. 2, 5 and 9d were favourites with some antipathy to 14a! **/***.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  10. Enjoyable crossword as usual from Jay, if not particularly challenging, my thanks to him and to scchua for the very amusing review.

  11. Very quiet here today. I would give it 1* or 2* for difficulty and 4* ish for enjoyment.
    I did better with the across clues than I usually do on Wednesdays although I also missed the anagram indicator in 4a for a while.
    My last one was 10a which I just couldn’t see at all for ages.
    I know that I’ve seen 28a lots of times before but I still like it – probably because it reminds me of when Wogan was on early morning radio.
    Lots of good clues – 11 and 28a and 8 and 9d. My favourite was 14a.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Now I need to decide whether I dare have a peep at the Toughie.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. Don’t worry – I was like the little Red Hen and did it myself – well, most of it anyway.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. Thought this was quite difficult & needed a few hints to get us going. We use word searchers too on occasions, & yes I suppose it’s a bit sneaky, but we like to finish these crosswords during our lunch break, & I don’t think we would manage without help. Anyway one’s only cheating oneself after all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  13. I thought I was having a bout of deja vu as it seemed it was a repeat of yesterday: took me a while to find a starting point but once I got 19A things came together. For difficulty I would rate it 3* but for enjoyment only 2* The latter mark is attributed to the fact I got unduly frustrated and there were no smilers. Thanks to Scchua – where would we be without you bloggers?

  14. A reasonably straightforward puzzle, a lot easier than yesterdays’s I thought. Thanks to Jay. I rated it **/***

  15. 2*/4* for me. Many thanks to Jay for the normal excellence, and to scchua for the review.

  16. 2d is not armless but it meant I could not get 10ac Doh!!! Thanks to Jay especially for the word at 10ac. We need more words like this. I enjoyed today’s which took a few more read throughs than usual. Nicely blogged scchua. Last night the Crib team that I play for beat the Crib team Saint Sharon plays for. Oh deep joy

  17. Another very enjoyable puzzle, been a good week so far.
    Many thx to Jay for the puzzle. Didn’t need to fight Scchua’s hints today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  18. Nice gentle canter today. Had not heard of 19d, and didn’t know the use of ‘riddle’ as a noun (and the verb from it meaning ‘to sieve’ – one usually sees it as ‘perforated’ in the phrase ‘riddled with bullets’) but the parsing was clear for both clues, so not held up there for long.
    Enjoyed the wit of 17d, 23a, 4a.

  19. A very enjoyable puzzle but ,with my flu, each clue taken separately, then sleep, then the next clue etc. 1d very well hidden. 9d was my favourite. Thanks to Scchua and Jay.
    Why are all our comments detached houses today ?

  20. Bit of a curate’s egg for me. One or two nice misdirections – 16d had me trying to fit lob, serve, smash,, forehand, backhand, volley, dropshot into my answer before I twigged. 10 a I needed scchua’s help to parse. Yet when I read the clues, there aren’t too many with nice surface readings. **/** for me.

    1. 16d is a very well written clue. Nicely misleading and nothing whatsoever to do with tennis. Iam glad I am not just starting out with cryptic crosswords.

  21. A note about the Quick Crossword (if that is allowed). The answer to 1 across includes a lot more than knickers….in my limited experience.

    1. feel free to mention the Quick crossword, but please avoid giving answers as that may spoil the puzzle for others. I’ve amended your comment.

  22. I’ve been out all day and only got around to this this evening. My rating is 2*/3*.

    19d was a new word for me and I needed Scchua’s hints to understand the wordplay for 10a.

    Many thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  23. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, had to think a bit to finish, just the right level of difficulty with some super clues. Favourites were 13&26a & 8 & 16d. Was 2*/3* for me. Made it a bit harder by misspelling 26a, but soon realised my error. Last in was 19d. Late commenting due to organising the Squash Tournament.

  24. One hates to sound smug (honestly) but I found this a welcome write-in and completed it in one read-through – starting with the down clues. Thanks Jay, it was satisfying and fun. And thanks Scchua for the tulips … not so sure about the oily man. 1* difficulty, 4* enjoyment

  25. Last – and probably least as well – due to baking bod round a pool in Krung Thep with the missus. iPad got too hot to hold as it needs screen on max to be readable. Got to this early am at least a day late. Great puzzle and managed with no help which is always nice. Home Friday to sideways rain no doubt.

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