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DT 27393

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27393

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A nice one from Jay, to whom thanks. About a 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.

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    Stumbled, beginning to go to get rent (6)

{RIPPED} : [stumbled, perhaps stubbing your toe at the same time] minus its 1st letter(beginning to go).

Defn: As the past tense of “to rend”.

5a    At home, putting power into exercise is unprofessional (8)

{INEXPERT} : [at home] + [in physics, symbol for “power”] contained in(putting … into) [to exercise;to put into use, say, your muscle or authority].

9a    Trying to impress King George with status (13)

{GRANDSTANDING} : [abbrev. for Latin for King George] + [together with] + [status with respect to one’s position financially or socially].

Sometimes, impressively foolish:

10a    Conveyance for the upwardly mobile? (5-3)

{CABLE-CAR} : Cryptic defn: Conveyance that will physically transport you up.

… and this is really impressive:

11a    Mine is worried about company pay (6)

{INCOME} : Anagram of(is worried) MINE containing(about) [abbrev. for “company”].

12a    Animal rights covered by some measures (6)

{FERRET} : 2 x [the abbrev. for “right”] contained in(covered by) [plural of the unit of measure for distance].

Answer.  It hurts like hell if you have one up your nose, but it’s not as bad as a crocodile.  Ask them here (click).

14a    Young female writer with time gets wasted (8)

{MISSPENT} : [a young unmarried female] + [an instrument that writes] plus(with) [abbrev. for “time”].

16a    Settles reserves to cover team (8)

{SUBSIDES} : [short for reserve players, say, in a football team] containing(to cover) [eg. a football team].

Defn: …. down to a stabler level.

19a    Worker from Mongolia strangely denied leave (6)

{OILMAN} : Anagram of(strangely) “Mongolia” minus(denied) [to leave;to depart].

21a    Metal one worn by mother after disheartening operations (6)

{OSMIUM} : { [Roman numeral for “one”] contained in(worn by) [short for “mother”;counterpart of “dad”] } placed after(after) “operations” minus all its inner letters(disheartening).

Defn:  A metallic chemical element.

23a    Young upstart initially invested in Marmite spread (8)

{IMMATURE} : 1st letter of(initially) “upstart” contained in(invested in) anagram of(spread) MARMITE.

25a    New York carer needs to lose small table for working out (5,8)

{READY RECKONER} : Anagram of(New) “York carer needs” minus(to lose) [abbrev. for “small”].

26a    Clergyman always trapped by split (8)

{REVEREND} : [always, the way fairy tales end] contained in(trapped by) [to split;to tear, eg. your heart emotionally].

27a    Mature, accepting European Community formula (6)

{RECIPE} : [mature;ready to pluck] containing(accepting) [abbrev. for “European Community”].


2d    Tearing off without a word of thanks? (7)

{INGRATE} : Anagram of(off) TEARING.

3d    Girl coming out of shell? (5)

{PEARL} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a rare item from shellfish.

And a more famous female rising from a shell – in art …. and in performing art.


4d    Devoted theologian drinking a brew of iced tea (9)

{DEDICATED} : [abbrev. for a theologian with a degree] containing(drinking) anagram of(a brew of) ICED TEA.

5d    Temporary but popular condition of contract covering island (7)

{INTERIM} : [popular;trendy] + [a conditional clause in a contract] containing(covering) [abbrev. for “island”].

6d    Weariness meaning unit has just regulars? (5)

{ENNUI} : Starting with the 2nd, every other letter of(just regulars) “meaningunit”.

7d    Capital invested by head of school (9)

{PRINCIPAL} : Double defn: 1st: … and which earns interest.

8d    Course for army unit, mainly (7)

{REGIMEN} : [an army unit consisting of battalions] minus its last letter(mainly).

Defn: … of, say, prescribed medicine, food or even exercise.

13d    Suspend curate? It’s ridiculous! (9)

{RUSTICATE} : Anagram of(ridiculous) CURATE? IT’S.

Answer: A British term – to suspend a student from university activities as punishment.

15d    Oxford’s last worker? (9)

{SHOEMAKER} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a style of footwear and the tool used in making such (or even any) footwear.


17d    Improving and certain to include good growth (7)

{UPSURGE} : [improving;advancing, eg. with promotion] plus(and) [for certain;without doubt] containing(to include) [abbrev. for “good”].

18d    Head of school to finish under peak salary (7)

{STIPEND} : 1st letter of(Head of) “school” + { [to finish] placed below(under, in a down clue) [a peak;the highest point of, eg. an iceberg].

Defn: A fixed and regular payment to, say, a clergyman.

20d    Broadcast operation after doctor gets supplies sent down (7)

{AIRDROP} : [to broadcast on the radio or television] + { [abbrev. for “operation”] placed below(after, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “doctor”] } .

Sending down supplies … and then some.


22d    Some lose by a mile after turning up, perhaps (5)

{MAYBE} : Hidden in(Some) reversal of(after turning up, in a down clue) “lose by a mile”.

24d    Note about working with carbon drink (5)

{TONIC} : [the note that Julie Andrews sang, and drank with jam and bread] containing(about) [working, eg. an electrical appliance] plus(with) [chemical symbol for the element carbon].

The Quick crossword pun: (annex} + {queues} = {an excuse}

57 comments on “DT 27393

      1. I’m still reading through it Scchua and I’m finding it rather hard. Normally your ratings are spot on so I’ll persevere

    1. Not so much early as more like 8-9 hours ahead of us [i think], that is if Schua is at home & not travelling.

  1. Finished this while the dog was doing her morning constitutional in the garden (05:45 – 06:45) this morning – not the usual semi-dormancy of the little grey cells! No particular favorites, 2*/3* for me. Thanks to compiler for a pleasant start to the day.

  2. 2* today. I found this one very straightforward with no real problems. An excellent start to the day. Thanks to setter and to Scchua for his usual lucid review.

  3. Thank you Jay, I enjoyed that and finished without needing explanations for a change. Particularly liked 25a and fell into the trap of thinking NY for New York. The penny dropped eventually ! Thanks for your review and hints Scchua and interesting selection of photos. The airdrop photo would certainly confuse ground troops if they saw that lot coming down ! Instant surrender ?

  4. No problems with this one, finished easily before lights out last night, less tricky than Monday’s Rufus, so thanks to Jay. Favorites 9a and 25a. Meanwhile, repeated requests for a new password go unanswered.

  5. Everyone bright and early today, agree with the **/***,imaginative pics from Scchua today-funny ,as soon as I looked at 3D the Botticelli Venus came to mind till I saw the alternative answer which led to the solving of the last clue 1A for which my brain would not tell me what I was lookind for!..

    1. I was slow with 1a too – couldn’t get beyond ‘stumbled’ being ‘slipped’ which didn’t make sense at all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  6. A 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment from me today.
    I got myself in a tangle trying to work out which letters made up the 25a anagram – nothing seemed to add up to the right number although the answer was obvious.
    I’ve never heard of 9a as a verb, just something that people sit on to watch football or a programme that I don’t want to watch about same!
    My last answer was 21a – I know it’s in BRB because I’ve just found it but it’s not in my Chambers Crossword Dictionary which I rely on quite heavily for things such as metals.
    I liked 14 and 19a and 13d. My favourite was either 15 or 22d. I must stop this habit of sitting on the fence!
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Grumpy today – I’m not sure if attempting the Toughie will make the grumpiness better or worse. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  7. Hi scchua and thanks for the hints, I enjoyed this one today but went wrong straight away by putting ‘chick’ in at 3d which didn’t make that corner too easy!!!! I thought it was such an obvious answer and didn’t hesitate to put it in!!!
    So because of that I would rate it personally as a 3* fav clues (sorry Kath) 1a and 12a, I did think the reading of 14a a bit iffy, not making any sense!

    1. I agree with your comment about 14a, Mary. I suspect that the gremlins have got at the clue and that Jay intended it to say writer rather than write.

      1. I wasn’t sure what Mary was on about with 14a but I do the crossword in the paper and the clue in the paper says writer.

      1. Although it is a much easier destination for me sue I doubt it, I am still not fully recovered from this bug and so cannot commit to being there, however…never say never http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. There are 16 days to go so I do hope you can recover in time as there will never be a better opportunity for you to come to a gathering!

          1. Although sue it probably takes longer by train from West Wales to get to Bristol than it does from London!! 3 1/2 hrs if there are no hold ups!! As I said never say never http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

            1. It does – but even longer from East Kent which is why Mr CS and I are staying with my brother in Swindon that weekend.

              Do try and come – you were mentioned when BD and I were discussing how to get the border police to let Gazza exit Devon and who else might attend if we all came over to the opposite side of the country.

    1. Welcome to the blog redtrev. Now that you’ve delurked I hope that we’ll hear from you regularly.

  8. Nice steady solve today although I did have to get all the checking letters for 21A – its been a while since I did A level Chemistry and had Sodium stuck in my head. I wonder how many people have never heard of a 25A – reminds me of back in the 80s when I took my old slide rule into work and had all the youngsters wanting to know what it was, how it worked, etc

  9. Thank you Scchua for some splendid images to go with some satisfying clues. Last one in was 19a, and once there don’t know what was so difficult! Enjoyed a 10a ride up Whistler to look for bears one summer – not the skiing. Enjoyed 12a, and fave probably 22d or 3d. Starlings stripping my bird feeders which I’m not happy about. But the goldfinches are back, hurrah! Whoops, nearly forgot to say thank you to setter also.

  10. Very enjoyable I thought, a **/**** for me. Only problem I had was working out why the answer to 24d was Tonic, so Thx Scchua. My fav today was 21a, nice to see a bit of science for a change.
    Thx to the setter and to Scchua for playing 24d.

  11. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable crossword – I found you a teensy smidge easier than usual. Thanks to scchua for the explanations too.

    The Toughie is on the user-friendly side too. If you have a longer time to spare, I can also recommend Paul in the Graun and IO (Elgar) in the FT

    1. I’ve got the Grauniad to do later but I think that Io(Elgar) in the FT has got his hob nailed seven league boots on. Not for the faint of heart or even those with mild palpitations [IMHO].

      Sorry, forgetting my manners – thanks to jay & to scchua for a pleasant mid week mental work out.

      1. Leave the IO to ‘cogitate’ – quite a few of the bits you originally think are hob-nailed are just sneaky d’oh moments. (IMHO!)

          1. You forget that Sue is a woman ergo multi tasking is second nature. Some say that CS is not only ambidextrous but has a split personality enabling her to do her work with one hand and one half of her brain while completing crosswords with the other sides.

          2. At work – I get here extra early to do the DTs and the Graun. The FT had to be hidden under my work as I couldn’t wait until lunchtime. I did the Times at lunchtime. Not that I am addicted or anything ridiculous like that.

  12. Not really my scene but managed somehow to complete. Favs 9a, 15d and 22d. 1a last in as stupidly 3d didn’t occur to me. Thank you Jay and Scchua. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  13. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, could only get half a dozen answers at the first sitting. Came back to it and got most of it, but needed the hints for 12&21a, just couldn’t see the definitions. Thanks to scchua for the explanations to 25a & 22d. Favourites were 9a, which was a new word for me and 21a. Was 3*/2* for me.

  14. I have been reading the hints for many months but have always needed electronic help. Today I solved the whole crossword with no help by 9am! I expected to see comments saying how easy it was and only giving one star for difficulty so I am now very happy indeed.

    1. Welcome to the blog Maureen and well done! Now that you’ve delurked I hope that we’ll hear from you regularly.

  15. Pretty straightforward.

    Just needed a bit of a nudge for 12a and “assumed” 21 on the grounds that no other letters could go in.

    I found this worked for me because today I decided to go from bottom to top. And because I already had 25a, I found 15d a bit easier and it ended up as my favourite.

    Lots of diversionary tactics, but also a fair few anagrams, which I like. The quickie was also fun.

  16. I’m in the minority here, I found this at least *** difficulty. It was so hard to get in, and I never did get 1a, 10a and 3d; 10a unforgivable as I had the second word. Some clues, e.g. 25a, took longer to understand the why than getting the answer. I think of 6d more as boredom than tiredness, but my dictionary does give that meaning. Now going to rest those little gray cells, thank you setter, and scchua for the answers to the ones I missed.


      1. You’re absolutely right! Some words I have to think about. My English teacher would have rapped my knuckles over that. She used to lecture us about Americanisms creeping in, particularly turning nouns into verbs by adding “ised” or “ized”, as in hospitalised. I consider myself chastised.

  17. Got through with no problem at all today . It may have been sorted yesterday but I just didn’t have time to look, so long may it last. At first run through this today, I thought it was going to be a real struggle but it wasn’t too bad in the end .Thanks to Jay & sschua although I didn’t need his hints.

  18. This all went in quite easily particularly once a couple of checkers were in. Nothing really floated my boat either but still a pleasant way to pass the time. Roll on tomorrow. hope it’s a Ray T.

  19. Pleasant puzzle today.

    Faves : 10a, 25a, 3d & 15d.

    My son always orders an Indonesian Rijsttafel meal before he goes back to the USA and there are always many leftover portions in plastic boxes which end up in my fridge so tonight I’m having a go at them with a bottle of Chardonnay.

    He drove his car from New York back to Boston in snowy weather and said it took nearly as long as the flight Amsterdam – New York!

    He’ll be back here in the spring.

    Groetjes allemaal!

  20. About the right level of difficulty, some very straight forward and others needing quite a bit of untangling. 25a for instance, I spend a while trying to think of areas in NY before seeing the anagram. 22d , if I hadn’t the checkers , I don’t think I would ever have spotted it. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  21. **/** . This didn’t do it for me at all., and left me with a profound sense of 6d (itself a word we see far too often) It felt like a puzzle from 40 years ago with references to obsolete technology, clergymen, University expulsions, oh, an Oxford is a shoe ha ha, etc.

      1. Chambers and the ODE only permit the shoe and the material for the shirt (and by implication the shirt) to be referred to as an Oxford where Oxford is a noun rather than an adjective.

        Oxford (Chambers)
        ▶ noun
        * (without cap) a low-heeled laced shoe (also Oxford shoe)
        * A light cotton or synthetic woven fabric (also Oxford cloth) used for men’s shirts

        Oxford (ODE)
        ▶ noun
        * (also oxford cloth) [mass noun] a thick cotton fabric chiefly used to make shirts: [as modifier] an oxford shirt.
        * (also oxford shoe) a type of lace-up shoe with a low heel.

        1. Exactly – hence an Oxford Cloth Button Down (OCBD) or an Oxford as purchased from the original Abercrombie & Fitch on Madison Avenue in New York.

  22. Rating : 1*/3*. I seemed to drop onto the right wavelength for this excellent puzzle today straight away, which I wasn’t able to start until this evening. My only stumble was putting Hazel for 3d as my first answer in, but I looked for something else when I saw that Z was a very unlikely third letter for 9a.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua.

  23. Typical Wednesday for me, even with clues I could only manage 5 answers.
    Other days I can complete it with one or two or with none. I dont understand why I have this block about Wednesday’s puzzle

  24. Tough one for me today, hence didn’t really enjoy. Thanks for hints although were the pics of topless women really necessary?

  25. A straightforward write-in for me. I finished the puzzle before I finished my nightcap. Thanks to Jay for a smooth passage and to Scchua for a splendid analysis. Must to bed early (for me) tonight – live radio to do in the morning.

  26. I MUST be the last post today – it’s actually now the next day but not for me because I have not been to bed yet. I have been busy earning income tax for the Treasury. Liked the crossword and agreed with Scchua on his rating. Bashed it all off with one recourse to a dictionary for validation of 13d Best clue for me was 19a which I thought a very smart and had me all over the place mentally before it clicked. Thanks to Jay (I am only assuming it’s Jay because everyone else says it was – err why not put the setters name to their DT creations?). Liked the pictures which had a cheering effect, Scchua and show that the smutty undercurrent in English culture is alive and well.
    Love and kisses to all.

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