DT 27398

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27398

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

There’s nothing too exciting in today’s puzzle and I have quibbles about a few of the clues. Do let us know what you thought.

If, in spite of the hint, you still need to see an answer you can reveal it by highlighting what lurks between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Copper’s arresting deed, beginning to search plant (6)
{CACTUS} – the chemical symbol for copper contains (arresting) a deed then we finish with the beginning of S(earch).

5a  Run through  train (8)
{REHEARSE} – this is meant to be a double definition but it’s the intransitive and transitive forms of the same verb. The second is how a director, say, would train his cast or put them through their paces. I do like double definitions to have two distinct meanings.

9a  Greet 28 shipworkers (5,5)
{SHAKE HANDS} – a synonym for the answer to 28a followed by manual workers (on a ship or elsewhere).

10a  According to hearsay, can go white (4) (online version)
10a  Whitish  heraldic stripe (4) (paper version)
{PALE} – this sounds like (according to hearsay) a container with a handle. It’s a bit of a stretch to call said container a can. The clue in the paper is a double definition, with the second being a broad vertical stripe on a shield.

11a  Snake in Canada coiled round leg (8)
{ANACONDA} – an anagram (coiled) of Canada containing the leg side in cricket.

12a  Italian river engulfing remainder at once (6)
{PRESTO} – it’s not the Tiber so it must be the other well-known Italian river containing (engulfing) a synonym for remainder.

13a  Some jet-ski everywhere in this place in eastern Europe (4)
{KIEV} – the name of an East European capital city (scene of widespread rioting currently) is hidden (some) in the clue.

15a  Cheeky rascal, pupil throwing stone (8)
{IMPUDENT} – start with a young rascal and add a pupil without (throwing) the abbreviation for a stone (14 lbs).

18a  Fair game at home? Good (8)
{SPORTING} – string together a game involving physical activity, an adverb meaning at home and G(ood).

19a  Eat nothing when wrapped in paper (4)
{FAST} – a conjunction meaning when is contained (wrapped) in the business newspaper.

21a  Bird out, flying about, with tail of green (6)
{TOUCAN} – an anagram (flying?) of OUT is followed by the two-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately and the tail letter of (gree)N.

23a  Adore car prepared for rally (4,4)
{ROAD RACE} – an anagram (prepared) of ADORE CAR.

25a  Nimble agent crossing river (4)
{SPRY} – an agent like James Bond goes round the abbreviation for river.

26a  Beginning to grasp one branch of physics, and the science of food (10)
{GASTRONOMY} – G(rasp) followed by one branch of physics.

27a  Distinguished American statesman of old (8)
{AUGUSTUS} – this old statesman was a Roman Emperor. An adjective meaning distinguished or eminent is followed by a two-character abbreviation for American.

28a  In centre, moral majority could make one quake (6)
{TREMOR} – more than half (in … majority) of two consecutive words in the clue.

Down Clues

2d  Article absorbing female drained of colour (5)
{ASHEN} – indefinite article containing a feminine pronoun.

3d  To protect oneself, acquire insurance (4,5)
{TAKE COVER} – double definition, the first to seek shelter from an attack, say.

4d  Southern Greek character cross about knight and mythical monster (6)
{SPHINX} – this is a winged monster from Greek mythology. String together S(outhern), the twenty-first character of the Greek alphabet and the letter resembling a cross then insert (about) the chess abbreviation for knight.

5d  Two calls ensued about a second game (4-1-4-1-5)
{RING-A-RING-A-ROSES} – this is a children’s game said by some to have its macabre origins in The Great Plague with the ‘we all fall down’ signifying death. Two telephone calls are followed by a verb meaning ensued or emerged. Then we have to insert (about) A and finish up with S(econd).

6d  Weed round front of semi with instrument, gardening aid (8)
{HOSEPIPE} – put a verb to weed round the front letter of S(emi) then add a musical instrument.

7d  Member’s brought in beer, more than enough (5)
{AMPLE} – the usual sitting member gets inserted in beer.

8d  Parted sides to reveal damaged hair (5,4)
{SPLIT ENDS} – a verb meaning parted or bisected followed by sides or boundaries.

14d  Unscripted, I am sharp for all to see (9)
{IMPROMPTU} – a charade of the contracted form of ‘I am’, an adverb meaning sharp (as in ‘at 9 am sharp’) and the film category meaning that people of any age are allowed to see it.

16d  First to discreetly mention removing cap to show respect (9)
{DEFERENCE} – skipping hastily over the split infinitive in the clue start with the first letter of D(iscreetly) and follow this with a mention or citation without its first letter (removing cap, i.e. the top bit).

17d  Twelve, perhaps, not very bright climbing thing abroad (8)
{MIDNIGHT} – reverse (climbing, in a down clue) an adjective meaning not very bright and add an anagram (abroad) of THING.

20d  Mimic arrives on board vessel (6)
{PARROT} – the 3-letter abbreviation for arrives (on a bus or train timetable) goes inside (on board) a cooking vessel.

22d  Pulled up chasing evasive rodent (5)
{COYPU} – a reversal (pulled?) of UP follows (chasing) an adjective meaning evasive or reticent.

24d  Search round for small band (5)
{COMBO} – a verb to search or hunt through is followed by the letter that’s round.

The clue I liked best today was 15a. How about you.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {LYNN} + {CON} + {SIN} = {LINCOLN’S INN}. Thanks to Deep Threat for pointing out that there is another pun on the bottom line if you read the words there in reverse order – {PEAK} + {EBB} + {EWE} = {PEEK-A-BOO}

121 responses to “DT 27398

  1. Thanks for the explanations Gazza – just to let you know, the paper version of 10 across is ‘Whitish heraldic stripe’http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  2. There is nothing to frighten anybody here. Do as the clue suggests and it should all fit into place. 27 ac was the last in mainly because it was near the end. 11 ac was obvious but i could not see where the extra letters other than the anagram came from. Then I remembered my (sorry Kath) cricketing references, possibly at the same time as I remembered the cinema age group classifications for the last letter of 14d. I am waffling here. ta to all see you later.

  3. **/**. A bit humourless and uninspiring with, I agree Gazza, a few dubious clues including 16d so unusually not sorry to complete. Here’s to better things. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  4. Also. The Quickie today has five double definitions and some words that regularly enter Cryptic Crosswords but with one word definitions. I got 21ac in The Cryptic from the last word of the clue and referred back to see exactly why. I believe that regularly tackling The Quickie will enhance your skill at Cryptics. Your thoughts on this would be welcome.

    • I agree with you. A lot of time spent on solving cryptic crosswords is about finding the correct synonym, which is the only objective in the Quick crossword.

      • Maybe I’ll give it a go then – I find it a bit summat-nor-nowt except sometimes I look at the pun for a giggle.

        • I completed it and DID enjoy it – from memory its not usually this interesting, subtle and entertaining. Good call, Miffy you might have started something. I have to admit I am not sure I ‘get’ the across (L to R) pun though. I fear I am being dense here.

          • sometimes I spend all day repeating the words in the pun in a different way in order to try & understand the meaning. when the pfennig drops it always makes me smile in a “how come you never spotted that, you numpty” way.

            • Hmm… Learned something here. Have heard of Gray’s Inn but not Lincoln’s. Seems my Gen Knowledge is like a colander – full ‘o holes.

    • I agree with you too. I rarely do the Quickie unless someone says the pun is good and then I have a go at it. I often find them more difficult than the Cryptics – in fact they’re usually more like Slowies than Quickies for me. Maybe I should do them a bit more often.

    • Going back to the Quickie again – am I the only one who thinks that ‘cost-effective’ and ‘profitable’ are not synonyms, or is my ‘profitable’ wrong – always a possibility, I suppose. Or am I being too picky?

  5. I was going to comment on the different version of 10a in the paper, but ShropshireLad beat me to it.

    Today’s Quickie seems to have a second pun in the bottom row – though to preserve the symmetry of the grid you have to read the words in the order right, centre, left. There was another a couple of weeks ago where the bottom row had HAYDN and SIKH.

  6. I enjoyed this and thought it was straightforward. I’d give it 1* or possibly 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t have any trouble apart from the problem that I made for myself in the bottom right corner – I rather stupidly, or absent-mindedly, had the wrong ending for 26a even though I know the difference between ‘astronomy’ and ‘astrology’. Oh dear! That made 16 and 24d tricky to say the least until I realised my mistake.
    For about the first time ever I wasn’t thrown into a state of confusion by the ‘leg’ in 11a – must be learning something here.
    I didn’t know the heraldic bit of 10a but the answer was obvious.
    I liked 15 and 18a and 16d. My favourite was 8d – Pet Lamb Number Two is always moaning about this!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    Going to try Toughie later on.

  7. Apart from having to check the heraldic stripe, nothing in here caused any problem.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza for the review.

  8. No problems at all today although 27A held me up for a bit until the meaning of distinguished popped into the old grey matter. To be honest, I thought the quickie was probably more fun than the cryptic today (for some inexplicable reason, I wrote the last 3 words in in reverse order and spotted pun #2 but got beat to mentioning it)

  9. G’day all. Like a cavalier, I charged through this puzzle, slashing both sides and they fell like flies in * time. Then I got to 27a and I had to cheat (the shame) and 24d which also beat me – oh how I tried to make CAMEO fit and did not get it until reading Gazza’s hints. I quite enjoyed this crossword but a mite too straightforward. After reading your comments, kind people, I’m going to have wizz at the Quickie. Thanks Gazza.

    • On my ipad I do the acrosses in the cryptic and swipe to the quickie for the acrosses therein. Back to the cryptic for the downs and over to the quickie for the downs. I do this until I have solved both or one or both have me beaten. Neither one nor the other wins out in which is first to fall. last week the cryptics seemed to be completed whilst I struggled to find a word meaning AWFUL (4) and TRACHEA (8) The obvious answers wasted my time spectacularly whilst (in the case of TRACHEA) an excuse for another beer was duly accepted

      • Thanks Miffy, sounds a good strategy… I will give it a go. I normally tackle the Cryptic corner by corner starting SW or less usually SE. If there are clever fun things going on in the Quickie other than the 1a pun then it’s a different animal. I am constantly learning from you folks.

  10. Thank you setter, not sparkling, but enjoyed it as I do most of the time. Took me a while to get the “U” in 14d, but suddenly the penny dropped. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. However does the DT come up with different clues in the paper and on-line versions ? I am sure that there must be some good reason.

    • I believe that the paper version is the first one published (its normally available around 10pm if I recall correctly). Overnight, you do find people having a second look at some of the clues and changing them to make them more obvious or more obscure (depending on what is required) – these changes are done by the DT, not the compiler. As I said, I believe this to be the case, if not and I’ve upset anyone then sorry :)

    • I agree with you about usually enjoying the crossword – it’s just that I enjoy some more than others. I never notice the finer points such as split infinitives, a tricky grid or dodgy surface readings until someone points them out so they don’t have any effect on my level of enjoyment. It’s not so long ago that I didn’t even know what any of those things meant.

  11. Hi gazza, thanks for the hints, I didn’t need any to finish but needed several explainations, a 2 star for difficulty for myself today, no real favourites

  12. Happy Birthday Big Dave’s Blog

    A fairly average Tuesday solve for me – I did know the stripe which helped. Thanks to the Mysteron and Gazza too.

  13. Happy Birthday to the best crossword blog ever http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif congratulations to Dave and everyone who has made this such a success http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Hear hear! Congratulations to everyone concerned, especially BD for thinking it all up and all the brilliant people who give up so much of their time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      Just wish I could come to the Bristol bash. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    • Very best Birthday Wishes from me, too. Mary’s right. This is ‘the best crossword blog ever’. And, as you put it so well, Kath, ‘Congratulations to everyone concerned, especially BD for thinking it all up and all the brilliant people who give up so much of their time’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Hear! Hear! Thanks so much for this wonderful blog to you, Big Dave, and to all your co-bloggers.

        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Today’s the day, is it? Many Happy Returns BD’s Blog! One of the most entertaining and addictive internet phenomenons. A word to the wise: don’t tell too many people about it – it’s like a perfect-sized English village with a great pub.

  14. Re 5d. I have spent many years teaching my children and grandchildren that the fourth word of this rhyme is ‘of’ not ‘a’. It makes more sense grammatically!
    Not the most enjoyable of puzzles today.

  15. Thank you, as a total novice (never even been able to even fathom the clue construct) with your help and peeking occasionally I am now beginning to be able to read the clues within the clues. A first!

    • Welcome and well done from me too. Everyone here is really friendly and helpful – if or when you don’t understand something all you need to do is ask and someone comes running to the rescue. One of the best things is that no-one ever makes anyone else feel stupid – I know because I say and do stupid things all the time!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  16. Bother. I had typed my comments for today when my computer crashed before I had a chance to submit them :sad: At least I can just about remember what I had written the first time.

    I aree with Gazza’s rating and have nothing much to add to his excellent review and the comments already made. Like Kath, I had never heard of the heraldic meaning of 10a, but, unlike Gazza, I can’t let the split infinitive in 16d pass without a strong protest – particularly as I think the clue still works if you simply omit the “to”. Pedant’s Corner, here I come. Are there any goodies there?

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    • “First discreetly” to clue the D would be frowned upon even more than the split infinitive. There’s got to be an ‘of’ or equivalent indication of possession in there somewhere.

        • See my reply to you at comment number 8 in Pedants Corner Stan. Remember not to park outwith the lines or times when oop north or you may find your hard earned cash without your wallet.

            • ps. Without sounding to be stupid, I still fail to comprehend the nuances of “without”; even though BD has explained it on several occasions!

              without — The word “without” means outside, not around or surrounding

              • Stanxyz despite several explanations on this blog, since 2009, I’m still thrown. However, pointers to remember a certain Easter Hymn with a green hill far away have stuck in my addled bonce.

  17. Managed without resort to the hints for once, except for the odd explanation, so really enjoyed it. Many Happy Returns to all connected to this site, & thank you to gazza & to the setter.

    • No, sorry. We don’t ever buy bread and I’m in such a sticky mess already with the marmalade that there just isn’t time to make bread today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        • To hell with the keyboard – you should see the state of my specs. They hang round my neck so that I only lose them a few times each day rather than about fifty times – this means that when I’m cooking they act like a ‘Tommy Tippee’ bib – don’t know if they’re still around but I’m sure that anyone who had toddlers in the 1980’s will remember them.

  18. Many happy returns! Wow! getting on in years are we? Congrats to all those kind and clever people who enlighten such as me and give us so much pleasure — thank you

  19. All done, and not much to add to the sparkling commentary before – except to thank setter & Gazza, and to wish this terrific site many, many happy RETURNS http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  20. Hippo Bathday. What would we do do without you. I’ve progressed from a no hoper to a competent * solver in 4 years!
    I too no nothing about grammar. (They stopped it just as I about to get upset) So, I rarely worry about the niceties. After all you can sometimes substitute “cloud cuckoo land” for “crosswordland”
    Thanks to BD et al.

    • If you’re ever in doubt about grammar and all that it entails then I can recommend a book called “Grammar for Grown ups” written by an ex army officer called Craig Shrives. I’ve learnt as much from that one book as I did in seven years at a top grammar school albeit I wasn’t the most attentive of pupils.

      And no, I am not related to said author or in anyway affiliated to his publisher.

  21. Happy Birthday to the site and thanks for all the hints over the last couple of years. Definitely helped me make progress and I now really enjoy those occasional days when I don’t have to refer to it. Today was one of those so 1* for difficulty for me.

  22. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. Quite straightforward today, but not too much fun. Was 2*/2* for me. Favourite was 26a. Happy Birthday to the blog, with special thanks to Big Dave and to all the reviewers. My solving standard has definitely improved since being a regular here. Much appreciated :-)

  23. Congratulations and Happy Birthday BD. Many thanks to you and your expert colleagues who give your time to this blog. You have helped so many people who comment on this site and, I bet, hundreds if not thousands of lurkers who have a peep at the hints and answers. I know one or two, to whom I have recommended your site !

  24. I got on rather well with this one, though I did need the hint to know why the “u” at the end of 14d and the why of 15a. Favourite was 5d, last one in 27a. Thanks to setter and Gazza for review.

    • Toni – the answer is Cheeky. It is made up from a word meaning Rascal (imp) and a word for Pupil (student) without (throwing) the usual abbreviation for Stone (as in weight – ST)

  25. Yes , indeed, Happy Birthday and many happy returns ! I sure many have learned the conventions of solving and a acquired a new and pleasant hobby (or obsession).More importantly, it brings a very welcome social element to an otherwise solitary pastime. Unless, that is, you solve in pairs like Pommers and Pommette or the two Kiwis.
    I enjoyed todays offering .I especially liked 17d, thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  26. although I finished this before the hints came out this morning, I still dont get 10a, I can see that PALE is whitish but what has it got to do with heraldic stripe, just dont get it.
    Thx to Gazza for some explanations and to the setter.

  27. Blimey! Lots of comments today and a nice puzzle last in being 27a – 17d was rather clever I thought and my fave. Thanks to the Setter and for the interesting comments as above. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  28. Happy Birthday Blog.
    The 2Kiwis were 3Kiwis today as our daughter Fiona was included in the team. She is keen to get a closer look at this strange past-time that so obsesses her parents. She still thinks we are slightly mad but is prepared to forgive us. It was actually quite a good puzzle to introduce a newbie to the craft, so we all appreciated it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  29. I found the answers quite easily but needed some explanations . Thanks Gazza and Happy Birthday to the blog .Thanks Dave.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  30. I liked this one. It was relatively easy, but I thought a lot of the surface readings in the clues were cleverly done’, which lifted it for me. */***

  31. Happy Birthday to Bigdave44, a site I stumbled upon a few years ago whilst in desperation typing a clue into google (other search engines available). I can’t believe this site is only 5 years old, feels like it has been part of my life for much longer. Thank you BD , and to the numerous bloggers who lest we not forget do this off their own back and their in their own time. Cheers all. :)

      • Lumme – how on earth did you know that? Are we all filed somewhere? Or is The Machine keeping our tracks? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • SO clever isn’t it? I do wish that I could conjure up all that kind of stuff. It’s like when you try to remember a clue and quote it a bit wrong (?grammar – wrongly) and someone else seems to manage to find it. Oh dear – one day I’ll learn. Until then I’m quite happy as I am!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • When I finally broke cover ;) Blimey, comments surrounding mine by Prolixic, CrypticSue, Libellule Gnomey and Big Boab. What a Motley Crew indeed :) All of whom whose kind friendship both on-blog and in person has been much appreciated.

        • Just gone back to look at old comments. Who is a smarty pants then – your first comment was on a Toughie blog. You’re way ahead of me – I only started to look at the Toughies regularly (ie Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and generally missing out Fridays out of cowardice) a few months ago.

          • Bless you, if only that was the case, it was a 2* and the preamble says easier than the back page. BD will no doubt be able to find a comment I made on I think a Petitjean where Gazza put me firmly back in my box, I wasn’t so much wearing a slightly mad hat I was in a slightly different cosmos :) But Honestly Kath, I still find some toughies quicker to solve than a Rufus, and when many a solver says of a backpager t’was easy I certainly have not :)

    • You have to be so careful typing a whole clue into Google and finding this blog – look where it got me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  32. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, beats shovelling snow at -30C! No hints needed today, just explanation of 10a, should though of container association with can. Learnt new word for rodent, surprised that has not become crossword favourite.

  33. A nice gentle canter through today’s back-pager, but no doubt the diminishing grey matter will get a more strenuous workout later in the week!

  34. Birthday congratulations for this rich addition to the DT crossword. I used to be lost for words; not any more!

  35. 1* difficulty 3* enjoyment today. A canter through and no need of hints or explanations – although I always read them after I’ve finished. Just like to say thanks to BD and all his partners in the sublime. I lurked for ages before deciding to join in and although I’m usually last or thereabouts, I feel a part of it now. When you live alone and work night shifts, doing crosswords in the wee hours can sometimes feel like a lonely experience. With this blog, I never feel alone. Happy Birthday!

  36. I can’t see that anybody else has pointed this out so I will. The game at 5dn is call RING-A-RING-O-ROSES and not A-ROSES which is what wordplay leads one to. O is quite clearly an abbreviation of OF whereas A makes no sense whatsoever.

  37. I found this puzzle rather easy and some of the clues were a bit odd. I finished all the clues on my own but had to refer to the hints a considerable number of times (for which many thanks to Gazza) to understanding the rational of the cue

  38. Hello BD,

    After a near lifetime of “not getting the cryptic clues”, I was a quick crossword fan. Then I found your blog and was encouraged to work on the cryptic puzzle. Yesterday, I managed to complete three quarters of No. 27398, but 14d and 27a ensured the bottom left corner beat me.

    I also want to say thank you for the guidance each day. Much appreciated.

    ….and Happy Blogday. :-)

    Regards

    Adam.

    • You’ll find this site one of the most friendly, most polite & most helpful on the interweb. By design none of us brag about the speed with which we solve puzzles which can be a negative on other sites.

      In 3 to 4 years of finding his blog I’ve gone from being a relative novice who attempted the cryptic maybe twice a week to now being a complete addict who starts to get the DTs if I don’t get my daily fix of the DT, the FT and the Grauniad.

      Stick around & you’ll be amazed at what you pick up from all the bloggers & solvers.

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