DT 27404 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27404

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27404

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This is a pretty standard puzzle for Tuesdays these days. There’s nothing too difficult or too exciting and it has a fairly high number of anagrams (nine by my reckoning). Do let us know what you thought.

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

Across Clues

1a  Rubbish ballad finally turned down (7)
{REFUSED} – another word for rubbish followed by the final letter of ballad.

5a  Exhausted European member of parliament changed diet (7)
{EMPTIED} – string together E(uropean), the abbreviation for member of parliament and an anagram (changed) of DIET.

9a  Hippopotamus I captured holding rock, perhaps (5)
{MUSIC} – hidden (holding) in the clue.

10a  The same one with depression? I almost cry (9)
{IDENTICAL} – start with the Roman numeral for one then add a depression or hollow, I (from the clue) and a verb to cry or shout without its final L.

11a  Some turned out great — or dreadful (10)
{TREMENDOUS} – an anagram (out) of SOME TURNED gives an adjective that can mean either enormous or awe-inspiring.

12a  Caught after Sid’s criminal record (4)
{DISC} – the abbreviation for caught on a cricket scorecard comes after an anagram (criminal) of SID.

14a  Doctor Sam on this hospital dept creating surprise (12)
{ASTONISHMENT} – an anagram (doctor) of SAM ON THIS is followed by the usual hospital department (if you don’t know what that is then I can recommend BD’s new feature on the usual suspects).

18a  Sizes of certain players in foreign teams (12)
{MEASUREMENTS} – an adjective meaning certain and members of a team go inside an anagram (foreign) of TEAMS.

21a  Watch the man had heard (4)
{HEED} – this sounds like (heard) a contracted form of a male person had.

22a  Without thinking, start to comment: ‘Are the French sneaky?’ (10)
{CARELESSLY} – string together the starting letter of C(omment), ARE (from the clue), the French definite article (plural version) and an adjective meaning sneaky or guileful.

25a  The meaning of words initially shifting? This setter’s flipping tricks! (9)
{SEMANTICS} – pretty much the same type of clue as the previous one. This time we have to assemble the initial letter of S(hifting), the objective form of the pronoun that the setter would use for himself or herself reversed (flipping) and a word for tricks or escapades.

26a  John is after one good place to stay in the far north (5)
{IGLOO} – what john is an informal term for follows I (one in Roman numerals) and G(ood).

27a  Small and secure thing to use in a flood (7)
{SANDBAG} – this is a very topical clue though the answer is not much use in combating floods of the magnitude that we are seeing every night on the TV. It’s a charade of S(mall), AND (from the clue) and a verb to secure or capture.

28a  It’s designed to detain criminal longer, I’ll be bound (3-4)
{LEG-IRON} – an anagram (criminal, for the second time) of LONGER with I contained (bound) inside it. You could read the whole clue as the definition, in which case this is a semi-all-in-one.

Down Clues

1d  Station manager? (6)
{REMOTE} – cryptic definition of what’s used to select your choice of viewing or listening.

2d  Bolt‘s very quick and keen on a regular basis (6)
{FASTEN} – the capitalised Bolt as the first word is designed to mislead us into thinking of Usain. An adjective meaning (very?) quick followed by the regular or even letters of keen.

3d  Awful fuss with clues, limiting compiler’s first flourishing (10)
{SUCCESSFUL} – an anagram (awful) of FUSS and CLUES containing (limiting) the first letter of C(ompiler).

4d  Perished surrounding river — showing lack of water (5)
{DRIED} – a verb meaning perished or expired containing R(iver).

5d  Kill around four of those in management? (9)
{EXECUTIVE} – a verb meaning to kill (often in a judicial context) goes around the Roman numeral for four.

6d  Something spread on bread or crumpet (4)
{PATE} – this is a sort of double definition in which we have to pretend to ignore the fact that the first word has both a circumflex and an acute accent whereas the second has neither. The first is a rich savoury paste and the second an archaic word for head with crumpet being a slang word for the same thing. I do dislike clues where we are expected to believe that words such as cure and curé are spelt the same.

7d  Given  description of the tower of Pisa? (8)
{INCLINED} – double definition, given here meaning disposed or addicted, e.g. “he’s given to gambling on a regular basis”.

8d  Polite place to buy savouries, cold, to get consumed (8)
{DELICATE} – I wouldn’t have associated the answer with polite but the BRB does, defining it, amongst other things, as ‘refined in manners; not immodest; gentle; polite’. Start with the abbreviation for a specialist food shop and add C(old) and a verb meaning consumed.

13d  Chewing the fat, the cat’s upset by call (10)
{CHATTERING} – an anagram (upset) of THE CAT is followed by a verb to call on the blower.

15d  Controlling Aida, perhaps, with the sound of a bell (9)
{OPERATING} – what Aida is an example of followed by the sound of a small bell.

16d  Some temp has Israeli accent (8)
{EMPHASIS} – concealed (some) in the clue.

17d  Who flogs beer carried by ship? One on board (8)
{SALESMAN} – a type of beer is contained (carried) inside the abbreviation for steamship. After that we need a word for a member of the crew (or a piece on a chessboard – thanks Mary).

19d  Stage hand with stable employment? (6) (online version)
19d  Give him a nag in the inn? (6) (paper version)
{OSTLER} – cryptic definition of a stableman employed at an inn in the past. His duties would have included tending or changing the horses on the stagecoaches which stopped there.

20d  Coy? Not fantastic word to describe Lord Sugar (6)
{TYCOON} – an anagram (fantastic) of COY NOT.

23d  Calm lake — good place for a picture (5)
{EASEL} – a verb to calm or soothe followed by L(ake).

24d  One shows arrogance from heads of state? Not one bit (4)
{SNOB} – the initial letters (heads) of four consecutive words in the clue.

My favourite clue today was 1d with the silver medal going to 19d (online version). How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PECAN} + {CHEWS} = {PICK AND CHOOSE}

84 comments on “DT 27404

  1. Can’t wait to see the reaction to 19d from certain quarters ;)

    Thanks to the Mysteron and Gazza

  2. Good morning gazza, good win for us last Saturday lets hope we can repeat it on Saturday!!
    I enjoyed this today, I liked lots of the clues particularly 19d and 1d when I eventually understood them, thanks for the hints etc although I didn’t need them, always good to read through, hope you have a great time Saturday…I hope someone takes a photo of the elusive gazza, so we can at last put a face to a name… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      1. I thought Italy scored a “Moral victory” on Saturday. They will take a big scalp one day. I hope it is not England’s.

          1. I also hope that it’s not England but Gazza is right, the Welsh team, IMHO, is the best on parade. You can never fortell what the French will do. It depends which team gets off the bus. Saturdays team was a good one and, I feel, that England were asleep. I hope that I am wrong

    1. I thought Wales were fairly poor last week (but they tend to start slowly and get better through the Six Nations). They’ll have to raise their game to beat Ireland in Dublin, but let’s hope.

    2. The forecast for Saturday predicts that the weather is going to be the winner.One of us is going to have to be a good loser…….May the best team win !

  3. Thanks Gazza for the explanation at 6d. The rest is pretty straightforward although 27ac took a while to unravel and I see the darned things on a daily basis at the moment. Thanks to the setter for a reliable solve.

  4. A bit run-of-the-mill and rather too many anagrams but I liked one or two clues including 26a (thanks to having lived in USA!) and 15d. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza for help on 19d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  5. 1*/2.5* for another gentle puzzle today.

    I needed to check my BRB twice. Firstly to find out that 11a could mean dreadful as well as great, and then to find a new meaning to me for crumpet in 6d. Until today I had thought you could only ogle at or eat crumpet.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    22a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  6. I enjoyed today’s puzzle and I am actually going to give TWO favourites !!! (ducks rapidly). I thought 14A was an excellent clue with a good anagram involved. I have to give 1D a Favourite status too – simply because it made me chuckle when I got the answer, so one Technical Favourite and one Practical Favourite. Maybe a few too many anagrams today, but some of them were reasonably well disguised.

    Bright sunshine here at the moment, but we’re promised more of the wet stuff this afternoon. I think I’m starting to develop webbing between my toes

    1. If you have ‘particularly liked’ clues instead of favourites skempie you get away with it and don’t incur the wrath of Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    2. You didn’t duck fast enough and as for developing webbed feet I think I’m just developing foot rot. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifWe’re a sea of mud, and that’s just the house.

  7. I think I’m out on my own again today as I enjoyed it more than others seem to have done. 2* difficulty and nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    I did notice that there were quite a lot of anagrams, or part anagrams, but I like them, especially when I don’t miss them as I did for ages with 28a – having missed it and already having the first and third letters I convinced myself that it had to be ‘lag’ for the criminal and then couldn’t work out where to go from there – stupid! I was also terribly slow to get 11a – don’t know why – and my last one was 1d and again I don’t know why.
    I didn’t know the 6d meaning of crumpet.
    I liked lots of these – 25 and 27a and 13 and 20d. My favourite was 22a.
    With thanks to today’s Mr Ron and gazza. I hope that you have a good day on Saturday, gazza.

    1. I reall yenjoyed this one too Kath, I think I did say earlier on, I got the impression that others enjoyed it too??

      1. Yes, you’re right – you did say that you’d enjoyed it but lots of others, including gazza, only seem to have given it a couple of stars for enjoyment and I thought they were being a bit mingy. I don’t know if any of the setters read the load of rubbish that we all write but I worry that if they do it must sometimes be terribly disheartening.

      1. That’s very complimentary of you – I’m wondering what I said to make you say that, or do I detect a note of sarcasm? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. No sarcasm at all. You seem to be finishing regularly and lowering your difficulty ratings. Yes it was complimentary. Consider yourself complimented.

                    1. She’s gone into hiding…go on Kath…you’ll get plenty of help and loads of nice comments http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

      2. I think you’re all very kind and complimentary – I feel very flattered. Maybe nobody has focussed on just how often I make a real pig’s ear of a crossword. Trotting off up the garden path in completely the wrong direction would be less than good if I took everyone with me. One day, perhaps . . .

          1. On a first quick reading of this (You fancy trying a joint?) I thought that you were offering exotic substances. :D

            1. Would that I could – don’t know where to get the stuff here, although the Moroccans who live opposite could probably do the business :lol: Seriously though, that stuff’s in the past now. Don’t even smoke ciggies anymore :sad:

          2. Leaving gazza’s comment aside http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif are you serious? I’d love to if you really are. What would BD et al say?

    2. No, as is often the case I fully concur. But crumpet = pate? Where did the setter get that from I wonder. Sorry to hear that you are still muddy, surely it must end soon or is it time to get hold of some plans for an Ark?

      1. Apparently Storm Petra is going to blow in from the atlantic:

        “Storm Petra now making an appearance on radar and satellite pictures across southwest Ireland with rain into Cornwall soon. Conditions deteriorating quickly in the coming hours for those south-western regions.”

        Secure the livestock & batten down the hatches!

  8. Like Mapp & Lucia crashing endlessly into the tarpot, once I’d put Tact-lessly into 22a, my bicycle ground to a complete halt as I just couldn’t finish…. What an idiot! I find it so difficult, once I’ve found what I think is the correct word, to then move past it and find another…. Perhaps I need some time in a space capsule (has anyone else enjoyed the film “Gravity” where the opening sequence is particularly stunning?) to re float my brain. Anyway, finally got into the proper gear & got done. Particularly enjoyed 13d, and 26a. So thank you setter and Gazza, although didn’t need the hints apart from explaining why 6d was right – like Kath, hadn’t come across that meaning for crumpet.

  9. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review.
    I seem to have a different explanation for 6d which removes the issue of the annoying circumflex and acute. The definition of pate (including accents etc) in my BRB is, “n. orig. a pie, or pastry: now usu. a paste made of blended meat, herbs etc.”
    So, I took the original meaning (pie or pastry) to equate to crumpet, so yielding a simple double definition.
    Well, it worked for me anyway!
    A quite enjoyable puzzle today, but over too quickly.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle with some good clues. I like anagrams, so was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 22a, a quite unusual word sum, and 26a made me laugh. Trying to avoid the wrath of Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif Off to play Racketball later. Battersea Beer Festival tomorrow.

  11. An enjoyable 15 Squared. Smoothly completed with little faltering. Did not like my answer for 6d and reading the hint confirmed I had the correct answer and that it was an iffy clue. **/***. 1d was my favouritest and, like the answer, it took a while to find! Thanks Gazza and to the setter.

  12. I was definitely on the wavelength today. I thought it was easy and enjoyable – *\***.

    Only gave it 3 for enjoyment, because it’s always more fun if you solve one that’s harder, isn’t it?

    Like Kath and others, I like anagrams, especially where they’re not that obvious.

    What a lovely day! You won’t hear that much at the moment. Time to wash the cars………http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
    …with apologies to those in the south west!

  13. Very enjoyable today I thought. Whenever I hear the word ‘ostler’, I think of the poem ‘ The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes in which there is a jealous ostler called Tim. I can still recite most of this poem after many, many years. Thank you to the setter & to Gazza too of course, for his explanations. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. I always think of Terry Pratchett’s Moving Pictures where a character tries to get a job looking after people’s horses but finds a) it isn’t as easy as it gets and b) there’s already someone on the street doing it who doesn’t like competition and chases him off with the immortal words ‘It ain’t easy bein’ a ‘Oss ‘Older’

  14. About two thirds finished before lights out last night, and the rest went in reasonable easily this morning. No great stand out favorites, but I had a smile when I got 19d. I am still having to rely on the availability of the PDF, no response at all from the DT on numerous requests for a new password!

  15. I found this puzzle quite enjoyable which I would rate 2.5*/3* Favourite clue was 9A which was a good giggle. I confess I had to turn to the blog for the hints on 6D and 8D which were groaners of the first order. Thanks to Gazza.

  16. I quite enjoyed this one so **/*** from me. Fav has to be the on-line 19d with honourable mention for 28a and 1d.

    Never come across crumpet = head so glad to see it’s not just me (usually is) :grin:

    Nice day here, 17C and sunny, so I’m off for a bike ride.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  17. Enjoyed it a lot although I too had never heard of the 3rd meaning of crumpet so well done Gazza and the blog.
    Last in was 1d which I thought was a brilliant clue (made me laugh, anyway)!

  18. 6D – I thought it was, I knew it was – but still not sure why!! What a very poor clue for such an obvious answer.

      1. Hi Gazza – any comment ref my alternate 6d suggestion above? It seemed perfectly reasonable to me – am I missing something?

        1. I don’t really think a crumpet can be defined as a pie or pastry. If the setter had wanted to use two meanings of the same word wouldn’t he or she have worded the clue something like ‘Something spread on bread or pastry’?

      2. Thanks Gazza – used to subscribe regularly – but been away (not in prison!) – brought back by the whiff of p*t*!!

        1. Welcome back then John. I couldn’t find any previous comments by you – have you changed your email address?

  19. Thank you setter, I thought that it was all happening a bit quickly – and therefore deemed by all to be on the easy side. Enjoyable though. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints.

  20. I gave this **** for enjoyment and ** for difficulty. Even though I completed this, I was sure that some of my answers had to be wrong, e.g. the infamous 6d, and iffy 11a and 8d, but it seems they were correct. Thanks for the enlightenment Gazza. Favourite was 1d (and also my last in, soooooo clever), with honorable mention to the online 19d. Thanks to setter for the puzzle.


  21. No significant problems. Agree that 1d raised the biggest smiles. Enjoyable.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  22. Storm Petra is well and truly here.I thought this was absolutely delightful and possibly my fastest time yet. I thought it was a * for difficulty and **** for fun.1d was also my favoutite. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  23. All done without help but I didn’t really get 6d, never heard of crumpet as a head, maybe some distant recognition. Last one in was 1d, took a bit of getting even with three letters.

  24. All done and 25a was my favourite. I suspect I will have longer to dwell on the crossword tomorrow due to the strike. I hope the setter has this in mind! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  25. What a splendid puzzle. I’d like to know the setter. I especially liked 22a. I didn’t need to use the hints, Gazza, except for confirmation and explanation in a couple of instances, for which many thanks

  26. I had lots of fun with this one, particularly enjoying 1d. It was last in, and then only because l looked up to see the weather forecast and spotted the object in question on the coffee table. Then l had a delightful “surely not” moment! 25a was pleasing as well.

  27. I agree with all comments about 6d – it had to be pate, so I wrote it in, but thanks for the explanation. The rest was, as they say in France, un morceau de gateau, and like all morceaux de gateau, was over too quickly. 1*/3* for me

  28. 2 down was a rubbish clue.. KEEN on a regular basis ??? and the apostrophe didn’t confuse, it just made the setter look like a fool.

    better clue?

    Lock down first division’s team after red card.

  29. I am with the enjoyment camp on this one. I, too, needed the explanation for 6d, but otherwise had no problems. Clues I particularly liked were 19d, 20d, and 25a.
    Many thanks to you both, Mr Ron and Gazza.

Comments are closed.