DT 27410 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27410

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27410

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I thought that this was a bit trickier that what we normally get on Tuesdays (and none the worse for that). Do let us know whether you agree or whether you’ve labelled it a piece of cake.

If you want to see an answer you’ll have to ‘unhide’, by highlighting, what’s concealed between the brackets under the clue. If you’re accessing the blog from a mobile device there’s some pointers on how to do this in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  Conceited, like Humpty Dumpty? (9)
{BIGHEADED} – two definitions, the second (3,6) a physical description of Humpty Dumpty.

6a  Monarch and family joined by Germany’s leader (4)
{KING} – a word for family members and the leading letter of G(ermany).

10a  Tragic heroine taking in a US resort (5)
{MIAMI} – the tragic heroine of Puccini’s opera La Bohème contains A (from the clue).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a  Justify being very mean (9)
{VINDICATE} – the abbreviation for V(ery) followed by a verb to mean or imply.

12a  Meet knight in Eastern bar (9)
{ENCOUNTER} – insert the chess abbreviation for knight between E(astern) and the sort of bar across which you may be served.

14a  Order English concise dictionary (or part thereof) (5)
{EDICT} – there are two sets of wordplay to help us here. Firstly it’s E(nglish) followed by an abbreviation of dictionary; secondly, it’s hidden (part thereof) in the clue.

15a  We, with others left imprisoned, struggle (7)
{WRESTLE} – insert (imprisoned) a word for the others and L(eft) into WE.

16a  Trendy girl, one of the Joneses? (7)
{INDIANA} – an adjective meaning trendy or popular followed by a girl’s name give us the nickname of Spielberg’s action hero.

18a  Spear I’d thrown into river (7)
{TRIDENT} – I’D (from the clue) gets inserted (thrown) into an English river.

20a  Tree  maintenance (7)
{SERVICE} – double definition. If you’ve not come across this tree before stick it in your memory bank because it does crop up from time to time. The second definition is, for example, the maintenance that you’re advised to give your central heating boiler once a year.

21a  Looter overlooking a cavalryman (5)
{RIDER} – a looter omitting (overlooking) the A.

23a  100 led conga off, and another set of steps up North? (4,5)
{CLOG DANCE} – this is a type of leisure activity which originated in the Lancashire cotton mills and evolved into competitions between teams wearing sturdy footwear (In Bill Tidy’s long-running cartoon in Private Eye the main objective was to cripple the opposing team using said footwear). Start with the Roman numeral for 100 then add an anagram (off) of LED CONGA.

25a  Product of fine season (9)
{OFFSPRING} – string together OF, F(ine) and one of the seasons.

26a  Lively stout at last available in small bottle (5)
{VITAL} – insert the last letter of stout into a small bottle.

28a  Monster consequently returned (4)
{OGRE} – reverse (returned) an adverb, from Latin, meaning consequently or therefore.

29a  Vest being worn by the only child in family (9)
{SINGLETON} – break down the answer as 7,2 to get a phrase meaning vest being worn.

Down Clues

1d  Dessert, pineapple, last from tree (5)
{BOMBE} – what pineapple is an informal term for in military activities is followed by the last letter of tree.

2d  Travel over a state in India (3)
{GOA} – a verb to travel precedes (over, in a down clue) A (from the clue).

3d  Form quite unpredictable — better ignoring first and last (9)
{ETIQUETTE} – an anagram (unpredictable) of QUITE is followed by what’s left of better if you ignore the first and last letters.

4d  Fan of French election beginning to expound (7)
{DEVOTEE} – a charade of the French word for ‘of’, another word for an election and the first letter of expound.

5d  Study a king on two Roman coins (7)
{DENARII} – these old coins are what the final letter of LSD (our old currency) stood for. String together a study or lair, A, the abbreviation for rex (king) and the number two in Roman numerals.

7d  Fancy one tribe embracing sorcerers (11)
{IMAGINATION} – the Roman numeral for one and a tribe or set of people with a common descent and language contain (embracing) Eastern magicians or sorcerers.

8d  Dog in tea garden, barking (5,4)
{GREAT DANE} – an anagram (barking) of TEA GARDEN.

9d  Clobber eagle, primarily a bird of prey (4)
{KITE} – a word for clobber or gear is followed by the primary letter of eagle.

13d  Clubs limit delay in game (6,2,3)
{CHEMIN DE FER} – this is a card game played in casinos. Start with the abbreviation for clubs, then add a phrasal verb (3,2) to limit or surround and a verb meaning to delay or postpone.

15d  ‘Battle’ almost describes potty game (5,4)
{WATER POLO} – a battle from 1815 without its final letter contains (describes) the shortened form of a potty.

17d  Two daughters are inside with wicked reckless type (4-5)
{DARE-DEVIL} – two abbreviations for daughter with ARE between them, then an adjective meaning wicked.

19d  Diplomacy is to embrace Conservative strategy (7)
{TACTICS} – a word for diplomacy and IS (from the clue) containing C(onservative).

20d  Oriental commander holding butt of assault weapon (7)
{SHOTGUN} – an old hereditary commander or governor in Japan containing the rear end (butt) of (assaul)T.

22d  Ready to complain once head of government’s left (4)
{RIPE} – a verb to complain or moan without the initial letter of G(overnment).

24d  Welsh name, see, keeping maiden name (5)
{EMLYN} – the word see, in Crosswordland, very often means a bishopric and the most common one is the 3-letter one in Cambridgeshire. Insert (keeping) the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over inside it, then finish off with N(ame).

27d  Young child visiting grotto, toddler (3)
{TOT} – it’s not too difficult to spot this young child hidden (visiting) in the clue.

My joint favourites today were 3d and 13d. Which ones appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {QUAY} + {WHOLE} = {KEYHOLE}

69 comments on “DT 27410

  1. Good morning gazza, so nice to be able to picture you now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    Thanks for the hints though I didn’t need them I did need to confirm 20a!!!
    I found this quite difficult too, lots of perservation needed and electronic help, a definite 3 star for me today, fav clue 17d

  2. Reference 1ac.

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
    All the King’s horses
    And all the King’s men
    Couldn’t put Humpty together again

    These are the only words written about Humpty Dumpty and are therefore our only source of knowledge of him (or her). The word Egg is not mentioned nor is there a big head in there at all. It is this sort of thinking that has put innocent people behind bars or worse.

    However, another steady enjoyable solve with 13d and 24d the last two in. Ta to all

    1. Actually, Tenniel’s original illustration to Carol’s rhyme is pretty clear on the size of Humpty’s head, so I’d suggest this is pretty fair.

    2. The earliest known version of Humpty Dumpty was published in Samuel Arnold’s Juvenile Amusements in 1797, That is a whole 75 years before Lewis Carroll’s through The Looking Glass. An illustration from Walter Crane’s, Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes (1877), shows Humpty Dumpty as a boy. Do I get the Pedant’s award today? Thanks to Wikipedia.

  3. Are you allowed joint favourites? 13d did it for me :grin:

    An enjoyable puzzle so **/*** from me.

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

    Now for Mr Beam, I may be some time http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. I think Kath is on alert after my escape yesterday so ‘joint favourite’ might be pushing it a bit today

    2. Joint favourites are allowed in most sports so I would say it’s OK with crosswords as well.

      Lights blue touch paper & stands well back waiting for the Wrath of Kath (wasn’t that an old Star Trek film?)

  4. I had the correct answer for 20A but had never heard of this tree before. 24D escaped me completely. Otherwise, no real problems (apart from initially trying to make ‘egg’ the first three letters of 1A) and I rather enjoyed the puzzle. Loved 23A. Thanks to today’s setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  5. Agree slightly stiffer than the normal Tuesday offering, never heard of 13D must have led a sheltered life.Many thanks to the setter & Gazzer for much needed review . Another rubbish day in Southampton

    1. You may have heard of 13d as Baccarat, of which it is the version popular in France, also known as Chemmy. It’s a bit like blackjack or pontoon except that 10s and face cards count as zero rather than 10. Apparantly I haven’t led a sheltered lifehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

      1. The game was apparently given its name (the same as the French for railway) because of its fast tempo. I wonder if it would have been called Replacement Bus Service if it had been invented in Britain.

          1. For one of my bus trips home I was the only person on the bus (except for the driver, obviously).

  6. I had not heard of the ‘pineapple’ in that context before; apart from that, an enjoyable straightforward puzzle.
    2*/3.5* for me. Many thanks to setter and to gazza.

    1. If you watch post-war movies about WWII, you will often hear a grenade being referred to as a Pineapple. Also the American’s used a cluster bomb in Vietnam that was called a BLU-3 Pineapple

    2. Hand grenades are known as pineapples because of the similarity in appearance. Not so much a bomb, then, as an explosive.

  7. 1*/3* for a gentle but very enjoyable puzzle. I had one of those mornings where I just felt on the setter’s wavelength from the word go.

    I didn’t know before looking it up this morning that 20a could also be a tree. 24d was my last one in as it took me a little while to unravel the wordplay.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

    BD, a particular bugbear of mine has cropped up again today. 19d (=short term actions) is not a synonym for Strategy (=long term plan). If you agree, I think this is worthy of a place in your Pedant’s Guide – although I doubt the setters will take much notice!

  8. Overall I didnt find this crossword too difficult and took me about *******. My only issues were 24 down, not familiar with the “see” business you explained and find that sort of thing irritatingly obscure. I got the answer fairly quickly but remained slighty irritatated by the stucture of the clue. I thought it was elyn which looked like (as in see) another name with the m in for maiden. also the plural of dinar had to be ii but only because it was clear from the clue . Slightly irritated again because I dont like having to research any answers to check I think all answers should be apparent within a reasonable area of knowledge. Any way service was obvious but the tree bit stumped me until I read your blog. No reference to it in my dictionary. I shall bank that as you say. Slightly too many easy clues , king ,kite ,vindicate,tot ,ogre etc but ok. I do wish there was something just between the telegraph and the guardian in terms of difficulty. thanks for the blog excellent Jonathan

    1. Welcome to the blog Jonathan. I’ve edited your comment because we discourage the publication of solving times. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope you’ll be a regular commenter.

    2. The FT is usually doable unless its a prize puzzle where the difficulty level gets dialled up IMHO.

  9. I appreciate this is a gradual learning curve. Yesterday I was able to complete 50% unaided, and with this Blogs guidance all but three clues. Today, on my own, about 25%, with the blog guidance up to about 90%. Any operatic clue is sheer luck if I can get that.

    1. Hello Roy. Thanks for the comment. I liked it a lot. It can be a fine line between giving “hints and tips” when reviewing a puzzle and actually giving or making the answer too accessible. As for the opera, look out for Eugene Onegin which crops up from time to time usually as an anagram.

  10. Thank you setter. Very difficult for me and has taken me ages. Forgot about “n” = Knight at 12a. A long time before the penny dropped with 13d. Although we spend all our time engaging in 23a in this part of the world, it still took me ages to get the answer even though I had the anagram “fodder”. Thank you Gazza for your review and hints. If it was a piece of cake it was a rock cake for me ! Nice to see your photo – it feels as if the post is going to a person rather than off into the ether !

  11. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Like most, I had not heard of the tree but will definitely keep my eye out for one in the future (they look rather pleasant from the wiki entry on them). 18A held me up for a while as I was busy trying to make an anagram out of SPEARID, the checking letters but an end to that train of though though.
    Favourite today was 13D.
    Got soaked this morning while getting the paper, now bright sunshiney, woo hoo – bst get the sun cream out

  12. Very enjoyable Xword today. Needed to Google the tree in 24a and couldn’t parse 24d so the hints came in very handy.
    Thanx to all as usual. Brilliant sunshine here after a very damp start.

  13. I’m with Rabbit Dave today as this one went in without too much trouble, except for 24d, which I still don’t understand! I ended 29a with the vest rather than the child, however, which didn’t help.
    Interesting to see Mr Jones turn up again so soon.
    **/*** for me. Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  14. Today’s puzzle, for me, went the way of all those last week in that I motored through until about the last five. I hadn’t heard of the tree at 20a but was very fond of 24d aka Crazy Horse (Hughes). Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints.

  15. Not the most difficult crossword but fairly enjoyable, thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the teriffic review. Toughie is also quite reasonable today.

  16. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, a bit tricky in places. Quite enjoyable. Only problem was the card game in 13d,I had it beginning with c and ending with de fer, but was looking for a word for limit, not two words. Managed to Google de fer, had never heard of it. Also had evlyn for 24d,v for virgin. Favourites were 5&15d, sorry Kath :-) Off to the Beam later.

  17. I thought this was a bit trickier than a usual Tuesday while I was doing it but, having finished it, can’t see why now. I’d say 3*/4*.
    I got into a muddle with 20a – I didn’t know that it originated in Lancashire and I associate clogs with Holland so I couldn’t understand the North bit – rather stupidly I had the wrong ending for 7d which didn’t help either. Oh dear!
    I didn’t know the pineapple in 1d but when the answer was obvious I looked it up. I did know the 20a tree but only because of crosswords. I was slow to get 13 and 24d.
    I liked 25a and 8 and 17d. I think my favourite was 15d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza – I agree with others who have said that it’s nice to be able to put a face to your name.

    We have a major collapse of wood pile in hall – my fault – I stacked it up in the first place but it’s now more of a sprawl on the floor than a tidy pile – off to sort it out.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Hi Kath, if Saint Sharon and I want fish and chips for tea on Friday will it be alright for me to say “fish and chips twice please” just wondering

  18. Unusually for me and the first time for ages I found this a write in. I won’t let it go to my head though as last Thursday I didn’t get one clue in until I’d read the blog.

    1. You’ve truncated your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

    2. I spent some time in casinos in my youth so the game didn’t cause me problems. I remember my dad playing it.
      I didn’t know the tree but with the checking letters and the maintenance bit, I put it in anyway.
      I’ve just looked up the tree, very interesting!

  19. Not too bad a puzzle today for me, I would rate ***/**** ID was a bit of a mix for me, I knew a hand grenade was often referred to a pineapple because of their similarity in appearance. However, I was unaware that the more generic term bomb was referred to as same. Checked my BRB and found it to be correct so was well worth buying it. 20A foxed me and I would not have known without Gazza’s review. My favourite was 26A Thanks for the review Gazza.

  20. Took a bit of doing today, & needed one or two hints for which thank you. I think we’ve had the answer to 16 across recently & 20 across was a new tree for us. Thank you to the setter too.

  21. As a child, I used to play with a grenade, which was kept in a cupboard at my grandparents …..the thought makes me very very nervous now…… I’m wondering what happened to it.

    This was OK despite not knowing the “why” of some of my correct answers till the blog.

    My favourite was 10a.

  22. Very tricky for me, but I did get there in the end with the exception of my Welsh friend at 24d. Like most others, I wrote “service” down for 20a without knowing the tree bit. Hmmm, now to choose a favourite, I think it has to be 13d, with honorable mention going to 15d and 5d. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the explanations.


  23. Not exactly easy for me but I did enjoy the tussle and managed to complete it without the hints except for 19d although I had all the checking letters,just couldn’t see it. I didn’t know tree . Like the others gazza, it’s nice to have a face to the name.

  24. Very satisfying crossword, being held up by 20 a and 24d , so I resorted to letter hints for the latter and guessed the tree (it must be in the deeper recesses of the memory). My favourite was 13d.Thanks to the setter for a “steady solve”. Thanks Gazza for the clear review.

  25. We were like many others and held up a little by the tree and the Welshman. The rest all slotted in rather easily. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  26. Enjoyable mind massage.
    Last in, after too long, 25a.
    Thought 13d and 16a very clever.
    Great graphics, would have preferred Renata Tebaldi for 10a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  27. This was a smashing challenge in my view and after a slow start I got into it. Foolishly I put ‘egg-headed’ for 1ac – goodness knows why just being thick I suppose. My favourites are 3d and 24d. 3*/4* for me.

    Who was the setter?


  28. Found this really tricky but consequently far more satisfying to solve. Didn’t help that I had a wrong answer for 1 across far more cryptic than the (now obvious) answer! Bumptious! No doubt he would have been covered in bumps after he’d fallen ;-)

  29. A pleasing little crossie. Not that stiff, but enjoyable nonetheless. Favourite was 23a. Thank you setter (no attribution?) and Gazza for review and hints – albeit only read after completion. Now for the Toughie, which at my first visit looked rather more challenging!

  30. Gentle stroll through this evening. Didn’t know the tree, but do now after looking it up. Thanks to Life of Brian my lack of a classical education didn’t hold me back on 5d. Particularly liked 13d and 24d, my last one in. Thanks to Gazza and Ron */***

  31. My goodness I found this one of the toughest for ages and needed several of Gazza’s excellent hints in the SW corner. It seems most people sailed through however I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one to have struggled. ****/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  32. I actually found this one straight forwards but like many others I had to check that the word meaning maintenance that I’d put into 20a as the last one in was in fact a type of tree as I’d never heard of it in that context. Hopefully it’s now logged in my memory bank for future reference.
    **/*** for me.
    Thanks setter and Gazza.

  33. Wrong envelope for me I’m afraid. This was very difficult while the Toughie wa a relative breeze.

  34. Apparently Asterix had already been taken as an alias, so I have been reincarnated as his best friend. This was probably my fastest-ever solve – until I got stumped on 1d and 20a; the service tree has been duly noted! Favourite clues 13d and 16a. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  35. Fairly easy today, with about 5 left at the end for which I needed a little help. I too had egg at start of 1A, which threw me, and I thought 13 and 24D were rather obscure – it would have taken me some time to get them without guidance, if at all. I do hate it when the first letter of a word is used as an abbreviation when it is not in relatively common use, eg Clubs in 13D and potty in 15D. I usually sus it only when I’ve got the answer, but I guess others don’t see it as a problem?

  36. Very late getting to this! An enjoyable solve managed without hints. I liked many of the clues, perhaps my fave being 5d.
    I’m enjoying reading your review, Gazza, including the extra info about 23a. I don’t seem to be interpreting clues very well at present. I didn’t pick up that 1a was a double definition. And, I didn’t see the hidden word in 14a! There was just one clue I couldn’t parse and that was 13d.
    Thank you very much, Mr Ron, for this very enjoyable puzzle.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    And thank you very much, Gazza, for the much appreciated explanations.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  37. Its odd how perceptions of difficulty vary! We sometimes need lots of tips for a crossword rated * (and sometimes not) but although this one is rated *** it went slowly but smoothly until 24d defeated us – thanks for the hint. We’ve never heard of the tree in 20a either.

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