DT 27412 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27412

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27412

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone, it’s the cockroach and the alley cat again.  Well, mehitabel  enjoyed it so much last week she couldn’t turn down archy’s invitation to have another go!

A pleasant enough puzzle I thought with a couple of clues that are a bit complicated to parse although easy enough to guess the answers.  Perhaps a bit heavy on charades and certainly light on anagrams!

Mehitabel’s hints and comments are the ones  in green and, as usual, the clues we liked most are in blue.

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           Model cut short crooner once in TV programme (6)
{SITCOM} – To model or pose for an artist followed by a famous crooner without his last letter (cut short).  Not Bing this time but another one!

5a           Colts might have a role in such an exchange? (8)
{GUNFIGHT} –  Cryptic definition. These colts are revolvers!

9a           Work time on island left down to choice (8)
{OPTIONAL} – Put together the usual abbreviation for work, T(ime), a small Scottish island and follow that with L(eft)

10a         Arty venue covered by critic in e-mail (6)
{CINEMA} – Hidden (covered by) in critic in e-mail.

11a         Friend touring German river kept within bounds (8)
{MODERATE} – A friend or chum around (touring) a German river

12a         Pupil in short summer period starts to impress other residents (6)
{JUNIOR} –A mid-summer month without its last letter (short) is followed by the first letters (starts to) of I(mpress) O(ther) R(esidents)

13a         Devoted woman to get tired trailing island swamp (8)
{INUNDATE} –  Swamp here is a verb.  Start with a devoted religious woman and follow with a word which can mean to get tired as in go out of fashion and place after (trailing) an I(sland).

15a         American Revolutionary song? An operatic one (4)
{ARIA} – A(merican) followed by a reversal (revolutionary) of a song will give you an operatic song.

17a         Raise  part of a suit (4)
{JACK} – Two definitions –  to raise or lift up is also a picture card (part of suit)

19a         Invention by Swiss hero that’s gossip (8)
{TELLTALE} – An invention as in a lie is placed after our favourite Swiss hero.  Not Roger Federer, the other one!

20a         Roland, maybe, attracted to a single short cut (3,3)
{RAT RUN} – The Roland who first appeared on TV-am in the 80’s followed by a single in cricket.

21a         Cheap container holding bit of tasty food (3-5)
{CUT PRICE} – The container is a drinking vessel around T (holding bit of Tasty) and followed by a staple food.

22a         Popular nationalist with energy that’s not learned (6)
{INNATE} – Put together a short word for popular, an abbreviation of nationalist and follow that with E(nergy)

23a         Official  musician’s name might be displayed so? (2,6)
{ON RECORD} – Double definition.  The second is a cryptic def of where you might see a musician’s name printed.

24a         Greek character facing element on river largely in rebellion (8)
{MUTINOUS} – The Greek letter M, an element chemical symbol Sn and an English river without its final letter (largely).  There’s also a river of this name in Sussex,  ’Great’ and ‘little’ ones in East Anglia and an estuary in the Orkneys but I don’t think there’s one in China!

25a         A service on border in Dutch city (6)
{ARNHEM} –  A (from the clue) one of the armed forces and a border or rim


2d           Inappropriate rugby player wearing timeless watch (8)
{IMPROPER} – A rugby player is put inside (wearing) another word for a watch or clock without the T (timeless)  Shouldn’t there should be a question mark at the end of this clue to indicate a watch is merely one example of the word.

3d           Standards of observance with religious instruction in California (8)
{CRITERIA} – A religious observance followed by the abbreviation for religious instruction placed in the abbreviation for California.

4d           Twice I run team, after corruption on a small scale (9)
{MINIATURE} – An anagram (after corruption) of I I (twice I) and RUN TEAM

5d           Leave food shop, tucking in free includes eating old variety of apple (6,9)
{GOLDEN DELICIOUS} – Start with a two letter word for leave and an anagram (free) of includes.  Then insert (tucking in) the usual food shop and then insert (eating) an O(ld) and split that lot (6,9).  Phew, that took a bit of working out!   Hope it makes some sort of sense!

6d           Fellow having trouble on Yorkshire river is a loser (7)
{FAILURE} – F(ellow) a word for trouble or afflict and a Yorkshire river.  Not the same one as in 24a.

7d           Good university with time suppressing trouble that’s irregular (8)
{GUERILLA} – This is an irregular soldier. String together G(ood) U(niversity) followed by a time or age around (suppressing) a word for trouble – a different one from the one in the previous clue

8d           Place for drivers to stop, we hear, getting rest? (3,5)
{TEA BREAK} – Two homophones (we hear). The first sounds like the part of a golf course where drivers are used and the second sounds like how to stop a car to produce a few minutes off work.

14d         Tart a tiro cooked in eating venue (9)
{TRATTORIA} – It’s an anagram (cooked) of TART A TIRO.

15d         A liberal section of party is beginning to misjudge scaremongering (8)
{ALARMISM} – A (from the clue) followed by L(iberal), a section or wing of a party (3), IS (from the clue) then the first letter (beginning to) of M(isjudge).  Another complicated one!

16d         Favoured session of work to restrain cold natural impulse (8)
{INSTINCT} – The usual word for favoured or popular followed by a period  of work with a C(old) inserted (to restrain).  The word for work is much used by F! drivers  for the bit between pit stops but you only rarely hear it elsewhere.

17d         Mouse seen by short stick and container for oil (8)
{JERRYCAN} – A cartoon mouse followed by a stick once used to punish schoolboys without its last letter (short).

18d         What might be pulled in shape for plane (8)
{CONCORDE} – Something that could be pulled – maybe to stop a train in an emergency – is put inside a geometric shape

19d         Relative putting on weight in Somerset town (7)
{TAUNTON} – A female relative is inside (putting on) a very heavy weight.  Bit of a chestnut methinks!

My favourite has to be 5a and mehitabel has opted for 9a (although the naughty girl did mention 5a as well!).

The Quick crossword pun: (matter} + {door} = {matador}

112 comments on “DT 27412

  1. Well what can I say? Every clue a winner. The most enjoyable solve of the year for me. It took me far longer than usual and almost every answer had to be teased out. Meticulous setting. lovely surface reads. My only drawback was the wordiness of the clueing but that was offset by the sheer enjoyment throughout the solve. The pig issue has come up again. Saint Sharon has put her foot down and said I cannot “under any circumstances buy a pig” I am off now to research the Oxford Sandy, Gloucester old Spot and , Tamworth Sandy breeds Watch this space. I feel some fun coming on. For those interested, here is a treat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCGoOPM2_x0&feature=youtu.be
    Also with apologies to Kath My favourites are all of the across clues and all of the downs. Well done setter. Well done Kath and Pommers

  2. Apart from putting the wrong tense in for 15D I fairly sailed through with comparative ease. Many thanks to the dream team for an excellent review
    A strange yellow thing has just appeared in the sky in the deep south.

  3. Hello you two, nice to see you on the blogging side again Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    I found this a puzzle of four corners with the bottom left corner last to be completed, not helped by putting ‘alarming’ in at 15d instead of ‘alarmist’
    Only one I really like and that’s not even a favourite Kath, 17d
    Lots I could get the answer for but then had to work backwards to try and understand

    Thanks to the ‘terrible two’ for the blog… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        1. I have been trying to call my friend in Drefach to find out how she is doing but get no reply. Has it really been awful? Should I worry?

  4. I struggled a bit with this one but after I finished I could not see why. 3* for me but quie good fun. Thanks to setter and to A & M for the hints,

  5. Thank you setter, enjoyable and finished in reasonable time ! More my level of puzzle than recent offerings. It allows one to get on with other things. Many thanks A & M for your green and blue hints and review. I had a “t” at the end of 15d to start with. This gave me “Titaness” for 24a and problems followed – particularly with the river ! Sorted it in the end.

  6. Held up (as others) by putting the wrong tense in for 15D (couldn’t even justify it but put it in anyway). 12A was rather a nice clue.
    Incidentally, for those ho don’t do the Quickie, its quite fun today and very different from most, took nearly as long as the cryptic and I had to look up one answer too!

    1. I meant to mention The Quickie. It is a corker and still unfinished. I like this setter. i tried to fit Kath in at 13d but it didn’t fit.

        1. Another case of mistaken identity! I’m going to have to be a grass on this one and point the finger at Miffypops. I was only commenting about his comment and besides I’ve got to look after no. 1.

      1. The answer to 13D in the quickie is the name of a range of Yamaha motorcycles. I never did understand their choice of name…

        1. The lemonade marketed by a Japanese company as Seven Up was originally going to be Six Up . . . :lol:

  7. I could not find the time to do the puzzle yesterday so came to the offering today with a sense of crossword deprivation. I am glad I did come as I found it a very, very enjoyable puzzle. I particularly liked 10A I had to ponder a while on a couple but the review by the dynamic duo soon had things sorted so my thanks to them. I would rate this 2.5*/5*

  8. 1.5*/2*. For me this was mostly 1* for difficulty, but a few tortuous clues (e.g.: 5d, 7d, 15d) pushed my solving time up a bit, and overall I found this rather uninspiring today with definitely no favourites.

    It’s fascinating how opinions of puzzles vary. Normally I feel quite closely aligned with Miffypops, but today we couldn’t be further apart. That’s one of the many things that makes this blog so good!

    Thanks to the setter and a&m, our super new blogging team.

  9. Well, now we’ve got that finished I can breathe a big sigh of relief. It was slight panic stations at Casa pommers at about 1030GMT. I accidentaly closed the draft post and then couldn’t find it. Fortunately Big Dave came to the rescue http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Now, what about the rest of the day? Well, we’ve got a Toughie from DADA, a PAUL (same guy) in the Grauniad, SLEUTH (SHAMUS) in the FT and TYRUS in the Indy – my cup runneth over http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif or should I clean the kitchen?

    1. Leave the kitchen for Pommette. She should be grateful to have one. We were without for a couple of months and have half a kitchen now. The other half? Maybe next week.

      1. Never mind getting a pig Miffypops, just get on finishing the kitchen & stop trying to put it off.

  10. Great – I really enjoyed this one. Many thanks setter and also the hinting duo for explaining a couple of solves. Too many good ‘uns’ to choose a fav. I have always spelt 7d differently but note alternative. Have made good start on Toughie which so far is also entertaining. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. I took yesterday’s toughie to the pub last night, and got just two clues in two hours. With my confidence slightly dented, I started todays crossword with some trepidation. I then sailed through it in a lifetime best **** minutes. Just goes to show.

    1. Dave, it’s not the done thing to mention solving times on here – upsets the horses don’t you know!. Record, fast, slow, quicker than yesterday etc are fine.

          1. It may have taken me a while to work out but, by my reckoning, it can only be one of three – is he having a laugh or what . . .? I couldn’t even read through all the clues properly in any of those times.

      1. Sorry, I wasn’t aware of the etiquette, just a bit pleased with myself. If there ever is a next time, I’ll remember to ‘count them all out, and count them all back’

            1. I only do it on blogging days as I have to have a start point for the difficulty rating. Otherwise I can’t be bothered as it’s not a race.

            2. I never time myself either partly because as pommers says it’s not a race but mainly because I’m too much of a fidget to sit still for that in one go.

  12. Thanks to the setter and to Kath and Pommers for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, very tricky to parse some of the answers. Was beaten by 8d & 12a. Also had alarmist for 15d which made 24a impossible. Favourite was 25a. Was 3*/3* for me. Clouding over now in Central London. Well done Kath, nice review, keep up the good work.

  13. Thanks to Archy & Mehitabel for explaining the wordplay in 5d – I gave up!

    The “blue” comments are definitely blue; but the “green” comments are more like “grey” – or is it my trusty old computer?

    1. Mehitabel can’t take any credit for untangling 5d – she gave up so all the thanks should go to archy.

          1. Please! Explain the Joke?

            Regards from Disgruntled!

            (Hope it’s not going to be a Senior Gnoment?

            1. If you look at archy’s post you will see the letter T is missing from the start of the 4th word. Archy can only type by jumping on the key so you can guess the rest :grin:

    2. Tried Kath’s first hint in orange but if all of them were like that it would be a technicolour disaster.

  14. That was great fun, given an extra twist by the way that I confidently and immediately wrote “shootout” for 5A… That was corrected fairly quickly because it only matched one checker, but I did have to grit my teeth for 5D – I hate that bloody apple!

    Thanks to K & P, and setter too :-)

  15. I agree the “quicks” are getting harder, but I usually get there in the end. However yesterday’s 7d still has me worrying. “Never (a)” 4. “Nary”, yes, but why (a)? Is it a typo? Any suggestions gratefully received.

    1. I believe that NARY can only be used with the word A following (as in NARY A ONE) but I could be wrong, I assumed this was what the clue as pointing at.

    2. I just assumed (wrongly) that the (a) meant archaic. That’ll teach me to assume anything – if in doubt look it up, or ask.

  16. Great fun today, much better than yesterday IMHO. Didn’t need the hints but like reading them anyway, so thank you very much to the gruesome twosome ( only kidding) they both sound lovely. Thank you too, to the setter whomsoever he is. I’m assuming it’s a he, most of them seem to be. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  17. I agree completely with Miffypops, every clue a winner and an absence of write-ins. Even 10a took a long while to see. The word “arty” was very distracting. Favourite ? probably 17d , which was the third one in and I was beginning to cotton on to the setters frame of mind. Thanks to this setter and to the gruesome twosome !

  18. Congratulations to the TTs (Terrific Two-some) for super hints and beautifully clear explanations – count me in as one of the founder members of your fan club…. Like a few others I carelessly put a T at the end of 15d, and so couldn’t make head nor tail of 24a, as I didn’t think Titanics was a good fit! Loved 9a simply because Mr P was given a book launch on the island, and Poppy Mark 1 loved her walks there. Favourite was 17d. Thank you setter for a stimulating solve. Do hope everyone is coping with the water levels. I was flooded out some years ago, and we were homeless for the six months it took to dry out and repair the damage. Not a fun experience and oh! The precious books we lost as a result of water damage, but at least no life or limbs were lost. Greetings to all.

    1. i think i prefer terrific to gruesome. you can call pommers gruesome if you want but i’m just an inoffensive cockroach and mehitabel’s just a moggy, even if one of rather lax morals, so what’s gruesome about that.

          1. I did say I was only kidding, Kath, so please don’t be too offended. You really have my utmost admiration, both of you.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            1. No offense taken’ it’s simply that Poppy’s Terrific was much nicer – gone to Kath’s head I think :lol:

        1. Since I cannot abide cockroaches or alley cats , I consider gruesome quite apt. Nothing personal !

          1. Fair comment and I didn’t take any offense http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            We get more than our fair share of roaches in Spain and the place is crawling with feral cats. You get used to it after a while.

  19. Still no power on from 5pm yesterday , no pubs open in darkest Tarporley last night , Chester this morning early to negotiate the fallen trees ,stopped the car in a parking zone then without leaving the car parked in a better spot across the road, when,looking like the fat controller, a warden came across and said he could book me as I had returned within the hour to the parking zone! Had to bite my lip a tad . Anyway ,having got that off my ches t , what a lovely crossword-a ***/**** for me , lots of entertaining clues , thanks A and M for the pics-winds getting up again!

  20. I really enjoyed both the crossword and doing some of the hints today.
    I’m pretty sure that I would never have unravelled 5d on my own – complete blind spot.
    With thanks to Mr Ron for the crossword, and to archy for holding mehitabel’s paw for the second week in a row.

    1. Well done again today Kath. (You too Pommers) I went into Kenilworth today and ordered an archy and mehitabel book. The assistant (not young) had never heard of it so I told her to read it when it came and then call me to pick it up.

      1. You have inspired me Miffypops. I reached for my Kindle and availed myself of some of this wonderful stuff. What a find!
        It’s all here – right in this blog folks. Now, I wonder… after reading “The Best of Archy and Mehitabel” to the end, will I still feel the same? I’ll let you know. btw, who started this thread, was it you, Kath?

  21. Agree with everyone, most enjoyable puzzle … not easy peasy, mind you, but a treat. I didn’t get sucked into the mistakes of 15d as I picked up on the beginning of misjudge. I never did get 20a as didn’t know Roland, and never heard of that meaning short cut. Favourite 25a, honorable mention to 17d. Thanks to setter, and outstanding work from archy and mehitabel.


  22. Found this a bit sticky.
    Thanks to our wonderful new bloggers and the setters. I still need to finish the quick.
    It’s been a long day…

  23. Good to hear that we were not alone with shootout and alarmist, but both of them soon sorted. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and the team.

  24. OK, archy isn’t going to fess up so I’ll tell you anyway. If this was rated purely on solving time it would have been **** difficulty, because archy entered the answer for 12a on first pass as JUNORI. No idea why but it can’t be easy when you’re having to jump on the keys, or perhaps he’s a dyslexic cockroach :lol: It rather made a mess of 7 and 8 down until he spotted the typo.

    1. ‘Dsylexic’? Poor archy. A little quote from what you once said:

      ‘… what i have to do
      is dive at each key
      on the machine
      and bump it with my head
      and sometimes it telescopes
      my occiput into my
      vertebrae and i have a
      permanent callous
      on my forehead
      i am in fact becoming
      a low brow think of it
      me with all my learning
      to become a low brow’
      (from archys life of mehitabel (1944), pp. 115-16.)

      1. Couldn’t have put it better himself. Now think what would happen if he misses and falls down the gap between the keys!

        BTW, was Dsylexic a typo or intended?

  25. A walk in the park with big daffodils today. Swept through it with neer a snag. I often agree with Miffypops but not today. Not a great deal of beauty in it either though maybe that’s me and the fact that we have not a therm of heating tonight thanks to the workers fitting a new service main and clearly disturbing some gas do-hickey causing a small leak. so this could be my last post.

    ‘Mehitabel’… what a wonderful concoction for a name. It sounds like a star in some distant constellation.

    **/** for me today. Will have a tickle at the Quickie later since you fine chaps and chapesses recommend it.

    Thanks to the setter and to the Scissor Sisters for the hints, thankfully not needed but always entertaining.

    Q: What do you do when you have no gas on a winter evening and have not eaten?
    A: (fill in here with the most appropriate response)

    1. Invite yourself round to friends preferably those who live a little way away from you and so are unlikely to be similarly affected ie probably not next door neighbours. Good luck. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. Thank you for all your helpful suggestions. I discovered (a bit late) that the immersion heater was u/s too. 30 mins later, having wired it without the thermostat, we were in business. So we were able to wash up after our cold baked beans which were delicious and, I imagine, quite fortifying. Had we gone to the pub (surely the easy option) we would have been the cost of about ten thermostats down and still had cold water when we got back. Sometime a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do.

      This blog is rapidly replacing Google as a first-choice problem-solving source. Now, where is that blighter who would not re-instate our gas?

  26. I got there in the end but needed the ipad crossword app to find a word that fitted into 7d, which I think of as cheating, so it was rather a hollow victory. Still enjoyable though. Thanks to setter and the dynamic duo! (Now I know why I got 5d right.)

  27. Solved this puzzle earlier today but then was invaded by family who are going off to ski in France – oh happy memories of the same!

    Faves were 25a & 5d.

  28. I was determined to complete this today. It was enjoyable. I thought the lower half easier than the top. It took ages before the penny dropped for 7d. The clues I liked most were 1a, 5a, 7d, and 17d.
    Many thanks to you both, archy and mehitabel, for the excellent, clear explanations. I missed seeing that 23a is a double definition, and I needed the explanation for the second word in 20a. I simply could not parse 5d satisfactorily and gave up! So big thanks for the clarification.
    Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Once again, warmest congrats to archy and mehitabel on your dual reviews. Please, may we have lots more!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. I have to confess for Mehitabel (you need to understand that it was nothing to do with me – honest guv – I wasn’t even there) that she missed the double definition in 23a too. It took archy to point it out to her. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

      1. PS She’d also like to confess that she totally screwed up with 8d – such a good thing that the cockroach keeps a pretty close eye on her – who knows what else she might do . . . Again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

        1. (Too much information! Don’t tell the punters your secrets. I’ve put this in brackets so that said punters don’t see it)

          mehitabel might have loose morals but she’s provided perfectly sound hints for 27 of the 29 clues in this puzzle. She even got half of 8d right!

          We’ll be back but bye for now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

          1. Since I nominated Kath as a potential blogger she has enjoyed a meteoric rise. I had to endure Big Daves headmasterly marking of submitted blogs (half blogs at times) until he considered me worthy. He still edits the occasional hint. Kath got straight in. Sexism. That’s what it is.

        2. mehitabel, you’re doing wonderfully well! Your explanations are so beautifully clear to follow. Once again, very, very well done!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  29. Well, that was fun. 3* for me, as l got delayed in the NE corner until the penny finally dropped. 3d was my favourite, but 7d made me smile – recalling Pam Stephenson’s pronunciation of the solution during her marvellous impersonations of Jan Leeming on “Not the nine-o’clock news”.

  30. Slow start but it eventually all slotted into place with no hints needed.
    A bit workmanlike but that could have had something to do with me not starting it until 11.30pm last night due to a very busy day.
    This puzzle was ***/** for me.
    Thanks to the setter and our newest bloggers.

  31. A strange grid in that 15a & 17a can both be solved without reading the clues … if you solve the Downs first.

Comments are closed.