DT 27417 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27417

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27417

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The usual enjoyable fare from Jay with no especially hard bits – a 1.5*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment. Thanks Jay.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{} are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Evocative of cars coming in late? (11)

{REMINISCENT} : [cars, the original of which was a 1960s British icon] contained in(coming in) [of late;not too long ago].

Defn: Describing that which reminds you of something.

Like these pictures of an iconic car and skirt:

And… Secretary to boss (seeing his open fly): “Did you by any chance, leave your garage door open?”
Boss (getting the message, and trying to go one up):  “Actually I did.  Did you see the Jaguar inside?”
Secretary (quicker than the boss):  “No, but I did see a mini with 2 flat tyres.”

9a    Unconventional females worn out by love (7)

{OFFBEAT} : { 2 x [abbrev. for “female”] + [informal term for being worn out;exhausted] } placed after(by, in an across clue) [letter representing 0;love in tennis scores].


10a    Live musical turns including Chopin’s first (6)

{ACTIVE} : Reversal of(turns) [a Webber and Rice musical] containing(including) 1st letter of(…’s first) “Chopin”.

12a    Trading area of London linked to Germany (7)

{DEALING} : [an area of West London] placed after(linked to, in an across clue) [the International Vehicle Registration code for Germany].

13a    The girl will shortly account for varnish (7)

{SHELLAC} : [contraction of(… shortly) the pronoun for a female, eg. a girl and “will”] + [abbrev. for “account”, in accountancy].

14a    Scandinavian mostly adopting married standards (5)

{NORMS} : [a Scandinavian, especially from the days of the Vikings] minus its last letter(mostly) containing(adopting) [abbrev. for “married”].

15a    The original model of ‘P’ in layout of eye chart (9)

{ARCHETYPE} : P contained in(in) anagram of(layout of) EYE CHART.

17a    A blunt instrument might be useless (9)

{POINTLESS} : Cryptic defn: Descriptive of an instrument or implement that is far from, say, a dagger. A nicely apt surface.

20a    Hairdresser‘s lad crossing a line (5)

{SALON} : [term used in addressing a lad, even if he’s no relative of yours] containing(crossing) { A + [abbrev. for “line”] } .

Defn: A hairdresser’s establishment.

22a    In theory working with soft food, exhibitor loses heart (2,5)

{ON PAPER} : [working, as with an electrical appliance] plus(with) [soft or semi-liquid food, especially for babies and invalids] + “exhibitor” minus all but its 1st and last letters(loses heart).

Defn: Not tried out in the real world yet.

24a    Part of agenda in a blasted backward country (7)

{ALBANIA} : Hidden in(Part of) reversal of(backward) “agenda in a blasted”.

The answer’s in the crest (or should that be chest?), and he was Big in that country.


25a    Man of God involved in blessing city (6)

{BOSTON} : [abbrev. for “saint”;a man of God] contained in(involved in) [a blessing;something beneficial].

Defn: … in the USA.

26a    Repeat charge applied to unprotected sites (7)

{ITERATE} : [a unit charge, eg. per hour] placed after(applied to, in an across clue) “sites” minus its 1st and last letters(unprotected …).

27a    Google Conservatives posse? (6,5)

{SEARCH PARTY} : [to look for;in the electronic age, to google] + [a political group, an example of which are the British Conservatives].


2d    Laments English that is accepted by members (7)

{ELEGIES} : [abbrev. for “English”] + { [abbrev. for the Latin for “that is”] contained in(accepted by) [members attached to your torso] }.

Answer: …, one of which was Written In A Churchyard.

3d    Mingle where the fire may be after endless winter (9)

{INTEGRATE} : [where the fire may be, at the bottom of the chimney] placed below(after, in a down clue) “winter” minus its 1st and last letters(endless …).

4d    A case of members supporting one million religious leaders (5)

{IMAMS} : { A + 1st and last letters of(case of) “members”} placed below(supporting, in a down clue) { [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for a million] } .

5d    Case yet to be developed for item pertaining to road safety (4-3)

{CAT’S-EYE} : Anagram of(to be developed) CASE YET.

Answer: … with an apostrophe, in addition to the hyphen.

6d    Tolstoy losing heart after book’s unexpected appearance (7)

{NOVELTY} : “Tolstoy” minus all but its 1st and last letters(losing heart) placed below(after, in a down clue) [a book of fiction, something Tolstoy might have written] .

7d    Prize awarded for a chef’s aid? (6,5)

{WOODEN SPOON} : Double defn: 1st: … for being last in a contest.

8d    A fine and equitable business (6)

{AFFAIR} : A + [abbrev. for “fine”] plus(and) [equitable;just].

Defn: A matter to be attended to.

11d    Vets say something that might appear on monitor (6,5)

{SCREEN SAVER} : [vets;evaluates to determine suitability] + [to say;to state positively].

Answer: Originally designed to prevent permanent discolouration in areas on the computer monitor caused by cumulative non-uniform usage – in case you wondered.

She washes your monitor from the other side, and he….does nothing; but at least one is probably more interesting than tropical fishes swimming around.

….. …..

16d    Mostly relaxed, artist captures popular tree (9)

{CASUARINA} : [relaxed;informal] minus its last letter(Mostly …) + [abbrev. for a member of the British Royal Academy of Arts, ie. an artist] containing( captures ) [popular;fashionable].

18d    Earnestly solicit the knowledge of the little people! (7)

{IMPLORE} : Cryptic defn: Reference to folk knowledge, handed down from generation to generation, of the mythological little people;small michievious devils.  The answer has a word construction similar to “humankindness”.

She is pleading to a god, and he to a mortal.


19d    Tout‘s two notes on theory regularly ignored (7)

{TIPSTER} : [a note on the musical scale, famously drunk with jam and bread by Julie Andrews] + [abbrev. for a 2nd note, this time as an afterthought to a message] placed above(on, in a down clue) “theory” minus its 2nd, 4th and 6th letters(regularly ignored).

Defn: One who deals in information about racehorses.

20d    Undermine rebellious brutes, grabbing victory (7)

{SUBVERT} : Anagram of(rebellious) BRUTES containing(grabbing) [abbrev. for “victory”].

21d    Secure area on top of Ukrainian carriage (6)

{LANDAU} : [to secure, as with a job, a prize, or even a fish] + [abbrev. for “area”] placed above(on, in a down clue) 1st letter of(top of, in a down clue) “Ukraine”.

23d    Lost colour on church spread (5)

{RANCH} : [descriptive of a colour that is diffused;lost, especially in clothing, which is why there is segregation in your laundry] placed above(on , in a down clue) [abbrev. for a “church”].

Defn: A spread of land, especially in the American West, for raising livestock.

The Quick crossword pun: (hissed} + {tree} + {onyx} = {histrionics}

62 comments on “DT 27417

  1. Thank you scchua and Jay, enjoyable struggle today not helped by putting a root vegetable in for 14a a lesson in remember to read the whole cluehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  2. Thank you Jay, an enjoyable puzzle. SW corner last in. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints and wonderful, evocative ? photos. Is there an “in” = “popular” missing in the 16d hint. Probably just me !

    1. Sweet William, no, not you, me. Thanks and blog corrected. I think I’ll have to depend on you to be my proofreader – and sack the current one.

      1. A first trip for me Scchua into the dark world of pedantry ! Not my scene really – so on that note I will retire ! Glad to be of help.

  3. 2*/3*. 16d was my last one in and a new word for me which I needed to check once I’d worked out the answer. 11d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay for a nice puzzle today and to Scchua for his review.

  4. Very enjoyable but I too struggled with he SW corner
    10a my favourite though I think I might have seen it before and 16d was a look-up and new to me
    On to the toughie, bet it’s harder than yesterday.

  5. Was somewhat in haste today but found Jay’s puzzle heavy-going so reluctantly resorted to several leads from scchua – thanks for those. 16d new to me too. 27a probably fav.

  6. Thanks for hints scchua though I didn’t need to use them today, I enjoyed this one with quite a few enjoyable clues with 18d being my favourite, as with RD 16d was entirely new to me but also fairly easy to work out and then check, off to vet now with Shadow, as with her sister who we had to put to sleep a year ago she is now almost totally blind through glaucoma, the difference is she doesn’t seem to be in pain and is coping well at the moment, wish me luck… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    1. I also hope it went well. I go into total decline when anything happens to my lot, so I know how you feel.

    2. Thanks all, Shadow has no sight in her left eye and limited sight in the right eye, however the glaucoma is stable for now and she isn’t in any pain…so as long as she is happy and pain free on we go http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. Oh good – so all is OK for the moment.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Like Merusa I go into complete decline if there’s anything wrong with any of mine – it seems to be impossible to think of anything else.

        1. Thank you both…yes I’m like you too…it’s really stressful at the moment, she is nearly 13 now a good age for her breed but that doesn’t help http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  7. No real problems, and finished comfortably before lights out last night, although I did need some electronic confirmation here and there. One example of this being 16d (my selection as favourite); I had worked through the clue and “created” a word that I had never heard of as being a tree – but I have heard of it now. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle.

  8. 2*/3* for me. 16d was easy enough to work out from the wordplay (and then googled after!).
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

    Now for Micawber…

  9. Got this done without too many problems. Like RD and Mary, hadn’t come across 16d, and I’m not sure it’s going to manage to remain in my internal filing system, so have added it to a list! Enjoyed quite a few clues, but no special favourite. Many thanks to setter, and to Scchua – although we usually depend on you for a more fairly distributed selection of gender eye candy…..! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. As with most above, I’d never heard of the tree in 16D – thank you Goggle. For me, 24A was probably my favourite, a nicely constructed clue with a cleverly hidden answer.

    Busy, busy day today – curling up with the curling very heavily involved. Also, just received a delivery of Wychwood Piledriver to sample (named in honour of the re-release of Status Quo’s fifth LP)

  11. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Found this quite tricky, needed the hints for 23d, 17a & 16d which I’d never heard of. Favourites 1a & 18d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  12. For me ,this was an interesting tussle because I thought at first that this would totally defeat me.I liked all the framing clues. Reading the clues very carefully, the solutions revealed themselves.The only one I didn’t like at all was16d. Favourite (really difficult to choose) 11a.
    Thanks Jay and of course sschua.

  13. Hiya – a big Thank You to BD and all the contributors to this fantastic site, for getting me from someone who was lucky to get 2 clues unaided in the standard cryptic, to actually being up for tackling the Toughie and making not too bad a fist of it… …and on that point this is just a quick heads up for anyone else who uses the ‘Crosswords’ mobile app from Standalone Inc – it now also lets you use your telegraph puzzles account to download and play the Telegraph Toughie crossword as well as the standard cryptic. They haven’t quite twigged though that the Toughie is a cryptic, so you’ll find it at the bottom of the list of puzzle providers alongside the concise ones. I don’t know when they made this available as I only noticed when I switched phones and had to reinstall it yesterday.

  14. Well my first thought for 23d was it’s not a spread. it’s a dressing. Thanks for putting me right. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  15. I thought the last 2 days were too good to be true, & today came down to earth with a bang. We need far to many hints to complete this crossword, just not on the setters wavelength I guess. Still, there’s always tomorrow, so onwards & upwards.

    1. You tell him Mrs A. He wont listen, but you tell him. Watch out for Monday. I have a piccie that is waiting for a clue.

      1. I bet I can guess the Monday piccie that’s waiting for a suitable clue – let’s hope that one presents itself.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. The picture is going in whatever the clues Kath. I will find an excuse Did you enjoy the Curling today?

          1. I thought the piccie would go in anyway, and so it should. I don’t watch TV in the daytime, partly on principle and partly because I don’t have time.

  16. I found this quite tricky today – been whizzing around ever since 7.00 am so maybe that’s got something to do with it. A bit more than 2* difficulty and nearer 4* enjoyment.
    I was very slow to get 7d which didn’t help with the whole of the right hand side. I have heard of the 16d tree but didn’t think of it for ages.
    I liked all the long clues round the outside and 12a. My favourite was 11d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Might have a go at the Toughie.

  17. Many thanks for the review. 19d – 2nd, 4th and 6th (regularly ignored)? 21d in blue, should it not be carriage that is underlined?

    1. Sorry – slips of the pen. The intention was there (honest!), but the execution was screwed up. Blog corrected, and thanks for pointing out.

      1. Having recruited one blogger in my short time here, I would be careful what you post, I am looking for another, always looking, be careful, it could be you!!

  18. I found this a little harder than usual for a Wednesday and for a while I thought Jay was going to rough me up as much as Giovanni did last Friday. To avoid further punishment I gave in and used the hints for 16d 19d and 25ac. The toughie is three quarters done in not much time at all. Bad luck to the Curlers. We still get one more game tomorrow though. Thanks to Jay for the workout and thanks to Scchua for the blog.

  19. Finally got there, without the hints, but realised having done 0/6 clues that this was goinjg to be a lot harder than yesterday’s. I had never heard of the 16d tree!
    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  20. I was right on wavelength with this one, though 11d did hold me up for some time. I am very familiar with the Australian 16d as they are common here and Jamaica. We used them for Christmas trees during the war (WWII, that is) when we couldn’t get anything else! If I have to choose a favourite out of so many good clues, I’m going for 1a; which will now provide a mnemonic to help remember how to spell it! Thanks to Jay for an entertaining puzzle and to scchua for the review.


  21. That was a lovely Jay puzzle today ,but the tree was new to me. Thanks to Jay and scchua whose hints I didn’t need.

  22. Bit of a struggle to get started on this one, gave up last night and resumed over breakfast. Only need the explanation of 7 down, glad to say I was good at maths so the term was new to me!

    The German or Germany ones tend to stump me until I remember the use of D.

    The tree was new to me too,a most as bad as not knowing the name of Scarlett’s plantation, fortunately my wife did, swmbo.

  23. Left with a few meagre sweepings up today after Mrs D took it to work. Got the tree in 16d but had to check it as it was new to me, always satisfying to both get one and learn something new. She says I can go fishing next month. Hooray!

    1. Cause I like to sleep until the crack of noon
      Midnight howling at the moon
      Going out when I want to,
      And I’m coming home when I please
      Don’t have to ask permission
      If I wanna go out fishing
      Never have to ask for the keys

  24. Well this was an embarrassing page to read on the train. I’m sure there’s some misguided self-congratulation for not being “politically correct” or whatever gibberish, but the inclusion of so many scantily clad women in crossword hints is pathetic.

    How about googling for boobs in private, and not creating such a tawdry mess of an otherwise excellent site?

    1. I used to fell like that until I learned more about solving. Now I read the introductory comments and whizz through the review, because I usually don’t need it ,or need it much, at least on a Wednesday.
      I don’t begin to understand why some like this” page 3″ additions, but then I can’t understand why someone would delude himself into thinking that some women enjoy watching an alcohol fuelled strip show.

        1. There was a time a couple of months back when every other puzzle seemed to be reviewed by Big Dave. He asked for help and I offered. What training I have has been “done on the run” I do what I do and have been encouraged by the other reviewers. My first review carried no pics as I did not know how too add them and time was too short to play and find out. I try to include pics that might provide a bit of fun. One mans meat is another mans poison. One pic I included gave the answer to a clue that would have been obvious to a betting man and totally obscure to those who know nothing about horse racing. I choose not to post pics that might offend the easily offended. I would love to find more musical links and links that might be amusing. On Monday I announced the birth of my first grandson. What I am saying here is that we are all as we are and the site is free to all. Like it or lump it, use it. If it really offends you do not have to visit. I am glad I found it. I am happy to be part of it. My time is given freely. Enjoy.

  25. I enjoyed this one (thank you Jay) and experienced no real problems except my own ignorance of that tree at 16d. My favourite clue was 1a but there we re plenty of other contenders. For Scotland’s sake l hope 7 down was not prophetic.

  26. Really tough 4*/1* for me. Loads of really poor clues and, if I’m honest, if find sccuha’s parenthetical schema as difficult to follow as the obtuse clues. Not happy.

  27. Reading a couple of the negative comments on the reviewer above, I just want to say this. Those who are part of the blogging team give freely of their time and their solving skills to write reviews and help us out. This is not a paid position. If a particular reviewer is not to your taste, so be it.. But I am mindful that he or she doesn’t have to do this. I, for one, appreciate all of them regardless of what they chose to post as illustration or how they construct their hints.

      1. There was a time a couple of months back when every other puzzle seemed to be reviewed by Big Dave. He asked for help and I offered. What training I have has been “done on the run” I do what I do and have been encouraged by the other reviewers. My first review carried no pics as I did not know how too add them and time was too short to play and find out. I try to include pics that might provide a bit of fun. One mans meat is another mans poison. One pic I included gave the answer to a clue that would have been obvious to a betting man and totally obscure to those who know nothing about horse racing. I choose not to post pics that might offend the easily offended. I would love to find more musical links and links that might be amusing. On Monday I announced the birth of my first grandson. What I am saying here is that we are all as we are and the site is free to all. Like it or lump it, use it. If it really offends you do not have to visit. I am glad I found it. I am happy to be part of it. My time is given freely. Enjoy.

        1. Alright! I heard you the first time! Totally agree with your comments – it would be a boring world if we were all the same and as you say you don’t have to visit this site. You cold go to one of the others and read some very pedestrian reviews which would have sending big Zs up in no time.

          By the way I found Scchua’s screen saver on line…what an image of pulchritude….

    1. Clear, concise and to the point. You said what had to be said in the nicest possible way. Thank you.

  28. Thanks Jay for the usual quality puzzle on a Wednesday ,excellent and remarkably consistent .
    I am still working on the parenthetical schema but suspect it may be somewhat abstruse for me .(anagram ?)
    Cheers Scchua for the usual clear review but must confess to hearing someone tittering (sorry) on the train .
    Keep happy

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