DT 27418

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27418

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another vocabulary-stretching treat for the Ray T fans.

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    Capital sailor finally breaks white whale at sea (11)
{WHEREWITHAL} – this capital, in the sense of means or resources, is derived by putting the final letter of taR inside an anagram (at sea) of WHITE WHALE

10a    Queen with sound equipment gets higher (5)
{RAMPS} – the Latin abbreviation for queen followed by a colloquial word for some sound equipment

11a    Outing former partner almost swearing about love (9)
{EXCURSION} – the usual former partner followed by most of a verb meaning swearing around O (love)

12a    One needing time, it’s said, for a cure? (9)
{HERBALIST} – this person provides cures which may include a product that sounds like (it’s said) time

13a    In debt, it helps you find rent (5)
{TITHE} – hidden (in … you find) inside the clue

14a    Wet patch of grass facing hole (6)
{SODDEN} – a patch of grass followed by a hole or dive

16a    Hog centre of pew, keeping others standing (8)
{PRESTIGE} – a pig and the middle letter (centre) of pEw around (keeping) others or remainder

18a    Show containing rears ends in cancellation (8)
{REVERSAL} – a verb meaning to show around the outer letters (ends) of RearS

20a    Provokes risks, losing head (6)
{ANGERS} – some risks without (losing) their initial letter (head)

23a    Pork pies and drinks after time (5)
{TALES} – these pork pies or untruths are derives by putting some alcoholic drinks after T(ime)

24a    Small convulsions, being put to death (9)
{SLAUGHTER} – S(mall) followed by some convulsions or guffawing

26a    Dogged old boy’s swallowed, consuming can (9)
{OBSTINATE} – the abbreviation for Old Boy followed by the S from ‘S and a verb meaning swallowed or ingested around a can

27a    One’s virtually provocative (5)
{TROLL} – a cryptic definition of someone who makes a conscious attempt to provoke controversy or disagreement on the Internet

28a    Pushing driving seat, getting settled (11)
{ADVERTISING} – this verb meaning pushing or promoting is an anagram (getting settled) of DRIVING SEAT


2d    His ‘Odyssey’ made epic reading initially (5)
{HOMER} – the initial letters of five words in the clue

3d    A sphere recreated form again (7)
{RESHAPE} – an anagram (recreated) of A SPHERE

4d    Itsy-bitsy, nearly repulsive insect (6)
{WEEVIL} – a word meaning Itsy-bitsy or tiny followed by most of (nearly) an adjective meaning repulsive

5d    Quiet diplomacy after seizing one vessel (8)
{TACITURN} – some diplomacy around (seizing) I (one) and followed by a vessel or vase

6d    Inflates charges after ages, oddly (7)
{AERATES} – some charges or fees after the odd letters of AgEs

7d    Score with talk about bust exhibited by redhead (13)
{ORCHESTRATION} – this musical score is derived from a talk around another word for the bust and the initial letter (head) of Red

8d    Boost up before race represents abuse (8)
{DIATRIBE} – a three-letter verb meaning to boost or assist reversed (up in a down clue) and followed by a race of people

9d    Canines surely unleashed for nothing (13)
{UNNECESSARILY} – an anagram (unleashed) of CANINES SURELY

15d    Diabolical food with noxious filling (8)
{DEVILISH} – a plate of food around (with … filling) an adjective meaning noxious

17d    Stir up unease at upset? (8)
{NAUSEATE} – this verb meaning to stir up or cause to feel sick is an anagram (upset) of UNEASE AT

19d    Piece of fire’s cinder set aside (7)
{RESCIND} – hidden (piece of) inside the clue

21d    Cancels openings following case of negligence (7)
{NEGATES] – some opening in, say, a fence after the outer letters (case) of NegligencE

22d    Most naked in club are strippers (6)
{BAREST} – hidden (in) inside the clue – sorry no illustration!

25d    Cut inserting hot needle (5)
{THORN} – an adjective meaning cut or ripped around H(ot)

I’m out to lunch today with the newly-formed village Gentlemen’s’ Luncheon Club – let’s hope the clue to 15 down is not prophetic!

The Quick crossword pun: (lay} + {safe} + {haie} = {laissez-faire}



  1. Sweet William
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you Ray T – one of your easier ones I thought, but most enjoyable, Thank you BD for your review and hints. For some reason I kept thinking “nudest” for 22d until I finally saw the light. Your resistance to temptation for a photo is noted. Heaven only knows what would have happened if the clue had appeared yesterday ! Network Rail thrown into chaos, passengers fighting to get a look, others hurling themselves out of windows in horror. The mind boggles !

  2. Domus
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Perfect and agree **/****

  3. Una
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what BD is talking about, there are no new or unusual words here. A very nice puzzle.Favourite 1a.Thanks to all concerned.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I finished without hints, but not without a bit of a struggle with the last three or four. Very enjoyable, nonetheless. I loved 12A and 22A particularly. Many thanks to Ray T. and to BD for the review.

  5. Graham
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    This was ***/**** territory for me 1 A was a new word for my limited vocabulary Many thanks to the setter & BD for much needed review today. Another horrible wet day in southampton,might as well have a crack at the toughy.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  6. Kath
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I agree with everyone else, so far anyway. I thought it was definitely one of Ray T’s more straightforward crossword and I also agree with 2* and 4*.
    The one that caused a bit of a problem was 28a – I mixed up the anagram indicator and the definition for a while – silly!
    I liked 12a and 4, 7 and 22d. My favourite was 16a.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.
    Off to take husband to fracture clinic – I’m going to go armed with the Toughie so that I don’t die of boredom during the inevitable long wait.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Kath
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      PS I really hope that Ray T saw ‘his’ clue in Rufus’s crossword on Monday.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • mary
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know if anyone saw it other than you and I Kath????

        • Kath
          Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          I think others noticed it too, but can’t remember who.

          • Miffypops
            Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            It passed me by at the time. Then I only saw the Ray bit. Much later on I realised that Beam is Ray Ts toughie name. Duh,

            • Kath
              Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

              I think that you had more important things on your mind at the time, and I’m not surprised. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • RayT
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I did!


        • Kath
          Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

          Good – I’m so pleased. It was my favourite clue.

    • Graham
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Oh dear, I do hope you dont have to wait too long not like me my partner took me to A & E on the Saturday morning for a broken elbow & I didnt escape until the Wednesday afternoon bless her.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      • mary
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        ??? not sure from that which one of you has a broken elbow but I hope whoever will be better soon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Kath
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        We were obviously luckier than you – very quick! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • skempie
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        You went for a broken elbow? Did you find one?

    • SheilaP
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Has husband been taking part in the Winter Olympics, Kath?

      • Kath
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Passing that one on to him would be more than my life is worth. He’s already very grumpy because everyone assumes that his knee is a skiing injury.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        • mary
          Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Best wishes for speedy recovery for sake of all concerned how did he do that??

          • Kath
            Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Thanks – just at the moment the ‘all concerned’ are having just as tricky a time as the main protagonist! As to how he did it – not sure what the last straw was but years of rowing have certainly contributed to it.

            • skempie
              Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

              Is that years of sitting in a boat or years of having a different opinion to you Kath?

              • Kath
                Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

                Good one – the ‘rowing’ is with oars and, no, we don’t beat each other round the head with them!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  7. Beaver
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Lots of big words today! there always seemed to be a straight forward clue when most needed so going for a **1/2 ****,only problem was last in,27a ,as I had never heard of the ‘internet’ meaning , thought I was looking for a word one letter short of provocative (virtually) ,i did put in the correct solution , but only because it was the only reasonable word I could think of.Thanks to RTand BD.

  8. Collywobbles
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I am quite enjoying this puzzle although I am struggling. I have got 12a but I don’t really understand it despite the BD hint. Could somebody elucidate a little more

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Collywobbles, I completely missed the wordplay for 12a too. The key is that a person whose job is the answer might use in his work a plant whose name sounds like “time”.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks RB. So the word is ‘Thyme’ and because ‘thyme’ is a herb it gives us the answer. Is that right?

      • spindrift
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Be careful! At this rate you will fall under the influence of Miffypops & end up reviewing the puzzles. Look what happened to Kath and be warned.

        • Collywobbles
          Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Your comments are noted SD and I will be very careful but to be realistic I do not think that there is much chance of that. I think that the clue is stunning

  9. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely loved this puzzle today and am going for 2*/5*! All the clues were wonderful so I am not intending to struggle to nominate a favourite.

    I needed BD’s hint to understand why my answer for 12a was right, so many thanks to him and, of course, to Ray T.

  10. Angel
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Two small words foxed me today i.e. 10a (because I had wrong word for 3d) and 27a for which I had right solution without knowing why so thanks to BD for sorting me and Ray T for a ***/*** diversion from yet more dreary, wet weather. My heart goes out to all the wretched flood victims across the country. 5d fav for me.

  11. Derek
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Solved this puzzle this AM before BD had started to post comments!

    Faves : the four external jobs and 12a,13a, 22a, 4d & 25d.

    Grey skies here in NL but dry!

    • njm
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Me too! Most unusual. I wouldn’t have believed it was a Ray T from the degree of difficulty.
      No particular favorites, 1.5*/3* rating for me.
      Thanks to RayT and to Big Dave, without whom I could not have explained why 27a was what it must be.

      • Derek
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Hi njm!
        Who are you?

  12. Jezza
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    As always, a lovely puzzle to unravel. Thanks to Ray T, and to BD.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to RayT and BD for an enjoyable if untaxing crossword and an excellent review.

  14. mary
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Nice and sunny here so far today but I don’t think it will last!
    Thanks for blog Dave though not needing the hints today, I did need help from my books and electronic friends although I agree it is one of RayTs’ easier puzzles, I even had a favourite clue today 12a and could easily have found another few if not for ‘the wrath of Kath’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Kath
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Mary – all this ‘wrath of Kath’ is making it sound as if I’m a Toughie 7d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      • mary
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

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

        • Kath
          Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          It’s OK – I was only joking.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • skempie
        Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like something out of Star Trek to me.

  15. Heno
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Usual good stuff from Ray T, but a bit on the gentle side, nonetheless enjoyable though. Was 2*/4* for me. Favourite was 27a. Last in was 16a. Light rain in Central London. Off to look at the Toughie.

  16. Cornishpasty
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Did all but 8d last night, needed the hint to get it, although my first reaction to the hint was less than flattering, including the word assist made me get the answer. Snowing again here in Manitoba. Thanks

  17. Hrothgar
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully integrated puzzle, I thought.
    Perhaps **plus for difficulty.
    Last but one in 27a which helped with my last in, 25d.
    12a and 16a favourites.
    Many thanks Ray T, and BD for the review.

  18. Clarky
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Late start today due to the curling – well deserved medal – but enjoyed this Ray T puzzle this pm.
    Struggled with 24a as I also fell into the ‘nudest’ trap for a while!
    **/**** for me. Favourite – 9d, but many others in close order.

    • gazza
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Your comment required moderation because you left a full-stop out of your email address. I’ve edited it for you.

      • Clarky
        Posted February 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – again!

  19. Merusa
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this and did finish eventually. Loved 12a and have decided it’s my favourite, with honourable mention to 7d and 1a, after spending hours looking through my little atlas looking for a country capital. I put the only word that would fit in 27a but had no idea why; thank you BD for the techie lesson. Excellent start to the day for me. Thanks to RayT for the entertainment and BD for the review.


  20. Annidrum
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I loved this today and it really felt great to be on Ray T’s wavelength albeit one of easier puzzles.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • gazza
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Your comment needed moderation because you left an A out of your email address. I’ve edited it back in for you.

  21. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    We are surprised that many people found it easy for a RayT. For us it took us at least as long and maybe longer than we usually spend on his puzzles. The SE corner was the last to go in. Lovely stuff, lots of chuckles and guffaws. The word count on the clues spot on again too.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  22. Owdoo
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t fly through it, but no new words for me today and it all fell into place eventually with several chuckles along the way. I particularly liked 12a and 22d. Thanks setter and BD.

  23. Brian Foster
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m a Quick Crossword fan – my third word today was “hair”…….

    • gazza
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Brian.
      Thanks for that. It was obviously a typo in the blog – now corrected.

  24. Chris
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Seemed the hardest one this week by far but finally got there – thanks for BD’s review (not needed) and of course Ray T.
    It suddenly dawned on me earlier this week why he’s also known as Beam when setting the Toughie!
    Favourite 16a, despite it taking me ages to work out.

  25. skempie
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Very late on parade today – they dicky leg was playing up something rotten this morning and I couldn’t even concentrate on reading the paper let alone think about the crossword.

    Excellent fun today with 12A being and absolute gem of a clue.

    Congrats to the Lady Curlers, and good luck to the fella’s tomorrow. Well done must also go to Ireland who beat the West Indies in a T20 match (nearly as good a win as in 1969)

    (for those that don’t know, WI played at Lords and had a match scheduled in Ireland the day after the Lords match finished, they went over there and were bowled out for 25, the gossip was that the WI had arrived in Ireland to be met by the Ireland team who took them out to a few pubs and got them drunk on Guinness; when the WI arrived for the match the next day, there was not a single member of the drinking team in evidence)

  26. Miffypops
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Had to do this whilst open and serving. Loved it thank you Ray T

  27. RayT
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    My thanks to BD for the decryption, and to all for your comments. Greatly appreciated, as always.


  28. gnomethang
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Some delightful surface reading there – thanks RayT!

  29. Salty Dog
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Not really on form today, so this one took a little longer than it might otherwise have done. Favourite was 1a. I found some of the clues a bit tenuous at first pass, but looking back through it l can’t really cite an example, so l’m inclined to think l was just being thick! Thanks to Ray T, and BD for the review.

  30. Catnap
    Posted February 21, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! Almost finished writing a comment, accidentally brushed a key, and whoosh! it was gone!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Am definitely a RayT fan and there was much to enjoy in this puzzle. I liked the vocabulary. This is one of the few puzzles where I did not need to refer to a dictionary or thesaurus. Too many delightful clues to chose a fave.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Thank you very much, RayT. And many thanks to Big Dave for the valued review.

  31. Albert123
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I have just decided to have a crack at cryptic crosswords, with the DT2718 my first attempt . I will work on it all week. I have bought books on cryptic crosswords and came across your blog. Thank you for all the tips and hints.

    • Posted February 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Albert123