DT 27422

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27422

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment **

We actually have some sunshine in Devon this morning – can Spring be far away? I thought that this was fairly typical of Tuesdays currently – some well-constructed clues, not too easy but certainly not very hard, but nothing really to make me smile. Do chip in with your views!

If you’re looking for an answer you’ll find it hidden between the brackets under the clue. You’ll have to highlight the gap to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  We raise rule for ordering casual clothing (11)
{LEISUREWEAR} – an anagram (for ordering) of WE RAISE RULE.

9a  Usually  characteristic of a period in office? (2,1,4)
{AS A RULE} – double definition.

10a  French place in island beset by cold sadly (6)
{CALAIS} – this place in France actually belonged to England for over two centuries. The single-letter abbreviation for island is surrounded (beset) by C(old) and an interjection meaning sadly.

12a  Popular boxer in very short end to round lacking force? (7)
{INVALID} – this is lacking force in the sense of not legally recognised. Start with an adverb meaning popular or trendy, then insert the surname of the most famous boxer between the abbreviation (short) of V(ery) and the end letter of (roun)D.

13a  Piano used by conductor giving empty talk (7)
{PRATTLE} – the musical abbreviation for piano or soft followed by the surname of Sir Simon, the conductor.

14a  Athletics event is broadcast (5)
{RELAY} – double definition – the athletics event usually involves four competitors working as a team.

15a  Like a horse ride  without a break? (2,3,4)
{ON THE TROT} – double definition, the first descriptive of a horse moving faster than a walk but slower than a gallop.

17a  Genuine source of arbitration disputed in the TUC (9)
{AUTHENTIC} – the first letter (source) of arbitration is followed by an anagram (disputed) of IN THE TUC.

20a  Musical composition captured in session one time (5)
{NONET} – hidden (captured) in the clue.

22a  A short time in Panama, say, for the environment (7)
{HABITAT} – insert a short time (as in “I’ll see you in * ***”) into what the falsely-capitalised panama is a type of.

24a  Small measure taken before exam? That’s wrong (7)
{IMMORAL} – what looks like a small metric measure of length (1,2) is followed by a face to face examination.

25a  What fiddler does in predicament (6)
{SCRAPE} – double definition, firstly as a verb and secondly an informal noun meaning a predicament or tight corner.

26a  Second  type of coffee? (7)
{INSTANT} – another double definition, the second a bit of a misnomer because you usually still have to boil the water.

27a  Sushi stolen in buffet? It’s ill-bred behaviour (11)
{LOUTISHNESS} – an anagram (in buffet) of SUSHI STOLEN. Presumably buffet is being used in the sense of a jolt or upset rather than a self-service meal (although on reflection it could be an indication that you have to pick and choose the letters – what’s your take on it?).

Down Clues

2d  Friend supporting English queen on a fair basis (7)
{EQUALLY} – a friend or associate follows (supporting, in a down clue) E(nglish) and a two-letter abbreviation for queen.

3d  Depot and base renovated marine vehicle (9)
{SPEEDBOAT} – an anagram (renovated) of DEPOT and BASE.

4d  Summarise return of fast athlete? (5)
{RECAP} – reverse (return) an athlete who may be paid to lead a race at a fast tempo during the early laps to ensure that it is run in a quick time.

5d  Financial support providing mostly satisfactory food (7)
{WELFARE} – an adjective meaning satisfactory or fine without its final L (mostly) is followed by another word for food.

6d  Johnson, say, a winner, one having replaced leader of charisma (7)
{AVIATOR} – having thought of, and discarded, Boris, Lyndon and Doctor Samuel I finally hit on Amy (though pedants may consider that, for her, the answer should end in -rix). Start with A and another word for winner, then replace the C(harisma) with an indefinite article (one).

7d  Manufacture of a prime cheap material (6-5)
{PAPIER-MÂCHÉ} – an anagram (manufacture) of A PRIME CHEAP.

8d  Wonder created by English poet in audience (6)
{MARVEL} – this sounds very much like (in audience) the surname of Andrew, the seventeenth century English poet and satirist.

11d  Versatile sportsman leapt the net fantastically (11)
{PENTATHLETE} – an anagram (fantastically) of LEAPT THE NET produces a multi-event competitor.

16d  Strategic expert showing diplomacy in charge with Scotsman (9)
{TACTICIAN} – string together a synonym for diplomacy, the abbreviation for in charge and the male forename usually associated with Scotsman in Crosswordland. I’m standing by for protests from the Pedants’ Club.

18d  Plant obtained by company following revolutionary explorer (7)
{TOBACCO} – the abbreviation for company comes after the reversal (revolutionary) of the surname of two Italian explorers and navigators (John and Sebastian, father and son) from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

19d  Further tips for contentment in part of work? (7)
{EXTRACT} – an adjective meaning further or additional is followed by the outer letters (tips) of C(ontentmen)T.

20d  Source of retribution is occupying Kent chaps on reflection (7)
{NEMESIS} – this is obviously the word of the week (Miffypops referred to it yesterday as a regular crossword chestnut). Insert IS (from the clue) into the geographical part of the UK where Kent is to be found and add another word for chaps. Finally turn it all around (on reflection).

21d  Bite to consider reportedly in country (6)
{NORWAY} – depending on where you live you may or may not consider that ‘gnaw weigh’ sounds like this country.

23d  Journeys made by king entering very French surroundings (5)
{TREKS} – insert the abbreviation for rex (king, in Latin)  the king in chess notation into the French word for very. Thanks to Jaydubs for pointing out the boob.

My favourite clue (just one) was 11d for the appropriate anagram fodder.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SINGER} + {POOR} = {SINGAPORE}



  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    2*/2.5* today. Three quarters fell into place quite quickly but I got held up in the NE with 10a my last one in. 17a was my favourite.

    Yes Gazza, yet again I must comment that strategy and tactics are not synonymous, but crossword setters don’t seem to realise this! Please see my comments left a few days ago in the Pedants’ Guide.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

  2. Michael
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward today and plenty of anagrams, particularly for the four long outer words – that always gives you a head start!

    Happy days!

  3. mary
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Morning gazza, sunshine here so far too :-) , a nice ‘workaday’ crossword but I must admit there were about six clues for which I had the answers but couldn’t work out why!!! So thanks for the blog explainations, fav clue 26a
    Has anyone else noticed ‘queen’ has appeared in more than usual crossword clues lately?
    Thought 21d very iffy?

  4. Jezza
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    No complaints from me; a pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza for the review.

    The toughie is not too tricky today.

  5. Expat Chris
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I liked it very much. 21D was actually my favorite clue! Thanks to the setter and, although hints not needed, to Gazza of course for the review.

    • Merusa
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      I liked it, too!

  6. Jaydubs
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t 23d be k inserted in French for very?

    • gazza
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Of course it should. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • Jaydubs
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      No probs, it was my last one as I first inserted R into tous until I thought better of it after getting 25a.

      • mary
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        I put rex in the ‘ts’ i.e.surroundings of ‘tres’ which gave me trexs which I thought was a very peculiar spelling of the answer!!!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif I know totally wrong in all ways!!!!

  7. skempie
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    No big problems today although 6D held me up for a while (I had Al stuck in my mind for far too long). I thought 27A was a very good anagram..
    Big yellow thing in the sky here too – wonder what it is?

  8. Kath
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I think I’d say 2*/3* today.
    I didn’t have any major problems apart from 10a – it did have to be an anagram of ‘cold’ (sadly) around IS (island) didn’t it?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    It also took me ages to work out why 21d was what it was – and, yes, I think it sounds exactly right.
    I liked 17 and 25a and 7d. My favourite was 11d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    Please would all you chaps and chapesses with some sun mind sharing it a bit? We walked for an hour in torrential rain this morning – got home with rain dripping down my neck – husband went and got a hair dryer. I thought he was being really kind until he got collie’s brush out and started to dry her!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • mary
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Ha Ha you do make me laugh Kath – http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Is he related to me Kath?

      • Kath
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        . . . I’m beginning to think that he just might be.

    • Merusa
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      I spent way too much time trying to make “cold is” an anagram.

      • Kath
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Oh good – not just me – always nice to have some company.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. Poppy
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward, until I got a bit stuck in the NE sector. Was glad I wasn’t the only one to work through quite a few wrong Johnson’s before hitting on Amy. And I took ages to put 13a in., which became my favourite. Thank you setter, and to Gazza for the hints.

  10. Roland
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review. A quick run through for me this morning with no great hold-ups (*/**) although I did need to look up and verify the poet as I’d never heard of him. 11d would have to be my favourite clue today.
    I suspect the pedants’ debate over strategy/tactics may take longer than the puzzle.
    They appear as synonyms on most (if not all) thesaurus-type sites I’ve looked at this morning. They also have some almost identical meanings in the BRB. So for my money, I’d say they’re synonymous. I’m sure that given a few minutes to think about it, there are many other supposed synonyms used in crosswords whose meanings are much further from each other than these two.

  11. BigBoab
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable crossword without straining the grey matter, thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  12. SheilaP
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle today, but needed some explanations from Gazza for which, many thanks. Thank you to the setter too of course.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  13. genie
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward but very enjoyable. Managed without the above hints although im usually very grateful for them – now attempting the toughie and am very much in need of the hints!!

  14. Miffypops
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I found today’s puzzle typically Tuesdayish. Enjoyable but not taxing. For those of you following the Kitchen/Pig saga. The pig will arrive on Saturday. Saint Sharon will come round eventually. She always does.

    • Kath
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Please tell me that this doesn’t mean you’ve knocked Saint Sharon out. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • mary
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


    • mary
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Is the pig going to live in the kitchen Miffypops??? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      • Heno
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Hope not, it might chew the new Kitchen units :-)

        • Kath
          Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry about that – there aren’t any!

    • spindrift
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      What with you and your porcine houseguest and the return of “Blandings” on Sunday evenings I think it’s time to revisit the works of Plum. What ho, Miffypops!

    • Poppy
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      What breed, Miffypops? I love pigs (the four footed kind) When Paul Heiney was farming, he asked his long-suffering wife what she’d like for Christmas, as life had been pretty stressful with setting up horse-drawn ploughs etc and starting the farm from scratch. She replied “something black and sexy, please”. So he bought her a black pig in farrow… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        There will be 15 Oxford Sandy and black pigs arriving on Saturday March 1st.. No they will not live in the kitchen.. This is a pig club purchase.

      • skempie
        Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        I love pigs too – I like slices of the back in a sarnie with brown sauce and the rest with apple

        • Miffypops
          Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          I am looking forward to that bit too.

  15. Jill B
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Apart from 21d which I got from the letters but didn’t understand the link (being a Scot I pronounce my “r”s robustly – Norrrway) this proved an entertaining but not difficult lunch-time puzzle.

    • Annidrum
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear Jill B

  16. pommers
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Hello everyone, back home again, just http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Enjoyable today but not too taxing so thanks to setter and Gazza. Made a change to be back to doing the puzzle with pommette over lunch.

    Pedants needn’t complain about 6d as the setter might not have been alluding Amy but to Air Vice Marshal James Edgar “Johnnie” Johnson CB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, DFC & Bar (9 March 1915 – 30 January 2001). Famous WWII fighter ace.

    • Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Johnnie Johnson was Officer Commanding at RAF Cottesmore – a V-bomber base with Handley Page Victors – when I spent a week there with the Air Cadets.

  17. Heno
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A nice, but not too taxing puzzle. Was held up for ages by 10a, but eventually the penny dropped, enabling me to get 6d which was last in. Was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 27a, which was a very well concealed anagram. I should have guessed sooner, as the three other long clues round the outside were all anagrams too. Sun has just gone in here in Central London. Off to try the Toughie.

  18. Stuart
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    struggled with 7 down thanks for the help

    • gazza
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Stuart.

  19. Derek
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward solve today.

    Faves : 10a & 6d.

    Pouring down all day here in NL.

    • skempie
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Hope you don’t want your pumps back yet

  20. Angel
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite difficult and, yes Gazza, not much light relief today. Thanks all the same, Mr. Ron. ****/**. 20a new to me (tried to use motet) so held up on 21d which was last in but nevertheless was my fav. As per Jaydubs I also initially had tours for 23d thinking tres could loosely mean very. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  21. Sweet William
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter, enjoyable and no problems. A field day for the Pedants. I must admit that with my rather amateurish approach, I feel that if I can solve the clue, then there isn’t too much to complain about. Another lovely sunny day here on NE coast. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. I did spend some time thinking “tou(r)s” for 23d until the penny dropped.

  22. Merusa
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I found this pretty straightforward until I got to the NE corner, where I got held up with 10a, 5d and 6d. Favourite 21d, though it did take a while to figure out the why. I needed the hints to know why 12a was what it was. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review, needed today. Feeling quite pleased with myself that I did as much as I did!


  23. Una
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I had the same problems as everybody else, especially the north east corner.My favourite is 26a.A good puzzle , slightly different to most Tuesdays. Thanks Gazza for the explanations.

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    We are hanging our heads in shame this morning. Rushed through the puzzle, did not go back and recheck the parsing, and find that we have TWO wrong. Had ‘rally’ for 14a and ‘Alister’ for 6d. No excuses – sloppy solving. A good puzzle.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  25. Annidrum
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Not too taxing on the whole but 21d NO. WAY!!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    • Roydo
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Agree with that. Also, not sure I have ever heard the 4d referred to in that manner.

  26. Tstrummer
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a write-in and not much smiling here. 6d was my favourite. Best thing is I get on the first page for once. Thanks to Gazza for erudite explanations and to the setter, although next time Ron, give me a grin or two along the way

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Not today you don’t. Nearly but not quite or maybe my comment to Skempie bumped you down. However, you work whilst we are playing. Nowt wrong with that.

  27. Little Dave
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straight-forward my top two being 12a and 6d. Thanks for the review and to The Setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif