DT 27423 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27423

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27423

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A slightly harder Wednesday puzzle, with a couple of clues holding me up a while in the NE corner.  So, a slightly less than 2* for difficulty/3* for enjoyment.  Thanks to 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    Manage to get home after a series of races with third in league (6)

{ATTAIN} : [at home] placed after(after, in an across clue) { A + [an annual series of motorcycle races on the Isle of Man] plus(with) 3rd letter of(third in) “league” } .

4a    A marine professor’s position is conducted from the comfort of home (8)

{ARMCHAIR} : A + [abbrev. for a member of the British marine corps and amphibious infantry] + [a professor’s position at a university].

Defn: … and away from the actual place of action.

Marines out of uniform, almost (and no professors amongst them):

9a    Harp played in performing Oliver, say (6)

{ORPHAN} : Anagram of(played) HARP contained in(in) [performing, eg. in a cabaret].

Defn: What the lad Twist was.

10a    What a politician may do at elections for bread and butter? (8)

{DOORSTEP} : Double defn: 1st: To canvass house-to-house; and 2nd: A thick slice of bread, maybe buttered as well.  The surface could also indicate that this is something politicians do to secure their means of support.

12a    Cry about one line – and left in charge of Russian script (8)

{CYRILLIC} : Anagram of(about) CRY + [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for “line”] plus(and) [abbrev. for “left”] + [abbrev. for “in charge”] .

13a    Think about soldiers returning on Atlantic Ocean (6)

{PONDER} : Reversal of(returning) [abbrev. for the engineering branch of the British Army] placed after(on, in an across clue) [the nickname for the Atlantic Ocean].

15a    Strong men from West and East facing Hitler’s gift for destruction (13)

{WEIGHTLIFTERS} : [abbrev. for “West”] plus(and) [abbrev. from “East”] plus(facing) anagram of(… for destruction) “HITLER’S GIFT“.

…and strong women too:


18a    Garden centre with fish offering children’s facility (7,6)

{NURSERY SCHOOL} : [a place for buying plants, etc. for the garden] plus(with) [the collective noun for fish].

20a    Loudly criticise the Tour de France? (3,3)

{LET RIP} : [French for “the”, since the event in is France] + [a tour – in English, any tour, not necessarily the competitive cycling event].

22a    Reaction of revolutionary press on right of refugee (8)

{RESPONSE} : Anagram of(revolutionary) PRESS ON + the rightmost letter of(right of) “refugee”.

24a    Sat by drink and thought (8)

{SUPPOSED} : [sat, as models for paintings and photographs have done] placed after(by, in an across clue) [to drink by swallowing a little at a time].


25a    First-class lad with love for martial art (6)

{AIKIDO} : [first-class;the 1st English character + the 1st Roman numeral] + [a lad, perhaps, even younger] plus(with) [letter representing 0;love in tennis scores].

Don’t mess with them, and they won’t mess with you:


26a    Iron Maiden, drunk, missing on Circle Line! (8)

{MERIDIAN} : Anagram of(drunk) “Iron Maiden” minus(missing) “on”.

Defn: An imaginary circular line on the earth’s surface.

27a    Minister to finish after a heartless taunt (6)

{ATTEND} : [to finish] placed after(after, in an across clue) { A + “taunt” minus all its inner letters(heartless …).


1d    Immediately agreed about cold (2,4)

{AT ONCE} : [agreed;united in action, understanding, etc.] containing(about) [abbrev. for “cold”].

2d    Do better than artist of the highest quality (3-6)

{TOP-DRAWER} : [to do better than;to surpass] + [an artist, though one might object if you called him/her this].

3d    Struggling oik held in oil covering everybody, probably (2,3,10)

{IN ALL LIKELIHOOD} : Anagram of(Struggling) OIK HELD IN OIL containing(covering) [everybody].

5d    Space saver at last, with low back (4)

{ROOM} : Last letter of(… at last) “saver” plus(with) reversal of(back) [to low, as some animals do].

6d    Copy and measure picture’s emissions (6,9)

{CARBON FOOTPRINT} : [a copy;a duplicate derived from the treated paper used] plus(and) [unit measure of length] + [a photograph;a picture transferred to paper or a similar surface].

Answer: A measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions by an activity, system, or population concerned.

7d    Behaved abysmally chasing them every day at first (5)

{ACTED} : The 1st letters, respectively, of(… at first) “abysmally chasing them every day”

8d    Rearrange delivery? (8)

{REPHRASE} : To rearrange the delivery of the spoken word, or to put it another way.

11d    Energy invested in dubious English type of lens (7)

{FISHEYE} : { [abbrev. for “energy” in physics] contained in(invested in) [dubious;suspicious, and with a smell, figuratively] } + [abbrev. for “English”].

14d    Hit hard as notice given by editor (7)

{CLOCKED} : [to notice] plus(given by) [abbrev. for “editor”] .

Defn: … especially on the face or head.

16d    Rose, say, in front of worker in queue (9)

{EGLANTINE} : [say;abbrev. for “for example”, from Latin] placed before(in front of, in an across clue) { [a social insect, one of whose caste is the worker] contained in(in) [a queue;a file] }.

17d    America‘s relations in the morning (5,3)

{UNCLE SAM} : [blood relations of your parents’ generation] + [abbrev. suffix for the hours before noon].

… and in the land of equal opportunity:


19d    Free space south of Dundee’s borders (6)

{DEVOID} : [an empty space] placed below(south of, in a down clue) the 1st and last letters of(…’s borders) “Dundee”.

Defn: Free from;completely lacking.

21d    Time an exercise run, and tail off (5)

{TAPER} : [abbrev. for “time”] + [like “an”, another article] + [abbrev. for the exercise period in school] + [abbrev. for a run in cricket scores].

23d    Cheese, packed by wife talking (4)

{FETA} : Hidden in(packed by) “wife talking”.

There is Greek cheese in this salad:

The Quick crossword pun: (may} + {kiss} + {Tory} = {make history}

59 comments on “DT 27423

  1. Is there a chance that one kind soul could send me todays ( 26th) Cryptic crossword please? The link is not updated.
    A large thank you
    David Hawksley

    1. It’s sad when the Telegraph can’t even make the workaround work. I’ve been doing the Telegraph Cryptic for 40 years but doubt for much longer.

  2. Thanks, Scchua, I agree with your rating of 2*/3*. I needed your hint for 14d in order to finsh this today By the way, I think you have missed the anagram fodder from your hint for 9a. Thanks too to Jay for the entertainment.

    Even though I got the answer quickly, it took me a while to parse 2d as I originally wrongly thought that “go better than” was one half of a double definition. The pedant in me was going to complain that this is a verbal phrase whereas the answer is a noun. :oops: Fortunately the penny dropped eventually.

    My favourite is a choice between 20a, 26a & 8d. I’m still thinking about which one to plump for.

  3. The last handful took as long to crack as the rest of the puzzle. The last one in for me was 8d.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.

  4. Hi scchua and thanks for the nice early blog, I found this quite difficult today and at least three star for difficulty, needing your help to finish off, stupidly couldn’t see why 20a was what it was!!!! So thanks s once again I can now go out whilst the sun is still shining http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  5. It took me a while to get on the wavelength for this one. Definite 3* difficulty for me.

    4a and 20a made me smile.

    It’s always a good crossword that makes you smile.

  6. Was held up for a while in the NE corner as I’d obviously had a brain meltdown and put in readress for 8D (I even noticed it was spelt wrong as I wrote it in, think I’ll go back to bed). Other than that, no big problems although I did toy with welterweights for 15A for a brief moment.

    ANOTHER fine day today – what is this world coming to and does this mean we’re due for a hosepipe ban shortly?

  7. Oh dear – just me then? I found this really tricky – 4* for both difficulty and enjoyment. It’s definitely a wrong wave length day.
    It would probably be easier and quicker to say the clues that I didn’t struggle with than the ones that I did.
    I eventually admitted defeat with 12a and there were lots of others that came pretty close to that too.
    There were also lots that I really liked – 2, 11 and 14d. My favourite was either 18 or 20a.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Sunny at last in Oxford – might do some bits in the garden.

    1. AN Other and I found it tricky too – so it isn’t just you. Lovely and sunny in Kent too but I’m stuck in the office till 3http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          1. Yes – but I found it verging on the impossible! It’s a long time since I’ve found a crossword as difficult as I found this one.
            I wasn’t ignoring your comment, honestly!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

            1. No, not a Girly thing at all, this took me considerably longer than the Toughie mainly because there were several which I couldn’t parse. I blame having a few days off work and the brain somewhat under par :)

  8. Thanks Jay for entertaining puzzle. Very slow take-off and then suddenly smooth-sailing apart from NE corner where I struggled a bit. Determined not to resort to hints but enjoyed Scchua explanations afterwards including capped Royal Marines in the buff! Several clues amused including 10a and 5d. ***/***. Yes, sunshine hooray. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. Definitely more challenging than a ** for me. 9A eluded me for ages, though it should have been obvious. I had ticks for ‘like’ by half a dozen clues, but 20A made me laugh so it’s the winner today for me.

    Though I got there in the end without hints, I chose ‘stop’ over ‘step’ for the last part of 10A since I thought it fit the clue better.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review.

  10. The long clues jumped right out at me today which helped enormously with the rest of the puzzle. Nothing too troubling except perhaps 10ac and 9d which were the last in. I was going to google for the spelling of 12ac but then remembered a chap who used to pronounce the first syllable to rhyme with eye and it went in easily. Ta to Scchua for reviewing and ta to Jay? for the workout

  11. At least 4 star difficulty . I gave up in the end on 7d,8d and 11d. I got 9a, eventually, but I can’t see the “on ” that scchua suggests is there, unless by merely referring to a musical the word “on” is a given . When 6d, 14d and17d emerged after a considerable time I was pretty pleased (with myself).You have certainly raised the bar and given us a good challenge, Jay, so thanks ! And thank you too, scchua.

  12. Managed most of the clues with relative but was stuck for some time on 9a (doh!) and 15a , trying to come up with some exotic German word like “blitzkreig”. Felt really good when I finally got it – that’s the joy of a crossword like this! Many thanks to Jay. ***/***

  13. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay, but very tricky. Like Jezza, the last four clues took longer than the rest of the puzzle. Last in was 14d. Glad I managed to resist looking at the hints, it was worth persevering. Favourite was 10a. Was 3*/4* for me. Lovely blue sky in Central London. Off to play squash soon.

  14. All but two solved in a very quick 1* time and then we stared at 10a and 8d for long enough for it to end up as 4* puzzle. What a d’oh when the penny suddenly dropped on 10a, which then gave away 8d. Good fun anyway.

    So, ****/**** it is from me.

    Many thanks to Jay for the brain straining two and to scchua for the hints, which we were close to using.

  15. I would have said 2.5 in that I needed electronic help with 4 of the clues.

    But the quickie was even harder……..couldn’t be bothered to try to finish that.

    I liked 20a and 15a was clever.

  16. Thank you Jay. Enjoyable puzzle, last in NE corner and some new words for me ( not unusual ! ) Thanks Scchua for your review and hints and amazingly restrained photos – a temporary lapse I hope ! Rained off this afternoon in Bamburgh. Feel a bit sorry for the film crew, cast and stars who are shooting some stuff for something on Bamburgh beach in front of the castle. Can’t be much fun standing around in the cold and rain for hours waiting to walk 30 yards !

  17. That was very, very hard! Just getting into it was difficult. After the first read through, I had so few answers, I was virtually looking at a blank page with a blank brain. First one in was 12a, last one in 20a. I nearly gave up on 20a and was going for scchua’s help, when I had my epiphany, and now it is my very favourite. 25a was a new word for me but easily worked out and googled for confirmation.

    There were so many clever clues, I am sorry, Jay, for swearing a blue streak when I started and drew so many blanks. Thanks to scchua for review, not needed in the end. I feel quite chuffed that I completed this.


    1. I thought this was incredibly difficult – maybe it is, almost, a girl thing although I can’t really see why it should be. Just plain tricky I reckon.
      What the hell – it’s fun and tomorrow is another day . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      1. Whoa! What’s a “girl thing” when it’s at home? Difficult is not for ladies?
        We are not up to the challenge? ‘Scuse me while I trot barefoot into the kitchen and do ‘girl’ stuff.

  18. A rather pleasant but easy solve.

    No special favourites today!

    Sunny all day here in NL – spring is clearly on its way.

  19. I also found the last few of this were very hard. My efforts were definitely not helped by putting “trial” as the answer for 21d (run = r, with an anagram of “tail”).
    Even without that I struggled. 10a took ages but was well worth the wait.
    (It all went so well at first, too!)
    Thanks to Jay – very good puzzle – and scchua for explaining 21d to me.

    1. I think that’s a really good answer for 21d and I completely understand your logic. I can see that it didn’t do much in the way of helping with the rest of that corner.

  20. Thanks to setter for a good stretch of what I laughingly call my brain… Why on earth couldn’t I sort 19d without help? So thanks Scchua for hints. Quite a few made me smile http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  21. We got quite a few answers fairly quickly, but had to look at the hints for one or two tricky ones, & to check some of the answers we already had. Thank you setter & scchua. Enjoyable though.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  22. Quite straightforward until 14d, my last one in. I had several potential answers, so thanks to Scchua for the hint to let me pick the right one. Still not sure about it though – where’s the ‘hit hard’? Thanks to Jay for the challenge and some fun clues – 6d, for instance – and to Scchua for the entertaining blog

    1. I have it in my head somewhere that you’re not in the UK so perhaps it’s a Brit thing. If you hit someone really hard you “clock them one”.

      1. I, too, thought it might be Britspeak but it was the only thing that I could think of that might be hit hard. I also don’t get the association with notice.

        1. Another use of the word ‘clock’ is to recognise – ie I clocked him straight away means I recognised him straight way. A good way to find out abut some of our slang is to watch old episodes of London based series – try The Sweeney or Minder – this will also give you quite a good grounding in Cockney Rhyming slang. (Incidentally, Minder was quite amusing in places)

          1. I buy quite a lot of UK DVDs from amazon.co.uk and get a lot from Netflix. I’m ploughing through Midsomer Murders right now, Pie in the Sky and other outdated series. I love New Tricks, and I just received the latest Last Tango in Halifax series. Your TV is a lot better than ours! Thanks for the recommendations.

            1. New Tricks, The Sweeney and Minder all have one actor in common – Dennis Waterman – if he doesn’t expand your English/cockney vocabulary, then nothing will

            1. Don’t cry, Kath. I loved Morse as well, and Inspector Lewis. I had huge hopes that Sgt. Hathaway (be still my beating heart) would have his own series. Please let me know if he appears in anything new.

    2. This is what I found relating to the slang use of ‘clock’ to mean to hit hard, especially in the face:
      “Clock” has been slang for the human face since the mid-nineteenth century, based on its supposed resemblance to the face of a clock. “Clock” as a verb has also been slang for “to punch in the face or strike violently” since the early 20th century, again based on the clock-face metaphor.

  23. I too was held up in the NE corner, until 10a suddenly dawned on me. 2* or slightly more for me, but some nice clues. I thought 9a was clever. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle, and to scchua for blog and hints.

  24. A steady solve, not simple, but all slotted into place over my usual lunch break with no hints needed, which is just as well since this site is blocked by the internet police where I work. ***/*** for me. Thanks setter and scchua for the entertainment.

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