DT 27420 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27420

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27420

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! I’m pretty sure that this is a Cephas production – some good anagram indicators to help with the surface readings and a couple of cryptic definitions that always make you smile (sometimes easy sometimes not!). Overall a quick but fun solve.

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1a           Harvey’s struggling — he’s lacking change (4)
VARY – An anagram (struggling) of HARVEY’S having first removed the HE’S (i.e HE’S Lacking)

3a           Biscuit, Western fare cooked (5)
WAFER – W for western then an anagram (cooked) of FARE

6a           Select participant in Olympic kayaking (4)
PICK – The verb for to choose is hidden in the last two words.

8a           The precise item (8,7)
DEFINITE ARTICLE – Small definition at the front but it is only a charade of DEFINITE (precise) and ARTICLE (item).

9a           Leg ring available if required (2,4)
ON CALL – The ON or leg side in cricket (sorry most ladies!) followed by CALL for ring.

10a         Bedmaker in nursery? (8)
GARDENER – A good cryptic definition. q.v. flower beds and plant nurseries.

11a         Fill with Courage, popular drink (8)
INSPIRIT – IN for popular or ‘hip’ and then SPRIT for a drink of Scotch or Vodka perhaps.

13a         One making cuts, resetting an exam (6)
AXEMAN – An anagram (indicated by resetting) of AN EXAM. I’m retraining to be a Lumberjack!

15a         Large number of stockings with a hole in — 6 perhaps! (6)
CHOOSE – The answer refers to  6 across and is a synonym. Start with C for the Roman Numeral of 100 (a large number) then add HOSE (stockings) whilst including an O (a hole is inside)

17a         A call for help about finest incombustible material (8)
ASBESTOS – Or ‘Natural Fibre’ as my chemistry teacher used to call it!.Place A SOS (A call for help in Morse Code) around BEST or finest.

19a         Peacekeeping type, we hear, is not requested (8)
UNSOUGHT – SOUGHT (a homophone – we hear of SORT/type/kind) following the U.N. or United Nations (“peacekeepers”)

21a         One doesn’t consciously go into it (6)
TRANCE – A good Cryptic Definition. If you go in you are unconscious.

22a         Get real land (4,4,2,5)
COME DOWN TO EARTH – Two definitions really. The first (get real) is ‘face the facts’ and the second is a literal bump from an airplane or parachute.

23a         It’s in taste to allow it to stand (4)
STET – Hidden IN  taSTE To is a Latin gerund of obligation meaning “Let it Stay”. Used when one has falsely corrected something which is in itself correct.

24a         Faithful promises to repay, pence first (5)
PIOUS – Place P for(new) Pence in front of  (first) IOUS or the usual promises to pay.

25a         Must cast out piece of soot (4)
SMUT – An anagram (cast out) of MUST.


1d           Sid voiced upset: ‘This CD needs watching’ (9)
VIDEODISC – Very 1980’s! An upset anagram of SID VOICED.

2d           US force arranged to concentrate on something different (7)
REFOCUS – Another anagram (indicated by an arrangement) of US FORCE.

3d           Very obvious court order’s needed over lager being spilt (4,5)
WRIT LARGE – A charade of a WRIT (court order) then an anagram (being spilt) of LAGER

4d           Load of engineers going into action (7)
FREIGHT – Insert the R(oyal) E(ngineers) inside a FIGHT or action in the military sense.

5d           Less common initially, Art and English being interspersed among reading, writing and arithmetic (5)
RARER ‘ The 3 R’s are Reading, ; Riting and ‘RithmeticPlace regularly (interspersed) A for Art and E for English. All of these are common abbreviations.

6d           It could be free or highly valuable that’s amusing (9)
PRICELESS – Three definitions for the price of one!. No Price (free), inestimable in value and also an amusing joke that you couldn’t make up!

7d           Volcanic crater plays a part in topographical derangement (7)
CALDERA – The geographical feature is hidden in the last two words. I knew the word myself so no trouble here!!

12d         Champion rugby player’s single set of books (9)
PROPONENT – A charade of a PROP (Rugby player), ONE (single) and then NT (the abb. of the New Testament or ‘ set of books’.

13d         High-flier that’s unusually below par (9)
ALBATROSS – A  definition and cryptic definition The bird itself flies at high altitude. It is also an exceptionally rare score in golf – a par five made in two strokes or a par four holed in one.

14d         Shelter is closed, welcoming in French after November (6,3)
NISSEN HUT – I dragged this out of my head after excluding ‘Anderson Shelter’. Place EN (‘in’ in French) inside, or being welcomed by, IS SHUT (is closed) all after N for November.

16d         Leaflet from worker on strike (7)
HANDOUT – A charade of HAND (worker) and OUT (on strike).

17d         Venetian merchant and soldier held up by ten (7)
ANTONIO – The Title character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. Take a soldier ANT then add ON (held up by) and follow with IO which looks like 10 written numerically.

18d         So much French spirit causing uncontrolled outburst (7)
TANTRUM – A charade of TANT (‘so much’ in French) and RUM for an alcoholic spirit.

20d         Band take off, covering Queen (5)
GROUP – GO UP (take off e.g into the air) covering R for Regina (the Latin for Queen)

I still think that this was a Cephas production and enjoyed it. I’ll see you all next week.