DT 27428

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27428

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Having got the first four letters on the top line I thought that we were going to get a Nina connected with what today is in the Church and culinary calendars, but it petered out leaving us with a pleasant but not overly-taxing puzzle. Do let us know what you made of it.

To reveal an answer you’ll need to drag your cursor through the concealed text between the brackets under the clue; if you’re accessing the blog from a newfangled mobile device there’s some help on how to do the reveal in the FAQ.

Across Clues

7a  Hurricane series being shown inside (7)
{CYCLONE} – a series or sequence with an adverb meaning being shown (at a cinema, perhaps) inside it.

8a  Copper strangled by a fat round count (7)
{DRACULA} – the chemical symbol for copper is contained inside (strangled by) a reversal of A (from the clue) and fat used in cooking.

10a  Bird in brass — a lot manufactured (9)
{ALBATROSS} – an anagram (manufactured) of BRASS A LOT.

11a  Love game analysed, last of a series (5)
{OMEGA} – the letter that resembles a score of love in tennis is followed by an anagram (analysed) of GAME.

12a  Gong bringing first of diners into dinner, perhaps (5)
{MEDAL} – the first letter of diners goes inside what dinner is an example of.

13a  Pride, say, shown by unerring opener for Surrey, batting (6,3)
{DEADLY SIN} – start with an adjective meaning unerring or accurate (applied to a marksman, for example) and add the opening letter of Surrey and an adverb meaning batting (see BD’s new list of cricket terms and abbreviations).

15a  Two ways of viewing something that invigorates? (7)
{REVIVER} – two ways because it reads the same backwards as forwards.

17a  Try to attract volunteers over first (7)
{ATTEMPT} – a verb to attract or lure is preceded by the reversal (over) of the abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers.

18a  Character cutting could be a cheat (4-5)
{CARD SHARP} – a charade of an odd or amusing character and an adjective meaning cutting.

20a  Spoil church procession (5)
{MARCH} – a verb to spoil or impair followed by an abbreviation for church.

21a  Relief comes as swelling reduced round middle section of hock (5)
{LOCUM} – this is a relief or temporary stand-in, especially for a GP. A swelling or protrusion without its final P (reduced) goes round the middle letters of hock.

23a  Correspondence after series identifying armour (5,4)
{CHAIN MAIL} – another word for written correspondence follows a series or sequence.

24a  Seen and understood (5,2)
{TAKEN IN} – double definition – firstly seen (a play or film, especially) and  secondly understood or grasped.

25a  Onset of whooping in sickly bird (7)
{SWALLOW} – insert the first letter of W(hooping) into an adjective meaning sickly or having a pale yellowish colour.

Down Clues

1d  Underwater swimmer drives excitedly across Caribbean island (5,5)
{SCUBA DIVER} – an anagram (excitedly) of DRIVES containing (across) an island in the Caribbean.

2d  Crowd going to the Spanish lodging house (6)
{HOSTEL} – start with a crowd or large number (of soldiers or golden daffodils, for example) and add (going to) a Spanish definite article.

3d  Judge first half of recipe book (8)
{RECORDER} – the first half of the word recipe is followed by a verb to book or reserve.

4d  Rum does when served up — and port (6)
{ODESSA} – a port and resort on the Black Sea comes from an anagram (rum) of DOES followed by a synonym for when reversed (served up, in a down clue).

5d  Awful long wait for sleeping car (5-3)
{WAGON-LIT} – this anagram (awful) of LONG WAIT gives us a sleeping car on a Continental train.

6d  First to recognise a French character from the past (4)
{RUNE} – this is a word for any character from the futhork or ancient Northern European alphabet. The first letter of R(ecognise) is followed by one of the variants of “a” in French.

7d  Church member allowed to keep pair, and article worn on the wrist (5,8)
{CHARM BRACELET} – string together an abbreviation for church, a bodily member and a past participle meaning allowed. Then insert (to keep) a pair (of game birds, for example).

9d  What stealing a fluid is? (7,3,3)
{AGAINST THE LAW} – this is a clever semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (fluid) of WHAT STEALING A.

14d  Gymnastic feat in heyday heard by experienced sailor on radio (10)
{SOMERSAULT} – we have not one but two homophones here. Firstly what sounds like (heard) the high point or most prolific season (heyday) then a homophone (on radio) of an informal word for an experienced sailor.

16d  Purchase not fashionable, a robe (8)
{VESTMENT} – start with a purchase carried out in the hope of making a profit then take away (not) the adverb meaning fashionable or trendy.

17d  Review a penny parking increase (8)
{APPRAISE} – string together A (from the clue), abbreviations for penny and parking and a verb to increase.

19d  Going up a track (6)
{ASCENT} – A (from the clue) followed by a track or spoor.

20d  Guide  worked with hands (6)
{MANUAL} – two definitions – 1) a guide that’s normally put, unopened, on a shelf and only consulted if all else fails, and 2) an adjective meaning done by hand.

22d  Form of fuel used in Morocco — kerosene (4)
{COKE} – hidden (used) in the clue.

The twin peaks on my most-liked list today were 18a and 9d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {KILLER} + {BIGHT} = {KILOBYTE}



  1. Sweet William
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter, not too taxing as you say Gazza, but nevertheless enjoyable. Getting 7d early certainly helped. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints.

  2. Collywobbles
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    What’s a Nina Gazza?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Collywobbles, check out the FAQ tab at the top of the page. Almost everything you need to know about crosswords you can find in one of BD’s tabs!

    • Senf
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      CW – a hidden feature – see the full explanation in the FAQ. With the first four letters on the top line, Gazza was expecting Shreve Tuesday.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Oh, I see, thanks both

      • pommers
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Gazza wasn’t the only one! I usually miss ninas but this time I did spot one but it wasn’t there, D’OH!

      • skempie
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Shreve Tuesday? I had a mate called Shreeves, but he was called that every day of the week

        • Senf
          Posted March 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          It was either finger trouble (at 6:21 am) or the auto correct feature on my tablet that speaks American not English!

          • Merusa
            Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            I changed mine to English English and it helps a lot

  3. pommers
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Agree about the potential nina and wonder if it was done on purpose? I did my normal route of going through all the across clues and then the downs. Got the first four down answers, spotted the developingl nina, and then was held up for a bit as I was convinced that 5 and 6 down must begin with V and E respectively! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    Apart from that hiccup I’d go for */*** with 9d favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron Devious and Gazza.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    */*** All done and dusted in double quick time this morning, this enjoyable puzzle was “read and write” for me with a few smiles along the way and just a couple of pauses to parse 21a & 14d fully. 12a was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, particularly for his creative use of a photograph to illustrate 23a.

  5. Senf
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Reasonably straightforward with six or seven clues left open at lights out last night. They became write ins this morning, the benefit of a good nights sleep! Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  6. Dave Hartley
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Well, at least I am now disabused of the notion that ‘wagon lit’ might be light reading for heavy haulage enthusiasts.

    • Roland
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink


  7. Angel
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks setter (?) for puzzle and Gazza for explaining several of my answers. ***/** but not overly entertaining. IMHO wonder about synonym for when in 4d and not sure about synonym for analysed in 11a but got there anyway. Hope for more amusing cerebral exercise in future. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    • skempie
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Surely ‘analysed’ can mean ‘broken down’ (as into component parts) and can therefore indicate an anagram?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        That reminds me of the manager who asked his HR department for a list of employees broken down by age and sex :wink:

      • Angel
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Not sure I really concur but OK – if you say so! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  8. banksie
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    So, not having heard of a NINA a big advantage then. Luckily I hadn’t, so didn’t look for it.

    Not often i get to make a comment this early, having finished….there is still hope

  9. Collywobbles
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle and difficult in parts but 6d seemed a bit abstruse

  10. skempie
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    No problems at all today although I did have to have a quick check on 5D (not a phrase I’ve come across before but fairly obvious with my O level French). At first glance, I had a very naughty answer for 9D (although it broke down as 6,3,4).

    Pancake batter made and sitting in the fridge, roll on lunch time.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I also had your answer for 9d Skempie. With reference to your reply to Angel at 7. above. It may be time for you to submit trial blogs to Big Dave.

      • Toni
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Me too. I bet we weren’t the only ones!

      • skempie
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, I cannot be relied on to do any blogging regularly. I do a bit of work here and a bit of work there and I disappear every now and again for a week or two. Also I find it very hard to detach pillows from my head first thing in the morning so your results would be very late indeed

        • Kath
          Posted March 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          Just watch him, skempie – he’s up to no good – look at what happened to me when I wasn’t even looking . . .

          • skempie
            Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            Kath, I don’t get the paper until 9:00am so by the time I’ve done my stuff on the ‘puter, had a couple of cups of coffee, perhaps a snaket for breaksfast, read the paper, done the quickie (and the Herculis if its a Monday) and only THEN turned my hand to the daily cryptic, I think people would be climbing the walls waiting for me to even start the blog. Its a very nice thought, but Naaaah, I’ll keep popping in and giving an extra bit of help as and when I can and its needed.

  11. Bluebird
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    It was fun.
    I liked 9 and 14d.

  12. Salvador
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Most enjoyable for me, but as ever, there are always a couple of clues that elude me. 13a did for me, perhaps some RE required.

    Thanks all

    • gazza
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Salvador.

  13. Heno
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. A fairly straightforward puzzle, but I found a few clues quite tricky, 21a,16d,3d,13a took me longer than the rest of the puzzle. Last in was 13a, kept thinking of mortal, until the penny eventually dropped. Favourite was 21a. Was 2*/3* for me. Off for a run before the sun goes in.

  14. Kath
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was really good. 1* difficulty and probably nearly 4* for enjoyment.
    My only very minor hold up was with 25a – I managed to convince myself that it was going to be a something “wing” and anyway I’m not very sure about sickly and sallow being the same thing – someone can have sallow colouring and be as healthy as an ox.
    I wasn’t distracted by the possibility of a Nina because, as usual, it didn’t even occur to me – but I suppose I’d better make some batter.
    I liked 12 and 15a and 1 and 5d. My favourite by a very long way was 9d – brilliant.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    It’s been a beautiful morning in Oxford – I’ve done almost everything I need to do and was heading for the garden and now it’s gone all cloudy and beastly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I went the ***wing for 25a, thinking of waxwing, but waxing is not ailing. Like you, I spent way too much time on that.

    • Chris
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree about 9d, Kath. Great clue!

  15. SheilaP
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    We managed to finish without hints, hurrah, and found it very enjoyable. Thank you setter & Gazza. It was white with frost, and sparkling with sun this morning, but like Kath’s weather, it’s turned all cloudy here in Scarborough. Never mind, it’s getting lighter in the mornings & evenings so things are going in the right directions. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  16. mary
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi gazza thanks for blog luckily I always start at the bottom of the down clues so didn’t mistakenly spot the ‘Nina’ that wasn’t!
    Like Kath my favourite clue was 9d
    The sun is still shining here thank goodness http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Off to make some batter for pancakes now, ready for the butter (real stuff) sugar and lemon…mmmmm yum
    I decided last week to start baking again, so I made cheese scones out of 8 I ate 5, welshcakes – I won’t say how many I ate and bara brith (which is a kind of welsh fruitcake) not fattening apparently unless you spread butter on each slice…needless to say I ate over half of it…today it’s pancakes – thank goodness it’s then Lent, when I don’t eat cakes, seets, chocolate or buscuits http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Oh! Welshcakes … yum, yum, yum. Puhleeese send some!

      • Kath
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        They’d be stale by the time they got to you.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    • Kath
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Not quite sure where not eating the ‘seets’ or ‘buscuits’ gets you . . I get the general drift thoughhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gifI think.

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Don’t know about the ‘seets’ but the buscuits are obviously biscuits you eat on … buses!!

        • andy
          Posted March 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink


  17. Graham Wall
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant puzzle today which for me was 2.5/3.5 13A made me think but it eventually came as did the giggle when I solved 9D. Thanks for the blog. Gazza.

  18. Miffypops
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Did any body notice the new sport of Synchronised Crossword Solving as pioneered by Toni and McMillibar yesterday. The things that can happen when two Cryptics appear on ipads on the same day. Todays was a fine puzzle made more difficult by me putting Tennyson and Longfellow anywhere that they would fit. That’ll learn me.

  19. Annidrum
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed that today ,probably because I found it not too taxing for the old brain.Thanks to setter.

  20. Merusa
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Apart from 25a, see above, nothing really held me up here. I should stick with my rule of reading all the clues and writing in all the easy ones first, I would soon have realised that nothing ending “wing” would be correct. A lot of clues seemed to be old friends, e.g. 3d and 23a.
    Lots of great clues, 13a, 5d and a host of others, but I’ll go along with others by choosing 9d as a favourite. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  21. Chris
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable today, thanks setter, and Gazza (especially for the explanation of 16d).

  22. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Nothing in this one to hold us up for long. A pleasant romp.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  23. Little Dave
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gaza – all done without too much in the way of taxing. Done on the commute in. Favourite was 8a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  24. Una
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant .Would that I could solve all the cryptics similarly.Thanks setter and Gazza.Favourite was 9d.I got 13a from the definition alone.I’ll have to swot up on the cricket terms later.

    • Kath
      Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      If you could do all the cryptics easily you’d get bored and you wouldn’t progress – that’s what I tell myself every time there’s a really tricky one.
      I do sometimes wonder how the really smart people who never, or almost never, have trouble, even with Friday Toughies, keep their interest going – I’m not mentioning any names here.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      • Una
        Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure you are right.The people who never have any problems are very experienced and are possibly geniuses. One of them will have to be put in a cat scan machine with a toughie to solve at the same time, mentally only , of course, and then all will be revealed.

        • andy
          Posted March 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          Solving is one thing, (and I’m absolutely not one of your geniuses), but I certainly would not have Kaths nerve in joining the blogging fraternity :)

          • Kath
            Posted March 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            I haven’t either – you should see me the day before! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          • Kath
            Posted March 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

            PS If I didn’t have the massive amount of moral support/encouragement/hand holding from archy/pommers I would have run a mile – in fact I’d probably still be running so a bighttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifto him.

  25. Obelix
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward but enjoyable today. Glad I wasn’t the only one to spot the possibilities for 9d! Favourite clue was 12a – neatly done. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  26. Salty Dog
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I found this one pretty straightforward, but enjoyed the completion nonetheless. I would rate it as 1*/4* and nominate 8a as my favourite. My thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review and hints.

  27. Tstrummer
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Piece of cake this evening. Barely had time to finish my snifter before completion. Many thanks to Gazza and the setter for allowing me a (relatively) early night