DT 27429 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27429

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27429

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The northeast corner took a bit of time to crack, so I’d rate this slightly more than 2* for difficulty and 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    A quiet middle of the week gives time for reflection and penitence (3,9)

{ASH WEDNESDAY} : A + [an exclamation to request quiet] + [middle of the 5-day working week].

Defn: … for Christians, at start of Lent.

9a    Restaurant‘s celebration in song after start of Christmas (9)

{CAFETERIA} : { [a celebration, especially one held outdoors] contained in(in) [an operatic song] } placed after(after) 1st letter of(start of) “Christmas”.

Defn: … with self-service.

10a    Developed a symbol of England (5)

{AROSE} : A + [a national symbol of England].

She has the same name, and is a symbol in her own way:

11a    Man of God confined to actual room in church (6)

{VESTRY} : [abbrev. for a man of God;a canonised person] contained in(confined to) [actual;real].

Defn: … where eg. vestments and sacred objects are stored. Amusing surface, since the room could also be used for Sunday school.

12a    Concede, about to pass on slope (8)

{GRADIENT} : [to concede;to allow] containing(about) [to pass on from life].

13a    Run out of gear in a flash (6)

{STREAK} : Double defn: 1st: …, starkers; and 2nd: … as of lightning, say.

No necessity for a pedestrian crossing – traffic will stop for you:


15a    A banner‘s principal business? (8)

{HEADLINE} : [the principal;the top] + [one’s business;occupation].

Defn: …. running across the top of a newspaper page, especially Page 1.

18a    Surgeons’ initially positive response about call for medical instruments (8)

{SYRINGES} : 1st letter of(…’ initially) “surgeons” + [the short positive response] containing(about) [to call on the telephone].

Used medically, and more:


19a    Easy to follow – a set down! (6)

{ALIGHT} : [easy;requiring only little exertion or effort] placed after(to follow, in an across clue) A.

21a    Moved by a feminine defect after work (8)

{AFFECTED} : A + [abbrev. for a female] + anagram of(after work) DEFECT. They’re all perfect, aren’t they?

23a    Bug spies recruiting morally reprehensible person (6)

{CICADA} : [abbrev. for the US Government organisation of spies] containing(recruiting) [a morally reprehensible person;a bounder].

26a    Newspaper article that is written in politically correct English (5)

{PIECE} : [abbrev. for the Latin for “that is”] contained in(written in) { [abbrev. for “politically correct”] + [abbrev. for “English”] }.

27a    Shape approach following ruined broadcast (9)

{RECTANGLE} : [an approach;a way of looking at things] placed after(following, in an across clue) homophone of(… broadcast) [ruined, as some relationships, or ships for that matter, can be].

28a    Wine globally distributed for recreation areas (7,5)

{BOWLING ALLEY} : Anagram of(distributed) WINE GLOBALLY.

Answer: Could it be considered a plural noun?


1d    A case of lawyers accepting endless desire for recesses (7)

{ALCOVES} : A + 1st and last letters of(case of) “lawyers” containing(accepting) [desire – to rephrase: “Thou shalt not desire your neighbour’s wife … or his ass …”] minus its last letter(endless). And if your neighbour was feminine like her?:

There was a young girl from Madras

Who had a most beautiful ass

Not rounded and pink

As you probably think

But grey, with long ears, and ate grass.

2d    Removes from board and sulks (5)

{HUFFS} : Double defn: 1st: … in the game of draughts, to remove an opponent’s piece from the board as a penalty.

3d    Create a diversion? (9)

{ENTERTAIN} : Cryptic defn: To provide an amusement. The cryptic nature of the clue comes from the fact that the phrase commonly means something else, associated with duping someone.

4d    Trainspotter getting into designer drugs? (4)

{NERD} : Hidden in(getting into) “designer drugs”.

Defn: Like anorak, another disparaging term for a trainspotting enthusiast.

5d    What type of leather has changed colour? (8)

{SHAGREEN} : Anagram of(… changed) HAS + [one of the three primary colours, for humans normally].

Defn: …, that is rough and grainy.

6d    Adult attraction turning up for prize (5)

{AWARD} : [abbrev. for “adult”] + reversal of(turning up, in a down clue) [an attraction;a crowd puller, say].

7d    Showing great fear, with time for cold looming (8)

{TOWERING} : [showing great fear;shrinking away from or adopting a crouching position] with [abbrev. for “time”] replacing [abbrev. for “cold”]( with … for …).

The answer fits her to a T:

8d    ‘Pence’ is the French for ‘Pound’! (6)

{PESTLE} : [abbrev. for “pence”, the UK monetary unit] + [French for “is the”].

Defn: To pound a substance in a mortar using a club-shaped tool.

14d    Originally ferried across area to get exclusive (8)

{RAREFIED} : Anagram of(Originally) FERRIED containing(across) [abbrev. for “area”].

Defn: … to a select few.

16d    Son’s up with motorists carrying new mail for religious leader (5,4)

{DALAI LAMA} : Reversal of(…’s up, in a down clue) [son;a young boy] plus(with) [abbrev. for a club of motorists] containing(carrying) anagram of(new) MAIL.

17d    Intellectual‘s brother tucked into dish served at breakfast (8)

{CEREBRAL} : [abbrev. for “brother”] contained in(tucked into) [a dish served at breakfast, with milk and sugar perhaps].

Defn: As an adjective.

18d    Smart son has something for baby to wear (6)

{SNAPPY} : [abbrev. for “son”] plus(has) [what a baby wears that gets messily wet].

Defn: … and fashionable, with regard to dressing, say.

20d    Hear about old one of Shakespeare’s? (7)

{TRAGEDY} : [to hear in a court of law] containing(about) [old;having existed long].

Defn: … plays, or genre of plays.

22d    Company embracing communist belief system (5)

{CREDO} : [abbrev. for a commercial company] containing(embracing) [the colour associated with communism].

24d    Criminal, e.g., naturally restricting rise of a good person (5)

{ANGEL} : Hidden in(restricting) reversal of(rise of, in a down clue) “criminal, e.g., naturally”.

This one was Michael, whilst they were Charlie’s:


25d    Look at South American prison (4)

{SCAN} : [abbrev. for “south”] + [American slang for “prison”].

The Quick crossword pun: (sank} + {cherry} = {sanctuary}

54 comments on “DT 27429

  1. The most enjoyable puzzle of the week so far for me. Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.

  2. Agree with the **/***, most entertaining ,thanks to Scchua for the entertaining pics-thought Miss Roe might feature in 13a,seems a long time ago when she started the craze-maybe a rerun this weekend ! was’nt sure if the answer for 7d started with a c or a t, opted for a t, assume it was,Gypsy in 10a pic,loved Miss Wood in the film.

  3. Thank you Jay, enjoyable puzzle, some new words for me. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints. I needed your explanations for 20d and 27a. Restrained on the photo front I see !

  4. Found this hard going but on completion just couldn’t understand why I found it so hard. Best clue for me is 8d. +++/++++
    Thanx to Compiler and to Scchua for the review

  5. Terrific – after a slow start turned out to be just my cup of tea with exactly the right combination of humour and more serious stuff. Big thanks Jay. Several candidates for fav but will settle on 5d (even tho’ it’s new word for me) with 8d the runner-up. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. As already said the best puzzle of the week so far which ttok two rounds to finish. After slowing right down at the end of round one round two was over in seconds once I googled the obvious answer to 5d. Lovely clues all over the place with great surface reads. Roll on tomorrow which hopefully will be a Ray T. hangover solves are always best.

  7. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Agree with everyone so far, best puzzle of the week. A new word for me in 5d, but managed to get it from the wordplay. Favourites were 8d & 27a. Great entertainment, was 2*/4* for me. Great day in Central London, blue sky and getting warmer. Off to the Toughie, good luck for England tonight.

  8. Morning Scchua and thanks for blog, finished without today though not all were ‘write in’ answers, a two to three star for me with my favourite clue being 8d, weather very dry and springlike at moment lets hope it continues!! Off to art class now back later http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  9. Enjoyable fun today from Jay with no big problems although 18A did take me some time for reasons that I can’t quite fathom. Nice to see 2D making an appearance and just for that its has to be my favourite today.

    Second fine day in a row today and 2nd day I’ve managed to get the washing on – this afternoon is designated Ironing Afternoon (sitting down of course) while watching England contriving to lose to the Windies again.

  10. Surely the colour in 5d is a secondary, not a primary, being a mixture of two primaries?

    The primaries are red, yellow and blue…..

    An enjoyable crossword, but the NE corner did for me for a while

          1. Personally , I don’t think the colour needed to be qualified by “primary” to solve the clue. I hope you don’t mind me asking , but what area of science is she in ?

            1. I don’t mind you asking at all – we are very proud of her. She is a Doctor of Analytical Chemistry – she was a lecturer at Birmingham University and ran a Ph.D group for four years. She moved last year to the National Physical Laboratory where she is a Senior Research Scientist. She’s a little star!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

              1. Golly ! Very impressive ! Both of mine refuse to do a masters ,so far.
                By the way , best of luck tomorrow if you are “on”.

                1. Thanks but not “on” tomorrow – at least not unless I’ve completely screwed up on dates. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifI don’t think I have.

                  1. All my fault Kath. Sorry! (But not very) and I think a certain pommers had a lot to do with it.

      1. But surely all colours stem from the primary, viz magenta, cyan and yellow …

  11. Re 19a – I just thought that a torch or lamp was ‘easy to follow’.
    Apart, very enjoyable, many thanks to Jay and to scchua for the saucily illustrated review.

  12. A lovely crossword and, for the third day in a row, I didn’t have any major trouble. 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I took a while to work out why 12a was what it was – don’t know why – and spent too long trying, and failing, to justify scalpels for 18a.
    Last two in were 23a and 20d. I’ve never heard of the 5d leather.
    I liked 26 and 27a and 8 and 18d. My favourite was 2d.
    Thanks to Jay and scchua.
    The clue in the paper for 28a is area not areas.
    Lovely sunny day – really feels like Spring – off to the garden.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  13. Well I’m going to buck the trend here, because I thought this was hard & not my cup of tea at all. We eventually finished it with help from Scchua. Thank you to him & to the setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. I hate it when I’ve found a crossword really tricky and everyone else thinks it’s dead simple – we’re all different which is probably just as well or it wouldn’t be half as much fun as it is around here.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. I don’t really mind finding the cryptics difficult. They’re all difficult for us, just some more than others. Mondays, Tuesdays & the weekends seem to be on our wavelengths a bit & we always finish them with varying amounts of assistance. Love reading all the comments so thank you one & all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. I know what Kath means and sympathise — it happens to me all too often. However I did enjoy today’s despite being stuck for a while in the NE corner. My last word in was 12a and I needed the hints to find out why. It also took me a long time to find 5d. There were lots of good clues, just enough of a challenge for the most part, and the ones I liked best were 13a and 8d. So, many thanks to Jay for the fun and to Scchua for the hints. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  15. SheilaP, I also found this tricky, needing scchua’s hints for a few. It was pretty much a write in for the top half but I got stuck in the SE corner. Favourite is 8d with honourable mention going to 16d. Thanks to setter and to scchua for his review.

    I guess Brian really has done a bunk. Maybe he’s beach combing in Barbados.

    1. I suspect that Brian will not be back. His comments were becoming very negative indeed and (IMHO) extremely tiresome. BD had to remove a number of his posts after he was publicly warned that they would no longer be tolerated and I guess he got the hump. Sorry, but I do not miss him at all.

      1. Come Back! Brian …

        … An honest opinion is always welcome … whether it be positive or negative.

        1. It wasn’t an “honest opinion” that was redacted, it was a relentless attack on one of the daily setters – every time he appeared and, in the case of the redacted comments, on a post for a puzzle by a different setter.

              1. My apologies. I didn’t mean to open a can of worms, it just goes to show that I should review what I write before posting it.

  16. The top half went by with little trouble but the lower half for some reason took ages. Scraped though without needing any hints, but I enjoyed them anyway. Thanks to Scchua and the setter.
    I’m never too sure on how to assess the star ratings for difficulty – whether it’s how difficult I unaccountably have made it or how difficult it should have been had I been less dim for so long. So 3*/2* in this case, with 4* enjoyment and 18a last in and favourite.

  17. 5d confused me as others, because I know it’ snot a primary colour in the usual run of things. I can’ together 27a
    Thanks to both

  18. Another very good crossword , although I did accept a hint for the south east corner.Thanks Jay and scchua.I thought 8d was brilliant and I liked 26a a lot, as well, amoungst many others.

  19. I’m still something of a newcomer to cryptics, but the thing which irritates me is when the answer to the clue is, to me, ludicrously convoluted.

    For example, 1d. I had Ash Wednesday and had plucked out of thin air Cafeteria, so had A_C_ _ _ _ and would have got alcoves if the clue was simply “recesses”, but the rest of the clue sent me completely the wrong way.

    Obviously that’s part of the fun, but I honestly don’t think it’s a good clue.

    See below for a reminder.

    A + 1st and last letters of( case of ) “lawyers” containing ( accepting ) [desire – to rephrase: “Thou shalt not desire your neighbour’s wife … or his ass …”] minus its last letter ( endless ). And if your neighbour was feminine like her?:

    1. In an interview with a setter (I can’t remember which one) in the Guardian recently,the setter said he thought good clues were ones which mislead the solver nicely, whilst supplying the answer.

    2. I remember well the days before the internet struggling through cryptics and feeling good to get over halfway Phil. Also struggling to fit the answer to the clue the following day. Now with years of experience it all seems so easy but still good fun. I did like the clue although it fell straight into place from the wordplay in a “seen it before” sort of way. Recesses confirmed it. I think it helps to do the quickie as well. They are usually by the same setter so should give an insight into their mindset. Keep at it and have fun

    3. Hi Phil.

      The thing is, if clue had been no more than ‘recesses’ then it would have belonged in the quick crossword. What’s cryptic about knowing the meaning of a word? I’m rubbish at the quick crossword because you can know several possible solutions with the same number of letters so you don’t know the answer is right until you’ve filled in the surrounding grid. It just seems tedious.

      The joy of the cryptic crossword is working out the wordplay. And when you’ve figured it out you just know the answer is correct. Because it couldn’t be anything else. It’s never satisfying to get the right answer without knowing why. You say you plucked ‘cafeteria’ out of thin air. So did I. But I couldn’t move on until I worked out why it was right.

      Hang on in there. It’s all about the figuring out.

      1. Yeah, to me there’s wordplay and then there’s “A + 1st and last letters of( case of ) “lawyers” containing ( accepting ) [desire – to rephrase: “Thou shalt not desire your neighbour’s wife … or his ass …”] minus its last letter ( endless ).”


        The 1st and last letters of lawyers = case of + – x3 times the number you first thought of is just not my cup of tea unfortunately.

        I did like 22 down just to balance things out!

        1. I don’t know how much of a newcomer to cryptics you are and I would hate to sound patronising but stick with this blog and you’ll learn a lot. Everyone is friendly and helpful – just ask if you don’t understand and someone will come running to the rescue very quickly.
          Good luck and keep going.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  20. A late one for me today as I was out early this morning and unable to start the crossword until after dinner. I agree with 2*/3*. 5d was a new word for me and my last one in.

    Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and to Scchua for his review. Very nice week so far.

  21. I agree with schuua’s 2*/3* rating. As we approach this Twickenham weekend, my favourite clue really has to be 13a, if only because it triggered memories of the statuesque Miss Erica Roe! For that, in particular, thank you Jay. Now, back to that impenetrable toughie…

  22. A late solve for me after a couple of days enforced lay off due to a scare with some chest pain on Monday. Fortunately turned out to be an infection rather than a dicky ticker but had me worried for a bit. Like Rabbit Dave, 5d was last one in and a new word for me but pretty clear from the rest of the clue it had to be that. Thanks setter and Scchua for the entertaining blog. 3*/3*

  23. Breezed through this until left only with 5d, which took much pencil sucking as it was a new word for me. Got there in the end. Thanks to Scchua for the well-illustrated hints. My old mate Spud’s dad laid claim to be the first streaker. It’s him being cunningly concealed by a policeman’s helmet in Harry Evans’s book ‘Pictures on a Page’ (reissued in paperback as ‘Eyewitness’, with that pic on the cover. It appeared in countless newspapers at the time.

  24. Finished this off this morning after struggling with the camera club accounts yesterday. (And I used to work in a bank!). Agree with all the comments above. Did not understand the discussion over 5d. The answer clearly indicates a random colour after an anagram of has. No problem. As for degree of difficulty measurement, its simple, just note how long the whole crossword takes. After 5 years I am just getting up to speed. With thanks to the setters an this great blog.

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