DT 27430 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27430

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27430

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A surprisingly gentle puzzle from Ray T. 17 down is easily my favourite clue, even though similar wordplay has been previously used.

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    Trouble with hothead idiot, the French … (6)
{HASSLE} – the initial letter (head) of Hot followed by an idiot and the French definite article

5a    … expose a French wally — the conclusion’s explosive (8)
{UNCLOTHE} – the French indefinite article followed by a wally and finally (the conclusion) the abbreviation for High Explosive

9a    Hip set admitting woman’s laid up (10)
{INDISPOSED} – a two-letter word meaning hip or popular and a verb meaning set or asked around a girl’s name and the S from ‘S

10a    Fly  speck (4)
{DASH} – two definitions – a verb meaning to fly or rush and a word meaning a speck or very small amount

11a    Cold course ingredient’s flipping tripe! (8)
{CLAPTRAP} – C(old) followed by a course or circuit and the reversal (flipping) of an ingredient or element

12a    Term of Liberal and then changes around Government (6)
{LENGTH}- this term or stretch is derived from L(iberal) followed by an anagram (changes) of THEN around G(overnment)

13a    English border turned back foreign leader (4)
{EMIR} – E(nglish_ followed by the reversal (turned back) of a border

15a    Not intelligent from design, or anthropology (8)
{IGNORANT} – hidden (from) inside the clue

18a    Bank in danger, it turned out (8)
{GRADIENT} – an anagram (turned out) of DANGER IT

19a    Gander is run over (4)
{PEEK} – this gander of quick look is the reversal (over) of a verb meaning to run or administer

21a    Staff get on to command (6)
{MANAGE} – a verb meaning to provide staff followed by a verb meaning to get on in years

23a    Restrained following ‘Tea, vicar?’ (8)
{CHAPLAIN} – an adjective meaning restrained or unadorned follows a colloquial word for tea

25a    Talk quietly and breathe with difficulty (4)
{GASP} – a verb meaning to talk or gossip followed by the musical notation for quietly

26a    Seeming to be less ‘in’ somehow (10)
{OSTENSIBLE} – an anagram (somehow) of TO BE LESS IN

27a    Start of spring? (8)
{WELLHEAD} – a gently cryptic definition of the source of a spring

28a    Flat bottom in display case (6)
{DREARY} – the bottom or backside inside the outer letters (case) of DisplaY – I hope you remembered this use of case from yesterday’s “case of lawyers”


2d    Repeal brought up in jail, unnaturally (5)
{ANNUL} – hidden (in) and reversed (brought up in a down clue) inside the clue

3d    Captained ship opening with preserved fish (9)
{SKIPPERED] – the initial letter (opening) of Ship followed by how the fish I had for breakfast were preserved!

4d    Government of European politician facing anger (6)
{EMPIRE} – E(uropean) and the usual politician followed by a three-letter word meaning anger

5d    Rough seduction is path to clash (15)
{UNSOPHISTICATED} – an anagram (to clash) of SEDUCTION IS PATH

6d    Cooking fish round centre of griddle (8)
{CODDLING} – two types of fish (remembering that fish can be a mass noun) around the middle letter (centre) of griDdle

7d    Former blonde seen topless (5)
{OLDEN} – an adjective meaning blonde without its initial letter (topless)

8d    Reservation at Chinese buffet (9)
{HESITANCE} – an anagram (buffet) of AT CHINESE

14d    Wreck created involving a large jam (9)
{MARMALADE} – a three-letter verb meaning to wreck or spoil followed by a verb meaning created around the A from the clue and L(arge)

16d    Provoking hatred, pure evil’s let loose (9)
{REPULSIVE} – an anagram (let loose) of PURE EVIL’S

17d    Fabulous wife’s shut up and run off (8)
{PENELOPE} – the wife of Odysseus, who put off potential suitors by saying that she would marry only when she had finished the piece of weaving on which she was engaged, and every night unravelled the work she had done during the day comes from a charade of a verb meaning to shut up, as in to shut up sheep, followed by a verb meaning to run off, with a view to getting married!

20d    Bloody, getting sewn up (6)
{DARNED} – two definitions – a mild expletive and a verb meaning sewn up

22d    Mac endlessly concealing a shock (5)
{APPAL} – the company that manufacture the Mac without their final letter (endlessly) around (concealing) the A from the clue – the necessary capitalisation of Mac is deceptively hidden by putting it first

24d    Initially indolent dosser liking endless rest (5)
{IDLER} – the initial letters of five words in the clue – it’s always worth looking for a clue like this in a Ray T puzzle

For the next two Thursdays you should be in the safe hands of archy and mehitabel!

The Quick crossword pun: (mount} + {sate} + {hung} = {Mao Tse-tung}

51 comments on “DT 27430

  1. Got stuck in bottom left corner because I put Bedstead as the answer!! (Well I thought it was OK). Once I sorted that out I completed quite quickly. Liked 17d as that’s my name/avatar on other sites. Thanx to Complier and BD for the review. ++/++++

  2. Tough in parts but superb throughout! Where is the Queen hiding today?

    This was 3*/4* for me, the difficulty coming mainly from the SW corner, with 27a being my last one in.

    It took me a while to see through the misdirection in 5d where I felt sure that rough must be the anagram indicator, whereas it turned out to be the definition. I also went off on the wrong track with 6d having convinced myself that the answer must be fiddling = “cooking” (as in “cooking the books”) parsed by putting fling around idd i.e. the centre of “griddle”. I was very disappointed not to find “fling” in the BRB as a fish I had never heard of. :sad: When the penny dropped I took the wordplay to be a small cod round D, but I can see from BD’s hint that it could be interpreted as two fish round D.

    I needed the hints to unravel fully the parsing of 7d as the setter may have set a devious trap or else I fell into an unintended trap. The answer is an anagram of LONDE (i.e. a topless blonde) but there was no obvious anagram indicator. D’oh!

    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD.

    1. The answer to 7D is an anagram of BLONDE topless, but there is no anagram indicator as the answer is derived from GOLDEN topless.

        1. Bob, I arrived at the right answer using the wrong logic – making an anagram of Blonde without the B (i.e. topless). But as there is no anagram indicator, this worried me. BD’s hint and Skempie put me right that the correct wordplay is to make Golden (= synonym for Blonde) topless.

          My musing above was whether or not this was an intentional bit of misdirection by Ray T. On further reflection it’s not really a misdirection if it gets you to the right answer http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    2. Could ‘former’ be the anagram indicator? It seems odd, but the only one I could think of.

      1. I think all this anagram stuff is a red herring – if former was the anagram indicator what would you do for a definition?

        1. Yes, you’re probably right. I suppose a word cannot be both anagram indicator and definition. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. In her absence I think that Mary might say they were doing “double duty” except they weren’t today.
            I hope that she doesn’t mind my speaking for her. Just in case she does mind here’s a little flower in appeasement.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  3. Thanks to RayT and BD, enjoyable and straightforward crossword, just right for a Thursday. The toughie today is even easier than this so worth a try for those who are not overly keen on toughies.

      1. I didn’t even dare look yesterday as I caught side of gazza’s introduction just as I was thinking about it.
        Might have a go today.

        1. Go for it. It’s a Dada, which usually puts me right off, but I finished it faster than the RayT!

          1. Yes – tried the Toughie – did most of the top half and then (please note careful wording here as I seem to remember messing things up a long time ago) it all went a bit wrong after that. And then life overtook me . . .
            I might have another go tomorrow – I never even look at Friday Toughies and suspect that I never will.

  4. Reasonable progress until the sw corner! Could not have finished without Big Dave’s prompts, 17d being last in. 3*/3* for me.

  5. ***/** for me. No really outstanding clues but liked 11a. Northeast corner last in mainly because I failed to recognise buffet as anagram indicator in 8d. Surely b—-y in 20d is blasphemy rather than the mild expletive “synonym”? Thanks Ray T and BD – very restrained with your illustration to 5a! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  6. I got badly held up in the NE corner, but all my own fault – put the UN in at the start of 5A and when I twigged the answer put the rest in but started the remaining letters with another N – things got a tad tricky after that until extensive research (and a cup of coffee and a banging of the head against a wall) sorted it out. I was quite chuffed with myself when I finally got the anagram for 5D especially as only had 4 checking letters in at the time, like RD I assumed the anagram indicator was ROUGH. For some reason 17D held me up for a while which is rather odd as I always refer to the name as Penny-Lope, Also 27A took some time despite my having worked in the oil industry for over 20 years – I put it down to my neighbour going to work at 5 in the morning and not being too quiet about it.

    I must mention the quickie pun again – one of the best I’ve seen. I had the 2nd and 3rd words but could see no way they could form a pun until the first word popped in to my head to give a really nice D’Oh moment

  7. Thank you Ray T – a pleasure as always. SW corner last in. 22d very clever I thought. Thanks for the review and hints BD. I must admit that I went for the “codling” around “d” without spotting the 2 fish at 6d.

  8. We had to resort to the hints about half way through. Although after reading them we had no difficulty working out the answers, we would never in a month of Sundays managed to work them out for ourselves. ****/** Thank you BD & setter.

  9. I agree with 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I was a bit slow to get started and, like a few others, thought that the 5d anagram indicator was rough so was held up there.
    22d took ages to understand – I thought of a Scotsman and a raincoat but completely forgot about the thing that stares me in the face every day – stupid!
    I did spend a while hunting for the Queen.
    I liked 19 and 25a and 8 and 16d. My favourite was 5a.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.

    1. For a moment there I had a vision of you staring at a Glaswegian in a dirty raincoat while he gave you a full frontal view…

  10. Going for a ***/**** today as I found it quite difficult with quite a few blank phases and a lovely doh moment when 17d arrived from the ether ! didn’t know whether to put peep or peek for 19a as the run reversal did not seem to register, then I thought of keeping a pub-saved by alcohol again . Thanks to BD for the pics -now I know who 17d was.

  11. 3*/4* for me. Sadly I was defeated by 17d, deciding it must be some Greek name I’d never heard of. Thanks to BD for the explanation, and the setter, presumably RayT. (But how can it be RayT without the Queen?!)

  12. I found this difficult and without the hints it would have remained unfinished. I would rate 4*/3* My thanks to Big Dave who saw me through the mire.

  13. Wot no Queen!! Most enjoyable puzzle as usual from RayT. Best clues were 7 14 17 23 and 28 but 20 was best of all. A little easier than usual but still with lots of giggles.

  14. 6D Doesn’t require 2 fish (Cod and Ling) – Codling is a young cod all by itself.

  15. I wouldn’t call this a walk in the park! It was enjoyable, though, but some defeated me. First off, I put bedstead in 27a which royally screwed me up for 22d and I didn’t get for ages. I missed 8d completely, didn’t see the anagram for ages. I never did get 19a, wanting to put in peep, obviously wrong.

    Favourite is 28a. Thanks to RayT, and to BD for review and providing answer for 19a.

  16. Well, I thought I wasn’t on the right wavelength at all when i started this morning — put less than half in, but when I came back this afternoon words started popping into place. However, I needed far too much help for the puzzle really to be much fun. Spent ages trying to make an anagram of ‘a large jam’ at 14d and needed the hint to solve 27a which was last in. Interesting to see 18a again. My favourite was 17d, and she is perhaps our Queen for the Day. Thanks to Ray T for the challenge, and to BD as always.

  17. No flag flying above the palace today but everything else is in order, including the word count for the clues. We also noted what we thought was a lack of anagram indicator for 7d but now see what we should have seen at the time, and feel guilty for even thinking that Ray would be so remiss. Really good fun as usual.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  18. Lots of good clues, including 17d,and 23a and 28a. I thought it was more of a *** though.Thanks Ray T and BD for the hints for 10 and 25a where I had dust and rasp respectively.

  19. Evening all. My thanks to BD for the analysis, and to everybody who left a comment. All very much appreciated.


  20. Needed the hint for 17d, had the run off but not the shut up, was convinced time ant fabulous with a w in it

  21. Another smart offering from Ray T. providing a steady but slow solve. I did not get 14d at all even after giving up on the obvious anagram. Her Majesty appears in the first four letters of 14d as we are requested to call her Ma’am whenever we meet. Other than that the last one in was 17d where the “Fabulous” in the clue led me to a Lady who’s number plate read FAB 1. I don’t care how I get there as long as I get there.

  22. I would go for 2*/4*, and found this quite a bit easier than today’s Toughie (which many others thought a 2* puzzle). My only slight problem was 19a, which eventually came to me in the well-known “doh!” moment. 17d was my favourite. My thanks to Ray T, and to BD for review and hints.

  23. Quiet here today – where’s Mary? No paper work, again. She obviously needs a proper talking to, and will get one when she reappears. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
    And what about Poppy – haven’t heard from her in days. She clearly hasn’t learnt the ‘rules’ yet. Again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Was beaten by 20d&28a,wouldn’t have got them in a million years. Good puzzle, but where was the Queen? Most enjoyable, was 3*/3* for me. Favourite was 1a.

  25. Started quickly, then slowed down and finally ground to a halt, stumped by 17d, despite having all the checking letters. Thanks to BD for putting me out of my misery and to RayT for putting me in it

  26. A very enjoyable puzzle which did take me a long time, but then RayT puzzles always do. I did need a little help for which thanks BD and to RayT for a fine puzzle. However I would give it 3* if only for’Penelope’ alone

  27. RayT puzzles are among my faves.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and completed it without hints. I needed the explanation for the ‘he’ in 5a, and, as mentioned earlier, I used the wrong logic to solve 7d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif Otherwise, I managed to parse correctly, and, for once, didn’t miss the double definitions!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

    Fave clue was 17d, followed by 11a, 23a, 14d and 20d.

    Many thanks to RayT for a delightful puzzle. And many thanks to Big Dave for this super review. (By the way, BD, did you follow the fishy part of 3d with some 14d?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif)

  28. Brill puzzle which was much enjoyed over lunch in the sun today (OK a day late) with friends. Got one wrong though which hasn’t happened for a long time but we had DAMNED for 20d. Well, it works but not as well as the real answer http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    **/**** from me but I guess it should be ***** difficulty as I got one wrong – still think my answer works though :grin:

    Thanks to RayT and BD

  29. Bah! I found this hard and was defeated for the first time in quite a while. 17d was the one that got me. I even left it a day in case inspiration came but had to resort to the hint in the end. Unfortunately I had got it into my head that run off was gone so was looking for a 4 letter word meaning shut up. Thanks to Ray T for the challenge and BD for the hint. 4*/3* for me this one.

Comments are closed.