DT 27434

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27434

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We have a fairly benign puzzle from Mr Ron today. Do let us know how you got on.

If you are still struggling for an answer after reading the hint it’s hidden between the brackets under the clue. Just highlight the gap to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  Tool, rasp initially wrapped in cloth (6)
{TROWEL} – insert the initial letter of R(asp) into a piece of absorbent cloth.

5a  Confront eccentric king, perhaps (4,4)
{FACE CARD} – the perhaps indicates that king is a definition by example – the setter might have used queen or jack instead. A verb to confront or meet head-on is followed by an eccentric or amusing person. Here’s an interesting mind-reading experiment using these.

9a  Fetching article, number costing much less than it should (5,3,1,4)
{GOING FOR A SONG} – string together a phrase (5,3) meaning fetching or collecting, an indefinite article and a musical number.

10a  Find a way around spin and pace (8)
{SIDESTEP} – a charade of a word for spin imparted to the cue ball in snooker or billiards and a pace.

11a  Continue to imagine parking’s not available (6)
{RESUME} – start with a verb to imagine or suppose and take off the initial P(arking).

12a  Not as busy in class? (6)
{LESSON} – if you have this (4,2) then you’re not as busy.

14a  Ignore  reduction (8)
{DISCOUNT} – two meanings – a verb to ignore or take with a pinch of salt and a reduction in price.

16a  On a trip, identify most memorable moment (4,4)
{HIGH SPOT} – a charade of an informal adjective meaning on a trip or euphoric (quite possibly from the effects of banned substances) and a verb to identify or notice.

19a  Being out-of-date, this should not be worn at Ladies’ Day! (3-3)
{OLD-HAT} – double definition, the second (with space in place of hyphen) what a stylish lady at Royal Ascot wouldn’t be seen dead in.

21a  Head croupier’s left to trade with diamonds (6)
{LEADER} – start with a croupier (one operating at a card table, not roulette) and swap (trade) the L(eft) and the D(iamonds).

23a  Start to suggest leaving out sinister controller (8)
{SVENGALI} – the starting letter of S(uggest) is followed by an anagram (out) of LEAVING to make someone who has a sinister influence on another person (based on the name of the evil hypnotist in George du Maurier’s novel Trilby).

25a  I know  I want you to advise me on computers and stuff (4,2,5,2)
{TELL ME ABOUT IT} – the first definition is an informal way of saying I’m already fully aware of what you’re saying; the second relies on both letters of the last word being in upper-case.

26a  Husband, even more generous (8)
{HANDSOME} – this is how you might describe something generous (a tip, for example). H(usband) and an informal phrase (3,4) meaning even more.

27a  Leave extremely disreputable character (6)
{DEPART} – the outer (extreme) letters of disreputable are followed by a character or role in a play or film.

Down Clues

2d  I’m great playing this style of piano music (7)
{RAGTIME} – an anagram (playing) of I’M GREAT.

3d  Complaining cry from first of holidaymakers entering Bordeaux? (5)
{WHINE} – insert the first letter of H(olidaymakers) into what Bordeaux is one example of (indicated by the question mark).

4d  To calm down, use lift at college (7,2)
{LIGHTEN UP} – I presume that lift here means to buoy up or lift the mood. The second word is an adverb meaning at college or university (it’s in BD’s Usual Suspects if you don’t know it – click on the Crosswords tab above).

5d  Highwayman may make one pay for protection (7)
{FOOTPAD} – a charade of an informal verb to pay (normally followed by ‘the bill’) and a piece of soft material used to protect or cushion.

6d  Seat I must sit in daily (5)
{CHAIR} – insert I in a daily cleaner.

7d  Brief conversation in support of bridge puzzle (9)
{CROSSWORD} – a brief conversation (‘May I have a ****?’) follows (in support of, in a down clue) a verb to bridge.

8d  Large number, nearly all in administration (7)
{REGIMEN} – all except the final T of a word for a large number of people or things.

13d  He’d put in cryptic clues and grid, finally programmed (9)
{SCHEDULED} – insert HE’D in an anagram (cryptic) of CLUES and add the final letter of (gri)D.

15d  Unpalatable character interrupting lecture? (5,4)
{STONE COLD} – a word for character or quality goes inside (interrupting) a verb to lecture or berate. This is only unpalatable for items which are meant to be served hot.

17d  Disinclination to act shown by one with damaged retina (7)
{INERTIA} – the Roman numeral for one followed by an anagram (damaged) of RETINA.

18d  Left over in seaport abroad (2,5)
{TO SPARE} – an anagram (abroad) of SEAPORT.

20d  Made up of famous people, the whole side originally on pitch (3-4)
{ALL-STAR} – string together a word meaning the whole or everything, the first (original) letter of S(ide) and pitch (thick black liquid).

22d  Lover of chrome, oddly (5)
{ROMEO} – hidden (of) in the clue.

24d  Rise and dress (3-2)
{GET-UP} – with the hyphen this is a dress or outfit; with a space rather than hyphen it’s a phrasal verb to rise.

The clues that I favoured today were 25a and 26a. Which ones took your fancy?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SACKS} + {SUNNY} = {SAXONY}

37 Comments

  1. Wayne
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    All pretty straight forward today, couldn’t quite parse 5a but obvious from checking letters. No outstanding clues for me today but would nominate 21a as best at a push. */**
    Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza for the review.

  2. Franny
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I found this quite tough today, but managed to finish it with a good deal of help. Had a problem with 21a, which is a kind of clue I hate, and didn’t like 5d at all. My favourite was 25a which amused me very much. Many thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

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

    Was going for a */*** until I took absolutely ages to solve 15d,even with all the letters in , so a **/*** it has to be, and I did find it entertaining, thought 23a must be to do with Thomas The Tank till the I remembered the hypnotist! Thanks Gazza for the pics -especially 19a-was she first past the post?

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

    I thought I was heading for another 2*/3* today but hold ups with 5d & 15d, my last two in, pushed the time up to 2.5* for difficulty. Nevertheless this was the fourth very enjoyable and entertaining puzzle in a row. A very nice week so far! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    My favourite was 25a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

  5. skempie
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    No big problems today although parsing 15D ave me a bit of a headache. I was also held up for a while on 8D as I wanted to put an AL in there somewhere – the checking letters put paid to that idea though. Other than that, almost a write-in with no clear favourites I’m afraid.

    I thought it was supposed to be almost summer-like this week, its been bloody freezing today (and yesterday) although no rain for a change.

  6. Clarky
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    **/*** today for me as any puzzle completed without the hints always gets a *** from me.
    Struggled with 15d and 5a having ‘down’ for the second part initially.
    Lovely sunny day here today so all is good in my world.

  7. Bluebird
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I would have to admire those who thought this was a * or a write in

    Because I was left with 15d, despite all the intermediate letters, which could have made a few phrases and needing a bit of help with three more, I would put it at 2.5.

    Liked 25a and 26a.

    Off to paint windows ……. Oh, what larks!

    • Kath
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Good luck with the painting – I hate painting windows (and ceilings).

  8. Kath
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was brilliant but, so far anyway, I seem to be out on a limb – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I thought I was going to have a battle to begin with but then everything pretty much fell into place.
    My last one in was 23a – missed the anagram indicator and it looked like an unlikely jumble of letters but got there eventually – I think his picture will give me nightmares.
    I also had a spot of bother with 15d and I didn’t know the 5d word for a highwayman.
    I liked lots of these – just a few of them are 12a and 2 and 15d. I think my favourite is 25a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    Grey and chilly again – who’s hogging all the sun?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • pommers
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Hogging the sun? As though I’d even think about it :lol: You’ll probably get it back tomorrow as it’s due to rain here http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • SheilaP
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      We’ve actually got some sun here in Scarborough today, so perhaps you’ll get some soon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Una
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I am. Bright blue skies all day !

  9. Angel
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    OK but not over-exciting offering from Mr. Ron today. ***/** for me. Needed hint to unravel 21a and not too happy with 15d and 5a so confirmation appreciated – thanks Gazza. I go along with your favoured clues. No sign of the sun in West Sussex! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  10. Sweet William
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. Started off well, particularly liked 25a then found it increasingly hard going. So I am out on my own today and really struggled. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. I needed your explanations on a couple of answers.

  11. boltonbabs
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    The sun has migrated to Bolton. Not words that often pass my lips! As to the crossword, I thought it was a good workout but we finished in * time. Very enjoyable.

  12. BigBoab
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for an enjoyable crossword and an amusing review. Toughie today is not much more difficult than this.

  13. SheilaP
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Well we’ve finished it after quite a bit of cogitating. We seemed to get quite a few answers without knowing why, so had to look at the hints just to check. So, thank you to the setter & especially to Gazza for his help. I think this was tricky but enjoyable so it’s a ***/**** for me.

  14. Chris T Heswall
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Lovely and sunny here – husband already cut the grass and set up the compost bin whilst I enjoyed completing this crossword without needing hints or electronic help – hoorah! I will get my comeuppance with the Toughie though….

    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  15. Poppy
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Like quite a few others, I struggled with 15d. But really enjoyed doing it, as I’m now enjoying the freedom of being away from hospital!! Huge welcome back from Poppy, but I can’t seem to train her to say “sausages” no matter how many treats I offer her. Do hope everyone who has a four-legged companion (or two, or three, or more) is enjoying the chance to stay dry. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for a few clarifications. And looking forward to seeing the piggies, Miffypops – you’ve promised!

    • Merusa
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back home. Hospital has to be one of the worst places to be. Good wishes and keep well!

      • Poppy
        Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Thanks so much Merusa – that’s definitely the planhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      Love ya babe. They will be there at 1ac no matter what

  16. Heno
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this one, but found some of the phrases a bit difficult. Managed without the hints, favourite was 21a.Turned cold again in Central London. Was 2*/3* for me. Very sad news about Bob Crowe.

  17. pommers
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    A couple or three nice one’s in here but otherwise I agree with Gazza, fairly benign.

    25a was favourite in a **/*** puzzle for me. 15d was last in because, even when I’d twigged what the lecture was going to be I put the SC at the start and the rest at the end – no wonder I couldn’t think what the characte rwas for ages, until the penny clanged :oops:

    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  18. Catnap
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I rather enjoyed this. Fave clue was 26a, but I also much liked 23a, 5d and 15d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

    Having completed the puzzle without hints, I was keen to check the parsing. I keep missing double definitions! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifThis time it was the second parts of 19a and 25a respectively. I had the answer to 8d, but couldn’t think what the complete word was! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    Many thanks to the setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    And many thanks to Gaza for a lovely clear and entertaining review. (I tested the card trick and enjoyed the Scott Joplin.)http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  19. Tstrummer
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    1* 3* today. No real problems. Favourite clue was 5a, my last one in. Enjoying the rare luxury of a day off in the week and so able to do the puzzle in daylight for once. Sun’s come out in London. Hurrah

  20. Merusa
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite blah and not that easy. I like to have a giggle now and then but none of these particularly tickled my fancy.

    For anyone who tries Gazza’s card trick, note that none of the first set of cards appears in the second set, so don’t be fooled. I know, I am a spoilsport, but that thing has been the rounds so many times.

    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza for the enlightenment of some clues.

  21. Una
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I liked this one because I agree with Gazza , benign with only 5a holding me up . I almost put in face down but that didn’t fit with an eccentric king.I particularly liked 9a , 25a and 12a.Thanks Gazza and setter.

  22. KiwiColin
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Flying solo for a couple of days this week so hard to judge relative difficulty. Nothing that caused major delays and 15d was the last in. 5a went straight in as I was doing the puzzle when I had just come home from an afternoon of Bridge. A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  23. Chris
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I hit the buffers when deciding the second word of the unpalatable 15d had to be ‘food’. Then made it even worse by insisting on a 18d seaport with a two-letter word starting with T. This made 23a impossible.
    Not one of my better days! It was 3*/2* today, but there’s always tomorrow . . .
    Thanks to setter, and Gazza whose help revealed all.

  24. Una
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Anyone needing another crossword should have a go at the FT’s Phssthpok.

    • andy
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Una, Orlando in the Guarniad deserves a mention as well.

  25. Owdoo
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Nice and straighforward today, although like many of you I wasn’t too keen on 15d. 2*/3* for me today, polished off on the train to work, leaving me with a spare lunch break and sufficiently confident to have a go at the toughie. Normally this is a bad idea for me, as it bites back, but today was surprisingly successful.

  26. Salty Dog
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    A bit more than 2* for me, but quite fun. I particularly liked 23a. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza for the review.

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

    Three quarters done as write ins then a complete blank until after breakfast after which it all fell into place rather too easily. The half hour blank reading and re reading endlessly both amused and confounded equally. I did not understand 25ac until I read the hint but the answer was easily acheived from the checkers. Thank you to the setter and thank you Gazza. It aint easy illustrating. Is it? Well done with The Sting. Well done giving us all nightmares with Svengali.

  28. Enjoys a brain workout
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    First ever post after many many months in fact years of infrequent solving – with varieties of success – first as a teenager sat with my aunt and latterly much older going it alone … Struggled today. No apparent reason.

    • gazza
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Enjoys a brain workout.