DT 27440 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27440

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27440

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I thought that this was all pretty mechanical today with not a lot of laughs. Do let us know how you got on.

If you need to check one of your answers you can do so by highlighting the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Finch is back by hide (6)
{SISKIN} – reverse (back) IS and add a hide or pelt.

4a  Reinforce argument at university (4,2)
{BEEF UP} – an informal argument is followed by an adverb meaning at university.

8a  Head of lyceum getting paid for knowledge (8)
{LEARNING} – the first (head) letter of L(yceum) precedes a word meaning in paid employment.

10a  Couple carry on producing a type of wool (3-3)
{TWO-PLY} – the number of people in a couple and a verb to carry on or pursue (a trade, for example).

11a  Fruit, round almost (4)
{PLUM} – an adjective meaning round or tubby without the final P (almost).

12a  Hour in steam room relaxed former Lord Chancellor (6,4)
{THOMAS MORE} – this “man for all seasons” who lost his head after becoming Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor is an anagram (relaxed) of STEAM ROOM with H(our) inserted.

13a  Exposed cult joined by rank and file in government industries (6,6)
{PUBLIC SECTOR} – string together an adjective meaning exposed or widely known, a cult or religious group and the abbreviation for rank and file soldiers.

16a  MPs settle in seconds (12)
{BACKBENCHERS} – insert a settle (a piece of furniture) into seconds or supporters.

20a  A lot to say, possibly, after end of meal and show of patriotism (5,5)
{LOYAL TOAST} – an anagram (possibly) of A LOT TO SAY follows the final letter of (mea)L.

21a  Pace  stage (4)
{STEP} – two definitions, the second a stage or phase.

22a  One feeding Norwegian painter in German city (6)
{MUNICH} – insert I (one in Roman numerals) into the name of Norway’s most famous painter. Since we’ve seen a lot of ‘The Scream’ recently here’s another of his paintings, a selfie.

23a  Lazy type, unfeeling, on strike repeatedly (8)
{DEADBEAT} – a charade of an adjective meaning unfeeling or numb and a verb to strike repeatedly. In an across clue ‘on’ should really mean after rather than before.

24a  Occupier of tepee penning article (6)
{TENANT} – what a tepee is contains (penning) an indefinite article.

25a  Bad result hurt (6)
{OFFEND} – an adjective meaning bad or rotten is followed a desired result or goal.

Down Clues

1d  Make plain, using charm abroad (5,3)
{SPELL OUT} – a charm or bit of sorcery followed by an adverb meaning away from home.

2d  Runs into dregs, disorderly crowd (5)
{SCRUM} – insert the cricket abbreviation for runs into another word for the dregs of society or despicable people.

3d  Being stupid, I initially doubted short Greek character in charge (7)
{IDIOTIC} – string together I (from the clue), the initial letter of D(oubted), a Greek letter without its final A (short) and the abbreviation for in charge.

5d  Remove from other court (7)
{EXTRACT} – an adjective meaning other or additional followed by the abbreviation for court.

6d  Force to move from vault, gallons having been imbibed (9)
{FROGMARCH} – string together FROM (in the clue) and a vault or dome then insert (imbibed) the abbreviation for gallons.

7d  Miserable attempt to support friend (6)
{PALTRY} – an attempt follows (to support, in a down clue) a friend or mate.

9d  Fall in and get carried away? (2,9)
{GO OVERBOARD} – double definition, the second an idiomatic phrase meaning to behave in an immoderate way.

14d  Bookkeeper‘s sign — managed to get hold of one (9)
{LIBRARIAN} – start with one of twelve signs and add a verb meaning managed or administered containing I (one).

15d  Without payment, worker shows ability to make own decisions (4,4)
{FREE HAND} – an adjective indicating that no payment is required followed by a manual worker.

17d  Become popular draw, performing (5,2)
{CATCH ON} – a verb to draw (someone’s imagination, for example) followed by an adverb meaning performing (in the theatre, say).

18d  In the minority? Very much so! (3,4)
{NOT HALF} – double definition, the second an informal response expressing enthusiastic agreement.

19d  Mould across vehicle, sturdily built (6)
{ROBUST} – a verb meaning to become mouldy contains (across) a passenger vehicle.

21d  Fur is small fit (5)
{SABLE} – S(mall) followed by an adjective meaning fit or competent.

If I had to pick one favourite today I’d opt for 16a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {WRICK} + {SHORE} = {RICKSHAW}

42 comments on “DT 27440

  1. 1.5*/2.5* for a pleasant but unexciting puzzle today. This was generally straightforward with a handful of clues which needed a bit more working out. I particularly liked 20a and 18d.

    Regarding 2d, I thought that dregs were impurities which sank to the bottom of a liquid whereas scum floated on the surface. I suppose both have taken on similar colloquial meanings when referring to someone or something worthless or despicable.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza

  2. I enjoyed this today. Had to look up the finch and got into a bit of trouble straight off by putting ‘back up’ at 4a, but after that it was pretty plain sailing. I liked the idea of 12a in a steam bath and am glad to know that Munch did paint something other than The Scream. My favourite clue was 16a and I send thanks to the setter and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  3. I would agree with Gazza’s assessment insofar as it was more workman-like than inspirational. Completed without the need for hints though, so a compulsory *** for satisfaction me. Favourite was 20a
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for clarifying a couple of the answers.

  4. This was more than 2* difficulty and 2* enjoyment for me – more like 3* for both.
    Unless my ability to count has deserted me there were only two anagrams which may be why I found it tricky in places as, for me, they’re are a good way of getting started.
    23a was my last answer and I was slow with 13a and 14d – no excuses for any of those.
    I thought there were some good clues. My favourite was 6d. I also liked 10 and 16a and 9 and 18d.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to gazza.
    Who has pinched the sun today? It’s grey and drizzly with a chilly wind in Oxford – good excuse for a day off from garden and a go at the Toughie.

  5. No big problems, but can’t say that this really gripped my attention (possibly because I was watching Hong Kong v Afghanistan in the T20) Thought 14D was a good clue.

    Now, back to the cricket

  6. Thanks to the setter for a quite enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to Gazza for the excellent review.

  7. I think your comment pretty much sums this puzzle up gazza, although I don’t underestimate any of the setters I think you have to be pretty smart to set any of these puzzles, whether I like them or not http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif At first I found it pretty tough only putting two answers on first run through then it all came together slowly…no favourite clue today, if I go two days without a favourite Kath, can I have three on the next day http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. You think you can distract me with your cold wind, sunny spells and showers? Well, you can’t – I’m still watching.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
        I’m not sure how you got away with it yesterday but it sounds to me as if you’ve already used up your allowance of favourites for the whole week.

    1. This is what you wrote and got away with yesterday Mary

      Late today and found it quite difficult in places, like you Miffypops I took ages to get 1a!! 3 favourites today however – 9a, 11a and 8d, fine and bright here but really cold after the lovely sunshine for the last 10 days or so, typical, was hoping to go off in the van sometime this week

      It would appear that you got away with three favourites yesterday and now you are trying it on again.

      I do not mind how many favourites anybody claims. Life is just too short.

      Good luck though.

      1. Thank you for that Miffypops…I tried to post a comment just now and someone or something asked me if I was human…cheek!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  8. I really loved this puzzle today, & managed to finish it without having to resort to the hints. The NW corner was the last to go in,but all in all it was very enjoyable. If this crossword is ‘mechanical’, does this mean not convoluted enough? If so, more ‘mechanical’ for me please. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. By mechanical I didn’t mean that it’s not convoluted enough – I meant that there are no d’oh type clues or laugh-out-loud moments.

  9. Gazza I am not fit to tie your boot laces. Where on earth did you find a photograph of Sir Thomas More?

    An enjoyable solve with 23ac last one in and no hold ups. the answer to 10ac is an interesting word as it is a partial anagram for WOOL and TYPE. An O and an E need to be removed.

    Thanks to the setter and also to Gazza. I did not need Gazza today but I would have been lost without the setter.

    1. It’s actually a photograph of Paul Schofield who played Sir Tom in Robert Bolt’s play – I was lucky enough to see his performance in 1961.

      1. I saw him play Othello to Felicity Kendall’s Desdemona at the National Theatre possibly late seventies or early eighties.

  10. Not finished it yet, but as an excuse I am at work. Liked 1a, only got it as it was also 4d in the quick crossword.

  11. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, it was a bit tricky in places. Managed ok without the hints, but had back up for 4a & deadhead for 23a before I realised my errors. Favourite was 16a, was 3*/3* for me. A bit dull now in Central London after a nice week. Last in was 24a, after I realised I wasn’t looking for a red Indian tribe. :-)

  12. Well, just goes to show. I found yesterday’s a breeze, but today’s really beat me I was so off wavelength. I managed the top half and thought it was going to be a piece of cake … wrrrrrrrong! I sweated bullets, never did get 15d or 25a. Thanks to setter and Gazza for review.

    1. This was at least a star more on the difficulty scale for me than indicated, and I certainly didn’t find yesterdays a breeze.

  13. Surprisingly, we wrote the name of the bird in 1a straight in which probably means that we have seen it in a previous crossword. The surprise is that we remembered it. Over the last few weeks a couple of the mystery setters have identified themselves with comments, Petitjean and Shamus, good to see this and wonder whether it will happen again today. Nice to know who to thank or blame. A pleasant enough puzzle for us that allowed lots of time for the Toughie which needed it all.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  14. Thank you setter, we enjoyed this one – done in the car during our day out. Didn’t find it the pushover which most of you did – so probably about our level ! Highlight today was a peregrine falcon flying right in front of our windscreen about 10 feet above the ground. Thanks Gazza for your review, hints and photos.

  15. I enjoyed this puzzle. For me it was difficult in parts but I was able to finish unaided although I did need the hints to confirm construction, for which thanks to Gazza as always

  16. Thanks Gazza for explaining 11a, the word play of which I did not understand.Otherwise, I like confidence boosting puzzles, though not all the clues were write-ins.I also had backup for 4a , which fitted a possible answer for 5d but it definitely didn’t fit 6d.
    Thanks setter and Gazza.

  17. I enjoyed that today ,probably because I seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength Thanks to Mr. Ron and gazza for hints .

  18. I enjoyed it and found it about 2.5*/4* with my favourite being 20a ( I only saw the anagram after working out the answer).
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for telling me why 11a was right.

  19. Quite a pleasant solve, and not too taxing. 2.5*/3* from my perspective. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for review and hints (albeit not needed on this occasion). My favourite was probably 16a. Was l the only one to notice that 1a was also 4d in the quickie?

      1. Keep on at the Quickies. What you learn there will certainly enhance your abilities at the cryptic. Thanks for posting.

        1. I sometimes become bored with the lack of vocabulary in the quickie
          Espy, ire, task, earn, entry, era, age…
          Plus several more just come up again and again
          It’s usually just a write in for me which the cryptic rarely is
          And as for Thursday’s cryptic, you’d think I’d never done a crossword in my life

  20. Found this one very easy for some reason. Must have been tuned into exactly the right wavelength I suppose. Another new record for the second time in 7 days led me to try the toughie which soon brought me back down to earth!
    Thanks setter and Gazza.

  21. Found this a bit of a struggle but got there in the end. I guess that’s what comes of doing these in the morning when I’m still half asleep rather than when I get home from work in the small hours and the brain is like a well warmed up engine. So 3*/3*. Thomas More is currently on stage at the RSC in bring up the Bodies (excellent, by the way). Thanks to Gazza for the illuminations

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