DT 27441 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27441

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27441

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A straightforward and enjoyable puzzle, between 1.5-2* 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    Self-assured, virtually laid back, private (12)

{CONFIDENTIAL} : [self-assured;certain of] + reversal of(back) “laid” minus its last letter(virtually).

9a    Type of excellent painting reproduced? (4,5)

{FINE PRINT} : [excellent] + [reproduction of a painting using photography].

Defn: … in a piece of text.

10a    Sacrifice self-respect with daughter going for leader of Conservatives (5)

{PRICE} : [self-respect, too much of which comes before a fall] with [abbrev. for “daughter”] replaced by(going for) 1st letter of(leader of) “Conservatives”.

Defn: What one sacrifices in order to obtain something.

A namesake actor, with a sacrifice:

11a    Surviving Texan shot twin, dismissing victory (6)

{EXTANT} : Anagram of(shot) TEXAN + “twin” minus(dismissing) [a victory].

Defn: Still in existence, eg. a species that is not extinct (yet).

12a    Very famous person playing games with sailor (8)

{MEGASTAR} : Anagram of(playing) GAMES plus(with) [a nickname for a sailor].

13a    Sally‘s sensitive about note (6)

{SORTIE} : [sensitive, say, to the touch] containing(about) [the syllable for the 7th note in the ascending diatonic musical scale].

Defn: Military-wise, a raid or an assault.

15a    Time’s run out — it’s the end of the road! (8)

{TERMINUS} : Anagram of(out) TIME’S RUN.

18a    Equipment put into steaming water (8)

{IRRIGATE} : [equipment;gear] contained in(put into) [steaming, in anger].

Defn: As a verb.

19a    He leaves non-believers to get capital (6)

{ATHENS} : “he” deleted from(leaves) [non-believers;pagans, according to the believers].

21a    Attractive female shown by engraving (8)

{FETCHING} : [abbrev. for “female”] plus(shown by) [an engraving done on metal plate, glass, etc. using, eg. acid].

Durer’s bewitching interpretation of the clue:

23a    Qualification obtained in 60 minutes? (6)

{DEGREE} : Double defn: 1st: … from an institution of higher learning; and 2nd: What 60 minutes equates to in geometry and geography.

26a    Fleece quiet listener (5)

{SHEAR} : [interjection asking for silent;quiet!] + [the listening part of your anatomy].

Defn:  As a verb.

27a    Generous, and in favour of French wine during musical performance (9)

{FORGIVING} : [in favour of;supporting] + { [French for “wine”] contained in(during) [an engagement for a musical performance, say, at a concert, club, or party] } .

Defn: …. , in being tolerant and understanding.

28a    Spies succeeded on centre stage, bizarrely (6,6)

{SECRET AGENTS} : [abbrev. for “succeeded”] plus(on) anagram of(bizarrely) CENTRE STAGE.

In fiction, this is how they look…


… and occasionally in real life, too, like this ex-spy (working for the other side, but not good at it) turned model:


1d    Amounts charged by company head of finance for drinks (7)

{COFFEES} : [amounts charged, say, for services] { placed below(by, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “company”] + 1st letter of(head of) “finance” }.

Answer:  …. , tea, or me?:


2d    Not a single person has time for composition (5)

{NONET} : [not a single person;not a one] plus(has) [abbrev. for “time”].

Defn: A musical composition.

3d    Death of a little devil is nigh! (9)

{IMPENDING} : [death;the ultimate finish] placed below(belonging to;of, in a down clue) [a mischievous little devil].

4d    Bad experience on the way up (4)

{EVIL} : Reversal of(on the way up, in a down clue) [to experience;to go through].

5d    Restrained and looking embarrassed by horrible teeth (8)

{TETHERED} : [looking embarrassed, as shown by your complexion] placed below(by, in a down clue) anagram of(horrible) TEETH.

6d    Letter from mountain hospital on source of antidote (5)

{ALPHA} : [a mountain, in a European range] + [abbrev. for “hospital”] placed above(on, in a down clue) 1st letter of(source of) “antidote”.

Defn: Character in a non-English alphabet.

7d    Aloofness in cadets being retrained (8)

{DISTANCE} : Anagram of(being retrained) IN CADETS.

8d    Decide Bristol is full of rubbish (6)

{DEBRIS} : Hidden in(is full of) “decide Bristol”.

14d    Peculiarities of surreal satire around religious instruction (8)

{RARITIES} : Anagram of(surreal) SATIRE co0(around) [abbrev. for “religious instruction”].

16d    Sound of complaint, say, welcomed by Chinese dynasty (9)

{MUTTERING} : [to say;to voice] contained in(welcomed by) [a famous Chinese dynasty, including porcelain of that time].

17d    Represent spectators’ area, following heartless owner (5,3)

{STAND FOR} : [spectators’ area in a sports stadium, say] + [abbrev. for “following”] + “owner” minus all its inner letters(heartless).

18d    Information is short on employment for soak (6)

{INFUSE} : [short for information] minus its last letter(is short) placed above(on, in a down clue) [employment towards a purpose].

Defn: To soak in order to extract flavours from, eg. tea leaves.

20d    Finishes off broadcast vehicles being towed (7)

{SLEIGHS} : Homophone of(broadcast) [finishes off;kills].

Not Santa and his reindeer:

22d    Establish orders for protection of vast crowd (5)

{HORDE} : Hidden in(… for protection of) “establish orders”.

24d    Rule to check about golf (5)

{REIGN} : [to check;to restrain] containing(about) [letter represented by “golf” in the phonetic alphabet].

25d    Guitar bar‘s worry? (4)

{FRET} : Double defn: 1st: A ridge across a guitar’s fingerboard.

The Quick crossword pun: (duel} + {bees} + {hoary} = {you’ll be sorry}

29 comments on “DT 27441

  1. I agree with Scchua – straightforward but enjoyable. My rating is 1.5*/3*.

    Many thanks to Jay & Scchua.

  2. Likewise. Same rating from me. 1.5*/3*
    Frustratingly it took me far too long to get 20d as my last one in, (I had another type of vehicle that works on snow stuck in my mind), otherwise would have been 1* difficulty.
    Thanks to Jay and Scchua for the entertainingly illustrated review as usual.

  3. Agree with both, one of the easiest puzzles for a long time IMHO only of course!
    Particularly liked 3d and 19a once I realized it was nothing to do with atheists!!!
    No favourite though, saving up for another day, I reckon I have one credit for today :-)
    Thanks for hints scchua although I didn’t need them today

    1. Yes, Mary – I’m sure we weren’t the only ones faffing about with atheists for a while before seeing the light ( I only mean that in a linguistic sense…)

  4. Many thanks to Jay for a pleasant, gentle puzzle, and to scchua for the review.
    The Graun puzzle by Arachne is very good today; now to tackle Micawber :)

  5. A pleasant mid-week offering, I did need a couple of nudges from the blog to get things completed. I would rate this 3*/4* Thanks to Scchua for the blog.

  6. Is it really Wednesday? I can’t remember an easier Wednesday offering, perhaps Jay’s mellowing in his old age.
    I was held up for a while on 19A as (like Mary) I could only think of ATHEISTS and couldn’t (not surprisingly) make a capital out of ATISTS, No real favourites today, I thought everything was pretty much on a par.

    Sun is attempting breakthrough at the moment, but I’m not holding my breath.

    More T20 World cup today with The Netherlands playing Zimbabwe, I can’t understand why Sky have put this on the red button though as they’re showing WI v Sri Lanka which is only a warm-up match. Ireland on this afternoon.

    Talking of Sky and sport, considering they have 3 dedicated sports channels (not to mention HD) why do they have to put bloody football on Sky 1 tonight ?

  7. Just 4 left unanswered after 1st run through – so I’m sorry to say it didn’t last long enough to be enjoyable. Thanks to Jay and Scchua nonetheless.

  8. I agree with 2* difficulty but 4* for enjoyment.
    Like Mary and skempie it took me ages to get as far as “heathens” rather than “atheists” – how could I be so dim? Please don’t answer that, anyone.
    Apart from that one I thought it was all very straightforward and very enjoyable.
    I liked 15a and 5 and 8d. I think my favourite was either 1 or 10a.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Sun is just trying to show itself but still a chilly wind.

  9. I knew the answer to 13a ( well, I guessed, I suppose you would say) but no idea why, as. NI always forget about the sol-fa terms.

    I did like 25d and spend quite a bit of time wrestling with these little devils and my bottleneck.

    Sun just about to battle through the haze. More broad beans. Anyone ever grown or eaten asparagus peas? I will have 40 of them going out soon… If. I don’t like them, that’s a lot of compost come June.

    1. Mr CS grew asparagus peas last year. They are nice – pick, cook and eat as soon as they are a reasonable size as the pods get a bit ‘stringy’ after that. Stringy isn’t quite the right word but I am not sure how to describe it. .

      1. Fibrous?

        Thanks for the tip, Sue. I hope they freeze, as I’ve idiotically sown them all together.

  10. Got stuck on one or two & had to resort to the hints, but enjoyed the puzzle very much. **/*** for us. Thank you to the setter & to Scchua.

  11. I needed two goes to get through this, a good deal of help and explanations as to why some of my answers were what they were. That said, I did enjoy it, especially 3 and 5d, so thanks to Jay and Scchua. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  12. I just wasn’t on the setter’s wavelength at all today and found most of the clues tortuous. I can admire some of them in retrospect (eg 11a and 18a) but I can’t say I enjoyed them at the time. Finally solving them came with a sense of relief rather than satisfaction. Obviously it helped enormously to find that everyone else found it easy! I have to hope I’m just having an off day. Thanks to Jay for putting me through it and to Scchua for helping me out of it. I’m off for a lie down.

    1. Don’t worry. Yesterday I was tearing my hair out and never did finish, while everyone else was rhapsodising how easy it was. It happens, just treat tomorrow as a fresh start.

  13. An entertaining cryptic week so far. Thanks Jay and Scchua for today’s puzzle. For me, no particularly good clues but plenty of fun. Even liked the anagrams. Presumed correct answer to 19a but took ages to see why. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  14. I’ve just done yesterday’s (was busy).
    Much easier than today’s I thought…

  15. Confidence restored after yesterday. Last one in was 23a, just couldn’t equate 60 minutes with that, but, of course, how could I be so dumb. Favourite is 19a. Thanks Jay for enjoyment and scchua for review, only needed for explanation of 23a


  16. Thank you Jay. On my own again, and found this difficult. Went down the atheist route at 19a and needed your explanation Scchua. Managed to finish it, but it did become a bit of a struggle and not amazingly enjoyable ! Thanks Scchua for your help, review , hints and photos – back on form I am pleased to see !

  17. There I was , thinking I’d really improved on the length of time it takes me but it turns out to have been easy.I also didn’t think of heathens, but I decided it was Athens anyway.Favourite 27a.Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  18. Anything would be an anticlimax after that excellent toughie, but this was a decent puzzle in its own right. I agree with schuua’s 2*/3* rating (and thoroughly approved of his rather non-PC illustrations!). My thanks to Jay for this gentle but entertaining effort.

  19. I put MITHERING (an old Yorkshire word for complaining) in for 16d then wondered why & now I know. Thanks Jay & to scchua.

  20. I was there with mothering, too, but finally saw the light. 2*/3*. Thanks to Scchua for the well-illustrated review

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