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DT 27447

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27447

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Somewhere between 1.5-2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.  Thanks 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 lot of covering left spread on garden? (5)

{MULCH} : [a lot of, in amount or degree] containing(covering) [abbrev. for “left”].

Defn: And they were spreading it around:


4a    Being arrogant, I’m up to changing in public transport (9)

{BUMPTIOUS} : Anagram of(changing) I’M UP TO contained in(in) [a common form of motorised public transport running along a fixed route].

9a    What makes unusual plot visible? (9)

{SPOTLIGHT} : [visible;within range of vision (2,5)] with the 1st word as an indicator to contain an anagram of(unusual) PLOT within the 2nd word. A clever WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

10a    Wild tree – a sort of apple (5)

{EATER} : Anagram of(Wild) TREE – A.

Defn: … as opposed to a cooking one.  But what about the Apple that this Eve tempted her Adam with:

11a    Nouveau riche‘s leading way with skill (7)

{UPSTART} : [leading against an opponent, in, say, a sporting event] + [abbrev for a way;a thoroughfare] plus(with) [skill;technique].

12a    A place for thinking about deal (7)

{RETREAT} : [about;with reference to] + [to deal with;to regard and handle in a certain way].


13a    Heartily ate a macho dish (6)

{TAMALE} : Middle letter of(Heartily) “ate” + A + [macho;masculine].

15a    Charge for spice is steep (8)

{MACERATE} : [a charge, usually per unit] placed after(for;relating to) [a spice from nutmegs].

Defn: … or soak in a liquid.

18a    Mix-up in rush for planes (8)

{SCRAMBLE} : Double defn: 1st: Think eggs for breakfast; and 2nd: … by pilots and their crews in military action.

20a    Dispatch a letter reserving holiday accommodation (6)

{CHALET} : Hidden in(… reserving) “Dispatch a letter”.

23a    Time trains breaking down and pass through (7)

{TRANSIT} : [abbrev. for “time”] + anagram of(breaking down) TRAINS.

24a    Counsellor‘s face-saver after a dodgy start (7)

{ADVISOR} : [something to shade your face from direct sunlight;cryptically, a face-saver] placed after(after, in an across clue) [A + 1st letter of(… start) “dodgy”].

26a    Feature leader of African country (5)

{CHINA} : [a facial feature] + 1st letter of(leader of) “African”.

Can’t vouch for the car:

27a    Unusual amount wasted for a spare part? (3,3,3)

{ODD MAN OUT} : [unusual;peculiar] + anagram of(wasted) AMOUNT.

Defn: One who is part of a group, in, say, a game, but is eliminated from the group;made spare, at some point during the game.

28a    Firm dates fixed before Lent, perhaps (9)

{STEADFAST} : Anagram of(fixed) DATES placed before(before, in an across clue) [an example of which;perhaps, is the Christian Lent].

Defn: Not changing from your position.

29a    Promises nothing and trails, having lost leader (5)

{OATHS} : [letter representing 0;nothing] plus(and) [trails, usually for those on foot or horseback] minus its first letter(having lost leader).

Defn: … , say, “to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.


1d    Unfinished place of prayer – it’s full of love, and flies (9)

{MOSQUITOS} : [a place of prayer for Muslims] minus its last letter(Unfinished) + IT’S containing(full of) [letter representing 0;love in tennis scores].

Defn: I think the definition is a plural noun, to be compatible with the answer. I’m not sure if one could call this particular insect a fly. Though belonging to the same zoological order, it is of a different species, even though its name is from the Latin for “fly”.

2d    Ladies perhaps note curls (5)

{LOOPS} : [slang for facilities, an example of which;perhaps, is the “Ladies”] + [abbrev. for a short note, as an afterthought at the bottom of the main text].

3d    Receptacle for antique found in lobby (7)

{HOLDALL} : [antique;from times past] contained in(found in) [an entrance lobby, say, in a house].

4d    Important books on southern fanatics (6)

{BIGOTS} : [important, or, as they say, “size matters”] + [abbrev. for the set of books in the Bible] placed above( on , in a down clue) [abbrev. for “southern”].

5d    Relevant stuff (8)

{MATERIAL} : Double defn: 2nd: … such as fabric.

6d    Discovered in Goethe a treasure house (7)

{THEATRE} : Hidden in(Discovered in) “Goethe a treasure”.

Defn: As in “is there a doctor in the house?”

7d    Immediately working, and consequently suffer (2,3,4)

{ON THE NAIL} : [working, say, an electrical appliance] plus(and) [consequently;in that case] + [to suffer, say, from an illness].

Defn: … , eg. when paying in cash for a purchase.

8d    Fish quietly netted by sailors turning up (5)

{SPRAT} : [abbrev. for the musical direction to play quietly] contained in(netted by) reversal of(… turning up, in a down clue) [nickname for sailors].

14d    Spread Madge mostly eats at home (9)

{MARGARINE} : [the name for which Madge is a short form] minus its last letter(mostly) containing(eats) [at home].

Defn:  … , to be eaten with, say, bread.

16d    Register it with one’s gut reaction (9)

{ENTERITIS} : [to register;to put into the records] + IT plus(with) [Roman numeral for “one”]+ ‘S.

Defn: Inflammation of the small intestines as a reaction to pathogens.

17d    The polar orbits creating abundance (8)

{PLETHORA} : Anagram of(… orbits) THE POLAR.

19d    Leading actor in the mire might not cut it! (7)

{MUSTARD} : [leading actor]contained in(in) [mire;dirty slimy soil].

Defn: Idiomatically, someone who fails does not cut this.  But you could squeeze it, or even wear it:


21d    Try bear – once! (4,1,2)

{HAVE A GO} : [to bear;to hold, say, in the mind, an idea or a grudge] + [once;of time past].

22d    Criminal ring riots regularly (6)

{BANDIT} : [a ring, eg. of gold] + 2nd and 4th letters of(regularly) “riots”.

23d    Fixes duty for the audience (5)

{TACKS} : Homophone of(for the audience) [a duty;a charge that goes to the government, say, on petrol].

Defn: … with short sharp-pointed nails.

25d    Police informer exposed after vacating salon (5)

{SNOUT} : [exposed;not under cover] placed below( after, in a down clue) “salon” minus all its inner letters(vacating …).

The Quick crossword pun: (why} + {sold} + {howl} = {wise old owl}

28 comments on “DT 27447

  1. No problems in this one; a most pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.

  2. Thank you Jay – difficult for me, but got there in the end using all available external assistance ! New dish at 13a. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints – and great photos ! You are back on form after a quiet spell !

  3. A nice pair of charlies in the picture for 1A, I always enjoy sccuhua’s reviews cant think why! Had a few sticky moments with this one but generaly found it a pleasant romp.18A was my favourite with 16D a close second.Many thanks to Jay & scchua.

  4. Likewise. 2*/3* with 13a being my new word today.
    Thanks Jay and to Scchua for your usual level of pictorial fun.

    Nice sunny but breezy day here in mid Bedfordshire. So much so that there’s a real risk I might have to mow the lawn this afternoon on my day off.

    1. Sunny and breezy turned into overcast and showery 50 minutes later. Hurrah for the British “climate”!

  5. No problems today, must be one of Jay’s most straightforward offerings. I’ve never heard of the dish in 13A, but the answer was fairly obvious with the checking letters. Some very good and clever clues today and my favourite of the lot has to be 1D.

    1. Skempie – thanks for your essay on the ins and outs of cricket yesterday. Very entertaining :)

  6. Only one major problem today so 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I did get into an awful pickle with 7d and couldn’t explain my answer, mainly because it was wrong. I thought the definition was “immediately working” so my answer was “on the ball”. Oh dear!
    I’ve never heard of 13a.
    Lots of really good clues. My favourite, by a mile, was 9a. I also liked 4a and 1 and 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  7. For me a most unpleasant 5 star for difficulty. Couldn’t even understand the clues let alone the answers! Thx to Scchua for explaining them.

  8. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very difficult puzzle, I was beaten by 7d & 15a, couldn’t even get them from the hints. Favourite was 4a. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to a work reunion now. Hope the rain holds off.

  9. I found this very definitely a puzzle of two halves. The whole of the right hand side went in smoothly in 1* time with the left hand side taking closer to 4* time with 2d my last one in.

    Nevertheless, overall it was a superb puzzle and I am going for 4* for enjoyment. 9a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay to Scchua.

  10. Enjoyed this one a lot, probably because there were no obscure religious or Classical Greek references!

    “Hot tamales, they’re red hot”
    Something I’m fond of playing on the uke!

  11. I thought this was difficult today, & although we finished it, we needed all the help we could get, so thank you Scchua, & thank you setter ( I think). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  12. I found this one tough going so lots of enjoyment for me. The top left corner was the last in. Lovely clues and surface reads so thanks to Jay. Thanks also to Scchua for the hints and tips which I will read now for hints and tips on reviewing. The right side of the kitchen is almost finished. There will be some work on the left side tomorrow. I promise. Saint Sharon thinks the units which were assembled in December have lived for too long in the lounge.

    1. Your kitchen seems to bear considerable similarity to my attempts at today’s crossword. Right hand side done first with big delays on the left hand side!

  13. Struggled with the equator today although I had several of the crossers. Then the pennies finally dropped with a loud clang that Deep Threat could have heard in S. Staffs http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif.

    Thanks to scchua for the usual entertaining review and jay for the puzzlehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  14. Been one of those days whereby I have had to keep leaving the puzzle to do other things. Anyway, I’ve crossed the finishing line before sundown. I would rate this as 3*/4* Plenty of smilers. Thanks to Scchua for a well crafted blog.

  15. Surprisingly ,I found that pretty easy today and very enjoyable .Thanks to Jay & Sichuan for the review.

        1. I cannot write his name without reference above. I also cannot work out any reason for it. A bit like MIFFYPOPS i think

  16. Like Miffypops and others , I didn’t think this was a 1.5 * , 15a in particular, and like Kath ,I had on the ball for 7d until submit wouldn’t permit it.1a also took a while . Thanks toJay and sschua.

  17. First read through rendered this likely to be impossible task but gradually things began to fall into place and did manage to complete however found it a tad pedestrian. 13a new to me. Wasted in 27a perhaps a bit obtuse. No particular fav(s). ****/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

  18. A bit more than 2* in difficulty terms for me. I got there OK in the end but needed scchua’s hint on 9a to understand my own (correct) solution. Rather off the pace today,
    perhaps as the result of a day spent grappling with a recalcitrant boat followed by being beaten at tennis by my dear wife. Thank you Jay, and of course scchua.

  19. Been too busy for puzzles of late, sadly, but now I have a couple of days to catch up. I enjoyed this one very much, although only 2* difficulty! I’d give it 4* for enjoyment, so thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the splendid and detailed review. 16d was a clear favourite, bringing the broadest smile

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