DT 27452 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27452

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27452

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ****

With a mini-theme based on today’s date this is a bit different from the usual Tuesday offerings. It was definitely above average in difficulty for me (especially the LH side) but I enjoyed the inventiveness of the clueing. So thanks to the Mysteron (I have an idea who it may be, but I’ll wait to see what you think).

If you want to see an answer just highlight the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  One striking on the square? (9)
{CRICKETER} – we start with a fairly gentle cryptic definition. The square in question is one found at Lords or Trent Bridge, for example.

8a  Solo pad fairly disturbed for amusing ritual (5,5,3)
{APRIL FOOLS’ DAY} – the only anagram of the day. The indicator is disturbed and the fodder is SOLO PAD FAIRLY.

11a  Film  proving difficult? (5)
{ROCKY} – double definition – the film is one of a series starring Sylvester Stallone.

12a  Equate liberal President once with Norway (5)
{LIKEN} – string together the abbreviation for the Liberal Party, the nickname of a Republican US President of the 1950s and the IVR code for Norway.

13a  House showing sign of decay? Not at first (5)
{ARIES} – this house is one of twelve in the celestial sphere. Drop the initial letter (not at first) from a form of decay in your choppers.

16a  Explosive material found by a friend in New Mexico (6)
{NAPALM} – insert A (from the clue) and a friend or mate into the standard abbreviation for New Mexico.

17a  Coppers, say, put on new gear (6)
{CHANGE} – double definition – what coppers are an example of and to put on a different set of clothes.

18a  Custom defended by genius, a gentleman (5)
{USAGE} – hidden (defended by) in the clue.

19a  Rank Rodin’s work, say, showing no little energy (6)
{STATUS} – Rodin was, of course, a famous sculptor, so start with the objects he produced and remove the abbreviation for E(nergy).

20a  A ship covered in new gold found in island capital (6)
{NASSAU} – insert A and the usual abbreviation for ship between N(ew) and the chemical symbol for gold.

21a  Host representing eleven hundred in Rome, we hear (5)
{EMCEE} – this host sounds like (we hear) the Roman numeral for eleven hundred.

24a  Mischievous fellow crossing river heading west (5)
{ELFIN} – F(ellow) goes inside (crossing) a major river of North-East Africa reversed (heading west, in an across clue).

26a  Chief discussed part of New England (5)
{MAINE} – one of the States of New England sounds like (discussed) an adjective meaning chief or principal.

27a  Trick played in lesson almost surprising figure in pack? (9,4)
{PRACTICAL JOKE} – a charade of a type of lesson in which theories learned are applied in the actual making or doing of something and an, often wild, playing card without its final R (almost).

28a  Standard place for magistrates to observe (9)
{BENCHMARK} – put together the place where magistrates sit and a verb to observe or take notice.

Down Clues

2d  Intelligent bachelor dismissed as being wet? (5)
{RAINY} – an adjective meaning intelligent or scholarly without its initial B(achelor).

3d  Chest of one who’s chesty, by the sound of it (6)
{COFFER} – this chest sounds like someone who has an infection in the chest or lungs.

4d  Develop foreign car with trim to be kept by Eastern European (6)
{EVOLVE} – take off (with trim) the final letter of a Swedish car and put what you have left inside (kept by) E(astern) and E(uropean).

5d  Support for painting shown in retrospective, a sell-out (5)
{EASEL} – hidden (shown) in the clue.

6d  Interval on deck in a far-off base? (5,8)
{SPACE PLATFORM} – a charade of an interval or gap and a deck or stage.

7d  Mobility aids left amid stirring criticism by some initially (7,6)
{WALKING STICKS} – insert L(eft) into a present participle meaning stirring or rousing, then add an informal word for criticism and the initial letter of S(ome).

9d  Section in top ranks’ term for one orchestrating stunt (9)
{PRANKSTER} – hidden (section) in the clue is someone who may be operating this morning (telling us that we should be eating ten portions of fruit and veg a day, for example?).

10d  How one might describe American newspaper staff not fully employed? (9)
{UNDERUSED} – split the answer (5,2,2) to get a cryptic description of the position of staff on an American newspaper.

13d  Distract a foreign character with outsiders in square (5)
{AMUSE} – string together A (from the clue), the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet and the outside letters of S(quar)E.

14d  Account following one that helps to save OT character (5)
{ISAAC} – put the abbreviation for account or bill after the acronym for a UK savings account. After the changes in the recent budget we’re apparently going to have to prefix this acronym with N(ew) in future.

15d  Part of dramatic production noticed in audience (5)
{SCENE} – this sounds like (in audience) a past participle meaning noticed or spotted.

22d  One’s disturbed chap facing start of crossword (6)
{MANIAC} – a more formal word for chap is followed by a shorthand way (1,2) of referring to what is often the first clue tackled in a crossword (unless, like some solvers, you start from the bottom).

23d  English doctor, composed when leaving top preserve (6)
{EMBALM} – join together E(nglish), one of the abbreviations for a medical doctor and an adjective meaning composed or serene without its first (top) letter.

25d  Speciality in hotel occupying French resort (5)
{NICHE} – the letter for which the word hotel is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabetic goes inside (occupying) a French Mediterranean resort.

26d  Premier source of joy held by short New Zealander (5)
{MAJOR} – to get this prime minister (whose Big Idea caused a few problems last Saturday) insert the first letter (source) of J(oy) inside a member of the aboriginal people of New Zealand without the final letter (short).

Top clues for me today were 10d, 14d and 22d. Which ones appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PURR} + {KNOW} = {PERNOD}

71 comments on “DT 27452

  1. I also found this one a bit of a b**ger to finish off! I managed most of it without too much trouble, then had four remaining on the LH side, which took me as long to crack as the rest of the puzzle.
    Many thanks to setter (Shamus is my wild stab in the dark), and to Gazza for the review.

  2. It’s strange that I normally struggle but fairly romped through this one today, guess I’m on the same wavelength for a change. 22D was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review. Sun is just poking its head out on the south coast.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. 3*/3* for me today. This was challenging but very enjoyable and it all came out with a bit of persistence.

    I thought the setter was having a laugh with the awful 21a. What sort of silly word is that? I know – one that is in the BRB http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    Apart from that one, there were too many good clues to mention.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza

  4. I really had no difficulty with this except for (wouldn’t you know) 1A, and I admit to resorting to a letter hint from the ‘play’ version of the DT puzzle page to complete that last one in. No idea on the setter, but then I rarely do. Thanks to him or her, and to Gazza for the review.

    P.S. The toughie is giving me quite a headache.

  5. I fund the LH side a bit tricky like others, but all fell into place once I’d twigged 6D (second word eluded me for ages). Some very nice clues today, but my favourite has to be 3D which made me chuckle.

    Sun just making an appearance, might be forced to do some stuff in the garden today.

    Good luck to Bangladesh, hope they can beat the Aussies as this would somewhat make up for England’s abysmal performance yesterday.

  6. Very enjoyable. a lot went in quickly and the remainder stung a bit. 4d was the last one in. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza and thanks to all who sent condolences yesterday.

  7. ***/*** for me too. Quick solution of 8a got me off to a good start but needed explanation of 13a so thanks setter and Gazza. After effects of Saharan sandstorm showing up in beautiful warm sunshine here in West Sussex. Pity the Quickie punster can’t pronounce Pernod!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Why? How do you pronounce Pernod? The correct way is with a silent D – ie exactly as the quickie pun sounds

      1. Of course no argument with the silent D but first syllable pronounced as ‘pear’ rather than ‘purr’.

        1. I guess you must be from up north, I’ve only ever heard it referred to as PEARNO around the Liverpool/Warrington areas, dahn sarf its always PURRNO

          1. Gotta agree with Angel as I’m sure that’s how our French correspondents would pronounce it.

  8. I admit to having had a spot of bother with this one – not sure I’d go quite as far as 4* difficulty (but close) and 4* for enjoyment too.
    My last two answers were 1a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gifand 9d – again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif – when will those hidden ones stop getting me every time.
    I had noticed the fact that there was only one anagram – maybe that’s one of the reasons I found it tricky.
    Was slow with 19a – forgot about statues in general and could only think of The Kiss. With 26d forgot about Maoris and could only think of Kiwis!
    I liked 27a and 2 and 10d. My favourite was 22d.
    No sun here yet – still quite foggy.

  9. Very enjoyable. Found this straightforward although some crosswords lately have remained unsolved. I liked the three themed clues. **/***. Thanks to compiler and Gazza. Getting warmer as I write.

  10. A rare occasion when I rated the degree of difficulty less than the blog – things must be looking up! ***/*** for me. What a nicely balanced puzzle this was. 21a is new for me. 12a probably my favourite and 10d last in. Thanks to Mr Ron (?) and to Gazza for a couple of erudite explanations. A nice spring day here in Birmingham. Cheers!

  11. I was very much on the wavelength for this enjoyable puzzle so thank you to Mr Ron and Gazza.

    Fans of Virgilius will enjoy today’s Guardian cryptic.

  12. I would have put it at **\***

    Maybe it helped that I started in the centre and worked outward?
    Anyway, lots of fun clues. I did take a while to see the hidden 9a. And 4d and 23d took me a while.

    Only one anagram?

    Can someone explain why 1a is especially cryptic? If it’s not cricket, it doesn’t seem to mean much…….

    1. My first thought for 1a was something to do with a clock – especially as I already had the C from 3d and I’ve been caught like that before. Cricket, or anything to do with it, is always the last thing I think of (except when it isn’t and then I sometimes manage to convince myself that it is!)

    2. Despite the fact that I’m a cricket fanatic, the first thing that popped into my head for 1A was that it was something to do with an industrial dispute. In my defence, it was early and I had only got half a cup of coffee inside me at the time

  13. Liked this puzzle today a lot, although we had to look up 2d, 26d & 13a in the hints to see the reasoning behind our answers. Thank you to the setter & to Gazza. Lovely to see the sun here on the east coast after one or two fairly miserable days. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. Shows how different we all are.
    I actually romped through this one after it came on line after midnight.
    No problems.
    Enjoyable nonetheless.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the unsaucily illustrated review.

  15. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I managed this okay, but the left hand side was a bit tricky. Started with 3d,finished with 1a. Favourites were 21a & 4d. An enjoyable puzzle was 3*/4* for me. A lovely day today in Central London.

  16. Found this a bit tricky with only 17a & 28a to do, then the penny finally dropped – so thank to the setter and Gazza for the review which wasn’t required today. I’d go with 10d as a favourite today and a ***/*** rating.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  17. Thank you setter. Finished in 2 sittings and enjoyed the challenge. Tried, but failed. to get it finished before going out for a lovely walk round Mere Sands Wood and Martin Mere. Wonderful to hear the birdsong again. 2nd sitting, as often happens, clarified matters on the LHS. I think I have heard of a space station (ISS ?) but not a space platform. The answer did seem obvious though ! Thanks Gazza for your review and hints – it is always nice to solve a 4* !

  18. Like Williamus, this was a first for me where I rated it easier than Gazza. I was really on wavelength, even though I had to work for it. Here’s a HUGE boast: I got 1a quite early on! Considering I know less than nothing about cricket, and almost decided it was my favourite, but 10d outbid it. Thanks to setter and Gazza for review.

    1. Oh – you clever clogs, you – not just for rating it as easier than gazza did but for the crickety stuff too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. PS I do sometimes think that gazza is kinder to us lesser mortals than most of the bloggers are – if he’s in doubt he adds an extra star for difficulty to give us hope . . .

      1. I try to work on the basis that 3* means average difficulty, so over a period of time there should be as many puzzles higher than 3* as there are lower. However it doesn’t always work out!

  19. Enjoyed this puzzle. Must have been on the same wavelength for a change because I found it easier than I usually do. Surprised myself by getting one across straightaway as cryptic definitions are my real weak point. Really liked 22d, my clue of the day though took a while for the penny to drop re the wordplay. Thanks for the blog and to the setter for a fun puzzle.

    1. Hi Towser,
      You’re using a slightly different email address from before so your post needed moderation. Both addresses should work from now on.

  20. Took some doing this one, I had to do it sporadically as things (like work) kept getting in the way. Very pleasant feeling once completed. Thanks to Gazza for the review, I needed help on a few today: the clues sometimes were difficult but not so annoyingly complicated to take away the enjoyment. Best smiler of the day was 14D. I would rate this 3.5*/4*

  21. I absolutely loved this one today, thanks setter. The central square was the last to be filled.
    The rest went in easily enough. Thanks Gazza

    1. I liked this one too. A great mixture of read and writes which gave me a good start followed by a few “oh my god what is this one all about” clues. They all fall in eventually. Don’t they children?

  22. Enjoyable solve this afternoon – had lunch with my daughter in Leiderdorp at the Brasserie and Meelfabriek Zijlstrom – it opened two years ago.
    We ate al fresco in the garden area and enjoyed salads followed by cappuchino .coffee.

    Faves today : 21a, 28a, 6d & 7d. 8a was to be expected!

    Simple meal tonight!

  23. 26d was of course our favourite. We were surprised to see it, as it relates so closely to the clue in last Saturday’s puzzle where we made what turned out to be a somewhat controversial comment. Surely the system does not work quickly enough for this to be anything but a remarkable coincidence. We got 14d easily enough despite not being familiar with ISA. Spent some time pondering who might be the setter, tossing up between Shamus and Petitjean and came down in favour of Petitjean. Perhaps we will have a confession today. Quite a challenge and good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. I went through an identical thought process, vacillating between Petitjean and Shamus and coming down in favour of Petitjean. I hope that whoever it was will claim the credit, because I thought it was the most enjoyable Tuesday puzzle for quite a while.

      1. Once again, as with ***** *******, would our international participants and friends have heard of an ISA?

        1. I’ve edited your comment because we’re still in purdah regarding Saturday’s puzzle.

      2. I thought about the two possibilities too – came down in favour of Shamus as, I think, Petitjean is know for lots of music stuff and foody stuff and there wasn’t any – could easily be wrong there – it has been known . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
        Anyway, isn’t there an expression along the lines of being wise after the event?

  24. Many thanks to Gazza for his generous review and everyone for his or her comments. At least I’ll know how to pronounce Pernod in future when I’m in different parts of the country!

    1. I’ve had more discussions today over how to pronounce Pernod than I care to remember. A post work drink in the local proved quite a debating society. When I left the Angel and skempie camps were level pegging, An Italian, Spaniard, Pole, Norf and Sarf Londoner and a Canadian all having an opinion. Now I’m even more confused than ever :)

        1. I would. Delicious morning pick-me-up at about 11.30 sitting outside a cafe in dappled sunlight in France-sur-Mer. One ice cube and some chilled water. It also has a Proustian effect, every time you have one, it takes you back to younger, sunnier days. I won’t hear a word said against it.

  25. Agree with Faves as suggested by Gazza. 6d I’d not heard of but had to be what it was. Many thanks to Gazza and Shamus.

  26. I found this considerably easier than today’s Toughie, and would rate it at 2.5*/4*. My thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for review and hints. 1a was simple, but still my favourite given that it reminds me of lovely days at Lords, Hove, Taunton or Chelmsford over the years. A shame there don’t seem to be any of them wearing England shirts at the moment! And just a couple of years ago we were at the top of the Test rankings…

  27. ***/*** rating for today. Got a bit hung up on the same clues as you ladies and gentlemen visitors to the site today. Took a while to see 9d and am bruised from kicking myself. Don’t know much about cricket so 1a totally stumped me.
    Enjoyed it though so thanks people. I was listening to Mahler’s 9th at the same time as solving it so that slowed things down but in a v pleasant way.

  28. Well I found this a breeze, just about a write-in, but with too many wonderful clues to mention. My favourite puzzle for weeks, with smiles galore despite only 1* difficulty. 5* enjoyment in the wee wee hours here in South London

  29. Did this a day late. Bit of a slow start, not helped by putting ****IN for 3d, but it all slotted into place eventually. 2.5*/3* for me.
    Thanks setter and Gazza for the review.

  30. Excellent puzzle! Like Miffypops, 4d was my last in. Best clues for me were 19a, 10d, 14d, and 26d.

    Many thanks to Shamus. Many thanks to Gazza for an excellent review to complement this puzzle.

    Oh no! I’ve done it again. So sorry to have mistyped the email address. Very careless of me and I do apologise.

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