DT 27453

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27453

Hints and tips by scchua

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable puzzle with plain sailing all the way.  1.5*/3* for difficulty/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    Leaving shop empty, flog a little (6)

{SPLASH} : “shop” minus its inner letters(Leaving … empty) + [to flog, say, with a whip].

Defn: … amount, especially of liquid, eg. soda water in your whisky.

And she made not a little one:

4a    Suitable place by a quiet river in Italy (8)

{APPOSITE} : [a place;a location] placed after(by, in an across clue) { A + [abbrev. for the musical direction to play softly] + [a river in Italy] }.

10a    City‘s experience with right game played with balls (9)

{LIVERPOOL} : [to experience;to go through and survive] plus(with) [abbrev. for “right”] + [a game played with balls on a table].

11a    Publication for children? (5)

{ISSUE} : Double defn: 1st: An edition of a publication.

12a    Crushed  fabric (7)

{WORSTED} : Double defn: 1st: To have defeated someone or to have been defeated by someone.

13a    Bury‘s river not unknown by one million (7)

{IMMERSE} : [a river in W. England ending at 10 across] minus(not) [symbol for an unknown quantity in mathematics] placed after(by, in an across clue) { [Roman numeral for “one”] + [abbrev. for a million] }.

Defn: To involve deeply in, say, work.

14a    Gag church after priest takes only regulars (5)

{RETCH} : [abbrev. for a church] placed after(after, in an across clue) the 2nd, 4th and 6th letters of(takes only regulars) “priest”.

Defn: To undergo a spasm when your stomach contents are likely to rise.

15a    Make another effort to incorporate soldiers’ records here (8)

{REGISTRY} : [to make another effort;to attempt again] containing(to incorporate) [nickname for American soldiers].

Defn: Where records are kept.

18a    Barber’s offering  route to efficiency? (5,3)

{SHORT CUT} : Double defn: 2nd: … as opposed to the laborious way of doing it.

… and on the right, there’s always such a thing as too much of a good thing:


20a    As some say, volcanic rock produces a primitive life form (5)

{LARVA} : Homophone of(As some say) [molten volcanic rock and its solidified form].

Defn: An early (primitive) free-living stage of an animal’s life before developing into its adult form.

23a    Strikes bringing in American relations (7)

{COUSINS} : [strikes;stamps pieces of metal, say, in a mint] containing(bringing in) [abbrev. for things American].

25a    Trade union in fresh trial, in name only (7)

{TITULAR} : [abbrev. for “trade union”] contained in(in) anagram of(fresh) TRIAL.

26a    Irritable people who won’t drink in sunlight (5)

{RATTY} : [abbrev. for people, collectively, who abstain from alcohol] contained in(in) [a narrow beam of sunlight].

27a    Energy absorbed by modest or new instruments for measuring (9)

{ODOMETERS} : [abbrev. for “energy” in physics] contained in(absorbed by) anagram of(… new) MODEST OR.

Defn: … distance travelled.

28a    Lied outrageously, held by head with no substance (8)

{BODILESS} : Anagram of(outrageously) LIED contained in(held by) [informal name for the head of an organisation].

29a    A detailed brief point on land (6)

{ASHORE} : A + [brief;of little length] minus its last letter(detailed) + [abbrev. for one of the compass points].

Defn: … as opposed to “at sea”.


1d    Milks row, working for 20 (8)

{SILKWORM} : Anagram of(working) MILKS ROW.

Defn: Examples of the answer to 20 across. And these do work to produce fibres.

Or are fried to a crisp:

2d    Young animal always protected by permit (7)

{LEVERET} : [always;at all times] contained in(protected by) [to permit;to allow].

Warm and cuddly … and the young hare too.

3d    Lie here if injured by brick? (9)

{STRETCHER} : Double defn: 2nd: … laid with only its long face showing horizontally.

5d    Where people vote for cutting radio broadcaster (7,7)

{POLLING STATION} : [cutting off or trimming, eg. hair, wool or even horns] + [a radio broadcaster;what you tune in to].

6d    Love island engulfed in rising slander and loathing (5)

{ODIUM} : [letter representing 0;love in tennis scores] + { [abbrev. for “island”] contained in(engulfed in) reversal of(rising, in a down clue) [slander;what might be figuratively slung at you by your opponents].

7d    Poor return is without profit ultimately for risk taker (7)

{INSURER} : Anagram of(Poor) “return is” minus(without) the last letter of(ultimately) “profit”.

Defn: … in exchange for payment of a premium.

8d    Admittedly, cross-index Eternal City (6)

{EXETER} : Hidden in(Admittedly) “cross-index Eternal”.

9d    Machines that break down in the kitchen? (4,10)

{FOOD PROCESSORS} : Cryptic defn: Reference to kitchen appliances that chop, grind, blend, etc (break down) ingredients.

Answer:  You could call these TV chefs the same.  They’re not machines, but they could do the same, and more, and look better too than the machines:


16d    Talks incoherently of line in golf clubs given to son (9)

{SPLUTTERS} : { [abbrev. for “line”] contained in(in) [golf clubs used around and on the greens] } placed below(given to, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “son”].

17d    The French must welcome a bridge game for two teams (8)

{LACROSSE} : [French for “the”] containing(must welcome) { A + [to bridge;to span over intervening space] } .

19d    Chased across area inhabited by ghosts (7)

{HAUNTED} : [chased, eg. prey] containing(across) [abbrev. for “area”].

21d    Finished up accepting fiction – outstanding work (7)

{RELIEVO} : Reversal of(up, in a down clue) [finished;what it is when the fat lady sings] containing(accepting) [a fiction;a conconction].

Defn: Artwork that literally stands out from the surrounding background. It could also be figuratively outstanding of course.


22d    A great deal of panic, squashing a black beetle (6)

{SCARAB} : All but its last letter of(A great deal of) [a moment of panic;fear] placed over(squashing, in a down clue) A + [abbrev. for “black”].

24d    Equally divided, concealing rise of perfect state (5)

{IDYLL} : Hidden in(concealing) and reversal of(rise of, in a down clue) “Equally divided”.

The Quick crossword pun: (flea} + {tear} + {arm} = {Fleet Air Arm}

41 Replies to “DT 27453”

  1. My views of the crossword difficulty seldom agree with the reviewer. Yesterday Gazza went for 4* and I didn’t have much trouble with it. Today I am struggling so thought I would look at the reviewer’s star rating. Lo and behold it’s only 2*. Have not looked at the hints so will now go back and see if I can do better. May report back later.

  2. Thank you Jay – enjoyable and not too hard for me. Thanks Scchua for your review, hints and beautiful photos !

  3. Much fun and enough challenge – thank you Jay. ***/***. Didn’t sus out 8d properly so stupidly could only come up with eleven (cross index!) so thanks scchua for putting me straight on that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif 6d and 21d amongst favs.

  4. Not too difficult, but definitely not a write-in. This was a typical Jay where crossing letters were required to solve some of the clues. I was held up for a while by wanting to use NESS for head in 28A but luckily 22D put me on the path to righteousness.
    Favourite today has to be 12A as it
    a) made me chuckle a tad and
    b) reminded me of a previous clue which I thought was excellent (if I remember rightly, it was BESTED (7) with the same answer as 12A)

    1. Not much difficulty today but as usual nice surface reads, clever clues and a laugh or two along the way. Ta to all.

      1. Hi Skempie. I too love 12ac and last saw it in the quickie some time ago. Another word I love is CLEAVE which has two meanings 1, To join together. 2, To split apart. Take your pick.

  5. I enjoyed this – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Apart from trying to make 3d an anagram for far too long I didn’t have much trouble.
    I liked 9 and 19d. My favourite is either 26a (that’s me today) or 22d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Raining in Oxford and our collie has had another quite big stroke.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gifShe had one about a year ago and recovered completely but she’s worse this time.

    1. Sorry about your collie, Kath. Those of us who share our lives with animals understand how much part of the family they become, and how difficult it is when they suffer injury or illness.

    2. Thanks to all of you. She’s very wobbly and inclined to go round in circles at the moment – will just have to wait and see how she is in a few days time.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      1. Thanks Merusa – she’s very wobbly but Pet Lamb Number One is home tonight as she’s giving a talk in Oxford tomorrow and Annie was SO pleased to see her which was lovely.

    1. Welcome to the blog Gordon.
      Chambers has worst as a transitive verb meaning “to get the better of in a contest; defeat”.

  6. I thought it was between 2 and 3. Faffed around for too long in the NE due to using interim for 13a. Knew it wasn’t quite right but didn’t think of that river or the ‘y’.

    I considered reliefs for 21d but had never heard of the other term despite its fitting 29.

    Ta to scchua for explanation of 13 and the pics.
    Fav was 12a

  7. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I must be having a bad day, I found this so difficult, especially at the top. Needed 7 hints to finish. I missed both the cities & the anagram in 1d. There was a new word in 21d. but I got it from the wordplay. Also needed the hint to parse 6d. No favorites, was 4*/3* for me. Sun being hidden by the pollution in Central London.

  8. One of Jays easier offerings but very enjoyable, thanks to Jay and to scchua for a delightful review.

  9. I found this quite tough today but very enjoyable so I am going for 3*/3.5*.

    I never knew the first word of 5d could mean cutting, and the answer to 21d was a new word for me.

    My favourite was 12a.

    Many thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  10. Enjoyable mid week puzzle, not too easy, not too difficult. Fair to middling, as my grandfather used to say. 3d was my favourite.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  11. NE & SW corners held us up for a while & required a bit of assistance from Scchua, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad & quite enjoyable. When oh when will we find it as easy as BigBoab! Thank you to the setter & to Scchua.

    1. I may be an old hand as Una suggests but I am not in the same league as Gazza, Crypticsue, BD, Libellule etc etc, all I will say is keep trying SheilaP cos that’s what I did and I am still loving every crossword solve I manage thanks to Big Dave and his crew. Thanks for your kind words on this and previous crosswords SheilaP.

  12. A puzzle of two halves – after a flying start I was stuck for quite a while. Worked out an answer for 21d but had to check on its meaning to be sure. So sorry to hear about your pet’s problems, Kath, it’s never easy when they seem to be suffering. I hope that she makes another good recovery.

    1. Thanks – I don’t think that she’s suffering at all – just a bit befuddled and wondering what has happened to her. If we thought that she was suffering it would be completely different.

  13. I found this very enjoyable and ** for difficulty. I didn’t know 21d but easy enough to google. I needed the hints to confirm my answer to 7d. Fav was 12a with honourable mention to 22d and 26a. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  14. Took a while to get into gear today but an enjoyable steady plod. I had to refer to BRB re ‘worsted’. I then checked with a greater authority (Scchua) and all was well. I would rate this as 3.5*/3.5* My thanks to Schuaa.

  15. As ever on a Wednesday, I’m not on the same wavelength as Jay or most of you guys, because I really struggled with this one (again) even with Scchua’s detailed review. It’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for me. I do hate it when I have to come here with only half the puzzle done. That’s a criticism of me, not anyone else.

    Having said that, I enjoyed 3d and 5d. 12a made me chuckle and was my favourite, so it’s not all bad! A couple of new (or forgotten) words here for me: 21d and 25a.

    Sorry to hear about your dog Kath. I hope she picks up.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua

    1. I think that once you (ie one, rather than you) have identified a self-fulfilling prophecy it’s really difficult to get out of it. Toughies do it to me all the time – if it’s called a Toughie I can’t do it, usually. What you need is a run of doable Wednesdays and all will become possible.
      Thank you for good wishes for our wonderful girl.

  16. Yes 21d was a killer
    My dictionary isnt the best and it wasnt in so had to go on the intra-web as the closest British library is 650 miles away
    But a great and enjoyable puzzle for a midweek break

  17. For me a 3 star for difficulty with some clues that were beyond me completely:
    7d, 8d and 21d so Thx to Scchua foe the hints. Only a 2 star for enjoyment, too many complex clues for my personal preference.

  18. An enjoyable puzzle with some really good surfaces. A 2 for difficulty and 3 for enjoyment. Particularly Liked 14a and 26a. Thanks for the review and to the setter for the puzzle.

  19. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable but not over-taxing puzzle, and to schhua for review and hints. I would rate this one at 2*/4*, and nominate 22d as my favourite. Not because it’s a particularly clever clue; it just made me smile when l saw the solution. No day is wasted when I’m reminded of my favourite character in my favourite childhood book!

  20. One of the easiest for a long while IMHO. I base that on the fact that I didn’t need any ‘help’ and I did it in the time allowed.
    I’ve heard 12a used in common parlance before now.

  21. Too busy, too tired and too fat to do this last night, but got through it this morning with little difficulty but much enjoyment. Plenty of good clues and some cunningly disguised “included in” posers. 2* /4* for me.

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