DT 27454 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27454

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27454

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Mindful of recent comments about difficulty ratings, I still think this is easier than a normal back-pager and is definitely one of Ray T’s easier puzzles. All of the usual features are here – the Queen, initial letters, hidden words, a homophone, touches of innuendo and a total lack of two-word answers.

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    Possibly voting yes to keep Queen’s autonomy (11)
{SOVEREIGNTY} – an anagram (possibly) of VOTING YES around (to keep) the Queen’s regnal cipher – if this is aimed at our Scottish readers then surely it should be “voting no”!

9a    Performer‘s parts listed endlessly (7)
{ARTISTE} – two words in the clue without their respective outer letters (endlessly)

10a    Hold sailors’ ball (6)
{ABSORB} – the usual two-letter abbreviation for a sailor followed by the S from ‘S and a ball or sphere

12a    Try to accept everything’s most unlikely (7)
{TALLEST} – try (noun or verb) around (to accept) a word meaning everything

13a    Space otherwise providing frozen water (7)
{ORIFICE} – a charade of two two-letter words meaning otherwise and providing followed by some frozen water

14a    Ale with no head that is not natural (5)
{EERIE} – some ale without (no) its initial letter (head) followed by the abbreviation of the Latin for “that is”

15a    Concealed nothing after gin and tonic’s drunk (9)
(INCOGNITO} – O (nothing) after an anagram (drunk) of GIN and TONIC

17a    Seducer Romeo was in shambles, losing first love (9)
{WOMANISER} – an anagram (shambles) of R(O)MEO WAS IN without (losing) the first O (love)

20a    City is winning for the audience (5)
{LEEDS} – this city in West Yorkshire sounds like (for the audience) a verb meaning is winning or is in front

22a    Run out and play guitar being put on stage (7)
{ROSTRUM} – the cricketing abbreviation for Run Out followed by a verb meaning to play the guitar

24a    Endure going in for each dressing (7)
{PLASTER} – a verb meaning to endure inside a three-letter word meaning for each

25a    Fifty-one pounds ready to spend (6)

{LIQUID} – split as (2,4) this could be fifty-one pounds with the number in Roman numerals

26a    Approach to do performance, tense inside (7)
{CONTACT} – a verb meaning to do or defraud and a performance around T(ense)

27a    Spreading sunscreen, say, topless is excessive (11)
{UNNECESSARY} – an anagram (spreading) of SUNSCREEN (S)AY without the initial letter of the second word (topless)


2d    Dirty old boy overlooking spectacle (7)
{OBSCENE} – the abbreviation for a school’s Old Boy followed by (overlooking in a down clue) a spectacle

3d    Wiring in circle — set buzzing (9)
{ELECTRICS} – an anagram (buzzing) of CIRCLE SET

4d    Muse, time and time over (5)
{ERATO} – a long period of time followed by T(ime) and O(over)

5d    Bird‘s shy following pass (7)
{GOSLING} – this young bird is derived by putting a verb meaning to shy or throw after a two-letter verb meaning to pass

6d    Tighter miniskirts hugging ends (7)
{TERMINI} – hidden (hugging) inside the clue

7d    China perhaps in fear, then war ensues (11)
{EARTHENWARE} – once again, hidden inside (in) the clue

8d    Flatter with small lie by Romeo (6)
{STALER} – S(mall) followed by a lie or untruth and the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO Phonetic alphabet

11d    Move to arrest men for protest (11)
{REMONSTRATE} – an anagram (move) of TO ARREST MEN – if you started your answer with D and couldn’t fathom the wordplay, now you know why!

16d    Around Riviera borders, walks finding shells (9)
{CARAPACES} – the two-letter abbreviation of the Latin for around and a verb meaning walks around the outer letters (borders) of RivierA

18d    Girl, one concerned with exercise (7)
{MISSION] – a young girl followed by I (one) and a two-letter word meaning concerned with

19d    Food  cultivation (7)
{NURTURE} – two definitions

20d    Redhead embraced by weedier novice (7)
{LEARNER} – the initial letter (head) of Red inside (embraced by) an adjective meaning weedier or thinner

21d    Opponent rapidly holding catch (6)
{ENTRAP} – our third and final hidden word (holding)

23d    Bug starts to move in dark, glowing endlessly (5)
{MIDGE} – the initial letters of (starts to) five words in the clue I bet the cockroach and the alley-cat enjoyed this one!

The Quick crossword pun: (havoc} + {upper} = {have a cuppa}

41 comments on “DT 27454

  1. Most definitely one of Ray T’s gentler offerings. Absolutely no problems at all even though I only had 4 or 5 words after the first pass of the across clues. I even managed to spell 1A correctly first time (well done me). I thought the hidden word in 7D was very clever indeed.

  2. Wonderful! 3*/5* rating.

    Many thanks to Ray T for a compelling, challenging and very enjoyable puzzle with 28 contenders for favourite. If pushed to choose one, I’ll settle for 25a.

    Thanks too to BD for his review.

  3. I can’t speak for the cockroach but the alley cat absolutely loved it – it’s made her day.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    I agree this was probably one of Ray T’s most straightforward crosswords – 1* difficulty and a whole 5* for enjoyment.
    It had all his trademarks apart from one clue having nine words in it – shock – horror.
    While I was doing it I felt as if there were quite a few anagrams but I’ve counted now and I’m wrong.
    I missed all the hidden answers (my personal betes noires) on first read through.
    Could see that 11d was an anagram but then spent far too long trying to justify ‘demonstrate’ – oh dear – how silly.
    I liked most of them really but just a few are 27a and 2, 7 and 23d. My favourite was 1a which I thought was brilliant.
    With thanks to Ray T and BD.

  4. Panic set in after the first read through only revealed two answers but its amazing what a mug of tea will do, I persevered & eventually only needed hints for two clues even though I had worked out 8D from the word play I have never heard of it in this context . Overahttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gifll this was an enjoyable solve, many thanks to the setter & BD for the review.Back to work now ripping apart my late mothers bungalow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  5. My fiendish plan worked again. i looked for the hidden words first and it all fell into place. I am a fan of RayT because he has a sense of humour and this comes through in all his puzzles. 7 was my favourite and also appreciated 2 3 6 13 15 16 23 etc etc. Thanks to Ray for beaming in on a wet and miserable morning.

  6. Thank you Ray T, another enjoyable puzzle. Loved the hidden word clues. Thanks BD for the review and hints. Never easy for me, but always good fun.

  7. An easier than usual Ray T but the usual great fun. Thank you to him and BD too.

    It has been a while since I gave a ‘toughie tip of the day’ but today’s seems to have missed the fact that it is Thursday and actually does what it says on the tin. You have been warned!

    1. It sounds as if it could be a good day for me to steer well clear of the Toughie – thanks for the warning! The garden will benefit.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. I’ve had a quick look and got a few – I don’t like 24d – the clue, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the answer. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  8. I’m with Graham on the magic of a cuppa. Had to have blood taken this morning and complete fasting was the order of the day. So I began the puzzle ‘dry’ and cranky, but once back home and outside of a cuppa, everything flowed. I didn’t fall for the 11D trap. I did however, have goswing for 5D. Well, I thought it was a bird so my answer made pefect sense to me. Heigh ho.

    Usual lovely stuff from Ray T. so many thanks to him and to BD for the review.

  9. Many thanks to Ray T and BD, a gentle but fun crossword and a super review. The Elkamere toughie today is very do-able if a wee bitty tough.

  10. I really hate Thursday’s crossword. Yes I know you all love RayT, & think he’s the best thing since sliced bread, but you see, I just can’t do his puzzles, I’m just not on his wavelength at all, so have to use the hints all the time. So, although I’m very happy for you, it’s roll on tomorrow for me.Thank you to RayT, & thank goodness for BD.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      1. If I get a pint of stale beer it doesn’t go flat – it staright back over the bar and then down the drain

        1. Now see what you’ve made me do. I’m supposed to be on the wagon so that I can get back into my budgie smugglers this summer but now you’ve made me think of ale. It’ll have to be a bottle (or 2) of Snecklifter with tonight’s meal!

  11. First reading, got just one.
    Stared some more.
    Continued staring.
    Then it gradually came together, some proper struggles on the way.
    Last in 13a, very clever and cheeky.
    Many thanks, Ray T and BD for the review.

  12. A very enjoyable puzzle indeed.In the few weeks I have been with this blog I have noticed a trend in my own likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses: prominent is the fact I like this compiler. I would rate this 3*/4* I particularly liked 27A and 7D Thanks to Big Dave for his efforts.

  13. This one has a bit of everything. Some clever anagrams and hidden words. Last one in was 4d due to my lack of mythological knowledge. 2*/3*
    Thanks Ray T and BD for the review.

  14. I certainly wouldn’t call this an easy offering but certainly enjoyable. So many clever clues but I had to work really hard to finish this. The right-hand side went in readily but nearly gave up with some on the left. I got 7d early on, so there was help there. Favourite has to be 1a. Last in was 8d, I suspect I was not alone thinking of another flatter. Thanks to RayT for enjoyment and to BD for review.


  15. I solved this earlier today but could not blog it as I had to wait for the nurse from the Thrombosis Service to come and draw my blood for checkup!

    Faves : 12a, 15a, 25a, 5d, 8d & 16d.

    Weather here in NL still magnificent.

  16. I am glad I wasn’t the only one to have come up with few answers on a first run through but southern half then began to fall into place and hey presto it was complete without BD help (but thanks for being there) and many thanks to Ray T for great puzzle with absence of old chestnuts! Tie for fav between 13a and 15a. ***/****.

  17. Evening all. Many thanks to BD for the decryption and to all who left a comment.


  18. I’m obviously having one of my stupider days as I found it too difficult to finish.I didn’t spot any of the inclusive clues, and took the wrong slant on a lot of clues.We live and learn , I suppose .Thanks to all concerned.

  19. A bit short of time when we did this yesterday and didn’t check all the answers thoroughly, so find this morning that we had fallen in to the 11d trap. Good to see that Kath is on the ball and has noticed the extra word in 22a. We’re prepared to be forgiving though on this occasion as it was such an enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  20. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Ray T, I agree with Big Dave, a bit on the gentle side, but nonetheless entertaining. Favourites were 25a,6&7d two super hidden words. Sorry Kath :-) Last in was 8d. Was 2*/5* for me. After all the rain we’ve now got pollution, let’s have some normal weather if there is such a thing http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  21. For 20a why do you show a picture of the City Hall and not the Town Hall?
    I was born a Loiner so I remember both!

    A drag on my memory!

      1. It is actually the Civic Hall – not the City Hall – I still remember all the Leeds trams long since gone!

  22. Thoroughly enjoyable. I struggled a bit with some of the hidden answers and my butt is aching from the number of times I’ve kicked myself when I finally saw them. 7d is fabulous, as is 21d, my last one in, which I stared at for two glasses of Oloroso before finally seeing it. I also loved 13a, which gave me a chuckle on several levels. Just the thing to come home to after an evening’s graft at the coalface. Thanks to Ray T for the smiles and to BD for doing the business (absolutely right on 1a, by the way, and I’m a Scot). 3*/5* for me

  23. Love RayT crosswords! This one was most entertaining. Too many super clues to select a fave. Thought 7d was beautifully hidden.

    Alas! I fell headlong into the 11d trap, and managed to have ‘goswing’ for 5d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    Many thanks to RayT for a super puzzle, and to Big Dave for excellent explanations.

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