DT 27459 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27459

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27459

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A straightforward puzzle, enjoyable as always from Jay, to whom thanks.  A <1.5*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment.

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    Yet to be paid for trip across brook (11)

{OUTSTANDING} : [a trip;an excursion, especially one organised for a group] containing(across) [to brook;to tolerate, as in “I shall brook no nonsense from you lot”].

9a    A wave from the Queen on holiday? (7)

{BREAKER} : [abbrev. from Latin, for the current Queen] placed after(on, in an across clue) [a holiday;a respite from work]

10a    Transfer allegiance, and turn aside, dismissing student (6)

{DEFECT} : [to turn aside;to change the direction of, say, a bullet] minus(dismissing) [plate exhibited by a student driver].

12a    Crazy comedienne — not one from a certain region (7)

{ENDEMIC} : Anagram of(Crazy) “comedienne minus(not) “one “.

13a    Duty to keep height of trees restricted? (4,3)

{POLL TAX} : Cryptic defn: Possibly a fiscal duty imposed by the government if you did not cut off or trim the tops of your trees (or maybe the horns of your cattle) .

14a    Man‘s beer consumed by heartless vagrant (5)

{VALET} : [beer] contained in(consumed by) the 2 outermost letters of(heartless) “vagrant “.

Defn: … assigned as a personal attendant to someone.

Answer:  It used to be a man to help you dress (and other things), but now it need not be a man, and she would (only) park your car for you (hopefully without crashing it).


15a    Signs of use found on two foreign articles of clothing (9)

{UNDERWEAR} : [signs of use, usually in conjunction with “tear”] placed after(found on, in an across clue) [ French and German, respectively, for an article in grammar].

Defn: …, certainly foreign if you’re going commando.


17a    Passing test, ran in to get drunk! (9)

{TRANSIENT} : Anagram of(… to get drunk) TEST, RAN IN.

20a    Excursion by son’s sports outfit (5)

{STRIP} : [an excursion;an outing] placed after(by, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “son”].

Some sports are just more spectator-friendly:


22a    Target in income from leasing gear (7)

{RAIMENT} : [a target;an objective] contained in(in) [income from leasing out, say, a house].

Defn: … that you would wear.

24a    Church clean-out gets place for altar (7)

{CHANCEL} : [abbrev. for a church] + anagram of(…-out) CLEAN.

25a    Shot a quail finally – that is for the keeper (6)

{GOALIE} : [a shot;an attempt] + A + last letter of(… finally) “quail” + [abbrev. from Latin for “that is”].

I don’t know who they play for, but they look pretty healthy:


26a    Popular demand, but not quite correct (7)

{INEXACT} : `[popular;in fashion] + [to demand from, eg. a tax or even a pound of flesh].

27a    Taken to task by new premier and daughter (11)

{REPRIMANDED} : Anagram of(new) { PREMIER AND + [abbrev. for “daughter”] }.


2d    Scruffy drunk empties bottles (7)

{UNKEMPT} : Hidden in(… bottles) “drunk empties “.

3d    Building criticism with Unionist ousting Independent (9)

{STRUCTURE} : [a criticism;censure] with [abbrev. for “Unionist”] replacing(ousting) [abbrev. for “Independent”].

4d    Make sense of total (3,2)

{ADD UP} : Double defn: 1st: To be consistent and logical; and 2nd: As a verb.

5d    Put off contents of oily polluter (7)

{DEFILER} : [to put off;to delay] containing(importing) the 2 inner letters of(contents of) “oily “.

Defn: … or even a spoiler or corrupter.

6d    Item of clothing produced by Nike, etc? (7)

{NECKTIE} : Anagram of(produced by) NIKE, ETC.

Answer:  The symbol of the white collar worker… but only if you wear a shirt as well, not just suspenders:


7d    Short note on a right-winger’s scientific base (11)

{OBSERVATORY} : [to note;to take notice of] minus its last letter(Short …) placed above(on, in a down clue) A + [traditionally, a right-winger in British politics].

8d    Old-fashioned male taking heart after conflict (6)

{FEUDAL} : The 2 inner letters of(… taking heart) “male placed below(after, in a down clue) [a longstanding conflict].

11d    Draw conclusion more work is sent up after hours (11)

{EXTRAPOLATE} : [more;in excess] + reversal of(… is sent up, in a down clue) [abbrev. for a musical work] + [after hours;past the time due].

Defn: … or infer by projecting beyond range of known or available data.

16d    Police work cited note in question (9)

{DETECTION} : Anagram of(… in question) CITED NOTE.

18d    Notice international model showing some fat (7)

{ADIPOSE} : [short for a notice promoting, say, a product] + [abbrev. for “international”] + [to model;to sit for, say, an artist or photographer].

19d    Tears spilt embracing lines of stars (7)

{STELLAR} : Anagram of(spilt) TEARS containing(embracing) 2 x [abbrev. for “line”].

20d    Seems worried about one with a cat (7)

{SIAMESE} : Anagram of(…worried) SEEMS containing(about) { [Roman numeral for “one”] plus(with) A } .

21d    Ethnic currency of Middle-East catching a cold (6)

{RACIAL} : [unit of currency in the Middle Eastern countries of Iran, Oman, and Yemen] containing(catching) [abbrev. for “cold”].

23d    Contractual condition covering hospital heating unit (5)

{THERM} : [contractual condition, as in “T&Cs apply” in the fine print] containing(covering) [abbrev. for “hospital”].

Defn: Not your radiator but a unit of measurement of heat.

The Quick crossword pun: (flight} + {hipper} = {fly-tipper}

43 comments on “DT 27459

  1. I agree with Scchua */***. Not taxing but good fun.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua.

  2. Two territory for me but then again I’m pretty thick. Usual high quality pictures from scchua, many thanks to the setter & scchua for the early review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  3. 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment from me today.
    Being slow to get 1a and 7d made things slightly more difficult than they should have been.
    I couldn’t do 8 or 21d for ages either and, just for a change, missed the 2d hidden answer – when will I get to grips with these blasted things?!
    I liked 25a and 2 and 11d. I didn’t have a particular favourite today.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Nice sunny day but chilly in Oxford – more digging to be done in the veggie garden.

    1. Every time you mention your veggie garden, I go green with envy. I just imagine in the summer foraging in your garden for your dinner veggies, then slinging them into the pot. They do not get fresher than that, such a difference to getting days’ old, sometimes weeks’ old stuff in the supermarket. I enjoy all veggies but Swiss chard is so special.

      1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifIt is lovely – we’re dead lucky. We do grow chard but spinach, French beans and all the salad stuff are the things that I would hate to be without – now back to the digging and planting or there won’t be any veg this year!

      2. Just to make you both jealous – we’ve just had the first asparagus spears from the garden – delicious.

        1. We get our asparagus from Chile! Our soil is so sandy and full of naematodes so veg don’t do well. I plant my flowers in large containers, just to give them a fighting chance. They’ve done quite well this year, the nun orchid is just finishing and was spectacular.

        2. I’ll tell you a nice little story about asparagus some time – in fact two little stories! Not now as about to have supper. One little story ishttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gifand the other is http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        3. We moved here donkeys years ago. It’s a big old farmhouse with about 1/2 or 2/3 acre. The Pet Lambs were little and I was a young and inexperienced gardener. We moved in July – come early Spring I was keen to get going with the vegetable garden. Most of the digging was pretty easy but then I came across some enormous roots – they took me days to get rid of – when I’d finished I was pretty proud of myself until a friend came round and he told me that I’d dug up all the asparagus – oh dear! I’ve never lived it down.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
          On the plus side we have a PYO farm about a couple of miles away (by road) but through the woods at the back of our house it’s a quick ten minutes walk – they’ve just planted asparagus . . .

          1. That is funny! I never knew they had such substantial roots. I suppose they send up those delicious sprigs every year. Champagne risotto with asparagus spears, yum-yum. Enjoy the garden, I can no longer do much there but I still love it.

    2. With hidden words, I usually look for them if the clue lacks a bit of structure and doesn’t make sense. Sometimes there is an indication of a hidden word when “in” is in the clue, or “included” or some such like indicator. Having said that, I missed a couple in a Virgilius the other week, but normally I see them.

      1. I think I might have to start each crossword by writing something in large red letters across the top to remind me – I really am hopeless with them.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  4. Only problem today was 8D which required a whole cup of coffee to itself !!! (and three exclamation marks).

    No real stand out clues today, just the usual Jay excellence.

  5. I too was held up by 8d which was my last one in and prevented a much speedier completion. 2*/3*
    Thanks Jay and Scchua for your usual entertainingly illustrated review.

  6. I’m also in the 8D club – got there in the end.

    However, a red-letter day for me – I’ve completed the toughie (I think).

    That and the sun is shining – happy days!

  7. 4* for difficulty & only 2* for enjoyment! because we really struggled with this one I’m afraid. Without the hints, we wouldn’t have been able to finish at all, so thank you Scchua & thank you to the setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  8. Enjoyed the puzzle but does Feudal really mean “Old Fashioned?” it does not not in my version of the BRB (iPad)

  9. Following Kath’s advice on self fulfilling prophesies, I persevered with this puzzle from Jay. Helpfully, I suspect it was one of his easier offerings and I completed it without too much trouble or use of TippEx. I think I’ve finally twigged why I struggle with Jay’s puzzles: it’s the clue construction which can be quite forensic (trying to avoid using the word “convoluted”!) to my mind and it clearly needs a different approach from me to solve them compared with puzzles from most of the other setters… still hurts my brain but at least now I know :-) Thanks to Jay and to Scchua

  10. This was ** territory for me today but enjoyable, as I think most crosswords are. Great feeling of accomplishment when I finished. Last one in, like most, was 8d and I needed help from electronic gizmo for that. Fav? I dunno, maybe 12a. Struggled to make an anagram of that, then the doh moment, we’re supposed to take all of “one” away for the anagram. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for review, though not needed today.

  11. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, was a bit tricky in places, but managed to finish without the hints, was 2*/3* for me. Sat by the boating lake in the sun, very nice solve. Favourites were 24&25a. Last in was 8d.

  12. About half completed before lights out last night, and finished off in fits and starts this morning; my typical experience with a Jay puzzle. Last one in was 7d, preceded by 8d!

  13. I don’t know why it took me so long to do but once I got into it ,it filled in nicely.15a made me smile as I had been looking for two actual articles of clothing to begin with. Thanks to setter & sschua although I didn’t need the hints today.

  14. Thank you Jay – one of your easier ones I think. With Mrs SW’s input we finished most of it during breakfast. Lovely morning on Anglesey and nice to see chough again – and puffin of course ! Many thanks Scchua for your review, hints and fab. photos ! ( as always ! )

  15. As always what is easy for one is difficult for another. I found the left hand side at least a 3 star diff but would agree that the right was more straightforward. Except for 25a which was a new word to me I think but was solvable from the wordplay.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian, are you seriously telling me that, as a Brit hombre, you have never heard of 25a before! I thought Brits lived and breathed soccer, so you must be unique

      1. Merusa, I can assure you that not every brit lives football, on the contrary. I found it quite interesting the the DT has started too see the light ans separates the football pages from the sports section on Mondays, all they have to now is move it to the Business Section where it belongs. Having said that, even as someone who abhors soccer, I know the word in 25A in fact I believe the Brian does too really and is just trying to be back to his normal obstreperous self

          1. …err… me too.. and I expect everybody , except Brian, unless he put in the wrong clue by accident.My bet is he meant 24a, as he always claims he knows nothing about religion.

  16. Thank you Jay for a most enjoyable puzzle which I finished in about one hour, quite a record for me. Liked 7d and 25a. Thank you to scchua although I did not need your hints. On the other hand struggled dreadfully with today’s Toughie… Wonderful weather in Hyères where we spend half the year.

    1. Ahh, Hyères – my Dad moved from there recently to nr. Limoges. Spent many an hour or 4 at La Regence and a bit further up the hill at l’eau à la bouche – happy memories..

      Enjoyed today’s offering and managed to complete it (with a tiny bit of electronic help). Thanks to Jay and scchua ***/*** for me.

  17. I had “observation” as the answer for 7d and I thought the setter had quite a sophisticated understanding of the science process: observation, hypothesis etc. Hubris !That put paid to 22a. My favourite is 15a. I like that type of clue. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  18. ***/*** I’m with SheilaP as I tackled this with some difficulty, but also enjoyment, however I did finally make it without having to resort to hints. In agreement with Annidrum and Una 15d amused me too. Thanks Jay for so far http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifcontinuing an enjoyable week of puzzles.

  19. 2*/4* for me, with some clever and satisfying clues (15a my particular favourite). Many thanks to Jay for bringing a smile back to my lips after a rather tedious Toughie, and to schuua for review and hints.

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