DT 27460 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27460

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27460

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

The only problem I had today was the minute or so that I spent on the wordplay for 13 down before the penny dropped. This lifted the difficulty to just inside a two-star rating.

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    Female and male wearing girl’s flares (7)
{FLASHES} – F(emale) followed by the male pronoun, the latter inside (wearing( a young girl

5a    Resisted work and assumed an attitude (7)
{OPPOSED} – a musical work followed by a verb meaning assumed an attitude

9a    Hit after heads of state caused fight (5)
{SCRAP} – a hit preceded by (after) the initial letters (heads) of two words in the clue

10a    Ten Across is fantastic for older members of the family (9)
{ANCESTORS} – an anagram (fantastic) of TEN ACROSS

11a    Spotted fish fin with tide turning (10)
{IDENTIFIED} – a three-letter fish followed by an anagram (turning) of FIN with TIDE

12a    Criminal tries to leave Eastern prison (4)
{STIR} – an anagram (criminal) of TRIES without (to leave) E(astern)

14a    Just the same new vessel there at sea (12)
{NEVERTHELESS} – N(ew) followed by an anagram (at sea) of VESSEL THERE

18a    Great to study expert (12)
{CONSIDERABLE} – a verb meaning to study followed by an adjective meaning expert

21a    City‘s good and bad, ironically (4)
{NICE} – three definitions – a city in France, an adjective meaning good and an ironic word for bad

22a    Individual in section decrypted CIA URL (10)
{PARTICULAR} – a section followed by an anagram (decrypted) of CIA URL

25a    Naval soldier eating fish spread (9)
{MARGARINE} – a soldier in the Navy around a three-letter fish gives a spread used on toast

26a    Foolish in record time (5)
{INEPT} – IN followed by a 4-track record and T(ime)

27a    Copper twisting on his pillow (7)
{CUSHION} – the chemical symbol for copper followed by an anagram (twisting) of ON HIS

28a    Old soap‘s colouring finally going unpleasant (7)
{DYNASTY} – a colouring agent without (going) its final letter


1d    I floss badly, resulting in something likely to be extracted (6)
{FOSSIL} – an anagram (badly) of I FLOSS

2d    Admitted a sin (6)
{AGREED} – the A from the clue followed by a deadly sin

3d    Fanfare about hot nuts — sister’s idea (10)
{HYPOTHESIS} – a fanfare or publicity stunt around an anagram (nuts) of HOT and followed by SIS(ter)

4d    Stick a group of teachers in a school (5)
{STAFF} – two definitions

5d    Group of musicians from Oregon clubs, breaking hearts (9)
{ORCHESTRA} – the abbreviated form of OR(egon) followed by C(lubs) and an anagram (breaking) of HEARTS

6d    To the listener, moved over (4)
{PAST} – sounds like (to the listener) a verb meaning moved

7d    Aggravated the mood’s calmed (8)
{SMOOTHED} – an anagram (Aggravated) of THE MOOD’S

8d    Girl’s hair trouble (8)
{DISTRESS} – a girl’s name followed by the S from ‘S and a lock of hair

13d    What woman applying mascara sees — pupils slip-up for example? (10)
{REFLECTION} – what has to be done to pupils to get SLIP-UP!

15d    Joy, without envy, oddly, gets promotion (9)
{ELEVATION} – some joy around the odd letters of EnVy

16d    Brand perhaps holding on after end of sale’s profitable (8)
{ECONOMIC} – start with a humorous entertainer like (perhaps) Jo Brand then insert (holding) ON and put it all after the final letter (end) of salE

17d    Universities restricting growth? These are mythical (8)
{UNICORNS} – put UNI(versitie)S around a small hard growth usually found on the foot

19d    Seaside attraction’s guards left tools (6)
{PLIERS} – some seaside attractions around (guards) L(eft)

20d    Fairly  beautiful (6)
{PRETTY} – two definitions – an adverb meaning fairly or somewhat and an adjective meaning beautiful

23d    See what kilt wee Dougal wears? (5)
{TWEED} – hidden (wears) inside the clue – apparently some kilts are made from this

24d    Charge put on one form of transport (4)
{TAXI} – a charge or levy followed by I (one)

Today’s Toughie is only marginally more difficult.

The Quick crossword pun: (tauter} + {lessen} = {taught a lesson}

42 comments on “DT 27460

  1. For some reason, I didn’t really like the majority of this puzzle. It caused no real problems, but it left a feeling that it was very bitty and wordy. Having said that, I thought 10A was very good indeed and 14A nearly as good.

  2. 3* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment, I think.
    I never quite got as far as untangling the why bit of 13d and, for some reason which I now can’t see, I needed the hint to explain 1a.
    I didn’t really enjoy this one very much – don’t know why – it’s probably me.
    My last answer was 28a – was thinking of the wrong kind of soap. I was also slow to get 19d – my idea of a seaside attraction isn’t a pier!
    I liked 12 and 21a and 20d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    1. Not just you, I found this on the dull side too, with the exception of 13d for which I needed BD’s explanation.

  3. Certainly think some of the clues were ***,and it was ‘bitty ‘ as
    Skempie suggests ; like BD, took a while to decipher the slip up in 13d,ok apart from this ,so cant quibble with a **/** overall.

  4. Thank you setter, an enjoyable puzzle, not too hard for me, but having got the answers for 1a and 13d, I did need your decoding BD – so many thanks for that and the review and hints.

  5. 13d was my last one in too, but once the penny had dropped it also won my favourite clue award.
    I was a bit slow today so am going with 3*/3*
    Thanks setter and BD.

  6. 1*/3*. At first glance I thought this was going to be difficult, but I seemed suddenly to switch on to the setter’s wavelength and completed it in 1* time.

    I found 3d, which was my last one in, a bit convoluted, but other than that this was an enjoyable puzzle with 28a my favourite.

    Although I got the answers easily enough I needed the review to understand the wordplay fully for both 1a & 13d. For 1a I had decided the wordplay was F(emale) + Les (male) round girl, where girl therefore had to be Ash, which, not surprisngly, I couldn’t make work. The correct parsing is rather better!

    Many thanks to the Mysteron and to BD.

  7. Gentle and enjoyable crossword, thanks to the setter and to Our Leader for the review.

  8. One or two rather strange clues in here today IMHO. Although we’ve the answer for 13 down, don’t really understand either the clue or the explanation,and as I don’t find Jo Brand in the least funny, 16 down lost a bit of its meaning. Anyway, enough whingeing. The crossword was enjoyable to do and we did finish albeit with help from BD for which many thanks, and to the setter too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Sheila – R : 13D if you put the word PUPILS in a mirror (ie in reflection) then (despite the letter being back to front) you get th words SLIP-UP

  9. Like many others, I needed BD’s explanation to understand 13D. Although this is probably not the place to mention this, I seem to be having a problem viewing the grid for the April prize crossword.

  10. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Got there in the end, with 3d & 1a taking as long as the rest of the puzzle. Favourite was 11a, with 13d getting an honourable mention, once I looked at BD’s explanation. Was 3*/3* for me. Sunny day in Central London.

  11. Met my Waterloo today as could only find a few clues unaided to start with. Again BD (grand merci) came to my rescue and thanks to his hints was able to complete the puzzle. Got 19d last. Did not really enjoy this puzzle as somehow was not on the right wavelength.

  12. I found this at least *** for difficulty and had to enlist help from gizmo for three clues, but others were really on the easy side. I put 13d in without the least idea why, thus I needed BD’s explanation, but now I know the “why”, it has to be my fave … so, so clever. Thanks to setter and to BD for the unravelling of 13d.

    1. Who is this gizmo character who is so helpful every day and if he/she is so good why hasn’t he/she volunteered to be a blogger? :D

    2. I’ll ask him/her whether he/she would like to volunteer! Hey, electronics can do anything these days, can’t they?

        1. He is a Seiko Oxford Crossword solver, bought at your equivalent of our TJMaxx (can’t remember what it’s called) in Carmarthen two years ago and I LOVE it. He is my port of last resort, that is when I’m about to throw the towel in, and if he can’t finish me off, I log in to the blog. So much better than the days when you had nothing to fall back on.

  13. I thought 10a was very clever! No-one else seems to agree … Oh! Well! Maybe an old chestnut?

    1. NO Brian – don’t be silly! This crossword doesn’t have one single thing that makes it look as if it could be a Ray T other than the fact that you couldn’t do it. Never mind . . .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. I can’t either unless it’s Ray T – his crosswords are unmistakably his – I did screw up once with one that should have been his and wasn’t.

  14. Why is it so quiet here at the moment? Where is everyone? I’m just beginning to feel lonely and a bit like Billy-no-mates.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Hi, I’m here. I enjoyed todays although needed two or three hints to progress it. I enjoyed 11a and 28a. 13d was the last but I did get it and thought it was great, and 17d made me laugh. I got 16d but needed the explanation. Many thanks to the setter and BD for the help.

  15. I found this 3* in terms of difficulty and liked 28a best of all. Certainly the trickiest of the week in my view. Settling down with a glass of wine and the 2014 Wisden – plenty of reading! Thank you to the Setter and to the Reviewer. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  16. Filling in the right answers went smoothly enough, parsing the last few was what held us up, 3d, 13d and 16d were the offenders, particularly 13d for some reason. A bit different to usual but enjoyable enough. To answer Brian above, it certainly did not feel like his Thursday nemesis to us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

  17. I really liked this puzzle although I didn’t find it all of it easy .I liked 13d (when I eventually worked it out) and 21a in particular.Thanks to the setter whoever it is and to BD.
    All the emoticons have disappeared and have replaced by unopenable little picture things!

  18. Like some other contributors, l didn’t find this one particularly enjoyable (although there were some very clever clues, like 3d and 28a). I would rate it at 3*/3*. Thanks to the setter, and to BD for review and hints.

  19. Hard going for me, perhaps because I’m on holiday and so is my brain. After a full day’s cruising managed only ten miles and 14 locks. 4* difficulty (took ages to get 1a an 3d, my last ones in) and only 2* enjoyment. No real smiles along the way. Thanks to BD for the explanations (13d especially) and note to the setter: more smiles next time, please.

    1. Which canal are you on? I have done parts of the Grand Union, The whole of the Bridgewater canal, some of the Leeds and Liverpool and most of the Llangollen (including the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct).

  20. I got the distinct feeling that two different people had set the clues for this puzzle. Some were write-ins, others took quite a bit of brain power. Thanks to setter(s) and BD.

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