DT 27466 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27466

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27466

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Ray T tests our vocabulary like no other setter in this very enjoyable puzzle.

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    Choose one spiritualist, say, seeing bright future (10)
{OPTIMISTIC} – a three-letter verb meaning to choose followed by I (one) and what sounds like (say) a spiritualist

6a    The French socialist leader’s not so much! (4)
{LESS} – the plural French definite article followed by the initial letter (leader) of Socialist

9a    House radiolocation case in plane’s broken instruments (10)
{ALPENHORNS} – HO(use) and the outer letters (case) of RadiolocatioN inside an anagram (broken) of PLANE’S

10a    Capital left in Midland account initially (4)
{LIMA} – the initial letters of four words in the clue

12a    The setter scoffs empty dog’s dinner (4)
{MESS} – the first person objective pronoun (the setter) followed by S(coff)S without its inner letters (empty)

13a    Struggle by English head to follow American familiarity (9)
{AWARENESS} – a struggle or conflict followed by E(nglish) and a headland and preceded by A(merican)

15a    Reject record hit penning single (8)
{DISCLAIM} – a gramophone record followed by a verb meaning to hit around (penning) I (one / single)

16a    Female convert producing flag (6)
{FALTER} – F(emale) followed by a verb meaning to convert or change

18a    Where drivers are found to get offensive (6)
{INROAD} – split as (2,4) this is where car driver are usually found

20a    Rasputin upset religious moralists (8)
{PURITANS} – an anagram (upset) of RASPUTIN

23a    Wounded, holding one end of arm cut off (9)
{INSULATED} – a verb meaning wounded or offended around the initial letter (one end) of Arm

24a    Miss daughter born first (4)
{NEED} – D(aughter) preceded by the feminine form of a word meaning born, used in stating a woman’s maiden name

26a    Send out text messages, endlessly affected (4)
{TWEE} – most of (endlessly) a verb meaning to send out a text message on a specific social media site

27a    Depository shooter used, almost shot (10)
{STOREHOUSE} – an anagram (shot) of SHOOTER with most of USE(d)

28a    Act fit for the audience (4)
{RITE} – sounds like (for the audience) an adjective meaning fit or proper

29a    City of Rome spoilt in ruins (10)
{METROPOLIS} – an anagram (in ruins) of ROME SPOILT

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    China topped by old gem (4)
{OPAL} – a china or mate preceded by O(ld)

2d    Hats with cork tip dangling below (7)
{TOPPERS} – start with a cork or bung and move the initial letter(tip) to the end (dangling below in a down clue)

3d    It defines one or two, but not many! (12)
{MONOSYLLABLE} – one and two are this kind of word, but many (or seven etc.) are not

4d    Uneven fusion of disco and rap (8)
{SPORADIC} – an anagram (fusion) of DISCO and RAP

5d    Using some education I analyse ancient Greek (6)
{IONIAN} – hidden (using some) inside the clue

7d    Distinguished rapper nearly meets nastiest outsiders (7)
{EMINENT} – most of a well-known rap artist followed by the outer letters (outsiders) of NastiesT

8d    One having pins and needles in hands? (10)
{SEAMSTRESS} – a cryptic definition of this sewing lady

11d    Bond is on alert breaking in (12)
{RELATIONSHIP} – an anagram (breaking) of IS ON ALERT followed by an adjective meaning in or fashionable

14d    Broad, mini’s terribly constricting run (10)
{ADMINISTER} – hidden (constricting) inside the clue

17d    ‘Killer Queen’ after instrument’s turned up by Queen (8)
{MURDERER}- the Queen’s regnal cipher preceded by the reversal of a percussion instrument and followed by another instance of the cipher

19d    Observe using some miniature spectacles (7)
{RESPECT} – hidden (using some) inside the clue – pity that the same hidden-word indicator is repeated (see 5 down)

21d    Like former wife, coupled topless without libido (7)
{ASEXUAL} – a two-letter word meaning like followed by the usual former wife and an adjective meaning coupled or twofold without its initial letter (topless)

22d    Bust, perhaps, is acceptable in shape (6)
{STATUE} – the single letter for acceptable inside a word meaning shape or condition

25d    Caresses move upwards (4)
{PETS} – the reversal (upwards in a down clue) of a verb meaning to move one foot in front of the other

This morning I installed a major upgrade to the WordPress software. Please let me know if this causes any problems.

The Quick crossword pun: (twain} + {tiff} + {awe} = {twenty four}

46 comments on “DT 27466

  1. I am not alone in believing that this enjoyable crossword was put in the wrong envelope and should have been a Beam Toughie.

    Thanks to Ray and BD.

    1. I thought the top half hardly rated one-star difficulty, but the bottom half took nearly twice as long. Never a Toughie in my book.

    2. I thought it was really difficult too but I agree with Una that if it had been called a Toughie I wouldn’t have been able to do it at all. I wish I could get beyond that mental block. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  2. I hate to disagree with CS, but if I am able to do it , without electronic assistance or hints, then it can’t be a toughie.That’s a definition.
    I really admired 14d , very cleverly hidden.There were many really great clues 3d,21d etc, although I thought 9a and 13a were a bit contrived.I suppose one could say all cryptic clues are contrived.
    Thanks to Ray T and BD.

  3. It put up a bit of a fight for us, especially the SW corner. Took ages to spot the hidden word in 14d and to sort out the wordplay for 2d. We did our usual word count and everything in order this week. Good level of challenge and good fun.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  4. Most of this went in without any difficulty, my last three (3d, 11d, 29a) took me a little longer.
    Many thanks to RayT for a most enjoyable crossword, and to BD for the review.

    I thought the toughie was very good today as well.

  5. Thank you Ray T – one of your harder puzzles, for me at any rate. Good fun though, but I did need a lot of assistance from the Crossword dictionary and other outside sources ! I see that you are maintaining your challenge to be master of the hidden word – some really good ones today ! Thank you BD for the review and hints. I confess to needing your explanation of 2d. although I had the answer, I just couldn’t decode it !

    1. And me! I then spent ages trying to solve 23a (my last one in) with an incorrect checking letter before the penny dropped!

  6. I enjoyed this puzzle by the Master immensely. I like his sense of humour and it is a pleasure to solve his puzzles. Again, hidden words were very helpful but they were hidden in a very fiendish manner today. So many good clues of which 3 9 11 12 14 17 stood out but 21 was excellent. Fully expected 2 to be topless but never mind! Thanks to RayT for making my day.

  7. This is probably the most skilfully crafted crossword that I have completed and I did it without the hints so it must be 2*. I am a RayT convertee so thanks to him for the enjoyment and to BD for the hints

  8. 2.5*/5*!

    Oh, how I love Ray T Thursdays! But what a shame they only come around once a fortnight.

    I agree with several of the comments above. I was on track for less than 2* time but got held up in the SW corner. Like Anoxic, I too made life difficult for myself with monosyllabic for 3d, and I also initially put course for 18a thinking that “drivers” could be golfers.

    I’m usually OK with hidden words but missed 14d for quite a while.

    Although I got the answer quickly for 2d I couldn’t unravel the wordplay without BD’s help.

    Only Ray T could come up with a brilliant clue like 21d! However picking a favourite out of this wonderful collection is an impossibility.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to BD.

  9. I agree it was clever. Every clue pulled its weight.

    But as I never did get 2d or 9a, my admiration fell short of enjoyment. Pity! If I could have got that weird instrument (got the horns part), then I would have entered 2d, but I would never have worked out why).

    I agree that 14d took ages to emerge. All in all, the western half of the map was obscured by fog this morning…….

  10. Got off to a flyer today but had to go out for a while then struggled on return . Failed to complete without electronic help and the hints and blaming the interruption for my struggles , of course ! ! ! My admiration to the setter .

  11. I’m a member of the monosyllabic school of thought! This was my only problem apart from the excellently hidden 14d (even though the surface reading doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.)

    For once I had few problems with the “wee stinkers” – 8 four-letter words today!

    Thanks to RayT & BD

    1. Broad – as in how a New Yorker might refer to a female, in this case wearing a mini?

  12. I had no real trouble with this, apart from not seeing the hidden word in 14D, although the answer was clear from the checking letters, and initially having the wrong ending for 2D. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Ray T. and to BD for the review.

  13. Two star time for me – you can tell because it’s still Thursday.
    I know Ray T is always going to be a brain-strainer, but I never give up with him because he’s always so damn fair.
    A couple needed checking letters, 3d’s able or abic and 8d’s eam or emp.
    Thanks to all.

  14. RayT, you are too clever for me. We managed about three quarters without resort to the hints, and then succumbed I’m afraid. Thank you Mr. RayT and BD for your much needed assistance. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  15. I loved it! Would anyone expect me to say anything different? I did think it was tricky – nearly 4* difficulty and 5* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t miss all the hidden answers today but 14d took ages to see, and so did 19d.
    I needed BD’s hint to understand 2d.
    The ending of 3d caused a bit of dithering so didn’t put either until it was obvious.
    SO many wonderful clues make it impossible to pick out any particular ones so I’ll restrict myself to my favourite which is either 3 or 8d.
    With thanks for such a brilliant crossword to Ray T and to BD for the hints, especially for 2d.
    If Ray T pulls another one as tricky as this out of his hat in two weeks time I might cry . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  16. Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very difficult, couldn’t get much of the left hand side, needed 6 hints to finish. Was 4*/4* for me. Missed the hidden word in 14d, was done up like a kipper looking for an anagram :-) Favourites were 17&21d. Clouding over now in Central London.

  17. Oh this is ridiculous! Everyone is saying its one of a Ray Ts harder ones yet I finished it with no real probs except that I don’t understand why inroad is offensive, what am I missing here. Yet whenever the blog agrees that it is one of his easier ones, I cannot usually even start it! Bizarre! Thx to Ray T for a puzzle that I can both understand (mostly) and complete and to BD for explaining 13a.

  18. Eastern half went in with no problems but faced a bit more of a challenge in the West, not helped by also having the ic ending to 3d. 1d seems to appear regularly in various guises. Not one of my favourite Ray Ts but thanks anyway and BD too. ***/**.

  19. Thought it was a tad tricky as I attempted it in a hospital waiting room ,lucky the consultant was an hour and a half late and just finished it when my name was called ! brain was a little scrambled .Thanks to BD for the 2d wordplay , as this alluded me, managed to work out the rest , must be at least a ***/***,as toughie elements were certainly present.

  20. Tricky for me , almost a ***** difficulty for me but **** for enjoyment. Wrong ending for 3d made me manic not able to put my last word in for 23a! 3d, 8d and 14d were my favourites. If this was a Ray T easy one I dread to think what one of his more difficult puzzles would be like – most certainly out of my league.
    Thank you to both setter and to BD’s explanations.

  21. Top puzzle Mr Ray T. Thank you. I have also finished Saturday and Sundays puzzles today so I am now both mentally and physically knackered. I kept returning to castrated for 23ac although I knew it was wrong. Every clue a winner today

  22. I must have been on Ray T’s wavelength today as I found it pretty straightforward (for me) and any problems I had weof my own doing as I had 3d ending in ic and therefore struggled with 23a until I saw the error of my ways & don’t know why “inspect” for 19d which stopped me getting 18a but also didn’t know inroad was offensive. Thank you Ray T for a very enjoyable puzzle &BD for explaining 18a.

  23. Right- hand side marginally easier than left, if ‘easier’ is the right word.
    Shuddered to a halt with four to go on the left-hand side.
    One of which was 3d.
    Then a real Duh moment.
    Great struggle, as always with Ray T.
    Certainly a 4* for difficulty in my view.
    Many thanks, Ray T and BD for the review.

  24. Once again in the minority in finding this very hard. Only did about a quarter and the rest I needed the hints and often the hints didn’t help. Never heard a tweet referred to as a text. Ho hum. ****/* for me.

    1. You tell him Jerome – he is quick enough to tell us. However Big Dave always seems to be right and he has the patience of a saint.

  25. This one seemed trickier than usual for Thursday and I too was held up by a wrong checking letter in 23a from monosyllabic!
    Enjoyable challenge though and a good feeling of achievement eventually finishing unaided. 4*/4*
    My favourite clue was 21d which actually made me laugh out loud on the train. The lady sitting opposite me gave me a very strange look!

  26. The usual extremely enjoyable crossword from Ray T many thanks to him and BD for the review.

  27. BD,

    With regard to “… a major upgrade to the WordPress software.”

    I haven’t noticed any difference… is that good or bad?

  28. Can anyone tell me what the black line at the top with” log in”and”like” and a “w” is for ? Is it best to just ignore it ?

  29. The SW corner held me up too, pushing this firmly into 3*plus territory. 9a my favourite, but there were plenty of other contenders. Ta to Ray T for stretching what passes for my intellect, and to BD for a masterly review.

  30. A bit of a tester for me, but I limped home eventually when I finally saw 14d, and felt like a fool for not having seen it earlier. Good fun and, as earlier noted, absolutely fair. This being Ray T, I knew I’d get there eventually. Thanks to BD for excellent explanations and to Ray T for a most enjoyable challenge 4*/5*

  31. At last! Am terribly behindhand. Two fave setters in one Thursday, so saved both puzzles.

    Love RayT crosswords, and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Fave was 21d, and 14d was magnificently hidden. It took ages to discover it!

    I found this tricky in places, the west side being more difficult than the east. I needed Big Dave’s explanation of my answer to 2d. (‘Cork tips’ used to refer to cigarettes many years ago and I could get that out of my mind!) I needed the answer to 26a.

    Thanks and appreciation to RayT for an excellent challenge and to Big Dave for the invaluable review.

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