DT 27472 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27472

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27472

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa where spring is desperately striving to make an appearance but winter is not exiting the stage gracefully. Everything seems to be a good month behind schedule.

Today’s puzzle is definitely not by Ray T. Might it be the work of Petitjean? I will leave it to those more knowledgeable than I to make that determination.

On a first quick scan through the puzzle, I got the answers to several clues immediately and thought I was in for an easy solve. I soon realized that I was being set up. The clues quickly became more difficult — especially those in the bottom half of the puzzle. Nevertheless, I did manage to complete it with minimal electronic help. I enjoyed the brisk workout and felt a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment on completing it, Thus I have awarded the puzzle three plus stars for both difficulty and enjoyment.


1a    Healthy meal? What about how eel turned out? (10)
{ WHOLE WHEAT } — place WHAT (from the clue) round an anagram (turned out) of HOW EEL

6a    Prison officer’s side being taken by gang (4)
{ CREW } — slice a letter off one side of what a warder is known as in jailhouse slang

10a    Trendy media centre that is appealing to non-mainstream tastes (5)
{ INDIE } — a charade of a two-letter word meaning trendy, the centre letter of meDia, and the Latin abbreviation for that is

11a    New thesis about anaemic look (9)
{ WHITENESS } — anagram (about) of NEW THESIS

12a    Weaker sex’s representation is not that woman in ‘EastEnders’ (7)
{ FAINTER } — the symbol for the fairer sex is followed by how the phrase “is not that woman” might be expressed in the East End of London

13a    Opposite from rhyming (7)
{ INVERSE } — split (2,5) this describes writing that rhymes

14a    Equipment that’s linked with Halfords? (7,5)
{ BICYCLE CHAIN } — One could treat this as a double definition — a piece of equipment that consists of links and a British retailer which might be described as this (although the scope of its business has vastly expanded). The entire clue could also be considered a cryptic definition, in that this piece of equipment is associated with the retailer, both as a product on the shelf and from a sponsorship perspective.

18a    Golf News runs out — the injustice! (12)
{ WRONGFULNESS } — anagram (out) of the first three words of the clue

21a    Attack with energy to replace home’s hedging (7)
{ EVASION } — a word meaning attack (as Ukraine is now dreading) with the symbol for E(nergy) replacing a two-letter word meaning (at) home

Putin Cartoon

23a    Confirm Paddington’s antiquated (4,3)
{ BEAR OUT } — the type of creature of which Paddington is an example and a synonym for passé

24a    Detective has reported organ transplant for one who did wrong in the main (9)
{ PRIVATEER } — it sounds like (reported) a private investigator has had an organ of sight replaced by an organ of hearing; main is a literary term for the open ocean

25a    Sink cool half of bitter (5)
{ INTER } — cool and trendy (definitely not passé) followed by the latter half of (bit)TER

26a    Retired gambler overlooking the odds against diamonds (4)
{ ABED } — take the even letters of gAmBlEr (i.e., overlook or ignore the odds) and add the abbreviation for the suit of diamonds

27a    Swimming frogs hiding endlessly — from this? (7,3)
{ FISHING ROD } — I guess they don’t want to become bait; anagram (swimming) of FROGS HIDIN (hiding endlessly)


1d    Whitewash extremely dubious and offensive (6)
{ WHIFFY } — the outer letters of W(hitewas)H and an informal term for dubious produce an adjective that is offensive to the nose

2d    Invest in gold with commercial backing first (6)
{ ORDAIN } — this investing would likely be done by a bishop; IN (from the clue) preceded by (first) the heraldic term for gold and a reversal (backing) of a short advertisement

3d    Let critic argue for arrangement that needs amplifying (8,6)
{ ELECTRIC GUITAR } — anagram (for arrangement) of the first three words of the clue

4d    By what means Rugby Union initially may divulge inquiry (3,3,3)
{ HOW ARE YOU } — a more concise way of saying “by what means” and the initials of Rugby Union sound like (divulge) a common question about the state of one’s being

5d    Excuse lack of depth in off-the-cuff remark by the writer (5)
{ ALIBI } — remove D(epth) from an off-the-cuff remark (which might even have been made in ancient Rome) and append the pronoun by which the setter would subjectively refer to himself

7d    What baker might have twisted and raised, so they say (8)
{ RYEBREAD } — this is an all-in-one clue, so the entire clue is the definition as well as the wordplay. In the wordplay, we find a charade of homophones (so they say) — the first meaning twisted (like a facial expression) and the second raised (like livestock).

8d    The likes of The Searchers birds follow everywhere but North (8)
{ WESTERNS } — place some sea-birds after three cardinal points of the compass and you will have a 1956 John Wayne classic

The Searchers


9d    Sensitive actor could be filling up at this point (7,7)
{ SERVICE STATION } — well, for that matter, any motorist could be filling up here; an anagram (could be) of the first two words of the clue

15d    Transatlantic high-flier’s line in diamonds — quantity of ice that’s hot (9)
{ LINDBERGH } — a charade with lots of little pieces; L(ine), IN (from the clue), a chunk of ice that doomed another transatlantic crossing, and H(ot)

16d    Pest flying round tiny head of Alpine flower (5,3)
{ SWEET PEA } — an anagram (flying) of PEST wrapped around a typically Scottish word for tiny and followed by the initial letter of Alpine

17d    Concentrate with reduced calories is key (8)
{ LOCALISE } — a charade of an adjective that an advertising copywriter would use describe a product with reduced calories, IS (from the clue), and a musical key

19d    Cook’s treat (6)
{ DOCTOR } — a double definition; the first being what a crooked accountant might do to the books rather than what the chef would do to your meal

20d    Observer did this with big-name journalist? (6)
{ STARED } — a big-name (in Hollywood, perhaps) and a diminutive senior journalist

22d    Vain characters squeeze middle of their spots (5)
{ NAEVI } — an anagram (characters) of VAIN encompass (squeeze) the middle letter of thEir

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge that this puzzle provided. While there were lots of good clues, my favourite has to be 24a.

The Quick crossword pun: (rib} + {iced} + {ache} = {rib-eye steak}

85 comments on “DT 27472

  1. Quite a bit of head-scratching for me this morning but some very good clues. 22d was a new word for me but BRB to the rescue. Thanks to setter and to Falcon for the review.

  2. Not on the same wavelength today,but still very enjoyable put in ***/*** territoryfor me
    Many thanks to Falcon for his early review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  3. Hello all,

    I’ve noticed some comments about the unreliability of the online DT crossword. Is that still happening? I’m not sure whether to subscribe again. It had problems the last time l used it
    (about two years ago)

    I started well this morning, however, I’ve hit a blank, sometimes if l put it down and pick it up later I get a second wind. Thank you Falcon you must have been up early!

    1. Personally I have had no problems accessing the site for a good few months It isn’t able to retain my login details though which is a minor pain but better than the last months of 2013 where we had to rely on our exalted leader for a daily dose of pdfs!

      1. I had the same trouble, but it seems to have corrected itself recently. Try ticking the “remember me” box again.

    2. iPad is now much better for down loading DT .

      Enjoyed today tho SW corner hard as 22d new word for me and tried to start 24 a with PI !

    3. Re: “.. you must have been up early”.

      Au contraire, I was up late. Here in Ottawa, we are five hours behind London time, so I am able to do the review the evening before the date of publication.

  4. Nice one, though I’ve not seen 7D written as one word before. 17D and 19D the last two in. Liked 12A, 21A and 24A particularly. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon. Sorry to hear that you’re still wearing winter woollies up there.

  5. I agree with Falcon’s comments; this was a mixture of straightforward and very tough in parts but very enjoyable. I am going for 3*/4*.

    I completed the first three quarters within 2* time but came to a shuddering halt in the SW corner. I kept wanting to put in Buccaneer for 24a but held off as I couldn’t parse it. When the penny finally dropped this got my vote for favourite. I also thought that 12a, 13a, 4d & 19d were superb clues.

    26a was my last one in and I needed help from the BRB to check my answer for the very obscure 22d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron & Falcon.

    1. I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen 22d used in the plural before. Not to mention, that in Canada, we virtually always see the word with the American spelling (without a diphthong).

    2. I wouldn’t regard it as obscure, either in the singular or plural versions, and certainly not compared with many of the religious, mythological or ornithological terms we sometimes get…….

  6. I should have had three shredded wheat this morning before tackling this one! I found it trickier than normal for a back-pager but I enjoyed it. 4*/4* for me. Many thanks to setter (Petitjean?), and to Falcon for the review.

  7. Slightly more taxing today so ***/*** for me. I did giggle out loud at 8d even though it is an old chestnut. Many thanks to setter and reviewer. Methinks that I may try a Toughie soon as I seem to have got the hang of the ‘back page’ puzzle.

    1. Could I, very respectfully of course, suggest that you pick your day for trying a Toughie. In other words I would give Fridays a very wide berth – I would hate you to be put off for ever. They tend to be on the more straightforward side at the beginning of the week (and even those usually defeat me) and work their way up to a real beastie on Fridays – I think that I might have once managed an answer or maybe two on a Friday. Good luck.

      1. May I respectably suggest Kath you are able to answer substantially more than one or two on a Friday on the other page though I do agree they generally (but not always) do get progressively more tricky .

  8. After the first read through I have answers to three of the across clues and three of the down clues. My enjoyment factor has risen accordingly but I have a busy day ahead so I do not know when read through number two will come. A definate thanks to the setter.

  9. Thank you setter – a real challenge for me today and a failure for the second day running. I had “evading” for 21a which made 22d impossible – so many thanks Falcon for coming to the rescue. Not sure whether I would have got 22d anyway !

  10. Whoever set this – I must be on the same weird wavelength as I went straight through it bar one (19d) which I didn’t like much. Luckily the more obscure meanings for some common words came to me (eg “main”) quite quickly, but then I did need the hint to understand 24a (thanks, Falcon). Changed 5d and 13a at the last minute. Phew!

    I put it down to tackling this one in an opportunistic ‘butterfly’ order, doing the long ones first.

    Liked the quickie pun………

  11. We also thought that this was a Petitjean puzzle. It had that special sort of quirkiness that we associate with him. We had to investigoogle the Halford’s reference but not a problem. Lots of good clues and really good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon

    1. Moi aussi for le Petitjean. When I wrote in the solution to 14a, I did think of you investigoogling. ;)

    2. After 35 years of living in the USA, Halfords floated up from the recesses of my mind. I’m usually OK with the throw-backs. It’s the newer peculiarly UK references that give me pause, especially the slang.

  12. I solved this one and the Toughie in exactly the same time – what it says about one or the other I don’t know!

    Thanks to the setter (Petitjean methinks) and Falcon too.

    1. I want to have a go at the Toughie – I like Shamus crosswords. Will store it up for later as lots to do in garden before it chucks it down again tomorrow.
      The munching muntjac can’t get into the garden any more http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gifbut the mining moles have moved back in.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Mischievous mice are much less objectionable than revolting rats, so I hope you don’t have any of those around.

      1. I had never heard of muntjac before you mentioned them on this site, and now I am hearing about them quite often in the UK. Are they native to UK, or are they imports that are now pests?

        1. I think they’re natives of SE Asia (should, of course, have checked before starting this). Rumour has it that some escaped from a wild life park – don’t know when but it was either a long time ago or they breed like rabbits (with apologies to RD!) because they really are an absolute pest. If cornered they can also be pretty nasty as they have fairly vicious tusks.

          1. Hmm, I checked and they appear to be descendants of escaped Woburn deer. This business of introducing foreign species is so dangerous to the local flora/fauna. Our problem here is the people who keep, for example, Burmese pythons as pets, then they grow and they can’t handle them any more, so they take a drive to the Everglades National Park and release them. There are whole swathes of the park that are completely denuded of Florida deer, hares, etc. I suppose when the pythons can’t find any food, they’ll start gravitating to where people keep dogs and cats. Sorry for going on and on, but I get pretty hot under the collar about upsetting the ecology of an area.

  13. I loved this – brilliant. Lots made me laugh so 4* for enjoyment and probably 2* difficulty as, for a change, I was on the right wave length.
    I started off with ‘prosaic’ for 13a which was stupid but 5d sorted that out.
    Quite a lot of anagrams but I like them, especially the long ones.
    My last two were 17 and 19d.
    I have little red blobs by lots of clues so will just pick out a few of them – 12 and 27a and 7 and 19d. My favourite is either 1 or 22d.
    With thanks for a really good crossword to whoever set this one and to Falcon for the hints (and the hippo photo which also made me laugh).

    1. Same here.
      Just 17 and 19d to go.
      Don’t tell me, don’t tell me.
      And I shall not look at Falcon.

  14. I appear to be at odds with everybody , again, because I didn’t like this and if the setters were identified I might avoid this one or at least approach with caution. I found it too hard and that’s making me cross. And I querry 17d. If you localise administration for example aren’t you spreading it out, diluting it , not concentrating it ?You don’t have to live in NZ to need to google Halfords.
    I liked 27a, 23a,1d , but best for me was 13a.A (grudging ) thanks to the setter and much gratitude to Falcon.

    1. Re: 17d, I don’t think that (in cryptic crosswords, anyway) the “definition” and the solution have to be exact synonyms; they simply have to be capable of being used in the same sense. In your example they don’t mean the same, but in “localise the problem”, say, they do.

      1. You are right, but it’s that degree of “exactness” that determines the fairness of the clue. I was vaguely happy with polarise, but thought polar for low calorie was a stretch of the imagination, although you can get dodgier clue-ing.

        1. I sincerely trust that you are informing us of a candidate solution that you considered and rejected!

          1. Sorry for the foggy post. Yes I had indeed rejected my candidate before posting – unfortunately it was a few seconds after I’d read your explanation of the correct answer. Grateful thanks as always for the review.

  15. Boy oh boy, this took a bit of doing. Lots of alternative meanings of words just to confuse us. Hats off to Kath. I think the more cryptic the clues, the better you are at doing them. I’m the reverse I fear. Thank you to the setter whom so ever you are, and to Falcon, whose hints and explanations we definitely needed today.

    1. No – it’s just all to do with wave lengths. If my life depended on being able to do Monday crosswords I’d be six feet under by now! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  16. Exactly as Falcon describes… started easily with half almost read-and-write, then stumbled and fell at some really tricky ones. A beautifully constructed puzzle, with humour and well-hidden anagrams, but I’d have to say that I wouldn’t have solved it in the time allowed without lashings of help from the blog and the BRB and that slightly defeats the attraction of the Teleg cryptic for me. Some clues here that were esoterically beyond the way my brain operates… e.g. 19d. As such, it’s a ****/** for me. Many thanks to the setter (for messing with my mind!) and to Falcon.

  17. For those grinding their teeth at having to sign in every day: access the site, sign in, delete your old bookmark and reset it. Seems to work with Firefox.

  18. Blimey this was HARD, in fact, I couldn’t finish it … missing 1d (whiffy? Really?), 10a, 12a and 19d. I also had 7d and 8d correct but no idea why, so thanks Falcon for the enlightenment. Of course, I did the investigoogle thing for Halfords. I had no problem with 22d, naevus is a birthmark, plural add an i instead of the us. Fave 15d, honourable mention to 16d. Thanks to setter, though I am now mentally knackered, and to Falcon for the review, much needed today.


    1. Whiffy = smelly = offensive. It made me laugh.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      Just heard from Poppy – see later comment.

  19. Enjoyable but fairly tough crossword today. Wanted to put “lite” at the end of 17d so could not see the answer. Also needed the hint for 19d as the other meaning of treat never came to me!
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for your very clear hints. Falcon, I also appreciate your blog re the National Post Saturday cryptic.

    1. Hi Catherine,

      I appreciate your comments.

      I expect that you and other North Americans will understand the background to the National Post editorial cartoon dealing with the situation in the Ukraine. However, I wonder if the incident on which it is based made the news in the UK. A US judge ordered a neighbourhood bully to stand on the street holding a sign worded very much like the one that Putin is holding in the cartoon.

      1. The unusual sentence by the judge did make the news here, so your cartoon was appreciated.

        1. Thanks, Gazza

          I can never be certain how well cultural or current events references might travel across the pond.

  20. Even with the hint I am stuck on 7d….any further hints from anyone? Found this crossword very hard, but am spotting the anagrams more easily..

    1. Effie – if you’re still stuck on 7d, it’s made up of two “sounds like” words. The first is a three letter word which I’d always thought of as being sardonic in a remark but in fairness the first derivation in the BRB is exactly as it’s described in the clue. The second word is how you would say “brought up” and the whole is something you’d have your pastrami on!

    2. I couldn’t do a better hint for 7d than Falcon has already done. If you click inside the curly brackets you should be able to see the answer.

      1. Oops! Sorry Kath… just trying to help ;-)

        I do so wish the answers-in-curly-brackets facility wasn’t there… I’ve always thought that the hints and extra help from others on the blog (when called for) should be enough. Like here…

        1. williamus I sort of agree with you, I only ever look at the curly bracket if I’ve exhausted hints and comments and am still so dense just cannot see the answer. Other crossword blogs are available which show the answer with the hint, I think BD has the format correct.

  21. Managed about half, the rest was way above my paygrade. Def a Toughie territory for me. Very little fun when they are this difficult.
    Thx to Falcon for the hints.

  22. I had an email from Poppy this morning. She hasn’t been very well and is now terribly busy – she sends regards to all, says she’s missing the blog and hopes to be back here towards the end of May.

    1. Thanks for the update. I am sorry she hasn’t been well and hope she has recovered now. I find it worrisome when someone drops off the radar like that. Give her my best regards.

  23. Like Falcon, the time difference here enables me to do, or at least attempt, the crossword late at night. I thought it was a great puzzle but despite the help of a couple of late night noggins of rum, and having all the checking letters I just couldn’t see 7d. This morning it went in. Big question is whether I should I take more or less rum at night?

    ***/****. Thanks to Setter and Falcon for the hints.

    1. More alcohol. it is the way to go. it is also the reason for the mistakes (often not commented upon) in my work on Mondays. i do get so p****d on Sundays.

  24. For a Thursday certainly nearer 4* for me based not just on solving time but trying to justify the answers. Good fun though, Thank you Falcon (hope weather improves) and setter

  25. Like others, including Falcon, the top half of this went in like a warm knife in Brie, and I got quite cocky. The bottom half soon knocked that out of me and it went from 1* time to 4* time! with 22d my last one in after consulting the BBB. Phew. Some great clues, though: I liked 13a and14a, but my favourite has to be 24a – it was only after writing it in that I saw the joke. So thanks to the mystery setter and to Falcon for getting up so early on our behalf. 4* enjoyment for this one. Off late-night shopping for granddaughter’s birthday present now. It was to have been early-evening shopping, but the pesky puzzle held me up

    1. Re: “… getting up so early …”

      When one lives 5 times zones behind you, it becomes a matter of staying up late the night before!

      1. There was a young lady called Bright
        who moved with the speed of light
        She went out one day
        In a relative way
        And returned the previous night !

  26. Quite a slog for me and only finished it with quite a bit of help I did like the long anagrams though. Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  27. After a long week-end away in Cornwall and with no time for puzzles I found this a real slog with little light relief apart from a couple of clues including 12a which made me laugh. Southwest corner particularly needed lots of help. ****/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  28. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. This setter is more than welcome to come along again. Ta to him or her. ta to falcon. Ta to all.

  29. Thanks to Petitjean and to Falcon for the review and hints. Very enjoyable but difficult, was beaten by 17&19d. Still don’t understand the hint for 17, surely reduced calories is lite? Favourite was 27a. I thought 14a was a bit iffy, I always think of Halfords as a car accessories shop.

  30. I loved this too! Brilliant clues. Joint faves were 24a and 1d, very closely followed by a raft of others, including 13a, 23a, 27a, 4d, 7d, and 15d. I thought the anagrams super.

    I completed the puzzle without hints or problems. The only slip I made was in not seeing 14a as a double definition or cryptic definition. I was uncertain about this clue, and originally marked it as an all-in-one but then changed my mind (oh dear!).

    Big thanks to the setter (?Petitjean) for an excellent puzzle and to Falcon for the enjoyable and clear explanations.

  31. Some good stuff in here, but I thought 21a worked better as evading , which meant I was stuck with 22. And I couldn’t get away from ‘lite’ for 17. Thanks to Falcon for the enlightenment.

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