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DT 27478

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27478

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone, and a lovely morning it is on the Vega Baja. In Spain, today is the Mayday public holiday so archy is on double time, hooray!
With my track record of spotting setters I hesitate to make a guess but I’m pretty sure that this is a RayT production, and a lot of fun it is. Worth the fourth enjoyment star just for 14a.

This time mehitabel has done the across clues and archy the downs and, as usual, the ones we like most are in blue. Definitions are underlined in the clue.

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           Noticed train replaced coach (12)
{INDOCTRINATE} – An anagram (replaced) of NOTICED TRAIN gives a word that means teach or coach, sometimes in a fairly heavy handed way

8a           Keep umpire before shower (7)
{REFRAIN} – A three letter abbreviation for an umpire followed by the kind of shower that we seem to be having a lot of at the moment.

9a           A French monsieur of French team turned straight (7)
{UNMIXED} – This kind of straight means not diluted. Start with a French indefinite article and follow that with M(onsieur). Then the two letter French ‘of’ and the number of people in a cricket or football team in Roman numerals and reverse (turned) those four. Definietly easier to solve than hint, Glad mehitabel was on the acrosses!

11a         Simple stone surrounded by gold before (7)
{AUSTERE} – The two letter abbreviation for stone is preceded by the chemical symbol for gold and followed by a poetic word meaning before.

12a         Urgent court session’s start for ushers (7)
{DIRECTS} – A word meaning urgent or dreadful is followed by the abbreviation of court and S(ession’s) start.

13a         Impulsive grass crossing good man (5)
{HASTY} – This grass is the dried kind eaten by animals in winter with the usual crosswordland two letter abbreviation for good man in the middle of it (crossing).

14a         One adds extra weight to ass (9)
{SADDLEBAG} – A cryptic definition of where you could carry your belongings if travelling on a donkey.  It’s also a slang term for excess fat around the top of the thighs and the bum! 
Cue photo . . . well, mehitabel has dared me!

16a         Laces a gin cocktail relieving pain (9)
{ANALGESIC} – An anagram (cocktail) of LACES A GIN.

19a         Declare money reserve (5)
{CACHE} – A homonym (declare) of a word meaning money is a reserve or hoard.

21a         Pub drink, say, for one of us (7)
{INSIDER} – Two more homonyms (say) – the first one sounds like a pub or tavern and the second is an alcoholic  drink made from apples.

23a         Least quiet at rear of car (7)
{MINIMUM} – A word meaning keep quiet comes after (at rear of) a small car.

24a         Most grisly wounds ringing one toreador’s head (7)
{GORIEST} – These wounds are the kind inflicted by a bull around (ringing) the letter that looks like one and then T(oreador’s) head

25a         Embraced by lover, ranger’s overwhelmed (7)
{OVERRAN} – Hidden in the clue (embraced by).

26a         Corsican with Etna erupting over the sea (12)
{TRANSOCEANIC} – An anagram (erupting) of CORSICAN and ETNA.


1d           Brews provided, drinking in new works (7)
{INFUSES} – Start with a two letter word for provided, insert (drinking in) N(ew) and follow with a word meaning works or employs.

2d           Covering music by Queen in empty display (7)
{DRAPERY} – Covering as in curtains. It’s a type of modern music and the usual Queen inserted (in) into YS (empty DisplaY).  Music?

3d           Criminal suspect almost supported by American agreement (9)
{CONSENSUS} – A charade of a word for a criminal (3), a word for to suspect without its last letter (almost) and the usual abbreviation for America.

4d           Slice right on using new driver initially (5)
{ROUND} – Slice as in slice of bread. It’s the first letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.  Excellent clue for a right handed golfer.  He would slice to the right and hook to the left.

5d           Nearly dead on time with large figure (7)
{NUMERAL} – Start with a word for dead, as in having no feeling, and remove the last letter (nearly). Follow with a long period of time and then L(arge)

6d           Conveyance of burden in charge of sailor (7)
{TAXICAB} – To burden or make heavy demands on followed by the usual abbreviation for in charge and then an able-bodied seaman.

7d           Spectacular that explodes in disintegration (12)
{BREATHTAKING} – An anagram (explodes) of THAT inserted into (in) a word meaning disintegration or falling apart. Not 100% sure about this one. Doesn’t the word mean disintegratING?

10d         Emerge in sad shambles with time difference (12)
{DISAGREEMENT} – An anagram (shambles) of EMERGE IN SAD followed by T(ime).

15d         Break down code some altered penning page (9)
{DECOMPOSE} – Make an anagram (altered) of CODE SOME and insert (penning) a P(age).  Is this what Beethoven’s doing?  OK, I’ll get me coat!

17d         In case of accidents more secure with him? (7)
{ASSURER} –An all-in-one clue. Start with AS (case of AccidentS) and follow with a word meaning more secure or safer and you get someone who would make you more secure if you had an accident.

18d         Researched turning up information about old fish (7)
{GUDGEON} – Reverse a word meaning researched or looked into and follow with the usual information with O(ld) inserted (about) to get a small freshwater fish. Used to catch these from the local brook when I was a kid.

19d         Is youth able to drink bottle? (7)
{CANTEEN} – Split it (3,4) and you would have a phrase meaning “Is youth able” but as one word it’s a container for carrying something to drink.

20d         Scam — bricklayer’s pinching material (7)
{CAMBRIC} – It’s hidden in (pinching) scam-bricklayer.

22d         Real tailor oddly giving proportion (5)
{RATIO} – The alternate letters (oddly) of REAL TAILOR.

A bit short of photo opportunities. I’m reduced to using some curtains and a fish!
Quite a lot of blue today but archy’s favourite is 14a, with 24a coming a close second. mehitabel’s gone for 20d with a mention in dispatches for 9a and 17d.

The Quick crossword pun: (cur} + {cook} + {lock} = {cuckoo clock}

45 comments on “DT 27478

  1. Any reason there’s two cryptic crosswords on the site today?
    Annoyingly, I’ve finished this one but am decidedly stuck on the other!

          1. Subscription site.
            Still two up there. One is 27478. The other is 27479.
            I’m presuming the latter would be tomorrow’s crossword and it is a glitch.
            In which case it’ll be interesting to see what they do.

  2. 2.5* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment today. I found the top half (3* for difficulty) of this excellent puzzle much harder than the bottom (2*).

    5d was my last one in simply because I didn’t want to write in my answer until I had worked out the wordplay. As usual with hindsight it’s difficult to see why this took me as long as it did.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    There were far too many good clues to try to pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to archy and mehitabel.

  3. I’d agree with 2*/4. I did not know the slang meaning of 14a, but it will be hard to forget now after the graphic illustration! Thx to all.

    1. Mehitabel didn’t know the slang meaning of 14a either – the graphic illustration has put her right off her toast and marmalade! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      Sorry – she meant her cat food.

  4. Why 2 puzzles today ? Will save the second for tomorrow .

    First one done and ***/** from me .

    14 a was my last one as not aware of other meaning but it makes sense !

  5. Agreed on**/. **** very good puzzle good 12 letter answers really enjoyed tackling it unlike yesterday ,great photo for 14ac

  6. We have been starved of RayT lately so its good to see him back. More anagrams than normal but still a most enjoyable solve with 14 the best. Also liked 1d 3 5 6 9 11 16 22 etc etc. Thanks to RayT for a bright interlude in a grey morning.

  7. Loads of fun. We had never heard of the slang use of 14a so worth an extra chuckle when we read the review, Too many good clues to pick a favourite. The word count on the clues all in order as well.
    Thanks RayT and the team.

  8. I got a bit stuck on two clues today, 7D (not sure about breaking being the same as disintegration) and 12A because for some reason I wrote 5D as NOMINAL. Apart from those two, a very enjoyable solve today (even the toad liked it). Too many fun clues to pick a favourite today so again I’ll have to go for the quickie pun (looked at it for ages without working it out then said it out loud and bingo).

  9. I love 14a. The symmetry of the clue working equally well with the english and american meaning of ass, is only slightly disturbed by the fact that one sort of saddlebag must allways come in pairs. Genius.

    1. Glad to hear that RayT and I aren’t the only people who had heard the slang meaning of 14a. I was beginning to wonder!

      1. I’d heard of it, but I thought English “ass” in that sense was spelt “arse”.

        1. Correct. As Dave Hartley says, English ass = donkey and American ass = arse! Brilliant clue IMO.

        2. Sorry Merusa, misunderstood what youwere getting at there. Unfortunately ASS is one of the many Americanisms that have penetrated the English language so in English English it can have both meanings. Not sure about American English.

  10. I always enjoy anagrams, especially long ones, and especially where they’re composed of very common letters, so the outside edge was great today. And no desperately obscure words.

    The 14a picture washttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gifThis is where liposuction began……..

    26a was my favourite.

  11. Fun crossword without stretching the grey matter too much, thanks to RayT and to the Mediterranean Magicians.

  12. Good fun today. Can saddlebags also be called love handles, or are they in a slightly different place?. Like especially the 4 long words. Thank you Mr. Setter, and to the delightful duo. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. I think love handels are on the lower back, just above the hips but I may be wrong

  13. Thanks to Ray T and to archy and mehitabel for the review and hints. I had heard of the slang meaning in 14a, so that made me laugh. Great fun, lovely to have a Ray T at last. Favourites were 14a & 2d. Needed the hints to parse 5d, even though I’d solved it. Last in was 19d. Was 3*/4* for me. It’s raining quadrupeds in Central London :-)

  14. What a delightful puzzle. I usually struggle with RayT crosswords but I finished this one unaided (which must mean progress). Many thanks to him and to archy and mehitabel although their efforts were not required today

  15. Well I never!
    14a new to me and crude but apt.
    Found upper half more demanding than the lower.
    Some great constructions, eg 6d.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Many thanks Ray T and thanks to archy and mehitabel for the great review.

  16. Bizarre! It’s a Ray T and I found it the easiest of the week! And I enjoyed it. Took me a while to understand 6d and thx to today’s hinters for explaining 11a.
    Another day without religious clues, whoopee!
    Thx to all.

  17. Nice to see a checked X. I led the surface reading of 20d, making that the most enjoyable clue for me

    1. So it is – I hadn’t even noticed it properly – I mean the checked X.

  18. My heart sank in the first read through when I only had about four answers, but then it all fell into place. Very enjoyable. Hadn’t heard of 18d before but easily worked out and checked in the dictionary. I’ll definitely go with the majority and choose 14a as favourite. Thanks to RayT and, of course, archie and Mehitabel for such an entertaining review.

  19. Thank you Ray T – an enjoyable puzzle as always. It never rains in Suffolk, until today. So It was a pleasure to complete the puzzle over lunch in a lovely hostelry in Southwold. Many thanks Archy and Mehitabel for your review and hints.

    1. Never rains in Suffolk? Used to chuck it down when I was at school there – except in the winter, then you’d wake up in the morning to find 3 foot of snow had appeared from nowhere.

      1. You are quite right Hrothgar ! It wasn’t really raining yesterday – just an excuse for some refreshment and lunch at The Crown !

  20. Evening all. Many thanks to archy and mehitabel for the review, and to all for your comments.


    1. I agree with pommers even though I needed the slang bit spelt out to me in words of one syllable. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  21. Thanks Mehitabel and archy,and Ray T for the crosssword which I didn’t find particularly easy. I had heard of 14a but I only got it from the checking letters.Favourite 23a.

  22. This went in without too much effort. **/**. My goodness we are certainly being given an easy ride so far this week probably mainly due to so many anagrams. Thanks Ray T and also the brace of reviewers. Having left Suffolk recently for a move “darn sarf” I envy you Sweet William in Southwold where you are doubtless enjoying a drop of Adnams. Re 14a I agree with Merusa re spelling of “arse” but having lived in US also recognised “ass” even if not the double entendre of the solution.

    1. Indeed Angel ! We come down here for 2 weeks every year at this time – Spring birds, mainly Minsmere, but anywhere between Southwold and Snape. Rent the same cottage and go to all the familiar places. The Crown in Souithwold being one of them – on the rare occasion that it rains !

  23. A splendid puzzle, for which thanks to Ray T, and an entertaining review from A&M. I scored this at about 2*/4*, and particularly enjoyed 26a (must be the first time I’ve accorded favouritism to an anagram).

  24. Splendid, as always from RayT. Love all the long anagrams and the tricky wordplay. 2*/4* Gracias a los dos en Espana, que suerte tienen

  25. Another super RayT puzzle! Thoroughly enjoyed this ****. My fave was 9a, hotly followed by 24a and 19d.

    What a lovely review from Archy and Mehitabel! Have never heard of the slang for 14a. How can we now forget it? That picture says it all!

    Thank you very much, RayT, Archy and Mehitabel. Most enjoyable.

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