DT 27484 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27484

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27484

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A very enjoyable puzzle from today’s mystery setter. My favourite among today’s clues is 29 across.

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    Old firearm London police found round river (6)
{MUSKET} – put the usual three-letter abbreviation for the London police around a river in Wales

4a    Dogsbody, it’s undeniable, without a belly? (8)
{FACTOTUM} – something undeniable is followed by O, indicating without, and a belly or corporation

9a    River ban due to be overturned (6)
{DANUBE} – an anagram (to be overturned) of BAN DUE

10a    Formal English girl, in short, of ancient origins? (8)
{PRIMEVAL} – an adjective meaning stiffly formal is followed by E(nglish) and the shortened form of a girl’s name

12a    Big load divided by wife in community (4)
{TOWN} – a big, heavy load around (divided by) W(ife)

13a    It’s helpful in building  supportive character (5)
{BRICK} – two definitions – a fundamental element of a building and an informal term for a helpful, supportive, kind person

14a    Impulse that’s restrained by surgeon (4)
{URGE} – hidden (restrained by) inside the clue

17a    Petty point in college attended by a learner in Belfast? (12)
{TECHNICALITY} – an abbreviated form for a type of college followed by the A from the clue and L(earner) inside how Belfast could be described because of its location (2) and size (4)

20a    Owner of place with good cheer? (12)
{RESTAURATEUR} – a cryptic definition of the owner of a place where one might partake of good food

23a    Couple in piece on bulletin (4)
{ITEM} – two definitions – how two people who are going out with each other on a regular basis might be described and a piece of news on a bulletin

24a    Perhaps lead musician’s first and others will follow (5)
{METAL} – lead is an example (perhaps) of this type of element – the initial letter (first) of Musician followed by a Latin phrase (2,2) meaning and others

25a    Quick car ride producing error in parking? The opposite (4)
{SPIN} – P(arking) inside an error or moral offence

28a    Unoriginal work? It’s cheap when reviewed (8)
{PASTICHE} – an anagram (when reviewed) of IT’S CHEAP


29a    Facial hair shown by carpenter’s companion? (6)
{WALRUS} – so who or what is a carpenter’s companion? He’s the one who talked of many things: of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–of cabbages–and kings


30a    Note chap that’s devious? Whitehall’s famous for it (8)
{CENOTAPH} – an anagram (devious) of NOTE CHAP

31a    Minister touring yard in natural hollow (6)
{CANYON} – a church minister around (touring) Y(ard)


1d    Consider carefully what’s correct in end of game? (8)
{MEDITATE] – a verb meaning to correct or emend inside the end of a game of chess

2d    Perhaps, a submarine course (8)
{SANDWICH} – a kind of snack, called a submarine or sub when made with a long bread roll, and the site of the Royal St George’s Golf Course



3d    Island taken in by genteel bathers (4)
{ELBA} – hidden inside (taken in by) the clue

5d    Like farmed area in a good state showing refinement (12)
{AGRICULTURAL} – the A from the clue followed by G(ood), the abbreviation for the smallest state in the USA and an adjective meaning showing refinement

6d    Office worker‘s mood changed by losing ruler (4)
{TEMP} – drop (losing) the ER (ruler, Queen) from a mood

7d    Retired priest entering brief function in drinking establishment (6)
{TAVERN} – the reversal of the abbreviated form of a priest inside the abbreviated form of a trigonometrical function

8d    Hairstyle one gets to ponder on film (6)
{MULLET} – a verb meaning to ponder followed by the two-letter title of Spielberg’s famous film

11d    Excellent article on Western joint getting to impose authority (5,3,4)
{CRACK THE WHIP} – an adjective meaning excellent followed by the definite article, W(estern) and a joint in the body

15d    Incense found in crate with top missing (5)
{ANGER} – this verb meaning to incense is derived by dropping (missing) the initial letter (top) from a crate or decrepit car

16d    Southern group of sportsmen showing energy (5)
{STEAM} – S(outhern) followed by a group of sportsmen who play for the same side

18d    Cat left out in January after vacation is hazard (8)
{JEOPARDY} – drop the L(eft) from a large spotted member of the cat family and insert what remains inside J(anuar)Y without its inner letter (after vacation)

19d    Relative managed to intercept stray dogs close to station (8)
{GRANDSON} – a three-letter verb meaning managed inside (intercept) an anagram (stray) of DOGS and followed by the final letter (close) of statioN

21d    Writer about Oscar associated with goody-goody type of film (6)
{BIOPIC} – a well-known brand of ballpoint pen (writer) around the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO Phonetic alphabet and an adjective meaning goody-goody or sanctimonious

22d    Largely genuine lad in grounds (6)
{REASON} – most of an adjective meaning genuine followed by a male offspring (lad)

26d    Comedian around 50 showing loss of energy (4)
{WILT} – a comedian around the Roman numeral for 50

27d    Sparkling wine offered by knight? Not half (4)
{CAVA} – drop the final four letter (not half) from another word for a knight

The caching service seems to be working well – let me know if there are any problems.

The Quick crossword pun: (plait} + {owed} = {plateaued}

45 comments on “DT 27484

  1. This was three territory for me & definitely needed the hints on several clues, I thought 24A was very cute but my favourite was 11D.Thanks to the setter & BD for much needed clues today.Its a miserable day down here in not so sunny netley abbey. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  2. I agree with BD. 2*/4* with 29a my favourite, although most of the rest were really good too.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  3. Well that will teach me to get complacent. I made absolutely zero headway on this one. It could just as easily have been written in Swahili for all the good the clues did me. Ah well, roll on tomorrow.

  4. 5D took me ages and all my own fault. I’d figured out the answer but just couldn’t get it to fit so I had another coffee and suddenly realised I’d spelt 10A wrong D’Oh (I blame the fact that its very dark here what with the weather and all that).

    Other than that, a really good fun and fairly tricksy crossword today with quite a few requiring a bit of brain power (or perhaps it was the coffee that did it). Very hard to pick a favourite today with 10A, 24A, 29A and 18D all in the reckoning, but I’ve decided to go for 2D as it so clever and succinct and made me chortle.

  5. On my initial run-through I thought I had got The Toughie by mistake, only got one four letter clue. However once my brain was in gear did manage to complete it. It was a struggle and definitely 3/4* time.
    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable workout.

  6. A very enjoyable crossword today, nothing too difficult but very entertaining, thanks to the setter and to BD for an excellent review.

  7. We found this one a bit trickier than average and felt that lots of the clues had the bizarre nature that we associate with Petitjean, so we will stick our necks out and plump for him as the setter. Perhaps we will find out later. Took a little while to work out where the NI in the middle of 17a came from but got there in the end. Lots of fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

  8. 3*/3.5* for me. I was held up by the south east corner. Thx to all.

  9. Having completed the toughie first, I did not find this one too tricky; however, a most pleasant crossword to solve.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the write-up.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I couldn’t do this to save my life. All I managed was the NW corner and a few others dotted around. Needed 12 hints to finish, I would never have thought of any of them. Still don’t understand 29a, was Carpenter an author? I was totally mystified by most of it. Was 4*/2* for me. Cold and wet and miserable in Central London.

    1. Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus and The Carpenter from Alice Through The Looking Glass (could post it here, but its a tad on the large side)

  11. Agree with BD on the **** entertainment value and 2/3* for difficulty , lots of first class clues too many to itemise, great pics from BD, lovely d-oh moment with 29a,have seen the illustration before , might have been from an old version of the Lewis Carroll book which my old aunt kept locked in a shabby bookcase.

  12. Penciled in several answers today without really understanding why, so thanks to BD for the hints and (in my case) the much needed explanations. Well outside of my comfort zone so would score ****/***
    Thanx to Compiler and BD.

  13. Only got one answer on first pass, but after a bit of ( in truth, quite a lot of) cogitating, managed to get a few more, but had to resort to the hints to finish and to understand some of the reasoning. So pretty hard for us ****/*** at least. Thank you to the setter and to BD.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  14. It helps to know how to spell 20A! This is the second time this word has given me trouble, even with the checking letters. I missed 27D altogether although I know it’s not that unusual to see it in DT crosswords. Otherwise good fun. 19D was my favorite. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

      1. It surely can’t somehow go with the names . . ?
        (I’m afraid I put an N in it and ran out of spaces.)

    1. I know my spelling is unreliable and so I always have to look this one up and the stuff made by Hellmans and the soup that sounds like a french collaborator and lots of other words.

  15. Just a quickie BD – when posted a reply to Heno a while back, I thought I’d add a bit to it, but it looks like the ability to edit posts has disappeared – I’ll let you know if the same thing happens this time

        1. OK, not a problem. I just wanted to check that it wasn’t the interwebby goblins at play

  16. Tough one today especially another who misspelled 20a . Score for me **/****..

  17. Very good puzzle today with a really nice mix of clues. Thanks to the setter and thanks to BD for the explanations. I didn’t know that the course in 2d was a golf course so I just took the double meaning to be a meal. Got 15d alright although it uses two words for decrepit cars neither of which is used where I live!
    I think my favourite is 4a.
    Thanks again.

  18. Thanks to B D ,needed some help today made a couple of assumptions and could not get them out of head never good .

  19. Oh dear, still need a lot of help on a Thursday. First time I’ve needed help for ages. Quite enjoyed it once I got going. I only ever look at either the across hints or the down ones. Still left with four to solve even after the hints but got there in the end.
    Need to lie down in a darkened room now!
    Thanks to both.

  20. Thank you setter, difficult compared with recent puzzles. As the Suffolk weather has become more like the NW, it provided a good excuse to revisit Southwold for another excellent lunch and finish the puzzle – with difficulty ! Had the answer for 19d but needed your help BD for decoding and we were reduced to having a guess at 24a ( incorrect as it turned out ) So, thanks BD for coming to the rescue with your hints and explanations.

  21. Started well in the NW corner but slowed considerably after that. Duty called for most of the day but still struggled to complete later. Several hints and explanations needed so thanks to BD for that and to setter for the challenge and a few groans! Favour it is 13a for its simplicity.

  22. Definitely tricky but I managed , with perseverence , to complete it without hints. 21d and 29a were the last to capitulate.I liked 24a best, misleading but doable. 23a felt like a new look at clueing. Thanks, mystery setter and BD.

  23. I was slow to get into the setter’s mindset in a good number of the clues but managed to complete without needing the hints. I enjoyed the tussle. Thanks to setter & BD for review.

  24. It took me quite a while to get into it but managed to finish it without having to resort to the clues. Last one in was 29a as am not cognisant with Lewis Caroll’s books but being French 20a was not difficult for me to spell so it all levels out at the end. 4a made me laigh! For me today was 3*/4*. Holiday here in France to celebrate the Second World War Armistice. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  25. Quite tricky but got there almost without help – except 18d which I failed miserably to parse.
    (It did not help that I’d initially thought 20a had an N in it!)

  26. So many excellent clues, a most enjoyable tussle.
    Probably *** difficulty for me as I took a lot longer than usual.
    Last in 27d, a real Duh moment.
    Many thanks Mr. Ron and many thanks BD for the entertaining review.

  27. Yes, l think 2*/4* is about right. 29a was my last in, when the penny dropped with a rather dull “thunk”. I can’t choose between 11 and 18 down as favourite. Thank you, setter, and of course Big Dave.

  28. Many thanks to BD for his blog and everyone for comments. Hope there will be a good turnout from the cruciverbal blogosphere at the Wapping S&B next week!

    1. Thanks for coming out of the closet Shamus. Apologies for getting my attribution wrong in the earlier comment. It was a fine puzzle.
      We would really like to make it to one of these gatherings one day but it is a very long commute.
      Cheers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  29. Thanks Shamus but this wasn’t my scene at all and I needed numerous hints so I was glad to know I was not alone. Thanks for much-needed hints BD but your grading does differ considerably from my ****/**. Look forward to a more friendly ride tomorrow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  30. I started this late having been out all day getting very wet at a garden show. Being totally out of routine is my excuse for finding it quite tricky. 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I needed the hint to explain my 2d. It was about the only word that would fit but I’ve never heard of the roll or the golf course.
    17 and 20a both took me a long time as did quite a few others.
    I liked 13 and 29a and 8d. My favourite was 11d.
    With thanks to Shamus and BD.

  31. Well I thought this was a marvellous puzzle. Difficult, yet most rewarding when the answers were finally teased out. Too many good ‘uns to pick a favourite, but thanks due to Shamus for such an enjoyable workout and to BD for a few explanations that explained my answers to me. 4*/4*

  32. BD’s 2* illustrates that he lives in a different world to me. There were some straight forward clues but the SE quadrant was hardly so.

  33. I thought this puzzle was delightful — **** enjoyment. Very difficult to pick a fave, possibly 29a. I liked many others as well, including 4a, 7d, 11d, 15d, 18d and 27d.

    I had just three problems with this crossword. I needed the answer to 8d, missed the double definition in 23a, and needed the explanation of my answer to 2d.

    Many thanks to Shamus for a super puzzle and to Big Dave for the excellent review.

Comments are closed.