DT 27490 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27490

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27490

Hints and tips by Kath

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

Good morning to all of you from a very sunny Oxford. This had all the trademarks of a Ray T crossword – short clues, the Queen and the usual touch of innuendo. My last few answers caused a few problems so I’ve given it 3* for difficulty.

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.

Across Clues

7a Tossing caber is about love for exercise (8)
{AEROBICS} – An anagram (tossing) of CABER IS containing the letter that looks like love or nil.

9a Animals found in Eastern regions (6)
{ELANDS} – These African antelopes come from E(astern) and a word for regions or districts.

10a Confused? Looks it, oddly (4)
{LOST} – Alternate letters (oddly) of the middle two words of the clue.

11a Keep camera rolling for arbitrator (10)
{PEACEMAKER} – An anagram (rolling) of KEEP CAMERA.

12a Criminal one lynched, keeping isolated (6)
{LONELY} – The answer is hidden in the clue.

14a Tense streak carrying undergarment in farce (8)
{TRAVESTY} – The one letter abbreviation for T(ense) is followed by a three letter word for a streak or beam of light (remember who the setter is today) around (carrying) a piece of underwear worn mainly by children.

15a Crews for ship around river (6)
{STAFFS} – The usual two letters for a steamship with a Welsh river inside them (around).

17a Excise of French allowed by English (6)
{DELETE} – The two letters for “of” in French, followed by a short word meaning allowed or permitted and E(nglish).

20a Escape is hard, caught by toilet support (8)
{LOOPHOLE} – This escape or ambiguity in a contract is made from a three letter slang term for a lavatory and a wooden rod or post around (caught by) H(ard).

22a Revulsion from inside somewhat reduced (6)
{HATRED} – The answer is hidden in the clue.

23a Open dress I fancy showing dimple (10)
{DEPRESSION} – An anagram (fancy) of OPEN DRESS  I.

24a Truncheon cracked on someone’s head initially (4)
{COSH} – The answer comes from the first letters (initially) of the middle four words of the clue.

25a Raise? He might! (6)
{BETTER} – Two meanings – a verb and a noun. The second is someone gambling in a game of cards.

26a Beginning of deluge flooding home (8)
{DWELLING} – The first letter (beginning) of D(eluge) is followed by a word meaning flooding or outpouring.

Down Clues

1d Becoming so crude, blasted about nothing (8)
{DECOROUS} – An anagram (blasted) of SO CRUDE containing O (nothing) gives a word meaning becoming or suitable.

2d Left and right on board vessel (4)
{PORT} – If starboard is right then this means left. It is also a three letter vessel (not of the seagoing kind) around (on board) R(ight).

3d Just small and intimate (6)
{SIMPLY} – S(mall) followed by a word meaning to hint or suggest.

4d Agree end to struggle for dissident (8)
{RENEGADE} – An anagram (to struggle) of AGREE END.

5d Command hand over mature soldiers on time (10)
{MANAGEMENT} – String together a word for a hand or worker then (over) a verb meaning mature or grow older, one of the usual words for soldiers and follow that with (on) T(ime).

6d Turn away, catching start of distasteful commercial (6)
{ADVERT} – This abbreviation of a commercial shown on TV is a word meaning turn away or ward off around (catching) start of D(istasteful).

8d Inadequate container in dirty place (6)
{SCANTY} – A dirty place inhabited by pigs around a container or tin.

13d Anger of former Queen, bit clutching snake (10)
{EXASPERATE} – A verb meaning to anger or frustrate is made from the usual two letters for former, a short word meaning bit or consumed around (clutching) the snake that killed Cleopatra and the two letters for our Queen.

16d Having problem of toes or otherwise? (8)
{FOOTSORE} – An anagram (otherwise) of OF TOES OR.

18d Time for plainchant? (8)
{EVENSONG} – an adjective meaning plain or flat followed by another word for chant.

19d Stern and bow includes heart of ship (6)
{BEHIND} – A four letter word meaning bow or lean over around (includes) the middle two letters (heart) of ship.

21d Old boy ogled and observed … (6)
{OBEYED} – The abbreviation for O(ld) B(oy) is followed by a word meaning ogled or leered.

22d … seductive one with polished exterior (6)
{HONIED} – The letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one goes inside (exterior) a word meaning polished or sharpened.

24d Respiratory disorder caught early (4)
{COLD} – This minor ailment (unless you happen to be a man) is the cricket abbreviation for C(aught) followed by a word meaning early or before.

I liked 20 and 23a and 16d. My favourite was 3d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {LOW} + {DIRT} + {RIPE} = {LOAD O’ TRIPE}

56 comments on “DT 27490

  1. I agree with mehitabel’s rating of 3*/4*. This was an absolute delight, challenging in places, and very amusing throughout.

    Quite early on I put the answer to 25a in the margin with a question mark against it, not putting it in until last when the penny finally dropped on the wordplay.

    Picking a favourite from these highly entertaining clues would be impossible.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to mehitabel.

    P.S. Where is archy today?

  2. Not as easy as I thought it was going to be, but got there in the end. Quite a few held me up, but all came together in the end thanks to checking letters going in one by one. 21D was the stand-out clue fr me – very clever indeed.

    The quickie put up nearly as much a fight as the cryptic today.

    Time to start packing for our foray to the Far East next week (Bedford and East Anglia)

  3. Thank you Ray T – not your easiest, for me at any rate. Always challenging, but enjoyable. Thank you Mehitabel for your review and hints. I needed to check 25a and I had got it wrong ! After two and half weeks away, we came home yesterday to a dreadful smell in the house. Power cut with accompanying rotting fish etc in the fridge/freezer. Bicarbonate of soda seems to be the general advice to dealing with it !

  4. I really liked 18d; I’ve never seen it before but like many great clues it now seems like it was a clue waiting to happen. I also liked 19d, I thought it was clever to get bow and stern in there.

    I’d also like to thank everyone in Wapping yesterday for an enjoyable afternoon- really great to put some faces to names and to get lots of tips. I’d encourage people to check out the Derby sluggers and betters on Saturday (now advertised here on this website)

  5. Great stuff again from RayT. And the word count; no clue longer than seven words this week. Must almost be some sort of record. All good fun.
    Thanks RayT and Mehitabel (Was it a solo flight today?)

    1. No – not solo flight at all. This cat isn’t clever enough to fly on her own – yet! One day she will be but at the moment she’s very dependent on quite a lot of help.
      Another little flower for gazza as he was the one who provided all the help today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      1. Good job from Mehitabel! I go along with the rating as a few in the Southern reaches kept me quiet for a while and I needed the hint for 2d.

        I see she noticed those hidden blighters at 12 and 22……….. And the man flu reference……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. the man flu reference may have got Mehitabel into enormous trouble if she had been running the Premier League …..

  6. I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle which was fairly easy to get into but with some challenging clues. I did feel that 13d was a bit convoluted and I don’t think that I would have got it without the checking letters. Many thanks to RayT for a fine crossword and to mehitabel for the hints

  7. What a change to have a puzzle with so much fun and innuendo. I haven’t stopped laughing since i solved 20 which is my clue of the year so far. Also enjoyed 2 14 16 19 22a 22d etc etc. Thanks to RayT for the best backie for ages.

  8. Well that’s the end to my good run thus week. A typical Ray T, totally incomprehensible! For me a waste of good printing ink.

  9. I thought this was a great Ray T crossword – with lots of examples of different types of clue for Kath to explain – I did think of her as i solved the ‘blighters’.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray too.

  10. In agreement about a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. As usual I would not complete without hints and tips. Really liked 17a

    Thanks to setter and mehitabel

  11. I thought this one of Ray T’s easiest puzzles and enjoyed it very much. Must have been on his wavelength. Thanks to Ray T and Kath. Doing really well Kath.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Thank you – gazza needs some credit too – the hints wouldn’t have been half as tidy without his “tweaking”.

  12. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Needed the hint to get 25a. 3*/3* and my favourite clue is 20a. Thanks to Ray t and to mehitabel. Having new eyes – right one done with left having to wait till next week. The world has become very bright already!

    1. Cataract surgery? That was one of the miracles of my life. I wore Coke-bottom glasses from my teens, had cataract surgery in my late 60s which opened up a whole new world, bright and colourful, I had to wear dark glasses even indoors for ages!

      1. Yes, cataract surgery – been very shortsighted with astigmatism since a teenager. Contact lenses were for me the best invention in my lifetime but decided to take the plunge and have everything corrected! Thanks for your note!

        1. My wife wore glasses from the age of 5, we got her replacement lenses 2 years ago and she’s never (excuse the pun) looked back – probably the best present I ever bought her. She still talks about her ‘new eyes’.

  13. Great job, mehitabel, on your first solo … well, you did the bulk of it.
    This was not easy but immensely enjoyable. I did get 25a wrong; I put “beater” as in one who “raises” game, had no idea of the correct answer.
    Last one in was 12a, I wanted to put in lonely but just had no idea why and missed the hidden word completely, doing a Kath!
    Favourite was 20a with a guffaw, honourable mention to 26a and 13d, but there were many, many clever clues.
    Thanks to RayT, and to mehitabel for entertaining review.

    1. No – you’re wrong there, Merusa – I didn’t do the bulk of it at all. I did most of the hints apart from one that I completely messed up and a few that gazza tidied up but without gazza there wouldn’t have been any hints as I’m not clever enough to put it all together and get it where everyone can read it. I’m just going to have to learn how to do it.

  14. Very good puzzle. and definitely not easy. the anagrams were essential to break into it. I thought 19d and 21 d were very clever.
    Thanks Mehitabel and Ray T.

  15. I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned the Quickie pun – I thought it was a cracker.

  16. Completed the greater part of this without too much trouble and then ground to a halt with half a dozen left to do so needed more hints than usual including 25a, 9a, 4d and even 10a (silly me!). Thanks setter for fun and games and Mehitabel and friend for much needed guidancehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif. ***/***.

  17. We had to have assistance today, but that’s fairly usual for a Thursday, but we did manage to finish and it was enjoyable. Thank you Kath for the hints and to Gazza too plus the setter of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  18. The left half of this went in pretty smoothly but needed a bit of assistance on the right half. Starting to enjoy Ray T Thursdays having been somewhat daunted by them in the past. ***/**** for me with thanks to Ray T and Mehitabel for the couple of hints I needed to complete it (the other hints were very good too!)

  19. Well done Kath, great blog.

    Well done RayT, great puzzle.

    Not much else to say http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  20. I fiorgot to ask earlier.
    Is 22d an acceptable alternative spelling? This is one of the ones that held me up.

    1. It is in BRB as an alternative spelling. I admit that it had me foxed for quite a while. I think it might even have been my last one but can’t remember properly – the whole day feels a bit of a daze! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    2. Goggle says :

      adjective: honied
      (of food) containing or coated with honey.
      “sweet honeyed pastries”
      antonyms: harsh
      having a golden or warm yellow colour.
      “the light gives a honeyed sheen to the barley and wheat”
      (of a person’s words or tone of voice) soothing, soft, and intended to please.
      “he wooed her with honeyed words”

  21. Many thanks to mehitabel, and to Gazza, for the review. Thanks also, of course, to all who left a comment.


  22. Great offering today, I too had to think of the spelling for 22d, my thanks to RayT and Mehitabel

  23. Very enjoyable favourites were 20a and 12a. Really liked this, thank you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  24. Forgot to say earlier, probably due to increasing age, failing memory, and general stupidity, but a great big thanks to Gazza for stepping in at very short notice and acting as mehitabel’s “domestique” – in case you’re not familiar with the term, he’s the guy in a bike race team that does all the hard work while the team leader gets all the honours!

    1. Hear hear – yet again, thank you gazza. More flowers http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif and a little heart just for you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

  25. I’d say “honied” was plain wrong. It may have been seen once or twice, but so have “definate” and “confidant”, and we wouldn’t want those spellings in crosswords.

    1. I agree that “definate” and “confidant” are “complitely” wrong but I, for one, would hesitate to argue with the BRB. I would also never argue with Ray T.

  26. I’ve been following the comments on the spelling of 22D. It never occurred to me to question it when doing the crossword, but then I have been spelling “American” for many years now so I may be excused on that. The English language is constantly evolving and words and expressions that would have been unacceptable when I went to school in the UK are now common usage. So perhaps we, as solvers, need to get with the program, think outside the box, push the envelope, and just chill and enjoy the journey.

    However, I have in the past wondered if alternative spellings make it into the BRB because setters have concocted them to fit the grid…

  27. Thanks to Ray T and to Mehitabel for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, just got beaten by 25a, can never seem to get double definitions. Favourites were 2 & 19d. Was 3*. /4* for me. Great fun. Well done Kath going almost solo, sorry I had two Favourites :-)

  28. This was going so well until I ground to a halt in the SE corner. The brain’s clearly not what it used to be because I never saw the hidden word in 22a, although I got the answer anyway . 24d stumped for a while until I got 26a and then it couldn’t have been anything else, but until I read the hint I never thought of o
    ‘Old’ as being early, but of course it is. Thanks to Mehitabel (and BD) for the explanations and to RayT for the fun. 3*/4*

  29. It’s the morning after – playing tennis last night, followed by yesterday’s Toughie, left me in no mood to do it then. I’m glad l did it with my morning coffee, though, because it was a delight. 2*/4* for me, and 20a my choice for top clue. VMTs to RayT, and of course Mehitabel.

  30. What a super puzzle! Fave definitely 14a!. Very close runners-up were 20a, 19d, 21d and 22d. I thoroughly enjoyed the 16d anagram and Mehitabel’s accompanying illustration.

    Warmest congrats on your excellent review, Mehitabel. (Wondered if the cockroach had knocked himself out on the keys…) Didn’t need any hints, but always value going through the review afterwards to make sure my parsing was correct.

    Much appreciation to RayT for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and to Mehitabel (not forgetting Gazza) for a beautifully lucid review.

    1. The illustration accompanying 16d was gazza’s genius – Mehitabel is just a cat and hasn’t learnt how to do the clever stuff yet. She’ll get there. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  31. Another wonderful puzzle from Mr Ray T. I had no time for this on Thursday as I prepared for our holiday but have had it to look forward to since. Well done to Mehitabel too.

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