DT 27494 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27494

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27494

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp, rainy morning – something of a contrast to the weather of the last week.

I found this puzzle from the Tuesday Mysteron to be pretty tricky in places, a definite *** difficulty for me.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined.

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           Describe a ruler inspiring society being diligent (11)
{ PAINSTAKING } Put Society inside a phrase (5,1,4) meaning describe, or make a picture of, a monarch.

9a           An encore’s arranged showing vibrancy (9)
{ RESONANCE } Anagram (arranged) of AN ENCORE’S.

10a         Likely to change oil perhaps (5)
{ FLUID } Double definition: an adjective meaning likely to change; or a noun describing a state of matter of which oil is an example

11a         Habit in business organisation (6)
{ OUTFIT } An informal word for a business organisation is also a descrition of what a monk’s habit is.

12a         One barely running for show? (8)
{ STREAKER } A cryptic definition of someone who runs naked through a public place.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a         Respect established by English compiler when retired (6)
{ ESTEEM } A three-letter abbreviation for established, followed by English and the reversal (when retired) of the pronoun the setter might use to describe him/herself. I wasn’t helped here by reading ‘compiler’ as ‘composer’.

15a         What’s not seen in main part of house? (3-5)
{ OFF-STAGE } The house here is a theatre, and the answer is an area of the theatre not visible from the auditorium.

18a         Titled lady and judge going to Spain by ship (8)
{ COUNTESS } Take another word for judge or reckon, and add the IVR letter for Spain and the usual steamship.

19a         Go on irritating Republican joint (6)
{ RANKLE } Republican followed by a lower-limb joint.

21a         Drink taken before crashing? (8)
{ NIGHTCAP } A cryptic definition of a drink you might have before going to bed.

23a         County briefly facing appeal for lodger’s accommodation (6)
{ BEDSIT } An abbreviated name of one of the Home Counties, followed by a term for sex appeal.

26a         A part of fork shortened? It’s useful in the kitchen (5)
{ APRON } A (from the clue) and a part of a fork with the final G removed.

27a         Relieve bit of exhaustion after brewing vital ale (9)
{ ALLEVIATE } Anagram (brewing) of VITAL ALE followed by the first letter of Exhaustion.

28a         Doctor full of energy and control tucking into Indian dessert (5,6)
{ CRÈME BRULEE } Put Energy inside one of the sets of letters which denote a medical doctor, add a word for control, and put the result inside a Native American people.


1d           Aim shown by largely immaculate model (7)
{ PURPOSE } Remove the final E from a word meaning immaculate, and add a verb meaning ‘to model’.

2d           Cricket perhaps not caught in part of magazine (5)
{ INSET } Remove the letter C (not caught) from the type of creature of which the cricket is an example, to get a loose-leaf insertion into a magazine.

3d           Poor tennis team lacking in a mental attitude? (9)
{ SENTIMENT } Anagram (poor) of TENNIS TE(A)M with the A removed (lacking in a).

4d           Element kept in check by daunting relative (4)
{ AUNT } Hidden inside dAUNTing.

5d           Pinpoint fine tidy ground (8)
{ IDENTIFY } Anagram (ground) of FINE TIDY.

6d           Slip made by manager right away (5)
{ GAFFE } Remove the R (right away) from an informal word for a manager or boss to get the sort of slip typically attributed by the media to politicians who say something which exposes them to attack by their opponents.

7d           Support extreme hunting animal used by Cockneys (7)
{ ENDORSE } Another word for an extreme followed by the way a Cockney foxhunter might pronounce the name of the animal he was riding.

8d           Dismiss feature of rugby featuring first in travel item? (8)
{ RUCKSACK } The phase of play in rugby which happens after a player is tackled and the ball goes to ground (or an informal word for a fight, which may be the same thing), followed by a word for dismiss from a job.


14d         Violent behaviour in tower across hotel yard (8)
{ THUGGERY } Someone who is towing something wrapped around the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet, followed by Yard.

16d         Avoid confronting matter with session at rink completed? (5,4)
{ SKATE OVER } What you might do during a session at an ice rink, followed by a word for completed or finished.

17d         Bring up sharply key note about a US city (8)
{ ESCALATE } A key on a computer keyboard and one of the notes in the tonic sol-fa scale, either side of A (from the clue) and the initials denoting a West Coast US city.

18d         It could be helpful for viewing meeting (7)
{ CONTACT } This word for a meeting could also be something which helps you to see better.

20d         Former partner needs minute to enter plane in terminal (7)
{ EXTREME } A two-letter word for a former partner followed by the sort of plant of which the plane is an example, with Minute inside it.

22d         Jacket from part of UK kept by workers’ group (5)
{ TUNIC } A part of the UK which is not in Great Britain placed inside the initials of an umbrella organisation for associations of workers.

24d         Brian, perhaps, a sluggish figure (5)
{ SNAIL } This Brian is not our regular contributor, but a character from The Magic Roundabout.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25d         Miserable university athlete (4)
{ BLUE } Double definition, the second being an athlete competing in a match between Oxford and Cambridge.

We’re off to France and Italy on holiday today. All being well, I’ll be posting from foreign parts on Friday next week.

The Quick Crossword pun { CYGNET }{ WRING } = { SIGNET RING }

50 comments on “DT 27494

  1. Thank you setter – I agree DT, I found this difficult, particularly a clue like 18d. Thanks DT for your review and hints. It probably wasn’t the greatest “fun” puzzle and became a bit of a slog to get it finished.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  2. I enjoyed this as it was a good brain work out.7D was my last in & favourite clue was 16 D.Many thanks to DT for the review & enjoy yr holiday.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  3. A Marathon today after yesterday’s sprint. Slowly solved whilst looking over the Fal estuary towards St Anthony’s lighthouse. Too many brilliant clues to mention. Thanks to the Mysteron and thanks to Deep Threat whose hints I will now read. Have a nice day y’all.

  4. I liked this one very much. 2*/4* for me.
    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat for the review.

  5. A few groans as the pennies dropped this morning and a couple of hints needed to finish as my brain ceased up.
    Favourite was 28a.
    Need a lie down now. Thanks to Mysteron and DT.

  6. Agree with the ***/***,difficult wordplay ,often the solution was apparent ,but difficult to make the clue fit ! ie 14d thought the tower would be tug -not tugger ( thanks DT) and 1a was an obscure meaning of describe-at least for me , wanted to put backpack for 8d,as it seemed to fit ,until I solved10a.All in all an enjoyable challenging crossword,thanks sertter.

  7. 4*/2*. Not my cup of tea at all I’m sorry to say. I found it rather an unrelenting slog today and not much fun by way of compensation. Roll on tomorrow!

    I’m off to the Oval later to see the England v. Sri Lanka 20:20 match. A different type of cricket to that referred to in 2d!

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  8. Agree ***|*** got 8d wrong to start with which threw some of the others with help fromDeep Threat got there in the end thanks to D. T. and to setter for a more difficult puzzle

  9. I made heavy weather of this…slow to get going and slow to finish. 10A was last one in. I did need the explanation to fully understand my answers for 8D and 17D (always forget about that handy little key). Somehow, the answer to 24D floated to the front of my brain though it’s been 35 years since I left the UK, so that has to be my favorite. thanks to the setter and to DT. Have a lovely holiday!.

  10. Couldn’t get onto this setter’s wavelength at all – a graft from beginning to end with little light relief. Extreme northeast corner last to go in particularly due to my wrong kind of sack and another kind of person baring all so thanks DT for getting me out of the mess. ****/* http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

  11. I agree with the rating of 3*/3* – this was more demanding than yesterday’s. Thx to Deep T for explaining why my answer to 1a was right. 6d has cropped up recently, but I can’t remember where.

  12. Reasonably straightforward and mostly finished before lights out last night, with the last four or five going in fairly easily this morning. Last one in was 17d, although I wasn’t convinced until I read DT’s notes above – the computer key connection did not register with me, and overall I thought it was one of the most convoluted clues I have ever seen. No standout favourites on this one. ** or ***/**

  13. This didn’t take me long to solve and I enjoyed the process, particularly laughing out loud at the clue to 24d which has to be my favourite. Considering that I can’t see the crossword without them, you’d think I would have solved 18d a lot quicker than I did.

    Thanks to the Mysteron and DT. Have a lovely holiday.

  14. Totally agree with today’s ratings, really quite tricky. Did like 12a though. Can’t remember coming across ‘ground’ as an anagram indicator but I’m sure BD will correct me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    Thx to all

    1. We might have to rename you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      I’m certainly not BD but I think ground is a fairly regular anagram indicator.

  15. This was at least a 3* difficulty for me today – I haven’t decided yet whether I enjoyed it or not – back to the fence again.
    I made lots of silly mistakes which didn’t help at all.
    My last two were 10a and 8d – I suppose oil is a fluid and anyway it fits with BRB definition so I won’t argue but . . . and then, having finally guessed 8d, I thought the RU was the rugby bit so had a couple of spare letters in the middle – oh dear!
    As for 17d that key is always one that I forget – anyway I don’t know what it does and have never dared press it in case I disappear into thin air.
    I got myself into a right royal muddle trying to untangle 1a and 28a. Just generally not my day, I think.
    I liked 21a and my favourite was 24d. I wonder what our resident “snail” is going to make of this one.
    With thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the much needed hints – hope that you have a wonderful time in France and Italy.

  16. Enjoyed this but did anyone else make the mistake in 8d? I got dismiss as sack and pack as the feature of rugby so ended up with sackpack. Hence I couldn’t get 10 across.

    1. Welcome to the blog David. Although the suggested answer sounds plausible, it is not a word recognised by Chambers, the primary reference dictionary that setters use.

    2. We wondered for a while about BACKPACK but I couldn’t parse it so it didn’t go in. There are BACKS in rugby and to dimiss might be ‘PACK in’ but it don’t work, does it?

  17. Enjoyable if untaxing crossword today from our mystery compiler, thanks to the setter and to DT for a very amusing review.

  18. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable, but tricky puzzle. Just needed the hint for 17d, wasn’t thinking computer keys. Favourites were 7d and 28a. Was 3*/4* for me. Some great clues. Weather overcast in Central London.

  19. A good puzzle today!

    Faves : 10a, 23a, 28a, 14d, 16d & 18d.

    Really warm here in NL today!

  20. Decidedly tricky today, DT. I never did finish a couple in the top right-hand corner, and even though I did get some clues right, 1a and 14d as example, I had no idea why they were. I really needed the review today, so thanks DT for helping me finish this and get on with my life! Thanks also to setter, wonder who it was.

  21. What a tussle!
    Some absolutely brilliant clues eg 28a and 17d.
    Got there very much eventually, after being stuck with four clues for far too long.
    Last in 17d.
    Tuesday’s is usually unpredictable.
    Adds to the pleasure.
    Many thanks to the setter.
    Many thanks to Deep Threat.

  22. What a contrast to yesterday’s puzzle. Hats off to those who found this easy. For us it was impossible to do without considerable help from DT and we really didn’t enjoy it at all. Thank you Mr.Setter and to DT. This must have been difficult to work out how to give clues.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  23. A couple of the hints were more cryptic than the clues!
    More grit than wit for me today with too great an emphasis on process over style. heavy use of abbreviations too, a pet hate of mine.

    1. Welcome to the blog Rick

      Not to mention the dreadful grid where 7d and 18d had double unches (unchecked letters) and 3 checked letters out of 7. Particularly awkward for 7d as it’s the first two letters that are unchecked.

  24. Yesterday’s was a dawdle compared to today’s casse-tête! Many thanks for the review which helped me untangle most of the clues – still stuck on 6d and 10a – but have not given up as yet. Do not know why I found it so difficult but just could not get on the same wavelength as the setter – many thanks to him nevertheless. Going in for my left eye op tomorrow serenely as I know exactly what to expect and furthermore am delighted with the result after the first op. Congratulations to all those who found this puzzle easy!

    1. Good luck from me too.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
      I’m sure you have other things to think about at the moment but I’ve spent lots of time correcting my (almost) bi-lingual French nieces and nephews when they make a slight mistake. You can tell me where to go if you like but do you mean yesterday’s crossword was a “dawdle” or a “doddle”.
      I hope your headache is better.

  25. I was very slow to get into this but then all of a sudden it was all filled in but I needed DT ‘s hints to understand some of the answers. Last one in was 17d.7d made me laugh. Thanks to setter & DT.

  26. Really struggled but eventually managed without DT’s help – thanks to DT and setter anyway. It was rather a slog so 4*\3* for me.

  27. Took us a bit longer than usual and also explored alternative carrying bags before finding the right one for 8d. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  28. Favourites were 28a and 20d. Not too challenging but great fun to solve. 21a was nice too. And 14d. Thank you for the review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  29. I’m a bit surprised that so many seemed to struggle with this, because it came across as a pretty uncomplicated 2*(or maybe a trifle over)/3* to me. Some lovely clues to choose from, but 24d made me smile the most so I’ll go for that one. I needed DT’s hint to see why my answer to 17d was correct, but otherwise no problems. VMTs to Mr Ron, and to DT.

  30. I’m surprised at some of the reaction to this puzzle. Pommette and I started it over our morning tea and the puzzle was done and dusted before the tea had gone cold or been drunk!
    Pommette’s comment, “Well, that didn’t put up much of a fight, what’s in the Grauniad?”. Actually the Grauniad has an excellent Chifonie puzzle that I recommend to all. One of those where you get 75% of the answers in no time at all and then it’s like finding a speed hump on the M1 at Watford Gap!

    */*** from us.

    Enjoyed so thanks to setter and DT – enjoy the hols.

    1. Agreed Pommers re a puzzle in another place. I’m still stuck on the hard shoulder with 1 to go…. infuriating, maybe tackling the Hoskins rookie will help. Who knows…..

      1. Is it 2d? Our last in and a tricky little F****R as far as I’m concerned. Tbhis was one of the speed humps – really slowed us down!

    2. It’s called wavelength and was waaaaay off mine today. Tomorrow is another day!

    3. One man’s (or woman’s) meat, Pommers. The Toughie took me less time than this one did today.

  31. I got over 3/4 done on the train down to Cork and back, (I wasn’t at it non-stop, I had to make conversation with my fellow travellers) on the paper version. I definately needed hints for 17d and 10a when we finally got back. I didn’t help myself by trying backpack, knapsack etc for 8d.Favourites 1a and 28a, and I had to use reverse logic to explain 28a to myself.Some of the clues were very tough, 7d , 20d. After Spoonerisms, cockney is the most trying. Thanks DT and setter.

  32. Echoing BDs comment re an unfortunate double unch at 7d especially, no other gripes, last in 17d. Thanks Setter and DT

  33. No problems tonight , although I needed the explanation for my answer to 17d, as did many others, it seems. I got 28a straight away and then spent ages trying to see why. Smiled when I had worked it out, so that’s got to be my favourite. Thanks to setter and DT. 2*/3*

  34. Any chance of today’s cryptic please. The DT say my sub has lapsed which it hasn’t.
    Thank you
    David Hawksley

  35. Finished this last evening, and enjoyed it very much, rating it ****. My fave was 28a. I also particularly liked several other clues — 15a, 19a, 21a, 26a, and 7d, 8d, and 14d.

    I completed this without hints and managed to parse correctly. I had the answer to 24d, but did need to refresh my memory on Google. 24d was a long time ago! Lovely clue!

    Many thanks to the setter for an excellent puzzle, and to Deep Threat for a super review to match.
    Hope you have a most enjoyable holiday, Deep Threat.

  36. Got stuck on 7 , 17, 28 then got 7 but needed the hints for the other two. Thanks for great work out!

Comments are closed.