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DT 27495

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27495

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A nice and easy puzzle from Jay, a slightly slow start but a quick finish. Thanks Jay. ** difficulty/*** enjoyment for me.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{} are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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    Fellow serving spinach dish for dinner maybe (4,3,5)

{FISH AND CHIPS} : [abbrev. for “fellow”] + anagram of(serving) SPINACH DISH.

Defn: Staple British (politicians’) food?


9a    What cook may need to provide popular starter on time? (3,6)

{TIN OPENER} : { [popular;in fashion] + [starter, eg. in a cricket team] } placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “time”].

Defn: … if he/she were pressed for time to provide a starter and resorted to, say, baked beans – I know, not exactly popular fare. A nice WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

Everybody needs one of these in the kitchen:

10a    Show contempt for name adopted by prophet (5)

{SNEER} : [abbrev. for “name”] contained in(adopted by) [a prophet;a looker into the future].

11a    The centre of that unusual capital in Africa (6)

{HARARE} : The 2 central letters of(The centre of) “that” + [unusual;not often].

12a    Footballers? Small people who cry! (8)

{SWEEPERS} : [abbrev. for “small”] [people who cry, especially if they are losers, as the saying goes].

13a    Hold Basque separatists during ruckus (6)

{DETAIN} : [abbrev. for the Basque separatist movement] contained in(during) [a ruckus;a noisy row].

15a    Four absorbed by frantic search for record collections (8)

{ARCHIVES} : [Roman numeral for “four”] contained in(absorbed by) anagram of(frantic) SEARCH.

18a    Daughter cooking strange fish caught by these (8)

{DRAGNETS} : [abbrev. for “daughter”] + anagram of(cooking) STRANGE.

Defn: The “these” in the defn.

And these caught criminals, not fish:


19a    Footballers book most of lush material (6)

{FABRIC} : [abbrev. for the organisation to which footballers belong to] + [abbrev. for “book”] + [lush;abundant with] minus its last letter(most of …).

And some of them you can see through:


21a    Laid-back approach to date with personal defeat (8)

{DOWNBEAT} : [abbrev. for “date”] plus(with) [personal;belonging to oneself] + [to defeat].

23a    An apartment with nothing in it, on the surface (6)

{AFLOAT} : [like “an”, an article in grammar] + [an apartment] containing(with … in it) [the letter indicating 0;nothing].

Defn: … of, say, the sea.

26a    Carbon test for marine growth (5)

{CORAL} : [chemical symbol for the element carbon] + [a non-written test;examination].

27a    Tradesman handing out medals? (9)

{DECORATOR} : Cryptic defn:  Could be cryptically defined as one who hands out medals, or badges, as emblems of honour.

28a    Part of a convict’s biography? (4,8)

{LIFE SENTENCE} : Cryptic defn: What a biography is about + what its text is made up of. And if the convict were spending this in prison, it would be part of his/her biography. Another WIWD clue


1d    Sold for church during fair on day (7)

{FETCHED} : [abbrev. for a church] contained in(during) [a fair, especially one in the open, and especially associated with a church organisation] placed above(on, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “day”].

Defn: As in “that item [sold for] a tidy sum”.

2d    Equipment carried by sailors on a raft (5)

{SONAR} : Hidden in(carried by) “sailors on a raft “.

Defn: … for detecting and locating objects underwater using sound waves. I guess it is possible to carry it on a raft.

3d    When one caught by individual is slander (9)

{ASPERSION} : [when;at the same time] + { [Roman numeral for “one”] contained in(caught by) [an individual human being] }.

4d    Depression created by study on origin of Twitter (4)

{DENT} : [a study;a room for quiet activity] placed above(on, in a down clue) the 1st letter of(origin of) “Twitter “.

5d    Tough battle with electronic computer components (8)

{HARDWARE} : [tough;difficult] [a battle, actually a series of battles] plus(with) [prefix indicating things electronic] … But then you had the floppy disc?

6d    Lick and stick (5)

{PASTE} : Double defn: 1st: To beat soundly, perhaps to a pulp; and 2nd: To glue to.

7d    On which one takes a call from a fence? (8)

{RECEIVER} : Double defn: 1st: The instrument to take a, say, phone, call with; and 2nd: The criminal dealing in stolen items.

8d    Cold precedes increases in emergencies (6)

{CRISES} : [abbrev. for “cold”] placed above(precedes, in a down clue) [increases;goes up].

14d    Troubled mate has job getting cooperation (8)

{TEAMWORK} : Anagram of(Troubled) MATE plus(has) [job;what you do while at it].

16d    How a diver usually gets in top gear to start (4,5)

{HEAD FIRST} : [the top;the chief] + [gear you use to start moving off in your car].

Defn:  Usually, but not all the time:


 … in which case the genitals need to be protected.

17d    Cover for dried salt processed without one (8)

{STRADDLE} : Anagram of(… processed) “dried saltminus(without) [Roman numeral for “one”].

Defn: To cover;stretch over from side to side.

And that’s some stretch:



18d    Reason given from French and Italian leader (6)

{DEDUCE} : [French for “from”] plus(and) [in general, an Italian leader and, in particular, title for the one during WW2].

Defn: As a verb.

20d    Group from Ireland set up after bed (7)

{COTERIE} : Reversal of(… set up) [at one time, the name for what is now the Republic of Ireland] placed below(after, in a down clue) [a small bed, especially for babies].

Defn: … of people with common interests;a clique.

22d    An Indian sea cut off at the south? (5)

{BALTI} : [the sea between Central and Northern Europe] minus its last letter(cut off at the south, in a down clue).

Answer: A person of Tibetan descent inhabiting a region straddling Pakistan and Kashmir. The name is given to an Indian curry dish.

24d    Frequently possessed by ‘X’ (5)

{OFTEN} : [preposition for being possessed;owned by] [English for the Roman numeral ‘X’].

25d    A credit expert’s beginning to get the measure of land (4)

{ACRE} : A + [abbrev. for “credit”, in financial accounting] + the 1st letter of(…’s beginning) “expert“.

The Quick crossword pun: (poor} + {keep} + {ayes} = {porkie pies}

47 comments on “DT 27495

  1. Thank you Jay. Agree with your comments Scchua – took me a while to get going, working from the bottom upwards. Last in was NW corner which although testing was the most enjoyable part. Loved 1a. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints – and of course appropriate photos. Only you could depict a tin opener in that way !http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  2. Lovely gentle puzzle. */*** for me, last night (actually here in England). 21a favourite. Thanks Jay and to Scchua for images – hints not needed. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  3. Must have had a good might’s sleep …… *\*** for me.

    I thought 6d was cute!

  4. Today’s Quickie Pun:

    I always thought that they were supposed to be in italics when there were more than two answers involved? (Not in my paper)

    1. I suspect that they don’t always understand the setter’s intention in the Telegraph Office. For the pun last week in 27490 (low/dirt/ripe) they have put ‘loaded’ on the online explanations page.

  5. Really enjoyed this puzzle – found it fairly straightforward and amusing in places. **/**** with thanks to Jay and scchua whose hints I didn’t need today (except for pictorial confirmation of course).

  6. I think I’ll say between 1* and 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I also got off to a fairly slow start but then most things fell into place.
    I nearly ran a mile when I saw that 12 and 19a both began with the word footballers and thought I’d leave them until last but I didn’t need to.
    I think the “Indian” dish in 22d originated in Birmingham – well, that’s what husband, who was at University there, always says – he’s not always right – just usually.
    I liked 1 and 26a and 2 and 16d. My favourite was 11a.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. Most people say Brum, Kath.
      Of course there are always other contenders……

      For those that don’t know, the word means “bucket”, ie the thing it’s cooked in. And, if you go to Stoney Lane, don’t forget the four foot naans and the BYO arrangement.

  7. Enjoyable and fun today . I particularly liked 7d and 28 a (LOL).Thanks Jay and scchua.

  8. I agree exactly with Scchua’s opening sentence so I’ll settle for plagiarism rather thinking for myself today: “a nice and easy puzzle from Jay, a slightly slow start but a quick finish. Thanks Jay. ** difficulty/*** enjoyment for me”.

    And thanks to Scchua too for his enjoyable review.

  9. For my part also this looked forbidding on first run through but it soon began to pan out and I was sorry when the journey ended. Several nicely challenging clues although no particular fav. **/****. Many thanks Jay and scchua. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. Haven’t really got much to say about today’s effort, except we needed one or two hints, but finished it fairly quickly. **/ ** for us. Thank you setter and Scchua.

  11. ***|***for me got there in the end with no help 95 %straight forward the remainder a bit tougher .Thanks to setter for enjoyable puzzle

  12. Definitely a case of two halves today. The lower section was excellent, the top rather less so. For me four dreadful clues in 10a, 19a, 1d and 5d, not nice.
    Best clue for me was 22d with an honourable mention for 14d.
    Still struggle with Scchuas hints I’m afraid. Had to look at the answer for two clues as the hints were more cryptic than the clues.
    Thx to the setter.

  13. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. I would agree with scchua’s ratings. Like Sweet William, I also started at the bottom of the puzzle, and finished in the NW corner. Last in was 12a, which is just outside the NW corner, but actually in the NE corner :-) Was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 22d, which made me laugh. Overcast now in Central London.

  14. I just caught sight of gazza’s opening sentence about the Toughie – I think that probably lets me out today – thanks for the warning! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    The garden will benefit though. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Kath,
      Don’t be put off – there’s only one clue relating to cricket. On the whole it’s fairly gentle and it’s very enjoyable.

      1. OK – thanks for replying. I’ll have a go later – in full gardening mode now.

  15. Good, enjoyable puzzle, despite the two “footballers” that screamed at me on first scan. Very do-able today, no real problems. Had to look up 12a, but what else could it be? Some good clues, hard to find a favourite, though 21a did amuse. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  16. A little off subject here. Does anyone know how to contact amazon.co.uk by email or telephone? I ordered something which was mailed on April 23 and I haven’t received it yet. I have been trying to contact them but have been unsuccessful so far.

    1. If you go into the ‘Your Account’ section you can query your order and see where it is supposed to be There’s a section to track your orders and frequently asked questions etc.

      If that doesn’t answer your query you can go into the ‘Contact Us’ section and get into direct contact with them. I’ve always found Amazon particularly good at Customer Service.

      I hope this helps – you’re welcome!

      1. Worked a treat and reached a chat room. Jose is sending me a replacement, maybe chat room in the Philippines?

        1. Pet Lamb Number One is always called Jose – short for Josephine and pronounced as one syllable. She’s a little star. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  17. Lovely gentle puzzle which I finished without having to resort to the review but could nothelp looking at it and reqding all the comments – many thanks scchua for the cheeky photos, much enjoyed by my husband! Eye op went very well, can’t wait to remove patch … Haven’t yet sussed out how some of you get the puzzle the night before. I print mine first things in the morning in between brewing our first cup of tea. 2*/4* with 9a as favourite.

    1. I do the crossword in the paper but I think whether you get it the night before or leave it until the morning depends on what time you go to bed. In other words I think the crossword is available some time around midnight. As usual I could be talking a load of total rubbish here – I often do! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. Thank you! Just had a Kir to celebrate my two new eyes! Normally go to bed before midnight so have never tried to check if the crosswords were available in the early hours. Anyway printing them soon after waking up is a bit of a ritual and starting to solve the Cryptic my early morning treat. Why change?

      1. Just after midnight UK time (where I am at the moment) but 5 hours behind that for me normally – which means I have to wait best part of a day for all your wonderful observations!

      2. The crosswords appear on line exactly on the stroke of midnight your time. It is 11am our time and we are often waiting for the last pip of the time signals for them to appear. Sadly they are not as fastidious with the names of the Toughie setters and Elkamere’s name did not appear until our bedtime last night, well after we had finished the puzzle.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      3. The crossword always comes online at one minute past midnight, without fail.
        You could set your watch by it.

        1. I couldn’t set my watch by it for two reasons. Firstly, I’m usually asleep by midnight and, secondly, I don’t possess a watch and never have done.

      4. Available to me on line at 7 pm in the States, since we are 5 hours behind the UK, though I rarely print out before the next morning. I can usually be found in my office feverishly solving around 4:30 or 5 am.

  18. An easy solve today whilst waiting for lunch at The Roseland Inn in Philliegh. Dinner tonight all be Cod and Mackerel as caught by son in law Michael and myself off The Roseland Peninsula. After dinner drinks will be provided by The Rising Sun, The Victory and St Mawes Sailing Club. Thanks to Jay for the amusement and well done Scchua for the blog.

  19. A fine puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed and just finished. Thanks to Jay and to Schuua

  20. 25d The answer is cotained (hidden )in the first letters of the clue . Also.

    1. So it is. I’m always the last one to get a hidden answer. I completely missed it, not surprisingly, but as there is no indication that it’s one of those little blighters I think that scchua’s explanation is the right one. I do agree that apart from all that it works either way.
      Anyone else?

      1. If you go down the ‘hidden’ route the word ‘expert’ isn’t used in the wordplay so it doesn’t really work.

  21. Agree with 2*/3* rating, but no particular favourite clue. Not sure l accept 1d, despite schuua’s hint – rather a stretch, l feel. Still, my thanks to the setter, and to schuua for an entertaining review.

  22. Horribly intense and very long work day today, so late on the comment parade. I’m with the * for difficulty brigade. Not very taxing and no standouts or smiles in particular. Thanks to the setter, though, and to Schuua for the review.

  23. A write-in for me, but nonetheless enjoyable, with 22d bringing the biggest smile. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the typically well-illustrated review. 1*/3*

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