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DT 27500

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27500

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I enjoyed this puzzle but when solving it I was struck by how dated the references are (the movie actor died in 1940, the Mitford girl died in 1948, the jazz pianist was at his peak in the 1940s and 1950s, the cartoon character didn’t survive into the 1960s and the Rolling Stones’ song was first recorded in 1966). Personally I don’t mind this at all – I have a better knowledge of the old times than I do of current ‘yoof’ culture – but is it the way to attract younger solvers? Your views on this and anything else are welcome as always.
You can see an actual answer by highlighting what’s concealed between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

7a Adult favouring wearing long apron (8)
{PINAFORE} – A(dult) and a preposition meaning in favour of go inside (wearing) a verb to long or yearn.

9a Definitely in a bad way on express (3,3)
{I’LL SAY} – in a bad way health-wise is followed by a verb to express or state. I anticipate some complaints about the enumeration but as long as the rules are consistently applied I don’t see this as a problem.

10a Female collecting round Oxford, perhaps (4)
{SHOE} – a female pronoun contains (collecting) the round letter.

11a One poem (abridged) penned by one of the Mitfords in Cambridge? (10)
{UNIVERSITY} – having had Oxford we now have Cambridge with the question mark signifying that it’s an example of the answer. The Roman numeral for one and a poem without its final letter (abridged) go inside (penned by) the Mitford sister who was a friend of Adolf Hitler.

12a ‘Sweet‘ clued badly by third of setters (6)
{DULCET} – an anagram (badly) of CLUED is followed by the third letter of setters.

14a Gang leader in yarn, detective novel (4,4)
{MOBY DICK} – string together a word for a gang (often one of criminals), the leading letter of yarn and a slang term for a detective.

15a More than one place in the country where river’s dropped (6)
{PLURAL} – the abbreviation for place (in street names) is followed by an adjective meaning in or of the country without its leading R(iver). If there’s more than one of the specified letters in the word it’s good practice to identify which one is to be dropped.

17a Soldier’s taken over facilities in homes up north (6)
{IGLOOS} – reverse (taken over) the abbreviation for a US private soldier and add an informal term for ‘the facilities’.

20a Secretary, calm, appears with Ecstasy tablet (8)
{PASTILLE} – a charade of the abbreviation for a senior secretary, an adjective meaning calm or tranquil and E(cstasy).

22a Manage to come to party (4,2)
{MAKE DO} – a verb to come to or reach (as in ‘if we hurry we can **** Portsmouth by nightfall’) is followed by a festive party.

23a On top of everything else, item for auction rejected across London, for instance (2,3,2,3)
{TO CAP IT ALL} – reverse (rejected) something bid for at an auction and put it around (across) what London (or Paris) is an example of.

24a English philosopher poorly following onset of mumps (4)
{MILL} – an adjective meaning poorly is appended to the first letter of mumps. The philosopher is very popular today.

25a Ghost, one consumed by anger (6)
{WRAITH} – the Roman numeral for one goes inside (consumed by) another word for anger or fury.

26a Rolling Stones song — lyric about diamonds, with cartoon heroine (4,4)
{LADY JANE} – put a lyric or short narrative poem around D(iamonds) and add the name of the young lady who appeared in a popular Daily Mirror strip cartoon during and after the war and who always had difficulty keeping her clothes on.

Down Clues

1d Having taken drugs, start field event (4,4)
{HIGH JUMP} – an adjective meaning having taken drugs or stoned is followed by a verb to start or twitch.

2d Pay wife to go on date (4)
{WAGE} – W(ife) followed by (on, in a down clue) a verb to date or grow old.

3d Clouts buzzing insect (6)
{LOCUST} – an anagram (buzzing) of CLOUTS.

4d Western star with badge performing in variety (5,3)
{MIXED BAG} – start with the surname of Tom, a star of early western movies, and follow this with an anagram (performing) of BADGE.

5d Completed novel, a mystery (6,4)
{CLOSED BOOK} – what the reader did after reading the final page of a novel.

6d Coming from Tallinn, perhaps caught short after Indian restaurant meal (6)
{BALTIC} – the abbreviation (short) of caught, as used in cricket scorecards, comes after an Indian dish which is said by some to have originated in the Birmingham area.

8d Mystery in game unravelled (6)
{ENIGMA} – an anagram (unravelled) of IN GAME.

13d Jazz pianist‘s number I introduced to camp (5,5)
{COUNT BASIE} – a synonym for number (as either a noun or a verb) is followed by a camp or HQ with I inserted.

16d Nothing left in safe (3,5)
{ALL RIGHT} – if nothing’s on the left then it’s …

18d Second job in food shop during function (8)
{SIDELINE} – the abbreviated word for a shop selling fine foods goes inside (during) a mathematical function.

19d A particular  detachment of troops (6)
{DETAIL} – double definition, the first a particular (‘the officer took down my particulars’).

21d A plank on a yacht, maybe (6)
{ABOARD} – A from the clue followed by a plank or piece of wood.

22d A boy enthralled by my illness (6)
{MALADY} – A and a boy go inside (enthralled by) MY.

24d Jack, coming in low, exudes charm (4)
{MOJO} – the abbreviation for a jack or knave in a pack of cards goes inside (coming in) a verb to low or bellow. Exudes here is just a link word, i.e. wordplay produces definition.

I liked 1d and 4d but my favourite clue today (because the surface made me laugh) was 6d. What tickled you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {COUNSEL} + {TACKS} = {COUNCIL TAX}



70 comments on “DT 27500

  1. I enjoyed this although never heard of the actor so needed the hint. Also thanks for the explanation for 17a as I was trying to fit troops because of OOP North !

    Thanks to both setter and Gazza

  2. Finished it, but far too historical. I’m In my sixties , but still struggled. Younger people would definitely be turned off by this one.

  3. I have not finished it as we have a funeral to cater but you have echoed my thoughts exactly Gazza. Not as dated as Sheridan from 1777 yesterday though.

  4. Enjoyed solving this one – I’ve only ever heard the actor referred to as rhyming slang for 6 and I needed the hint to work it out (had 17ac wrong – dunno how…). Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints 2.5*/4*

  5. Back again after a brief visit to furrin climes (Bedford, Ipswich and Clacton). Quite enjoyed this, but really did have to dig deep in recesses of the long term memory for some of the references (4D in particular, in fact I’d solved it before I worked out the first part). For some strange reason, I remembered the Mitford sister – no idea why, weren’t they the ones that were quite friendly with a certain Mr Hitler?
    Favourite today has to be 23A – very clever indeed.

    1. Too broad a generalisation. The sister in the clue was a fan of Hitler, and Diana was married to British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, but the others were a mixed bunch. Jessica was a communist, Nancy a left-leaning writer, and Deborah, the only survivor, now 94, is the Dowager duchess of Devonshire. She was active in the SDP.

      Given that Nancy invented the expressions U and non-U, I suppose today they would be UKIPpers and Non-UKIPprs.

        1. Nancy and Jessica wrote some very readable books. Nancy wrote roman a clef books, thinly disguised novels about her family, Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie. I think “love in a Cold Climate” was the first. Jessica wrote more biographically. She married Winston Churchill’s nephew first, who died in the war, then an American and lived in America, joining the communist party.

          1. From a charity book store last year I bought Debo Devonshires book “Wait for me”, in which she describes the return of Unity from Germany with bullet in her head still lodged. I’d heard of Nancy Mitford before, especially Love in a cold climate and the pursuit of love. Subsequently bought the The letters of Nancy Mitford edited by Charlotte Mosely who describes the same event in 1940. Hitler arranged the ambulance train to get her back to England. Quite a family. Almost makes mine appear functional ;)

  6. 2*/3* rating for an enjoyable puzzle today. 20a was my last one in and 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza, whose help I needed to understand the derivation of the first three letters in 4d even though answer was obvious.

  7. Quite an enjoyable solve this morning. Hard enough to keep the brain working but easy enough to work out from the wordplay. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  8. I agree Gazza. Although I am of a certain age I struggled with these. I am sure it would turn off younger listeners. What does ‘yoof’ mean? – you see, I am out of touch with the old stuff and the new

    1. ‘Yoof’ is ‘youth’ or the young of today as pronounced by what my Dad would have called ‘oiks’!

  9. I quite liked this – 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I agree about lots of the clues being very dated and that certainly makes it tricky for anyone under – well, I don’t know really and don’t want to be accused of ageism!
    I knew the pianist but only because he was a favourite of my Dad’s – knew the Mitford girl because of crosswords – didn’t know the cartoon girl but I can go back happily as far as 1966 to the Stones so that was OK.
    I was totally defeated by 4d – didn’t even get as far as spotting the definition (thought I was looking for an actor) and missed the anagram indicator.
    I liked 24a (having caught mumps from our girls when they were little I felt some sympathy) and 5 and 16d. Favourite was either 23a or 6d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.

  10. And 6d is how the weather feels here in West Bridgford! I agree with the comments about some of the clues referencing times past but enjoyed it nevertheless. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza.

    1. I walked across WB today, Lady Bay to the physio on Musters Road.
      Freezing!
      I’m 62 but didn’t get all the old stuff.
      Thanks for the hints

  11. I enjoyed this very much, right in my era, many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for theexcellent review. The toughie is worth a go today, similar difficulty to this.

  12. Lots of dated references, indeed. Add 24A to the list. I had no problem with any of them, being of a certain age myself. My Saturday mornings at the Odeon were obviously not wasted since 4D came easily. Pleasant, though, and I’m a fan of vocab and punctuation clues so 15A was my favorite. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    In my opinion, today’s Toughie was only marginally more difficult.

    1. It’s interesting that you would include Mill in the dated references. I wouldn’t, because I think he’s survived the test of time and is generally known as a historical figure. In the same way there can’t be any problem with references to Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Mozart, for example. Quite when someone moves from being ‘dated’ (questionable) to being ‘classic’ (ok) I’m not sure – perhaps if they’re still generally remembered a century or so after their death?

      1. Probably because I’d never heard of him and had to investigoogle! So for me he was not only long gone but also obscure. The clue was easy enough to solve, however, because I did the toughie first today.

      2. The easiest way to remember John Stuart Mill (as with many other of the world’s foremost philosophers) is to learn Monty Python’s Philosopher Song (John Stuart Mill of his own free will on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill)

        1. Is this the time to confess that I have never seen an entire Monty Python show? Just a few clips.

      3. Mill v Kant

        A boxing match always guaranteed to stimulate aggro in the most well behaved group of philosophy students. I enjoyed refereeing!,

        1. Two chaps with very different backgrounds get chatting while sitting by a pool on holiday. One eventually gets up to leave and the other says “Oh, by the way, you have read Marx?” The first one turns round, looks at the back of his legs and says “So I have but I think they’re probably just because of the chair I’ve been sitting on!”

  13. It would be reassuring to know that today’s “yooves” do in fact a) read the Telegraph and/or b) feel inclined to drag themselves from other activities on their electronic gizmos to engage in cruciverbalism but by all means pander to them intermittently. However, as a wrinkly who enjoyed today’s dated (?) challenge I thank Mr. Ron and indeed Gazza for the hints and especially nostalgic musical clips for 13d and 26a. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif

  14. Thank you setter, an enjoyable puzzle – in particular 23a. Had the answer for 4d on the basis that it couldn’t be anything else having twigged the “badge” anagram. So thank you Gazza for the hint which explained it all and for your review and photos. There seemed to be quite a bit of GK creeping in, which usually defeats me, but not today for a change http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  15. Very tricky, a three star for me. Sorry I’m far too young to get most of the references in today’s , never heard of Tom Mix, don’t know anything about the Mitfords but I did at least get the Rolling Stones number even though I’ve never come across the cartoon heroine. Count who? And who on earth is Mill?
    Not much fun at all today I’m afraid.
    Thx to Gazza without whom I most def would not have finished.

  16. Needed the help of the hints today, and I still don’t know whether 9 across is correct as I’ve never heard of the expression before. Thank you setter and Gazza.

    1. You’ve never heard of the expression “I’ll say!” as a response meaning definitely or “I agree”?

    2. Sheila, you need to enumerate the first three letter word (1’2) to make sense of the answer for 9a.

        1. Thank you people. I do see it now, but without the apostrophe, it is meaningless surely. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

          1. i absolutely agree with you, but I am a self-confessed apostrophe pedant. It irritates me that apostrophes only seem to be used for enumeration with foreign words which have entered common use in English, e.g.: hors d’oeuvres, but I’ve learned to live with it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

            As matter of interest, Gazza or BD, is the enumeration entered by the setter or the editor?

  17. Struggled a bit in the SW corner. I’d say 2.5.

    Remember the CB band ( think he liked to call it Orchestra) in Blazing Saddles? In the middle of the “desert”……..

  18. Like Gazza , the same thoughts crossed my mind about the dated clues , remember my granny going on about Tom Mix and where did he get that hat ! can’t be the shape of his head . Anyway agree with the **/*** and did enjoy it , thanks Gazza for the picks-seen the moby dick one somewhere before.

  19. A curate’s egg of a puzzle for me today and I did need a few hints to finish For me this was a 3.5/1.5 Did not have a problem with Tom Mix et al but cunning badgers like 9A eluded me. Thanks Gazza for the review.

  20. All finished. All getable through the wordplay and quite enjoyable. Now I have to work out if I am just old or if I have devoted too much of my time to crosswords.

  21. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza. I thought this was a bit too GK. Although I managed ok without the hints, would agree with Gazza that the references were dated. Having said that, last in and my favourite was 13d. Was 3*/3* for me. Cold and wet in Central Londo. Where’s summ er gone :-(

    1. Summer doesn’t start until June I’m afraid – you still have 3 weeks to wait

  22. Can,t get into this at all probably worst attempt at crossword ever so bad not interested in hints ,tomorrow is another day

  23. I really enjoyed this one – and particularly listening to one of my favourite Rolling Stones songs again – thanks, Gazza. Like a lot of others, I’d never heard of the film star, although I did guess the answer.

  24. I found this hard to get into and find the wavelength of this setter. I got there in the end but needed hints to “get” 9a as it made no sense to me. In the end I did enjoy it but do agree that there are too many dated clues.

    This was not a problem for a dated old woman, but I did have to search the deepest recesses of my memory. I remember Jane and her Georgie Porgie! I also remember the Mitford sisters well, enjoyed Nancy’s and Jessica’s books, and who can forget Diana who married that awful brownshirter and Unity who went to live in Germany with Hitler.

    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the enlightenment.

  25. Enjoyed the puzzle today. Interesting discussion about what is “dated” and what is historical. I am in my 60’s and I am defeated by British Bands of the 80’s but I do know Count Basie. I think anyone who was influential in their field like JS Mill, Count Basie or even the Mitfords can’t really be called dated. Tom Mix I only know because my husband is a devotee of B Westerns :)
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review as ever.

  26. I quite enjoyed this and kicked it off whilst my son was having his nostril cauterised! Ouch! Not too taxing and 23a was nice. Last in 25a. And 27,500 which is a bit of a landmark I suppose. Ta to The Setter/Reviewer. Where has the sun gone?

  27. Yet again, held iPad in left hand and filled in with right hand in a reasonable timely manner.
    Only slight or longer pause with 9a.
    Although not of a certain age, had heard of all the historical people.
    Could we now please give 8d a well-earned rest.
    It’s fading and frayed at the edges.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  28. I was enjoying it until I got to the dated clues.I have heard of the Mitfords, and have read several of another sister’s books but anyway the solution was fairly obvious.I never heard of the film star, had to google Rolling Stones songs, couldn’t spell Count Basie (I can now,) the philospher was obvious from the clue but I still had to google it to make sure such a philospher existed.A bit too much general knowledge required.The non-dated clues were a tiny bit too easy , I thought.Thanks for all the hints Gazza. I thought 19d was a good clue.

  29. I didn’t really enjoy this puzzle with all the old stuff and I did have a problem with 9a

  30. Somehow found today’s puzzle a bit tricky and coming to that thought the Toughie was only marginally more difficult. Needed Gazza’s help fpr a few clues so many thanks to him and of course to the setter. Somehow could not get on the same wavelength. So for me it is 3*/2*. Oh well tomorrow is a another day…

  31. Very useful thanks. Even if you don’t give the answers it really helps.

    1. Welcome to the blog jean-luc.
      The answers are there but hidden. You need to highlight the area between the brackets under a clue to reveal the answer.

  32. On my own today. A couple of the references escaped me. The Mitford one and the cartoon figure (think I can be forgiven that one). However still managed to get a successful completion, Enjoyable solve and won’t try to guess the setter.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  33. Very obtuse recently and today was worse than usual for Tuesday cryptic. Didn’t enjoy and found very hard. I enjoy cryptic clues, but more and more recently finding it is getting so obtuse the pleasure in working out is lost! Nil for pleasure and max for difficulty!

  34. I enjoyed this one. Also enjoyed the Stones’ track – like “Ruby Tuesday”, one of their quieter numbers. Never heard of Mr Mix, but got the answer from the anagram. Unity’s infatuation with Hitler is surely a matter of history.Thx to all.

  35. Well, l’m not 62 until next week and it all made sense to me! 2*/3*, l think, and 4d my pick of the clues. Thank you Mr Ron, and thank you Gazza.

  36. I didn’t know the actor and needed to investigoogle.
    Kaths reference to 1966 and the Rolling stones song…..hhmm I was born then, In July of that year to be exact. Mill has appeared in toughies,back pagers a MPP , other newspapers are available so it is firmly engraved in me addled brain. Cannot decide between favourites, so will say I really liked 1d & 6d. Thanks as always to Gazza and setter

    1. gazza mentioned 1966 before I did – I couldn’t have been that specific. You’re just a spring chicken, Andy – I was sixteen in 1966. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  37. Enjoyed this, though only 52 I got all the dated clues, the cartoon character briefly had a revival on tv . A television series was made by the BBC between 1982 and 1984, featuring Glynis Barber in the title role. I didn’t like 9a surely the enumeration should hav been (1’2 , 3) ? Held me up for ages!

  38. Loved this one. I especially enjoy puzzles that require not just solving ability but also a healthy supply of general knowledge. I find it hard to believe that so few appear never to have heard of J S Mill or the Mitfords, although maybe they can be forgiven Tom Mix. I thought there were some very clever clues today and my favourite was 14a, followed by 5d. 3*/4*. Thanks to setter and Gazza

  39. I am so very glad to have found your blog – i routinely buy a monday / tuesday DT at the airport en route to work in France ….then desultorily complete the c/w over the course of the week before return on Friday – massive frustration if i get stuck on a clue – (4d in this instance) and till i found you no possibility of checking the next day solution – keep up the great work!

    1. Welcome to the blog Mark. Now that you’ve found us I hope that we’ll hear from you on a regular basis.

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