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DT 27502

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27502

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

For me, an unfamiliar setter, but the puzzle is about what I’m used to on Wednesdays, so a 2*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment.  Thanks to setter (don’t know who he/she is).

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    Case of feed swallowed in birds’ craws (7)

{GULLETS} : The 1st and last letters of(Case of) [to feed;to consume] contained in(in) [coastal aquatic birds].

5a    A sailor reportedly becoming offensive (7)

{ASSAULT} : A + homophone of(… reportedly) [a sailor, especially one who is old and experienced].

Defn: As a noun.

9a    Leading tramp into wild (9)

{IMPORTANT} : Anagram of(… wild) TRAMP INTO.

Defn: As in “a leading figure in government”.

10a    Scoundrel, say, turning bum (5)

{CADGE} : [a scoundrel;a bounder] + reversal of(.., turning) [say;for example, in abbreviated form].

Defn: To sponge on, as in “Can I bum a cigarette from you?”

11a    Police officers shot in protest (7)

{DISSENT} : [abbrev. for police officers of a certain rank] + [shot, as in “the astronauts were shot into space”].

12a    Counters for laboratory equipment (7)

{RETORTS} : Double defn: 1st: Contradictory or opposing responses.

13a    Left-winger touring English bay Queen came round (9)

{RECOVERED} : [a left winger;an extreme socialist] containing(touring) { [abbrev. for “English”] + [a bay;a coastal inlet] + [abbrev.for Queen Elizabeth from the Latin] }

16a    Aggravation of member blowing top for coalition (5)

{UNION} : [a source of aggravation on a lower member of the body] minus its 1st letter(blowing top).

17a    Charges from Duke in battles (5)

{WARDS} : [abbrev. for “Duke”] contained in(in) [battles, or a series of battles].

Defn: … of a guardian, especially minors.

18a    Prudence seeing dodgy gift horse (9)

{FORESIGHT} : Anagram of(dodgy) GIFT HORSE.

21a    Craftsman is slacker after midnight (7)

{GLAZIER} : [is slacker;more sluggish or indolent] placed after(after, in an across clue) the central letter of(mid…) “night “.  Apt surface.

Don’t shoot the Messenger:

22a    Sheep’s tail before last dish (7)

{PLATTER} : The last letter of(…’s tail) “Sheep plus(before) [the last to be mentioned in a list of items, say, within a sentence].

Another hint:

25a    It’s farewell to Hollande! (5)

{ADIEU} : Cryptic defn: Farewell as might be said by President François Hollande or to him.

26a    A corset is removed in bar (9)

{OSTRACISE} : Anagram of(… removed) A CORSET IS.

No, it hasn’t been removed:

Defn: To exclude from a group.

27a    Agrees to go round pub for birds (7)

{LINNETS} : [agrees to;allows] containing(go round) [a pub;a tavern].

Birds, sort of, round a bar and in a pub:


28a    Fool possibly stranded initially in wasteland (7)

{DESSERT} : The 1st letter of(… initially) “stranded contained in(in) [a wasteland where almost nothing grows].

Defn: An example of which;possibly, is a fool.


1d    Former capital of the Netherlands (7)

{GUILDER} : Cryptic defn: Once the monetary unit of wealth; capital in the Netherlands.

2d    Runs edge of axe in cuts (5)

{LOPES} : The last letter of(edge of) “axe contained in(in) [cuts off parts from, say, a tree or body].

Defn: … with a long steady gait.


3d    Ale without a head? That is unnatural (5)

{EERIE} : [ale] minus its 1st letter(without a head) + [abbrev. for that is, from the Latin]. Nice surface.

4d    More biting following small first course (7)

{STARTER} : [having a more biting;sharper taste] placed below(following, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “small”].

Defn: … of your meal.

5d    Adult, bored, taking time to get dressed (7)

{ATTIRED} : [abbrev. for “adult”] + [bored;weary of] containing(taking) [abbrev. for “time”].

6d    These cut with ease separating ends of roses (9)

{SECATEURS} : Anagram of(… separating;tearing apart) { CUT plus(with) EASE } + the 1st and last letters of(ends of) “roses “.

Defn: Cutters used by gardeners. A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

7d    Bounder lingered, grabbing maid perhaps (9)

{UNDERLING} : Hidden in(…, grabbing) “Bounder lingered “.

Defn: An example of which:perhaps, is the maid, someone lower in the organisation, a helper. An amusing surface.

8d    Subversion of terrorist leader’s cause (7)

{TREASON} : The 1st letter of(… leader) “terrorist ” + [a cause that brings about an effect].

14d    US maybe supporting auto plant (9)

{CARNATION} : [a state, an example of which;maybe is the USA] placed below(supporting, in a down clue) [an automobile].

15d    Unfortunately I’ve sublet part of house (9)

{VESTIBULE} : Anagram of(Unfortunately) I’VE SUBLET.

17d    Bird‘s cry around a great void (7)

{WAGTAIL} : [a long, loud, high-pitched cry, as of grief or pain] containing(around) { A + “great minus its 3 central letters(void) }.

18d    Golfer roused, holding iron (7)

{FERROUS} : Hidden in(…, holding) “Golfer roused “.

Defn: … as an adjective, of or containing iron.

19d    Alleged grass will get placed inside (7)

{REPUTED} : [tall thin grass growing in swamps or shallow water] containing(will get … inside) [placed;positioned on].

Defn: Generally reported or supposed to be such, as in “certain … are alleged to be quite …”

20d    Harry‘s wrong to hold hands (7)

{TORMENT} : [a civil wrong for which a lawsuit may be brought] containing(to hold) [hands;working people, or about half of them].

Defn: … or to harass.

23d    Get together when mum’s embraced (5)

{AMASS} : [when;at the same time] containing(… embraced) [an informal term for one’s mother;mum]‘S.

Defn: To gather together.

24d    Custard centre topping well-grown rhubarb (5)

{TRIPE} : The middle letter of(… centre) “Custard placed above(topping, in a down clue) [well-grown;mature].

Defn: Not the vegetable, but something nonsensical or meaningless like the noise made by actors repeating the word rhubarb at random.

The Quick crossword pun: (cheers} + {greater} = {cheese grater}

62 comments on “DT 27502

  1. Surely this was a Ray T offering? It seems to me to have all his hallmarks as well as being extremely enjoyable.

    My rating is 2.5*/4*, with the NE corner extending the time beyond 2*. There were too many clever and amusing clues to try to pick a favourite.

    Thank you setter and thank you Scchua, particularly for the explanation of how “shot” = “sent” in 11a which eluded me.

  2. Surely, with such brilliant clues as 16a and 25a, for example, this must be RayT.
    Thoroughly enjoyable, last in NW corner.
    For me a *** for difficulty.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to scchua for the PWOAR review.

  3. I agree with RD – definitely a Ray T. It had all his trade marks although I thought it was a bit light on innuendo. 3*/4* for me.
    The reason for the 3* for difficulty is that I made a total hash of the top left corner – just couldn’t get anywhere with it for ages – don’t know why now.
    I wasn’t too sure about 12a being laboratory equipment although it couldn’t have been much else.
    I wondered if 25a was wishful thinking?!
    I liked 18a and 1 (eventually) 15 and 20d. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Ray T and scchua.

    1. Could not get on with top left corner either and like you did not really know why! Took me ages to realise that 9a was an anagram… Liked your comment about 25a! Still struggling with 27a in spite of scchua’s hints – thanks for those. Sipping a kir will probably help me to see the light! Catholic holiday here in France. Thanks to setter of course. Found this puzzle a bit difficult. 3*/2*.

  4. Another lovely puzzle, thank you Ray T, with more cleverly disguised hidden words – and a nice birdy corner in the SW. I must admit to trying “gizzards” at 1a before I got any checking letters. Then it took me a while to get the wordplay. Thanks Scchua for your review, hints and modest photoshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  5. Pretty enjoyable- lots of anagrams which suits me!

    I did like 16a. These used to be far more common didn’t they? One of the most painful surgeries…..

    No help needed thx Schuua, but ** because it took me a bit longer to finish.

    1. No, not a painful surgical operation at all. I’ve had both done and the excruciating pain that I had before the op had gone when I woke up. Brilliant! There seems to be a widespread myth about this being a painful operation – like any other, it would be if you were awake and had no pain relief! Just thought I’d mention it in case people were put off.

      1. Oh gosh, no, I wouldn’t want to put people off. I think everything has improved c/w years ago. A mate of mine (a surgeon, so ought to be brave – ha, ha) has had hers done- some pain but the main thing was being off the feet for a month and another few weeks off work after that.

        It sounds like a massive improvement for you Baa, anyway. Glad for you.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  6. Was this a Ray T? I really enjoyed it!
    Did like 10a and 5a especially.
    Thx to all

    1. Great, consider yourself converted :-) All single words in the Quick puzzle, Queen clue and all clues are 8 or less words in the main puzzle, with a bit of double entendre. Definitely a Ray T.

        1. It’s definitely a Ray T – I’d stake my life on it. We’ll find out later as he always “pops in”.

  7. Think this warrants a ***as like Kath I took a while to sort our the NW corner and **** for enjoyment ,lots of sparkling clues from the master, thanks Scchua for the review and pics-liked 22a,one of my favourite groups

  8. Thanks to Ray T and to scchua for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, which made me think quite a lot. Was like 4 mini puzzles, due to the choice of grid. Managed without the hints. Was 3*/3* for me. Favourites were 10&27a, once had a Ford Escort named after the latter. Stand out Favourite was 18d, very well hidden, but the a clever clue too. A bit dull now in Central London, but better than yesterday :-(

  9. Fun crossword and review, thanks to RayT (if him) and scchua. Todays toughie by Shamus is very do-able and very enjoyable.

      1. I agree – wrong envelope day for me. By the way it’s still raining here with a north east wind blowing…and it’s that really wet rain that gets through to your bones. I feel sorry for the kids on half term holidays, well probably more sorry for their poor parents.

        1. Finally stopped raining here and feels a bit warmer but garden looks totally wrecked – lots of all the really tall things like poppies, delphiniums etc have been flattened.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
          I feel sorry for the kids and their parents too.

          1. We are overcast and I was really hoping for a good deluge, but so far it has only been Scotch mist. It’s all upside down; we should be having our rainy season and you should be having your summer.

  10. ***|*** lost the plot on N,E corner needed hint then thought why,did,nt you get that ..Thanks to Sichua &setter for interesting puzzle

  11. 14d is clever as you could alternatively underline ‘US maybe’ as the meaning (as two words)

  12. Oh dear, we are definitely in the minority here.We really found this hard going, our brains are not on the same wavelength at all. Still you cannot please all of the people all of the time. *****/* today. This matched our weather, grey and cold and miserable. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  13. Most enjoyable , on the right wavelength, for once . Many lovely clues, 12a, 1d 25a, 22a , 14d . Many thanks Ray T and scchua.

  14. Most enjoyable, and solved relatively easily. Thanks to Setter and Scchua.
    One small grouch though if I may. (I can’t remember the correct terminology for this so I’ll look forward to enlightenment!)
    In 1a, I’m sure that if part of the clue refers to something like “case of” as in this instance, it has to refer to a word in the clue, not a synonym for that word. So in this example, case of FEED is FD – whereas the clue requires you to find the synonym for feed being EAT, before then using ET as “the case”.
    I’m sorry this is so clumsily worded – but hopefully somebody somewhere out there knows what I’m going on about!

    1. I know what you’re going on about but I’m not sure if there’s any “law” that says the word rather than a synonym has to be in the clue. I’m sure someone far more knowledgeable will tell us.

      1. OK thanks Kath, I thought I remembered several conversations and debates many months ago about this – and I thought it was almost a point of crossword law that went by some name or other. However – I probably dreamt it all!!

          1. OK thanks, it’s certainly possible that’s what I’m thinking of.
            Physicist huh? – I wuz one o’ them too!!

                  1. Why? We’re allowed to say anything we like, barring bad language and libel, unless it’s a prize crossword. The big stick is only wielded at weekends!

                    1. I thought disclosing the answer to a clue was wrong at all times.
                      Isn’t that why the answer is obscured in the review?
                      If what you say is correct, I shall now henceforth pepper my posts with answers.

    2. Roland, I know what you are going on about.

      Indirect anagrams are verboten … but this construct is OK.

      I wonder why? Over to the experts!

  15. All done and sorted, not without some brain strain, complicated by my router for the WiFi croaking on me. This meant I had no access to my dictionary, thesaurus, etc., on my iPad, and I wasn’t about to leave my comfy chair to head to the other end of the house to the office to use the computer! Many good clues, but I think I can claim 16a as a favourite once I read scchua’s hint and learnt the why. Thanks to RayT and to scchua for the review.

  16. Found this clever, difficult and yet enjoyable. Was about to say I was not sure that I understood 17d but suddenly (revisiting the hints) it seems obvious.

    Especially liked 1d and 14d as l was off at a tangent until I had the Ah Bisto moment!

    Thank you Ray T for the puzzle and Scchua for the help

  17. Enjoyable crossword solved whilst wearing a 24hr BP monitor – not sure that it will be lasting on my arm for 24hrs – incredibly annoying – it might end up monitoring one of my daughter’s stuffed toy animals. However, managed to solve this one OK, only needing a hint for 12 ac so thanks to Ray T and to scchua for the hints.

  18. Thanks to RayT for another great puzzle with plenty of laughs and aaaaaaaah moments. 26 had me in stitches and NW corner proved to be very clever, although it took me a while to fathom it out. 1a and 1d were worth the wait and 3 7 11 18d and 28 were also top clues. Those damn hidden words again!! Thursday are always better for a RayT backie.

  19. Super RayT puzzle —- **** enjoyment. Loved 16a, 17a, 14d, 20d, and many others as well. Thought 18d beautifully hidden.

    I managed to do this without hints. But this review is nevertheless much appreciated and I enjoyed going through it. I note that I incorrectly marked the whole of 15a as the definition instead of just the first two words.Otherwise all was parsed correctly.

    My thanks to RayT for an excellent puzzle and to Scchua for the review.

  20. Setter here, with many thanks to scchua for the hints, and to everybody who left a comment. Much appreciated.


  21. Thanks to Ray T for an enjoyable though not over-taxing puzzle, which l too would rate 2*/3*. 14d was my pick of the clues. Thanks schuua for the review and hints.

  22. Just for a change I’m going to have a quick ramble about a couple of non-crossword things.
    The first is where has Mary got to – has anyone heard from her?
    The second is to tell you all about a brilliant story writing competition for children who are 13 and under. It’s the BBC Five Hundred Words – two categories – 9 and under and 10-13. I spent a very happy time reading some of them this afternoon when we were in the middle of yet another cloudburst. If any of you only have time to read one then read “No ideas George”. The little chap who wrote it is 7 – it’s absolutely fabulous – well, I thought so anyway.

    1. Thank you so much for that. What a splendid idea. I read a few, but the “No ideas” George was really excellent. I wondered about Mary as well. I like to read her comments, especially about the weather as my friend lives close by and I can get an idea of what her day is like! We never did hear from Poppy again, even though she said she hoped to be back in May.

    2. Thanks for that – I thought that “No ideas George” was very good (though I’m a bit sceptical that it was written by a 7-year old with no assistance).

    3. Mary’s in Barmouth with Mr Mary celebrating her birthday (yesterday) with what looked like a very splendid cream tea.

  23. Solved this in the evening.

    First in was1d – guess why!

    Puzzle had several avian species in it eg in 1a, 27a & 17d . Pleasant solve.

    Must now prepare a late supper.

  24. I thought this was a Ray T but possibly easier than his usual because I managed to complete it! I needed the hint to explain 6d which turns out to be a rather clever clue. Thanks to setter and Schuua.

  25. Phew, what a struggle, particularly in the Northwest where 1a and 1d escaped me, however I’m reassured to know that Sheila P and several others had similar problems. This simply wasn’t my scene at all so I thank scchua for coming to my rescue at the end of the day and Ray T for a bit of a headache! ****/*. 28a was amongst clues providing a bit of light relief! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  26. Very enjoyable. I started it at work and got nowhere apart from a couple of anagrams. Came home and finished the rest in 2* time. Why is it that some places are more conducive to crossword solving than others? While at work, I thought that I’d never finish this one as none of the clues made sense. Sitting on the sofa with a fag and a coffee, all became clear. Baffling. Many thanks to RayT and to Scchua for the modestly illustrated review. 3*/4*

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