DT 27513 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27513

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27513

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable one from Jay – with just a little slowdown in the northwest corner. A 1.5-2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. Thanks to Jay.

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    Astounded by second pick-up following boom (13)

{THUNDERSTRUCK} : { [abbrev. for “second” in time notation] + [a pick-up;a vehicle to carry goods] } placed after(following) [a booming sound].

Defn: … or gobsmacked.

You could be a man in the street or a president:


9a    Fundamental precursor to invention (9)

{NECESSITY} : Double defn: 1st: A requirement;an essential; and 2nd: Reference to the proverb about the forebear of invention.

10a    Escaped ducks adopted by London college (5)

{LOOSE} : Twice [the letter representing zero runs;a duck in cricket scores] contained in(adopted by) [abbrev. for the constituent college of London University, in Westminster].

Defn: …, as fugitives are.

11a    Complete some without territorials (5)

{UTTER} : Hidden in(some) “without territorials “.

Defn: Used to emphasise, as in “that was complete nonsense!”.

12a    Lacking authorisation for recess? (4)

{NOOK} : [lacking;without] [short for an authorisation].

Defn: …, say, in a wall.

13a    Scottish family forgets name for daughter getting dressed (4)

{CLAD} : [a Scottish family, in general] with [abbrev. for “name”] replaced by(forgets … for …) [abbrev. for “daughter”].

15a    Found date upset by unprotected sheep (7)

{LOCATED} : Anagram of(… upset) DATE placed after(by, in an across clue) [a group of sheep] minus its 1st and last letters(unprotected …).

17a    The blighter is average, covering a case of need (2-3-2)

{SO-AND-SO} : [average;nothing outstanding (2-2)] containing(covering) { A + the 1st and last letters of(case of) “need“}.

Defn: …, one who is unpleasant or difficult. A milder alternative to “s.o.b.”

18a    Fine ducks on view, say, with day’s main course (7)

{SEAFOOD} : { [abbrev. for “fine”] + [the same ducks in 10 across] } placed after(on, in an across clue) homophone of(…, say) [to view], plus(with) [abbrev. for “day”].

Defn: Cryptic – part of any meal that comes from the nautical main.

20a    Play, but be absorbed by match being fixed (7)

{MACBETH} : BE contained in(absorbed by) anagram of(… being fixed) MATCH.

Defn:  A tragedy set in Scotland, by an Elizabethan English poet, and adapted for opera by an Italian composer.

The woman behind the man, with blood on their hands:

21a    A bit of an idiot, actually! (4)

{IOTA} : Hidden in(A bit of) “an idiot, actually“. A WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

22a    Look after contents of lost city (4)

{OSLO} : [look, and behold!] placed after(after, in an across clue) the inner letters of(contents of) “lost “.

23a    Parrot beginning to make a crow cry (5)

{MACAW} : The 1st letter of(beginning to) “make ” + A + [the hoarse cry of a crow].Greenwing Macaw

(Speech bubble: “All right, who forgot to tell Fred today’s dress code.”)

26a    Waistline that’s roughly right (5)

{GIRTH} : Anagram of(roughly) right.

Answer:  It applies to horses, as well, and … symbolic sculptures:


27a    Jet has to carry animal (5,4)

{BLACK BEAR} : [the colour, from that of jet, a hard variety of coal] plus(has) [to carry, as a burden].

28a    Removed religious restriction — and secret code changes (13)

{DECONSECRATED} : Anagram of(… changes) AND SECRET CODE.

Defn: …, eg. like a church converted to secular use.


1d    Rebukes lots after language (6-8)

{TONGUE-LASHINGS} : [lots;large amounts of, eg. food portions] placed below(after, in a down clue) [a language, especially a spoken one].

Defn: As a plural noun.

Answer:  Literally:

2d    A French copper on time — rough as a diamond (5)

{UNCUT} : [French for “a”] + [chemical symbol for the element, copper] placed above(on, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “time”].

Answer: As a rough diamond is.

3d    Diplomacy means freedom (10)

{DISCRETION} : Double defn: 1st: Tactfulness;not telling what shouldn’t be told; and 2nd: Freedom to do as you judge fit. An oxymoronic clue.

4d    One involved in gender-bending ruled (7)

{REIGNED} : [Roman numeral for “one”] contained in(involved in) anagram of(…-bending) GENDER.

5d    A cougar’s victims? (3,4)

{TOY BOYS} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a metaphorical cougar and her prey. Though, some such prey might be willing victims, hence the question mark.

Cougar and pre-cougar days:


6d    Threatening good learner in university year (4)

{UGLY} : [abbrevs. for “good” and “learner”, respectively] contained in(in) [abbrevs. for “university” and “year”, respectively].

Defn: … and mean-looking.

7d    Learning to recognise ridge (9)

{KNOWLEDGE} : [to recognise;to be cognisant of] + [a shelf-like surface;a ridge – I’m not sure of the synonymity, as the latter, though it might be narrow and fairly flat, is at the top where 2 sloping surfaces more or less meet, whereas the former projects out from a sloping or vertical surface].

8d    Poor toddler who ate lizard’s tail is unconscious (4,2,3,5)

{DEAD TO THE WORLD} : Anagram of(Poor) [TODDLER WHO ATE + the last letter of(…’s tail) “lizard“].

14d    Cupid‘s rival god (10)

{MATCHMAKER} : [to rival;to be comparable with] + [with a capital letter, the Creator]. And Cupid was a god (lower case initial) – a nicely misdirecting surface.

16d    Cold and rather stupid editor took out a lease (9)

{CHARTERED} : [abbrev. for “cold”] plus(and) anagram of(… stupid) RATHER + [abbrev. for “editor”].

Defn: … of a vehicle or craft.

19d    Where to put dead stub out at home? (7)

{DUSTBIN} : [abbrev. for “dead”] + anagram of(… out) STUB + [at home]. Another WIWD clue.

20d    Harbour fee from North African on time (7)

{MOORAGE} : [a North African, whose people invaded and ruled Spain in a former period] placed above(on, in a down clue) [a long period of time].

24d    Do church and have dinner (5)

{CHEAT} : [abbrev. for “church”] plus(and) [to have dinner, or any meal].

Defn: As in “any conman will do you if you’re not careful”.

25d    Elegant hotel in island group west of Cuba (4)

{CHIC} : [letter represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet] contained in(in) [abbrev. for a group of islands between England and France] + the 1st letter of(west of) “Cuba “.

The Quick crossword pun: (Auntie} + {terse} = {anteaters}

43 comments on “DT 27513

  1. No help needed on this one agree **|*** nice 13 letter clues liked 27ac,28ac .Thanks to setter for enjoyable puzzle ,also to scchua

  2. Thank you Jay, I found this difficult, eventually grinding to a halt and needing a couple of hints to complete. Hence the enjoyment level diminished as time passed and irritation at another failure took over ! I managed to finish half quite quickly – below the diagonal between NE and SW. the bit above that line proved a bit too hard for me. Thanks Scchua for hauling me out again – loved the photos http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. This was more than 2* difficulty for me – closer to 3* and 3* or 4* for enjoyment. I always like Jay’s crosswords.
    18a was my last one in – well, the last answer that I understood. I completely missed the hidden 11a although it had to be what it was and 5d also had to be what it was but I’ve only ever heard of one meaning of cougar and it wasn’t this one.
    I liked all the long answers round the outside of the crossword and 21 and 23a and 14d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. Hey Kath, re 5d you need to take a look at some sleb rags, if only to have some street cred with the offspring – you can then scare them by asking them to go clothes shopping with you……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

  4. I was on the wavelength today.

    I enjoyed 12a and 1d and 5d.

    Care to divulge the location of 26a Schuua?

    1. Bluebird, it’s at Villa de Leyva, Colombia. Bring back some photos to share with us, will you?

      1. Ha, ha. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gifNo plans to go to that part of the world.
        I suppose they put it down to the cocaine……..apparently, it comes out of the taps there or could be the altitude. It affects ones judgement.

  5. No real problems but I thought some of the clues, (8d, 17a), a bit clumpy ,though the solution was obvious from the number of words and their length and one or two checking letters.Re 5a, I like the clue but not the illustration.Thanks to all concerned.

    1. I think you mean 5d, Una, in which case many feminists probably agree with you re the illustration! Although of a certain age I certainly wasn’t aware of this alternative meaning of “cougar”!

  6. Thanks to Jay for a nice crossword with little difficulty and to scchua for a most amusing pictorial review.

  7. A couple held me up in the top left, but otherwise fairly straightforward.
    Thanks to Jay, and to scchua for the review.

    Just finished the toughie, which took me ages!!

  8. No great problems today and rather enjoyable. Still don’t get the wordplay for 12a, the answer is obvious but don’t get the authorisation bit and the hint is no help.
    Really liked 9a, quite straightforward but very clever.
    Missed the inclusion indicator in 11a and needed the explanation for the sheep although again the answer was obvious.
    Thx to all

    1. I think it is No OK as two words for lacking authorisation, took me a while on that one tbh.

      1. James,
        You’ve changed your alias since your last comment about a year ago. Both should work from now on.

  9. Liked most of this puzzle, but found one or two needed a bit of assistance which is really annoying, though this isn’t the setters fault. I don’t understand the wordplay for 12a, even with the hint, although I’m sure we have the correct answer. Thank you to the setter, and to Scchua.

  10. Reasonably gentle, with about half completed before lights out last night and the rest falling into place this morning. I liked all the 13 letter clues, but favourite would have to be 12a – very neat wordplay.

  11. Hello everyone I have to confess to being a ‘lurker’ for the past couple of months. Sitting in the garden while attempting the DT crossword has helped me recuperate while I’m off work, and I am so grateful to helpful crossword solving hints from you all. Just wanted to share a small triumph – today I completed the puzzle in less than ******* (took much longer in the early days)

    1. Welcome to the blog gilliane.. Now that you’ve de-lurked we hope to hear from you on a regular basis.
      Well done on your triumph, but please remember that we discourage quoting solving times here as it can get into a “mine’s bigger than yours” type contest and can discourage some solvers.

  12. Joyful puzzle – thanks Jay and also scchua for an amusing read through after the event. 1a and 9a amused. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  13. Good puzzle, thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn’t too easy nor too difficult, just right. I, too, liked the 13-letter clues, very helpful in getting the rest. Now, for a fave, impossible task as I loved so many of them; 17a, 8d, 5d, etc., Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review, which I quickly scrolled through!

  14. Owing to other commitments I have had to attack this offering in fits and starts but eventually got there.. I found this to be a 3/4 rating. I thought a couple of clues were clumsy but with the help of Schua’s review I understood. Thanks Schuua

  15. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle from Jay. I managed ok without the hints, but had never heard of that meaning of cougar, but managed to guess it from the checkers. I’m sure not into celebs ☺ Favourite was 20d. Was 3*/3* for me. Clouding over now in Central London. On to the Toughie later.

  16. Agree about the cougar ,did,nt mean a thing to me ,but by the letters in could,nt be much else

  17. Thanks scchua especially for the glimpse of the first wonderful waistline picture – what I’d give to be aboard one just now and cantering in Richmond Pak… Thank you setter for some good brain stretching. Didn’t help myself by putting ashtray in for 19d at first, so no wonder 18a got me stuck http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. Hi Poppy – ashtray was my first thought for 19d too but I’ve been doing crosswords for SO much longer than you that experience and BD’s blog has taught me that if you can’t justify an answer then it’s likely to be wrong!

  18. Very enjoyable crossword – just about right for my wavelength / solving ability. Jay seems to be one I can fathom a lot of the answers from the wordplay before I see the definition. I find with some other setters it’s the other way around. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review **/****

  19. Hello everyone. Maybe 30 degrees in the shade made that puzzle impossible to finish. Was a real 9a to benefit from scchua’s 3d. Thanks.

  20. Very enjoyable gentle puzzle from Jay. I was completely on his wavelength today except I needed the explanation for the “sheep” d’uh! Off to the US in the morning to see the grandsons.

  21. All dropped into place nicely with some chuckles along the way. Thanks Jay. Entertaining review as ever from Sschua. :-)

  22. Re 1a, I believe what is written in Russian on the back of the demonstrator baring nearly all to Putin is obscene so perhaps it’s just as well you blocked out part of it, scchua. Several on-line sites have obliterated it completely. Not being a Russian speaker I am not in a position to comment!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. Yes you’re right. Didn’t spot it first. Idi na roy. Means literally go to the “male sex”. Or f off as you would say.

  23. BD – yes indeed – however I imagine Putin didn’t really object to the bearer of either message!

  24. I liked a lot of this one, got a bit stuck, fell asleep, woke up with answers.
    Favourites from a good bunch are 17a and 25d

    Thank you Jay and scchua

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