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DT 27525

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27525

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A straightforward, enjoyable puzzle. A 1.5*/3* for me. Thanks 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    Worry about a fine decanter (6)

{CARAFE} : [to worry;to be concerned about] containing(about) { A + [abbrev. for “fine”] }.

4a    Bits of kebabs in their drink? (8)

{ABSINTHE} : Hidden in(Bits of) “kebabs in their “.

Defn: … made from herbs, and now banned in many countries because of its toxicity.

10a    Setter of the highest quality? (9)

{SUPERGLUE} : Cryptic defn: A material that sets;fixes firmly – and it does an excellent job, hence its name.

11a    Secretly hide constant pain (5)

{CACHE} : [symbol for a quantity of constant value, especially in the sciences] + [a pain that’s sustained – one might even say, constant].

12a    Flog cat and get dog (7)

{WHIPPET} : [to flog with an instrument of torture, or pleasure to some] + [an example of which is your house cat, or dog].


13a    Change say in broad part of route (7)

{WAYSIDE} : Anagram of(Change) SAY contained in(in) [broad;with great extent from side to side].

Defn: …, say, of a road, street, or path.

14a    Proportion having a time in port (5)

{RATIO} : { A + [abbrev. for “time”] } contained in(in) [short name for the South American port – of topical interest currently].

15a    Revered head of house gave consent (8)

{HALLOWED} : The1st letter of(head of) “house ” + [gave consent for something to be done or happen].

18a    Paper that comes out after the match? (8)

{CONFETTI} : Cryptic defn: Bits of coloured paper thrown, traditionally after a match in, say, church, but nowadays before a match in a stadium too.


20a    An instrument of returning bureaucratisation (5)

{SITAR} : Hidden in(of) reversal of(returning) “bureaucratisation “.

The instrument, the master and his daughter:

23a    Weapon made of explosive containing free energy (7)

{TRIDENT} : [a high explosive named after the abbrev. for its constituent compound] containing(containing) { [to free of] + [symbol for “energy” in physics] }.

Defn: … from ancient or modern times.


25a    Reacting badly, with no end of volcanic rock (7)

{GRANITE} : Anagram of(… badly) “Reacting minus the last letter of(with no end of) “volcanic “.

26a    Saw a daughter grow old (5)

{ADAGE} : A + [abbrev. for “daughter”] + {to grow old;to add to the years – and to the wrinkles, etc – and hopefully to wisdom too].

Defn: …, eg. a proverb.

27a    Next to order one is glad (9)

{ALONGSIDE} : Anagram of(order) ONE IS GLAD.

28a    Critical assessment of a match by police department (4,4)

{ACID TEST} : A + { [an international match, say, in cricket or rugby] placed after(by, in an across clue) [abbrev. for a police department comprising detectives] }.

29a    Ship with cargo of unlikely theatre seats (6)

{STALLS} : [abbrev. for a steamship] containing(with cargo of;carrying inside) [unlikely, descriptive of some tales or stories].


1d    Part of social services job held down by suit (8)

{CASEWORK} : [job activity] placed below(held down by, in a down clue) [a suit heard in a court of law].

2d    Reproduce lease incorporating half of prices (7)

{REPRINT} : [to lease out, eg. a property] containing(incorporating) 3 out of 6 letters of(half of) “prices “.

3d    Impervious, getting rap on knuckles after Grand Prix? (9)

{FIREPROOF} : [a rap on the knuckles;a reprimand] placed below(after, in a down clue) [abbrev. for Grand Prix racing with the likes of Hamilton and Alonso, substituting the Roman numeral for the 2nd character].

Defn: … to flames.

5d    Carp? Capital dish! (4,10)

{BEEF WELLINGTON} : [to carp;to complain] + [the capital city of a Pacific nation].

6d    Italian church assembly finally gets restless (5)

{ITCHY} : [abbrev. for “Italian”] + [abbrev. for “church”] + the last letter of(… finally) “assembly “.

Answer: Figuratively, describing, say, your feet or fingers.

7d    Feeling diplomacy, the French will chase independence (7)

{TACTILE} : [diplomacy;discreetness] + { [French for “the”] placed below(will chase;come after, in a down clue) [abbrev. for “independent” – “independence” too?].

Defn: Having the sense of touch.

8d    Opening I reportedly permitted (6)

{EYELET} : Homophone of(… reportedly) “I ” + [permitted;allowed].

There are openings … and there are openings … and openings to tie you up in knots

Black Halter Dress...  Brass taffeta lace up plunge overbust

9d    Make a desperate attempt to get chickens in basket? (6,2,6)

{CLUTCH AT STRAWS} : [a brood of chickens] + [in;attending] + [plural of a term for “basket”, after the material it’s woven from – thus, shouldn’t it be “baskets” in the clue?].

16d    Working to find amusement in street attack (9)

{ONSLAUGHT} : [working, like an electrical appliance] plus(to find) { [an amusement;a joke] contained in(in) [abbrev. for “street”] }.

17d    Shoes for sycophants around the Queen (8)

{CREEPERS} : [sycophants;servile persons] containing(around) [Latin abbrev. for the current Queen of England].

Defn: … with soft soles, the term sometimes qualified by “brothel”.

19d    Japanese art equipment held by old French pal (7)

{ORIGAMI} : [equipment;gear] contained in(held by) { [abbrev. for “old”] + [French for “pal”;friend] }.

Just one uncut dollar:

21d    Insignificant victory — one in dummy run (7)

{TRIVIAL} : { [abbrev. for “victory”] + [Roman numeral for “one”] } contained in(in) [a dummy run;a test run].

Insignificant (pieces of clothing)?  Yes and no:

Tulio Tarzan Loincloth-Zebra 

22d    Layers of pastry rising, wrapped in case of soya (6)

{STRATA} : Reversal of(… rising, in a down clue) [a pastry shell, topless with any of various fillings] contained in(wrapped in) the 1st and last letters of(case of) “soya “.

24d    European squashing opening occasion (5)

{EVENT} : [abbrev. for “European”] placed above(squashing;pressing on, in a down clue) [an opening, usually to let gases out].

The Quick crossword pun: (taught} + {chair} = {torture}

46 comments on “DT 27525

  1. Straightforward and enjoyable indeed – thank you Jay and Scchua.

    Kath will need a tissue for the Toughie but apart from that she and others should be OK with solving it, toughness-wise.

  2. What a difference a day makes 24little hours ,no help needed today agree**|***liked10ac ,9d.afew old chestnuts but enjoyable none the less ,Thanks to setter & scchua especially for some of the lovely photo,s

  3. Fairly straightforward & no help required which makes for a pleasant change. Many thanks to the setter & scchua for some excellent pictureshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  4. A pleasant straightforward solve today. no problems at all for me today. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review and the illustrations.

  5. Thank you Jay. I really enjoyed that – just my level ! Loads of Favourite clueshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Thanks Scchua for your review and hints and carefully chosen delicate photoshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  6. Thought at first this was going to be another horror like yesterday’s but once started it fell nicely into shape (Mrs B disagrees, she hated it!). Loved 10a but thought it needed a bit more of a clue for 20a where there is no indication that it is in the other word. Likewise 29a contained no reference to tales or stories and tall covers many things. Never heard of creepers for shoes before. Quite enjoyable today but the clues were a bit wooly and somewhat sloppy IMHO. Certainly no Giovanni!
    Thx to all

  7. Mostly a breeze except for an interlude trying to work out why ‘sneakers’ was wrong for 17d!

    1. Hello Miffypops, did not do the puzzle on Monday and have just read your review which is up to the usual high standard.

  8. Well, it’s back to normal for me today, where I struggled a bit, and resorted to some gentle cheating… And I usually love hidden words, so was most annoyed when I failed to get 4a (with no 5d to help: another fail). Grr!

    Oh, and I had “trainers” for 17d for ages, which held me up needlessly at 25a. I may have heard of creepers before, but if I have I don’t recall.

    Unlike Brian, I liked 29a. I have had much enjoyment sitting in them!

    Thanks Jay, Scchua and setter :).

    1. The hidden words are always the ones that get me but, for once, I did find both of today’s.

  9. I agree with the comments and ratings today.

    I have a few pairs of 17d’s – one very similar to the pictured one.

    Favourite was 16d.

    Lots of flesh today, scchua. Are you trying to destroy our self esteem?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif

    1. Forgot to add that the 19d pic is amazing. Is there a video to go with it? Tempted to start youtubing but need to brave the pollen.

  10. Why do I get the feeling that the DT crossword editor is no sports fan. No World Cup, cricket or tennis references at all this week! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. I’m sure you know what you can do with World Cup or cricket clues as far as I’m concerned, but an occasional tennis one would be fine with me.

  11. Enjoyable if untaxing crossword today, thanks to Jay and to scchua for a superb pictorial review.

  12. I’ve not participated for a while, but I struggled with the NW corner of this puzzle until the penny finally dropped! I have also started doing the toughie before the back pager and IMHO I’ve found them easier this week – the toughie that is. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  13. I think I’ll go for 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment today.
    I got into a bit of a muddle with a few in the top left corner – 10a and 9d were my last two answers – don’t know why now.
    I spent too long trying to fit “care” into 1d and “yard” into 28a – both stupid – and I always forget that Grand Prix is the same as Formula One.
    For once I managed both the hidden answers, even though one was reversed as well.
    I liked 10 and 12a and 5 and 16d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. I, too, could not remember the Formula One thingy for Grand Prix, and we only had it about a week ago!

  14. We had to stare at this for quite a while today, but after getting the first one,19 down, we managed to fill in the rest except for about 2 clues, where we had to have help from the hints. I thought it was enjoyable and about **/*** for us. Thank you to the setter and Scchua. What a day for sport yesterday was. Complacency from Roy Hodgson. Exciting but ultimate failure from the cricket team. Italy getting knocked out by Uruguay, who have a player who bites his opponent if he gets frustrated, but, at least Mr. Nadal is through to the next round at Wimbledon, so all is not doom and gloom. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  15. I have been away from crosswords for the last couple of days owing to other priorities. This was a nice , gentle and refreshing welcome back. Thanks to Scchua for the review.

  16. Couldn’t get past eye something for 8d – d’oh. Just didn’t see it. And having thought 10a was Superfine, no wonder I put in snatch instead of clutch at straws for 9d…. Trying to convince myself that Straw was the connection to chickens. I’ll put myself in the Dunce’s corner, thank youhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif We had a very grumpy vicar at one church whose idea of a visual aid at a friend’s wedding was to produce a box like magic from under his surplice and then announced “I hate this, and I won’t have any thrown in my church grounds, so wait until you reach the street before throwing any”‘ and exited to a rather stunned silence. I would have happily swept it up! So everyone left in rather a subdued fashion, squeezing past a choir boy who was waving a huge offertory plate at them. I never went back. But, to give him a fairer due, heard later that he was much loved and a faithful visitor of the suffering – so I need to tear up that snapshot that has him frozen in an unhappy moment. Anyway, thanks to setter and to Scchua for hints.

  17. This started out a bit tricky for me but gradually everything just slotted in nicely. My fave was 5d, with honourable mention to 16d and 12a. Thanks to Jay and scchua for my morning’s entertainment.


  18. Really enjoyed this as I do every Wednesday – just the right level for me to do fairly briskly and feel satisfied with the result. Would go for **/**** with thanks to Jay and scchua.

  19. 1*/3* for me today for a straightforward but enjoyable puzzle.

    My only issue was in trying to understand the wordplay for 9d. Notwithstanding Scchua’s explanation regarding the missing “s”, neither straw = basket nor basket = straw appears in my version of the BRB.

    Many thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  20. Managed to misspell 19d so threw me off for a while with 23a. A **/*** for me and looking forward to 4pm for the next installment. Weather glorious here in beautiful, super, natural, BC

  21. Enjoyable but slightly spoilt by getting answers from checking letters then working backwards to see how it fitted with the clue – I think some people disagree but I feel I’m cheating when I work this way round.

    My one and only favourite is 8d, there were MANY runners up

    Thanks to Jay and scchua

  22. Enjoyed this.
    Some clever wordplay, eg 23a, and challenging long ones eg 5d and 9d.
    Just within my time, so 2* – 3* for difficulty.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to sschua for the pleasantly bossomy review.

  23. Short and sweet **/*** so nothing to keep me from an idle afternoon watching Wimbledon tennis with highlight being great Djokovic/Stepanek match. Thanks Jay for puzzle and scchua for the somewhat far-fetched Playboy-type illustrations with some Playgirl thrown in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  24. 25 across. Granite is not a ‘volcanic rock’. Granite is an igneous rock; this term includes ‘volcanic rock’.
    Kenneth James. Curator (Geology), Ulster museum.

    1. Welcome to the blog Kenneth.
      The definition in 25a is not volcanic rock, it’s just ‘rock’. The word volcanic is there to supply it’s end letter C which has to be removed from REA(c)TING before forming the anagram.

  25. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle was 2*/3* for me. Favourites were 10&12a and 17d. Finished this in the morning, but late commenting due to a tour of Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick.

  26. Good fun and not too taxing, which is good because I have to finish before starting homework for tomorrow morning’s radio. I particularly liked 10a, which made me smile when I got it – my last one in. 2*/3*

  27. straight forward once scchua had put me right on 17d. I had another shoe that fitted with all but 20a and nearly satisfied the clue!
    Enjoyed the illustrations.

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