DT 27526 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27526

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27526

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where summer has burst upon us — with a cloudburst. The weatherman tells us that as a reward for enduring an abnormally long, cold winter we are in store for a hotter than usual summer. I say “Bring it on!”

The rotation would suggest that it should be RayT pitching today (pardon the baseball metaphor) and the Queen does make an appearance — albeit an abbreviated one. However, the puzzle lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that characterises a RayT creation.

Solving this puzzle was like building a Lego structure — lots of fiddling with small pieces. I also noted that a lot of tails were lost today. The right hand side fell into place quite readily. However, I found the left hand side to be a bit trickier — pushing the difficulty level up a notch.

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   Help because one is after second position (10)
{ ASSISTANCE } — start with a synonym for because (2); follow this with the Roman numeral for one placed after S(econd); finally, complete the solution by appending a word that can mean either a manner of standing or a point of view

6a For example, very big personalities (4)
{ EGOS } — the shortened form of exempli gratia followed by a label found on garments of larger than standard size

9a Queen record, i.e. retro remix, for collection (10)
{ REPERTOIRE } — start with the shorter of the usual abbreviations for Queen; then add a record with only a few tracks; finally attach an anagram (remix) of IE RETRO

10a A marine force’s weaponry (4)
{ ARMS } — a charade of A (from the clue), the initials standing for one of the British armed services, and don’t forget the S

12a Pretty good  place for entertainment (4)
{ FAIR } — a pretty good double definition

13a Native American carried round single spirit (9)
{ ABORIGINE } — start with A(merican); to this add a synonym for carried which has been wrapped round the Roman number for one and an alcoholic beverage

15a Setting where volume can be turned up? (8)
{ BOOKSHOP } — this was a “Three Bears” clue; BOOKSHELF was too long; LIBRARY was too short; but Goldilocks finally found a word which was just right

16a Misery created by ‘snip’ at hospital (6)
{ PATHOS } — hidden in (created by) sniP AT HOSpital

18a Toilet commonly found in shed, we hear (6)
{ THRONE } — an informal (common) word for toilet sounds like (we hear) shed or cast (as in “due to the inquiry, more light was shed on the problem”)

20a Criminal clears off losing tail outside (8)
{ ALFRESCO } — an anagram (criminal) of CLEARS OFF with the final letter removed (losing tail); did anyone try to implicate the usual gangland suspect?

23a Tease bird I left behind (9)
{ TITILLATE } — a word sum of a small songbird, I (from the clue), L(eft), and behind (schedule)

24a Glimpse end of eternity by sixth sense (4)
{ ESPY } — start with a TLA (three letter acronym) meaning sixth sense; then place the final letter of eternitY beside (by) it

26a Work-shy indulged, oddly (4)
{ IDLE } — the odd numbered letters of InDuLgEd

27a Team with spare over taking runs, boundaries (10)
{ PARAMETERS } — an anagram (over) of TEAM and (with) SPARE swallowing (taking; like a dose of medicine) R(uns)

28a Small boat leading to island (4)
{ SARK } — S(mall) plus a big boat gets us to one of the Channel Islands; a resident of the Channel Islands has brought to my attention that the original image was not of Sark, but of Brecqhou, a small island off the coast of Sark and seen in the bottom right-hand corner of this picture

29a Catching fine cut is fantastic taking over (10)
{ INFECTIOUS } — another anagram that needs the injection of an extra letter; an anagram (fantastic) of FINE CUT IS into which we must insert O(ver); did anyone try to justify CONTAGIOUS?


1d A fine line cut for hairstyle (4)
{ AFRO } — a charade of A (from the clue), F(ine), and a synonym for line with the final letter removed (cut)

2d Singer‘s singular work performed with love (7)
{ SOPRANO } — a charade of S(ingular), a shortened version of the usual musical work, a word meaning performed or functioned, and a very poor tennis score

3d Strangely uncivil around start of Peasants’ Revolt (12)
{ SURPRISINGLY } — a word meaning grumpily bad-tempered is wrapped around the sum of the initial letter of Peasants’ and another word for rebellion

4d Fizzy drink flips containing most of said fruit (8)
{ AVOCADOS } — a carbonated beverage is reversed (flips) and placed round a word meaning spoken aloud with its last letter removed (most of)

5d Mutt set on angry tailless pointer (6)
{ CURSOR } — a charade of another term for a mutt and a synonym for angry with its last letter removed (tailless)

7d Musician finally wearing vulgar decoration (7)
{ GARNISH } — the final letter of musiciaN is placed inside (wearing) an adjective meaning gaudy or vulgar

8d Endless row raised about American prison’s hanging (10)
{ SUSPENSION } — start with a word meaning din or row and remove its last letter (endless); then reverse it (raised, it being a down clue); now insert into this a word sum of a short equivalent for American plus a short North American term for a prison plus the S

11d Beef, meat and greens I’d cooked (12)
{ DISAGREEMENT } — an anagram (cooked) of MEAT and GREENS ID

14d Ultimate in care among poorly tots and cribs? (10)
{ OBSTETRICS } — another injection needed; insert the final letter of carE into an anagram (poorly) of TOTS and CRIBS; this is an all-in-one clue with the entire clue serving as both the definition and the wordplay

17d Cut a pork pie consumed around North (8)
{ ALIENATE } — the definition is cut in the sense of snub; the solution is a charade of A (from the clue), a Cockney’s pork pie, and a verb meaning consumed into which N(orth) is injected

19d Rodent exterminator catching large snake (7)
{ RATTLER } — start with a dog that catches and kills large rodents that are notorious pests and transmitters of disease; then inject him with L(arge)

21d ‘Game’s up!’, remorsefully admits leader (7)
{ SUPREMO } — hidden in (admits) GameS UP REMOrsefully

22d A jester somersaulting over popular knight (6)
{ GAWAIN } — flip over (somersaulting) A (from the clue) and a joker or wit; then place this on top of (over) the usual suspect for popular or trendy

25d Idiot frames thousand questions (4)
{ ASKS } — bringing up the rear is one final — and superbly appropriate — injection site (at least in North America); give a shot of K (thousand) to this idiot


My favourite clue today is 15a (I like cryptic definitions) with honourable mention going to 3d.

The Quick crossword pun: (fear} + {lets} + {take} = {fillet steak}

100 comments on “DT 27526

  1. I’ve asked this before Falcon but I am still not clear. You are West of us in Europe and, therefore, your time is behind ours. So how is it that your crosswords come up with an earlier time? I can’t work it out

    1. May I answer this? Falcon and I are both 5 hours behind you in the UK. When it’s midnight over there, and the new crossword is posted on line, it’s only 7 pm over here. So when you are tucked up in bed and sleeping, we have all evening to work on the puzzle and get it done before you’re awake.

      1. Chris,

        Thank you for pinch hitting for me (another baseball metaphor) while I was catching up on my sleep. I posted the review shortly before 1:00 AM in Ottawa (shortly before 6:00 AM in London) — and thus not long before Collywobbles left his comment.

        People often think that I must be up early, but you are truly the early bird.

        1. I’m even earlier – I get to see the crossword at 4 pm PST. This was definitely not my wavelength so a ****/** for me. Thanks Falcon for the hints – I couldn’t have finished this without your help .

          1. Thanks Falcon and Vancouverbc, I had trouble getting my head round it in the first place although BD did explain it some time ago.
            Is 22d not in the BRB because it is a proper name?

  2. We thought this one was quite tricky, more like we usually see with a Beam label attached. 18a was our last one in and deserves a giggle we thought. Really enjoyed untangling it all. We checked the word count for the clues as usual and nothing longer than 8 words once again. How does he do it!
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  3. Definitely a little trickier for me this morning. My last one in was 27a (took me ages to spot it was an anagram).
    I too liked the cryptic definition at 15a (my penultimate one in).
    Many thanks to RayT, and to Falcon for the review.

  4. I thought I had picked up the Toughie by mistake! I rate this the hardest regular puzzle for some time. Very fiddly, often obscure (17d?) and not much fun for me.

  5. Certainly felt like a Ray T but very enjoyable if damn tough in places. Touch of here’s the answer, what’s the question! Still don’t see the line in 1d? RO?
    Probably obvious but damned if I can see it.
    Best clue for me was 5d, clever!
    ***/**** for me today
    Thx to all

  6. Very tricky in places, I thought, and I agree with Falcon that it didn’t quite feel like a Ray T. Very enjoyable, though, and I made it through without the hints. I liked 15A particularly. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  7. I’m struggling with the down clues on the left hand side.

    Also my iPad app keeps losing previously completed answers :unsure:

    I’m giving up for the moment because I am getting frustrated

    I shall return when I have replenished my patience stores….usually achieved by eating biscuits


    1. The telegraph is aware of the problem and are working to solve it. They are a bunch of incompetent rat bags.

  8. Tricky ?Thats one way of putting it I suppose. I found most of the very strange. 12a is my “favourite”(it has few contenders) also.Thanks Falcon.

        1. I don’t – good is wonderful, fair is middling and bad’s horrible. I agree that it’s a double definition. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. Not for me I’m afraid can’t get on this guys wavelength at all not often I give up , but I give up

  10. I found it a tough but enjoyable struggle before grinding to a halt in the SW corner, missing 14d, 15a and 18a. Not sure about 14d… favourite is 23a. Thanks Ray T and Falcon.

  11. Needed 2 hints on the LHS but managed to sort it out in the end. I enjoyed it although I agree it was tricky in places. Thanks to Falcon for the couple of hints I needed and thanks to RayT for the usual cerebral workout ***/****

  12. Thanks to RayT for a most enjoyable crossword and to Falcon for an erudite review. The Micawber toughie today is much easier than this.

  13. Brilliant puzzle, very hard in parts, even the anagrams were mind stretching.
    Most enjoyable tussle.
    Many thanks, RayT, and Falcon for the review.

  14. Thank you Ray T for giving my brain a work out. I really enjoy the wrestle which only took one round and a bit to finish. It was rather a long round though. I agree with Falcon about building blocks in this puzzle. 4d took longer because of a spelling mistake at 9ac. 13 ac I should have got from my OU course this year where I discovered the word was not limited to Australians. 22d was last in and a very clever clue but then this is a puzzle of so many great clues. At the risk of inducing Cryptic Sue’s ire I have cut the right hand kitchen worktop to size and shape and reversed the hang on the fridge door. Progress indeed.

    1. How long is it going to take to get used to opening the fridge from the wrong side – that kind of thing always throws me for ages. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif But well done for the progress.

      1. Well! I have been living with Saint Sharon for 27 years and I still call her Hazel, which was the name of a previous one time dream lover of a lifetime. So the fridge could take some time.( and I didn’t reverse the little freezer compartment door so that doesn’t open now ).

        1. Mr CS who isn’t good at remembering names and wasn’t when we first met and so always referred to my sisters (Heather and Isobel) collectively as ‘Hazel’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    2. And presumably sent the piggies to the abattoir! Horrible, horrible man! At least they were humanely farmed, not like our factory farms here.

    3. Yes, my thought, it was certainly a construction exercise, like a verbal Leggo.

  15. I thought this was the trickiest Ray T that we’ve had for ages – if it had called itself a Toughie I would probably have given up but it didn’t so I didn’t. At least 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    It took me a long time to get going at all and I didn’t speed up much.
    I got quite a few answers from the checking letters and then worked out the why bit afterwards – 1 and 27a (missed the anagram indicator) and 3 and 8d.
    My last answer was 22d – never heard of the chap in question, at least if I have I’ve forgotten about him.
    As usual on alternate Thursdays there were lots of good clues – 6 and 15a and 5 and 11d. My favourite was either 16a or 14d but can’t quite make up my mind which.
    With thanks to Ray T and thanks and well done to Falcon for all the untangling – must have taken a while.

  16. Slightly trickier today but just as entertaining thank you Ray and Falcon.

    For once I disagree with Big Boab as I found the Toughie trickier than the back pager.

    1. Oh dear – indecision time again – don’t know who to listen to. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifMaybe I’ll just have to try but going to make tayberry jam first.

        1. Oh no – that’ll be the third time this week – run out of tissues – loo paper from now on.

    2. Sorry Sue, it must be the alcohol plied upon me by my Grandson, but I thought the toughie quite easy today, great fun though!

  17. Haven’t managed to get out of my dunce’s corner yet, as I really struggled with this. So I’m relieved that a few others found it a bit tricky in parts as well. Thank you Falcon for desperately needed hints (& yes, I have to admit in answer to your general query, that I wasted time trying to fit in the usual suspect in 20a. Hope I’m not the only one!). So thanks to clever setter. Now I’m going to sit in a cold bath to get my brain working…

  18. After years of lurking it’s time to come out into the open.
    Hello, and what a brilliant site!
    I found today’s puzzle a good challenge and I didn’t need the hints although like Carrie my I-pad too would lose the answers I had achieved if I moved ‘off site’ for any reason. I suspect the recent DT update to be the guilty party….

    1. Welcome to the blog GWizz. Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that you’ll be commenting on a regular basis.

    2. Hello GWizz,

      Welcome, we’re a pretty mixed bag, this is one of my favourite virtual places, I hope you enjoy it here too!


    3. Welcome from me too – it’s good here. Be warned though – it’s also highly addictive. I spend far too much time here when I really should be doing other “stuff”.

      1. But, Kath, if the the other “stuff” is important, it will still be there tomorrow. On the other hand, if its not important, you would have wasted your time doing it.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  19. i always look forward to aThursday RayT and it proved to be a most enjoyable experience. Lots of giggles as usual and many fine clues. I think my favourite was 13 and also picked out 3, 17, 18, 23 and 27. There is always a sense of fun and nudge nudge about Ray’s puzzles and this was no exception.

  20. That was fun! My favourite by far was 14D.
    Many thanks to RayT, and Falcon too (for explaining the Quickie pun!).

    1. Steve,

      I’m afraid your thanks are misplaced. Big Dave adds the information on the Quickie Pun.

  21. Hi peeps – well we completed it without hints. I use the term “we” losely – as It was my own personal blogger that did it.
    Like you Falcon, we finished the right side and came to a grinding halt on the left.
    But he persevated and finished it off.
    So thanks RayT for the workout and Falcon for the lovely illustrated hints – loved 25d pic!

  22. I suppose I shouldn’t say it, but it is a bit of a consolation when quite a lot of others on this site find the puzzle tricky when we do too. Still, we managed to finish with a little help from our friend Falcon so thank you to him and to the setter as well.

  23. Carrie…..fuelled by shortbread

    I finally finished, despite the App, my dense brain and carelessness.

    I did myself no favours with a couple of silly spelling mistakes, I also thought that an obituary would be the ultimate care! Unfortunately that bit of silliness only held me back towards the very end.

    I hope I am not limited to one ‘Ah Bisto! moment because I had so many on the left hand side e.g. 9a 23a and most especially 18a

    I’ll have to choose 22d as my favourite because he was.

    I generally enjoy the crossword, this was for me exceptional thank you Ray T and Falcon both did a great job.

    1. Your comment about the obituary reminds me of one of the best bits of graffiti I ever saw. There was a poster in the maternity hospital advocating having babes in hospital rather than at home. It said “The first five minutes of life can be the most dangerous.” Someone had written underneath “The last five can be a bit difficult too!”

      1. That would have made me laugh out loud. It’s amazing what ‘propaganda’ they can pull out when they want us to do something.

        I am completely confused about red wine, chocolate and coffee the number of fruit and veg portions I’m supposed to eat et al. Being happy is my motto and not having too many shoulds in my life is no good :)

        1. I agree with you – we eat and drink exactly what we feel like. All this “research has shown . . . etc” is such a load of ********. One week it shows something and the next one it shows the exact opposite. I think it was Martin Amis who said, quite recently, that nothing is worth giving up for the sake of two extra years in a nursing home in Weston-super-Mare.

  24. Agree with the rating today, thought 14d was a very clever ‘all in one’ , and liked 15a-thanks to Falcon for the pic. A first for me today, did the crossword whilst waiting for the breakdown van-alternator packed up on the way to a hospital appointment-just made it ,talk about stress. Not been a good week, mother board failed on the computer, had to get a new one with Windows 8 (7 apparently redundant ) what a ‘pane’- does anybody think it’s an improvement?

    1. Please don’t say Windows 7 is redundant, I’ve only just got a new computer with it programmed. My Godson reckoned Windows 8 too difficult for me, he says it is very complicated.

    2. We got a new laptop quite recently with windows8 and we don’t like it. Sorry Beaver.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    3. You could try upgrading to 8.1. It’s a free upgrade and is marginally better.

  25. This one really flummoxed me to start with but thanks to Falcon’s hints I eventually managed to finish it but only after a lot of head scratching!

  26. Thank you, Falcon, for the *** difficulty. I hate it when I really struggle and see only * difficulty! I did finish, though I did get 22d wrong, I won’t tell you what I put in as it makes no sense but had no other word! I enjoy a workout when there’s satisfaction at the end, but it was really, really tricky. My favourite was 18a, Thank you RayT and Falcon, good start to the day.

    Did anyone else enjoy the Matt today? I thought it was brilliant.


      1. Also brilliant today is the Specsavers Ad in the Sport section. Very Matt-like and hilarious.

        1. So – first problem is hunt the Sport section (hardly ever look at it), second problem is go through several pages and then, finally find it – don’t understand it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
          Oh dear – am I stupid? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

          1. Certainly not! I’d say you are just not switched on to football humour.

            The joke is that the charming Luis Suarez from Uruguay fancied a meal of Cannelloni during yesterday’s World Cup match but, as he was not wearing Specsavers’ glasses, he tried to eat the Italian footballer Chiellini instead.

            1. Thanks – oh dear – I’m definitely not switched on to football humour. I don’t think that I’m sorry about that. They seem like badly behaved animals to me.
              Think I’ll shut up and go away now, at least until tomorrow!

  27. Not too bad, l thought, and something like 3*/4* for me. Some nice clues, and my pick was 13a. Thanks to Ray T for the workout, and to Falcon for the review.

  28. Thank you Ray T. I found this rather tricky and needed a couple of hints to finish the SW corner. Thanks Falcon for your review and hints. Frustrating day on the train. Virgin cancelled our M/cr London train, then our replacement coach overheated and the next coach smelt of sewage ! Hoping for better luck on Eurostar tomorrow ! Not conducive to relaxed puzzle solving.

  29. So maybe I’m not as jet lagged as I thought as I found this pretty tricky and reassuring to see that others found it so as well. Thanks to Falcon for the hints . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  30. I really enjoyed this puzzle. It was a mixture of see the answer straight away clues intertwined with Holmes 3 pipe problem clues. I was determined not to use the hints but had to succumb to check a couple. Plenty of smilers which is always a bonus. I would rate this as a 3/4.5 My thanks to Falcon for his excellent review. It is also good to see over the last week or so people giving up lurking and joining the best blog on the ether.

  31. I dropped straight in on the right wavelength today and found this much easier than usual for a Ray T puzzle but nonetheless very enjoyable. 2*/4*.

    5d was my last one in and 14d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

      1. Ah, but I remember a few days ago you found a puzzle quite easy which I really struggled with. We’ve said it before and I’m sure we’ll say it again getting on the setter’s wavelength is the key. Quite often for me it is setter specific, but with Ray T and Virgilius some days I hit their wavelength and on other days I don’t – but, whatever the difficulty with those two gentlemen, I always enjoy their puzzles :-)

  32. Maybe I’ll be the last to comment so here goes.
    What a lot of comments today – lovely.
    I also agree with Graham above that it’s good to have so many new commenters – there have been lots of de-lurkers in the last week or so. Well done to all of them and I really hope that you all keep commenting.
    Finally – where the hell has Mary got to? About a month ago she said that she’d be back in a couple of weeks . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. 16 days doth not a month make – she is definitely still alive as she ‘liked’ my post on facebook yesterday wishing my favourite grandson a happy first birthday.,

  33. Kath, sorry but I am preventing you from bringing up the rear. I have had a busy day ending with more goggle-box Wimbledon before getting around to this. I found it quite a slugfest but enjoyable nevertheless. I also enjoyed all the comments and it’s particularly good to welcome several newcomers. Managed without Falcon’s expert guidance except for 22d which defeated me too. Thanks RayT for a perfect blend of cerebral exercise plus some light relief. ****/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  34. Took me ages and needed two hints even so – very like me doing the Toughie on an easier day. It made an enjoyable challenge. Many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

  35. I liked 28a as I live only a few miles from the answer. Shame the picture shows a different island! This one is Brecqhou, an island just off the coast of Sark, belonging to the Telegraph owners.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Guernseygraeme

      Your comment required moderation.

      I do apologize for posting a picture of the wrong island. In my defence, the Channel Islands are a bit out of my neck of the woods.

  36. I found this one tricky. It took 3 sittings but was very satisfying to finish it without hints. Nevertheless thanks for the review and thanks to the setter for the challenge.

  37. I also found this tricky in parts, but it was a most enjoyable RayT puzzle. I liked many of the clues, including 20a, 23a, and 22d. I took simply ages to see the hidden answer in 16a! Very well camouflaged.

    Very many thanks to Ray T for a challenging and entertaining puzzle. And very many thanks to Falcon for the excellent review.

  38. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. Phew, finally finished. Great puzzle, I was half a dozen short for ages, but have whittled them down. Last in was 18a, also a favourite along with 15a, sorry Kath :-) Was 4*/4* for me. Very late commenting due to a lot of sport on the telly and organising the Squash Leagues. Just going to start on Friday’s now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  39. Vintage Ray T.22d made me smile broadly because of the picture the surface conjures.Pity no risque clue today but a fun solve nonetheless.Yesterday’s SUPERGLUE was also a gem.

Comments are closed.