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DT 27532

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27532

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone.  It’s another beautiful morning on the Vega Baja and apparently it’s the same in Oxford. Cockroach and alley cat both basking in the sunshine!
This puzzle didn’t really float archy’s boat and was going to get ** enjoyment but mehitabel has prevailed so *** it is.  At least we agree it wasn’t too taxing.

As usual the definitions are underlined in the clues and the ones we like most are in blue. 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           What’s blocking criminal courts I bet around five? (11)
{OBSTRUCTIVE} – An anagram (criminal) of COURTS I BET and the Roman numeral for five.

9a           Crossing river is low northern ass (5)
{MORON} – The low here is not the opposite of high but the noise made by a cow containing (crossing) the one letter abbreviation for river and followed by N(orthern).

10a         How indiscriminate tourist might pack for whatever happens (2,3,4)
{IN ANY CASE} – Cryptic definition of where an indiscriminate traveller might pack his clothes.

11a         Wine from second retailer running short (7)
{MOSELLE} – Two letters meaning a second or short space of time followed by another word for a retailer or trader without its final letter (running short).

12a         Find in diary new expression — describing far-sighted policy? (4-4)
{LONG TERM} – Start with a word for a diary or record and insert (find in) N(ew). Follow with another word for an expression or word. A bit Yoda-speak methinks

14a         Retired father and mother, say? That’s obvious (8)
{APPARENT} – Reverse (retired) the usual father and follow with what your mother (or father) is one of.

15a         Eject some mischievous teenagers (4)
{OUST} – One of those pesky hidden answers!

17a         In the morning, if in work, will get raise (7)
{AMPLIFY} – This word meaning raise or increase the volume is made up from the usual two letters for in the morning followed by a three letter word for work steadily containing (in) IF from the clue.

19a         Eastern place of pride — and place of innocence (4)
{EDEN} – E(astern) followed by a place where a pride or group of lions might live.

20a         Tory minister with number boarding posh car, one having authority (8)
{GOVERNOR} – The Secretary of State for Education (Tory minister) followed by the abbreviation for number inserted into (boarding) the abbreviation for a posh marque of car.

21a         Dickensian character engaged in plain dogsbody’s work (8)
{DRUDGERY} – The surname of the title character of a historical novel by Charles Dickens is contained in (engaged in) a short word meaning plain or dull.

23a         Facing action? (2,5)
{ON TRIAL} – This kind of action is held in a court room.  Not really very cryptic

25a         Team is run in order to get medical substance (9)
{ANTISERUM} – An anagram (in order) of TEAM IS RUN.

26a         Ball or shot that’s within limits of game (5)
{GLOBE} – A lofted shot in tennis inserted into (within) GE (limits of GamE).

27a         Dub dry wine unusually good for celebratory occasion (4,7)
{RUBY WEDDING} – Another anagram (unusually) of DUB DRY WINE followed by G(ood).


2d           Outlaw getting brief delight in instrument (5)
{BANJO} – A word meaning to outlaw followed by a word for delight without its last letter (brief).

3d           Dram consumed nearly in a short time? (7)
{TONIGHT} – A small tipple, usually of a spirit, contains (consumed) an archaic or poetic word for near or nearly.

4d           Subservient type caught in a French roadside lodge heading north (5,3)
{UNCLE TOM} – An epithet for a person who is excessively subservient to authority is formed by taking the French A followed by a roadside lodge or hotel reversed (heading north in a down clue) and inserting C(aught). Split that lot (5,3).

5d           News story, ‘Sex appeal and the writer’, getting sent up (4)
{ITEM} – The two letter abbreviation for sex appeal (not SA but the other one) is followed by a reversal (getting sent up) of how the writer or setter might refer to himself.

6d           Diplomat having attention broken by girl close to embassy (8)
{EMISSARY} – A word for an unmarried girl inserted into (broken by) someone’s attention followed by Y (close to embassY).

7d           Degenerated to elderly drunk (9)
{TROLLEYED} – A slang word meaning seriously drunk is an anagram (degenerated) of TO ELDERLY.   I thought this was a sneaky one as the first and last words in the clue could each be the definition or the anagram indicator.

8d           … curate with tiny rum, number having been consumed in doubt (11)
{UNCERTAINTY} – An anagram (rum) of CURATE TINY with N(umber) inserted (consumed).

12d         Premier cricketer Clive getting control of flight? (5,6)
{LLOYD GEORGE} – This guy was Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922.  A famous West Indian (and Lancashire) cricketer followed by the slang term for an aeroplane’s autopilot.   An awesome batsman and a very funny film!

13d         Duck and farm animal mainly raised on fat (7)
{MALLARD} – A young farm animal without its final letter (mainly) and reversed (raised in a down clue) is followed by (on) some fat used for cooking in the days when it was not regarded as being too bad for us!

16d         Preserving South Africa’s big cat with tax coming in (9)
{SALVATION} – SA (South Africa) followed by a big cat with a tax inserted (coming in).  Not 100% sure that this works. We have a verb as definition but a noun as the answer.

17d         In the East End, very narrow river passenger-carrier (8)
{AIRLINER} – Start by thinking of an eight letter word that begins with an H and means very narrow or fine – drop the H, as that’s what people who live in the East End of London are supposed to do, and follow it with the abbreviation for river.

18d         Ornament at home kept in shape (8)
{FIGURINE} – The usual two letters for ‘at home’ inserted into (kept in) a shape gives an ornament or small statuette.

19d         Intellectual, say, taken with German capital (7)
{EGGHEAD} – The usual two letters meaning say or for example followed by a one letter abbreviation for German and another word for capital.

22d         Decadent end to reign in French city (5)
{ROUEN} – A decadent person followed by N (end to reigN)

24d         Meat lit with brandy (not outside) (4)
{LAMB} – A cookery term for a dish which has brandy poured on it and then set on fire but without its first and last letters (not outside).

archy hasn’t got a stand out favourite but if pushed would go for 4d while mehitabel favours 10a.   Unfortunately it’s a bit lacking in photo opportunities but archy has done his best.

The Quick crossword pun: (whelk} + {humming} = {welcoming}

57 comments on “DT 27532

  1. I’m disappointed in today’s Quick Crossword.

    16 across – Central American country. I had ???i?? and so used my favourite mnemonic “Big gorillas eat hamburgers, not cold pizza”. The only Central American country to fit is therefore “Belize”. Wrong! Evidently ****** is in Central America.

    1. Welcome to the blog Tim

      While I agree with you, please don’t give answers to other crosswords in the comments as it may spoil the enjoyment of those who have yet to tackle the puzzle.

    2. The geography of some of the football pundits is even worse than today’s setter …

      ” … the last time the World Cup was held in South America -1986 … etc etc ,,,”

  2. No stand out favourite, but pleasant enough. Thanks to setter, and to a and m for the review.

    I think ‘preserving’ in 16d is a gerund part of the verb, acting as a noun.. but I am probably wrong (grammar was not my strongest suit).

    1. Yes, you’re right, Jezza, it’s a gerund here, as in “His mission in life was the preserving of unspoilt countryside”, although you don’t often see it as “preservation” is more natural.

  3. Thank you setter, I found this quite tricky and was pleased in the end that I didn’t need to look at the hints for explanations to my answers. NE corner in particular. I thought that there were some clever and amusing clues – so I think I enjoyed it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Thank you A & M for all your hard work, review hints and photos.

  4. This took about the same time as usual to complete but somehow it felt longer! I too struggled to get a foothold on the NE corner (serve me right for getting 7d on a Wednesday night) but once that one went in it came together.
    Was it just me or did anyone else find it a rather unfriendly grid? Lots of double unches (20 I think). Technical rather than witty so 3*/2* from me and no real stand out clues.

  5. Going for a **/*** , looked more difficult than it turned out to be on first glance , liked 12d,bet Kath struggles as ,if my memory is correct, cricket is not her favourite sport !; not a great fan of cockney rhyming slang clues and although the solution was apparent, needed the blog tips to explain why-thanks A & M. Like Tim Gott managed to put in the same wrong answer even without the aid of the mnemonic, which I’m not sure is good or bad.

    1. Yes – you’re right. I certainly struggled with 12d – my last answer and I thought I was never going to get it.
      I don’t think 17d is cockney rhyming slang – just that cockneys, or people who live in the East End are known, or supposed to be known anyway, for ditching their H’s at the beginning of words.

      1. You have to know a bit of cricketing history for 12 down, which was my favourite clue.

      2. Thanks Kath, you are right of course. Re the cricket , get A Wisden for Christmas!

        1. Please excuse my total ignorance but what’s a Wisden and would I really want one?! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          1. Wisden is an almanac of cricketing facts and figures. Everything you never wanted to know about cricket is contained within its covers. It’s about the size of the BRB but is bright yellow – BYB? :lol:

  6. Thought I was never going to get underway with this but gradually pennies began to drop and I really enjoyed the ensuing struggle. Was unaware of the flight controller in 12d or the medical substance in 25a. I agree 16d is rather iffy. 9a amused. NE corner a bit of a stumbling-block for me too. ***/***. Thanks Mr. Ron and the perfect duo for parsing several of my answers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. I’m always psyched up to think Thursday’s will be difficult.
    But I didn’t find this so.
    Satisfying and enjoyable, nonetheless.
    Thanks to the setter and to archy and mehitabel for the review.

  8. After a couple of easier solves in the last two days, I found this one a somewhat more meaty tussle: it took me a while, and I needed to google the cricketer. I also needed a hint with one of the others – I won’t say which, because I have no idea why I couldn’t get it and feel like a bit of a 9a! **/***. Thanks to setter, and archy and mehitabel.

  9. Found this fairly straightforward for a Thursday and didn’t have too many hold-ups in solving it. Thanks to setter and Archy and mehitabel for the review. **/***

  10. Would somebody please tell who the Toughie setter is – the web site hasn’t been updated today.

    1. . . . and it’s either a really difficult one or it’s just me – not sure which but I’ve only got about eight answers so far and they’re all in the left hand side – this is not looking good. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. Oh dear http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif I never was any good at left and right!
          Yes – mine are all on the right too! I’ve got twelve now, unless I can’t count either!

  11. We managed today’s effort without assistance, but had to check one or two of our answers, such as 3 down. I don’t see the connection between in a short time and the answer. Thank you to the setter and to the helpful hinters.

    1. I suppose this evening, or the answer to 3d, isn’t very long away – well, that’s how I interpreted it anyway.
      More than open to suggestions if anyone has any better ideas?

  12. Thanks to the setter and the reviewers, enjoyable crossword and amusing review.

  13. I didn’t find it quite as easy as our sun bathing brace of bloggers. Some great clues, including 10a, 23a and 7d for the surface. Thanks to the setter and A+M.

    1. Yes, I rather liked 7d. Thought for a moment that the setter might be referring to me.

      OMG, perhaps he was http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  14. Quite enjoyed this, last entry was 12d as i don’t know anything about cricket – but could look it up in the end. 3d is pretty soon, don’t you think? (= in a short time). 7d put a smile on my face, and i thought 27a and 3d had clever surface. Gotta be the nicest 2d picture i’ve seen in a while. Thanks to setter and reviewers.

  15. Took longer than usual for me. It all fell into place eventually but felt a bit workmanlike.

    Only ever having heard it spoken rather than written down I had always assumed the spelling of 7d ended with IED although I might have been influenced by the Sky tv sitcom of the same name set in a supermarket. On checking my copy of the BRB I found it contained neither spelling of the word, despite it feeling like I’d bought it not very long ago and I was then somewhat horrified to discover that “not very long ago” was in fact 20 years! How time flies!

    Thanks to Beam and A&M for the review.

  16. Late on parade today, its been a very busy day I’m afraid (mainly due to the recycling people leaving my road half and hour before the limit for putting the recycling out, grrrr).

    Quite a tricksy little bugger today, or it may just have been me trying to fit things in as and when I could. My fave today (and I know its not everybody’s cup of tea) was 12D for two reasons – the second word immediately got me thinking of Airplane and the photo given (thanks for that) and the first word of one of the all time great cricketers whom I feel privileged to have seen (albeit for not very long) – Lancashire were playing Northants at Bedford School in the one competition (Benson and Hedges competition at the time – the School were later told not to stage these matches because of the tobacco connection). It had been a miserable morning with lots of rain and not much sunshine so at lunch time I strolled down to my favourite watering hole. At shut up shop time (that’s how long ago it was) the landlord asked what i was doing that afternoon and when I replied I was going to the cricket, he laughed and said there’d be no play.
    I duly arrive at the ground and paid a whole 50p to get in an found that the game had just started with Clive Lloyd batting, I watched him hit a couple of boundaries and wandered over to a caravan to purchase a little pick-me-up (Greene King IPA I believe it was). as I was buying said pint, the rain started again and the chap running the beer stall advised me to get inside as he was shutting up shop until the rain passed. Two of us got in there and ten minutes later heard on the tannoy that the game was abandoned. Obviously, we were mortified until the beer seller said that all the beer had been paid for by Northants and he had to try and shift as much as possibly and would we care for another. For free.
    I rolled out of there at about 7 having done my bit to help the poor fellow only to discover a chap sitting at the gate who wanted to give me my entrance money back!
    I staggered back to my local and virtually fell through the door and was greeted with ‘Where the hell have you been?’ ‘I went to the cricket’ I replied, ‘But it was cancelled’ the Landlord said ‘Yesh, besht match I ever bin to’ I slurred.

    1. Incidentally, to those lucky people who remember CL batting, do you think (like me) that the Australian duck that waddles over their screen when a batsman is out for nought could be modelled on CL (at least, his walk)

      1. Apart from the fact I don’t remember him ever getting a duck? Saw him bat a lot as I’m a Lancs supporter and was still in Manchester during his era. What a talent http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  17. I was totally off wavelength today, strange as I usually agree with mehitabel, except for Rufus puzzles! There were so many I didn’t (and couldn’t) get that I just gave up in the end. Never heard of the tanked meaning of 7d, and didn’t have enough letters just to make an anagram work. Oh dear, what a debacle.

    I can’t spend any more time on this. Thanks to setter for totally confounding me, and to m&a for explaining the unexplainable! ?

  18. I missed yesterdays offering so came to today’s a little ring rusty. Very much enjoyed this although I had to scratch my head a few times. Thanks to M & A for the lovely review which has saved me from going bald! My rating is 3/4

  19. Another glorious day here in BC. The puzzle gets a 2*/2* from me (I’m with archy) and I agree with the comment re 16d. Favourite today was 12d. Thanks to a and m for the hints even though I didn’t need them this time.

  20. Not too troublesome, well, no more than usual… and sorry Kath, 12d was my fave.
    Thanks to m and a but their valiant efforts were not required for once!

  21. Thanks a&m ,needed you today as I just wasn’t on this setter’s wavelength at all. Know nothing about cricket but in hindsight I think I was just being dim. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  22. 3*/3* for me today. 17d was my last one in which was a bit annoying for me because I spent all my working life based in the East End, and so should be very familiar with cockney pronunciation (and rhyming slang)! 12d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to a&m.

  23. This was not a speedy solve for us. When we look back at it now can’t remember what delayed us. Must be a wavelength thing. Pleasant enough.
    Thanks Mr Ron and the team.

  24. Not bad but somewhat spoilt for me by the lower right (SE) corner which I found very obscure.
    For me ***/**
    Thx to the hinters

  25. Not one of the Mysteron’s best, but thanks anyway. Maybe l was just a bit off wavelength, let alone knackered after tennis coaching earlier this evening. I enjoyed some clues (like 4d) but not others (l don’t think 7d is a common synonym for drunk, and l’ve never seen “decadent” used as a noun, as it needs to be to make 22d work). Thanks to a+m for the review as well.

  26. After being crossword deprived for several days, I did this on the train on the way home from New Jersey ahead of the impending hurricane. I quite liked it. Even the cricket reference was doable and although 7D was a new slang word for me, it was easily worked out. Thanks to setter and reviewers. Back to normal tomorrow and printing out at crack of dawn.

    1. Have been concerned re Arthur heading in your direction. He was a wet event here but I see he has picked up speed as he sauntered up the coast. Good luck, let us know how you do.

  27. Straightforward, but dull. I’m with Archy. Thanks to A&M (didn’t that used to be a record label?) 2*/2*

  28. Unusually struggled to get started on this one. I’ve never come across the answer to 7d but was the only anag I could mame. Answer doesn’t appear in my Chambers. I really cot stuck 0n 12d.. Got the 2nd part but don’t do celebs especially sporting ones and didn’t cotton on the premier meaning.. Thanks A&M for hint.

  29. Thanks to the setter and to Archy and Mehitabel for the review and hints. A nice straightforward puzzle, last in was 18d, favourite was 21a, was 2*/3* for me. Late commenting due to driving down to Devon.

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