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DT 27543

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27543

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable quickie from Jay, with 1*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment. 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    Felt bound to chase source of growth (6)

{GROPED} : [bound;literally tied up] placed after(to chase, in an across clue) the 1st letter of(source of) “growth “.

5a    Detective’s area is murder (8)

{DISPATCH} : [abbrev. for a detective rank in the police]‘S + [a well-defined area, say, for growing, eg. vegetables].

Defn: … or execute.

9a    Honourable old Scottish chanteuse in Pacific state capital (8)

{HONOLULU} : [abbrev. for “honourable”, as in official titles] + [abbrev. for “old”] + [Scottish female singer who started in the 60s].

Answer:   Whence, possibly, this pre 60s dancer sans leis…and the message is in the body movements.

10a    Wow! Close, finishing early for a bit of a looker (6)

{CORNEA} : [wow!;a British exclamation of amazement or surprise] + [close by] minus its last letter(finishing early).

Defn: Part of what you use to see with.

11a    Lacking principles, without time for God, for example (8)

{IMMORTAL} : [lacking principles;unethical] containing(without) [abbrev. for “time”].

Defn: A being not subject to death.

12a    Hydrogen planet that could be considered home! (6)

{HEARTH} : [chemical symbol for the element, hydrogen] + [planet not a million miles from us].

Defn: Part of a fireplace symbolising the home.

13a    Went too far – filmed by paramour, topless! (8)

{OVERSHOT} : [filmed;took videos] placed after(by, in an across clue) [a paramour;a darling, especially an illicit one] minus its 1st letter(topless).


15a    Cure the man with a leg missing for example (4)

{HEAL} : [3rd person pronoun for a man] plus(with) A + “leg minus(missing) [abbrev. for “for example”, from Latin].

17a    Fruit that’s mainly the product of an oyster (4)

{PEAR} : [a gem produced by an oyster] minus its last letter(mainly …).

Fruit where a gem should be:


19a    Build up new case, behind schedule (8)

{ESCALATE} : Anagram of(new) CASE + [behind schedule, something you might not want to hear your paramour say she is].

20a    Broad area of Cornwall rather unprotected? (6)

{SWATHE} : [abbrev. for that part of England that includes Cornwall] + “rather minus its 1st and last letters(unprotected).

Defn: …, eg. of land or of cloth:


21a    Assertive setter with degree needing endless credit (8)

{DOGMATIC} : [animal that a setter is an example of – this one doesn’t set crosswords] plus(with) [abbrev. for a post-graduate degree] plus(needing) [financial credit to buy first, pay later] minus its last letter(endless …).

22a    University that in Spain is unparalleled (6)

{UNIQUE} : [short for “university”] + [Spanish for “that” as a conjunction].

23a    People losing head after rubbish revolution (8)

{ROTATION} : [a people under a single government] minus its 1st letter( losing head placed after(after, in an across clue) [rubbish;nonsense!].

24a    Over-zealous people or footballers with strange antics (8)

{FANATICS} : [abbrev. for the organisation of footballers] plus(with) anagram of(strange) ANTICS.

25a    Collared stole? (6)

{NICKED} : Double defn: 1st: … by the police; and 2nd: Slang for what someone possibly did, resulting in being collared.


2d    Person sharing opportunity with merchant seaman (8)

{ROOMMATE} : [opportunity;scope to do something, eg. to manoeuvrre] + [any deck officer below the master on a merchant ship].

3d    Poor colt’s terrible form (8)

{PROTOCOL} : Anagram of(…’s terrible) POOR COLT.

Defn: Formal etiquette and code of behaviour, especially in diplomatic interactions.

4d    Brave daughter with no female relations? (9)

{DAUNTLESS} : [abbrev. for “daughter”] + [with no female relations;having no parents’ sisters, in particular].

5d    Form of tennis embracing conventional hypocrisy (6,9)

{DOUBLE STANDARDS} : [a format for a tennis match, relating to the number of players] containing(embracing) [conventional;non-customised].

6d    Objection on behalf of trial (7)

{PROTEST} : [on behalf of;supporting] + [a trial;an experiment].

7d    Terribly deferential lad missing in island in the Atlantic (8)

{TENERIFE} : Anagram of(Terribly) “deferential minus(missing) “lad “.

8d    I agree to try and try again (4,4)

{HEAR HEAR} : [to try in a court of law] x 2(and … again)

14d    Primate called, taken in by published article (5-4)

{ORANG-UTAN} : [called on the phone] contained in(taken in by) { [published;not secret any more] + [an article in grammar] }.

15d    Very attractive thing found in recently stolen items (3,5)

{HOT STUFF} : [slang for “recently stolen”, with the authorities on the lookout for] + [items in general].

Answer:  …, as is the dish, and sometimes, the chef:



16d    An orchestra section finishing early – no one up for a scrape (8)

{ABRASION} : [variant of the article “a”] + [a section of the orchestra that includes trumpets, trombones, etc.] minus its last letter(finishing early) + reversal of(… up, in a down clue) { NO + [Roman numeral for “one”] }.

17d    Most particular and politically correct about net aid being distributed (8)

{PEDANTIC} : [abbrev. for “politically correct”] containing(about) anagram of(… being distributed) NET AID.

18d    Medicine that might counteract a love potion? (8)

{ANTIDOTE} : Cryptic defn: Reference to something that might [counteract;go against] [what a love potion will make you do;love excessively]. A nice surface and WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

19d    Drain part of car responsible for emissions (7)

{EXHAUST} : Double defn: 1st: To drain of, eg. energy.

The Quick crossword pun: (guess} + {dowses} = {guest houses}

Click to reveal the components of the pun.  BD

36 comments on “DT 27543

  1. I agree with the ratings from scchua, no real favourites or stand out clues for me.Many thanks to the setter & scchua for his usual tasteful pictureshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  2. A good puzzle for me today. No real problems but a few penny drop moments. thanks to setter and to Scchua for the review and pictures.

  3. I agree with Scchua, not too taxing today but very enjoyable. I would actually push up Scchua’s ratings slightly: 1.5* for difficulty and 3.5* for enjoyment.

    Is it just me, or are there rather a lot of Hs in the answers today?!

    I thought there were lots of excellent clues but I had no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua.

  4. Nice solve today, as usual had a few problems with the first pass of the Acrosses (I know, always best to start with the downs, but habits is habits). Everything fell into place nicely ones the down clues started filling the gaps.

    Going to make 22A my fave today as once I’d solved it, all I couldn’t get Manuel out of my head.

  5. Another voice of agreement with the */*** rating. I couldn’t give it more for difficulty, because even a silly Kitty managed to polish it off over breakfast in what might have been a personal record time had I not dozed off half-way though. Not through boredom, I hasten to add! – I was up early to run before it got too hot. Feeling virtuous, as well as not stupid! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  6. And thanks to Jay and scchua. My thanks are always there, even when I neglect to add them :).

  7. A nice, fun puzzle today! Also, the first time (I think) I have seen a Spanish word in a crossword.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua too.

  8. Slow kick-off again today but then much joy – thanks Jay. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Spanish word of course could have been French. 21a was marginal fav – the setter this time is not “I” or “me”. By the way, St. SwithUn (debatable spelling – I went to the School spelt thus) unfortunately let us down in W. Sussex yesterday with a brief shower in the a.m. Thanks for being there too scchua. **/***.

  9. I agree with RD – would push up scchua’s ratings a bit.
    As usual on Wednesdays I was a bit slow with my last few answers but no real problems.
    I liked 1 and 15a and 3 and 15d. My favourite was 17d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Can’t do Toughie at all – I’ve managed five answers so far, and I’m not sure about two of those. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  10. The rather unusual grid did not look appealing at first sight, with 16 double unches, but it presented no real problems.
    I found it a bit mechanical to be honest, with lots of shortened words and abbreviations and nothing very amusing in the way of word play, so only 1.5*/2* for me.

  11. Lovely puzzle with some nice twists, i enjoyed 25a,11a. Felt very much in control here, solved systematically from NW to SE – not like toughie, which at the moment is messy with clues filled in randomly all over the grid

  12. Pretty straightforward today – I agree with the 1*/3* ratings. Confidence restored a little after only getting 2 clues without prompts yesterday! Favourite 18d at which I laughed aloud. Thanks to Jay and Scchua.

  13. Managed without hints today so for us it’s probably a 1.5* / 3*. Should 2d not be a hyphenated word, as it is in our electronic device? The two m’s together just look wrong. Thank you to the setter and to Scchua

  14. Easy solve today!

    Faves : 9a, 21a, 4d & 16d.

    For 22a, Spain is not the sole country!

  15. Not too difficult, not too easy. Noticed there were two ‘finishing early’ clues for a word with its last letter missing.(10a and 16d) I’m sure it’s hard to ring the changes, so I sympathise

  16. Enjoyable stuff as usual on a Wednesday. */**** from us.

    Fav was 15d, or perhaps 4d.

    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  17. Though I finished without any help from electronic gizmo, I certainly didn’t find this a piece of cake. I needed the hint to know why 17a was correct, so I think that is some indication of how slow my brain is today. Favourite today is 4d with honourable mention to 18d. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for review.

  18. Took me a while to get off the mark but once I had, the rest came pretty quickly. Thanks to Jay for the usual excellent crossword and to scchua **/****

  19. Some very easy clues and others took a while , such as 16d.I really liked 5d and 18d. Thanks to all concerned.

  20. I think there is a little more subtlety in 5a than Scchua notes. The word patch is or was used by police to describe their area of jurisdiction, if The Bill, Dixon of Dock Green, New Tricks, etc., are to be believed. It’s not only for vegetables.

  21. I loved this today but kicking myself for being so slow to see 2d for some reason . Loved 5a,9a&10a. Thanks to Jay and Scchua for the review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. Not quite as difficult as yesterday’s horror but still very tricky. For me at least a ***/** for difficulty and enjoyment.
    Not a good couple of days for me for crosswords.

  23. Very enjoyable puzzle – my sheet is littered with asterisks! But I was completely flummoxed by 14d and needed hint to complete & discovered I’d got 21a in as dramatic rather than doGmatic, so no wonder! Thank you setter and scchua.
    First tomato ripe and ready to enjoy, hurrah, after my disastrous last year… Greetings to all.

  24. Thank you Jay. Struggled to get onto the wavelength today. Either a late night or the wall to wall Lake District rain seemed to numb the brain. Managed to finish with help from Mrs SW. Then couldn’t see why we made such heavy weather of it. Sunshine tomorrow, so maybe some decent views of the ospreys. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints and appropriate photos.

    1. Mr BB and I finished this fairly smartly, no real problems. Then he headed for the Fairfield Horseshoe, not back yet, but phoned to say he’s drenched. I had a wonderful day around Grassington no rain until we were in the teashop. Isn’t retirement great! Thanks to the setter and Scchua for the review.

  25. A */3* for me as well. Strangely, I read through the whole list of clues and thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere but then it just seemed to flow. Favourite 14d. Thanks to the setter and Scchua for the review.

  26. Not a great challenge today but very enjoyable. I would rate this 2*/3.5* No particular favourite clue. Thanks to Scchua for the review. Seeing the picture of Victor Mature reminds me of what my sister used to say about him; She said, ” He is the only film star I know who takes off his shirt to wash his hands!”

  27. Once more I work my way through quite happily before I trip over a simple clue near the end for no apparent reason… and then I’m left wondering why when the answer finally makes it’s appearance. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  28. Thanks to Jay and scchua for the revue and hints. I found this very tricky, was beaten in the NW corner, had to google 9a and had to look up 1&11a and 2&4d. Would never have got any of them. Was 3*/3* for me. Favourites were 15a and 18d.

  29. Completed on the first pass,which is good as I have to get an early(ish) night to be be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the radio in the morning. Thanks to Jay for allowing me a trouble-free evening and to Scchua for maintaining his high standard of illustrations. 1*/3*

  30. Agree with Scchua totally. Very straightforward with nearly a fill in as read. Probably my fastest ever. Nevertheless quite enjoyed it. Off to try 1223

  31. Thank you setter for an enjoyable bedtime solve. My favourite 15a. I had trouble with 4d- for some unknown reason I wanted to put doubtless and found that it didn’t make sense. Of course the real answer makes perfect sense!! Thank you Scchua for review.

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