DT 27548 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27548

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27548

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment */**

I don’t wish to be 1a but I really didn’t find much to enjoy here – it all seemed very mechanical.

Do share your thoughts on your solving experience and tell us what you liked and didn’t like about the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a Each tribunal formed is severe in judging (12)
{UNCHARITABLE} – an anagram (formed) of EACH TRIBUNAL.

9a Ten in a shop stirred by single musical instrument (9)
{SAXOPHONE} – insert the Roman numeral for ten in an anagram (stirred) of A SHOP then finish with single or sole.

10a First of leopardesses in hollow to give birth (5)
{CALVE} – put the first letter of leopardesses into a hollow or underground chamber.

11a Throw a Parisian group when answer entered (6)
{UNSEAT} – an indefinite article (a) for a Parisian followed by a group or clique with A(nswer) inserted.

12a Servant returned don’s crumpled suit (8)
{DIAMONDS} – reverse a female domestic servant and add an anagram (crumpled) of DON’S.

13a Failure of French action (6)
{DEFEAT} – a charade of the French for ‘of’ and an action or deed.

15a Greeting central character in romance — what a fantastic literary hero (8)
{HIAWATHA} – the literary hero who stood by the shore of Gitche Gumee comes from stringing together an informal greeting, the central letter of romAnce and an anagram (fantastic) of WHAT A.

18a Speak in clubs about poetry (8)
{CONVERSE} – a charade of the abbreviation for clubs in card games, a preposition meaning about and another word for poetry.

19a ‘Hard hearted girl’, girl in hot hospital (6)
{HANNAH} – the name of the hard hearted girl from Savannah is another girl’s name between H(ot) and H(ospital).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a US political movement from Pennsylvania breaching new treaty (3,5)
{TEA PARTY} – insert the postal code for Pennsylvania into (breaching) an anagram (new) of TREATY to get a right-wing US political movement.

23a Horrified at hag’s brew (6)
{AGHAST} – an anagram (brew) of AT HAG’S.

26a Couple smack child (5)
{HITCH} – the definition here is a verb not a noun. A verb to smack is followed by the abbreviation for child.

27a Oxide, thin on the ground (4,5)
{RARE EARTH} – a charade of an adjective meaning thin (when used to describe an atmosphere containing little oxygen) and ground or soil.

28a Overcome with anxiety, wanted social reforms (2,1,4,5)
{IN A COLD SWEAT} – an anagram (reforms) of WANTED SOCIAL.

Down Clues

1d Flawed United Nations measure (7)
{UNSOUND} – the abbreviation for the United Nations followed by a verb to measure the depth of something, especially water.

2d Apples in crates — 100 for bishop (5)
{COXES} – start off with a word meaning crates and replace the B(ishop) with the Roman numeral for 100.

3d Team leader, Greek character with letters, reportedly (5,4)
{ALPHA MALE} – a charade of a Greek letter and a homophone (reportedly) of letters or post.

4d Edible seaweed served up in club (4)
{IRON} – this is a club of the type used by Rory McIlroy. It’s a reversal (served up, in a down clue) of an edible seaweed, used in its dried form by the Japanese to wrap sushi, for example. I’d never heard of this (the seaweed, not the club).

5d A suitable one, salesman sent over drink before meal (8)
{APERITIF} – start with the A from the clue. Now string together an adjective meaning suitable or pertinent, the Roman numeral for one and an abbreviated salesman and reverse the lot (sent over).

6d One filling in for actor Herbert, entertaining copper (5)
{LOCUM} – the surname of the actor best remembered as Clouseau’s twitchy boss contains the chemical symbol for copper.

7d Board not erected offering food for fish (8)
{PLANKTON} – a long board or piece of wood is followed by the reversal (erected, in a down clue) of NOT.

8d Female entertainer his age? Possibly (6)
{GEISHA} – an anagram (possibly) of HIS AGE.

14d Corresponds about familiar paintings and poetry etc (4,4)
{FINE ARTS} – a verb meaning corresponds or ties in with (the verb form of the adjective used in 5d) goes round an adjective meaning familiar or close. I was a bit surprised at the inclusion of poetry as I always thought that these were visible forms but Wikipedia assures me that historically they included poetry and music.

16d American cowboys, those in dispute (9)
{WRANGLERS} – double definition, the first being herders of cattle or horses in the USA.

17d English boozer used by man full of mystery (8)
{ESOTERIC} – string together E(nglish), a habitual drunkard and a male forename. I do find the use of man here (and ‘girl’ in 19a) annoying since it’s of no use in solving the clue until you have the answer – surely there’s a more elegant way of clueing the last four letters? Can you do better?

18d Hear end of shanty that’s easy to remember (6)
{CATCHY} – a verb to hear or pick up followed by the end letter of shanty.

20d VIP in recently taken photograph (7)
{HOTSHOT} – a charade of an adjective meaning recently taken (i.e. stolen) and a photograph.

22d Article about female, deathly pale (5)
{ASHEN} – one of the indefinite articles contains a female pronoun.

24d An environmentalist almost gives consent (5)
{AGREE} – an environmentalist (1,5) loses his final letter (almost).

25d Examination in ethics Ms fails to attend (4)
{ORAL} – start with a word meaning ethics or standards of behaviour and take away (fails to attend) the M and S.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {GLOW} + {BULL} + {ODOUR} = {GLOBAL ORDER}

70 comments on “DT 27548

  1. Yes, straightforward but I enjoyed it anyway. At least not keeping me in during this lovely garden weather.
    Liked 19a and 9a reminded me to get practising…..

  2. All a bit tedious today,no real standout clues although 15A floated my boat
    Many thanks to Gazza for the review which wasn’t required & That makes a change for me.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. quickly filled, straightforward but enjoyed most of it. I liked 23, simple and nice. similarly for 20d. I missed the first from savannah reference in 19a. I liked 15a for including wordplay in surface, and i though each tribunal was a nice anagram. Thank you.

    i always enjoy seeing a checked X – thank you.

    re man/girl – agree this is annoyingly useless, hence inelegant, yet prevalent. If we respectfully brand this as laziness, maybe it will slowly disappear.

    I struggle with 27a – am i alone? yes this can have an oxide like a car can have a mirror. there are oxides to other things as well (water comes to mind). the answer is a metal, not an oxide, as far as i understand.

    many thanks setter and gazza!

    1. Your comments re 27a echo my thoughts exactly Dutch . Having looked at the online BRB, I suspect it is responsible for the setter making the explicit link between oxide and the answer. If the setter had replaced oxide with lanthanide, most people would have solved it with a straight Google search of that word. The answer does refer to the oxide of the metal which is often (maybe always) the form found in nature along with other more common oxides.

    2. Yes I quite agree about 27a. “Oxide” baffled me, and I have a degree in Chemistry!

      1. Chris,
        Your comment required moderation because you’ve changed your alias. Both (all three in fact) should work from now on.

    3. I guessed it only from the word length and a few checkers.They are in the periodic table as metals.

    1. Had exactly the same query, and am glad you looked in the BRB before I agreed with you, and would have had to add my own retraction!

    2. I just noticed this after I posted my query. I am still unconvinced. I guess the setter isn’t a scientist.

  4. Thank you setter – I enjoyed the puzzle, about my standard ! It took me a while to get started, but then managed to work my through without difficulty. Leaves plenty of time to sit in the sunshine http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Thanks Gazza for your review and hints.

  5. Oh dear – it looks as if it’s going to be another of those “just me” days.
    I found this trickier than */** and more enjoyable than that too. I’d go for 3* and 3*.
    It took me a long time to get onto any kind of wave length at all, let alone the right one – only three answers on first read through of the across clues.
    The down clues were much friendlier and then everything went together but not very quickly or easily.
    The answer to 9a was clear but I couldn’t make sense of the anagram – would have been easier if I knew how to spell it.
    I thought there were quite a lot of anagrams or part anagrams but I like them so no complaints.
    I’ve never heard of the 4d seaweed.
    I liked 10 and 15a and 18 and 20d. My favourite was 23a – made me laugh.
    With thanks to the setter and to gazza.
    Might try the Toughie . . .

    1. No, Kath, you are not the only one to find this a little tricky in places. We managed most of it without help, but with quite a lot of guessing, then having to check to see if we were right. Quite enjoyed it though. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  6. It took me a while to get going but gathered momentum. To answer your poser on 17d, Gazza, I would say ‘using reversed fabric’. It may not be very good but it’s better than ‘man’ or ‘girl’ both of which ,I agree, are very iffy. Many thanks for the hints, Gazza, and to mystereon for the puzzle

    1. Your fabric’s a new one on me so just BRB’d it (not that I doubted you for one minute) – you’re dead right. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. Well done CW. Without totally rewriting the clue the best I could come up with to avoid the ‘man’ was ‘Idle to the end, English boozer’s full of mystery (8)’.

      1. Mysterious English boozer with queen in charge?

        (is “in charge” ok for “ic”?)

      2. Nice one Gazza. I saw their show last night and, although it lacked some originality the spark was still there. I bet they made a mont

  7. I’m going for 2*/2.5* today. Like others I’d never heard of the seaweed in 4d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  8. I think you were a little 1a Gazza so I will bump both your marks up a star. 7d caused me some problems until I realised I had misspelt the brave little chap’s name. That will teach me to try to do three things at once – we chaps are not programmed to multi-task!

  9. I cannot agree with Gazza regarding the difficulty level of this but certainly agree that a couple of clues leave something to be desired. This was a gentle plod for me and I did need a couple of hints to complete. No particular clue stands out and no smilers. My thanks to Gazza for his lucid review. My rating is 2.5/3

  10. Finished in record time without the need for any hints or tips. I must have been on the same wavelength as the setter. Favourites are 15a and 16d. Now attempting the toughie. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  11. A 2*/3* for me, mainly because it was relatively quick to fill in – unusual for me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif. I also agree with others that “man” (Eric) is only found by checking characters rather than clued. Up very early this morning to debate my expat status with HMRC – deep joy.

  12. Enjoyable enough crossword but very gentle indeed, thanks to the setter and to Gazza, the Dada toughie is not that much more difficult and is worth a go.

  13. An enjoyable but straight forward puzzle today. Easier than yesterday’s I thought.
    Thanks setter and Gazza.

    Add me to the list of people who dislike first names clued as “boy/man” or “girl/woman”. They always strike me as too generic with far too many possibilities and nothing to lead you to the correct answer other than the checking letters.

  14. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this, even though it was a read/write, except for 12a. I got the definition wrong and was looking for a servant instead of a suit, needed the hint to solve it. Favourites were 19a & 17d. I counted 7 anagrams (including partials) which was quite high. Was 1*/3* for me. Baking hot in Central London, off to play squash later.

    1. I counted 7 anagrams in the across clues alone (that’s 50%) but there’s only 1 in the down clues.

      1. So did I.When I got as far as seven by the end of counting the ones in the across clues alone I was wondering if we were in for an all time record.

  15. Found most of it fairly easy going and enjoyable. If I can complete a puzzle then I derive a fair bit of enjoyment from that alone – hopefully in time I will improve enough to be discerning about them but until then every solve keeps me enthusiastic!

    Thanks to Gazza for the review and to setter **/***

  16. Yes, very gentle, but it raised a few smiles. 1.5*/3* or thereabouts. Thanks to the Mysteron, and of course to grumpy Gazza. No real favourite clue, but l enjoyed the recollection of the great Herbert Lom in 6d.

  17. I was a little slow to start, but that’s quite common for me! Filled it all in with little problem, although I got a couple of clues from the wordplay alone (hadn’t heard of the hard-hearted girl or the seaweed). In the old days, that would have meant a 1* difficulty rating, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I just might be becoming a more proficient solver :). That’s all down to the setters, and to the bloggers on this site. So my thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    **/**, I think. It might have been **/***, but there weren’t any stand-out clues to get excited about. That said, there weren’t any clues to get annoyed about either. I do agree with Gazza et al about man/girl used to clue names, but then that’s only really because of the sheer number of possible names to choose from:

    That’s the reason I approach with trepidation a clue containing something like “animal” – so many animals, and am I going to be able to think of the right one? – but wouldn’t dream of complaining about that usage. Is “man” = “eric” fundamentally any different from “creature” = “mule”, say? My feeling is yes, but I can’t quite say why! Anyway, just putting it out there :).

  18. Right on wavelength today. Thank you setter and Gazza for the review. Favourite 15a.

  19. It’s always a pleasure to meet old friends eg 12a, 13a, 15a, 18d, 20d.
    Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable but untaxing solve, and to Gazza for the review.

  20. I agree with JonP, for me also the pleasure derived from the challenge to complete the grid preferably sans hints is what makes it fascinating. Whether it takes me all day (in various sittings I hastily add) or I complete it in a single pass is immaterial; the point is, I did it. Hence the difference from day to day just adds to the challenge. Whether a crossword is defined good or bad is not for me to judge.
    Oops, I’ve prattled on a bit….
    Fave clue was 17d. (I think he appears quite frequently when a man’s name is called for.)
    Thank you setter and Gazza.

    1. Please carry on prattling – in the absence of Mary it’s sometimes just me and I’m beginning to feel a bit lonely!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      We have a naughty corner, we have a pedants corner – could we instigate a prattlers corner, or would that be out of order? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. I like corners (and am often to be found hiding in one)! I’m a fully paid-up member of the naughty corner, pedants’ corner and, if we have one, I’m already in prattlers’ corner rambling away!

        (And Rabbit Dave may wink, but I do indeed have Rookie Corner in my sights http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif…)

        1. Wow – that’s really brave. I’m seriously impressed.
          Not sure that you’ll have time to spend in Prattlers Corner – sounds to me as if you’re going to be fully occupied in Rookie Corner. Blimey . . .

          1. Well, I’m not making any promises yet! But I’ve been battling with one for a while, which is undergoing some hefty re-writing to eliminate a few triple-unches. Since you were so nice about a single solitary clue that I only half-wrote today, I figured I can put out a whole crossword of many hours’ work to be dismissed summarily as “mediocre” and “shows a little bit of promise for a beginner” … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            1. Just go for it – I’m still seriously impressed – I wouldn’t know where to begin and admire all the setters hugely.
              I always worry that it must be horrible for them when people are critical. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

              1. Yes, I don’t like to be critical either, but nor do I want to suppress lively discussion about controversial clues or opinions on puzzles. I take it as read that when standards are generally high “average” equates to “really very good” anyway. That’s why the start ratings are so difficult.

  21. Finished over breakfast before a drive Into a very hot and smelly London, ugh!
    No problems but a nice little crossword I thought.
    Thx to all

  22. I liked it. A tad on the easy side north west was very symmetrically empty at one stage but was easily sorted once I got a paper and pen for the anagram at 1ac. Now that is cheating in my book.

      1. So do I – the number of times I “cheat” is exactly the number of anagrams there are in a crossword! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. I don’t think it’s cheating at all. For a start I don’t think you can cheat yourself but if that’s what you call cheating then it’s cheating, but crosswords are meant to be fun.
      When you have been caught out by something silly like a four letter ending as many times as I have it makes sense, to me at least, to write the letters down. I didn’t have to do it with 1a today.

    2. Haha, well, I think it’s the very lowest rung on the ladder of cheating. I try to not write them out, but it’s the first thing I do if I’m a bit stuck, and I will still count it as solving “all my own self” here http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif.

    3. Noooooo, that’s not cheating, that’s just helping you to clear your thinking – using a battery/electric operated word searching device is cheating (in my book) though I have to admit to resorting to using my one on occasion. Btw, I enjoyed this offering very much, but I did find the Quick Crossword more of a challenge, in fact I’ve only just completed that one whilst waiting for today’s (Wed) paper to be delivered.

  23. This just wasn’t really my scene so ***/** for me. Certainly heavy on the anagram side but at least today some of them were nicely concealed. I couldn’t spell 9a either Kath. Being a member of NADFAS brought 14d easily to mind. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza even though I can’t agree with your low star rating. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. Just asked my best friend, Mr Google, what NADFAS was as I didn’t know. Now I see how you got 14d – it was one of my problems.

      1. Gazza, although I am not a member of NADFAS, Mrs SW’s bridesmaid happens to be the Chairperson of the Regional NADFAS. We will be enjoying afternoon tea with her in a few days time and I will refer the matter to her and no doubt she will pass this matter on to Head Office for adjudication if she is unable to make an immediate decision. ( She is also a Saturday lurker ! )

      2. Gazza, IMHO not really decorative or fine arts but nevertheless NADFAS steered me in the right direction for 14d.

  24. Shame about the lost opportunity in 14d. I’m sure there are setters (Dada probably) who would have used the first letter and the last four in the wordplay. OK, schoolboy sense of humour http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. Very schoolboy indeed! Had a look over the grid to seek any other missed opportunities. Probably none fit for the Telegraph, but there’s a good homophone lurking in 2d, outright filth to be had in 6d, and whenever 25d pops up, it always makes me smile ;).

  25. I am not sure that I like this new format , where you can just “click” on the button and get the answer! :(

    1. Welcome to the blog Jay legs.
      We’ve had the facility to reveal answers for about 5 years – the recent change is just a slightly different way of doing it, primarily to make it easier for users of mobile devices. Some crossword blogs display the answers in clear so you’re spoilt here because you have the option to reveal or not.

  26. Back home again now after a long day of travel yesterday. A couple of hours drive to catch the ferry Picton-Wellington. A slightly delayed and somewhat bumpy crossing (where we did a couple of saved puzzles from last week) then another couple of hours drive home. A bit late getting on to these puzzles but should be back into routine tomorrow. Found this one not too taxing and quite enjoyable.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  27. **/**.I quite enjoyed it. .Thought at first I ws going to get stuck on LHS but quickly overcame. As a chemist I liked 27a but thought it might give some a problem. 14d was my last and couldn’t see where the compiler was coming from. Thanks Gazza for explanation.

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