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DT 27549

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27549

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A 1.5-2* difficulty/3* enjoyment for me today. Thanks to 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    Instruction given by head of commerce in Beijing hierarchy (7,5)

{PECKING ORDER} : [in instruction given;a command] placed after(by, in an across clue) { the 1st letter of(head of) “commerce contained in(in) [former name of Beijing] }.

Answer: Nothing to do with kissing, but originating from chicken behaviour.

9a    Extended alfresco meal (9)

{OUTSPREAD} : [alfresco;in the open air] [a large feast or meal, especially if laid out on a table].

10a    Case of depression? Not right (5)

{CRATE} : [a depression] minus(Not) [abbrev. for “right”].

11a    Injury sustained by vets regularly feeding cat (6)

{LESION} : The 2nd and 4th letters of(… regularly) “vets contained in(feeding) [a large wild cat originally from the African savannas].

12a    A container like this needed for prickly plant (8)

{ACANTHUS} : A + [a container, usually made of tin] + [like this;like so].

13a    Ready to pick on good man for sign of promotion (6)

{STRIPE} : [ready to be picked or plucked, as of a fruit, say] placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “a good man”, especially in a religious sense].

Defn: …, say, in the military or police.

15a    To applaud section retreating is nonsense (8)

{CLAPTRAP} : [to applaud, using one’s hands] + reversal of(… retreating) [a section of a whole].

18a    What in Spain is covered by fights for flowers (8)

{BOUQUETS} : [Spanish for “what?”] contained in(covered by) [fights;contests, especially boxing or wrestling matches].

19a    Feature of power invested in a religious group (6)

{ASPECT} : [abbrev. for “power”, in physics] contained in(invested in) { A + [a religious group, deviating to some extent from a larger original group] }.

21a    Firm contact is on head after surgery (8)

{ADHESION} : Anagram of(… after surgery) IS ON HEAD.

Answer:  What allows things to hang…and the principle behind pasties:


23a    Flipping odd agents in part of Spain (6)

{MURCIA} : Reversal of(Flipping) [odd;queer] + [abbrev. for the organisation of secret agents in the US].

26a    Longing to see area in East Germany (5)

{EAGER} : [abbrev. for “area”] contained in(in) { [abbrev. for “east”] + [abbrev. for “Germany”] }.

Defn: Like what these proverbially are:

27a    One quickly welcomes tail wagging in solitude (9)

{ISOLATION} : [Roman numeral for “one”] + [quickly;in a short while] containing(welcomes) anagram of(… wagging) TAIL.

28a    Incorrigible drunken teenager ruined with no ID (12)

{UNREGENERATE} : Anagram of(drunken) “teenager ruined minus(with no) “id”.


1d    Prince with lots of lackeys (7)

{POODLES} : [abbrev. for “prince”] plus(with) [lots;great quantities].

2d    Skin lacerations injected with iodine (5)

{CUTIS} : [lacerations;wounds] containing(injected with) [chemical symbol of the element, iodine].

3d    Optimum changes to include voting system without any preparation (9)

{IMPROMPTU} : Anagram of(… changes) OPTIMUM containing(to include) [abbrev. for a voting system where the number of seats for each party is in direct ratio, approximately, to the % of supporting votes].

4d    Information about lake and valley (4)

{GLEN} : [informal term for “information”] containing(about) [abbrev. for “lake”].

5d    Send up regulation covering one police department making a comeback (8)

{RIDICULE} : [a regulation;a method or procedure to be complied with] containing(covering) { [Roman numeral for “one”] + reversal of(… making a comeback, in a down clue) [abbrev. for a non-uniformed police department] }.

Defn: To parody.

6d    Record holder? (2-3)

{EX-CON} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a police record.

7d    A case of rubbish in inferior play (8)

{WARHORSE} : { A + the 1st and last letters of(case of) “rubbish ” } contained in(in) [inferior;poorer, say, in quality].

Answer: The stage play based on the book.  Commonly written as (3,5).

8d    Stands to acquire drink (4,2)

{GETS UP} : [to acquire;to obtain] + [to drink, or, in a different sense, to have an evening meal].

14d    Food offered by witch wearing blusher? (8)

{ROUGHAGE} : [a witch, especially an old one] contained in(wearing) [a cosmetic blusher].

Answer:  You can eat it, or wear some of its kind:


16d    Put forward for job, with university behind schedule (9)

{POSTULATE} : [a job;a position of office] plus(with) [abbrev. for “university”] + [behind schedule;after the time due].

Defn: …, say, a theory.

17d    Express a view in support of new rat poison (8)

{ATROPINE} : [to express a view] placed below(in support of, in a down clue) anagram of(new) RAT.

18d    Hooter preceding the Queen’s Cup (6)

{BEAKER} : [like hooter, slang for a facial feature, especially one that’s large, pointed or hooked] placed above(preceding, in a down clue) [abbrev. for the Latin for the current Queen].

20d    Strangely saturnine, neglecting US set (7)

{TRANNIE} : Anagram of(Strangely) “saturnineminus(neglecting) “US “.

Answer: A portable radio set, so called from its electronic circuitry:

22d    Poles full of anger giving warning (5)

{SIREN} : [the respective abbrevs. for the 2 geographic poles] containing(full of) [anger].

24d    Country church in Austria? (5)

{CHINA} : [abbrev. for “church”] + IN + [the International Vehicle Registration code for Austria].

25d    The secret language of fish – English! (4)

{CODE} : [a common North Atlantic foodfish] + [abbrev. for “English”].

The Quick crossword pun: (row} + {dial} + {hand} = {Rhode Island}

43 comments on “DT 27549

  1. 2*/3* for me today for an enjoyable but reasonably straightforward offering.

    28a and 2d were new words for me but easily derivable from the clues. I was going to object to 20d on the grounds that it is archaic slang which surely is never used any more, but I was surprised to find it in my BRB. Is it still included in the new 13th edition?

    6d was my last one in and favourite, in keeping with my penchant for brief clues.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua.

  2. I hesitated before entering 20d! My favourites were 1a and 1d, my first entries… not to suggest the rest was a disappointment – I very much enjoyed this fairly quick solve – well not so quick 6d where i didn’t get far with EP for record, and I struggled juggling e’s in the 28a anagram, at least most of them became checked.

    Many thanks Jay and scchua, who thankfully illustrated 21a rather than the right hand column.

    1. Rest assured that the way the spam filter works is as much a mystery to me as it is to you. That said, over 1,000,000 spam comments have been intercepted in the past two years.

  3. I initially found this heavy going but eventually filled the southern half, apart from 20d which is new to me, and the north followed after more head-scratching but 6d continued to elude me (not sure I really like this). So thanks Jay and also scchua particularly for a couple of much needed hints. I liked 1a and 18d. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Hovered between a **/*** or a ***/***, like Rabbit Dave,puzzled over 2d for a while-needed the letters, and 28a was a new word for me too , luckily the clue was obvious. Liked the ‘set’ in 20d.- thanks to Scchua for the usual entertaining graphics eager beaver in 26a-from the Lion Witch etc if I’m not mistaken.

  5. I really enjoyed this one today. 6d was my last in.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to scchua.

  6. An enjoyable solve today although I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who stumbled on 6d. Favourites are 1a and 15a. Thanks to setter and Sschua for the hints and tips.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. I’d agree with the **/*** rating.

    Not especially difficult, but it took a while for the penny to drop with 6d.

    The solution to 20d must surely baffle anyone under 40- albeit this was my favourite from today.

  8. I agree with the 2/3 rating, with similar stumblings.

    The solution to 20 d doesn’t baffle me, but I am ashamed not to have got it as I have owned a number of them in my youth. (who remembers listening to K.E.Y.N.S.H.A.M. under the blankets?) I put “trainee”, knowing that it couldn’t be correct.

    My favourite was 1d.

    1. P.S. What might have misled me is that I always spelled it Tranny. Anyone else?

      Of course it has an entirely different meaning nowadays, although even that is dwindling as an acceptable term, in favour of LGBT….. I’ll get my coathttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    2. Yes – I certainly remember listening to Radio Luxembourg – got very fed-up with being told how to spell Keynsham! Don’t think I’ve ever had occasion to write it down so don’t know how I’d spell tranny/trannie.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. PS – Haven’t a clue what the different meaning is now, or what LGBT means – I hope this isn’t going to be one of those things that I wished I’d never asked – there have been quite a few of those in the years I’ve been reading this blog!

  9. Thanks to Jay and to sschua for an enjoyable if gentle crossword and a very entertaining review.

  10. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. I missed the anagram in 21a, and couldn’t get 6d & 7d had never heard of the play. A new word in 28a, 20d made me laugh. Favourite was 1a. Great fun, was 2*/4* for me. Now in the Roebuck on Richmond Hill after a nice walk along the river from Kew Gardens. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  11. I too got a bit stuck on 6d as last one in. The anagrams at 28a and 20d unusually held me up as well. An enjoyable solve though.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  12. Humph! Have to be a bit contrary today, because I found this a very tricky offering. The clues I finally admitted defeat on and used hints for were not the ones I’d consider most difficult though – 6&7d – and needed checking letters before 10a too… grr! The extreme SE also caused much muttering and grumbling (luckily I’m on my own here today, so not in danger of having the men in white coats called): I just couldn’t untangle 28a for aaages, and not familiar with 20d with that spelling. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Still, notwithstanding the above, I enjoyed the tussle. First in was 11a, which has to be favourite because of the feline connection :). Thanks to Jay and scchua. ***/***

  13. Had no trouble with this, though I guessed 20d and crossed my fingers. Much enjoyment! Thanks to Jay and t scchua for review. Favourite is 1a, runner up 1d.

  14. Late here today – blackcurrant jam to blame!
    I think I’d go for a little bit more than 2* difficulty and nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    As always on Wednesdays my last few answers took ages. I didn’t think that I was ever going to get the 28a anagram – E’s all over the place but nothing much else which wasn’t very helpful. 6d was my last one.
    I liked 11 and 28a and 1 and 6d. 1a and 15a and 14d made me laugh so one of those is my favourite. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    Might have a go at the Toughie but not sure that I dare as I did so badly with yesterday’s – too hot to do anything very useful though . . .

    1. Hope you had a go at the Toughie Kath. I managed the rare feat of finishing it without the blog’s clues – though I did resort to some electronic help. Agree your scores for this puzzle.

      1. Thank you – yes, I did. I didn’t quite manage to finish it – just heading off to the “other place” for a couple of hints, or possibly answers although gazza’s hints are always so clear that I probably won’t need them.
        Well done to you for finishing it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  15. Looks like we all had problems with 6d which makes it a very clever clue in my book. I had to leave for work without solving it and then saw it straight away when I got back. Brains work in mysterious ways…
    I thought it was tricky enough in parts to merit 3*/3*

  16. I found this distinctly trickier than the last several Wednesdays – just a wavelength thing I’d imagine.. Managed to complete it with a fair amount of electronic help. Thanks to scchua and Jay ***/***

  17. 2*/3 or so, and l must stand in line with all those flummoxed by 6d (even though the solution was pretty obvious). My favourite, though, is a split decision between 1a and 14d. Anyway, my thanks to Jay, and to schuua for explaining why my answer to 6d was correct!

  18. Great puzzle.
    I made heavy weather of it, many penny-dropped moments.
    20d, even for an anagram, took an age.
    I must be thick.
    Last in, 6d, brilliant clue.
    Many thanks Jay and scchua.

  19. Very enjoyable. Favourite by far was 6d.
    Never come across 28a before, odd word!
    Thx to all

  20. Thank you Jay – for me, one of your easier ones, but great fun solving. Thanks Scchua for your review and hints. Your photos were strangely muted – I suspect that there was a censor looking over your shoulder ?

  21. There is a convention that when the letters that are to be removed from the anagram fodder are not in the same order as they are in the fodder then a further indicator (anagram or reversal as appropriate) is added to the clue. Jay has ignored this for the second week running:

    7d Terribly deferential lad missing in island in the Atlantic (8) DT 27543

    20d Strangely saturnine, neglecting US set (7) DT 27549

    Note that:

    28a Incorrigible drunken teenager ruined with no ID (12)

    is OK as the I and D are in the correct order.

    1. I’ve never really understood crossword conventions so they probably make no difference at all, to me at least, as to whether I can or can’t get the answer. Maybe I need to learn a bit more about it. On the other hand crosswords are meant to be fun and there are SO many rules in the rest of our lives . . .
      I love Wednesday (Jay’s) crosswords.

      1. I never even thought about the order of the letters to be removed being in the same order as they are in the letter being ‘anagrammed’.
        I always regarded it sufficient for the setter to simply say eg ignore these letters.
        I shall now be more observant and make sure the setter is toeing the line.

  22. I finally completed this one after a fair amount of struggle.. For some daft reason 10a caused me grief simply because I really wanted to drop the first ‘r’ and not the second.
    My brain works in curious ways sometimes…
    My fave was 1a
    Thanks Jay and Scchua

      1. Damn – now I don’t make sense and feel silly! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif Gwizz’s original comment said that his, or her, brain worked in “furious” ways.

  23. A3*/3* for me after a late start and some silly mistakes. The worst was 28a where I combined teenager with no id and found degeneration. Woe is me. This took me more than an hour to fix. Thanks to the setter and scchua for the review – which I definitely needed.

  24. Nice to settle down to a relatively straightforward puzzle after our evening meal, having spent a day in the sun completing some filthy tasks (clearing moss from blocked guttering and down pipe, moss accumulation from flat roof over porch and garage, plus overhauling the pond filtration system.) I didn’t particularly like 6 down, which was my last one in, but overall an enjoyable puzzle – now to watch that ‘Cloud’ programme on TV.

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