DT 27555 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27555

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27555

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The usual good stuff from Jay.  A 1.5*/3* difficulty/enjoyment rating. 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    Country, for example, bordered by roads from the east (7) 

{SENEGAL} : [abbrev. from the Latin for “for example”] contained in(bordered by) reversal of(… from the east, in an across clue) [roads, especially in the countryside].

5a    Deer from estate, say — one about to lose protection (7)

{CARIBOU} : [a vehicle, an example of which;say, is an estate] + [Roman numeral for “one”] + “about minus its 1st and last letters(to lose protection).

9a    Disturb game bird, blowing head off! (5)

{ROUSE} : [a popular game bird with a plump body and feathered legs] minus its 1st letter(blowing head off).

10a    Single admirer spoilt by a Parisian (9)

{UNMARRIED} : Anagram of(… spoilt) ADMIRER placed after(by, in an across clue) [French, as a Parisian would use, for “a”].

11a    Where ministers face magistrates? (5,5)

{FRONT BENCH} : [to face;to be opposite to] + [preceded by “the”, magistrates or judges, collectively].

Defn: Where ministers sit and face the Opposition in Parliament

12a    Vehicle carrying unknown ruler (4)

{CZAR} : [a common road vehicle] containing(carrying) [a symbol for an unknown quantity in mathematics].

Defn: …, in particular, of Russia pre-1917.

14a    A grin spreads after compliment for flavouring (7,5)

{BOUQUET GARNI} : Anagram of(… spreads) A GRIN placed after(after,in an across clue) [a compliment;an expression of praise].

Defn: … for soups and stews, made of a tied bundle of herbs.

18a    Symbol representing a Christian nation or race (5-7)

{CROSS-COUNTRY} : [the symbol representing a Christian] + [a nation under a single government].

Defn: A long-distance footrace.

21a    Pretentious soirée starting late (4)

{ARTY} : [a soiree;a social gathering] minus its1st letter(starting late).

22a    Silly bidding war for rail, for example (6,4)

{WADING BIRD} : Anagram of(Silly) BIDDING WAR.

Answer: An example of which is the rail with short wings and long legs.

25a    Joining forces, being inclined to follow nurse (9)

{ENLISTING} : [being inclined;tilting to one side] placed after(to follow, in an across clue) [abbrev. for an enrolled nurse in the UK].

Defn: Joining the military forces.

26a    An unexpected development in dance (5)

{TWIST} : Double Defn: 1st: … in a tale, say. Remember Jeffrey Archer’s book?; and 2nd: … popular in the 60s.

27a    Shanghai‘s duck-eating breather of fire (7)

{DRAGOON} : [letter indicating 0;a duck in cricket] contained in(…-eating …) [a mythical creature breathing fire].

Defn: …, or to coerce.

28a    Time and pounds invested in more unusual child (7)

{TODDLER} : [abbrev. for “time”] plus(and) { [symbol for the British pound currency unit] contained in(invested in) [more unusual;stranger] }.


1d    Down-at-heel bloke gets right into scrape (6)

{SCRUFF} : [abbrev. for “right”] contained in(into) [to scrape;to roughen the surface of].

2d    Foreign currency invested in new name for nerve cell (6)

{NEURON} : [foreign currency unit, in use not far from the UK] contained in(invested in) { [abbrev. for “new”] + [abbrev. for “name”] }.

3d    You once invested in divine European accommodation for travellers (5-5)

{GUEST-HOUSE} : [“you” from Middle/Old English] contained in(invested in) [to divine;to conjecture] + [abbrev. for “European”].

4d    Fail, catching union leader’s bug (5)

{LOUSE} : [to fail;to suffer defeat] containing(catching) the 1st letter of(… leader) “union “.

5d    Own up and arrive free of drugs (4,5)

{COME CLEAN} : [to arrive at by movement or by making progress, as in “… arrive at a conclusion”] + [to be free of drugs;no longer a user].

6d    Not often experienced, but runs a race, disheartened (4)

{RARE} : [abbrev. for “runs” in cricket scores] + A + “raceminus its 2 inner letters(disheartened).

7d    Black reptile reported in snowstorm (8)

{BLIZZARD} : [abbrev. for “black”] + homophone of(… reported) [a reptile with an elongated body, four limbs, and a long tail].

8d    Reporting to fix support (8)

{UNDERPIN} : [reporting to a higher-up, as in an organisation] + [to fix with a sharp implement].

Defn: …, as a verb.

13d    Gathered together and confined following poor beggar that had been executed (10)

{AGGREGATED} : [as with a student confined to the school or college grounds as punishment] placed below(following, in a down clue) anagram of(poor) “beggar minus its 1st letter(that had been executed).

15d    ‘Too quaint’ possibly identifies this (9)

{QUOTATION} : Anagram of(… possibly) ‘TOO QUAINT’.

Answer: Of which “…” is an example;possibly identifies.

16d    Cut of meat for Cliff in post? (5,3)

{SCRAG END} : [a cliff;a steep rugged rock] contained in(in) [to post;to transport from one place to another].

Defn: … from the neck.

17d    Decorator — till actually holding a dish from Spain (8)

{TORTILLA} : Hidden in(… holding) “Decorator — till actually “.

19d    Decoration for which I must be put in last (6)

{FINIAL} : I contained in(must be put in) [last, eg. in a knockout competition].

Defn: … in architecture.

20d    Newspaper chief called it ordinary, to some extent (6)

{EDITOR} : Hidden in(…, to some extent) “called it ordinary “.

23d    Acquired following in bar (5)

{INGOT} : [acquired] placed below(following, in a down clue) IN.

Defn: … of solid metal.

24d    Log salmon regularly appearing in city (4)

{OSLO} : The 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th letters of(… regularly appearing) “Log salmon “.

The Quick crossword pun: holed+ York+ awes= hold your course

94 comments on “DT 27555

  1. Just in case it’s necessary to pre-empt questions/comments: It’s really quite simple. After almost 2 years, I’ve decided it’s about time to start riding off into the (blogging) sunset. As a start, I’m cutting out the extras (illustrations and the like), saving the time required to select and vet (ditto admin.) and caption them. I’m sorry, should this result in your finding less joy in the reviews.

    1. I don’t blame for taking a back seat, it’s a job I would not be able to do. Thanks for all you’ve done in the past two years.

    2. So Farewell



      (Always enjoyed your pictorials – both here and on 225.)

    3. You have done a splendid job, I thank you for all the time it must have taken you.

  2. For Scchua – re 27555 – isn’t the first word of 8d superfluous? (I wont be online on Weds. Sorry BD!) [Moved from the Comment page. BD]

    1. Hi wahoo, I think it has to be read as “reporting to” = “++++++”, the first part of the answer. (I believe you posted your comment before the blog came out, so you hadn’t seen my explanation yet.)

  3. Good morning folks. I can’t login to the Telegraph website this morning – anyone else having trouble getting the crossword today?

      1. It must have taken a dislike to my Mac then! Will do one of those shut down/reboot things to see if it helps. Thank you.

      1. I am currently contemplating buying an IPad Air so BD I wonder why your strong feeling about Apple?

        1. They think that they own the world and everyone should buy their products and then get locked into them. The iTunes software is particularly iniquitous and I had to uninstall it to stop it from repeatedly requesting that it be updated. I am more than happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 which runs on the Android operating system.

          1. Thanks BD I will compare the two before I make a final decision. I see that the Samsung is in fact marginally larger and heavier. I also seem to think that there is possibility for tuition/help with Apple which is quite important for luddites like yours truly!

    1. Have another go , I got it in my iPad with no issues at all , this was at 5.30 am though fyi.

  4. I for one will certainly miss the embellishments from scchua and wish to thank him for brightening up his reviews. Managed to complete without resorting to the hints, a new word for me in 19D. Many thanks to the setter & scchua for his review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  5. No problems today. I found this to be quite straightforward and a pleasure to solve. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for his review.

  6. That’s more like it! Having taken CSue advice I finished yesterday’s cryptic in 1* time (sorry I know you shouldn’t comment on yesterday’s but I wasn’t able to log on again),
    This was a a super xword I thought, loved 14a and 18a ( I hated these at school, wet, cold and muddy, YUK).
    Thx to all.

    1. I’m the opposite I really liked running cross country jumping through mud etc, even ended up in the school team, wish I had kept it up in adult life too old now with a lot of metal in my leg as a result of locking horns with a car on my motorbike.

    2. I had mixed feelings about cross country at school. Kind-of liked it, but didn’t like the colour my face would go (and still does) – a very fetching shade of beetroot! Really enjoy running now, but being able to shower afterwards and not have to head back into a stuffy classroom makes all the difference.

    3. I only liked running during Rugby matches and away from trouble especially when being chased by the police or any other adult pure exhilaration. Any other form of running was a waste of time. Never run after a woman or a bus, there is always another behind.

  7. I can’t log in on either my Mac or my iPad. Since the fiasco last Christmas, the Telegraph crossword seems to have been behaving itself – thought it was too good to last! Anyone got any solutions to today’s problem please?

    1. Unfortunately they are right. I’ve just logged in with no problems using Google Chrome instead of Safari. It was working yesterday and I haven’t updated anything overnight, so not sure Telegraph explanation is totally valid!

      1. Yes, I agree, now I come to think about it. I haven’t done anything to Safari and all was well yesterday. I’ve downloaded Chrome to my iPad and I still can’t log in. Fortunately my other half is a Windows man and has produced a copy of the crossword. If nothing improves, I shall ring the Telegraph again and report back.

  8. Lovely crossword – thanks, Jay. Something of a walk in the park, but one providing enough exercise, and lasting about the right amount of time for a weekday I think. 1.5*/3.5*. Time to resume yesterday’s Toughie after I have done something useful.

    Thanks scchua for all your hard work providing blogs for our illumination and entertainment :).

  9. Have just rung The Telegraph so-called ‘help’ number. It’s a problem with the latest Safari update. I’m told it’s not the Telegraph’s problem and that I’ll have to wait until Apple do something about it. Hmm. They advise using a different browser. Again – hmm. Please, no comments about Apple, I’ve heard ’em all!

  10. A gentle crossword from Jay, I thought. I particularly liked 21a, 26a, 27a and 4d. Thanks to all concerned.

  11. Most enjoyable after a bit of a slog yesterday. Liked the misdirection in 22a. Hadn’t heard 16d in years – a stew made of this was one of my grandmother’s staple recipes when the housekeeping was tight!

  12. Thank you Jay for an enjoyable puzzle. I struggled with the wordplay on a couple – notably 3d, but sorted in the end. Thank you Scchua for your review and hints. Wednesday mornings won’t be quite the same again – your photos have been great fun, and for Mrs SW and me, at any rate, have caused much amusement. Subsequent comments from other contributors have added to the enjoyment. I have tried to send this twice before this morning with some appropriate emoticons, but am being blocked by some mysterious bug ? Third time lucky.

  13. Thanks to Jay for a nice wee crossword and to scchua for the review, you will be sorely missed scchua, best of luck for the future.

  14. Thanks scchua. I too am trying to get rid of some voluntary work. The problem seems to be there are no younger peoplecoming up from behind.
    Regarding the crossword, it was reasonably straight forward and enjoyable as usual.

  15. A nice crossword, not too complicated though I had to think hard about 22a. My favourite was 14a. Thanks to scchua for all your hard work and to all the other hinters and tippers for the occasional saving of my sanity . Much appreciated.

  16. **/** for us today. Needed some help from the hints to finish. Thank you to the setter and to Scchua.

    1. 403 was my problem as well Kath. I left it alone for a couple of hours to cool down ! then tried without emoicons and got through,

      1. I don’t have the first idea what it means. It went on to tell me that it (don’t ask me what) was forbidden and that access to this resource was denied. I thought I must have done something awful and felt a bit like a criminal. At this point I’d like to put a little crying face but I’m not risking it!

        1. Don’t cry! Mine went into moderation, I have no idea why, but there does appear to be a bug somewhere.

  17. Another winner from Jay. None too difficult with only 21ac eluding me. Time for more kitchen work.

  18. I enjoyed this one very much. 2* difficulty and the best part of 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never met the 14a meaning of compliment before and I always forget about that old form of “you” in 3d which took a bit of untangling.
    I completely missed 17d and spent ages trying to work out why the answer was what it so obviously was – oh dear – think I’m getting worse rather than better at these – but I did get 20d!
    It must be quite rare to have one of the more uncommon letters as a checking letter let alone two.
    I liked 5 and 11a and 5d. My favourite was 21a even if it would send my 21a sister into orbit if she so much as caught a whiff that anyone could think they are synonymous!
    With thanks to Jay and scchua. I think anyone who can put pictures into the hints is very, very clever!

  19. I would just like to say thank you for this blog from which I get lots of pleasure and enjoyment. I always need help with at least one clue, and the way you give it allows me to feel that I really worked it out myself after all. Please keep up the good work. You all seem such good friends too!

    1. Welcome to the blog pjdcross. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

  20. Well that filled in rather nicely and without need for any help. Thanks to Jay and best wishes to Scchua.

  21. At first read through, my heart sank as I could only get two answers, but then I started just writing them in. Thoroughly enjoyed this, and scchua’s hints … we’ll miss you. My fave is 11a, that was a smiler. Thanks Jay, good stuff.

  22. Thanks Scchua for your taste in piccies and your hints over the last couple of years; always a pleasure.
    A good test today and although I got 3d I still need to understand the word play. I shall perservate for longer…
    Oh and thanks Jay.

  23. Oops! forgot to mention… 14a in the quickie… I haven’t heard that word for years. And I’m sure the way I used to use it didn’t have quite the same meaning.

  24. Not a bad little puzzle for the mid week offering. 3D was my favourite. My rating is 2.5/3.5 Many thanks to Scchua for the review. I would also echo the thanks to Scchua for his previous contributions to the blog, a great effort of which he should be proud. What Peter Banthorpe (see above) should bear in mind is that without people like Big Dave, Miffypops, Scchua, Gazza et al there would be no blog for him to unfairly criticise.

    1. Agreed Graham. Comments like that get my back up big time. Had the pleasure of meeting Scchua in Derby at a sloggers and betters event. Such a lovely man. He introduced to this blog the idea of underlining key words / phrases/ definitions in a clue, simple but very clever and adopted by (I think) all bloggers now on this site.

  25. Oh scchua we’ll miss you! But thank you so much for all your hints, images (especially of horses!) and hard work to be part of the efforts that make this blog SO special, so (usually) well-mannered, and such fun… Enormously appreciated. So now I’m almost disappointed I managed the rare feat (for me) of completing without hints today. I’m still struggling with a very poorly little Poppy who might now be needing surgery on her eye – we’ll know on Friday, so I’m willing her better in the meantime, but the puzzle was therefore especially welcome, so thank you setter also. Greetings to all.

  26. A1.5*/4* for me. Very enjoyable and thanks to scchua for his great hints today and previously. Not something to be tackled lightly. Must get into the garden early today as another one forecast to be high eighties.

  27. The replacent blogger (TBN) will start in the first week of Sep, so I’ll be carrying on till then. In the meantime, thanks for all the kind words and wishes and for being supportive. It has been most gratifying.

  28. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints, and for the last two years of excellent blogging. A nice straightforward puzzle, with some to make me smile. Last in was 22a,didn’t realise it was an anagram for ages. Favourite was 19d, they used to have these on some telephone poles, but they were not fixed, they just sat on top of a peg. So when elf & safety took off, so were the finials.

    1. What’s going on? Apart from brief one above my messages are being “Forbidden” and deleted.

    2. Me too – it seems to be OK as long as I don’t try to put anything in bold or italics – have yet to dare to try to put in any of my so much loved “little faces”!

  29. Very late one for me today, but most enjoyable. 2*/3.5*. 19d was a new word for me, and 11a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua, whose unique style of reviews and pictorial embellishments I have always enjoyed. I, and I feel sure many others, will miss them.

  30. Just to satisfy my curiosity I will try just once more but this time without an emoticon. For me this puzzle was not one of the most entertaining. I hung in there and completed with the exception of 22a which, similarly to Heno, I did not recognise as an anagram and that wasn’t helped by having the wrong decoration (with no rhyme or reason) for 19d. Thanks therefore for sorting me on that scchua and I’m really sorry to know you are winding down. Thanks also to Jay. ***/**.

      1. Just tried to give you a smile – it didn’t like it so you’ll just have to imagine it!

        1. Thank you for the smile which I imagined and I failed to send you a wave in return but “hello” anyway.

    1. I think the gremlin doesn’t like “little faces” or anything in bold or italics or whatever. Wonder what else he doesn’t like!

  31. Belated thanks Scchua ,I remember your first blog very well , I am a big Jay fan and your blogging style also , both remarkably consistent .
    Keep happy .

  32. Nice and gentle for a mid-weeker. No problems but took what seemed ages to get second half of 8d. */***

  33. I’ve not written since being sent to the naughty step. This has troubled me overnight. Despite having been a police officer for 35 years, I am always surprised how awful some people can be. I know this is a touch late, but can I give you a heartfelt thanks for your help and instruction, my enjoyment of crosswordland wouldn’t be possible without the help of this blog. My wife and I have done various voluntary things over the years, so I know the pay scale
    Thank you for your help.

  34. Enjoyed this Jay effort.Please help with these 2 clues that have beaten me;does he appear in a musical?(6)c???t? and;Drove back from Holland(4)??a?

  35. Thanks Gazza,never heard of cats musical but googled to confirm,should have mentally put a comma after does=cheats.I suspected EDAM was the ans but knew only the cheese.

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