DT 27560 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27560

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27560

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I didn’t have too many problems with this one once I’d corrected my spelling at 13d Do let us know how you fared and what you thought.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so try not to do it by accident.

Across Clues

9a Independent lawyer with house in US state (5)
IDAHO – string together I(ndependent), a US state prosecutor and the abbreviation for house.

10a Grasp, by the sound of it, piece of cake and cocktail (3,6)
SEA BREEZE – start with what sounds like a verb to grasp or recognise and add an informal word for something very easy (piece of cake) to make a vodka-based cocktail.

11a Slip around wingless bird and tall creature (7)
GIRAFFE – a slip or blunder contains the word bird shorn of its outer letters (wingless).

12a Gear about to be kept by a quiet companion (7)
APPAREL – put a preposition meaning about or concerning inside (to be kept by) A (from the clue), the musical abbreviation for quiet and a companion or mate.

13a Person giving little away is timeless gentleman (5)
MISER – remove the T (timeless) from the title of a gentleman.

14a Plan boss devised touring India to get table accessory (4,5)
SLOP BASIN – an anagram (devised) of PLAN BOSS contains (touring) the letter that India is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. Are these still used? – I haven’t seen one for years.

16a Timid sort sadly given toil when faced by psychiatrist (9,6)
SHRINKING VIOLET – an anagram (sadly) of GIVEN TOIL is preceded (faced) by a slang term for a psychiatrist.

19a Big Serb I fancy beginning to hate nonsensical talk (9)
GIBBERISH – an anagram (fancy) of BIG SERB I is followed by the beginning letter of H(ate).

21a Urge, say, shown by half-hearted fool (3,2)
EGG ON – the abbreviation used for ‘say’ or for instance is followed by a stupid person but with one instance of the repeated vowel at the centre dropped (half-hearted).

23a On reflection, reveal film in short letter (7)
NOTELET – a phrasal verb to reveal or divulge (3,2) gets reversed (on reflection) and that’s followed by the Spielberg film that’s been such a boon to crossword setters.

25a A book introducing set of words with ten gone — what’s missing? (7)
ABSENCE – string together A, B(ook) and a set of words (normally starting with a capital letter and ending in a full-stop) with TEN removed.

27a Fall guy getting a leg caught in small garment (9)
SCAPEGOAT – A and an informal word for a leg go inside (caught in) S(mall) and an outer garment.

28a Actress Bette losing money, one refusing work? (5)
IDLER – remove the abbreviation for money from Bette’s surname.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Down Clues

1d Celebrate series of achievements in government (4)
SING – a series of letters in the clue.

2d Brief rule was broken showing facial hair (6)
WALRUS – a type of thick, bushy facial appendage that droops over the mouth is an anagram (broken) of RUL(e) WAS.

3d Study military outfit defended by criminal in summit (10)
CONFERENCE – start with a verb to study or commit to memory then insert the abbreviation for one of the corps of the British army inside a criminal dealing in stolen goods. I think that summit is an example of the answer and should be indicated as such.

4d Rate a pair of ships around Spain (6)
ASSESS – A and two abbreviations for ship with the IVR code for Spain between them.

5d Follow uninvited a lass in Chinese criminal group (3,5)
TAG ALONG – insert A and an informal word for a young woman into a Chinese criminal association.

6d Cut  potatoes, say (4)
CROP – double definition, the second what a farmer may grow (potatoes being an example).

7d Priest is blocking genuine vindictive behaviour (8)
REPRISAL – an abbreviation for priest and IS (from the clue) go inside (blocking) an adjective meaning genuine or authentic.

8d Sound work got in new city abroad (10)
WELLINGTON – this will be no problem for at least two of our regular correspondents. An adjective meaning sound or healthy is followed by an anagram (work) of GOT IN and we finish with N(ew).

13d One with an aversion to birds? (10)
MISOGYNIST – cryptic definition – these birds are not the feathered type.

15d Overall troubles I doubly reviewed (6,4)
BOILER SUIT – an anagram (reviewed) of TROUBLES I and I. On reading back what I’ve written it sounds as though I’ve become a Rastafarian!

17d Coffee largely exceptional on reflection? Here’s disproof (8)
REBUTTAL – string together a type of coffee that you might order from a barista without its last letter (largely) and a (currently very trendy) prefix from German meaning exceptional or super. Now reverse it all (on reflection).

18d Dictatorial figure rising to fight set in the corner? (5,3)
IDIOT BOX – a nasty old African dictator is followed by the reversal (rising, in a down clue) of TO and a verb to fight or spar.

20d Try, try right away to be enthusiastic (6)
HEARTY – a verb to try (a case in court) is followed by T(r)Y with the R(ight) taken away.

22d Loosely put together band lately disheartened (6)
GANGLY – a band or mob is followed by the outer (disheartened, i.e. without the middle) letters of lately.

24d National symbol that’s improperly disclosed, we hear (4)
LEEK – the symbol of one of the more important home nations sounds like (we hear) an unauthorised disclosure of information. Didn’t Geraint Thomas do well on Sunday?

26d Money hoarded by entrepreneur oddly (4)
EURO – hidden.

I liked 25a and 17d but my favourite clue today is 18d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: POOR + PORE = PAWPAW

73 comments on “DT 27560

  1. Thank you setter – a bit tricky for me, but got there in the end. Some of the clues seemed to be a bit contrived, but quite fair. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. We had our cup of tea with the NADFAS lady yesterday – I asked her about fine arts and poetry and she was unable to give a definitive answer ! Books yes, but the contents not sure !

    1. Thanks for your hard work. For those who don’t remember this relates to a clue we had a few weeks ago implying that fine art included music and literature.

      1. Royal Blend tea and a Thorntons chocolate cake – not too much pressure Gazza !

    2. The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies Head Office approves lecturers (and their topics) who can be invited to address individual/local DFA Societies.

  2. 23a is your definition right as i got it

    on reflection “no”

    reveal film in short is “tell et” which becomes “telet”

    letter is a notelet

    1. I think that the wording of the clue would have to be ‘reveal in short film’ for that parsing to work. I think it’s a reversal of LET ON (reveal) followed by the film.

    2. I solved it like this, but was uncomfortable with ‘tell’ (the first of the two words) being ‘short’. Gazza’s hint is correct I’m sure.

      1. That’s my motto too, with crosswords if not in life – act first and think later.

      2. No! I have to differ and say don’t just stick anything that fits in! Make sure it’s of sufficiently good quality first… Stuffing in any old thing is not likely to be the route to maximum satisfaction :).

  3. A fair bit more than two star difficulty for me. Found this a slow slog, got there in the end but not without some pain. Spent sometime staring at anagrams where I had all the checking letters and still couldn’t fill them in, so maybe just dysfunctional grey matter on my part today.

  4. We travelled a bit on this one from Idaho to Wellington for a conference. and up to the Arctic to see the Walrus before heading off to Africa to meet a giraffe. There was a hearty Egg and Leek pie with a Sea Breeze to drink and a Slop Basin on the table (never had one on my table) if we needed it. A gangly misogynist spoke drivel about Shrinking Violets. We made him a scapegoat assessed that he needed a reprisal beating with a crop. After that rebuttal we put him in a boiler suit and sent him off to sing for a Euro. You never know he may be good enough to appear on the idiot box some day. I will not be tagging along to find out.

    A lovely little distraction over a couple of cups of tea this morning. The quickie was fun too but i cannot get the second word across so the pun eludes me for now.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the masterly review. Have a nice day y’all

  5. This one put up a bit of a fight for me. Needed the hints to confirm 2 of my answers but an enjoyable solve. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his usual detailed review.

  6. I surprised myself by remembering the spelling of 13d, as it had appeared in a Sunday crossword.The hold up was caused by holding on to chip for 6d for far too long.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. I had chip for a bit too, but the cocktail was the only one that fit…..ought to have come sooner as I was *****ing potatoes yesterday!!

  7. For me this needed a bit more concentration than usual, and 2d had me completely stumped until I saw the picture clue. I thought it was going to turn out to be a pangram, but not quite….

  8. 2*/2*. I found nothing exceptional about this not particularly challenging puzzle.

    I’ve never before heard of the expression which is the answer to 18d but I found it in the BRB (of course). Unravelling the parsing for 23a took me longer than it should have because it took a while for the penny to drop that “on reflection” was not the wordplay for the answer to start with NO!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  9. Following Rufus is always a tough gig and even more so with a puzzle as clunky as this one. Very much from the ‘cut and paste’ school of setting which I find very mechanical and short on smiles. It’s a bit like the instructions for an MFI wardrobe – you are just happy to get to the end with everything screwed together in the right place!

  10. Got up at 3.30am today and tried this before going to Heathrow to pick up my brother – didn’t find it easy to get started and left feeling mildly concerned. Looked at it about 8.30 and quite a few answers yielded and eventually managed to complete it. I would say that this was a bit trickier than the average Tuesday and would also conclude that I find crosswords harder at stupid o’clock. Thanks to Gazza and setter 2.5*/3*

    1. I usually do Mondays a silly oclock. 3am this week then back to sleep ready to write the review at 7ish

    2. Rick … You hit it on the nail … So to speak! It was a clunky mish-mash that didn’t gel for me at all, especially in comparison to yesterday’s! Finally getting the hang of Mondays, and working with interest on the rest. No favourites today. Difficulty xxxx enjoyment xx

  11. Bit of a struggle today, but mainly caused by various distractions http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif still. everything fell into place eventually. I have always agreed with a TV being called an 18D – the stupid questions that are asked during interviews and the gormless soaps that seem to be everywhere do it for me not to mention the endless football that Sky seem to revel in.

    I thought 16A very clever. Off to watch the 18D now, must be some inane programme from Australia being repeated somewhere. Thank God for QI.

    1. Important News and Important Sport only. Well The Simpsons occasionally. Thats it for me.

      1. I hope no-one’s going to say that they only watch the news and the wildlife programmes with the wonderful David Attenborough….that would confirm the old stereotype of the Telegraph reader!!

        I watch as much telly as I ever did, but, thanks to the new tech, hardly any of it at the time it is broadcast. Currently in the middle of marathon Boardwalk Empire seasons.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

      1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but you don’t find it easily by accident.

  12. A very enjoyable crossword from the ever improving mystery compiler, my thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the amusing pictorial review. The Excalibur toughie is certainly worth a wee go!

  13. We found about two thirds of this puzzle not too bad at all, but then got stuck on 17 and 18 down and had to resort to the hints. I hate clues that have three bits to them and then need to be reversed. Quite enjoyable though so thank you to the setter and to Gazza.

  14. Finished without any hints today, 2d gave me pause as did 14a as i just couldn’t see what the anagram could possibly be; I agree with the reviewer.

    Early on I got tunnel vison for Bette Davis and therefore have had the Kim Kahn song about her eyes as an earworm since!

    My favourite was 15d as i happen to work wearing one, though normally I would refer to the garment as a pair of the first word of the clue but pluralised similar to trousers

    Apologies and thanks to the moderator for editing yesterdays reply regarding time taken and thanks to the setter and the reviewer.

  15. This was at least a 3* difficulty for me and probably about the same for enjoyment.
    I couldn’t sort out why 23a was what it was – thought the first two letters were ‘on’ turned round because of the on reflection and didn’t get any further.
    I had chip for 6d which made the second word of 10a a bit tricky.
    I’ve never heard of 18d.
    Not my day really – added to that it’s raining http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif and we’ve had no internet all morning http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif .
    I liked 16 and 19a and 20d. My favourite was 13d.
    Thanks anyway to the setter and to gazza for the much needed explanations.

  16. I got quite a few words today from the letters and then worked back as to why it might be the correct answer. The mind boggled at a slop basin being described as a “table accessory” . My great aunts had slop bowls on the tea table as they only used loose leaf tea and one poured the dregs of one’s first cup of tea into it before topping up with a second cup but they were pretty things, matching the tea service. ***/***

  17. I thought this puzzle was a bit clunky too; I got there eventually but for some reason I did not see the anagram in 2d. Ouch! Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his hints.

  18. Enjoyable solve over lunch so it’s **/*** from us.

    Quite liked 18d but favourite has to be 13d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  19. Very difficult bottom half, at least a four star for difficulty there.
    2d, 17d, 18d and 24d were all complete mysteries to me especially 18d which I just don’t get at all.
    Never heard of the cocktail in 10a so all in all very little to enjoy for me today.
    Thx to Gazza for the hints.

    1. 18d – The first word is the first name of Mr Amin the notorious African dictator + TO reversed. The second is a three letter word meaning to fight, as in a square arena bordered with ropes. The whole is a derogatory term used to describe television (set in the corner) by people who think they are intellectually superior.

  20. Had to resort to electronic devices for help today. Breezed through the top half and then stalled before finishing off over another coffee. Never heard of 18d.***/*** today. 13d made me laugh. Many thanks to setter and reviewer.

  21. I found this trickier than just ** but I did complete! however, having no idea why some answers were correct, working on the M’pops theory .. “If it fits…” . Completely forgot about the old dictator in 18d, how could I, he was so evil. I liked 16a but 13d won fave title today. I got 2d as I felt sure that “was” broken held the clue. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for hints, without you I would never have known the “whys” of several answers.

  22. This was tricky for me and I definitely needed Gazza’s help for which much thanks. Just not on the same wavelength as the setter. 18d is a term I’ve never come across but obviously where I was http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  23. Not too great a challenge today and I would agree with Gazza’s ratings. I did need help with 10A as I had never heard of this. I too got lumbered with a chip until I saw the error of my ways. Favourite today was 16D My thanks to Gazza for his very lucid review.

  24. A ***/*** for me- quite a slow burner, and I just couldn’t see 15d even though I had all the other clues filled in- I went back to it and it saw it straight away. Doh!

    1. Wouldn’t it be better to comment on the back page puzzle on this page and the Toughie on the Toughie page? Just a thought

  25. Must get out more – never heard of a sea breeze. What’s in it apart from vodka? Didn’t help that I had chip instead of crop. Couldn’t get beyond beard in 2d either. Sigh…

  26. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, it was a bit tricky in places. Favourites were 16&25a. Took me ages to get 15d & 2d which was last in. Got a bit more weed clearance done today.

  27. I enjoyed this, and would agree with Gazza’s ratings. I was a bit slow, but that was perhaps due in part to fighting to stay awake. Tiredness, not boredom! Really looking forward to an early night tonight. Thought of chip at 6d, but pleased that I resisted the impulse to stick it in before I knew it was good :). Also went through a few attempts at parsing 22a before getting it. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  28. Not surprisingly, we did not need Google to fill in 8d as it is less than 2 hours drive from us and visited often. It gives us a pleased feeling to be occasionally noticed like this in puzzles, so a special thank you to the setter. We enjoyed the solve and completed without too many delays.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. Was no problem for me either – its approx. 15 mins from my nieces place to the city centre (apparently)

      1. We get there quite often as our three children and their families are all based in Wellington. However our daughter is leaving today to visit London for a few weeks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  29. Just tried to send my comments on 27,560 but was asked to complete a “Security Check” but seem to have failed that and my benign message was removed. Is this something new BD? However this got through.

  30. Very enjoyable with some excellent clues. Last in 27a first in 26d. Thanks to The Setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  31. I’d say ** going on*** for difficulty.. I had some problems with 13d which I liked as a clue and 17,18 and 22 down. I don’t really like the definition for 22d and its along time since I’d heard thee slang term for 18. Nevertheless rather enjoyable.

  32. I enjoyed this, although I didn’t have a completely clear round because I had the last letter of 18d wrong! Otherwise, I did manage to arrive at the correct answers for the rest. ***/*** for me.

    I thought some of the clues quite tricky. I didn’t use any hints at the time, but perhaps I should have done. I needed Google’s help to confirm my answer to 10a. I had difficulty with the parsing of 21a, 23a and 17d, so am very glad of the enlightenment now. Also missed the double definition in 6d. Like others, it took me ages to get away from the idea of ‘chip’!

    Haven’t seen 14a except on a tea tray where it was a pretty piece of china! Certainly nothing like the image conjured up by the answer to 14a!

    Thanks to the setter for the enjoyable challenge and to Gazza for the super and much appreciated review.

  33. Didn’t get around to this yesterday, but went in reasonably easily over this morning’s coffee. 2*/3* or so by my reckoning. I liked 19a, if only because l speak it fluently, but l think my favourite has to be 16a. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

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