DT 27561 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27561

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27561

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

For some reason, it was hard starting on this one, but once past the tipping point, it was quite straightforward. A 1.5*/3* difficulty/enjoyment. 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    Pull off charge for each cat, for example? (10)

{PERPETRATE} : [a charge, usually on a unit basis] placed after(for;pertaining to) { [for each unit of quantity] + [an example of which is the house cat] }.

Defn: To perform or commit, usually with negative connotations.

6a    Oddly, team lack cosmetic preparation (4)

{TALC} : The 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th letters of(Oddly) “team lack “.

10a    Horse‘s belly without a drink (5)

{PUNCH} : [a protruding belly, usually from too much food or beer] minus(without) “a “.

Double defn: 1st: Preceded by the name of an East England region, a breed of horse; and 2nd: A drink of wine or spirits mixed with fruit juices.

11a    Colour of pests digesting crude oil? (9)

{VERMILION} : [pests collectively] containing(digesting) anagram of(crude) OIL.

12a    Origin of lumps in exotic Persian sweets (8)

{PRALINES} : The 1st letter of(Origin of) “lumps contained in(in) anagram of(exotic) PERSIAN.

13a    Delicate material coating new weapon (5)

{LANCE} : [delicate material;fabric with an open weblike pattern] containing(coating) [abbrev. for “new”].

15a    Protest that’s good to latch on to (7)

{GRUMBLE} : [abbrev. for “good”] + [to latch on to;to catch on to;to realise].

17a    Part intended to be broadcast by son, for example (7)

{SEGMENT} : Homophone of(… to be broadcast) [intended] placed after(by, in an across clue) { [abbrev. for “son”] + [abbrev. from Latin for “for example”] }.

19a    Provided outstanding goal coming first (7)

{ENDOWED} : [outstanding, as with a debt] placed after(… coming first, in an across clue) [a goal;a result to aim for].

21a    Lot more played for musical effect (7)

{TREMOLO} : Anagram of(… played) LOT MORE.

22a    Married German chap’s slogan (5)

{MOTTO} : [abbrev. for “married”] + [a proper name of a German chap].

24a    Golf, like telly, may be a feature of a car (5,3)

{GLOVE BOX} : [letter represented by “golf” in the phonetic alphabet] + [to like very much] + [an informal term for the telly].

27a    Nanny runs out in front of media, panicking (9)

{NURSEMAID} : Anagram of(… out) RUNS plus(in front of) anagram of(…, panicking) MEDIA.

28a    A commercial vehicle carrying one of birds (5)

{AVIAN} : A + [a commercial vehicle – drivers of the white ones are the notorious UK stereotype] containing(carrying) [Roman numeral for “one”].

29a    Pack for exhibition, having time for hotel (4)

{STOW} : [an exhibition;an expo] with [abbrev. for “time”] replacing(having … for …) [letter represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet].

30a    Financial reviews of internationals by Mensa in a mess (5,5)

{MEANS TESTS} : [international matches, especially in cricket or rugby] placed after(by, in an across clue) anagram of(… in a mess) Mensa.

Defn: … to determine eligibility for financial and social assistance.


1d    Note including minimum amount of money for seeds (4)

{PIPS} : [abbrev. for a short note written as an afterthought] containing(including) [a minimum amount of British money, with the quantity as a Roman numeral].

2d    Vehicle required to hurry a game of golf (9)

{RUNAROUND} : [to move in a hurry] + A +[a game of golf consisting of playing all the holes of the course in turn].

Defn: …, especially one for use in a town.

3d    Girl for whom some toe the line? (5)

{ETHEL} : Hidden in(some) “toe the line “.

4d    Income‘s there without the place for meeting (7)

{REVENUE} : “there minus(without) “the ” + [a place for a meeting, an event, etc].

5d    Believes in protecting hospital for sudden intrusions (7)

{THRUSTS} : [believes in;has no cause to doubt someone or something] containing(protecting) [abbrev. for “hospital”].

7d    Strange story included in article (5)

{ALIEN} : [a story told to deceive] contained in(included in) [an indefinite article in grammar].

8d    Rule normally followed in large formal assembly (10)

{CONVENTION} : Double defn:  1st:  A rule most widely accepted in a group, the norm.

9d    Put up with topless fashion exchange (8)

{DIALOGUE} : Reversal of(… up, in a down clue) [previously put;set down] plus(with) [fashion;what’s in] minus its 1st letter(topless, in a down clue).

Defn: … of the verbal kind.

14d    Deals requiring reconfiguration of master gene (10)

{AGREEMENTS} : Anagram of(reconfiguration o) MASTER GENE.

16d    Floor for violin aficionado? (4,4)

{BOWL OVER} : [an integral part of a violin][an aficionado;a keen fan of, say, violin music].

Defn: To literally knock down to the floor, or, to overwhelm such that you’re figuratively knocked down.

18d    The science of bread-making? (9)

{ECONOMICS} : Cryptic defn: The social science(?) to do with finance;money;bread in slang.

20d    Dishonour of French class (7)

{DEGRADE} : [French for “of”] + [a class;a rank in a scale].

21d    What a player may have done to the boards? (7)

{TRODDEN} : Cryptic defn: What a player;actor may have done literally, from which is derived the expression meaning “to act on stage”.

23d    Doctor’s orders to protect the body (5)

{TORSO} : Hidden in(… to protect) “Doctor’s orders “.

25d    Former lieutenant welcoming ace’s praise (5)

{EXALT} : { [a prefix signifying “former”;once] + [abbrev. for the rank of lieutenant] } containing(welcoming) [abbrev. for “ace”].

Defn: …, as a verb.

26d    The burden of working with American (4)

{ONUS} : [working, say, like an electrical appliance] plus(with) [abbrev. for things American].

The Quick Crossword pun: wane + swirled = Wayne’s World

59 comments on “DT 27561

  1. Like Scchua I found it slow to get started but then reasonably straightforward. **/*** for me today. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review.

  2. Thanks to Jay and Scchua for an enjoyable puzzle and clear hints (which for once I didn’t need to refer to – feel good sense of achievement!)

    In 16d is the part of the violin actually part of the violin, or am I being overly pedantic?

    1. Maybe a bit pedantic……..That was pretty much my favourite clue.
      You wouldn’t get much pleasure out of it without the operative part, unless you only wanted pizzicato….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. Well maybe, but it’s an interesting point. There is a question mark at the end, so that gives the setter some licence. You could use bow as a verb, as in to bow a violin. Then bow lover sounds better, but the definition is floor, therefore bowl over fits the definition and bow lover just adds to the richness of the answer.

  3. Same for me, slow start then everything fell into place (except 29a). 2*/3*.

    I needed Scchua’s hint to get 29a although with hindsight I can’t see the difficulty. I got “show” but couldn’t make the (tiny) step from there to the answer :-(

    1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua.

  4. Really enjoyed the puzzle, thank you Jay and seemed to be on the right wavelength this morning – apart from 29a where I fell into the same trap as you RD. Silly mistake and comprehensively mislead by the word exhibition ! Thanks Scchua for your review and hints – and in particular the explanation of 29a.

  5. I got into it easily enough, working down the left side in good time, but struggled for a while to get a foothold on the NE corner. No good reason other than incompetence because there was nothing there to frighten the horses and it all came together in a rush once 11a went in. Favourite clue was 1a and today’s turkey 24a (only because I think using phonetic alphabet abbreviations is a bit of a cop out). 2.5*/3* from the Wiltshire judge.

    1. Phonetic abbreviations appear a lot in cryptics, I think they are part of crosswordland’s rich tapestry.

  6. I agree with sschua opening remarks.Favourite 16d, with1a, 11a and 15a in the highly recommended catagory.Thanks Jay and sschua.

  7. I went from the bottom up today, so it was quick, quick, slow, slow, quick!

    Some little crunchers, kept trying to get ‘eg’ into 1a and 8d had a few contenders.

    My favourite was 16d and also liked 18.

    Didn’t get how 15a worked till I read the hint. Thx Scchua.

  8. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay. Typical substitution clue in 29a. Started with 2d,finished with 9d, needed the hint to parse it. Favourite was 16d, had a penny drop moment with 24a. Was 2 */3* for me. Weather better than the forecast so far in Central London.

  9. I too was slow to get going but soon began to have fun and indeed finish without need for help. I liked 11a and 16d. Thanks Jay and scchua. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. Started with the down clues today and things rapidly fell into place although I was stumped for ages on 9D for some reason (must be the shock of seeing some again after the torrential downpour we had last night). Some very nice clues today, my favourite probably being 24A as it made me chortle.

  11. Objectively, I’d agree with ** for difficulty, but I seem to be a bit slow-witted today :???:. The top half in particular took quite some time – can’t see why now. I couldn’t see the 12a sweets for ages, despite having the right fodder, so I did a sneaky anagram-solver, and then the rest all fell satisfyingly into place.

    It was a lovely puzzle though, I thought – at least *** for enjoyment. Favourite clue is 9d, just pipping 16d at a photo finish. Liked 1a and 5d, and with that and 19a, it’s a great shame that scchua’s given up the pictures! Thanks to Jay for the entertainment and sccua for the review, and please don’t take the comments about missing the pics as any kind of complaint! :)

  12. Are any girls called 3d any more? If the clue began with Ladies perhaps. Maybe it’s an up and coming name again, I have heard a twice removed friends baby has been named Maud.

    My favourite was 1a, I also though 18d was clever when the penny dropped.

    1. Names certainly do seem to come round again. Our new little great niece is called Esther – she isn’t even three weeks old yet and I think it makes her sound as if she’s about ninety! She is very beautiful though . . .

          1. How lovely, but can’t help wondering why! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif Please tell us the story – surely there is one behind it.

            1. Have no idea, I think she just liked it as a toddler and it stuck. My Dad was Frederick, always called Tommy.

              1. My Dad’s name was Derek but his surname was Andrew so he was always called Andy. My Mum’s name is Yvonne but she’s always called Pon because it was all her younger sister could manage.

    2. The last time I came across it was Ethel the Pirate Kings Daughter in the excellent Shakespeare in Love!

  13. After 3 weeks without the daily fix I’m pleased to find I have not lost it completely! Favourite today was 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and Scchua.
    (I like the new reveal format. Much simpler on my iPhone)

  14. I think I’d say 2* and a bit for difficulty and 3* enjoyment today.
    I didn’t find it too hard to get going but ground to a halt for a while (quite a while) on my last few answers.
    I had a wrong answer to begin with for 21d and I’m not even going to admit what it was! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif That made 24a tricky to say the least.
    Eventually sorted it out only to be completely stumped by 30a – just couldn’t see it at all and it wasn’t even very difficult. Oh dear!
    I liked 12 and 27a and 2 and 9d. My favourite was either 16 or 18d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

      1. . . . but only nearly! You obviously read my mind like a book – I’ll have to be more careful what I think! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  15. Thanks to Jay and scchua for a very enjoyable and reasonably tricky crossword and a super review.

  16. Thanks Scchua , I had to visit blog to see how the answer to 9d was arrived at. Nice explanation. :)

    1. Maybe you missed last Wednesday’s blog. scchua said that he was winding down – I think the gist of it was that in September he will be handing over to a new hinter/blogger (never sure which is the right term) but that, in the meantime, he was going to cut down on time and effort so would no longer be giving picture hints.
      Apologies to scchua – I’m sure that you’re more than capable of answering for yourself but I’m aware of the time difference (even if my head can’t quite work it out!)

    2. Kevin, sorry about the photographer – he’s taken leave, soon to be followed by the copywriter.
      Thanks Kath, no apologies needed – you’re doing a grand job. Was out last night and didn’t get back till late.

  17. 10a – something of a rarity for me – a double definition with wordplay in the middle?

    But it seems to work both ways:

    Horse’s belly without a ….


    … belly without a drink

    (Or is it double duty x 2)?

  18. On the whole a good puzzle but did anyone else find 17a, 29a and 9d tricky or was it just me?
    Last part in was the top right but seeing the answers I am not quite sure why!
    Best clue for me was def 25a, v clever!
    Thx to all.

  19. ** for difficulty but **** for enjoyment from us. The latter mainly due to 1a, 16d and 18d but 10a was clear favourite :lol:

    If you were to count the anagrams in this puzzle would 27a count as one or two? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    Thanks to Jay for the usual Wednesday fun and to scchua for the review.

    1. Perhaps anagrams are like beans …

      How many anagrams make five?

      An anagram, an anagram and a half, half an anagram and two anagrams.

      1. I’ve always known it the other way round – 2 beans, a bean and a half, half a bean and a bean.

        Anagrams aren’t my favourite clues, due to being very poor at unravelling them, so two in one clue seems a bit much to me.

        1. I’m fairly comfortable with anagrams, but haven’t got a clue in what order to count beans.

              1. Unfortunately, I don’t know what you are all talking about!

                Greetings from a has-been.!

  20. Slow start but gathered paced while solving top to bottom. Thanks to scchua and Jay **/****

  21. Like Gwizz, 16d was my favourite. I certainly would not have filed in half of it without the help today so thank you Scchua & Jay. Although it did mean I could sit in the university gardens in the sun for a bit longer trying to solve it.

  22. Half done this morning and the other half this afternoon. A nice puzzle as usual from Jay

  23. A real slog. Sorry, didn’t like it at all. Read the hints but still couldn’t get some of them. Like above don’t think it’s part of a violin.
    Thanks for hints and to the setter, it seemed to suit most people. Just not my wavelength.
    Did complete it eventually. I kept thinking it was Thursday…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  24. A 2.5/3 for me and a very slow start. Like some others 26a was a stumbling block and I needed Scchua’s hint to get me from my answer (show) to the correct answer. Doh! Otherwise enjoyable. Cloudy today – first time in weeks and welcome.

  25. Thank you Jay, good fun. Fave was 1a with honourable mention to 24a and 16d. Thanks scchua for the review.

  26. Another Jay puzzle enjoyed. Not too hard, but rewarding in its way (2*/4*). I liked 10a, 9d and 16d, and plump for the latter as my favourite. Thanks schuua for the review.

  27. I’d give it a */*** except for 9d that completely stumped me.. Thanks to Scchua for pointer. Down clues were definitely easier to get started on but fnished comfortably while waiting to see the doc and even managed to get started on the toughie.

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