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DT 27568

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27568

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where the weather is like a roller coaster — sunny and tropically hot this past weekend, now cold with torrential rains.

I have no hesitation in proclaiming that this is not a RayT puzzle (which likely explains why Kath was so agreeable to swap for my originally scheduled spot in the rotation next week). Lovers of anagrams will be disappointed to discover that there are only three of them (plus a partial one) to be found in the puzzle. Charade afficionados, on the other hand, should be delighted by the opportunities presented to ply their craft. While I rated the puzzle as two stars for difficulty, I nearly gave it third star on the basis of 11d alone.

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 Concluded actors can be dull (8)
OVERCAST: — an adverb meaning at an end followed by a collective term for the actors in a production

5a Comeback reaping reward (6)
RETURN: — double definition; the first, an attempt by an actor, for instance, to resume his career after a period of retirement or obscurity and the second, the income from an investment

9a High-flier given a cold greeting at all times (8)
ACHIEVER: — a charade of A (from the clue), C(old), a short informal greeting, and an adverb meaning always or continually

10a Author is more sardonic given time (6)
WRITER: — a comparative denoting in a more mocking manner eating up T(ime)

12a Weak identity becoming clear (6)
LIMPID: — weak or drooping followed by a short proof of identity

13a ‘Up Up And Away‘ tune endured (8)
AIRBORNE: — a charade of a short melodious song and a past participle meaning tolerated

15a Plain speaking from sweet woman wanting husband but getting left (7)
CLARITY: — remove H(usband) from the name of the title character in a 1966 Broadway production and replace it with L(eft); do you remember this clue and, if so, do you remember this hint?

Sweet Charity

16a Socks and shoe repaired (4)
HOSE: — our first anagram of the day; an anagram (repaired) of SHOE

20a ‘Shop Around’ bringing to mind teenage dances (4)
HOPS: — like Ottawa (or London) buses, anagrams travel in packs; an anagram (around) of SHOP

21a Pratchett covers provided shock (7)
TERRIFY: — an English author of fantasy novels containing (covers) a conjunction denoting in the event that

25a Cue line — last in play — without further ado (8)
PROMPTLY: — a charade of a cue or reminder, L(ine) and the final letter in (pla)Y

26a Office furniture (6)
BUREAU: — double definition; the latter being a piece of furniture appropriate to a British office or a North American boudoir

28a Barnet musical event (6)
HAIRDO: — a 1968 Broadway and West End rock musical followed by the usual party creates another name for a Cockney coiffure

29a Understood cry of sea-eagle is silent (8)
TACITURN: — a synonym for unspoken or implied followed by a word that sounds like (cry of) a literary name for the sea-eagle

30a Master of the macabre’s attempt to create verse (6)
POETRY: — an American author, generally acknowledged to be the inventor of the detective fiction genre, and a verb meaning to seek to achieve

31a Return engagement (8)
INTEREST: — double definition; the first being the second definition from 5a and the second denoting the power to attract attention and curiosity


1d Authority supremo’s behind run getting cancelled regularly (6)
ORACLE: — a charade of the final letter (behind) of (suprem)O, R(un), and the even letters (one of the usual two regular series of letters) from cAnCeLlEd

2d Resurrect variable buzz in drugs (6)
EXHUME: — the first of the usual algebraic variables plus a synonym for buzz are contained between two instances of an illicit drug

3d Trustworthy journalist in bed with the French (8)
CREDIBLE: — the usual journalist is found in a baby’s bed (one that is North American, according to Oxford) with the masculine, singular form of the French definite article tacked on the end

4d Tory moderates back in bother (4)
STEW: — a reversal for those elements of the Conservative Party of whom Margaret Thatcher was so scornful

6d Drunk on beer in dress, with pomp (6)
ENROBE: — an anagram (drunk) of ON BEER

7d United let injured Ferdinand recuperate initially in secret (8)
ULTERIOR: — a charade of U(nited), an anagram (injured) of LET, the first name of a recently released Manchester United footballer, and the initial letter of R(ecuperate); great surface reading

Rio Ferdinand

8d Invaders formerly from North or South Yemen decapitated (8)
NORSEMEN: — a charade of N(orth), OR (from the clue), S(outh), and (Y)EMEN with the initial letter removed (decapitated) create a people who twice invaded Britain (as Vikings in the 8th century and in the guise of Normans in the 11th century)

11d Resistance stops yet note judge turn all nervous (7)
JITTERY: — start by placing R(esistance), the symbol for an electrical unit, inside YET (R stops or plugs YET); then add the North American spelling (again according to Oxford) for the seventh note of the major scale, and finally append J(udge); now, reverse the whole lot (turn all); this was the last clue to be solved and the wordplay had to be reverse engineered after the solution had been deciphered from the checking letters and definition

14d In short cheese attracts insect (7)
BRIEFLY: — a soft French cheese is followed by winged insects

17d Speed up cuts (4-4)
CHOP-CHOP: — one instance of a cut followed by another produces a Pidgin English exhortation to hurry up

18d Back-to-back compositions put in flipside (8)
OPPOSITE: — two instances of a musical work placed back-to-back are followed by a verb meaning to position or situate

19d Expressing emotion and energy opening of ‘Famous Five’ enthrals us (8)
EFFUSIVE: — a charade of E(nergy), the initial letter (opening) of F(amous), and FIVE containing (enthrals) US

22d A rest for potter and spinner (6)
SPIDER: — double definition; the second being an arachnid and the first being a billiard player’s implement that resembles said arachnid; apparently potters who make pottery may also use a trivet-like device that goes by the same name, although my efforts to find an image of one proved futile


23d ‘Dandy’ encompassing the Spanish for ‘fool‘ (6)
DELUDE: — a dated North American term for a dandy embracing the masculine, singular form of the Spanish definite article

24d Wordplay’s clear, its contents seasonal? (6)
PUNNET: — the type of wordplay that frequently induces a groan followed by a verb meaning to earn as profit


27d Good affordable starter home generating profit (4)
GAIN: — a charade of G(ood), the initial letter (starter) of A(ffordable), and an adverb denoting at home

I will award clue of the day honours to 11d which stubbornly held out to the bitter end. As in a long battle with a large game fish, there was immense satisfaction when I finally landed it.

15a is an old friend. It appeared on February 27, 2014 in DT 27424 which I happened to also review. The only alteration was to change the word “and” to “but”. The hint also appeared on that date. After all, I figure if the setter can recycle the clue, I can recycle my hint!

The Quick Crossword pun: filly + ass + fog = Phileas Fogg

65 comments on “DT 27568

  1. We agree that sorting out the wordplay for 11d was trickiest bit of this puzzle. We also did not know the footballer in 7d but worked it out. The puzzle seemed to require us to think a bit more outside the box than usual and we enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon.

  2. My rating is 3.5* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment.

    It has been commented many times before (and will be again, no doubt) – one man’s meat is another man’s poison, but one of the many things that makes this blog so good is the wide variety of opinions. This puzzle was not to my taste at all, and I thought that 11d was a dreadful clue even though I solved it quite quickly.

    I made a very slow start with only the four four-letter answers going in on my first pass. However, with persistence, everything eventually fell gradually into place with the SE corner being the last to yield.

    7d was the only clue that floated my boat today, so it gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Falcon.

  3. An excellent puzzle today which called for a bit of lateral thinking, many thanks to the compiler and to Falcon for a terrific review.

  4. A joyless slog for me today. Not particularly difficult, but it felt mechanical and humourless. 9a typifies the style (A+B+C+D= ANSWER) and 11d is a more extreme example. 17d raised half a smile but no more. 2.5*/1*

    PS I have to disagree about the surface reading of 7d – the idea was there but for me it didn’t quite come off

  5. Took me ages to get going and the first lot / half of answers took about 4 times longer to get than the second. Enjoyed the challenge but the time it took me definitely put it in 3* territory so I’d opt for ***/*** and said thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  6. Recently the ipad version improved in that you just had to tap on the answer for it to appear. Now we seem to be back to hovering between the brackets to highlight it then pressing ‘define’ what’s going on?

    1. Gremlins.

      During the preparation of the posting, a key piece of the code mysteriously disappeared causing all the solutions to go AWOL. At 1:00 AM, I decided to revert to the old reliable method of hiding the solutions. However, in the process of restoring the solutions, I either accidentally killed all the underlining or failed to notice that it had eloped with the solutions. Anyway, I see that Big Dave has put everything right while I slept. Thanks Dave, and sorry for the extra workload.

  7. A puzzle which was right up my street, as they say. Even without loads of anagrams there are some lovely word plays. I particularly enjoyed 15a, 7d and 11d. Thank you to the setter, a most enjoyable solve. Pleased to see a return to the original method of displaying the solutions in the blog – I wasn’t at all keen on the change we’ve seen over the last week or so.

  8. Thanks Falcon for explaining why 28a, 7d, and 11d were what they were.The definitions are not underlined , but I take it that the definition in 7d is secret, which while it is associated with ulterior motives , it isn’t a synonym of secret.
    My ancient BRB says of ulterior: “on the other side, beyond : in the future:remoter:(of eg a motive)beyond what is avowed or apparent. “.
    I completed it but only after a very long time. Thanks to all concerned.
    I liked 1a, 13a and 25a amoungst others.

    1. We did the SW corner really quite quickly, but then ground to a halt and needed lots of help from Falcon. Thank you to the setter and to Falcon.

    2. Regarding the meaning of ulterior, the first definition in Chambers 21st Century Dictionary is:

      ulterior adj 1 said of motives, etc: beyond or other than what is apparent or admitted.

      Sounds rather secretive to me.

  9. Agree with 2 KIWIS that it certainly required some thinking outside the box to ascertain the definition, definately somewhat ‘quirky’-none the worse for that. Liked 15a,love Shirley! and 24d,agree 11d ‘toughie’ standard. Going for a ***/***,thanks to setter and Falcon-I eagerly await the next challenge.

    1. I’d certainly agree with that- 11d seemed like Toughie territory to me as well. I liked 29a.

  10. Some rather easy clues today but a couple that really needed some severe thinking about, I think I sprained my brain trying to sort 11D out. Some really nice offerings which nearly left me in a dilemma as to what today’s Favourite was to be – 9A, 29A, 1D 7D, 19D and 24D were all contenders, but anyone who knows of my love for a certain author will realise why the Fave Rave goes to 21A although I would think several members of alt.fan.pratchett may have tried to spell it with a P. If anyone hasn’t read any of the Discworld books, I can thoroughly recommend them although I would advise new readers to avoid the first couple of books to begin with, the characters and writing style don’t really get going in them.

    1. Agree with you about Pratchett :). I was put off his books when young because of the covers. I know, I know: judging a book by its cover! When I did try one out, I realised what I’d been missing. And I know others who I’m sure would love them too, but think that the genre is not for them. Well, something about a horse and some water…

  11. A speciality of mine is holding more than one contradictory opinion, and I find myself somehow managing to agree with both the lovers and the haters above! I like that it was a bit different, but I don’t remember doing much smiling during the solve either. So was it an enjoyable tussle or a slog? Hmm, I really don’t know! I managed without hints or other aids, apart from checking one or two things in the BRB after the event, but it took a while. So, 2.5* for difficulty, and I suppose enjoyment averages out at about the same :).

    I did enjoy unravelling 11d, so that gets crowned as favourite. With thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  12. 11d was a most unsatisfactory clue, needing to be engineered piecemeal rather than derived from clever logic

    thumbs down for that one

  13. Very difficult for a non-Brit today – I have no idea about British soccer players and authors. Also a Dude was never a dandy in N. America – it is just a colloquial word for pal..

    I prefer crosswords that are not based on national personalities as they are true puzzles not requiring specific knowledge of a locale.

    But I soldiered on with some help!

    1. I quite understand about problems you encounter being a non-Brit, but don’t forget that
      a) there are quite a few Brits who don’t like football,
      b) there are quite a few Brits who don’t know the author mentioned.
      c) The majority of American words are derived from English (including words like ‘Dude’ :


      Pronunciation: /d(j)uːd /
      , chiefly North American

      1A man; a guy (often as a form of address):
      hey dude, what’s up?
      if some dude smacked me, I’d smack him back
      1.1A stylish and confident person:
      cool dudes
      1.2 DATED A dandy.

      [NO OBJECT] (dude up) Back to top
      Dress up elaborately:
      my brother was all duded up in silver and burgundy

      late 19th century (denoting a dandy): probably from German dialect Dude ‘fool’.

      Oh and
      c) When all’s said and done, it is a Brit newspaper.

    2. Today, the word “dude” is used in North America much like the Brits use the word “mate” — as an affectionate term of address for a friend. However, that is not the original meaning. According to The American Heritage Dictionary “Cowboys and the Wild West are indelibly set in the minds of many as typical of American association borne out by several common Modern English words that originated in the speech of the 19th-century western United States. One is dude, now perhaps most familiar as a slang term with a wide range of uses (including use as an all-purpose interjection for expressing approval: “Dude!”). Originally it was applied to fancy-dressed city folk who went out west on vacation. In this usage it first appears in the 1870s.”

  14. I was very slow to get started on this one but then got going and I ended up really enjoying it. 2*/3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    4d was my last answer – just couldn’t see it at all – stupid! I was also pretty slow to see ‘engagement’=’interest’ in 31a.
    Like others 11d took me a while.
    I thought there were some really good clues – 12 and 15a and 7 and 17d. My favourite was 28a because it made laugh.
    With thank to Mr Ron and to Falcon.
    Falcon – you’ve certainly rumbled my willingness to swap this week for next! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    Had a text from Pet Lamb Number One this morning – she has a meeting in Oxford this afternoon so is going to call in on her way back to London – how lovely! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  15. Bonjour tout le monde,
    spent xxxxxxx on this one. Mistral and heat didn’t help. No luck with 11d at all. Too convoluted for me. Thanks to Falcon for the help. Tomorrow it’s the 15th of August. Celebrating the Provence landing. Obama is coming to town with 16 other heads of state. Security everywhere. Might get a glimpse of air force 1 when it lands in Hyeres.

    1. Bonjour – whether you spend minutes, hours, or days, solving a particular crossword, the convention is that we don’t mention solving times here.

  16. I thought that for a Thursday it was easier than most :) On checking through I discovered that I had 23 d wrong :( Good bye Mr Smug, I could not get Beau out of my head. Nice solution Falcon TUVM

  17. A 4*/1.5* for me. As others have remarked you’re either on the same wavelength or not – clearly I’m not. This was a hard slog and I needed Falcon’s hints to complete for which many thanks. We’re into the first wet weather for many a day although nothing like the rains falling in other parts of NA.

  18. I really enjoyed this crossword today. It took a while to get to grips with but once a few answers became obvious the rest seemed to more or less flow. I thought 29a and 7d were lovely clues. Sorry Brian!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon for his hints which I hadn’t needed for once…. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  19. Not my scene at all mainly due to so many tortuous clues. Managed most of the East but needed lots of help in the West so thanks to my electronic helper and to Falcon for your early transatlantic hints. Certainly no fav today. Sort of thank you Mr. Ron! ****/*. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  20. I found this rather more difficult that 2* today but I was pleased to be reminded of ‘At the hop’ which took me back 60 years, or was it 50 years. So, many thanks for that Falcon and for the hints, also thanks to the setter who was probably a little easier than RayT

  21. This was very hard work for me today. Without the blog I would not be sane. My rating is 4*/1* Just could not latch on to the compiler’s mode of thought. But this is what crosswords are all about. My thanks to Falcon for the excellent review.

  22. A love/hate relationship with this one – enjoyed 15a but gave up on 23d.
    3* for difficulty and just 2* for enjoyment , sadly.

  23. Thank you setter. A difficult puzzle for me. Got off to a great start when Mrs SW came up with the answer for 18d which immediately produced 4 across answers. LHS followed quickly, but then took ages over the rest. Not helped by continually having to look upwards from the beach at the Hawk jets from RAF Valley doing some close formation flying. Wonderful sight ! Thanks for your review and hints Falcon and BD for all the work.

    1. When we were up that way a year or so ago, we kept getting distracted by Prince William’s chopper flying overhead every 10 minutes.

  24. With the exception of 11d, which I thought was too messy, I found this puzzle ideal for both difficulty and interest. 2.5*/4* for me. 15a and 24d favorites. Thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon, even though I didn’t need the latter’s services. Will Giovanni have something devilish for tomorrow?

  25. This one beat me today, totally off wavelength. I had about six answers undone when I had to leave for an appointment. Now I’m back and I still can’t solve it! Thanks for the enlightenment, Falcon, otherwise it would have driven me mad. Fave has to be 15a, even though it was one I missed.

    I didn’t know the author in 21a, nor the cockney slang in 28a. On the other hand, I recognize that this is a Brit newspaper and our little club is predominantly Brit, I therefore believe they are entitled to make the rules, and we should just file the information away for next time.

    P.S. I do the Miami Herald crossword every day, and that is full of obscure TV programs and American sportsmen, most days I can’t finish it, but I don’t complain, I just pick up the DT cryptic!

    1. If its any consolation, I do a few on-line American crosswords. As you say, there tends to be a lot of obscure TV programmes and Sportsmen and most seem to be non-cryptic; the really annoying bit for us Brits is that they all seem to be full of spelling mistakes.

    2. I’m not even going to bother commenting generally on this crossword – but as one little example, “barnet” does not mean “hairdo”. Makes me wonder even more if the compiler is an American? (***/*)

      1. You might think that and I might think that, but Chambers gives both “hair” and “hairstyle” as definitions. As far as I am aware, none of the Telegraph setters is American, although one or two of them now live there (but they don’t set the weekday back-page puzzles).

  26. Have missed posting as I’m currently doing a lot of “la-la-ing” with a big choir in Warwickshire, but managed to sneak out after the final rehearsal today to climb aboard this super blog to find the hints for a few. So many thanks, Falcon (& Big Dave for expending the extra time to sort the gremlins) as well as to the setter for quite a tussle. Poppy mending well – hence me daring to leave her for three days) and Mr P showing himself a dab hand at giving her the daily eye drops needed. Greetings to all

    1. So glad to hear about Poppy’s improvement. I hope she can hear Sadie barking her greetings from here!


      1. What a lovely message Merusa, thank you! So long as Poppy doesn’t think your Sadie would be in the orbit of Banana Joe’s affections, I’m sure she would send very happy wags of goodwill back http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    2. I’m also glad to hear about Poppy’s improvement – Annie would send barking greetings but, as a collie, they might not be so welcome . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  27. Loved the challenge (sorry to be cliched) but 7d and 21a made me realise that my rather elderly brain is still working. Keep up the good work Big Dave

    1. Welcome to the blog Hilary. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope you’ll be commenting on a regular basis.

  28. I liked this one a lot. Ones where the answers come slowly after a lot of thinking and staring are my favourites. 11d went in on the if it fits bung it in and work out why later. I could not get away from to Judge is to Try so failed the parsing miserably. It took three different endings before 19d was correct and 31ac fell in..

  29. I had several penny dropping moments with this one. For me, it is one of those puzzles where the clues seem fairly easy — but only after one has worked them out! Getting there often requires plenty of thought. I found the whole refreshingly ‘different’ and thoroughly enjoyable. 2.5*/4* for me. Fave was 11d, but I liked many others too, including 15a (repeated clue!), 30a, 17d, 19d, 23d (one of my last in as I also had ‘beau’ on the mind) and 24d.

    I managed to complete this correctly without Falcon’s super hints which I have much appreciated reading here.

    Many thanks to the setter for an excellent puzzle and to Falcon for excellent explanations.

    And an extra and special thank you to Big Dave for sorting out the earlier problems and for this wonderful blog.

  30. Definitely at least a 3*/4* from where l sit. My thanks to the setter for a splendid puzzle, even though l have to say l found 11d rather contrived. I thought 15d, and particularly 24d, were excellent. Thanks to Falcon for the review as well.

  31. 24 not fair clue IMHO. What’s the deal with the apostrophe s (‘s) after wordplay? Can anyone help with that?

    1. Joel

      Welcome to the blog. Your comment was delayed in appearing on the blog as it required moderation. In future you will be able to comment without the need for moderation.

      In the surface reading, the ‘s is a contraction for is but in the cryptic reading it changes roles and becomes a contraction for has (which happens to be a common charade indicator). Thus the wordplay parses as PUN (wordplay) + (has) NET (clear).

  32. Definitely up to a 3* level today. I almost through in the towel but managed to pre-guess a few and fit the rest of the clue to it 23d was my last as the dandy replacement meaning was unknown to me thinking it was just a slang US term for bloke. Have to say I really didn’t enjoy this one too much.

  33. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very tricky but enjoyable puzzle, took me ages to get on the right wavelength. Was 3*/3* for me. Favourites were 14&17d. Last in was 13a. Late commenting due to attending the GBBF yesterday.

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