DT 27573 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27573

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27573

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A straightforward and enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Jay. A 1.5*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment.

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 Conflict as industrial action sees king replaced by female (6)

{STRIFE} : [industrial action;”down tools!”] with [abbrev. for “king”] replacing(sees … replaced by …) [abbrev. for “female”].

5a Examines power possessed by bugs (8)

{INSPECTS} : [abbrev. for “power”, in physics] contained in(possessed by) [bugs, collectively].

9a Style of comedian facing the drop? (7,6)

{GALLOWS HUMOUR} : Cryptic defn: Reference to the trapdoor dropping beneath you while you hang from a noose.

10a Poor hearing? (8)

{MISTRIAL} : Cryptic defn: … in a court of law, declared void, or is inconclusive.

11a One abandons caution caution flying this exotic bird (6)

{TOUCAN} : Anagram of(… flying) { “caution minus(… abandons) [Roman numeral for “one”] } .

Defn: …. with a large bill.

12a Old boy returns after exercises in pleasure craft (6)

{PEDALO} : Reversal of(… returns) { [abbrev. for “old”] + [a boy;a youth] } placed after(after, in an across clue) [abbrev. for physical exercises, especially that school period].

Defn: … on the water, powered by one (or two) pair of legs.

14a Endured socialist going over state of America (8)

{REMAINED} : [an informal term for a socialist, or, a communist, even] containing(going over) [a state on the east coast of the USA].

16a Bad press about European motorway building (8)

{PREMISES} : Anagram of(Bad) PRESS containing(about) { [abbrev. for “European”] + [a major motorway in England, with the numeral Romanised] }.

19a Hang around, boxed in by several in Germany (6)

{LINGER} : Hidden in(boxed in by) “several in Germany “.

21a Unfortunately, drinking rum oddly causes scares (6)

{ALARMS} : [unfortunately;regrettably] containing(drinking) the 1st and 3rd letters of(… oddly) “rum “.

23a Newly-developed yet cheap protection for the injured viewer (8)

{EYEPATCH} : Anagram of(Newly-developed) YET CHEAP.

Defn: …, as on the stereotypical pirate of old, together with a wooden leg, and maybe a parrot on the shoulder.

25a Works in progress here? (6,7)

{MOBILE LIBRARY} : Cryptic defn: Reference to a collection of works by authors, moving on wheels (the works, not the authors).

26a Relaxed after a couple of pages, satisfied (8)

{APPEASED} : [relaxed;relieved] placed after(after, in an across clue) { A + 2 x(couple of) [abbrev. for “page”] }.

27a What’s left by right of choice, say? (6)

{ESTATE} : The last letter of(right of, in an across clue) “choice ” + [to say;to declare].

Defn: …, by one that has left.


2d This’ll make you laugh – Moroccan dish containing camel’s tail! (3,4)

{TAG LINE} : [a Moroccan stew or the pot it’s cooked in] containing(containing) the last letter of(…’s tail) “camel “.

Defn: …, coming at the end of a joke.

3d Home rented out for opening (5)

{INLET} : [at home] + [rented out, said, of, say, a premises].

4d Sitcom – one developed for faces on screen (9)

{EMOTICONS} : Anagram of(… developed) SITCOM – ONE.

Defn: Expressive cartoon faces on your monitor screen.

5d Keeping to oneself due to slight cut on a run (7)

{INSULAR} : [a slight;a slur] minus its last letter( cut) placed above(on, in a down clue) A + [abbrev. for a run in cricket scores].

Defn: Literally, if one is on an island.

6d Closed around noon briefly, due to car crash (5)

{SHUNT} : [closed] containing(around) [abbrev. for “noon”].

Defn: …, with one’s front bumper hitting another’s back bumper.

7d Reduction in planning of one oil delivery (9)

{ELOCUTION} : [a reduction, eg. of a budget] contained in(in) anagram of(planning of) ONE OIL.

Defn: The art of delivering one’s speech, especially in public.

8d Paved area in row of houses (7)

{TERRACE} : Double defn: 1st: …, eg. a patio.

13d Pleasing new barmaid left without newspaper (9)

{ADMIRABLE} : Anagram of(new) { BARMAID + “left minus(without) [abbrev. for the daily newspaper in pink] }.

15d Flexible label designed to be worn by man (9)

{MALLEABLE} : Anagram of(… designed) LABEL contained in(to be worn by – on the inside like briefs, and not the outside like a coat) [a man;a “he”].

17d Turn and clean fish that’s been pickled (7)

{ROLLMOP} : [to turn over – one in the hay is supposed to be enjoyable – but somewhat ticklish] plus(and) [to clean, eg. the floor, with an implement of the same name].

Defn: …, viz. a herring fillet wrapped around onion slices.

18d Son fine – journalist filled with pride (7)

{SWELLED} : [abbrev. for “son”] + [fine;in a satisfactory manner] + [abbrev. for a journalist].

20d Unprotected gent in front of vault put in code (7)

{ENCRYPT} : “gent minus its 1st and last letters(Unprotected …) placed before(in front of) [a vault often used as a burial place].

Defn: To transcribe plain text into code.

22d Opportunities for buying cheap beer on board ship? (5)

{SALES} : [beer] contained in(on board) [abbrev. for a (steam)ship].

24d Order to stop a container with a cargo of sulphur (5)

{AVAST} : A + [a large container for holding or storing liquids] containing(with a cargo of) [chemical symbol for the element, sulphur].

Defn: …, nautically speaking.

The Quick Crossword pun: juicy+wart+Amin=d‘you see what I mean


49 comments on “DT 27573

  1. Interesting today. I’d have some worries about 14a.
    Not sure that’s an exact definition of the answer.
    But 24d was brilliant in my opinion.

  2. Thank you Jay. I enjoyed the puzzle and finished without problems, and so suspected that it would get a low mark on the difficulty rating. Good fun nevertheless. I liked 25a – having got “library” I was messing around with “record” and “public” before 17d resolved the matter. Thank you Scchua for your review and hints. By my calculation this might be your penultimate blog with retirement approaching ?

  3. can anyone explain why “knight” is contracted to “n” in crossword speak ? It appears to be something to do with chess, but why?

    1. N is used for Knight in chess notation because the K is used for the King, so ‘Nb4’ means that the Knight has moved to square b4.

      1. I’ve been wondering about that for five years.
        Now I understand why.
        Didn’t think to ask, just blindly accepted it.

  4. No difficulties. Liked 7D, but 4D was my favorite just because (Kath will get a kick out of that!). Thanks, Jay and Scchua.

  5. I really enjoyed this puzzle. Nice to finish without the need for help or hints again! Thanks, Jay. A fun solve, and not too difficult: I whizzed through it at first, then slowed up a little towards the end. Lots of smiling :).

    I liked 5d, and thought 16a had a cracking surface. 4d made me smile – very appropriate for some of us here. :grin: ;) :cool:. 1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to scchua for the review, which I scanned through but will now take a closer look at in case I’m mistaken in my belief that I parsed everything all correctly. That has been known to happen :).

  6. Straightforward though nothing to raise a smile, maybe I got out of the wrong side of bed today. I thought there could be several possibilities for the second word of 25a until all checking letters were in place. 15d is slightly misleading as the word does not mean flexible in a scientific sense but I acknowledge it does refer to human character as listed in the BRB. Interesting that today and yesterday were given 2* by the reviewers and yet for me yesterday’s was much harder. Thanks to the setter and reviewer as always.

    1. As you say, “flexible” is a sound synonym for “malleable” – if it’s not the sense you had in mind, I’d call that fair misdirection :).

      As for ratings, I’ve decided to stop giving them for a couple of reasons: one, I don’t like giving few stars to a great puzzle, even when they are just relating to difficulty. I think words might be better for expressing that. Two, difficulty does often seem to depend more on which way the wind is blowing on a given day than on the puzzle itself. That’s even more true for enjoyment. I could (and do) attempt to normalise my enjoyment ratings to allow for being in a particular mood, but still am not sure my stars mean much. And to what extent should technical excellence in clues earn points, versus less precise but smile-inducing ones? It occurs to me that I may have been over-thinking this :wacko:.

      I do like to cast an eye over other people’s ratings though, so maybe it would be fair to include my own so others can do the same. Hmm… I may change my mind again!

  7. Thanks so much Jay – a super puzzle with great diversity of clues. Thanks also to scchua for being here so pronto. I needed your help to sort my last two – 24d and 27a. Can’t believe it took me so long to solve 4d even with so many crossing letters. Like Sweet William I too had wrong first word for 25a until 17d sorted it for me. ***/****. 4d – http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  8. Many thanks Jay for a fine puzzle which I found challenging but doable and thanks to Scchua for the hints which I used extensively for checking my answers and for giving me 14a which, for some strange reason, I could not see.
    Does anybody know what has happened to Mary?

    1. Mary’s legged it again. She did “pop in” a few times last week but said that she was off again and would probably be back properly in October – at least I think that’s when she said she’d be back.

  9. I agree with Xcoder above , easier than yesterday, but not a walk in the park as far as I am concerned.Nautical directions are unknown to me so I didn’t think much of 24d.However I liked 7d, 18d and 10a.
    Thanks scchua, you will be missed , and Jay

  10. 15d. I can’t recall ever seeing “worn by” to mean going inside. Although, the answer was obvious.

  11. No problems today but lots to do/happening at the moment so no real time to type. Will try to say a bit more later.

  12. A very enjoyable and straightforward puzzle today, many thanks to Jay and to sschua. The Micawber toughie today is well worth a go.

  13. An enjoyable solve during my lunch break. 11a was my favourite. 2*/4*
    Thanks to Jay and Sschua.

    1. Forgot to say that the lunch I enjoyed with the puzzle was, by complete coincidence, that in 2d. Lamb version though, no camel in sight. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  14. The top half was very enjoyable but the bottom wasn’t so hot (didn’t like mop for clean) although I did like 24d. One of those puzzles that seems tricky at first but when completed you can’t really see why! As always the clues were less cryptic than the hints, just can’t grasp SCCHUA’s way of hinting, I think it’s the plethora of parentheses etc that I find difficult.
    Thx to all.

  15. I really enjoyed this one – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I was terribly slow to get 4d (how silly is that given how often I use them) and also 7 and 18d.
    Just when I thought I might be getting marginally better at spotting the ‘lurkers’ I completely missed 19a – oh dear!
    Spent far too long trying to fit O(ld) B(oy) into 12a but he just wouldn’t go – oh dear, again!
    Apart from those I didn’t have any major problems.
    Lots of good clues – 9 and 23a and 24d. My favourite was either 2d, which did make me laugh, or 4d.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.

  16. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, not too tricky. Had to think about 10&27a, were the last two in. Favourite was 9a. Was 2*/4* for me. Just did some more weeding, off to play squash now.

  17. The only one that had me stuck was 12a. I was convinced that it must end in BO, and that the answer must be a Japanese craft as in arts and crafts. It’s so obvious now I’ve seen the explanation!

  18. Got off to a slow start with this offering but once NW corner was in I picked up speed. 13D was a very good smiler. 2.5 and 3.5 for me. Thanks to Scchua for his review: Wednesday will not be the same without him.

  19. A nice puzzle I thought. 10a was my favourite, and just for good measure I agree with Kitty about the star ratings; I never know which side of the bed I get out of each day and so I don’t feel I can ever ‘rate’ a crossword put together by somebody far cleverer then myself!
    Thanks Jay and for almost the last time, thanks Scchua.

  20. Really enjoyed this one, impossible to choose a favourite. It took me far too long to get 4d, especially as we use them all the time! As Kath would say, oh dear! Loved 9a, 25a, 1d, 4d, and I think 24d has to be favourite, reminds me of the pirate stories I loved as a child! Thanks to Jay and scchua, we’ll miss you.


  21. Didnt start until this morning and struggled with a few clues. Thanks Scchua for explaining 13d which I got from the checking characters but couldn’t see the construction.

  22. Nice and easy today – struggled more with the Quickie! Last one in 27a- got the answer but couldn’t work out why without hint so thanks for that. Favourite 25a but thought 5d was clever too.

  23. I got off to a good start then faltered and had to use hints and tips.

    Good fun, thank you Jay and scchua.

    Difficult to chose a favourite, there are lots of clever clues. Think I’d plump for 5a which was one of my first in and made me grin.

  24. Once again the antique brain worked just needed to check a couple were correct, love the camaraderie of Big Dave’s gang makes me feel less isolated.

    1. Yes, it’s lovely here. That’s why I started chipping in… and now I’m hooked! Keep commenting, because you’ll always be welcome :).

    2. Yes – it’s one of the things I love too. Solving crosswords can be a very solitary thing to do but the blog makes it sociable too – sometimes it’s also very funny which can’t be bad. Please keep commenting. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    3. I love it here too, like minded people yet also able to respect other peoples’ differing opinions. Very helpful yet not patronising.

      WRT Emoticons I would love to see one for someone on the naughty step (quite often moi) and someone in the DUH! corner e.g. with the old dunce’s cap (also moi).

      I wish I were clever enough to construct these things. I wonder where the emoticon wizards live?

  25. Late finishing this but a very enjoyable puzzle. Liked 9a, 25a, and really all the clues. Many thanks to all

  26. While I didn’t need any help in completing I didn’t find it that straightforward although actual time taken was modest. I’d call it satisfying rather .than enjoyable. I liked the way some clues could lead you up the garden path as there appeared to be more than one cryptic meaning.

  27. Very enjoyable. Thank you Jay. Also Schuaa (don’t think I have spelt that correctly). I needed the explanation of 27a, Enjoyed 9a and 25a. Last one in 10a. Knew what it was getting at but couldn’t think of the word. Surprised no-one else has commented that it is another Americanism. I have never heard it used in this country.

    1. From a London court report in The Times Feb 2013:

      Mr Edis raised the prospect of a mistrial and discharging the jury.

      I may be wrong but I believe it has a specific meaning in British law, being called after a serious unforseen event or procedural error occurs. The American usage is much looser and includes a jury not being able to reach a verdict.

      1. Yes – interesting isn’t it. The derivation is certainly USA and I suspect that The Times may have been misusing the word. Certainly I have been involved in many trials and have never used it or heard it used!

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