DT 27579 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27579

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27579

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable puzzle, even though it didn’t take long to crack. A 1.5*/3* for difficulty/enjoyment. Thank you Jay.

This is my swan song, so again thank you for all your support. It has been a gas. I’ll say adieu for now with this: “Old bloggers never die – they just can’t remember their passwords!”.

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    Long to be in court getting kudos (6)

{CACHET} : [long for, so much that it hurts] contained in(to be in) [abbrev. for “court”].

Defn: An indication of approval or distinction.

5a    Underwear worn by bearer for farce (8)

{TRAVESTY} : [underwear for the upper half of the body] contained in(worn by) [a bearer of, say, glasses or plates, borne by, say, a waiter].

9a    Doctor worried about son getting more dozy (8)

{DROWSIER} : Anagram of(Doctor) WORRIED containing(about) [abbrev. for “son”].

10a    Nasty experience of French in exam (6)

{ORDEAL} : [French for “of”] contained in(in) [a form of exam].

11a    What soup must be served for a left-hander? (8)

{SOUTHPAW} : Anagram of(… must be served) WHAT SOUP.

12a    Most of money at home – nothing for this establishment! (6)

{CASINO} : [ready money] minus its last letter(Most of …) + [at home] + [letter representing nothing;0].

Defn: …, where, on the other hand, you’re likely to end up giving all your money to it.

13a    Former partner working in confined surroundings is a skilled performer (8)

{EXPONENT} : [former partner or spouse] + { [working, as with an electrical appliance] contained in(in … surroundings) [confined;caged] }.

15a    Mock court clown dismissing man of God (4)

{JEER} : [a court clown] minus(dismissing) [abbrev. for a man of God;a good man].

17a    Help to bottle cold bitter (4)

{ACID} : [to help;to assist] containing(to bottle) [abbrev. for “cold”].

19a    Tars stop, surrounded by snakes (8)

{ASPHALTS} : [stop, say, at a red light] contained in(surrounded by) [snakes, like the one biting Cleopatra’s bosom, supposedly].

Defn: …, derived from petroleum, and used, say, for roads.

20a    Physicist‘s cook disheartened by scheme (6)

{PLANCK} : “cook minus its inner letters(disheartened) placed after(by, in an across clue) [a scheme;a plot].

Defn: … attributed as the originator of quantum theory.

21a    Court hearing about short back-hander (8)

{TRIBUNAL} : [a hearing in a court of law] containing(about) [a back-hander;a bribe] minus its last letter(short …).

Defn: … of justice.

22a    Do without love and avoid being fool (6)

{DELUDE} : “Do minus(without) [letter representing 0;love in tennis scores] plus(and) [to avoid or escape from].

Defn: As a verb.

23a    Prevarication – it’s the middle-of-the-road thing, not new (5,3)

{WHITE LIE} : [the thing painted along the middle of the road] minus(not) [abbrev. for “new”].

24a    Mate astride wild steed needs support (8)

{PEDESTAL} : [a mate;a friend] containing(astride) anagram of(wild) STEED.

Defn: … on which you might, figuratively, place your idol, or, literally, a bust of him/her.

25a    Confess, accepting case of perjury – it’s intelligence work (6)

{SPYING} : [to confess, especially, to the law] containing(accepting) the 1st and last letters of(case of) “perjury “.


2d    Service broadcast on behalf of church (3,5)

{AIR FORCE} : [to broadcast, say, over the radio or TV] + [on behalf of;representing] + [abbrev. for the Church of England].

Defn: A branch of the military services.

3d    In what way it’s a broadcast as a weapon of war (8)

{HOWITZER} : [in what way?] + homophone of(… broadcast) “it’s a “.

Defn: … with a short barrel and a steep angle of fire.

4d    Dog whistles which protrude from rear of car? (9)

{TAILPIPES} : [to dog;to follow after] + [whistles, eg. those for signalling that somebody is coming aboard or leaving a ship].

Answer: A mainly American term for the specific parts of the car protruding from the rear.

5d    Give up, and include drier as part of the deal (5,2,3,5)

{THROW IN THE TOWEL} : Cryptic defn: Literally, to offer a cloth drier as part of the bargain.

6d    Queen Victoria welcoming a single worker of a different sort (7)

{VARIANT} : [Latin abbrev. for Queen Victoria] containing(welcoming) A + [Roman numeral for “one”;single] + [social insect, one of whose castes is the worker].

Defn: … but with the same or similar origin.

7d    Precisely identified southern ocean, possessing energy for area (8)

{SPECIFIC} : [abbrev. for “southern”] + [the large ocean between Asia and the Americas] with [abbrev. for “energy” in physics] replacing(possessing … for …) [abbrev. for “area”].

8d    Chicken feed lacking iron, and showing signs of age (8)

{YELLOWED} : [colour associated with being a coward;being chicken] + “feed minus(lacking) [chemical symbol for the element, iron].

Defn: … as with, say, the pages in a book.

14d    Cancels training of fillies after a French uprising (9)

{NULLIFIES} : Anagram of(training of) FILLIES placed below(after, in a down clue) reversal of(… uprising, in a down clue) [French for “a”].

Defn: Makes invalid.

15d    Being pretentious, started improving (6-2)

{JUMPED-UP} : [started, as when getting a sudden shock] + [improving;describing the only way to go if you’re at the bottom].

Defn: … or arrogant, like an upstart.

16d    Involved hospital department and suffered (8)

{ENTAILED} : [abbrev. for a certain hospital department;a medical specialty] plus(and) [suffered, eg. from an illness].

17d    Cleverly redesigned statue, largely hollow (8)

{ASTUTELY} : Anagram of(redesigned) STATUE + the 1st and last letters of(… hollow) “largely “.

18d    Popular victory, when no one is up for forced entry (8)

{INVASION} : [popular;fashionable] + [abbrev. for “victory”] + [when;at the same time that] + reversal of(… is up, in a down clue) { NO + [Roman numeral for “one”] }.

19d    Agrees bill with ranked players being listened to (7)

{ACCEDES} : [abbrev. for “bill”;a written or printed statement of money owed] plus(with) homophone of(… being listened to) [ranked players, in a knockout competition].

The Quick Crossword pun: tack+solid+haze=tax holidays

Many thanks to Scchua for your sterling efforts over the past two years.  We will miss you, but I hope you will be able to return from time to time.

77 comments on “DT 27579

  1. Great crossword and currently being in the US, was able to do this before lights out. Not too taxing but a pleasure to solve. Thanks to scchua and to Jay 1.5*/3.5*

  2. Farewell Scchua.
    May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    The rains fall soft upon your fields
    And until we meet again
    May God hold you in the palm of his hand

    1. From me too. I think the late John Martin puts those words or similar to music (cue techno savvy BD).

        1. I must have the name wrong, very big in the eighties, singer /guitarist, it is going to drive me around the bend until I remember it right. Sorry !I think he was scottish.

  3. 1*/3*. I found this simple today but nevertheless very enjoyable, spoilt for me only by the Americanism in 4d.

    Lots of candidates for favourite, but I’ll settle for 5d.

    Many thanks to Jay, and a fond farewell and especially big thank you to Scchua for all his excellent and very distinctive reviews, which have been a regular feature since I first found this wonderful blog. Well done, Scchua, and my very best wishes to you for the future.

  4. Fairly easy solve today, but an enjoyable offering & agree with the ratings. Many thanks to scchua for all his hard work in the past & I shall certainly miss his reviewshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  5. Goodbye scchua, and many thinks for all your hard work. This blog helps keep a good many people sane (or at least saner than otherwise!) – and it’s people like you who make it possible. I will miss your excellent illustrated reviews. Many thanks. :bye:

    It’s true that this crossword yielded fairly easily (probably in close to record time for me, though I usually find it disheartening to keep too close an eye on the clock). Having said that, it didn’t feel over-simple, and was a pleasure to solve. Thanks to Jay for another joy.

    My favourite clue has to be 20a, just because I love to see physics references. Otherwise, favourite would be hard to pick from a long shortlist.

    Difficulty: to make one feel clever
    Enjoyment: oodles

  6. OK, I’m going to weigh in on this Americanisms thing…

    I don’t want to “come over all Brian” [checks word order carefully], but I find them a bit grating sometimes. But – and it’s a big one (ooh-er!) – I like the use of all the words we have available to us for crosswords. Limiting the word-set limits the opportunities for word-play and delight, and would make crosswords poorer. One of the reasons cryptics wprk so well in English is because of all the synonyms, abbreviations, homophones etc we have available to mess about with.

    What I would say though, is that I’d treat American words like ones from any other language or dialect: fair game for use, if we can reasonable be expected to know them, but clued as such: e.g. un/une is indicated as French, never simply clued as “the.”

    :phew: – I do waffle on a bit sometimes! Anyway, that’s my two pennies’ worth :).

    1. Thank you for that. As one who straddles the line of British/American, I dislike the criticism of one for another. As the third part of me, I also subscribe to the Bob Marley philosophy of “One Love”.

      1. Yes. Lots of love for our friends across the pond :). I like to make the distinction between the two variants of the language, rather than merging them into one amorphous blob (which “muddying” is probably the thing that people are really objecting to here), but it’s all good, and all adds colour. Or “color” – which, like many American usages is the older British one, which they stuck with while it morphed over here (iirc, it was the French who added in the “u” in this country to make the word more to their taste – quelle horreur!)… Anyway, hence my suggestion – and I’m glad if at least one person likes it :).

  7. It’s a small thing, but is there a letter a missing from the hint for 6d?

    Excellent review, as always.

  8. Thanks to all for your kind words and wishes, and the same good wishes to you too.
    Thanks Will, hint now corrected.

    1. In 6 down I think the single is the “A” which is inside VRI (Queen Victoria). There is no extra “I” needed, which is just as well as there is no subsidiary indication (wordplay element) for it.

      1. The paper version has an “a”: Queen Victoria welcoming a single worker of a different sort

      2. The Telegraph website has got ‘… welcoming a single worker …’ which, I think, makes a difference to the wordplay.

      3. So too does the Android app, and I’m sure the review did earlier as well… it looks to me like the “a” just went walkabouts when the hint was edited.

      4. Sorry for the confusion. I think I made the mistake of dragging the “a” from the clue into the hint with a dodgy CTL button (one that doesn’t register unless you hit the sweet spot). So now, I’ve corrected the clue. Consolation: I won’t be making another error here…it really is time for me to quit!

        1. That all makes more sense now. It seems that there are 3 abbreviations for Queen Victoria – VIR, VR and VRI – I have updated The Usual Suspects accordingly.

        2. Maybe. Maybe not. Thanks for all your past help.
          Edited. to thank Schua as BD beat me to a response. And thNks to BD also.

  9. Struggled to get off the ground with this and literally almost decided to 5d but pressed on regardless and suddenly it all came together and was a treat to solve. ***/****. Best liked were 11a, 23a and 5d. 20d physicist new one on me. Thanks so much Jay. scchua, thanks for so many great reviews, we’ll miss you – I wish you a future full of good fortune and happiness.

  10. Nice puzzle, enjoyed it but 22a eluded(!) me because I had stupidly misspelled 19d with a double E (ugh). Loved the imagery of astride wild steed in 24a, chicken feed without iron in 8d, and i liked 9a since i didn’t it took me a while to see the wordplay – 25a has nice surface as well.

    Best of luck scchua and thanks for all your contribution, may you remember your password for eternity..

  11. Au Revoir Scchua, I hope, and many thanks for the hints that have given us considerable assistance

  12. All very straightforward today, just getting to 1.5* level for the slight hold up in the SW, caused by the physicist. 23a is a clever clue and my favourite.
    Thanks for everything sschua and remember if you’re stuck typing ‘password’ is supposed to work nine times out of ten!

  13. Goodbye and good luck to you Schhua! I generally agree with your ratings and today is no exception.

    Hope you’re going to contribute to the lower ranks, if no longer in the upper echelons?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  14. Great fun, thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Schhua for his invaluable help (although I didn’t need it today).

  15. Nice puzzle!

    Faves : 5a, 19a, 20a, 4d, 5d & 19d.

    Thought that the word play for 6d was a shade loose!

    Very best wishes Scchua for the future!

  16. Many thanks to Jay for an enjoyable and straightforward puzzle and to scchua for the usual great review, you will be sorely missed scchua and I wish you well for your future endeavours, as we say up here “aw ra best pal”.

  17. A write-in for me today, but enjoyable nonetheless. 1.5*/3*

    scchua – best of luck in the future and I’d like to add a line to spindrift’s wishes, to thank you for all your help

    “May you be in Heaven a full half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead”

  18. Didn’t find it too difficult today but not heard of 1 across and the middle part didn’t immediately spring to mind. Also mistakenly put servant for 6 down, although that was probably due to inexperience regarding the queen victoria abbreviation, only realising mistake on solving 5 across. Good fun nonetheless!

  19. It sounds as if I found this trickier than others have done – 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I did most of it reasonably easily and quickly, for me anyway, but got completely stuck in the top left hand corner which took about twice as long as the whole of the rest of the crossword.
    I’ve definitely never heard of 4d and really struggled with 11a – could see it was an anagram etc etc but just couldn’t get it for ages – I now think I have met it before but had forgotten it.
    Missed the anagram indicator in 9a so thought my first two letters were the ‘doctor’ . . . stupid!
    Anyway, I could ramble on at length (why change the habits of four years plus of commenting) but won’t today.
    I liked 12 and 23a and 3 and 15d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Jay.
    With thanks and all good wishes to scchua – whatever will you do on Wednesdays in future?

  20. Thank you Jay, good fun and not too difficult. Many thanks Scchua for your review and hints – also of course for your help and hard work over the last couple of years. I have enjoyed your wonderful photos enormously – they have caused much amusement, as have contributors’ comments and reactions to them http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif We wish you and Mrs Scchua a long and happy retirement. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  21. Many thanks, Scchua, for your sterling service. Enjoy your retirement and I hope we see you in the comments threads from time to time. Thanks to Jay also for an enjoyable if not taxing puzzle.

  22. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. Thanks scchua for all your hard work, I shall miss your reviews. A good puzzle from Jay, but a bit on the gentle side. I don’t mind Americanisms, I think that they are part of the crossword landscape. Nice to have a clue about a scientist in 20a, makes a change from authors & artists. Favourites were 11a, as I am left handed. Also 19a, 3&5d. Nice trademark substitution clue in7d. Last in was 22a. Was 2*/3* for me. Walking in Cumbria next week, providing my groin injury heals in time, fingers crossed, but not legs http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  23. We thought this typical Wednesday wizardry from Jay although it didn’t put up much of a fight. */**** from us.

    Favourite among lots of good stuff was 4d – dog whistles indeed :lol: but 19a raised a smile as it reminded me of the old joke; “She was only a roadmender’s daughter but she sure liked her asphalt” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Thanks to Jay and hasta luego to scchua.

    1. That reminds me if another one: She was only a carpenter’s daughter, but she gave me her awl

  24. I’m not trying to be difficult but I think the quickie pun is not quite right. Don’t want to be any more specific than that as I don’t think we’re supposed to talk about it here.

  25. Thought today’s puzzle was a good mixture of doable clues and some quite hard for us. Thank you to the setter and to Scchua for your convoluted hints and your provocative illustrations. Wednesdays won’t be the same without you. To you and Mrs. Scchua, I wish much happiness. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  26. Many thanks scchua for all your excellent analyses of my efforts over the years, I assume you’ll still be blogging in another place and we may catch up again at a Sloggers and Betters sometime

  27. Today’s puzzle made a dreary hospital trip much nicer! Actually managed to finish it which cheered me. So thank you to Jay, for another very enjoyable setting – and heartfelt thanks to scchua for the delightful reviews – always illuminating (especially when accompanied by some excellent pics!). A rose to join with all the others you’ve been given, together with very best wishes for the future – as with many others I’m hoping you might occasionally join us lower mortals on the blog? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  28. And I saw the kind comments yesterday too late to reply – so thank you Mary, and I look forward to our trip with Kath! And thank you Kath – Poppy mending well altho not out of the woods yet. Hope Annie is liking the cooler weather?

  29. Thoroughly enjoyed this,not too hard and plenty of variety.I never heard of 11a but that is what the anagram solver came up with so that is what I put in. Favourite 15d. Thanks againhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif scchua and Jay.

  30. I started late today so I am glad that I was dead on wavelength. I found this 1* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. The top half was pretty much write in, the bottom took more thought. My last one in was 7d, which I had wrong, and when I read the hints, I realized I had written the “C” in 17a like “L”, and that totally threw me off.
    Thanks to Jay, I really enjoyed this, and to scchua on his swan song. You have been really helpful in the past and it would be nice if you would pop in to add to our commenting.


  31. Overall thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering even if not too taxing (good as today is busy). Guess Kitty you know what I would say about 4d, Americanisms still sit uncomfortably with me but I suspect they are here to stay unfortunately.
    Nice to see a Physicist get a mention rather than the usual obscure artist/playwright/poet.. Best clue for me was def 19a.
    Thx to all.

  32. A gentle workout I thought; but still good fun. 9a ticked the boxes for me. Thanks to Jay, and thank you Scchua one last time for your help and assistance; I wish you joy for the future. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  33. Many thanks, scchua, for your wonderful and excellent reviews.
    Will be missed on Weds.
    All good wishes.

  34. Farewell, then, scchua!

    Many thanks … I hope it’s not total retirement as I always enjoy your Picture Quizzes on that other site!

  35. Haven’t yet had a chance to finish this puzzle, but have dropped in to wish you everything of the best, Scchua. Have much enjoyed your excellent reviews. Have been solving but don’t always have the opportunity to comment. So thank you very much indeed.

    1. Have now just completed this puzzle. Thank you for the enjoyment, Jay.

      Didn’t need your excellent hints, Scchua. Going through them, though, is always valuable. I note I did mark 15a as a double definition, which it isn’t. Otherwise all seems well. My thanks and appreciation. And, once again, all the very best.

  36. Scchua ? You may very well come back under another pseudo. We are so few to disclose our real identity. So for me it’s only an au revoir rather than an adieu. Thanks for the hard work and once a crossword addict, always a crossword addict.

  37. Ooh, I just loved 4D! Absolutely my favorite (note the spelling) clue.

    But honestly, isn’t it time to suck it up, y’all? Yes, it’s a British newspaper, but one that these days has an international on-line audience. An “Americanism” once in a while is no big deal.

    1. Hear! Hear! BUT would the NY Times be so broad-minded? I lived in NY for several years and gradually became au fait with the NYT crossword and indeed enjoyed ithttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Not at all sure, but I don’t think the NYT crossword has quite the same international exposure as the DT cryptic as that is printed in many of the Commonwealth countries. I find the NYT Xword impossible, I can only do Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday I might as well be doing a Xword in Greek.

        1. I’m visiting the USA quite soon so perhaps will give the NYT crossword another go after a gap of many years and on your recommendation maybe start with a Monday or Tuesday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  38. …. Just to addd: the sentiments in my @10 on the first comment page of course also go to those who commented after I posted it. And Jay, it’s been a pleasure solving and blogging your puzzles, and I’m sure you’ll keep ’em coming. I’m still blogging in another place though less frequently than before, but it’s long odds that I’ll have the chance to blog one of your FTs. And Franco, there should be another one from me in the other place tomorrow.

    1. Looking forward to it ,,,

      Maybe my last chance to get all the right answers to one of your Pictorial Quizzes!

  39. So, Farewell then,
    Living in Singapore
    He gave us the underscore
    Or was it just underlining?

  40. Thanks to Scchua , I have only known about three weeks of you but greatly appreciated your cogent comments which interestingly I did not need. Just popped by to see how everybody else got on. Yes I did know Mr Planck but I do have a scientific background, and over the years have found that doing crosswords has expanded my vocabulary immensely. How many of you giggled at yesterday’s pun Simper Thighs – tee hee?

  41. I’d say fairly straightforward with one or two tricky ones. I’d still give it a 2* for difficulty but higher for enjoyment.
    I found the toughie today approachable if anyone want a try-I did need some prompts though!

  42. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle despite it being one of the most straightforward that I’ve solved in quite a while. Had I not entered ‘SERVANT’ for 6 down I think I could have completed it in a record time (a record for me, that is) I was so sure that servant was correct, as to my mind it fit the clue, that I spent longer than I ought to have done in trying to find a word to fit 5 across – until that glorious moment when the penny dropped. Thank you to the setter and my very best wishes to Scchua.

  43. StanXYZ beat me to it. Scchua and the underlining / scoring he introduced has been so so helpful, as have his pics which caused so much hilarity. Cheers Scchua, see you on another site and hopefully at another sloggers and betters. Very best wishes

  44. So farewell, then, Scchua. May all your paths be through flowers.
    Read and write today, but good fun nonetheless. 1*/3*

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