DT 27584

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27584

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I found this pretty mechanical without a great deal of sparkle but I was held up for a time after having got the last two letters of 18a wrong which gave me problems with 13d. Do let us know how you got on 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

1a Foresee resistance after Putin’s first order (7)
PREDICT – the abbreviation for electrical resistance follows the first letter of Putin. Then we need an order or decree.

5a The Entertainer, for example, almost perfectly jolly (7)
PLAYFUL – what The Entertainer is an example of is followed by an adverb meaning perfectly (as in ‘you know perfectly well’) without its final letter (almost).

9a Old girlfriend given diamonds (5)
DATED – someone you go out with followed by D(iamonds).

10a Matches — each golfer is after a decent score (9)
PARALLELS – a word meaning each or every and the surname of a South African golfer come after a decent score on the golf course.

11a Forced frail cat I upset to eat one (10)
ARTIFICIAL – forced here means feigned (like an insincere smile). It’s an anagram (upset) of FRAIL CAT I containing (to eat) the Roman numeral for one.

12a Stable bank, by the sound of it (4)
SURE – an adjective meaning stable or solid sounds (to some ears) like a bank or waterside.

14a Liberty‘s desire for some Scotch? (12)
INDEPENDENCE – double definition, although pretty much the same definition twice. When I was at school I was told that Scotch was never to be used to mean Scots and Chambers says this usage is regarded as incorrect by many – so presumably that’s the reason for the question mark. We’ll know in a few weeks whether this desire is to be fulfilled.

18a Building prisoner’s training in to get released (12)
CONSTRUCTING – start with a slang word for prisoner and follow this with a present participle meaning training or teaching without the leading IN.

21a Head‘s idle (4)
LOAF – double definition, the first an informal word for head coming from rhyming slang (**** of bread).

22a Work attitude creates hostility (10)
OPPOSITION – a charade of the abbreviation for an artistic work and an attitude or stance.

25a Youngsters get a sneer when dressed up (9)
TEENAGERS – an anagram (when dressed up) of GET A SNEER.

26a Annoyed at getting into rage (5)
IRATE – insert AT in a word meaning rage or anger. I don’t like this clue at all – the word for rage has the same root as the answer.

27a Show a high regard for  detail (7)
RESPECT – double definition – the second a noun meaning detail (‘the report was correct in every detail’).

28a Students initially notice head’s misery (7)
SADNESS – string together the initial letter of students, an abbreviated notice and a head or promontory.

Down Clues

1d Dill regularly stocked by fruit seller (6)
PEDLAR – the odd letters of dill are contained inside (stocked by) a soft fruit.

2d Character I’d cut out being (6)
ENTITY – start with a word meaning character or personality and drop (cut out) the I’D at its start.

3d Uncertain to order dinner if tie not right (10)
INDEFINITE – an anagram (to order) of DINNE(r) IF TIE without the R (not right).

4d Subject to choice? Not quite (5)
TOPIC – TO (from the clue) followed by a choice or selection without its last letter (not quite).

5d Awful temper with nan going on and on (9)
PERMANENT – an anagram (awful) of TEMPER and NAN.

6d Skilled Liberal Democrat losing his head (4)
ABLE – the surname of the Business Secretary in our coalition government without his first letter (losing head).

7d Visit  common (8)
FREQUENT – double definition, the first a verb to visit regularly and the second an adjective.

8d Starts to see the eels in large ship — one’s likely to catch a lot (8)
LISTENER – the starting letters of three words in the clue go inside a large passenger ship.

13d Dine out, breaking diet if discovered (10)
IDENTIFIED – an anagram (out) of DINE followed by another anagram (breaking) of DIET IF.

15d Men quite badly fixing Peugeot’s first gear (9)
EQUIPMENT – an anagram (badly) of MEN QUITE containing (fixing) the first letter of Peugeot.

16d Small copper disc found on hill — one could carve it into something (8)
SCULPTOR – string together S(mall), the chemical symbol for copper, the abbreviation for a vinyl disc and a rocky hill.

17d Violent illegal immigrants? Almost the opposite around outskirts of Auckland (8)
INVADERS – a word meaning the opposite or the flip side without its final E (almost) contains the outer letters of Auckland. I like the definition.

19d Who might appear in Treasure Island from page 26 (6)
PIRATE – the abbreviation for page and the answer to 26a.

20d If not fun, when female’s gone there’s a smaller amount (6)
UNLESS – the word fun with the F(emale) taken out followed by a smaller amount.

23d Band in studio as I speak (5)
OASIS – hidden in the clue is a Manchester-based band, popular in the 1990s.

24d Forced to have flipping cheese (4)
MADE – reverse (flipping) a type of Dutch cheese.

The clue I liked best was 17d. Which one(s) appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: SETTER + COARSE = SET A COURSE



  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Living where we do we would have to agree with Gazza’s favourite. To us it had the feel of a Petitjean puzzle but we have been known to be wrong before. Thought that 14a was most appropriate with the poll imminent. We also are right in the midst of political madness here with general elections happening on 20th of this month. No major hold ups for us and we enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • Jezza
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I also thought it was a Petitjean puzzle, and I have also been known to be wrong before :)

      A couple in the top right slowed me up for a while in an otherwise fairly straightforward puzzle.
      Many thanks to setter, and to Gazza for the write-up.

      • gazza
        Posted September 2, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        You could both be right but I didn’t think it was sufficiently ‘off the wall’ for PJ (but I’ve been wrong many many times).

  2. Ally
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Quite pleased that I managed the bottom half almost as a write-in. I didn’t understand 10a but it fitted. I liked 14a and 17d and the anagrams made it easier for me although the four letter answers were pesky. Thanks Gazza and the setter.

  3. Sweet William
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter – have the above comments done enough to flush you out ? I found it difficult to get going with this but started to enjoy it more once I had a few checking letters and could make some progress. Without checking letters, the clues were quite tricky for me. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. Hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine – not England’s cricketers I gatherhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Rick
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Given today’s rather lukewarm reaction he/she might prefer to stay anonymous!

  4. Bluebird
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Well, it was quite a workout and no mistake, guv’nor.

    Agree with the rating, mainly due to some tricky anagrams, slightly dodgy phono wotsits (12a) and a couple of d’oh moments (21a).

    Now ready to get outside to the green bits.

  5. Dutch
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I gave up on the NE corner beyond 5d but then reading gazza’s preamble, I discovered i had made the same error! silly, since an -ing ending is clearly wanted by the clue. Looking at the answers I forgive myself anyway, not shore I would have dared read scots for scotch, but i should at least have managed 7 and 8d.
    I liked the page26 construction in 19d.

    many thanks gazza, not in the least for making the same mistake so i don’t feel alone, and thanks very much to the setter

    • gazza
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the need for the -ing ending in 18a was necessarily wanted. Construction for building and instruction for training both work just as well (that’s my excuse anyway!).

    • Serl
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Was too late to reply to Dutch and Prolixic yesterday, but thanks for explaining BRB. I have been using it since I started crosswords without realising. Doh!
      Thought to-days was a fair test except for 12a and 21a which completely flummoxed me without the trusty helper confirming my guess on 21a.
      Many thanks to setter and Gazza for a good afternoon’s entertainment.

  6. Brian
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Was doing well until I hit 12a which completely defeated me. Even with the hint I couldn’t get it and had to break a rule and look at the answer! Apart from that quite enjoyable with lots of lovely anagrams, complete ones for a change bucking the trend of including partial ones. 10a held me up for a while but was very clever.
    Thx to all.

    • gazza
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      If you enjoy lots of anagrams you should be in your element with today’s Toughie!

      • Kath
        Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Oh good – just about to try it and I really like anagrams.

      • Ally
        Posted September 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        I was trying to get outside to cut some hedges but the Toughie sounds tempting.. I like anagrams.

  7. Beaver
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Rating todays a***/*** as there were a few tricky clues along the way , held up a while in the NE corner as I originally had ARTY for 6D-Party minus ‘the head’, seemed to be a reasonable fit ! also the scotch part of the double meaning eluded me-thanks Gazza.

  8. Kath
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree with gazza’s 3* difficulty and 2* for enjoyment – maybe a tad more for that.
    The only thing that stopped me making the 18a mistake was the fact that I’d already got 13d.
    The top right corner took me longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword.
    I didn’t know that The Entertainer was a play – all I could think of was Scott Joplin.
    Untangling 10a took ages and I couldn’t do it until I eventually remembered the golfer from previous crosswords – what little I know about golf or golfers comes from there!
    I was very slow to get 8d but no excuses for that one.
    I agree that Scotch is the spirit – people are either Scots or Scottish – my mother-in-law will be turning in her grave.
    I liked 4, 15 and 17d. My favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to the setter and to gazza.

    • George Dyson
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree about the meaning of Scotch – but I took it to mean that there was a dependence on alcohol – and nothing to do with Scotland. But then I am only gently following the independence vote from afar.

    • Merusa
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I remember the film starring Olivier, and I think he won an Oscar.

  9. BigBoab
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Once again there were too many anagrams for my taste both in this and in the toughie, however, it is just a matter of personal preference and I did quite enjoy this offering from the Tuesday mysteron. ( I also quite enjoyed the toughie) Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the usual impeccable review. As a Scot, I agree with both Gazza and Kath, Scotch is for drinking.

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Stuck on 12A. The only word that came to mind that sounded like stable was muse (mews), which was obviously incorrect. Didn’t think much of the clue once the answer was revealed. Otherwise no problems, though 5A and 7D were pesky. No smiles today, bit thanks to the setter nevertheless and to Gazza for the review.

    • gazza
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Could you clarify what you mean by pesky? I remember its use in B-Westerns where ‘pesky varmints’ was a popular phrase, but do you mean troublesome (i.e. tricky to solve) or not very good?

      • Rick
        Posted September 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I always use it to mean irritating or annoying (like the bluebottle buzzing round my office at the moment).

        • Merusa
          Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink


      • Expat Chris
        Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I was using it in the sense of troublesome to solve. They were my last two in, apart from 12A, I thought they were good clues once I’d sorted them out.

  11. Rick
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    All a bit ho-hum for me I’m afraid with not much to note. The 8d/12a crossers held me up a bit at the end but there was no Rufusian sparkle to lighten the mood.

  12. JonP
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Needed a couple of hints to sort out the NE corner but apart from that I found it pretty straightforward and an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Gazza for the couple of hints and thanks to the setter 2.5*/3*

  13. Jill
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Quite a few anagrams which suited me and I thought 17d was a clever clue. Not too happy with 12a but could not think of an alternative so would give **/** for this puzzle.
    BTW at school we were taught that the only things that are “scotch” are whisky and mist – everything else is Scots or Scottish

  14. Una
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    2d gave me some trouble, otherwise a pleasant challenge. I also liked 17d,as well as 8d and 28a.Thanks Gazza and setter.

  15. Merusa
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    This was hard, for me anyway. Most was do-able but I got stuck in the top right-hand corner. I never did get 12a, 7d and 8d, though I should have got 8d … maybe not, it was pretty obscure. Fave was 10a, but loved 1d and 16d as well. Thanks to setter, I did enjoy what I could solve, and to Gazza for helping me to finish this.


  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Got a bit stuck with NE corner. Guessed 10a but couldn’t explain the els. Thought 14a was quite fitting as well. I’m shore I am not the only one not to like 12a. 3d and 13d were so similar I thought a referring clue would have been more fun. Thanks to gazza for the help.

    • Kath
      Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Els, the golfer, is worth remembering – he turns up in crosswords occasionally. Unfortunately he doesn’t turn up often enough for me to remember him when I need him unless I really stir up the ‘little grey cells’.

  17. Collywobbles
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I seemed to find this puzzle more difficult than a normal Tuesday, maybe I was not on the right waveband and, like you Gazza, I did not enjoy it. Many thanks for the hints and, thankfully, the ones that I used I would not have got anyway

  18. Angel
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    For me definitely not among the most entertaining puzzles. Didn’t feel at all familiar – could it be a newish Mr Ron? Certainly no favs. I’m with you Gazza (thanks for hints which I struggled not to need) on ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  19. Gwizz
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Once I had remembered which way the single ‘l’ and the double ”ll’ went all fell into place, except I didn’t remember for quite a while. Ho humm.
    Otherwise no real problems but also no particular favorites…
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza of course.

  20. Clarky
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    ***/* Hard work after a late start this evening.
    Scotch is whiskey. Never ever a Scot. As one about to vote this kind of nonsense might well give the Yes campaign a boost.

    • barrie
      Posted October 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      pedantic note scotch whisky and irish whiskey nb the extra e. but wikipedia does have issues with that

      • gazza
        Posted October 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog, barrie. I take it that you’re not the same Barrie who used to be a regular commenter.

  21. Jay legs
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Completed the crossword, not sure about sure! And spent some time scouring page 26 of the paper looking for a reference to pirates:( None-the-less enjoyable.

  22. Salty Dog
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Not sure why some other contributors were underwhelmed by this one; l didn’t find it too bad at all. Something like 2*/3* by my reckoning, and 10a my pick of the clues. My thanks to the setter (whoever he/she was), and to Gazza for the review.

  23. Heno
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza. An ok puzzle, got completely stuck in the NE corner. Needed 5 hints to finish. Was 3*/2* for me. Skiddaw today, great walk, but spoiled by flying ants and other biting insects on the way down. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  24. Miffypops
    Posted September 3, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    A tricky little bugger. Solved on the way to Edgebaston for England’s humiliation at the hands of India. Loved it all the way.. last one in 12ac More please

  25. Owdoo
    Posted September 3, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    No real problems here although the Scotch clue raised an eyebrow and the NE corner held me up a bit but was defeated after a short intermission.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.
    2*/2* for me this one.

  26. Tstrummer
    Posted September 3, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward and no real complaints, apart from 12a, which was shocking. Favourite, and a modest smile, goes to 17d 2*/3*. Thanks to Gazza, of course, and setter for a modest workout